Stormie the Dog Stealer
Summary: Stormie’s gang (consisting of Stormie Petry, Fagly, McJinty, Big Ike, and Mose Issaw) is stealing dogs from people in the area. Then horses begin to be stolen. Not revealed until the end of the book is that adults are involved, too, namely Fagly’s uncle and other men from down the river, in an operation to steal and sell valuable breeds of dogs and horses. The steamboat Louisiana Lou is used to ferry the stolen goods down the river. Stormie later credits Hawkins for helping him see the right path, and he breaks with the gang. The adults are all arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. Stormie’s father, Captain Petry of the Louisiana Lou, is cleared of any wrongdoing, and father and son return to the steamboat, with Big Ike manning the boilers, and resume legitimate steamboating.
If you already know Seckatary Hawkins and his famous club, you
need no introduction to this jolly, fat person. If you meet him for the first time in "
Stormie the Dog Stealer, there is a treat in store for you. He can be compared to Huckleberry
Finn or Mitch Miller as a true boy and the doings of him and his club make the best of reading for
boys of all ages. As secretary to the club, young Hawkins has the handling of vexed problems,
and his nose for smelling out mysteries lands him in adventure after adventure. In Stormie the
Dog Stealer, there are exciting events in every chapter. The fact that the book deals in large
part with the boon companions of boyhood, dogs, makes the story doubly appealing. The idea of
a boy who has an uncanny attraction for dogs is unusual, and you will find it worked out in and
unusual way. Caves, secret doors, mysterious lights, a hidden houseboat, and strange messages
all figure in this story of Seckatary Hawkins and his club." - from DJ
|.||1925||They won't let me out, Hawkins|
Hawkins is reminiscing over the past - of Stoners Boy, Simon Beaker's death, Androfski (no longer the silent), Jude the Fifth and Three Finger Fred. He thinks of the start of the club and their meeting places from Jerry Moore's big bonfires on the river bank to their first cabin that burned down; the sunken houseboat that Jerry Moore's Daddy had raised and put on the river bank for them; and now the refurbished shack which was built by Rufe Rogers and his runaway college friends.
While the boys are having a meeting the postman brings a package for Hawkins. He puts it in his desk and says he will tell them all what it was later. After the meeting, Briggen, Pelham leader, comes over to complain that one of the Fair and Square boys has stolen his yellow dog. Hawkins denies that any of his boys would take that useless yellow dog of Briggen's, but he does say that they will look for the animal. When Hawkins is alone again he opens the package to reveal the gray muffler and the old brass horn, sent to Hawkins as a souvenir from Stoner's Boy.
He thinks about the events that were connected with the old horn and the people involved. That evening they meet in the clubhouse for singing practice. Perry Stokes in on guard outside and he and Jerry Moore stop a boy named Curly Wisher. The stranger is from the little town of Hobbs Ferry and he wants help in finding his stolen dog. Ted Trimble is mentioned as a friend of Curly. He had found the camp of the dog thief and when Curly tried to take his dog back, the boy known as Stormie had beaten him. Hawkins promises to help find Curly's dog. That made two missing dogs in one day.
Shadow and Robby bring Kendricks and Jerome, the two leaders of the Happy Days club from Watertown and they tell that Squire Hornaby's Great Dane, a most vicious animal, was missing. Hawkins says that they will look for the animal. After Robby and Shadow take the two Happy Days boys back to Watertown, the meeting resumes and Jerry Moore makes a motion that they stop getting involved in other people's troubles. After some argument, the motion passes.
The next day Jerry Moore comes to Hawkins to report that his dog, a water spaniel named Shag, is missing. At the meeting, Jerry wants to rescind the motion he had made the day before and it was done. Then Roy Dobel comes in to report that one of his dogs, Rag Ears, is now missing. Dick Ferris, their captain, puts Hawkins in charge of the investigation of the dog-stealing affair. Judge Granberry, Doc Waters and the Sheriff come in to report that Judge Granberry's prized collie named Prince Rimram was missing. That makes six dogs in a few days time.
At a meeting, Briggen comes in to report that he know his old dog was being kept In Simon Bleaker's cave headquarters behind the dead tree. The boys go to the old cave and find Big Ike and McJinty and Briggan's dog. Briggan takes the dog and the Pelhams leave. Big Ike denies knowing Stormie and said that they had found the old dog there when they had come in that morning. The old cave in the hills had been Simon Bleaker's and he had given it to Big Ike.
