The Boy Scout Explorer Series   

The Boy Scout Explorers Series
by Mildred A. Wirt (as Don Palmer)

The Boy Scout Explorers Series was published from 1955 to 1957 by Cupples and Leon.  The series was written by Mildred A. Wirt Benson under the pen name of Don Palmer.  The books follow the adventures of the boys of Explorer Post No. 21.  The group's leader is George (Happy) Livingston.  The group's members are Jack Hartwell, Willie Medaugh, Ken Dougherty, and Warwick Washburn.

The books in this series are more exciting than the average book written by Mildred Wirt Benson and are among her strongest works.  Volume 2 in particular has an exciting and exotic appeal much like the Beverly Gray books that occur in exotic locales.  What is interesting is that this series could just as easily be a series for girls as a series for boys.  There is nothing in the series aside from the main characters' names and the fact that they are Boy Scouts to make it different than any series for girls.  This series also has far fewer references to the Boy Scouts organization as Wirt's Girl Scouts, Brownie Scouts, and Dan Carter Cub Scout books have to each related organization.

Cupples and Leon apparently numbered the volumes in the series in the wrong order.  The beginning of volume 1 mentions a recent trip to Peru in which the group searches for a missing explorer.  The trip to Peru to search for the explorer occurs in volume 2 of the series.  Furthermore, page 21 of volume 3 mentions "the exciting adventure trips to South America which have been described in The Boy Scout Explorers at Treasure Mountain and The Boy Explorers at Emerald Valley," mentioning the title of volume 2 before the title of volume 1.  Therefore, volume 2 was intended to be volume 1 in the series.

  #1 The Boy Scout Explorers at Emerald Valley *                  1955
The Explorers look forward to finally going on the canoe trip that they had to postpone when they went to Peru, but Hap Livingston is called to Columbia to investigate an emerald mine.  The boys are disappointed, especially as Hap would take them along if he could afford it.  By a stroke of good luck, Jack and Ken notice a strange man digging in the cemetery one night.  They investigate and discover an explosive substance.  The boys receive a reward from the community which they decide to use so that they can go to Columbia with Hap.

When the Explorers arrive in Columbia, Mr. Corning fails to meet them.  The group travels to the mine hoping to find him there.  During their trip, several people try to discourage the group from traveling to the mine.  Upon their arrival at the mine, they are told that Mr. Corning is missing and is presumed dead!

The Boy Scout Explorers at Emerald Valley
Mr. Rhodes has taken charge of the mine and asks the group to leave.  He reveals that Mr. Corning is possibly a prisoner of a notorious bandit and that there is little hope of finding him alive.  The Explorers suspect that Rhodes is keeping the mined emeralds for himself and is responsible for whatever has happened to Mr. Corning.  In spite of the danger, the group stays at the mine, facing many dangers before they finally solve the mystery.

* This book should be volume 2 in the series and is incorrectly numbered as volume 1.

  #2 The Boy Scout Explorers at Treasure Mountain *            1955
Mr. Monahan finances a trip to Peru so that Hap Livingston and the Explorers can search for his brother, Burton Monahan.  The Explorers encounter difficulty soon after their arrival in Peru.  Captain Carter, who brought their supplies to Peru on his boat, refuses to let the group board to retrieve their supplies.  The group soon discovers that Captain Carter is smuggling weapons into Peru in boxes that are marked as belonging to the Scouts!

The Explorers and Captain Carter part ways, but their troubles are far from over.  Captain Carter turns the natives against the Explorers, and the Explorers must begin their expedition quickly in order to avoid being attacked.  Soon after their departure, Hap becomes very ill, and all of the men who were hired to carry their supplies desert, taking most of the supplies with them.

The Boy Scout Explorers at Treasure Mountain
The Explorers are faced with the dilemma of whether they should move on or try to get back to civilization.  The group struggles on but is captured and held captive by hostile natives.  Somehow the Explorers must escape and summon help, and hope that they can somehow determine what happened to Burton Monahan.

* This book should be volume 1 in the series and is incorrectly numbered as volume 2.

  #3 The Boy Scout Explorers at Headless Hollow                 1957
Returning by car from a vacation at the Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico, Hap Livingston and four of his Boy Scout Explorers camp overnight at the Rocking Horse Motel.  The boys meet Stony, an old prospector with intriguing tales of a map locating a secret gold mine.  At first the Explorers doubt the old prospector's story, but when he is attacked and left for dead during the night, the boys begin to suspect that his story is true.

Stony is taken to the hospital, where he tells the group of his lucky strike in Colorado and how he was blamed for the mysterious murder of his partner.  Stony requests that the Explorers find his gold and give it to the son of his partner.  The Explorers obtain Stony's map but are confronted by Jarrett Walz, owner of the Rocking Horse Motel.  Walz hopes to use the map to find the gold for himself and will stop at nothing to achieve this goal.

The Boy Scout Explorers at Headless Hollow
The Explorers travel to Colorado to find the heir to the mine, accompanied by their unwelcome companion, Jarrett Walz.  The Explorers face great danger and share many adventures before they finally succeed in their search for the lost gold.
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