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´╗┐Title: Frank and Andy Afloat - The Cave on the Island
Author: Barnum, Vance
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Frank and Andy Afloat - The Cave on the Island" ***

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FRANK AND ANDY AFLOAT

Or

The Cave on the Island

by

VANCE BARNUM

Author of "Frank and Andy at Boarding School," "Frank and Andy in a
Winter Camp," "The Joe Strong Series."



Whitman Publishing Co.
Racine, Wisconsin
Copyright, 1921, by
George Sully & Company



CONTENTS


CHAPTER

      I. HIT BY A WHALE
     II. THE WRECKED MOTOR BOAT
    III. THE BOY'S RESCUE
     IV. "WHO ARE YOU?"
      V. SEEKING THE WRECK
     VI. CHET SEDLEY'S STYLE
    VII. A LIVELY CARGO
   VIII. ANDY IS CAUGHT
     IX. "THAR SHE BLOWS!"
      X. A RIVAL CLAIM
     XI. A FIRE ON BOARD
    XII. THE STRANGER AGAIN
   XIII. A MIDNIGHT SCARE
    XIV. THE WRECK AGAIN
     XV. ORDERED BACK
    XVI. ON THE SEARCH
   XVII. ON CLIFF ISLAND
  XVIII. "THERE HE IS!"
    XIX. IN THE CAVE
     XX. THE RISING TIDE
    XXI. DEATH IS NEAR
   XXII. THE STORM
  XXIII. TO THE RESCUE
   XXIV. THE ESCAPE
    XXV. A LUCKY QUARREL
   XXVI. THE PRISONER
  XXVII. SEARCHING THE WRECK
 XXVIII. BUILDING A RAFT
   XXIX. "SAIL HO!"
    XXX. THE ACCUSATION--CONCLUSION



FRANK AND ANDY AFLOAT


CHAPTER I

HIT BY A WHALE

"How about a race to the dock, Frank?"

"With whom, Andy?"

"Me, of course.  I'll beat you there--loser to stand treat for the ice
cream sodas.  It's a hot day."

"Yes, almost too warm to do any speeding," and Frank Racer, a lad of
fifteen, with a quiet look of determination on his face, rested on the
oars of his skiff, and glanced across the slowly-heaving salt waves
toward his brother Andy, a year younger.

"Oh, come on!" called Andy, with a laugh rippling over his tanned face.
"You're afraid I'll beat you."

"I am, eh?" and there was a grim tightening of the older lad's lips.
"Well, if you put it that way, here goes!  Are you ready?"

"Just a minute," pleaded Andy, and he moved over slightly on his seat
in order better to trim the boat.  He took a tighter grip on the oars,
and nodded toward his brother, still with that tantalizing smile on his
face.

"Let her go!" he called a moment later, adding: "I can taste that
chocolate soda now, Frank!  Yum-yum!"

"Better save your breath for rowing," counseled Frank good-naturedly,
as he bent to the ashen blades with a will.

The two boats--for each of the Racer lads had his own craft--were on a
line, and were headed for a long dock that ran out into the quiet inlet
of the Atlantic which washed the shores of the little settlement known
as Harbor View, a fishing village about thirty miles from New York.

"Wow!  Here's where I put it all over you by about six lengths!"
boasted Andy Racer, paying no attention to his brother's well-meant
advice, and then the two lads got into the swing of the oars, and the
skiffs fairly leaped over the waves that rolled in long swells.

Both boys having spent nearly all their summer vacations at the coast
resort, which was something of a residence place for summer colonists,
as well as a fishing centre, were expert oarsmen, sturdy and capable of
long exertion.  They were nearly matched in strength, too, in spite of
the difference in their ages.  They had taken a long, leisurely row
that summer morning and were on their way back when Andy proposed the
race.

"Row!  Row!  Why don't you put some speed in your strokes, Frank?"
called the younger brother.

"That's all right--you won't want to do any speeding by the time you
get to the dock," and Frank glanced over his shoulder to where the
public dock stretched out into the bay like some long water-snake.
"It's nearly two miles there, and the swell is getting heavier."

Frank spoke quickly, and then relapsed into silence.  It was
characteristic of him to do whatever he did with all his might, while
his more fun-loving brother sometimes started things and then left off,
saying it was "too much trouble."

For a time Andy's skiff was in the lead, and then, as he found the
exertion too much, he eased up in his strokes, and lessened the number
of them.

"I thought you were going it a bit too heavy," remarked Frank, with a
smile.

"Oh, you get out!" laughed Andy.  "I'll beat you yet.  But I like your
company, that's why I let you catch up to me."

"Oh, yes!" answered Frank, half sarcastically.  "But why don't you stop
talking?  You can't talk and row, I've told you that lots of times.
That's the reason you lost that race with Bob Trent last week--you got
all out of breath making fun of him."

"I was only trying to get him rattled," protested Andy.

"Well, he got the race just by sticking to it.  But go on.  I don't
care.  I'm going to win, but I don't want to take an unfair advantage
of you."

"Oh, lobsters!  I'm not asking for a handicap.  You never can beat me
in a thousand years."  And, with a jolly laugh Andy began to sing:

  "The stormy winds do blow--do blow,
  And I a winning race will row--yo ho!
  You'll come in last,
  Your time is past,
  Out on the briny deep, deep, deep!
  Out on the briny deep!"


"All right, have your way about it," assented Frank good naturedly.  "I
can stand it if you can," and with that he increased his strokes by
several a minute, until his skiff had shot ahead of his brother's, and
was dancing over the waves that, now and then, brilliantly reflected
the sun as it came from behind the fast-gathering clouds.

"Oh, so you are really going to race?" called Andy, somewhat surprised
by the sudden advantage secured by his brother.  "Well, two can play at
that game," and he, also, hit up the pace until in front of both boats
there was a little smother of foam, while the green, salty water
swirled and sparkled around the blades of the broad ashen oars, for the
boys did not use the spoon style.

For perhaps two minutes both rowed on in silence, and it was so quiet,
not a breath of wind stirring, that each one could hear the labored
breathing of the other.  The pace was beginning to tell, for, though
Frank was not over-anxious to make record time to the dock, he was not
going to let his brother beat him, if he could prevent it.

"I shouldn't wonder but what there'd be a storm," spoke Andy again,
after a pause.  He couldn't keep quiet for very long at a time.

"Um," was all the reply Frank made.

"What's the matter; lost your tongue overboard?" questioned Andy with a
chuckle.

Frank did not reply.

"I'm going to pass you," called the younger brother a moment later
when, by extreme exertion, he had regained the place he had held, with
the bow of his craft in line with Frank's.  Then Andy fairly outdid
himself, for, though Frank was rowing hard, his brother suddenly shot
ahead.

"It's about time you did some rowing," was Frank's quiet remark, and
then he showed that he still had some power in reserve, for he caught
up to his brother, and held his place there with seeming ease, though
Andy did not let up in the furious pace he had set.

"Oh, what's the use of killing yourself?" at length the younger lad
fairly panted.  "It's--it's farther than I thought."

He began losing distance, but Frank, too, had no liking for the fast
clip, so he, likewise, rowed slower until the two boats were on even
terms, bobbing over the long ground swell that seemed to be getting
heavier rapidly.

From time to time one brother or the other glanced over his shoulder,
not so much to set his course, for they could do that over the stern,
having previously taken their range, but in order to note the aspect of
the fast-gathering clouds which were behind them.

The wind, which had died out shortly after they had started on their
row that morning, now sprang up in fitful gusts, with a rather uncanny,
moaning sound, as if it was testing its strength before venturing to
develop into a howling storm.

"Don't you think it's going to kick up a rumpus?" asked Andy, tired of
keeping quiet.

"Um," spoke Frank again, for his breath was needed to keep up his speed
in the swells.

"There you go again--old silent-face!" and Andy laughed to take the
sting out of his words.  "Your tongue will get so tired being still so
long that it won't know how to wiggle when you want it."

Frank smiled, and glanced over his shoulder again.  He noted that the
dock, which was their goal, was now a little more than half a mile
distant.  He could see several fishing boats and other craft making for
the more sheltered part of the harbor.  Frank was calculating the space
yet to be covered, to decide when he should begin the final spurt, for,
though the race was only a friendly one, such as he and his brother
often indulged in, yet he wanted to win it none the less.  He decided
that it would not do to hit up the pace to the limit just yet.

"It's a heap sight longer than I thought it was," came from Andy, after
a bit.  "What say we call it off?"

"Not on your life!" exclaimed Frank vigorously.  "I'm going to finish
whether you do or not--but you have to buy the sodas if I do."

"I will not.  I'll finish, too, and I'll beat you."

Once more came a period of silent rowing.  Then, whether it was because
he pulled more strongly on one oar than on the other, or because of the
drift of the current, and the effect of the wind, the younger lad
suddenly found himself close to the boat of his brother.

At that moment Frank had once more turned to look at the dock, and Andy
could not resist the chance to play a little trick on him.  Skillfully
judging the distance, he suddenly swept back his left oar, so that the
flat blade caught the crest of a long roller and a salty spray flew in
a shower over Frank.

"What's that--rain?" Frank cried, turning quickly.

He saw the laughing face of his brother, and guessed what had happened.

"I thought this was a rowing race, not a splashing contest!" he cried
good-naturedly.

"It's both," was the answer.  Then, though Frank kept on vigorously
swinging the oars, Andy paused, rested on the ashen blades, and,
holding the handles of both under his left palm for a moment, he
pointed out to sea with his right hand, and cried:

"Look!  What's that out there, Frank?"

"Oh, ho!  No you don't!  You don't catch me that way--pretending to
show me a sea serpent!" objected the older lad.

"No, really, there's something there--something big and humpy--it's
moving, too!  Don't you see it?  Look, right in line with the Eastern
Spit Lighthouse!  See!"

Andy stood up in his boat, skillfully balancing himself against the
rolling swell, and pointed out to sea.  His manner was so earnest that,
in spite of the many times he had joked with his brother, Frank ceased
rowing and peered to where the extended finger of the younger lad
indicated something unusual.

"Smoked star fish!  You're right!" agreed Frank, forgetting all about
the race now, and standing up in his craft, in order to get a better
view.

"What is it?" cried Andy.  "A floating wreck?"

"That's no wreck," declared Frank.

"Then what is it?"

"It's a whale, if I'm any judge.  A whale, and a big one, too!"

"Dead?"

"I guess so.  No--by Jupiter!  It's alive, Andy, and it's coming this
way!"

"Cracky!  If we only had a harpoon or a bomb gun now, that would be the
end of Mr. Whale.  Let's row out and meet him!"

"Say, are you crazy?" demanded Frank, with some heat.

"Crazy?  No; why?"

"Wanting to tackle a whale in these boats!  We'd be swamped in a
minute!  We'd better pull out to one side.  Most likely the whale will
keep on a straight course, though he'll be stranded if he goes much
farther in.  The tide's out, and it's shallow here.  Pull to one side,
Andy--the race is off.  Pull out, I tell you!" and Frank swung his
skiff around with sudden energy.

"I am not!  I'm going to get a nearer view of the whale!" cried Andy.
"Maybe he's hurt, or perhaps there's a harpoon with a line fast to it
in him.  We might get hold of it and--"

"Yes, and go to kingdom come.  Nixy!  Get out of the way while you've
got time.  Jinks!  He's coming on faster than ever!"

Frank's manner so impressed his brother that the younger lad now began
to swing his craft around.  They could both see the whale plainly now,
even while sitting down, for the great sea animal was nearer.

Then, whether it was some sudden whim, or because he saw the boats and
took them for natural enemies, there was a sudden swirling of water and
the whale increased his speed, heading straight for the two skiffs that
were now almost touching side by side.

