Let The World Go By

by: Richard

This is a story that involves sex between males. If such a story is offensive, or illegal for you to read where you live, then do not continue, go and surf elsewhere.

While this is a work of fiction and in no way draws on the lives of any specific person or persons, there may be some similarity to some real persons or events every attempt has been made to make this non-apparent.

The work is copyrighted by the author and may not be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of the author. It is assigned to the Nifty Archives under the terms of their submission agreement but it may not be copied or archived on any other site without the written permission of the author.


In the life of every man and woman there are periods of trial and tribulation. A man can be at his best when things are at their worst. It is not always the case, however, as he can also be at his worst. But the truest picture of what a man is like is when he is seen at such times.

Although not necessarily the a model of a man, James Arneson can give us a picture of what one can strive to become: self-assured and confident that he can master anything, if he but tries. He doesn't always succeed in being at his best, but he tries. He sees what he wants and goes after it. The fact that he doesn't always succeed is the surest sign that he is human.

His sexual preference complicates his life and his choices. He is under no illusion that life can be easy, nor is he dragged down by what others may have to say or think about him. He is his own person, and lets "the rest of the world go by" * when he perceives it to be wrong. We can all learn from this approach to life.

Here follows the story of the life of this one man.

Part One

The Early Years

Chapter 1

He stared out across the yard from the white clapboard farmhouse while waiting for his parents, brother and sister to finish their preparations for the trip. His long thin fingers unconsciously brushed across his tanned face checking for new blemishes. Discovering none shoved his hand into his pocket. He stood nearly six feet tall at sixteen, he still looked skinny and still thought his skin was one of the most disgusting parts of his body even though it was noticeably better than it had been just six months ago. He had completed his preparations the night before and was now dressed in his scout uniform, the long pants variety. He was glad that no one in the troop ever wore the short pants; he would have died to be seen in them. His unruly dark blonde hair was neatly combed, at least for now.

The end of July brought an end to the first wave of harvesting, and the canoe camping trip that James had planned was here. His brother wasn't going, since he had dropped out of scouting the previous winter. James was glad, as he and his brother barely tolerated each other, though they shared a room and bed. They had few friends in common, and even fewer common interests.

Taking James to the scout camp was to be a family outing. His brother pouted all that Sunday, feeling sorry for himself because he couldn't go. It took more than a bit of coaxing to get him to go along, though James didn't see why they bothered. The almost three hour drive was exciting for him, boring for their little sister, unpleasant for his brother, and a chance for his father and mother to talk quietly while they drove. It was a pleasant summer day, and the temperature rose only into the 80's.

"You can park over there," James pointed. In spite of the pout earlier his brother agreed to show their parents around the camp. In that way James was free to check in , get situated of for the evening without worrying about his family. Before hurrying off to register James bid good-bye to his parents.

"Good bye," his mother said giving him a hug.

"Have a nice trip," His father said with a firm handshake.

"Thanks for driving me up. You'll be back on Saturday to get me?"

"Yes," his father answered, adding, "Around two I think."

James knew all this, but wanted to sound solicitous about the arrangements.

"Have a good trip back," he waved to them.

James shouldered his backpack and headed off to the office. He found the Sign-In Desk.

"James Arneson," he said trying to sound confident as he set down his backpack.

"Ah, yes. Arneson," the camp councilor looked down at the lists in front of him using his stubby fingers as a guide to scan the list. "Here you are. You and Carl Jensen will be partners. He's in space number four. He's got blonde hair and is about your size." The man looked up at him smiling.

"Carl Jensen, number 4." James repeated, "Thank you, Sir." He picked up his pack again and headed off to find Jensen.

A feeling of slight apprehension crept over him as he thought of the possibilities of being assigned to a goof-ball, or worse yet, a real creep, tough guy type for a partner.

He spotted the sign on a tree that told him he was in the right area, and saw a boy his own age and size struggling with a tent. It was Carl, he assumed. A great burden lifted when he spotted him. Carl was pleasant looking and not at all as he imagined that he could be.

"Hey, Carl?" he called tentatively, "Need some help?"

"Yeah," Carl answered looking up with a warm smile, "This thing's giving me fits." Together they soon had it upright, and open at both ends to let what little breeze there was to cool it.

