A quiet Saturday came the day before they had to leave to go back home. Carl hadn't spoken to Russell since Thursday when he hurt him so badly with those words. They had a challenge yesterday which Carl didn't even compete in because he knew he'd just embarrass Russell. Russell didn't even speak to him making him feel so unhappy. This vacation wasn't going the way he wanted it to go, he wasn't having the fun like Russell was having with Robert.
Saturday was the day to relax and do things around camp they hadn't done yet.
Carl sat on the bed in the cabin just looking to the ground. If he wanted to do something Russell would probably be doing it with Robert. He felt uncomfortable whenever he was with Russell because he just feel the coldness coming off the boy.
Robert walked into the cabin. "Would you like to come on a walk with us Carl?" Carl needed to get some exercise today. He couldn't spend the whole rest of the day inside. "Sure."
They walked through the peaceful woods as Carl walked in back of Russell and Robert who were talking. Robert tried to get Russell to talk to Carl but with no success. He wouldn't call Carl 'Daddy' anymore. It was back to 'Mr. Fredricksen,' another heartbreaker to Carl.
Carl saw a sign that lead to 'Sarandoga Lake'. Nobody had been down this path yet. He at least had to check the lake out. Maybe there was nice view of the mountains.
Without saying a word to Russell and Robert Carl walked down the pathway and their chatter died away. Carl sighed as he was now left in peace feeling less conflicted now that he was alone in the peaceful woods. He wished he could just stay up here for the rest of his life, it was so silent. How was life going to go on like this now. Was Russell ever going to talk to him again or would their friendship just end like this? He had to figure out something in order to solve this.
As he walked along the path he heard the bushes rustling. In back of him he heard something emerge from the bushes. Slowly he turned around and saw a bear. It was growling at him.
He slowly backed away. The bear only walked towards him.
How was he going to get out of here without this bear following him?
He picked up a rock and through it at the bear's head. He ran down the path hoping to get away from it. Once he was far enough he leaned against a tree. He took a breath of relief and calmed himself. He had to try and find Robert and Russell again.
Suddenly he could hear more rustling along with sticks snapping.
A bear was coming back and by the way he was growling he was angry.
Carl ran for it, running the fastest he ever did in months. Maybe it was a mistake to walk alone on the path.
He knew he must have made the bear angry but why would it come after him all for throwing a rock at him? Did he have any food on him? Carl checked himself and found that he had a piece of bacon stuck to his pants. He must have sat on it when he sat down for breakfast at the camp fire this morning. No wonder people were laughing and pointing at him.
Carl found that he was coming towards a hillside that was blocking him. He could see a river that was filled with, what looked like, muddy water. If he ran into that his only clean pants would get dirty. If he took off another way the bear would just keep running after him. He couldn't keep running forever.
Carl stopped and threw the bacon at the bear. He remained completely still as the bear came and sniffed it.
The bear picked it up into it's mouth but stared at Carl. Carl's heart pounded.
The bear took one step toward Carl and growled menacingly.
Carl tripped on something and fell into the muddy water. The bear disappeared off into the trees with a smile on it's face.
"Dumb bear." Carl said under his breath as he watched it disappear.
Carl looked down finding that he was really in thick mud. His feet were already submerged in the mud. How gross! "This is all I need." Carl said to himself. The mud stunk like trash. He was going to need a serious shower after falling into this. People will think he fell into a dumpster and would avoid him. His pants and shoes were dirty. These were the only clean pants he had left. What was he going to do now?
Carl stood up.
He gasped when he suddenly sank to his knees.
He struggled to get out from the mud but gasped as he kept sinking until he was up to his thighs.
What the hell? Carl said in his mind as each little small move he made, he sank. A panic was rising deep down inside him making his heart pound.
He looked around to try and figure out where he was. In the distance he could see the lake that was filled with a little amount of water. This must have been the river that lead to the lake.
Carl's heart skipped a beat when he realized what that boy said at the campfire was true about the lake.
"RUSSELL! ROBERT!! Kaa Kaa Roar! Kaa Kaa Roar!!"
Robert and Russell stopped walking and looked over their shoulders when they heard the distress call. "Where's Mr. Fredricksen?"
"Kaa Kaa Roar! Kaa Kaa Roar!!"
"Mr. Fredricksen's in trouble!!" Russell yelled.
The two ran back down the pathway and followed where Carl was yelling down the path where he walked down.
"Help me please!!" Carl screamed.
"Where are you Carl?" Robert yelled.
"Over by the Sarandoga Lake! Come quick!" Carl shouted as Robert and Russell ran through the trees.
"What's the matter Mr. Fredricksen?" Russell shouted running to Carl once he saw him. Robert screeched to a halt and grabbed Russell before he run any further.
"Don't go any further Russell. It's quicksand."
For the first time in days Russell looked at Carl in a horrified manor. "Mr. Fredricksen." he said as the awful words he spoke came back to him. I wish you were dead. Was that wish actually coming true?
Carl leaned forward. "Just get me out of here."
"No Carl, don't move! You sink faster if you struggle." Robert told him. "Well just get me out of here please." Carl spoke sinking to his hips.
"Take your jacket off Carl, pass it over."
Carl passed the other end of his jacket to Robert who tried to pull him out. The jacket eventually began ripping showing that it wasn't going to work.
"I'm going to try something else." Robert said as he got to his knees. He reached as far as he could and reached for Carl's hand. Carl reached over himself and was able to take it. Robert pulled as hard as he could but his other hand slipped off the bank into the mud. He quickly pulled it out and stood as his heart pounded.
"We have think of something else."
"Well think fast. I'm sinking here."
Robert bent to Russell. "Russell you have to go back for help. The camp needs to help us."
"Me? I can't! What if I get lost or what if I take too long and by the time I get back Mr. Fredricksen will..."
"Russell," Russell turned to Carl. "I trust you. Just go back to the camp. I'll be fine here."
Russell smiled and turned to leave. He stopped. "Mr. Fredricksen?"
"I love you and I'm sorry."
Those words calmed Carl down because that was the best thing he heard in days. "Thank you Russell. Now go!"
Russell ran off and disappeared into the woods.
"Aright Carl just relax and don't panic. Try to remove your shoes while I'm gone." Robert said going to walk off into the woods.
"Gone? Where are you going?" Carl asked.
"I'm going to try and fine a vine," Robert spoke. "No Robbie, please don't leave me here. I..."
"You need to trust me Carl. We need to try and help you some how while Russell is gone. I promise I won't be gone long."
Carl sighed, his hands shaking and his heart pumping in full fear. He had to let Robert help somehow.
"Alright. Just come back soon." Carl spoke.
"Remember don't struggle and just relax. And lean on the mud. You'll be able to get your legs out." Robert explained disappearing off into the woods.
He sure knew a lot about this stuff. He was told to lean on it and then he could get his legs free. Maybe he could get out of this by himself before anyone came back.
Carl leaned forward on the sticky mud and pushed his feet. The quicksand was as thick as molasses.