"He's coming!" yelled Andy.

"I told you he was!" cried Frank.  "Row!  Row!  Get out of the way!"

This was more easily said than done.  In vain did the lads pull
frantically on their oars.  The whale was now coming on with the speed
of an express train.  He was headed right for the two boats!

"Pull out!  Pull out!" shouted Andy.  "He may go between us then!"

It was good advice, and Frank, who was a little the better rower,
started to follow it.

But it was too late.  On came the monster of the deep, his great head
throwing up a huge wave in front of him.  Andy was rowing as hard as
was his brother until he suddenly jumped his left oar out of the
oarlock.  In another moment it had gone overboard.

This seemed to attract the attention of the whale to the skiff of the
younger lad.  The monster might have thought that the occupant of the
boat was trying to hurl a harpoon.

Suddenly changing his course, the leviathan, which had been headed for
Frank's craft, now turned toward Andy's.

"Look out!" frantically shouted the older lad.

"I can't!  He's got me!" screamed Andy.

The next instant there was a splintering, crashing and rending of wood.
A shower of spray flew high in the air.  Frank's boat rocked on the
heavy swell caused by the flukes of the whale, as they went deep into
the water after delivering a glancing blow upon the unfortunate Andy's
skiff.

Frank had a momentary glance of his brother's boat, with one side
smashed down to the water's edge.  He saw the green sea pouring in, and
he saw Andy standing up, ready to leap overboard.  He saw the maddened
monster sheering off out to sea again, and then Frank cried:

"I'm coming, Andy!  I'm coming!  I'll save you!  Hold on to your boat!
Don't jump!"

The whale disappeared in a smother of foam, as Frank, with desperate
energy, bent to his oars and swung his boat in the direction of the
sinking one containing his brother.



CHAPTER II

THE WRECKED MOTOR BOAT

"Hold on, Andy!  Hold on!  You'll float for a while yet!" called Frank,
while he threw all his strength upon the oars in the endeavor to reach
his brother.  He cast anxious eyes about, fearing a return of the
whale, but there was no sign of the big creature.

"All right--take your time!" called Andy.  "I can keep afloat for quite
a while yet.  Maybe I won't sink after all."

"I'm not taking any chances," returned Frank, and then he swung his
craft up alongside that of his brother.  As Andy had said, his skiff
was in pretty good condition.  This was due to two causes.  The blow of
the whale's tail had been a glancing one, and the skiff had an
unusually high freeboard, so that though it was splintered down to the
water edge, not much of the sea had entered.

"I believe she'll float when I'm out of it so she'll ride higher,"
declared the younger lad.  "Take me into your boat, and maybe we can
tow mine in and fix it up.  It's too good to lose."

"That's right.  Wow!  But you had a narrow escape!" and Frank looked
very grave as he assisted his brother into the undamaged craft.  "I
thought it was all up with you."

"So did I, when I saw that beast coming for me.  But he sheered off
just in time.  Then I felt sure my boat would fill and sink in an
instant, when I saw the water pouring in, after he swiped me, so I got
ready to jump.  I didn't want to be carried down with it."

"That's right.  Say, that's cut through as clean as if done with a
knife," and Frank looked at the slash in the side of his brother's
boat.  It was indeed a sharp cut, and showed with what awful force the
tail of the monster must have descended.

"As much water came pouring in over the side as there did through the
hole," went on Andy.  "That's what gave me a scare.  But did you see
the harpoon in that whale?"

"No, was there one?"

"Sure as you're a foot high.  There was a short piece of line fast to
it, and the whale had a big hole in his side.  He's been wounded,
probably by a steamer's propeller after he was harpooned up north, or
else that's the wound of a bomb gun.  I could see it quite plainly."

"Yes, you had a nearer view than I'd want," observed Frank, as he made
fast Andy's boat to the stern of his own.  As the younger lad had said,
his skiff, now that it was higher in the water, because his weight was
out of it, took in very little of the sea.

"I guess we can tow it if we bail out," observed Frank.  "Are you very
wet?"

"Not much--only up to my knees.  I was just going to jump in and swim
for it when you called to me.  Well, here goes for bailing."

"Yes, and if you shift that anchor back to the stern it will raise the
bow, and the hole will be so much more out of water.  It'll row easier,
too."

"Right you are, my hearty.  Shiver my timbers!  But it's some
excitement we've been having!" and Andy laughed.

"Say, I believe you'd joke if your boat was all smashed to pieces, and
you were floating around on the back of the whale," observed Frank
gravely.

"Of course I would.  A miss is as good as a mile and a half.  But if I
can find my other oar I'll help you row in your boat.  It ought to be
somewhere around here," and Andy ceased his bailing operations to cast
anxious looks over the rolling waves.

"Yes, we'll look for it after we get some of the water out of your
craft.  I can't get over what a close call you had," and, in spite of
the fact that he had been in many dangerous places in his life, Frank
could not repress a shudder.

"Oh, forget it!" good-naturedly advised Andy, vigorously tossing water
out of his boat with a tin can.  "Hello!  There's my lost oar out
there.  Put me over."

"All right," agreed Frank.  "I think we've got enough water out so
she'll ride high.  Now for the dock."

"I guess you'll win the race," observed the younger lad, half
regretfully, as he recovered his ashen blade.

"Oh, we'll call it off," said Frank good-naturedly.  "We'll have
something to tell the folks when we get back to the cottage; eh?"

"I guess.  But are you going right home?"

"Why not?"

"Oh, I thought we might row in, and take out our sail boat.  I'd like
to have another try for that whale.  We might get him, and there's
money to be made."

"Say, do you mean to tell me you'd take another chance with that
whale?" demanded Frank, as he prepared to row.

"Of course I would!  It would be safe enough in our catboat.  He'd
never attack that.  We could take our rifles along and maybe plug him.
Think of hunting for whales!  Cricky!  That would be sport!" and Andy
sighed regretfully, He seemed to have forgotten the narrow escape he
had just experienced.  "Come on, let's do it, Frank," he urged.  "Don't
go up to our cottage at all.  If you do mother will be sure to see me
all wet.  Then she'll want to know how it happened, and the whale will
be out of the bag, and we can't go.  Let's start right out in the
_Gull_ as soon as we hit the pier.  There won't be any danger, and we
might sight the whale.  He must be nearly dead by this time."

"I wonder if we could find him," mused Frank.

"Sure!" exclaimed his impulsive brother.  "It will be great.  There's
some grub aboard the _Gull_ and we can stay out until nearly dark.
Mother doesn't expect us home to dinner, as we said we might go to
Seabright.  Come on!"

"Well, if you feel able, after--"

"Pshaw!  I'm as fit as a fiddle.  Let's hit it up, and get to the dock
as soon as we can.  Think of landing a whale!"

"Or of being lambasted by one," added Frank grimly.  Nevertheless, he
fell in with his brother's plan, as he usually did.  The two boys rowed
steadily toward the pier, towing the damaged boat.  They were very much
in earnest.

In fact, though of different characters, the brothers were very much
alike in one trait--they always liked to be doing things.  Their name
fitted them to perfection; they were "Racers" by title and nature,
though Andy was the quicker and more impulsive.

They were the sons of Mr. Richard Racer, a wealthy wholesale silk
merchant of New York City.  Mr. Racer owned a neat cottage at Harbor
View, and his summers were spent there.  His wife, Olivia, was a lady
fond of society, and when she closed her handsome house in New York, to
go to the coast resort for the summer, she transferred her activities
there.

While in the metropolis Mrs. Racer spent much time at charitable
organizations, and at Harbor View she was a moving spirit in the
ladies' tennis and golf clubs.

Mr. Racer traveled back and forth from New York to Harbor View each day
during the summer, for his business needed much of his attention.  His
vacation, however, was an unbroken series of days of pleasure at the
coast resort where he and his wife and sons enjoyed life to the utmost.

The two boys had spent so many summers at Harbor View that they were
almost as well known there as some of the permanent residents, and they
had many friends among the seafaring folk, especially in the lads.
They had one or two enemies, as will develop presently, not through any
fault of their own, but because certain lads were jealous of our heroes.

"Well, we're here," announced Frank at last, as he swung the boat up
alongside the landing stage which rose and fell with the tide.

"And it's a good wind coming up," observed Andy.  "We can make good
time out in the _Gull_."

"Maybe we'd better beach your boat before we go out, and pull it above
high-water mark," suggested Frank.  "Some of the seams may have been
opened, as well as this hole being in her, and she might sink."

"Good idea.  We'll do it."

As the brothers were ascending the gangway from the float to the pier,
preparatory to going out in their sailing craft, they were hailed by an
elderly man, whose grizzled, tanned face gave evidence of many days
spent on the water under a hot sun.

"Where you boys bound fer now?" the sailor demanded.

"Oh, we're just going out for a little sail, Captain Trent," replied
Andy.

"Better not," was the quick advice.

"Why?" Frank wanted to know.

"It's coming on to blow, and it's going to blow hard.  Hear that wind?"
and the captain, whose son Bob was quite a chum of the Racer boys,
inclined his grizzled head toward the quarter whence the breeze came.

"Oh, that's only a cat's paw," declared Andy.

"You'll find it'll turn out to be a reg'lar tomcat 'fore you're through
with it," predicted the old salt.  "But what happened to your boat,
Andy?  I see you've got a hole stove in her.  Did you run on the rocks?"

"No, something ran into us," replied Frank quickly.  "Don't say
anything to him about the whale," he remarked to his brother in a low
voice.

"What's that about a sail?" demanded the captain, catching some of
Frank's words.

"We're going for a sail," spoke Andy quickly.  "Come on, Frank."

"Better not!" again cautioned Captain Trent.  But our heroes were no
different from other boys, and did not heed the warning.  Had they done
so perhaps this story would not have been written, for the events
following their sail that day were unusual, and had a far-reaching
effect.

"Come on!" called Andy sharply to his brother, as he saw the captain
making ready to start a discussion about the weather.  Mr. Trent might
also ask more questions about the damaged boat, and neither Andy nor
his brother wanted to answer--just yet.

Five minutes later saw the two brothers sailing away from the pier.
The breeze was getting stronger every moment, until the rail of their
trim boat was under water part of the time.

"Say, it _is_ blowing!" declared Frank.

"Oh, what of it?  The _Gull_ can stand more than this.  Besides we're
safe in the harbor, and we may soon sight the whale.  Keep a good
lookout!"

For some time they sailed on, each one scanning the expanse of the bay,
which was now dotted here and there with whitecaps.  The boat was
heeling over almost too much for comfort.

"Hadn't we better turn back?" asked Frank, after a period of silence,
broken only by the swish of the water.

"Of course not," declared the more daring Andy.  "It was about here
that my boat was stove in.  The whale may be around these diggings
looking for us."

"Likely--not!" exclaimed Frank decidedly.

There came a fiercer gust of wind, and it fairly howled through the
rigging.  The waters whitened with spray and foam.

"It's a squall!" yelled Frank.  "Better turn back."

"We can't now," shouted Andy at the top of his voice, to make himself
heard above the howling of the wind.  "We'd better keep on to
Seabright.  We can lay over there until this blows by.  See anything of
the whale?"

"No.  It's useless to look for him.  I'm going to take a reef in the
sail."

"That's right.  I guess you'd better shorten some of our canvas.  I'll
hold her as steady as I can while you're doing it.  Or shall I lash the
helm and help you?"

"No, you stay there.  I can manage it."

The storm increased in sudden fury, and it was no easy task to shorten
sail with the pressure of the wind on it.  But Frank Racer had
considerable skill in handling boats, and with his brother at the helm,
to ease off when he gave the word, he managed to cast off the throat
and peak lines, lower the gaff and sail, and then take a double reef in
the canvas.