Roy Dobel asks Hawkins to keep his other dog for him. Hawkins takes the dog home and brings him to the next meeting. After dark, Stormie and his dogs are around the riverbank. The steamboat Louisiana Lou arrives and slows down to pick up Stormie and his dogs. In the mix-up with the big steamer, Hawkins loses the other dog to Stormie. In a gesture of contempt Stormie throws the dog's collar into Hawkin's canoe from an upper deck on the steamer.
Jerry reports that his dog Shag had come back. He had apparently escaped from Stormie and had swum the river at Hobbs. Jerry brings him along to their next meeting. While the others are singing, Hawkins hears the baying of dogs. When they are leaving the clubhouse, Stormie comes in on a horse with his pack of dogs and grabs Jerry's dog back again.
Shadow Loomis brings in a borrowed bloodhound, Ben Junior, to aid in running down Stormie. Johnny McLarren goes out rabbit hunting and finds that Stormie had been around. They start the bloodhound, Ben Junior, on the trail towards the cliffs, but they run into Roy Dobel and a herd of sheep and that interrupted the scent for the bloodhound.
Stormie leaves a note for Jerry telling him that he took the dog back because he wanted to show that he could. He added that he did not want the dog and would be sending him back soon. While the boys were playing a game of shinny they heard the sound of hounds and they all ran to Jerry Moore's house to see if the dog had come back. He had, but Stormie had killed the dog to get back at Jerry.
The Pelham gang came over to report that Stormie had been in their area and that the big dog of Squire Hornaby had killed Briggen's yellow dog. The boys go to the Pelham side with Ben Junior, the bloodhound. The bloodhound leads them down to the Pelham side of Hobbs' Ferry. Liege Hobbs reported seeing a boy on a pony accompanied by a big dog. He says that the boy was Big Ike, former associate of Simon Bleaker.
The boys are expecting Doc Waters to visit as Santa Clause. A Santa Claus comes to the clubhouse, but it is Stormie coming to return Judge Granberry's dog Prince Rimram. Later, Doc in his Santa costume came in to give the boys their presents. The Sheriff is with him. Doc takes the stolen dog back to the Judge.
Judge Granberry calls Seck to his office for a meeting. Ben Bigstaff is also there to tell that horses are also being stolen. He had lost a very valuable horse and a pony, the one that Simon Bleaker had owned. They are beginning to believe that the gang is mostly men.
Ted Trimble comes up from Hobbs Ferry to tell Seck that Curly Wisher had found Stormie's camp. Seck and Shadow and Ted Trimble ride down to the camp area in Ted's motor boat. They meet Curly Wisher and find the camp with many dogs. They find and take Curly's little dog and get away without seeing Stormie.
New Years eve at the clubhouse and Curly Wisher came running in asking for help. A boy named Fagly is chasing him. Fagly was a very ugly boy and has come to get Curly's dog. As they are about to fight Fagly, Stormie comes in and they both escape with the dog as the old year-ends.
Jerry Moore wants the club to buy traps so that they can catch some of the local wildlife, sell the pelts and make some money for the club. Shadow and Perry accompany Seck and the bloodhound down to Stormie's campsite to see if the dog could pick up the scent. They follow the scent up the river on the Pelham side. The tracks lead to the old dugout on Burney's field. The dog runs down into the dugout and disappears. They search but he is mysteriously gone.
Shadow and Seck discuss the mystery of the dugout. That there must be a secret hiding place where Stormie had been hidden with the bloodhound. The Pelhams come to the clubhouse to tell what had happened to them with Stormie's dogs pulling a sled and two boys running after it.
Lew Hunter brings a "radio" to the clubhouse. He tells how they can all listen to music. Lew is listening with earphones and he says that a boy further down river had reported a big steamboat was coming up river. It was the Louisiana Lou. They see the steamer pull in to the Pelham shore and horses being loaded aboard. The steamer moves out, turns around, and heads downstream.
