"Peter will make it first, I know."
"He can't--for Ben is ahead!" insisted Carl. "Gunst! That iceboat will run over him. No! He is clear! They're a couple of geese, anyhow. Hurrah! they're at the turn. Who's ahead?"
"Peter!" cried Ludwig joyfully.
"Good for the captain!" shouted Lambert and Jacob.
And Carl condescended to mutter, "It IS Peter after all. I thought, all the time, that head fellow was Ben."
This turn in the canal had evidently been their goal, for the two racers came to a sudden halt after passing it.
Carl said something about being "glad that they had sense enough to stop and rest," and the four boys skated on in silence to overtake their companions.
All the while Carl was secretly wishing that he had kept on with Peter and Ben, as he felt sure he could easily have come out winner. He was a very rapid, though by no means a graceful, skater.