Even under the smaller spread the _Gull_ shot along over the
foam-crested waves like some speeding motor boat.  Andy was so taken up
with watching his brother, and in aiding him as much as he could by
shifting the helm as was needful, that he did not look ahead for
several minutes.  He was recalled to this necessary duty by a sudden,
frightened cry from Frank.

"The rocks!  Look out for the rocks!" shouted the older lad.  "We'll be
on 'em in a second!  Port your helm!  Port!"

Andy desperately threw over the tiller, and with fear-blanched face he
looked to where his brother pointed.  Amid a smother of white foam,
almost dead ahead and scarcely two cable lengths away there showed the
black and jagged points of rocks, known locally as the "Shark's Teeth."
The _Gull_ was headed straight for them.

Anxiously, and with strained eyes, the brothers looked to see if their
boat would answer her rudder.  For a moment or two she hung in the
balance, the howling wind driving her nearer the rocks, to strike upon
which meant sure destruction in the now boiling sea.

Then, with a feeling of relief, Andy saw that they were sheering off,
but very slowly.  Could they make it?  They were near to death, for no
one--not even the strongest swimmer--could live long unaided in that
boiling sea that would pound him upon the sharp rocks.

Suddenly Frank uttered a cry, and pointed to a spot at the left of the
rocks, in a space of water comparatively calm.

"There!  Look!  Look!" he shouted.

"What is it?  The whale?" demanded Andy.

"No, a boat--a motor boat!  It's disabled--drifting!  It must have been
on the rocks.  It's a large one, too.  Look out you don't hit it."

"It's on fire!" cried Andy.  "See the smoke--the flame!  It's burning
up!"

The _Gull_ was now far enough from the Shark's Teeth to warrant her
safety, and the boys could look at the motor craft, that was bobbing
helplessly about in the spume and spray, being tossed hither and
thither by the heaving waves.

"See anybody on her?" yelled Andy.

"No--not a soul," answered Frank, who had made his way forward, and was
standing up, clinging to the mast.

Suddenly, amid the howling of the storm, there came a sharp explosion.
There was a puff of flame, and a cloud of smoke hovered over the
hapless motor boat, which, strange to say, still remained intact and
afloat.

"She's blown up!  Exploded!" yelled Andy.

"Yes, and there's a boy in the water!  Look!" fairly screamed Frank.
"He was on the boat!  The explosion must have blown him out!  He's
floating!  We must save him, Andy!"

"Sure!  Jupiter's lobsters! but things are happening to us to-day!
Look out!  I'm going to put about!"

Frank scrambled back to join his brother.  The big boom with its
shortened sail swung over, and, heeling under the force of the
shrieking wind, the _Gull_ darted toward the dangerous rocks once more.
Toward the wrecked motorboat, toward the figure of the boy floating in
the smother of foaming and storm-torn waves she swept.

Could they reach the helpless lad in time?  It was the question
uppermost in the hearts of Frank and Andy Racer.



CHAPTER III

THE BOY'S RESCUE

"Can we make it, Frank?" questioned Andy desperately.

"We've got to," came the quick answer.  "Ease her off a little until I
get the lay of things."

"Is he swimming?" demanded the younger lad.

"Yes, but only with one hand.  He must be injured.  He can just manage
to keep afloat.  Put in a little closer.  We've passed the worst of the
Teeth.  It's deep water here, isn't it?"

"Yes, as near as I can tell.  I haven't been here very often.  It's too
dangerous, even in calm weather, to say nothing of a storm."

The wind was now a gale, but the boys had their sailboat well in hand
and were managing her skillfully.  They came nearer to the feebly
swimming lad.

"There he goes--he's sunk--he's under!" yelled Andy, peering beneath
the boom.

"Too bad!" muttered Frank.  "We're too late!"

Eagerly he looked into the tumult of waters Then he uttered a joyful
cry.

"There he is again!  He's a plucky one.  We must get him, Andy!"

"But how?  I daren't steer in any closer or I'll have a hole in us and
we'll go down."

"We've got to save the poor fellow.  I wonder who he is?"

"It's tough," murmured Andy.  "See, the fire on the motor boat seems to
be out."

"Yes, probably the explosion blew it out.  The boat floats well.  Maybe
we can save that."

"Got to get this poor boy first.  Oh, if he could only swim out a
little farther we could throw him a line.  Hey there!" he called to the
lad, "we're coming!  Can you make your way over here?  We daren't come
in any closer."

There was no answer, but the desperately struggling lad waved his one
good arm to show that he had heard.  Then he resumed his battle with
the sea--an unequal battle.

"Plucky boy!" murmured Frank.  "I'm going to save him.  He can never
swim out this far."

Andy had thrown the boat up in the wind, had lowered the sail so that
she was now riding the waves comparatively motionless, for there came a
lull in the gale.

Then, even as Frank spoke, the unfortunate lad again disappeared from
sight.

"He's gone--for good this time I guess," spoke Andy, and there was a
solemn note in his faltering voice.

"No!  There he is again!" fairly yelled Frank.  "I'm going overboard
for him."

"You can't swim in this sea!" objected his brother.  "There'll be two
drowned instead of one."

"I _can_ do it!" firmly declared the older lad.  He began to take off
his shoes, and divest himself of his heavier garments.

"You're crazy!" cried Andy.  "You can't do it!"

"Just you watch," spoke Frank calmly.  "I can't stand by and see a lad
drown like that.  Have we a spare line aboard?"

"Yes, plenty.  It's up forward in the port locker under the deck."

"Good.  Now I'm going to tie a line around my waist, and go overboard.
I'll swim to that chap and get a good hold on him.  Then it will be up
to you to pull us both in, if I can't swim with him, and I'm afraid I
can't do much in this sea.  Can you haul us in, and manage the boat?"

"I've just _got_ to!" cried Andy, shutting his teeth in grim
determination.  "The boat will ride all right out here.  The wind isn't
quite so bad now.  Take care of yourself."

"I will.  Shake!"

The brothers clasped hands.  Frank well knew the peril of his
undertaking, no less than did Andy.  They stood on the heaving, sloping
deck of the _Gull_, and looked into each other's eyes.  They understood.

"Watch close, and pull when you see me wave to you," ordered the older
lad, as he fastened the rope about his waist.

"All right," answered Andy, in a low voice.

With a quick glance about him, noting that the wounded lad was still
struggling feebly in the water, Frank dived overboard.  He disappeared
beneath the green waves with their crests of foam, and for a moment
Andy anxiously watched for his brother.  Then he saw him reappear, and
strike out strongly toward the other youth.  Frank was an excellent
swimmer.

"That's the way to do it!" murmured Andy, admiringly.  "If anybody can
save him, Frank can."

The younger lad was braced against the tiller, standing in a slanting
position, his feet planted firmly in the cockpit, while he payed out
the rope, one end of which was about Frank's waist, and the other made
fast to a deck cleat.

"To the left.  To the left!" yelled Andy suddenly, as he saw his
brother taking a slightly wrong course.  The spume in his eyes, and the
bobbing waves which now and then hid the wounded lad from sight, had
confused Frank.  The latter made no reply, but his hand, raised above
the water, and waved to Andy, told that he understood the hail.

Frank changed his course, still swimming strongly.  The wind had again
begun to blow hard, and the _Gull_ was drifting nearer the rocks, yet
Andy dared not send her out for fear of pulling Frank with him.  He
must stand by until--

Carefully he payed out the line.  He could see it slipping through the
green water.  Then he caught a glimpse of his brother on the crest of a
wave.  The next moment he saw how close he was to the lad he had so
bravely set out to save.

"Tread water!  Don't swim!  Tread water and save your strength!" cried
Andy to the injured one.  The boy heard and obeyed.

In another moment Frank was near enough to clasp the almost exhausted
lad in his strong right arm.  Andy saw this and there was no need for
the signal which his brother gave an instant later.  Frank was on his
guard lest the youth he was rescuing might clasp him in a death grip.
But the latter evidently knew something about life saving, for he
placed his uninjured hand on his rescuer's shoulder and let Frank do as
he would.

Andy began to haul in on the rope.  It was hard work to do this, and
manage the boat at the same time, but he did it somehow--how he never
could really tell afterward.  But he had something of his brother's
grim determination and that was just what was needed in this emergency.

Slowly the rope came in, pulling the rescuer and the rescued one.
Without it that life could never have been saved, for the waves were
running high, and there was a current setting in toward the sharp,
black rocks.

Foot by foot Frank and his almost unconscious burden were pulled toward
the _Gull_.

"Can you keep up?" asked the elder Race lad.

"I--I guess--so," was the faint reply.

"We'll be there in a minute now.  You'll soon be all right!"

The other did not answer.  Valiantly Andy hauled in, until his
brother's head was right under the rail.

"I'll take him now," called Andy, as he let go of the tiller, and
reached for the lad Frank had saved.  With a strong heave Andy got him
over the side.  He slumped down into the cockpit, unconscious.  A
moment later Frank clambered on board and quickly untied the rope from
his waist.

"Quick, Andy!" he cried.  "Mind your helm!  We're drifting on the rocks
again!"

"Look out for this lad.  I'll steer clear!" yelled his brother in
reply, as he sprang back the tiller, after hoisting the sail.

Frank lifted the unconscious form in his arms, and moved the wounded
lad over to a pile of tarpaulins.  With all his strength Andy forced
over the tiller, for the wind was strong on the sail, and the waves
were running high, their salty crests filling the atmosphere with
spume, while a fine spray drenched those aboard the _Gull_.

Suddenly there was a scraping sound, and the little craft shivered from
stem to stern.

"The rocks!  The rocks!  We're on the rocks!" cried Frank, as with
blanched face he looked up from where he was kneeling over the silent
form of the lad he had rescued from the sea and the gale.



CHAPTER IV

"WHO ARE YOU?"

For a moment terror held the Racer boys motionless.  The danger had
come so suddenly that it deprived them of the power to think.  Then
came the reaction, and they were themselves once more.

"Quick!  Throw your helm over!  We can just make it!" yelled Frank.
"I'll attend to the sheet--you manage the tiller!  Lively now!"

Andy needed no second command.  He fairly threw himself at the helm,
and with all his strength forced it hard over.  The shortened sail
rounded out with the pressure of the wind on it, and the _Gull_ heeled
over at dangerous angle.  Under her keel came that ominous scraping
sound that told of her passage over part of the Shark's Teeth.

"It's a submerged rock!" shouted Andy.  "We may scrape over it!"

"Let's hope so!" murmured Frank, as he looked hastily down at the
unconscious form of the strange lad.  Then he gave all his attention to
the rope that controlled the end of the swinging boom.

With the same suddenness that it had come upon them, the danger was
past.  The _Gull_ slid into deep water, and the hearts of the boys beat
in glad relief.  Rapidly the craft paid off until she was well away
from the ugly black points that could be seen, now and then, rearing up
amid a smother of foam.

"Round about and beat for home!" yelled Frank.  "Whoever this fellow
is, he needs a doctor right away.  I hope the wind holds out."

"Did you learn who he was?" asked Andy, as he gave his attention to
putting the boat on the proper course.

"No.  How could I?  He was as weak as a cat when I got to him, but he
had sense enough not to grab me.  He knows how to swim all right, but
something is the matter with his left arm."

"Think it's broken?"

"I don't know.  It's a wonder he wasn't killed when that boat blew up.
He must have been hurt in some way, or he wouldn't be unconscious."

"Maybe it's because he's nearly drowned.  He may be half full of water."