Hawkins and Shadow paddle down to Hobbs Ferry and talk to Lige about the Louisiana Lou. He tells them that it is a no account boat without much trade. The boys continue on down the river and they see Issaw, a new Pelham, talking to Big Ike on the Pelham side. They separate and Issaw heads into the woods where he finds Stormie's camp with many dogs and a little tent. Stormie was not in sight. Shadow follows Issaw while Hawkins stays at the camp. He finds Rag Ears, Roy Dobel's dog. Stormie comes back and makes Seck sit down and wait until Fagly comes to break camp and pack the sled. He ties dogs to the sled. They escape and Shadow comes back to find Seck. They see Rags Ears come running back. He had broken his leash to the sled and returned to Seck.
Stormie stayed away for some time and came back again on the Pelham side. The Pelham boys come over to complain. Stormie sends a note to Seck saying that he will be down to the clubhouse to get Rag Ears back again. Stormie came and Hawkins calls in the boys and they have Stormie as a prisoner. Perry is going for the sheriff. Stormie calls in the big Great Dane and both escape though a broken window in the writing room.
The boys talk over the problem and decide that Stormie's headquarters must be in the old dugout. Briggen comes in to reinforce that idea by telling that Stormie and his dogs are all around the dugout. Seck, Shadow and Johnny McLarren go over to Burney's field behind Pelham. They enter the dugout and find it is deserted. They find a secret escape tunnel. There is a note from Stormie addressed to Seckatary Hawkins. The note tells Hawkins that he can have the dogs and that Stormie is through with the dugout. They are pacing off distances in the tunnel looking for another way out when the Pelham boy Issaw comes in looking for Stormie, calling him Petry. They boys take him prisoner and bring him back to the clubhouse. Stormie comes with the Great Dane in and rescues Issaw.
Another boy comes into the clubhouse to warn them to let Issaw alone. They go back to investigate the secret way into the dugout and they find another tunnel They had realized that Issaw must have come in that way because Dick Ferris was at the other end of the tunnel. The new tunnel comes out in a big gully and they search it without finding anything more than that it leads down to the river where the steamer had been seen loading the horses. Back in the clubhouse again, the boy who had warned them away from Issaw brings the Great Dane back. The boys all try to talk to the dog, but the only one who could do it was Lew Hunter. Johnny went to notify the Happy Days club boys that they had the Squire Hornaby's dog. They wait in the clubhouse for the Happy Days boys but Seck hears the baying of hounds and knows that Stormie is not far away. Stormie whistles from outside and the big dog jumps though a window and vanishes. The Happy Days boys are not pleased when they learn that the dog was gone again.
A few days later Hawkins and three of the boys are out late, deep in the woods, checking traps when they notice a light. From a window of a new cabin, the headquarters of Stormie, they find Fagly alone and capture him. He laughs and says that Stormie is on the way and they are the ones who are caught. They capture Stormie as well and are taking them back to the clubhouse when they meet Big Ike and McJinty in the darkness. In the confusion Stormie breaks loose, frees Fagly and they all get away.
Judge Granberry, Doc Waters and the Sheriff come to a meeting and they talk about the Stormie problems. The Judge tells them that a man will be coming down from Watertown to take charge of the horse stealing and put an end to the dog stealing too. When they leave, the boys hear the sound of a dog. It does not sound like the hounds that accompany Stormie. Shadow thinks that it is Ben Junior, the bloodhound - it is. There is a message attached to his collar. It is addressed to Shadow and it is from Fagly inviting Shadow to fight him fair and square. Shadow and Seck follow the hound back to where he had come from and there they meet Fagly. But when Shadow is preparing to fight fair and square, McJinty throws a rope around him from a tree. Seck knocks Fagly down and just then the rest of the boys from the club come running up. Fagly gets away again. Shadow takes the bloodhound back to his owner.
Jerry Moore and Roy Dobel visit the new cabin and Fagly, assisted by Issaw and McJinty give them a beating. Seck had warned all of the boys to stay away, but Jerry and Roy had gone there anyway looking for trouble. They had found it. A man named Richardson visited Seck at the clubhouse and tells him that he is investigating the thefts of the dogs. Hawkins agrees to help him all that he can in stopping the thefts. He tells about Stormie's new cabin in the woods. The boys go up on the cliffs with Shadow's new airplane kite, and the other boys who had been flying kites reel their's in to watch the new kite perform. Seck thought that he could smell smoke.