"I'm James Arneson," James introduced himself when they finished.

"Glad to meet you, James," Carl answered.

"They said that we would be sharing tents." James was not the most self-assured boy, but was determined to give his best.

"Good," Carl said grinning, "I was glad when I saw your name on the list. I was afraid that they'd give me one of those loud goof-offs I remember from last year."

James smiled, "Yeah, some of the guys are kinda loud, and don't like to work very much."

"You been on a canoe trip before?" Carl asked.

"No, not like this," James answered, quickly adding, "We have an aluminum canoe at home, so I practiced paddling with my dad."

"Good, I'm not too good at it yet," Carl smiled, "And this is my third year. That's another reason I'm glad I didn't get one of the other guys for a partner. They grouse at me all the time about it."

"I know what you mean."

When they had both finished putting their things inside the tent, Carl asked, with what James thought was a twinkle in his eye, "Want to do some exploring?"

James looked around, "Where?" he asked; he hadn't seen a path except back to the main building. The thick evergreen forest, and leafy underbrush appeared to grow right up to the camp compound, where the dry brown grass was trampled by the several thousand campers who made this meadow their summer home.

"Oh, there are some trails," Carl said smiling broadly, "Follow me." He turned and headed for the edge of the grassy area toward the thick stand of trees. It was only when they came close to the edge of the meadow that James could see the slight separation between the trees that indicated a footpath. It was easy to see that it was not an official trail as it required a good deal of bobbing and weaving to negotiate it, unless one liked getting slapped in the face by low hanging branches.

The two young men quickly disappeared from view, seemingly swallowed by the dark green brush and trees around them. Carl led the way pausing occasionally to see that James was keeping up with him. For nearly fifteen minutes they walked in silence before coming upon the sound of running water. Carl pulled up as he reached the edge of the small creek that meandered through the woodland to the near by lake on whose shore the scout camp was built.

The stream was clear, its gravel bottom visible through the moving water. A shaft of sunlight filtered down through the stand of pine that stood tall holding back the heat and light of the summer sun and lined its banks on one side, while the white skinned birch trees struggled to maintain their grip on the opposite bank.

"Of all the places around here," Carl explained, "This is my favorite spot. Come, I'll show you." They headed upstream from where the path ended at the rocky edge of the babbling brook. James hadn't realized it, but they had been climbing a hill since they had left the campground clearing, and were now nearly at the top.

A few moments later a rocky out-cropping came into view. They scampered up the rusty brown and ocher rocks. It was not a very high hill, nothing at all like mountains he seen in pictures, but when they reached its top a view that James had only imagined before lay before them.

"It's beautiful," he breathed as though he were out of breath. Laid out before them and down the opposite side was the camp ground with its dark brown, log-sided buildings with green shingle roofs and slate and rock paths leading between the buildings. The grassy meadow was hidden from view by the tall pines that lined its edge. A tiny glimpse of the road leading to the camp was visible, with an occasional car flashing past the opening.

"Like I said," Carl beamed, "It's my favorite spot." He too seemed awed by it view. They stood side by side captivated by the beauty of it, calmed and stilled.

Below they could see the other scouts wandering about the grounds getting ready for the evening activities. A thin wisp of smoke trailed up from one of the larger buildings, the only evidence that dinner was being prepared within its walls.

It was Carl who broke the tranquility of the moment, "I've got to take a piss."

James was surprised by the brazen words, and then aghast when Carl pulled opened his pants and whipped it out, for all the world to see. To James it seemed that he even turned a little toward him, to make certain that he would see.

"Don't look away. I mean for you to see. After all, we can't be camp buddies and not know what each other looks like."

James had turned to look the other way, in embarrassment and shyness. He could hardly believe what he was seeing. His eyes were involuntarily drawn toward it, that swollen shaft, creamy white, uncovered, and sending out a steady stream of pale urine which splashed on the rocks and running down to where they had been standing. He had seen other guys with piss hard-ons, but they were always embarrassed by it and tried to keep anyone from seeing. But Carl was different, he didn't seem ashamed of his penis, and truly it was nothing to be ashamed of. It was gorgeous! James wondered at that thought. Could gorgeous be used to describe something like a guy's cock? But it was!

