The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf; or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists

by Captain Quincy Allen

The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf; or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists

The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf follows the story of Jerry, Will, Frank, and Bluff and their adventures.

Source: Allen, Q. (1911). The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf; or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists.New York: Grosset & Dunlap.

Chapter I: "Under Sealed Orders"
A group of four boys find that their winter break promises more excitement than they could have hoped for. Frank lets his friends know that they have an opportunity for an adventure, traveling Florida by boat.
Chapter II: "Caught in a Fire Trap"
Just as the meeting between the boys is ending they find there is a fire in town. They go to investigate, and possibly lend a hand, and find that there is trouble to be found.
Chapter III: "Headed South"
Jerry and Frank manage their rescue. The professor and his brother are thankful. They discuss their respective trips. The boys prepare for tomorrow’s departure.
Chapter IV: "Jerry Meets Trouble Half Way"
The boys arrive in Florida, after an uneventful trip, and prepare the boat for their journey south. Will reflects on past adventures as they all wonder at what adventures they will find. Things seem to be going well, until they hit a snag.
Chapter V: "The First Campfire"
Jerry soon realizes the cause of the “snag” and hurries back into the boat. The boys stop for supper, joking with one another about their past adventures. Suddenly Will spots something in the woods.
Chapter VI: "The Swamp Fugitive"
The boys meet George, who is hiding in the swamp because of his reputation in the town. They are kind to him, sharing their food and showing unexpected generosity. They prepare for sleep, but determine that someone should keep watch during the night. They take turns, and on the second shift of the evening the watch seems to pay off.
Chapter VII: "A Florida Sheriff"
Frank’s suspicions about their nightitme visitor are confirmed. The boys have a visit from the town sherriff, who tells them about the fugitive he is hunting. Will sets out to get photos of the wildlife, not realizing the risks he takes.
Chapter VIII: "Will Does It"
Will decides to explore on his own, despite the fact that he has the least experience and expertise in the area. He is enthralled with his photography, and loses track of the camp. He finds another camp, but not all is well there.
Chapter IX: "The Motor-Boat and the Prowlers"
Will is lucky to find assistance back to camp. The boys once again extend kindness to George. They decide to head farther down the river. During the night’s watch Bluff lets his guard down.
Chapter X: "Bluff’s First ’Gator"
Bluff finds that the man is desperate to escape, but jumps into danger. The boys provide assistance. They help once again when the sherriff and his men return. They travel down the river, stopping for supplies at a small town before reaching the gulf.
Chapter XI: "All the Comforts of Salt Water"
The boys decide to camp at the mouth of the river for the night. They each explore the waters and beaches. Jerry seems to have something big on the fishing line.
Chapter XII: "The Breakdown of the Motor"
The fishing proves to be exciting, and they are happy with their catch. They set out into the gulf, but quickly run into trouble when the motor gives out.
Chapter XIII: "Lost in the Fog"
The fog conceals any chance of seeing the shore. As the boys work to fix the motor they worry they are drifting farther away from shore. Just as things seem to be looking up they find themselves facing a new danger.
Chapter XIV: "A Cry Across the Lagoon"
The boys find themselves in danger, but narrowly escape. However, the source of their concern is not far away when they finally find land once again.
Chapter XV: "A Visit to the Mysterious Sharpie"
Frank decides he must investigate the crying that the boys heard. He keeps his intentions secret from all except Jerry. He canoes over to the other craft under cover of darkness, where he discovers the source of the crying.
Chapter XVI: "Joe"
The rescue is completed, at some risk to themselves. They find out the story of little Joe, and consider themselves happy to help such a child. Danger still lingers nearby as they wait to see what the sharpie will do next.
Chapter XVII: "Stuck on an Oyster Bar"
The boys stand up to the men on the sharpie, with good result. The decide to continue their journey, making up as much ground as they can for the day. All is well, but the changing tides make for a rough landing.
Chapter XVIII: "Trouble"
The group manages to get the boat off the oyster bed. They decide to stay where they are for the night, since there is food to be had and a shore nearby. Jerry decides to go ashore to check out what appears to be an abandoned shack.
Chapter XIX: "What Happened to Jerry"
The friends determine they must come to Jerry’s aid. Bluff and Frank wade ashore, while Will and Joe stay with the boat. They find evidence of Jerry, but are unable to find the boy himself. Finally the discovery of Jerry’s location is made.
Chapter XX: "Lying in Ambush for Big Game"
The group realizes that the temptation of honey will lure others as it has lured them. They decide to stay for the night in hopes of getting a bear.
Chapter XXI: "A Strenuous Night"
Frank has to act quickly to save himself. They decide to wait for the bear. After recording their exploits on film they resume their travels. The following night finds them setting up camp on shore.
Chapter XXII: "A Message from the Air"
The boys are awakened during the night by the sudden loss of their tent. It takes some investigating to find the source of the trouble and the mysterious voices. Once the mystery is solved the group decides they must take action.
Chapter XXIII: "A Dash Upon the Gulf"
The group sets out in search of the balloonists. There are hints that a storm may be brewing. Hope of finding the lost men has almost been lost when something is spotted. The boys meet up with a steamer.
Chapter XXIV: "The 'Norther'"
The risk that worried Frank and Joe becomes a larger concern as the storm sets in. The boat makes it to an island, where they set up camp to wait for the storm to pass. They are happy to wait it out, as their journey soon shows itself to be almost at an end.
Chapter XXV: "The Secret of the Sealed Packet-Conclusion"
The contents of the sealed packet are revealed, much to everyone’s delight. The boys return home, with future adventures in store.
  • Year Published: 1911
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 3.3
  • Word Count: 46,960
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Keywords: florida stories, rescuing the lost balloonists, the outdoor chums on the gulf; or
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