"That's so," agreed Frank.  "I'll see what I can do for him while you
steer.  Make all you can on each tack."

They were fast leaving behind them the wrecked motor boat which bobbed
about on the waves.  It was no longer on fire, and the brothers would
liked to have towed it to the pier, but this was impossible in the
storm.

Then, as his brother skillfully managed the sailboat, Frank once more
bent over the unconscious form.  He knew what to do in giving first aid
to partly drowned persons, and lost no time in going through the
motions designed to rid the lungs of water.

Frank did succeed in getting some fluid from the system of the
stranger, but the lad still remained unconscious, with such a pale
face, with tightly closed eyes, and showing such apparent weakness,
that Andy remarked:

"I guess he's done for, poor fellow!"

"I'm not so sure of that," responded Frank "He's still breathing, and
there's a spark of life in him yet.  We must get him to our house, and
have a doctor right away.  Oh! now's the time I wish we had a motor
boat!"

"We're doing pretty well," declared Andy, And indeed the _Gull_ was
skimming along at a rapid rate.  She was quartering the wind, until a
sudden lull in the gale came.  They hung there for a moment or two, and
the brothers looked anxiously at each other.  Were they to be becalmed
when it was so vitally necessary to get the stranger to a doctor
immediately?

But once more the sail swelled out, and with joy the Racer boys noticed
that the wind was now right astern and that they could run down to the
dock on the wings of it, making an almost straight course.

"This is the stuff!" cried Frank, as he made a sort of pillow from some
sail cloth for the sufferer's head.

"It sure is.  We'll be there soon.  You'd better get some of your
clothes on before we land."

Frank slipped on his garments, over his wet underwear and trusted to
the wind to dry him before reaching home.

"I wonder who he can be?" mused Andy.  "He wears good clothes, and if
he owns that wrecked motor boat he must have money, for it was a big
one, and cost a lot."

"It sure did.  Well, we may find out who he is when he comes to, after
the doctor has seen him.  We'll take him up to our house."

"Of course.  There's no other place for him in Harbor View.  We'll be
at the dock in five minutes more."

The rest of the trip was quickly covered, and, a little later, the two
brothers had run their craft right up to the float, made her fast and
began lifting out the unconscious form of the lad they had saved.

"Avast there!  What ye got?" cried the hearty voice of Captain Trent.
"Is he dead?  Who is he?"  He peered down over the pier railing.

"We don't know," answered Frank to both questions.  "He was in a motor
boat--wrecked--it blew up--we saved him."

"By Davy Jones!  Ye don't mean it!  Wa'al, I'll give you a hand."

With the old salt's aid the boy was soon lifted up to the pier.  Then
Frank asked:

"Where's your horse and wagon, Captain?  We can never carry him to our
house without something like that.  Where's the wagon?"

"Bob jest got back from delivering clams in it.  I'll go clean it
out--the hoss is hitched to it yet, an'----"

"Don't bother to clean it!" interrupted Andy.  "Just put some sail
cloth in the bottom.  It doesn't matter if it's dirty.  Every second
counts now.  Get the wagon."

"Right away!" cried the old sailor, who did a general clamming and fish
business.  He hurried off in the direction of his store and stable,
impressed by the words and energetic actions of the Racer boys.  "Hi
there, Bob!" the captain called to his son, whom he saw approaching.
"Bring Dolly an' the rig here as quick as you can!  Frank an' Andy
Racer went out an' brought back a dead motor boat--leastways I mean a
fellow that was nearly killed in one.  Bring up the rig jest as she is!
Lively!"

"Aye, aye!" answered Bob, seaman fashion.

A minute later a nondescript vehicle, drawn by a big but bony horse
rattled up, driven by the captain's son.

"What's up?" asked Bob Trent of the lads, with whom he was quite
friendly.  "Who is he?"

"That's what we'd like to know," spoke Frank.  "We may find out if he
doesn't die.  We've no time to spare."

They lifted the unconscious form into the wagon, on the bottom of which
had been spread a number of old sails.

"I'll drive," said Bob briefly.  "I can get more out of Dolly than most
folks.  You've got to do your best now, old girl," he called to the
horse.  The animal pricked up her ears.

"I'll ride in back and hold his head," volunteered Frank.  "Andy, you
go telephone for Dr. Martin.  Tell him to get to our house as soon as
possible--explain why.  Have him there by the time we arrive, if
possible."

"Right!" cried Andy sharply, and he raced off toward the nearest
telephone, there being a few of the instruments in Harbor View.

"Wa'll, I'll be jib-boomed!" exclaimed Captain Trent, as his son drove
off, the horse making good time.  "Them Racer boys is allers up to
suthin' or other."

Bob spoke the truth when he said he could do better with Dolly than
most drivers, for the steed started out at a fast pace, and kept it up
until the rickety vehicle turned into the drive that led to the
handsome cottage owned by Mr. Racer.  Mrs. Racer hurried to the door as
she heard the sound of wheels, and at the sight of Frank sitting in the
wagon, holding the head of another lad in his lap, Mrs. Racer cried out:

"Oh, Frank!  What has happened?  Is--Is it--Andy?  Is he--is he----?"
she could say no more, and began crying.

"It's all right, mother!" shouted Frank heartily.  "We rescued an
unknown lad.  Andy has gone to telephone for Dr. Martin.  He ought to
be here now.  Tell Mary to get some hot water ready.  We may need it.
Lay out some blankets.  Get a bed ready, mother."

Frank issued his requests as if he had been used to saving drowned
persons every day.  His crisp words had the effect of restoring Mrs.
Racer to her usual calmness.

"I'll attend to everything," she said.  "Oh, the poor fellow!  Bring
him right in here.  Can you and Bob lift him?"

"I think so," answered the captain's sturdy son.

"Oh, why doesn't Dr. Martin come?" cried Mrs. Racer.

"That sounds like his auto now!" exclaimed Frank, as he and Bob carried
the unknown lad into the house.  "Yes," he added a moment later, "here
he comes."

"And Andy's with him," added Bob.  "The doctor must have picked him up
on the way here."

It was the work of but a few moments to get most of the unconscious
youth's clothes off and place him in bed.  By that time the physician
was ready to begin his ministrations.

"I don't know," mused Dr. Martin, as he felt of the feeble, flickering
pulse, and listened to the scarcely audible breathing.  "He's pretty
far gone.  Hurt internally, I imagine.  But we'll see if we can save
him."

With the eager and able assistance of the Racer boys, their mother and
Bob Trent, Dr. Martin labored hard to restore the lad to consciousness.
At first his efforts seemed of no avail.  His eyes remained closed, and
the pulse and breathing seemed to grow more feeble.

"I think I'll try the electric battery," said the doctor finally.  "If
one of you will bring it in from my auto, I'll see what effect that
has."

"I'll get it!" cried Andy, and he fairly ran out and back.

For a time it looked as if even the powerful current would be useless,
but when the doctor turned it on full strength there was a convulsive
shudder of the body.  Then, suddenly the eyes opened, and the voice of
the rescued lad murmured:

"It's cold--the water--Oh!  The gasolene tank!  It will explode!  I
can't get away now!  I must jump!"

He raised himself in bed, but the doctor gently pressed him back.

"There, there now," spoke the physician soothingly.  "You are all
right.  Don't worry.  You'll be all right."

"He's going to live," said Andy softly.

Once more the tired eyes closed, and then opened again.

"Where--where am I?" asked the lad wildly.

He looked about the room in amazement, and once more tried to get out
of bed, but was restrained.

"You're with friends," said Mrs. Racer softly.  "You will be well taken
care of."

"What--what place is this?" gasped the lad.

"Harbor View," replied Frank promptly.  "Who are you?"

Eagerly they all leaned forward, for they wanted to solve the mystery
of the identity of the rescued lad.  He gazed at them all in turn.  A
half smile played about his face.  Then he said weakly:

"I am----"

He sank back upon the bed unconscious, his name unspoken.



CHAPTER V

SEEKING THE WRECK

For a moment there was silence in the room, and something like a
disappointed sigh came from Frank and his brother.  Andy leaned over
the bed.

"Who are you?" he asked, placing his hand on the head of the lad.
"Can't you tell us who you are, or where you live?  We want to help
you.  How did you come to be in the boat alone?  How did it get on
fire?"

There was no response.

"It is useless to question him," said Dr. Martin.  "I will give him
some medicine, now that he is partially restored to consciousness, and
perhaps when he is stronger he can tell who he is.  In the meanwhile it
will be best not to bother him."

The boys took this as a hint that they had better leave the room, so
the three of them filed silently out to permit of the physician and
Mrs. Racer continuing their efforts to bring the lad out of the stupor
into which he had fallen.

"It's a queer case," mused Frank.

"It sure is," agreed his brother.  "I hope he doesn't die before we
find out who he is, or where he belongs."

"I hope he doesn't die at all," put in his brother quickly.

"Oh, of course," assented Frank.  "So do I."

"Could you make out any name on the motor boat?" inquired Bob.

"Didn't have a chance," answered the older Racer lad.  "Andy and I had
our hands full managing our boat, and, when I went overboard I had to
depend on Andy to pull that lad and me back.  The sea was fierce and it
was blowing great guns.  All I know is that it was a fine boat, and
it's a shame it was wrecked on the Shark's Teeth."

"She'll go to pieces if she stays there long," was Bob's opinion.  "The
bottom will be pounded out of her and she'll go down."

"Your father was right about the storm coming up," said Frank, after a
pause.  "I never saw it blow so hard in such a short time."

"Oh, dad can generally be depended on for a weather guess," said the
son proudly.  "Well, I must be getting back.  Got to put on another
load of clams before supper.  Let me know how that chap makes out, will
you?"

"Sure," assented Frank.  "And if you see or hear anything of that motor
boat up or down the coast, let us know.  Maybe we can save it, and find
out something about this boy from it, in case he isn't able to tell."

"I'll do it," promised the captain's son.

"And if you see a wounded whale, it belongs to us," added Andy.

"A wounded whale?" gasped Bob.  "Are you stuffing me?  This isn't
Thanksgiving."

"It was a whale all right," went on Andy, playfully poking his brother
in the ribs, "and it stove in my boat.  If I could catch the beggar I'd
sell his hide or oil or whatever is valuable about him, and get a new
boat."

"Does he mean it?" asked Bob, turning to Frank, for the younger Racer
lad was well known for his practical jokes and his fun-loving
characteristics.

"Yes, we did get rammed by one just before we went out in the _Gull_,"
said Frank, a bit solemnly, for the events of the past few hours had
made quite an impression on him.  Then he briefly told the story of the
monster's attack.

"We didn't say anything to your father about it when we came in,"
explained Andy, "as we didn't want to be delayed.  But if you see or
hear of that whale, don't forget he belongs to us."

"I won't," declared Bob.  "Now I've got to hustle, as it's almost
supper time."

"Supper!" cried Andy.  "That reminds me, we haven't had dinner yet,
Frank."

"My stomach reminded me of that some time ago," declared the brother.
"We had such a strenuous time that it slipped our minds, I guess.  But
I'm going to make up for it now.  So long, Bob; see you later."

"So long."

Then, as the rickety wagon was driven away Frank and Andy went in the
house to change their wet garments.

The two brothers were tiptoeing their way to the room where the wounded
lad lay, having first ascertained from Mary, the cook, that supper
would soon be ready, when they saw Dr. Martin coming from the apartment.

"Is he better?" asked Frank in a whisper.

"Yes," and the doctor smiled.  "I succeeded in fully restoring him to
consciousness, and he is now sleeping quietly.  I have given him a
powder and it will be some time before he awakens.  He is worn out, in
addition to being injured."

"Is he badly hurt?" Andy wanted to know.  "Is his arm broken?"