Carl smiled as he watched James. He could see what James was not even aware of. Carl loved it when his open, even brash exhibitionism had the effect that he wanted. He wasn't careless about this kind of behavior, he knew the kind of guys who would be offended by it, or even would be openly hostile to it, not because of what he was doing, or the way he was doing it, but because he was revealing to them that his was bigger than theirs.

He shook off the last drops and stood massaging the now softening organ. But it didn't stay soft, and began rising and hardening now, to its full glory.

"Your turn." He looked at James with his soft blue eyes.

Caught by surprise, James suddenly became aware of his own condition, not really hard, but responding to the visual stimulation before him.

"I don't really have to take a leak," he said shyly.

"You don't have to," Carl smiled, "I just want to see yours, hard like it is now."

"Oh, . . . It's not hard."

"Sure it is," Carl insisted, "I can see it bulging."

James turned and started to walk away, stepping back onto the grassy ground back from the rocky ledge where they had been standing.

"James," Carl called, "Don't go." He followed James, his hard cock dancing as he walked. James slowed his retreat and turned as Carl approached.

"Please!" Carl pleaded, "Just a look."

James had never met anyone quite like Carl before. He was brash and bold, and yet he seemed sensitive and likable. He didn't really mind showing Carl his cock, but not when it was hard. His moving away had taken the edge off the stimulation, and it was now soft, even if it was still swollen a bit.

"Okay," James said adding, "But like I said its not hard."

Carl stood stroking his once again it was standing pointing upward gleaming in the bright sunlight, a pale, but impressive shaft of rigid muscle.

Slowly James unbuttoned his pants and pulled his out. The contrast in color and texture and size was unmistakable. His was soft and dark, though not fully relaxed. As they stood facing each other, they could both see what James was only now beginning to realize. James was nearly as large as Carl's, and it wasn't hard.

"Gosh," Carl swooned, "You're big!" He reached out and touched James. His fingers were warm, and the organ responded by beginning to thicken and lengthen. It felt good as Carl stroked it, and it hardened to its full length.

"Can I," Carl asked his words barely audible.


"Taste it?" Carl whispered.

"Nawww!" James blushed. He recalled somewhere in his past, someone had suggested something like this. He didn't know if he wanted to explore that yet.

"Please," Carl pleaded, "You don't have to cum or anything."

Carl was already kneeling on the soft grass, looking up at him for permission, his fingers still stroking the now rigid organ. James nodded and held his breath. He was beginning to be really excited. He knew it wouldn't take much to make him explode.

He tensed as Carl's wet lips closed over the end of his cock. The foreskin was still well down over the head of it, but quickly he felt Carl's tongue beginning to explore inside. He looked down and saw Carl's hand stroking in a fury of motion on his own cock. He heard Carl's moans and saw the spurts of white fluid splashing into the dry grass between his legs. He was glad the Carl had pointed it away from him or it would have been all over his pants. "How could he have explained that ?", he mused.

At that same moment, Carl's fingers tightened and eased the foreskin back and played his tongue on James glans. The sensations that it created in his groin caused him to tighten his butt, and in an instant he was carried to the height of passion. Instinctively he grasp Carl's head and pushed his cock deeply into Carl's eager throat. It was more than Carl could bear, and he gagged forcing the huge cock out of his throat.

"God!" Carl gasped, "You're big!" And as his hand kept pumping on James' cock, it quickly brought James to the edge. He quickly turned a little from Carl and shot his load. It spurted into the air; dancing, it seemed in never ending spurts onto the grass below. Carl kept stroking, and James kept shooting. Finally James reached down and took his hand away.

"Enough," he said softly. Carl dropped his hand and sat back.

"That's really something!" he whispered licking his lips, and wishing he could have taken it in his mouth.

James was embarrassed, and shook it off quickly and stuffed it back into his pants. His legs were still weak and trembling from his climax.

"You won't tell?" James asked.

"Me?" Carl laughed, "And let the other guys get a hold of that? Not on your life!" They quickly re-buttoned their pants and returned through the brush toward camp.

James speculated about Carl's last remark, but put it out of his mind. It would not difficult to do, with so many activities the rest of the afternoon and evening, he would have little time for being pensive.