Richardson came along to tell them that the new cabin had been burned to the ground. They suspect Roy and Jerry but Hawkins does not want to believe that. When they come back to the clubhouse they find the boy Nathan waiting for them. He is looking for Moses Issaw. Hawkins tells him that they do not keep track of the other boy. Nathan leaves. Then Perry finds a note inside the clubhouse. It is from Stormie who threatens to burn their clubhouse down if they do not show him that they did not destroy his headquarters. While Seck is writing his notes, Shadow comes into his writing room to tell that he and Robby had seen Stormie riding the pony near the clubhouse. Seck sends Roy back to his father's farm and he brings back four horses. They ride around behind the cliffs and find the pony tied up to a bush. They go to Bleaker's old cave in the hill behind the dead tree. Inside they hear Stormie calling Fagly. They find Stormie writing something in a room inside the caves. Stormie attacks Shadow and the other boys jump on him and pull him away. Big Ike comes in at that time and Stormie tells him to take care of his pony for him. Then Stormie breaks away and escapes on the pony that Big Ike had loosened for him. Stormie had also turned their horses loose and they had to find them before they could go back. On the way back they meet Mr. Richardson. Robby and Shadow take the horses back to Dobel's and stay at the farm for supper. Richardson comes to the clubhouse. He had followed their footprints to the cave and found evidence of the fight. He also brings in the note that Stormie had written to Fagly. Richardson listens to Seck's story and announces that he thinks that he has all of the strings to the puzzle in his hands.
The boys are up on the cliffs flying kites again when Seck sees someone on the pony. They chase him but he rides away fast. They manage to stop the pony and find that the rider is Big Ike. They are taking the pony and Big Ike back to the clubhouse where they are going to turn him over to the sheriff. On the way they are intercepted by Stormie who threatens them with his rifle. Big Ike rides the pony away and Stormie runs into the cliff cave. The boys, thinking that Stormie might have others waiting for them in there, do not follow.
It is Easter and the boys are practicing their singing. Perry reports that a boy is calling from Pelham across the river. It is Curly Wisher. Curly says that someone brought his dog back to him overnight. The dog had been delivered in a box. Doc Waters comes in to report that Richardson had found his horse tied to the hitching post in his front yard. They had to refuse the hundred-dollar reward because they had not found the horse.
The next day Kendricks and Jerome, the Happy Days club leaders came down to report that the Great Dane had been found back at Squire Hornaby's. They also refuse this reward, since they had not brought the dog back. The boy Nathan Issaw comes to the clubhouse and later, Big Ike brings Moses Issaw, the pony and Ben Bigstaff's horse. Big Ike tells the Issaw brothers to go home and stay away from Stormie. Big Ike then tells them that he is the one who had been returning the stolen dogs and Richardson's horse. He also tells them that Stormie had been hurt and that he told Ike to return the stolen animals. In a surprise, he tells them that Stormie is his brother. Hawkins sends him back to Stormie. The boys take the horse and pony back to Bigstaff's for the reward.
The Sheriff stops in to tell Hawkins and Shadow that Stormie had disappeared. When Shadow asks why the Sheriff still wants Stormie, the Sheriff tells them that not more than half of the horses had been returned and that Stormie can tell them a lot about the rest of the stolen horses. He wants them to find Stormie. After he leaves, they ride Dobel's horses up to Parks Hills to search the old cave of Simon Bleaker. On the way, they see a strange little one-stack steamboat on the river. It heads into a bywater near the wreck of the Smoky City. As they approach Bleaker's cave, they see Fagly tie a piece of white cloth in the top of the old dead tree as a sign to a steamboat that was coming up river. It was the Louisiana Lou and it made fast at the wrecked steamboat.
The strange little boat then came up and landed against the Louisiana Lou and a dozen men leaped to the deck of the bigger boat. It was the Sheriff, the Chief of the River Police, his men, and Mr. Richardson. Shadow then identified the smaller boat as the police boat from Watertown. The Captain and his men are arrested and the chief is talking to them in the main cabin of the Louisiana Lou. McJinty comes into the cabin and tells Captain Petry that Fagly had hurt Stormie and that Big Ike took him away where no one can find him. Captain Petry tells them that Big Ike is his son and that Stormie is his stepson.