"No, only severely sprained.  In addition, he has several big bruises
and a number of cuts where he must have been tossed against the rocks.
His hands are burned slightly, but there is nothing dangerous, and with
care he ought soon to recover."

"He must have gotten burned trying to put out the fire on the boat,"
commented Frank.  "But, Dr. Martin, did you learn anything about him?
What's his name?  Where does he belong?  What was he doing near the
Shark's Teeth in a gale?"

"I can't answer any of your questions," replied the physician gravely.
"I asked the lad who he was, thinking that his people would be worried,
and that I might be able to send some word to them.  But, though he was
fully in his senses, and seemed to realize what he had gone through, I
couldn't get a word out of him about his name.

"When I asked him, as I did several times, and as also did your mother,
he would begin, 'I am----'  Then he would stop, pass his hand across
his forehead, and look puzzled.  He did this a number of times, and it
seemed to pain him to try to think.  So I gave it up."

"How do you account for that?" asked Andy.

"Well, the fright and injuries he received may have caused a temporary
loss of memory," replied the doctor.  "Or there may be some injury to
the brain.  I can't decide yet.  But I'll look in again this evening.
He'll be much improved by then, I am sure."

"It's getting queerer and more queer," commented Andy, as the physician
hastened away in his car.  "Think of forgetting who you are, Frank!"

"It sure is too bad.  We must try to help him.  That motor boat would
be a clue, I think.  As soon as the weather gets better, and this storm
blows over, we'll have a search for it."

"Yes, we're in for a hard blow, I think.  It's a worse gale now than
when we were out."

The wind, which had momentarily died out, had sprung up again with the
approach of night, and it began to rain.  Out on the bay, a view of
which could be had from their house, the boys could see big tumbling
billows.

"It's a good night to be home," mused Frank.  "I'm afraid we'll never
see that wrecked motor boat again.  It will pound to pieces on the
Shark's Teeth."

"Very likely.  Well, let's go in and see how much nearer supper is
ready.  Dad's home now."

It was rather a long and dreary night, with the storm howling outside,
and Frank, who had the last watch, was not sorry when the gray daylight
came stealing in.  The unidentified lad had slept soundly, only
arousing slightly once or twice.

"We must have a nurse for him," Mrs. Racer decided, when she and her
husband, together with the boys, had talked the case over at the
breakfast table.  "Poor lad, he needs care.  He looks as if he came
from good people--a refined family--don't you think so, Dick?" and she
turned to her husband.

"Oh, yes, he seems like a nice lad.  Get a nurse if you can, and have
the best of everything.  And I don't want you boys tackling any more
whales," Mr. Racer added decidedly, as he gazed at his sons a bit
sternly.

"No, indeed!" their mother hastened to add.  "I should have died of
nervousness if I had known they went out again, after that dreadful
fish smashed Andy's boat."

"A whale's an animal, not a fish, mother," said the younger lad as he
gave her a kiss.  "We are going to capture that one and sell its oil."

"Don't you dare venture whale-hunting again, or we'll go straight back
to New York, and that will be the end of your vacation," she threatened.

"That's right," added Mr. Racer.  "Don't forget.  Well, I must be off
or I'll miss my boat," and he hurried away to his New York office.

There was quite an improvement in the condition of the mysterious youth
that day, and, with the arrival of the nurse, the Racer boys and their
mother were relieved from the care of him, though one or the other of
them paid frequent visits to the sick room.

"He's doing nicely," said Dr. Martin on the third day.  "He is out of
danger now."

"And still not a word to tell who he is," spoke Frank.

"No," said the doctor musingly, "he talks intelligently on every
subject but that.  He remembers nothing of his past, however.  He
doesn't even seem to know that he was out in a motor boat.  All he can
recall is that he was in some kind of trouble and danger, and that he
was saved.  He knows that you boys saved him, and he is very grateful."

"And he doesn't know a thing about himself?" asked Andy wonderingly.

"Not a thing.  It is as if he was just born, or as if he came to life
right after the wreck.  He has some dim memory of being in a big city,
and of looking for some man, but who this man is seems to be as
mysterious as who he himself is.  So I have given up questioning him
for the present as it distresses him."

"Will he ever recover his mind?" asked Mrs. Racer anxiously.

"Well, such cases have been known," replied the doctor.  "Perhaps in
time, with rest and quietness, it may all come back to him as suddenly
as it left him.  But what are your plans in regard to him?"

"He is to stay here, of course, until he recalls something of himself,"
said Mrs. Racer decidedly.  "Then he may be able to tell us who his
people are."

"And if that should take--say all summer?"  The doctor looked at her
questioningly.

"If we have to take him back to New York with us in the fall, we'll do
it," went on the mother of Frank and Andy.

"Perhaps the city sights may recall him to himself," suggested Frank.

"Perhaps," agreed Dr. Martin.  "Well, I'll stop in again to-morrow."

The next day, and the next, however, saw very little change.  The lad
grew much stronger, so that he could sit up in bed, but that was all.
The past remained as dark as before.  Yet he was intelligent, and could
talk on ordinary topics with ease, and with a knowledge that showed he
had been well educated.  But even his name was lost to him.  They
looked in the newspapers but saw no mention of a lost boy.

Meanwhile Frank and Andy had made diligent inquiries about the wrecked
boat, but had heard nothing.  Nor was there any news of the whale.

"Of course I don't intend to go out after him, when dad and mom don't
want us to," Andy carefully explained to his brother, "but it does no
harm to ask; does it?" and he laughed joyously.

"No, I suppose not," assented Frank.

It was about a week after the rescue of the mysterious lad, and his
physical condition had continued to improve.  He would soon be able to
get around, the doctor said.  Frank and Andy, who never grew tired of
discussing the problem, and of wondering when the lad's mind would come
back, were strolling along the beach of Harbor View.  The weather had
cleared and they were thinking of going for a sail, mainly on pleasure
but incidentally to look for the wrecked motor boat.

"It's queer no one has sighted her, or heard of her," remarked Andy,
gazing on to sea, as if he might pick up the disabled craft on the
horizon.

"Yes," agreed Frank.  "I guess she's sunk all right."

They walked on in silence, and were about to turn back toward where
their boat was moored, when they noticed a man walking rapidly along
the sands of the beach toward them.

"He seems to be in a hurry," observed Frank, in a low voice.

"Yes," agreed his brother.  "He looks as if he wanted to speak to us."

"He's a stranger around here," went on Andy.

A moment later the man hailed them.

"I beg your pardon," he began, striding up to the two brothers, and
shifting his gaze rapidly from one to the other.  "But have you seen or
heard of a large motor boat going ashore around here?  I'm looking for
one.  There would be a boy in it perhaps--a lad of about your size.
Perhaps he put in here to get out of the storm.  I've inquired all
along the coast, but I can't get any word of him.  You haven't happened
to have heard anything, have you?"

Frank and Andy looked at each other quickly.  At last they seemed on
the track of the mystery.

"Was he a tall, dark lad, with black hair?" asked Frank.

"Yes--yes, that's the boy I'm looking for!" exclaimed the man quickly.

"And was the motor boat a long one, painted white with a green water
line, and with the engines forward under a hood?" added Andy.

"Yes!" eagerly cried the man, in his excitement taking hold of Andy's
coat.  "That's the boat!  Where is it?  I must have it!"

"She's wrecked," said Frank quickly.  "We saw her on the Shark's Teeth,
going to pieces, and we've been looking for her since, but the boy--"

"Yes--yes!  The boy--the boy!  What of him?  Where is Paul--?"

The man stopped suddenly, and fairly clapped his hand over his own lips
to keep back the next word.  He seemed strangely confused.

"We rescued the boy, and he is up at our house," said Frank quickly.
"We have been trying to pick up the wreck of the boat and learn who the
boy is.  He has lost his memory."

"Lost his memory!" the man exclaimed, and he actually appeared glad of
it.

"Yes, he doesn't remember even his name," explained the elder Racer
lad.  "But now we can solve the mystery as you know him.  You say his
name is Paul.  What is his other name?  Who are you?  Don't you want to
see him?  We can take you to him--to Paul."

The brothers eyed the man eagerly.  On his part he seemed to shrink
away.

"I--I made a mistake," he said, biting his nails.  "I know no one named
Paul.  I--I--it was an error.  That is not the boy I want.  I must
hurry on.  Perhaps I shall get some news at the next settlement.  I
am--obliged to you."

His shifty eyes gazed at the brothers by turns.  Then the man suddenly
turned away muttering something under his breath.

"But you seemed to know him!" insisted Frank, feeling that the mystery
was deepening.

"No--no!  I--I made a mistake.  His name is not Paul.  I am wrong.
That is--well, never mind, I'm sorry to have troubled you."

He was about to hurry away.

"Won't you come and see him?" urged Frank.  "It is not far up to our
house.  My mother would be glad to meet you.  Perhaps, after all, this
lad may be the one you seek.  His name may be Paul."

"No--no!  I must go!  I must go.  I--I don't know any Paul," and before
the Racer boys could have stopped him, had they been so inclined, the
man wheeled about and walked rapidly down the beach.



CHAPTER VI

CHET SEDLEY'S STYLE

"Well, wouldn't that frazzle you!" exclaimed Andy.

"It certainly is queer," agreed his brother.

They stood looking down the beach after the figure of the strange man
who had seemed to know the lad whom they had rescued from the sea, but
who, on learning of his location, had shown a desire to get away
without calling on the unfortunate youth.

Andy set out on a run.

"Here, where you going?" his brother demanded quickly.

"I'm going after that man, and make him tell what he knows!" declared
the impulsive youth.  "It's a shame to let him get away in this
fashion, just when we were on the verge of learning something," Andy
called back over his shoulder.

"You come right back here!" exclaimed the older lad, sprinting after
his brother and catching him by the arm.

"But he'll get away, and we'll never solve the mystery!"

"That may be, but we can't take this means of finding out.  We don't
know who that man is.  He may be a dangerous chap, who would make
trouble if you interfered with him.  You stay here."

"But how are we ever going to find out, Frank?"

"If this boy is the one whom that man wants he'll show his hand sooner
or later.  He was taken by surprise when he found that we had him, and
he didn't know what to say.  But he won't disappear altogether--not
while the lad is with us.  He'll come around again.  Now you stay with
me."

"All right," assented Andy, but with no very good grace.  "I'm going to
holler after him, anyhow."

Then, before Frank could stop him, had he been minded to do so, Andy
raised his voice in a shout:

"Hey, where are you going?  Don't you want to send some word to that
boy we rescued?"

The man turned half around, and for a moment Andy and Frank hoped he
would come back.  Instead he shouted something that sounded like:

"Important business--see--later--don't bother me."

"Humph!" exclaimed Andy, as the man resumed his rapid walk.  "We're not
going to bother you.  But we'll solve that mystery, whether you want us
to or not," he added firmly.  "Won't we, Frank?"

"If it's possible.  I'm almost ready to go out now and have a search
for the motor boat, but I think we'd better go back and tell him what
happened."

"Tell who, the doctor?"

"No, this lad--the one who's at our house.  He may know the man when we
describe him."

"That's so.  Paul, the man said his name was.  Wonder what the other
half was?"

"Guess you'll have to take it out in wondering.  Come on back to the
house."

It was a great disappointment to Frank and Andy when, after detailing
their adventure with the queer man, and describing him minutely, to
have the rescued lad say:

"I'm sorry, boys, but I can't recall any such man."

"Try hard," suggested Frank.

"I am trying," and the youth frowned and endeavored hard to concentrate
his thoughts.  "No, it's useless," he added with a sigh.  "My memory on
that point, if I ever had any, has gone with the rest of the past.
It's too bad.  I wish I _could_ remember."