The large bell atop the mess hall signaled that it was time to eat.

"Let's go, James," Carl called, "We don't want to miss this mess!"

James laughed as they headed off to eat.


The members of the canoe trip all sat at the same large wooden log-based table, so James got to see who some of his comrades would be. He wasn't impressed by any of them except for a slightly built, dark haired boy named Paul. He and his tent mate, Sean, sat across the table from James and Carl. His dark eyes sparkled when he smiled. He knew more people than even Carl, and was actively engaged in conversation with many others.

"Hello, I'm Paul," he reached across to James.

"Hi, I'm James."

"Hi, Carl, good to see you again."

Carl had his mouth full of food and just nodded with as much of a grin as he could manage.

When he swallowed Carl responded, "How are you doing? Glad to be back?"

"Yeah, I love these trips. So many interesting things happen." He winked.

James couldn't tell whether he meant it for Carl or for him, so he just smiled.

"Yeah, I can't wait," Carl grinned.

After they finished eating the four of them walked back to their sleeping area to wait for the evening's program to begin.

Preparations for a large bonfire stood just off the area where the tents were pitched. The lighting of this fire signaled the start of the program. James, Carl, Paul, and Sean managed to get a seat in the front row of the large logs that surround the fire and served as seating for the campers. It was full dark and now sweatshirts were pulled on to ward off the chill of the night. Those who thought they didn't need them, or had forgotten to bring them soon headed back to their tents to get them.

At last the head councilor at the camp came and introduced the leaders for the trip. Until that time they had been kept in the dark as to their identity. It was part of the usual ploy to dispel rumors, and keep the group from forming any prejudices against them. It rarely worked totally, since many of the scouts had taken part in the camp's activities for years, and knew all the leaders. But there were always newcomers to the staff, and it became a game to see if they could guess ahead of time who they would be.

This year the leaders for the trip were two longtime councilors, known as hard asses to those who had been on trips with them before. To James they didn't look so bad, they were in their twenties, college students perhaps, tall, rather nice looking. Bill who spoke first, was dark haired and was somewhat heavier than Jeff, the reddish blonde. His voice was loud and booming. James was somewhat intimidated by the quality of his voice. It reminded him of his father's voice. Jeff on the other hand, was soft spoken; he made himself heard by causing everyone to listen intently to what he was saying. James decided that he would like Jeff more, as the personality he projected was more akin to his own. Carl, for reasons he didn't confide to James, liked Bill.

They kept their remarks short and to the point, knowing that they had five days to spend with this group of restless high schoolers, beginning Monday and ending on Friday. What the scouts really needed to know, they already knew, and what the two leaders really had to say to them would depend upon their efforts during the first day of the trip. After Jeff finished speaking, the head councilor spoke briefly once again, sending the scouts off to their sleeping bags with a firm but jovial, "Have fun, but have a good, safe trip. Good night."

"All right you guys!" Bill called, "Hit the sack! You've got five minutes to get bedded down. Any noise after that, gets you KP and Pots and Pans for the trip!" With that admonition the scouts scampered to their respective tents or the latrine for a last visit for the night.

James and Carl were soon snuggled down in their bags. Carl zipped the doorway halfway closed and secured the mosquito netting entrance. The light from the dying fire flickered through the opening, casting shadows on the ceiling of the tent. They lay quietly listening to the more rowdy of the group, still moving about in the half-light of the fire.

James felt Carl's hand creep inside his sleeping bag and grope him. He grew hard but knew that they couldn't do anything. But he didn't want to discourage him; only postpone the pleasure that he knew could be his for the asking.

"Later," he whispered softly putting his hand over Carl's. He learned up on his elbow and looked down at the dark face beside him and smiled, "Later." He took Carl's hand and brought it to his lips and kissed it.

"One minute!" Came a reminder from Bill. Carl now zipped the entrance doorway fully closed. Seconds later, the canoe camp area became silent, only the few snaps and crackles from the embers and the occasional call of a loon across the water breaking the stillness of the night. The lights had gone out in the regular camp area fifty or so yards away. Sleep crept over the campers, and all became dark and quiet. Overhead a thin sliver of a slightly, crescent new moon could do little to dispel the darkness.


