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 Chapter four(not done)Tongue out
     Steven knew that he had blown it at school with Larry.  He had not meant to scare Larry right out of his chair,  but once he had, he couldn't help laughing, bor it was just one of those moments that was funny, and he couldn't have held it in if he had to.  Now afterward when Larry had told him that he had embarrassed him in front of everyone, including Wendy, he knew  that he had gone too far, and when he saw the look on Larry's face, he also knew that he was a minute from getting his butt put on the floor to make it all even.
   He  decided to just take off after school and give Larry a chance to cool off before even trying to talk to him about anything. They would have to get all the equipment ready for the camping trip coming up in a couple weeks, and some of it would even have to be found first.  It would definately be a joint effort, so he felt it would be in everyone's best interest to  make up or this whole thing would not be any fun at all.  Larry could hold a grudge for a long time, that was one thing Steven knew for sure.  He didn't get made very often, but when he did, he held onto it like a pit bull in a tug of war contest.
    As soon as the last bell rang, he was gone.  He did not even have very many people sign his yearbook, he just wanted to beat the crowd out of that classroom. He did that all right, as a matter of fact he kind of snuck out and around the corner of the building when he saw that there was only a minute or two left on the clock.   Briiiiiiinnnnnnggg, went the bell, and he took off at a pretty good pace.  He ran past Larry's house, and into his front door which was not locked, the only bit of luck that he had that afternoon.
   Since he and Larry had gotten into that fight over who was going to take Wendy to the dance, he decided to bow out and just let Larry take her out, for he kind of had a feeling that she liked Larry better than himself anyway.  Steven didn't know why him and Larry were so competitive about stuff.  It seemed like anything that they did, or talked about doing seemed to turn into some kind of contest.  Taking Wendy to the dance and the fight that pursued was a perfect example.  It had been such a nasty fight, that he still had signs of bruising around his eyes where they had been blackened.  Now they were just a nice yellowish faded green tinted color, and the fight had been almost three weeks ago.
   He went into his house, and after he shut the front door, went to the refridgerator to get something to eat, for he had not brought his lunch that day, thinking that it was supposed to be a short half day, but he had been mistaken.  He was starved, and found a big bowl of leftover spaghetti from last nights dinner, and put it into the microwave to heat up while he took his stuff into his room.  
   When he opened the door to his room, his heart sank.  His mom had done him a "favor" and had cleaned his room for him while he was in school.  He hated it when she did that, for he felt that it was not needed, as he was old enough to do it himself.  Besides, he kind of got the feeling that she did it not so much as a favor, but more as a favor to herself, for she tended to be kind of nosey.  It was a very good way for her to go through everything systematically without it appearing that this was her intention to begin with.  He didn't know what she found so interesting, but she seemed to have the need to do this "clean up" about once a month just to keep up with whatever she might find.  Once she found a note from a girl, and another time he was pretty sure that she had found a girly magazine that he had under his mattress.  It was still there, but it had been moved, so he knew she had seen it.  
   The microwave bell went off, and he could smell the leftovers throughout the house.  He seemed to be the only one home.  He knew his dad was still at work, but his mom's car was gone, so she must be out doing something.  He took that food which was steaming hot, out of the oven, and went over to the drawer and grabbed a fork.  He was wishing he could go up into the tree house, but he didn't dare right now.  Or maybe that is exactly what he should do.  Just get it over with and go talk to Larry, that is if he even saw him go up there.  It was worth a try, so he grabbed up his food, and went next door and up into the treehouse.  The tv was still there from a few days ago, so he turned it on, and sat on the stool and began to eat the food.  He turned the channel to his favorite after school show, one of those funniest video shows.  
   He was watching the show, and then the commercial break came on.  He finished up his snack, and put the dish be the door so he wouldn't forget it when he left.  That is when he noticed Larry's yearbook sitting there on his cot, shoved only about half way under his pillow on his cot.  Oh no, what a temptation.  He knew that Wendy's autograph would be in there, and he sure did want to read it.  He was so tempted, but he was  not sure that if Larry started up the ladder that he would have enough time to put it back, and getting caught would be a disaster.  What to do, what should he do?  He was pretty sure he could get away with it.  Hmmmmm......