"Well, don't try any more now," said Frank quickly, as he saw that the
youth was much distressed.  "We'll do our best to help you out.  And
the first thing we'll do will be to look for that motor boat--that is,
if she's still floating."

"Does the name 'Paul' mean anything to you?" asked Andy.  "That's what
the man called you before he thought."

"Paul--Paul," mused the lad.  "No, it doesn't seem to be my name.  Did
he mention any other?"

"No, he cut himself off short.  But what's the matter with us calling
you Paul, until we find out your right name?  It's a bit awkward to
refer to you as 'he' or 'him' all the while.  How does Paul suit you?"

"Fine!  I like it."

"But what about his other name?" asked Frank.

"Gale!" suddenly shouted Andy.

"Gale?" repeated his brother wonderingly.

"Yes, don't you see," and Andy laughed.  "We picked him up in a gale.
His first name's Paul, I'm sure, and Paul Gale would be a good name.
How about it, Paul?"

"It will do first rate until I can find my real one.  Paul Gale--Paul
Gale--it sounds good."

"Then Paul Gale it shall be," declared Andy.  and when he suggested it
to his father and mother that night they agreed with him.  So the
rescued lad became Paul Gale.

As the days passed he gained in health and strength until he was able
to walk out.  Then the wonderful sea air of Harbor View practically
completed the recovery, until Dr. Martin declared that there was no
further use for medicine, and only nourishing food was needed.

"But about his mind," the physician went on, "time alone can heal that.
We must be patient.  Take him out with you, Andy and Frank, when he is
able to go, and let him have a good time.  That will help as much as
anything."

In the meanwhile, pending the gaining of complete strength on the part
of Paul Gale, as he was now called, the two Racer boys made many trips
around the Shark's Teeth in their sailboat, looking for the wrecked
motor craft.  But they could not locate it.  Nor were their inquiries
any more successful.  Sailors and fishermen who went far out to sea
were questioned but could give no trace of the wreck.

"Guess we'll have to give it up," said Andy with a sigh one day.

"It's like the mysterious man," added his brother.

Mr. Racer was much interested in the efforts his sons were making to
solve the mystery of Paul Gale.  He even advertised in a number of
papers, giving details of the rescue, and asking any persons who might
possibly know the history of such a youth as he described, to call on
him at his New York office.  But none came.

Paul had not yet ventured far from the house, for he was still rather
weak.  His arm, too, was very painful, and he could not yet accompany
his two friends on any of their rowing or sailing trips.

"But I'll go soon," he said one day, when Frank and Andy started off
for the beach, with the intention of interviewing some lobstermen who
were due to arrive from a long cruise out to sea.  "Some time I'll
surprise you by coming along."

"Glad of it," called Frank, linking his arm in that of his brother.
Together they strolled down on the sands, to await the arrival of the
lobstermen.  They found Bob Trent there, loading up his wagon with soft
clams, which he had just dug.

As Bob tossed in shovelful after shovelful of the bivalves, the two
Racer boys saw approaching the vehicle a youth of about their own age
but of entirely different appearance.  For, whereas the Racer boys
dressed well they made no pretense of style, especially when they were
away on their vacation.  But the lad approaching the wagon was "dressed
to kill clams," as Andy laughingly expressed it.

"Look at Chet Sedley!" exclaimed the younger lad to his brother.  "Talk
about style!"

"I should boil a lobster; yes!" agreed Frank, laughing.

And well he might, for Chet, who was a native of Harbor View, had
donned his "best" that afternoon.  He wore an extremely light suit,
with new tan ties of a light shade, and his purple and green striped
hose could be seen a long distance off.

"You can hear those socks as far as you can get a glimpse of them,"
remarked Andy.

"And look at his hat," observed Frank.  It was a straw affair, of rough
braid, and the brim was in three thicknesses or "layers" so that it
looked not unlike one of those cocoanut custard cakes with the cocoanut
put in extremely thick.  In addition to this Chet's tie was of vivid
blue with yellowish dots in it, and he carried a little cane, which he
swung jauntily.

As Chet passed the clam wagon, manned by Bob, who was dressed in his
oldest garments, as befitted his occupation, one of the bivalves
slipped from the shovel, and hit on the immaculate tan ties of the
Harbor View dude.  It left a salt water mark.

"Look here, Bob Trent!  What do you mean by that?" demanded Chet
indignantly as he took out a handkerchief covered with large green
checks and wiped off his shoe.  "How dare you do such a thing?"

"What did I do?" asked the clammer innocently, for he had not seen the
accident.

"What did you do?  I'll show you!  I'll teach you to spoil a pair of
new shoes that cost me two dollars and thirty-five cents!  I'll have
you arrested if that spot doesn't come out, and you'll have to pay for
having them cleaned, too."

"I--I--" began Bob, who was a lad never looking for trouble, "I'm
sorry--I--"

"Say, it's you who ought to be arrested, Chet!" broke in Andy, coming
to the relief of his chum.

"Me?  What for, I'd like to know?" asked the dude, as he finished
polishing the tan ties with the brilliant handkerchief.

"Why you're dressed so 'loud' that you're disturbing the peace," was
the laughing reply "You'd better look out."

"Such--er--jokes are in very bad taste," sneered Chet, whose parents
were in humble circumstances, not at all in keeping with his dress.  In
fact, though Chet thought himself very stylish, if was a "style"
affected only by the very vain, and was several years behind the season
at that.

"You're a joke yourself," murmured Frank.  "It wasn't Bob's fault that
the clam fell on you, Chet," he added in louder tones.

"Why not, I'd like to know?"

"Because you are so brilliant in those togs that you blinded his eyes,
and he couldn't see to shovel straight; eh, Bob?"

"I--I guess that's it.  I didn't mean to," murmured Bob.

"Well, you'll pay for having my shoes shined just the same," snapped
Chet, as he restored his handkerchief to his pocket with a grand
flourish.

"Whew!  What's that smell?" cried Andy, pretending to be horrified.  "I
didn't know you could smell the fish fertilizer factory when the wind
was in this direction."

"Me either," added Frank, entering into the joke.  "It sure is an awful
smell.  Whew!"

"I--I don't smell anything," said Chet, blankly.

"Maybe it's your handkerchief," went on Andy.  "Give us a whiff," and
before the dude could stop him the younger Racer boy had snatched it
from his pocket.  "Whew!  Yes, this is it!" he cried, holding his nose
as he handed the gaudy linen back.  "How did it happen, Chet?  Did you
drop it somewhere?  It's awful!" and he pretended to stagger back.
"Better have it disinfected."

"That smell!  On my handkerchief!" fairly roared Chet.  "That's the
best perfumery they have at Davidson's Emporium.  I paid fifteen cents
a bottle for it.  Give me my handkerchief."

"Fifteen cents a bottle?" cried Andy.  "Say, you got badly stuck all
right!  Fifteen cents!  Whew!  Get on the other side, where the wind
doesn't blow, please, Chet."

"Oh, you fellows think you are mighty funny," sneered the dude.  "I'll
get even with you yet.  Are you going to pay for shining my shoes, Bob?"

"I--er--" began the captain's son.

"Sit down and let's talk it over," suggested Andy, as he flopped down
on the sand.  "Have a chair, Chet.  You must be tired standing," he
went on.

"What?  Sit there with--with my good clothes on?" demanded the dude in
accents of horror.  "Never!"

"A clam might bite you, of course.  I forgot that," continued the
fun-loving Andy.  Then, as Chet continued to face Bob, and make demands
on him for the price of having his tan shoes polished, the younger
Racer lad conceived another scheme.

In accordance with what he thought were the dictates of "fashion" Chet
wore his trousers very much turned up at the bottoms.  They formed a
sort of "pockets," and these pockets Andy industriously proceeded to
fill with sand.  Soon both trouser legs bulged with the white particles.

"Well, are you going to pay me?" demanded Chet of Bob finally.

"I--I didn't mean to do it, and I haven't any change to pay you now,"
said the captain's son.

"Pay him in clams," suggested Frank.

"No, I want the money," insisted the dude.  He took a step after Bob,
who walked around to get on the seat of the wagon.  At his first
movement Chet was made aware of the sand in the bottoms of his trousers.

The dude looked down, half frightened.  Then he made a leap forward.
The sand was scattered all about, a good portion of it going into the
low shoes Chet wore.  This filled them so that they were hard to walk
in, and the next moment the stylishly dressed youth lurched, stepped
into a hollow, and fell flat on the sand, his slender cane breaking off
short at the handle as it caught between his legs.

"Come here and I'll pick you up!" shouted Andy, who had scrambled away
as he saw Chet start out.

"You--you--who did this?  Who pushed me?" stammered Chet, as he got up
spluttering, for some sand had gotten in his mouth.  "I'll have revenge
for this--on some one!  Who knocked me down?"

"It was the strong perfumery on your handkerchief," suggested Andy.
"It went to your head, Chet."

"It was you, Bob Trent; you did it!" yelled the dude, making a rush for
the captain's son.  "I'll give you a thrashing for this!"



CHAPTER VII

A LIVELY CARGO

"Hold on there, Chet!" cried Andy, as he saw Bob about to suffer for
the trick he himself had played.  The dude had hauled back his fist to
strike the captain's son, who put himself in a position of defense.

"You can't stop me!" yelled Chet, making rapid motions with his fists.
Bob Trent shrank back.

"Stop, I say!" shouted Andy again, making a rush to get between the
prospective combatants.

"Now you see what your fooling did," spoke Frank, in a low voice to his
brother.  "Why can't you cut it out?"

"Can't seem to," answered the fun-loving lad.  "But I won't let 'em
fight.  I'll own up to Chet, and he can take it out of me if he likes."

"There!" suddenly cried Chet, as he landed a light blow on Bob's chest.
"That'll teach you to dirty up my shoes, fill my pants full of sand and
trip me up.  There's another for you!"

He tried to strike the captain's son again, but Bob, though he was not
a fighting lad, was a manly chap, who would stand up for his rights.
Suddenly his fist shot forward and landed with no little force on the
nose of the dude.

Once more Chet went down, not so gently as before, measuring his length
in the sand.  When he arose his face was red with anger, and his former
immaculate attire was sadly ruffled.

"I--I--I'll have you all arrested for this!" he yelled.  "I'll make a
complaint against you, Bob Trent, and sue you for damages."

Chet made another rush for the driver of the clam wagon as soon as he
could arise, but this time Andy had stepped in between them and blocked
the impending blows.

"That'll do now!" exclaimed the younger Racer lad with more sternness
and determination than he usually employed.  "It was all my fault.  I
filled your pants with sand, Chet.  I really couldn't help it, the
bottoms were so wide open.  But I didn't push you when you fell the
first time.  You tripped in that hollow.  Now come on, and I'll buy you
two chocolate sodas to square it up.  I'll treat the crowd.  Come
along, Bob."

"No, I can't," answered Bob.  "Got to get along with these clams.  I'm
late now.  But I want to say that I'm sorry I knocked Chet down.  I
wouldn't have done it if he hadn't struck me first."

"That's right," put in Frank.  "I'm sorry it happened."

"So am I," added Andy contritely.  But it is doubtful if he would
remain sorry long.  Already a smile was playing over his face.

"Well, who's coming and have sodas with me?" asked the younger Racer
brother, after an awkward pause, during which Bob mounted the seat of
his wagon and drove off.  "Come on, Chet.  I'll have your cane fixed,
too.  And if you don't like a chocolate soda you can have vanilla."

"I wouldn't drink a soda with you if I never had one!" burst out the
dude, as he wiped the sand off his shoes and brushed his light suit.
"I'll get square with you for this, too; see if I don't."