James became aware of movement outside the tent. He opened his eyes to the gray light of predawn. He unzipped the outside opening slightly and saw Bill and Jeff standing at the water's edge beyond where the fire had been the night before looking out into the foggy half-light. Bill's arm draped across Jeff shoulder told James that they were more than just friends.

Up at the main camp a thin wisp of smoke curled from the kitchen chimney.

Bill dropped his arm. "Let's go get some coffee," he whispered.

"Okay," Jeff said, and then motioning toward the quiet tents, "Let them sleep another fifteen minutes, Lord knows they'll need it by the looks of the sky." They disappeared from James view, and he closed his eyes again.


A piercing blast from a whistle brought life back to most of the tents. The few, who slept through that, were safely wrested from sleep by Bill's booming voice.

"Time to rise and shine!" he called, "Five minutes to breakfast! One hour to cast off!"

Like ants from a nest, they scurried from their tents, most in their underwear, heading for the latrine building nearby, and most unaware of the looks from some of their companions as bulges in the crotches swayed, stuck out, up, and down in an endless variety of forms, sizes, and shapes.

James and Carl were not the only ones in the group who noticed, it was difficult not to. They both positioned their rigid organs upward, to be both more comfortable and less noticeable. Of course, it didn't work. They still had to take them out of their underwear once they got to where they were going. Off to one edge of the camp, the latrine was a long building, divided into two equal sections: nearest to the door along one side was the urinal, a long metal lined trough, and the half-height stalls with wooden seats cut into the boxed-in section which continued the rest of the length of the building. A sign in large lettering was meant to discourage the use of the seats for urinating. Boys with a morning erection were highly unlikely to be able to point accurately enough to hit the holes. Some, however, couldn't wait and tried in vain to find the eight-inch circles cut in the top of the seats. Across the building along the opposite wall were the showers and the sinks.

There were various giggles and catcalls and whistles as bigger or smaller ones were placed on display. As James and Carl stepped up to the trough there were a few almost silent gasps from those around them. Of course, they knew the reasons but it didn't concern them. Their main concern was relief. Once achieved they quickly returned to their tent, got dressed and headed back to the dining hall for breakfast. Their day was begun.

By the time that they finished their breakfasts, and the scouts returned to their campsites, the gray dawn turned to a gray morning. Mist dampened everything it touched. The grass was slippery and more than one scout had his dignity seriously eroded as he lay staring at the dripping sky amid the laughing and jeering of his fellow campers, some of whom soon found themselves in the same unenviable position.

James and Carl managed not to be among either group. They neither fell, nor did they jeer, instead took seriously the instructions of Bill and Jeff about how to deal with the wet gear which had to be packed, if the trip was to be begun with success.


As was the custom at the camp, all the scouts, whether or not they were going on the canoe trip, gathered at the launch site. A blast on the head scoutmaster's silver whistle brought silence to the whole congregation. One of the senior scouts came forward and stood at attention in front of him.

"Begin," came scoutmaster's soft command.

The scout turned and walked to where the two leaders, Bill and Jeff, stood facing the camp's leader, faces now dripping with moisture.

After a smart salute in a loud clear voice the scout began, "As this day you begin your journey, know that we are with you. You are our brothers and we wish you well. Take care that you act in accordance with the Scout Law in all things.

The well-rehearsed scout continued on, ending with, "You are one of us, you represent us all. God speed." He saluted holding it until they returned it. And it was over. Bill and Jeff turned when they had brought down their salutes.

"Prepare to leave!" Came Bill's command. Two by two, the canoe-party scouts lifted their canoes into the water, and supervised by their leaders, they loaded them with their supplies. All this in silence. When the nine canoes were loaded and the scouts stood by them.

"Enter your canoes!"

Still in silence the bow scout jumped in, the stern man shoved it swiftly into the water and jumped in as they glided out onto the gray water of the lake. "Canoes Away!" Bill shouted, and they all began to paddle. From the shore, a great cheer went up, as the canoes formed a long thin line out in the water, and as tradition dictated, Bill and Jeff took the lead.