   Steven stood up and looked out to see if he could locate his friend.  He did not see any sign of him.  OK, he made up his mind, he was going to take a peek.  Boy, if he got caught, they might not ever get over this fight.  It was a risk his nosey self was willing to take.  He reached over and pulled the book out and opened it.  He flipped through the pages, stopping to read some of the autographs, but he was pretty much just looking for Wendy"s.  He got further and further towards the back of the book and then bam, there it was.  It was almost a whole page of Wendy's beautiful handwritting.  Well, here goes nothing, he thought to himself.
   As he began to read, a wave of guilt came over him.  He really wanted to know what she wrote, and Steven was pretty sure that Larry was not going to let him, especially not anytime soon, for what happened at school.  His justification was enough to allow him to continue, and he did.  After he finished reading it, he was rather shocked by it's contents.  He really had no idea that his best friend and Wendy were as close as they seemed to be.  She actually said that she loved him, Steven couldn't believe it.  He closed the book and carefully put it back where it had been.  He stretched out and continued to watch tv, but his mind was on the yearbook.
   Steven and his daydream must have relaxed him, for he fell asleep into a very deep sleep right there in the treehouse in the middle of the afternoon.  The next thing he knew, it was dark out, and someone was yelling his name.  He shook himself awake and was suprised to see that is had turned dark out.  The voice calling his name had been his dad's, and he hollered back, and made a beeline down the ladder and ran across the yards to home.
   His parents had been looking for him for quite a while.  Everyone thought it would be a good idea to go to bed and let tomarrow bring a new day.  They had to organize the camping gear.  It would probably take most of their Sat. to get it done, and with that thought he crawled into his bed, and was back to sleep faster than he thought he would.  He was tired, and tomarrow, would be a new day.
   The next morning came and Steven decided to go and say he was sorry to his friend.  He didn't want him mad at him any more.  So he got up and got dressed, and before he even ate anything went next door to talk to his friend.  He found Larry in the garage with his dad, and he was up in the rafters looking for the camping equipment they would be needing.  "Hi Larry,"said Steven, "are you still mad at me from yesterday, I am sorry about all that you know, I didn't mean for it to happen that way."
   "I know," Larry answered.  "and I forgive you, I was probably being a little bit sensitive, but putting all that aside, do you have any of the camping gear we need gathered?  You know we only have about a week left before we are going to be leaving?"
   "No, I don't, but I will go get my part of it together now, and when we think everything is together in one place we can get the list, and mark it all off.  I would rather be ready early than late, so I'll get my things together and let you know when I am done. Bye". and off he ran into the direction of his garage.
   It only took the boys the rest of that day, and into the evening and they had all the gear not only together, but all rolled up, put together as it was supposed to be so that it would be easy to carry.
   The next few days flew by, and before they knew it, it was the day they were supposed to leave.  It was to be a several hour drive to the place they had reserved to camp in.  
   It was during this drive up into the wilderness that Larry confided to Steven about his lifelong fear he had never told anybody about before.  He was scared to death of the wilderness and living in it.  He was afraid that he was going to get lost and never be found, or bitten by a posionous creature, or something equally as deadly.
   He made Steven promise on his life that he would not tell anybody about this fear of his.  By the time they were through discussing it, they were pulling up into the camping area.
   Here they were, there was no turning back.  By the time they helped unload all the gear, and found a good place to pitch their tent, and they made supper and had it, it was time to have the campfire that was traditional with the troop to complete the day and go to their respective tents.  
   The Scout Leader went over all the rules they had to memorize to even go to this campout, -- there was no feeding wild animals, there was no playing or trying to get near any wild animals.  There was no food to be had in the tents, all the food was to be secured in very certain ways so that they did not have animals in their tents, in the cars, or anywhere in the campsite.
   There were so many rules that they were made to write them down and if they forgot any they were not even allowed to go on this campout.  Both boys had passed the test and made the camping proof to the scout leader that they knew what the rules were.
   After the campfire discussion about the next day and all that they had to talk about, the leader made them all stand and repeat the Boy Scout Oath, "I promise on my honor to do my best to do my duty to God and my country.......and as they finished it together, Larry sort of daydreamed about what was coming up next, the overnight sleeping in these wild woods....and he began to be afraid.
   They were dismissed, and all the boys ran for their tents. Tomarrow would be here soon enough, and off the two went to their tent.  knew