"Oh, very well, if you feel that way about it I can't help it," said
Andy.  "I said I was sorry, and all that sort of thing, but I'm not
going to get down on my knees to you.  Come along, Frank.  Let's go for
a sail."

The clam wagon was heading for the street that led up from the beach.
Chet had turned away with an injured air, and Andy linked his arm in
that of his brother.

"You see what your fooling led to," said Frank in a low voice, as the
two strolled off, "Why can't you let up playing jokes when you know
they're going to make trouble?"

"How'd I know it was going to make trouble, just to put sand in Chet's
pants?" demanded Andy, with some truth in his contention.  "If I had
known it I wouldn't have done it.  But it was great to see him tumble;
wasn't it?"

"Oh, I suppose so," and in spite of his rather grave manner Frank had
to smile.  "But you must look ahead a bit, Andy, when you're planning a
joke."

"Look ahead!  The joke would lose half its fun then.  It's not knowing
how a thing is going to turn out that makes it worth while."

"Oh, you're hopeless!" said Frank, laughing in spite of himself.

"And you're too sober!" declared his brother.  "Wake up!  Here, I'll
beat you to the dock this time!"  And with that Andy turned a
handspring, and darted toward the pier, near which their sailboat was
moored.  Frank started off on the run, but Andy had too much of a
start, and when the elder lad arrived at the goal Andy was there
waiting for him.

"Now the sodas are on you!" he announced.  "How's that?"

"Why, we didn't finish the rowing race on account of the whale, but
this contest will do as well.  I'll have orange for mine."

"Oh, all right, come on," and Frank good-naturedly led the way toward
the only drug store in Harbor View.  "But I thought you were going for
a sail, and see if we could get a trace of mysterious wrecked motor
boat," he added.

"So I am," admitted Andy.  "But first I want a drink.  Then I'm going
to see how Jim Bailey is coming on with repairing the skiff that the
whale tried to eat.  After that we'll go sailing."

"And we'll see what we can do on our own account," announced Frank, as
a little later he assisted his brother to hoist the sail on the _Gull_.
Soon they were standing out of the harbor under a brisk wind which
heeled their craft well over.  They knew it was practically useless to
expect a sight of the mysterious wreck until they were well out, and so
they gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the trip, talking at
intervals of many things, but principally of the strange lad still
quartered at their house.

"Poor Paul Gale!" said Frank.  "It must be hard to lose your memory
that way."

"Sure," agreed Andy.  "Not to know who your father or mother is, or
whether you have any, or whether you are rich or poor--it sure is
tough."

"I think he must be well off, as I've said before," declared Frank.
"But that's as far as I can get.  If there was only some way of getting
on the track of that strange man who seemed to know Paul, we could do
something."

"But he's disappeared completely," said Andy.  "He sure did make a
quick getaway the day we met him on the sands."

Frank, who was steering, changed the course of the _Gull_.  As he did
so Andy suddenly stood up, pointed off across the slowly rolling waves,
and cried out:

"Look there!"

"What is it, the motor boat or the whale?" asked Frank.

"It's a boat, but look who's in it.  The mysterious man!"

A short distance away was a dory, containing one person, and it needed
but a single glance from the eyes of the Racer boys to tell them it was
indeed the tall, dark stranger who had acted so oddly after questioning
them about Paul Gale.  The man was rowing slowly and awkwardly, as if
unused to the exertion, but as the sea was fairly calm he was not
having a hard time, especially as the dory was built for safety.

"Think he sees us?" asked Andy.

"No, but he'll hear us if you don't talk lower," objected Frank.
"Sounds carry very far over water."

"All right," whispered the younger lad.  "Let's see if we can't creep
up on him.  If we get near enough we can tell him Paul is much better,
and he may be so surprised that he'll let out some information before
he knows it."

"I haven't much hope of that," replied Frank, "but we'll try it."  He
changed the course of the sailboat once more until, it was headed right
for the dory.  The man rowing seemed to pay no attention to our heroes.

They were rapidly drawing close to him, and Andy took pains to conceal
himself so that the stranger could not see him until the last moment.
Frank was well screened by the sail.

Suddenly, off to the left, the boys heard a cry:

"Help!  Help!  They're getting loose!  I can't catch 'em!  Help!  Help!"

"What's that?" demanded Andy in some alarm.  "Some one is drowning."

"No, the call came from that lighter over there," declared Frank,
pointing toward one of the clumsy harbor craft used to transport or
"lighter" cargoes from one ship to another, or from dock to dock.  The
next moment this was made plain, for the call sounded a second time:

"Help!  Help!  Sailboat ahoy!  Come to the rescue!  I'll be bitten to
death!  Help!"  At the same time the boys saw a man quickly climb up
the stumpy mast of the lighter and cling there with one hand while he
waved his cap at them with the other.

"We've got to go help him!" exclaimed Andy.

"If we do, this strange man will get away," warned his brother.

"That's so.  What shall we do?"

They paused, undecided.  Following up the man might mean the solution
of the mystery surrounding Paul Gale.  On the other hand they could
hardly ignore the call for aid.  They could not go to both places, as
the lighter was in one direction and the dory being rowed in another.
Once more came the cry:

"Help!  Help!  They're all getting out of the cages!"

"What in the world can he be talking about?" demanded the puzzled
Frank, trying to catch a glimpse of the deck of the lighter.  But the
rail was too high.

"Shall we go to him?" asked Andy.

"Yes," spoke Frank reluctantly.  "We can't let him die, and he seems to
be in trouble.  Maybe we can find that mysterious man again;" and he
swung the tiller over.  The _Gull_ headed about and moved toward the
lighter.

The man on the mast was frantically waving his cap and pointing at
something down on the deck.  Andy gave one look in the direction of the
dory.  The man was rowing more rapidly now.  Perhaps he wanted to get
out of the zone of so much excitement.

"There's something lively going on aboard that lighter," declared
Frank, as they drew nearer.

"I should say so!" agreed Andy.  "Hear those yells!  They must be
killing one another!  I'll bet it's a mutiny!"

"Mutiny aboard a lighter, with one man as captain and crew?" demanded
Frank.  "Hardly.  But we'll soon find out what it is.  Aboard the
lighter!" he yelled.  "What's the trouble?"

"Everything," was the quick answer.  "Hurry up if you want to save me.
They're all over the deck."

"What is?" demanded Andy.

"Snakes and monkeys.  They broke out of their cages and they're raising
hob!  Come on!  Come on!  Never again will I lighter a cargo of live
stock of this kind!  Hurry, boys!  Hurry!"

"Snakes and monkeys!" murmured Andy.  "I should say it was a lively
cargo!  How in blazes are we going to save him?  I don't want fifteen
feet of anaconda or boa constrictor aboard us!"

"We've got to do something for him," decided Frank with a grim
tightening of his lips.  "Stand by, I'm going to head up in to the
wind.  Then we'll lower the small boat and see what we can do."



CHAPTER VIII

ANDY IS CAUGHT

The lighter had been slowly moving ahead, but not under the influence
of her sail, for the main sheet was free and the piece of canvas was
idly flapping in the wind.  Consequently the boys had no difficulty in
coming up to her in their boat.  Now they were ready to lower the small
craft they carried slung on davits at the stern.  This was a new
addition to the _Gull_, put in place since the rescue of Paul Gale, for
the brothers thought they might need it if they chanced to sight the
wreck of the motor boat.  Now it was likely to come in useful.

"Lower your sail," called Andy to Frank.  "Then we can leave the _Gull_
to drift while we pull over and see what's up."

The canvas came down on the run, and then Frank assisted his brother in
lowering the small boat.

"Hurry!  Hurry!" begged the man on the mast of the lighter.  "One big
gray-bearded monkey is getting ready to shin up after me, and there's a
twenty-foot snake wiggling this way from the after hatch.  Hurry!"

Andy paused in the operation of lowering the boat.

"Say, we're going to be up against it ourselves if we board that
lighter," he said to Frank.

"I know it, but I don't intend to board her until I get those creatures
out of our way."

"But how you going to do it?" his brother wanted to know.

"I'll make some plan after we row over and talk to the man.  It's queer
how he happened to have such a cargo, and how they got loose.  Lower
away."

The little craft took the water easily and was soon riding under the
stern of the _Gull_.  Frank and Andy slid down the rope falls, after
tossing two pairs of oars into the boat, and unhooked the blocks,
leaving them dangling to be used on their return to hoist the boat up
to the davits again.

"We're coming!" yelled Frank, in answer to another frantic appeal for
aid.  "How many of them are there?"

"About a million snakes and ten thousand monkeys!" was the frightened
reply.  "Come on!  I can't hang here much longer."

"Where did they come from?" demanded Andy, when he and his brother were
near the side of the lighter.

"I got a job of transfering them from a ship that's just in from South
America, to a dock up near Seabright way," answered the man.

"How'd they get loose?" Frank wanted to know.

"Hanged if I know," was the reply.  "I was sailing along easy like,
when all of a sudden I felt something on my leg.  It was sort of
squeezin' me, and when I looked down I saw a big snake crawling up.  I
gave one yell and scudded across the deck.  Then I saw a monkey making
faces at me from the hatchway.  The long tailed beasts must have broken
out of their cages, and then the monkeys let the snakes loose.  I
climbed up here, and here I am."

"Are they savage?" asked Andy.

"Say, for the love of lobsters don't ask so many questions!" begged the
man.  "Get aboard here and drive the critters away so I can come down.
One of the monkeys cast off the main sheet and spilled the wind out of
the sail."

"It's a good thing he did, or we couldn't have come up to you," called
Frank.  "We'll see what we can do.  Where are the cages?"

"Down in the hold.  The steamer captain, when I took the beasts, told
me to keep 'em below, and I did, but I didn't think they'd get loose so
I didn't have the hatch covers on."

"Well, it's easier than I thought," went on Frank.  "Wait a minute and
we'll be back."

He started to row their boat toward the _Gull_.

"Oh, don't leave me!" wailed the man.

"I'm not going to," shouted back the elder Racer boy.

"What are you going to do?" asked his brother.

"Go back and get some grub, and my revolver with blank cartridges in
it."

"What's that for?"

"You'll see."

The brothers were soon aboard their own sailing craft again, and Frank
quickly secured the weapon, directing Andy to pack in a bag all the
spare food on board, for the boys usually kept a supply in a small
galley, in case they were ever becalmed over night.

"Here's some crackers, some cans of peaches, some peanuts and a lot of
stale pop corn balls," announced Andy.

"That'll do.  Get a dish, and bring along the can opener," ordered
Frank.  "I guess that will do."

"Oh, I'm on to your game now," said Andy.

"I'll want some condensed milk, too," went on the older boy.  "Got any?"

"Yes, here's a couple of cans."

"Good, bring 'em along and another dish.  Now I guess we're ready."

They were soon at the side of the lighter again with their odd
collection.

"Where is the safest place to come aboard?" asked Frank of the man, who
was still up the mast.

"Right amidships," he answered.  "There's not a snake or monkey near
there now, and it's right by the open hatch."

"Good!" answered Frank.  "That'll do.  Make our boat fast, Andy, and
follow me.  Bring the grub."

His brother obeyed, and soon the two lads were aboard the lighter.
They saw a group of monkeys aft, chattering and wrestling among
themselves, whether in play or anger was not evident.  Forward were
several large snakes contentedly sunning themselves on deck.  There did
not seem to be so much danger as the man had said, though doubtless if
the monkeys were really aroused they might injure some one, as several
were very large specimens.