With such an emotional and tradition laden ceremony, even the most boisterous of them were silent and overwhelmed with excitement. It was fair to say that there were few dry eyes among them, and the even the two leaders had tears in their eyes as they struck out across the rippled waters into the mist. As if an omen, lightning flashed across the sky far in the distance, followed minutes later by a deep rumbling from the clouds.

They paddled on seemingly oblivious to the impending rain. Both Bill and Jeff were, however, acutely aware of what the signs meant. They were also alert to the other factors; there was little wind, and the direction of the wind indicated that it might pass by them and they would get just a little rain.

Bill looked around to see how their charges were doing. Seeing that they were beginning to stretch out into a snakelike chain, he called back to them, "Come on you guys! Tighten up!" Waves were beginning to toss the lightweight craft about in the deep colored water.

James and Carl were dead last. Hearing the sounds of Bill's voice, but not the words, they couldn't know, but only suspect what was meant. James dug deeper into the water with his paddle as the waves slapped the sides of the canoe, and slowly they began to pull up on the canoe in front of them.

"Close it up!" Carl called to them. The last canoe was responsible for pushing the others into line. Bill and Jeff smiled as the distance between canoes shortened and began to more closely resemble a straight line.

Rain began to fall, lightly at first, then with more intensity. Bill waved back to the weary paddlers, and dug deeper into the water. Jeff knew what he was thinking and pulled more water also. Quickly the lead canoe began to pull away from the rest. James pushed himself harder, and called ahead to the others. Gradually they regained some of the distance they had lost.

The sky blackened now and the wind blew with an ever-increasing fury, but there was no lightning. The waves splashed against the sides of the canoes. Had there been lightning with the storm, it would have forced the canoers to the shore immediately.

But urged on by Bill and Jeff the shore ahead became a possibility. Bill and Jeff slackened off, waving those behind to head into the cove ahead. When they saw that everyone was going to make it, they too dug deeply into the water sending their craft forward against the waves.

Only Bill and Jeff knew how hard it would for them all to make that landing. They paddled enough to maintain their general direction. As the group drew closer, they could begin to see their next problem, the rocks.

Bill headed their canoe sharply toward the shore, once again taking the lead. Normally this stretch of shoreline was shunned because of the rocks, but now Bill had chosen it because of them. He knew that it would be difficult, but in this storm the somewhat sheltered water of this cove was only place that would offer them a chance to go ashore without swamping. He could see in the distance, the monstrous waves on the other shores. These waves would have thrust the light canoes high up on the shores against trees, brush, and boulders, doing damage to the canoes and possibly injuring the occupants, to say nothing of soaking the packs.

He looked around to see if all the canoes were in a position to make the landing. So far, so good, he thought. Many were taking on water, but none were in eminent danger of swamping. They were no longer in a single line, but had formed a loosely aligned group, making slow but steady headway against the waves.

He and Jeff shouted encouragement to the young paddlers, urging them on toward their goal.

"Follow us!" he shouted through the howling gale, "One by one!" Then deftly he and Jeff began threading their way through the looming rocks, actually much easier to see in rough water than calm. Though they scraped the rocks as they passed through them, they didn't hit any of them head-on. In the troughs of the waves, the rocks which normally be below the water were clearly visible. Foot by foot they made their way through them, dancing and weaving on the angry water.

At last the lead canoe came to rest on the sandy beach beyond the rocks. Both young men jumped out and began pulling their craft out of the path of the closely following canoe. As each canoe made landfall, the tactic was repeated, until all were safely grounded on the sandy shore.

Exhausted and cold, they continued to drag their canoes higher onto the shore until they were fifteen or so feet back from the water's edge. The scouts quickly unpacked the canoes and turned them over. The scouts followed the example set by their leaders and stuffed the backpacks under the canoes out of the rain, then took what shelter the was among the trees along the shore. The rain continued unabated for an hour after they first hit the shore.

It took little urging by their leaders for the scouts to see the wisdom of this. To have left them near the shore and loaded would have ensured that they had no dry clothes or unspoiled food when it was over. As it was, they would see that they had lost little food, and most would have dry things to wear once the storm was over.


As the rainstorm passed, and the wind died down, everyone began to feel better, wet through to the skin and cold, nonetheless glad that they had managed to get to shore in one piece.