Weeks pass. Captain Petry and the other men from the Louisiana Lou were tried and sent to prison. Doc feels that Hawkins knows where Stormie is hiding, but Hawkins denies it. Shadow tells Hawkins that he and Robby have been following a boy in a skiff pulling four other skiffs loaded with something. They follow the train of boats down to the Island. Hawkins sees that the boy rowing the first skiff is Big Ike. They see him land the loaded boats and go to the hidden houseboat where he enters the little lean-to that they boys had built near the houseboat. He brought out a wheelbarrow and took it to where the boats were tied. Uncovered, the cargo reveals that it is bales of hay. He loads two of the bales on the wheelbarrow and pushes it through the woods down to the old log cabin and the stockade where he unloads the wheelbarrow. When he came time to go back for another load, the boys went in the stockade and found that a long shed had been built behind the log cabin. It was divided into twenty stalls. All were empty except for two containing horses. One was Mr. Richardson's horse and the other was a sorry looking nag.
They go back to the hidden houseboat and Hawkins goes in alone. He hears Stormie and Big Ike talking in the second floor bedroom of the old houseboat. Neither of them knows that Captain Petry is in prison. Hawkins climbs up and talks to them. He tells them that he is not going to turn them over to the Sheriff. He goes back down stairs and he and Shadow head back to the clubhouse.
Hawkins tells Doc Waters about Stormie, so Doc visits to take care of him. He said that Stormie is not badly hurt, only a sprained back. The Watertown Police boat arrives at their little landing and brings Richardson, Doc Waters and the Sheriff. They have a little meeting. Hawkins, under pressure, agrees that he will take them to Stormie. When they get to the old houseboat on the island they find that Stormie and Big Ike are gone. Hawkins then leads the way to the old log cabin and the stockade.
On the way, they meet Big Ike who tells them that Stormie is saying good bye to the big black horse. They take Stormie and Big Ike back to the police boat and then to the Sheriff's house where they are kept until morning. Doc Waters comes to the clubhouse to tell them that the trial will be held in the clubhouse. At the trial, Judge Granberry questions Stormie as to who did steal the horses. Big Ike then defends Stormie. Stormie admitted stealing the dogs, but he said that he had sent them all back.
Mr. Richardson asks the Judge to place both of the boys in his custody. The Judge agrees and leaves the clubhouse. Stormie asks Hawkins to take care of his own pack of hounds. He gives Hawkins a map of where they can be found. They study the strange map and finally realize that it is the stockade on the island and the tunnels to the old tree stump. Seck and Lew Hunter and Perry paddle down to the island and find the hounds in the tunnel under the trapdoor in the old tree stump. They also find Dave Gardner from the Pelhams down there as well. He had been imprisoned by Dave Burns, another Pelham, who wanted the hounds for himself. Ham says that he is going to give Dave a beating for locking him in the tunnel
At first, Hawkins kept the hounds at his house. Then they moved them to the old dugout on Burney's field. Perry Stokes fed them and exercised them every day. The boys' baseball team had been beaten by the Little-Potatoes-Hard-to-Peel club team. Hawkins and Perry took Robby's motor boat and rode to the little town called Elmhurst where Mr. Richardson lives. They talk about Stormie and the hounds. Mr. Richardson declines to take the dogs, but he does give Hawkins the big black horse as a gift.
One day a steamboat arrives at the dock and Stormie comes up to the clubhouse dressed like a Captain. Stormie's father owns the Louisiana Lou and Stormie is the new Captain. His father has been released from prison and he is the pilot. Big Ike is the engineer in charge of the power plant.
Hawkins sends Perry to bring the hounds from the dugout. Hawkins gives Stormie the big black horse. Perry brings the dogs and Hawkins tells him to help Stormie get the horse and the dogs on board the steamboat. As the steamboat pulls away, Hawkins gives a whistle and a whistle answers it from Stormie on the boat. They are never to see Stormie again.
DID YOU KNOW?
*Stormie "Just plain Storm" Petry could have been a reference to a water bird known as a Petrel. One reference book lists a "Stormy Petrel" (Hydrobates pelagicus) as a "harbinger of trouble"; a black bird with off-white rump.
Another reference book relates an ancient fable that it was called St Peter's bird because it appeared to walk on the water.