Their starting point was no longer in sight, even though the rain had abated. Bill and Jeff looked over the map they carried, which showed all the campsites in the area they would be covering. The closest one, but not their normal destination was just a half-mile through the brush from where they had landed.

Bill and Jeff gave them their choice: to portage across to the closest site, or to go on to their original destination.

A show of hands gave the nod to those who wanted to go on. Bill and Jeff did not vote, as it really didn't matter to them. However they pointed out to the group, that the day of rest on Wednesday would be canceled if they stayed at the closest site tonight. Most of those who wanted to go on were those who knew what that extra half-day would mean.

James and Carl voted to go on, and were delighted when they found that they were with the majority. After a few minutes to reload the canoes, wove their way out through the rocks back into the open water. Soon they were once again skimming across the now calm, rippled surface of the lake.

Still thoroughly wet from the rain, the discomfort was an interesting sensation on James' skin. Even though he had gone to the bathroom before leaving shore, he still had the urge to go again. This urge was counteracted by his body's natural reaction that was to give him an erection. He was acutely aware of the fact, and he jiggled the canoe in an effort to relieve some of the tension on his rigid organ.

"Hey!" Carl called, "We don't need a swim too!" He turned around to see James adjusting himself. Carl giggled. "You too?" he asked, adding, "I thought it was just me."

"Must be the wet clothes," James said blushing, "I feel like I need to take a leak."

"Me too," Carl turned back to the work at hand, and corrected their course slightly, as they had veered off a bit when he was looking the other way. Neither said anything for a long time, but continued paddling, as if this would remove the problem for them. As they watched the other canoes and listened to the bits of conversation from those in front of them, it was clear that they were not alone in their problem.

"A bunch of horny scouts," Carl whispered back to James, "It ought to be an interesting evening!" They both laughed. It did little to relieve the tension in their pants, but it did give them something else to think about. This didn't help much either, but it was definitely more interesting than thinking about how wet they were.

The time passed quickly. They were soon struggling to maneuver the canoes through the tall weeds that lined the narrow creek through which they had to pass in order to go through into the next lake. It was a much smaller lake than the first one. They soon found themselves on the opposite shore, and unloading them for the portage across the narrows to another small, sandy bottomed lake.

An hour-long portage and a fifteen-minute paddle across to the opposite shore of the lagoon put them at the first night's campsite. Assignments of duties for the evening and the next day were quickly given out, and preparations began for their first night away from the base camp.

James and Carl drew Pots and Pans, which meant that they would assist in the preparations for the meals until the next night, and for the cleanup afterward. When it was announced it was greeted by titters from the others in the group, but neither minded, it meant that they wouldn't have it again while they were on the trip. There were only six days, and there were eight other pairs, two pairs would have no Pots and Pans duty, but there were other things, like digging the latrine, and the closing it the next day, no pleasant task either.

First order of business was the tent site selection, which by tradition gave the two leaders the first choice. After that it was by lot. Numbered disks were thrown into a cap and drawn out by one member of each canoe pair. The one who drew number one got second choice tonight, and first tomorrow. The third day and thereafter, the process was repeated each night.

Carl drew for them, and they got the fourth choice the first night, and third the second night.

With his mind on the evening, Carl selected a tent-site near the brush at the back of the camp, on the path leading into the woods. He didn't tell James his motives, or plans, as he didn't want to give away his secrets. He could tell that James was disappointed, but he pressed his finger to his lips and whispered, "You'll see." James didn't press him on it, and soon forgot all about it as they set about putting up their tent and arranging their personal packs, which were mostly dry by now, inside their tent. They carried their camp pack close to where the fire was to be built.

In the pile of packs they finally located the one that contained the kettles and pans for cooking. In a pocket on the outside of the pack they found the bars of soap used to coat the outsides of those used for cooking, a very necessary part of preparation if the pots were to be clean and shinny when they returned to the base-camp.

"Not too close to the top," cautioned James, "Unless you don't mind doing this the rest of the trip."

"I wish there were some way to have the soap go into just a single serving of food," Carl smiled.

"Yeah? Who would you choose?"

"I haven't decided yet." Carl joked.

"Well, you can't, so you'd better keep it off the rim." James recalled the painful experience from another camp-out he had been on when someone did get soap inside the pot. Nearly ruined the rest of the camp-out with everyone getting the runs and cramps from it.

"You done?" James asked when he saw there were no more to do.

"Just about."

"I'll take these up to the fire grate then."

"What's next, the wood?"

"Yeah." James made the two trips with the soaped pots, leaving only the largest one and the one Carl was working on.

He quickly finished, and brought it along with the large one with water from the lake, filled nearly to the brim. It would be used for washing dishes after, and for such water as might be needed in preparation of the food.

He hurried to where James stood waiting for him at the edge of the camp. Together they walked through the trees gathering larger pieces of dry tree limbs for the fire. They filled their arms and went back to stack it near the grate.

"Now the kindling," Carl said as they returned to the woods, this time picking the smaller pieces and some dried moss whenever they saw any. In spite of the rain there was some hidden among the underbrush. They each had an arm full of this material; James put his on top of what Carl had. Carl headed back and James returned to collect another armful of the larger pieces.

When James returned, Carl was helping the cook build the fire. James stacked his load along with the rest.

"When you're finished helping," James suggested, "Let's go back for more."

Carl gave him a strange look. James winked with a smile. Carl got his meaning.

"I'll be along in a sec," he answered.

When they were in the woods alone, Carl decided to let James in on why he chose the tent-site that he did.

"You remember our discussion earlier today," he started, "About the bunch of horny scouts?"

James smiled and nodded.

"Well, from where we'll be lying, we'll be able to see all the other tents, and the path leading to the latrine," he continued, "It should be very interesting. Besides it's the site furthest from the rest."

"I see," James said. He wasn't at all sure that Carl was right about seeing anything, but he liked the idea of being away from the rest. From what had happened the day before, he was sure that Carl was going to be up to something tonight. They returned from the woods laden with arms full of more dry wood for the fire.

The aroma of meat cooking on the fire kindled appetites among all the scouts. The other food was dutifully being prepared as well. And it wasn't long before they were seated about the campsite eating their portions.

Because of the length of their day, the usual evening plan for games was dispensed with. Bill declared that they would have an hour and it was to bed.

James and Carl slipped quietly into their tent to await whatever happenings might occur. They lay in their underwear occasionally looking at each other. With just the flickering light from the fire they could barely see each other.

Before long James recognized the rhythmic breathing of sleep coming from Carl and he closed his eyes too.

Despite all the elaborate plans, the day's activities had taken a toll on them. Sleep crept over the camp just as the rain had come earlier in the day, swiftly putting the campers in a dream state. As Bill and Jeff made their rounds twenty minutes later, no one stirred, no one even heard them pass by. They pulled the remaining logs from the fire and doused them with water, then retired to their own tent for the night.

Drifting clouds covered the thin moon making the night even darker. A lonely owl searched out his prey by instinct more than sight, often coming up empty in his graceful swoops to the grass below. Bill and Jeff retired to their tent, where they too soon succumb to the Sandman, as they lay hands intertwined atop the sleeping bags that they reluctantly kept separate, rather than zipped together as they would have preferred.

To be continued

If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to Richard (richardl_1@charter.net)  
Please include the story title and part # in the subject line of your e-mail.

Let the Rest of the World Go By

Is the struggle and strife

We find in this life

Really worth while, after all?

I've been wishing today

I could just run away,

Out where the west winds call.

With someone like you, a pal good and true,

I'd like to leave it all behind, and go and find

Some place that's known to God alone,

Just a spot to call our own.

We'll find perfect peace, where joys never cease,

Out there beneath a kindly sky,

We'll build a sweet little nest, somewhere in the West,

And let the rest of the world go by.

Is the future to hold

Just struggles for gold

While the real world waits outside,

Away on the breast

Of the wonderful west,

Across the great Divide?

With someone like you, a pal good and true,

I'd like to leave it all behind, and go and find

Some place that's known to God alone,

Just a spot to call our own.

We'll find perfect peace, where joys never cease,

Out there beneath a kindly sky,

We'll build a sweet little nest, somewhere in the West,

And let the rest of the world go by.

J. Keirn Brennan