"Quick now!" called Frank to Andy.  "Help me spread out this grub near
the open hatch.  Open the cans of peaches and pour them over the
crackers in the dish.  Do the same with the condensed milk, only put
that in a separate dish.  It's lucky the snakes are forward, they'll
get a whiff of it there."

Soon there was an array of food about the open hatch.  So far the
monkeys had paid no attention to the boys, for the brothers had worked
silently, the man on the mast watching them curiously, but still afraid
to come down.

"Now I guess we're ready," announced Frank.  "Come over here, Andy, and
we'll hide under this pile of canvas."

With his revolver in readiness, Frank led the way, followed by his
brother.  When they were both concealed from view Frank reached out his
hand, and tossed several crackers toward the group of monkeys.  There
was a movement among them, and the chattering broke out doubly loud.
One monkey grabbed a cracker in each paw, but they were immediately
snatched from him by some of his mates.  Then the whole crowd caught
sight of the food around the open hatch and made a mad dash for it.

At the same time the snakes must have smelled the milk, and, as it is
well known that these reptiles are very fond of this liquid, they
crawled toward it.

"Now's my chance!" exclaimed Frank, when he saw the snakes and monkeys
grouped about the hole in the deck, eagerly devouring the food.  He
raised his revolver in the air and fired several shots rapidly.

The effect was almost magical.  With screams of fright the monkeys
fairly leaped down the dark hole, and the snakes with angry hisses
followed them.  In less than five seconds not an animal or reptile was
on deck.

"Quick!  The hatch cover!" cried Frank, springing from under the
canvas.  His brother followed and the cover was clapped into place.

"Good enough!" yelled the man, climbing down from the mast, and
assisting the boys to make the cover fast.  "Now I've got the critters
where I want 'em, and I'll keep 'em there until I get to the dock.
Then the man that owns 'em can take 'em out.  I won't.  That was a
slick trick, all right, boys.  I'd never thought of that.  You saved my
life."

"Oh, I guess they wouldn't have killed you," spoke Frank.  "But what's
going to be done with them?"

"They're to go in some sort of summer show up Seabright way, I reckon.
My! but I'm obliged to you boys!  How much do I owe you?" and the man
made a motion toward his pocket.

"Nothing," answered Frank quickly.  "We're glad we could help you.  I
guess you won't have any more trouble."

"Not if you keep the hatch closed," added Andy.

"And you can make up your mind that I will!" answered the man
decidedly.  "No more snake or monkey cargoes for me.  Well, I'll get
along now, I guess.  Say, I'd like to make you boys a present.  I've
got some prime lobsters that a fellow gave me.  They're all alive.
Won't you take some along?"

"Well, we generally can eat them," spoke Frank.  "And my mother is very
fond of lobster salad."

"Don't say another word," exclaimed the lighterman.  "Here you are,"
and he drew forth a basket from under a pile of bagging at the foot of
the mast.  "Take 'em along."

There were a dozen fine, large lobsters in the basket as Andy
ascertained by a peep, and then after thanking the man for them, and
making sure that the hatch cover was on tight, the brothers rowed back
to their craft.  As they sailed away they saw the man carrying a small
ketch anchor and placing it on top of the hatch cover.

"He isn't taking any chances," remarked Frank.

"Indeed not," agreed his brother.  "Well, let's see if we can pick up
that mysterious man again."

They looked all about, but there was no sign of the dory, and they felt
that it would be useless to sail about in search, as it was getting
late.

"Let's put for home," proposed Frank, and Andy assented.

When nearing their mooring place Andy got a piece of string and some
strong paper, and proceeded to wrap up one of the largest lobsters.

"What are you going to do with that; give it to some of your girls?"
asked Frank.

"Hu!  I guess not," was the somewhat indignant answer.  "I'm going to
have a little fun with it.  There are more than we need in that basket."

"Look out that some one doesn't have fun with you," warned his brother.

"Oh, I can take care of myself," answered Andy with a grin.  He
assisted his brother to carry the basket of lobsters up on the pier,
and then, as they were rather heavy, and as a delivery wagon from a
grocery where Mrs. Racer traded was at hand, Frank decided to send the
shell fish home in that.

"Coming along?" asked the elder boy of his brother, as the delivery
vehicle drove off.

"Yes, but I want to have some fun first.  I see Chet Sedley coming, and
I'm going to make him a present of this lobster.  It's a lively one,
and he won't know what's in the paper--until he opens it.  Watch me."

Frank shook his head, but smiled.  He followed his brother at a
distance.  The town dude, attired more gorgeously than before, saw Andy
approaching, and was about to turn aside.

"Hold on," called Andy.  "I'm sorry about what happened a while ago,
Chet, and here's a little present for you."

He held out the package.

"What's in it?" asked Chet suspiciously, as he took it.

"Why--er----" began Andy, but just then Mabel Chase, one of the
prettiest girls in Harbor View, approached, and Andy took off his hat.
Chet did likewise, making an elaborate bow.  At the same time he let
slide to the sidewalk the package containing the lobster, and he gave
it a shove with his foot so that it would be in back of him.

For Chet was a very proud youth, and did not want to be seen carrying a
bundle, especially by a young lady whose good opinion he desired.

"Charming day, Miss Chase," murmured Chet, as he resumed an upright
position.

"Delightful," agreed the girl.  "Where have you been, Andy?  I haven't
seen you in some time."

"Oh, we have been sailing."

"Have you rescued any more strange boys?" she went on.  "Oh, I think
that was so romantic!  Does he know who he is yet?"  For the story of
Paul Gale was well known in Harbor View by this time.

"He hasn't the least idea," answered Andy.

"Beautiful day," observed Chet, edging nearer to the girl.  "Oh, I said
that before, didn't I?" he asked in confusion, for the dude's powers of
talk were rather limited.  "I mean, do you think it's going to rain?"

"Hardly," replied Andy.  "But say, Chet, why don't you open the present
I gave you?"

Andy could not resist the opportunity of seeing how his joke would turn
out--especially when there was a girl present to witness it.

"Oh, I--I don't want to now," replied Chet, and he took a step
backward.  Accidentally he stepped on the paper containing the large
lobster.  The string slipped off.  There was a rustling movement in the
wrapping and the paper suddenly opened.  Something of a sort of
greenish hue came into view; something with big claws.  Neither Chet
nor Andy noticed it, for they were both talking to Miss Mabel.  The
girl saw the lobster slowly reach up one large claw.

"Oh!" she screamed.

"What's the matter?" asked Andy.

He knew a moment later, for the crustacean caught him by the left ankle
in a firm grip, and held on, while the would-be joker danced about on
one leg, holding the other up in the air with the lobster dangling
from, it.  The tables were effectually turned.



CHAPTER IX

"THAR SHE BLOWS!"

"Take him off!" yelled Andy, dancing about.  "Grab him, Chet.  Wow!
How he pinches!"

"Oh!  Don't let it get loose!" begged Miss Mabel, looking for a place
upon which she could climb out of danger.

"Loose!  That's just what I want to do--get him loose!" cried Andy.

"How--how did it happen?" asked Chet innocently.  "Was that a lobster
you gave me, Andy?"

"Never mind what I gave you," howled the youth.  "Help me get him off."

Now Chet was not a very wise youth, but he knew better than to pick off
a lobster, especially when there was yet one large claw that wasn't
working, but which was waving about seeking for something else to pinch.

"Can't you help me?" begged Andy.  Frank had stopped to speak to an
acquaintance, and did not see the plight of his brother.

"Oh!  Oh, dear!  What shall I do?" wailed Mabel.  Several men and boys
began to gather about the scene.

"I've got to get him loose or he'll pinch off my foot!" cried Andy.  He
reached over as well as he could, while standing on one foot, and tried
to get hold of the lobster by the back, behind the vicious claws.  But
he made a miscalculation.

The next moment the other claw of the lobster had gripped him on the
wrist, fortunately taking hold around Andy's coat sleeve so that the
flesh was not cut by the "teeth" of the crustacean's pincher.

Andy was now in a peculiar predicament, for he was held in a stooping
position with the lobster clinging to his ankle and wrist.  He put on
the ground the foot which had first been gripped and was vainly
endeavoring to pull the lobster loose when Frank, attracted by the
crowd, hurried up.  He saw at once what the trouble was, and with one
well-directed kick he sent the lobster spinning out into the middle of
the street, the suddenness of the blow loosening the tight claws.

"Well, of all things!  What happened, Andy?" Frank asked.

"Don't ask me.  Come on home," replied his brother, limping away, while
Miss Mabel smiled and turned aside.  Chet Sedley grinned.  It was the
first and only time he had unwittingly gotten the better of Andy Racer.

"I told you not to play any more jokes," spoke Frank, as he walked
along at his brother's side.  "You never can tell when they're going to
come back on you."

"Oh, say, let a fellow alone; can't you?" expostulated the younger lad.

"Does it hurt you very much?" inquired Frank.

"I should say it does!" and Andy stooped over and rubbed his ankle and
then gently massaged his wrist.

"Better get home and put some vaseline on it," suggested Frank.

"Vaseline!  Say, the next time I try to play a joke on anybody, please
holler 'Lobster' at me.  And if that doesn't do any good just pinch me
good and hard," requested the younger lad.

"I told you so," commented Frank.

"Yes, but I didn't believe you.  Let's get home.  Don't tell mother.
She'd think I'd be in for a siege of blood poisoning, and keep me in
bed.  I'll be all right.  But say, things have been happening lately;
haven't they?"

"I should say yes.  I'm sorry we missed that strange man to-day.  We
might have been able to get something about Paul out of him."

"I doubt it.  However, we had a great time with the snakes and monkeys.
Better not say anything about that at home, either, or dad and mom will
put a stop to our sailboat if they think that something happens every
time we go out in her."

"I guess that's right.  We'll lay low and say nothing."

But the story got out, for the skipper of the lighter told at the dock
in Seabright how two boys had come to his rescue, and the description
of them fitted our heroes.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with you chaps," said their father
after supper a few evenings later, as he looked at them over the top of
the paper.  "Seems to me you're always doing something."  He had heard
the lobster and snake stories from a friend that day.

"But this wasn't our fault," said Frank.  "We just had to help that
man."

"It was just the same as when they rescued me," put in Paul Gale, who
was sitting in an easy chair.  "I'd never be alive to-day only for
them."

"And it's too bad we missed getting a chance to talk with that strange
man," went on Andy, glad to change the subject.  "He might have told us
something about you, Paul."

"I doubt it," commented Mr. Racer.  "That man, whoever he is, has some
strong object in keeping out of our way.  I can't understand it, and
have half made up my mind to put detectives on the case, for I feel
sure that there is some strange mystery behind it all."

"Detectives, dad!" exclaimed Andy.  "Say, let Frank and me do the
detective work, and pay us the reward."

"Reward!  I never thought of that!" exclaimed the silk merchant.  "I
believe it would be a good idea to do that.  I'll put another
advertisement in the papers."

He did so.  But it brought no responses of any account, though many
irresponsible persons claimed to be able to solve the mystery of the
identity of Paul Gale.  However, they all proved to be "fakers," and
Paul was as hopeless as before.

"Never mind, we'll get on the track of it yet," declared Frank one day.

"Oh, if you only could!" sighed Paul.  "Perhaps my mother or father may
be anxiously looking for me, and can't find me.  Nor can I find them
until I know who I am."

"Well, we'll find out, if it's possible," declared Andy.  "I haven't
yet given up looking for your motor boat.  I suppose it was your boat?"
and he looked at the lad who, though yet partly an invalid, was rapidly
convalescing.

"I--I don't know," was the weak response.  "Sometimes I have a hazy
notion that I had many such things, an auto, a boat, a pony, and a rich
home, but it is all like a dream--a dream," and Paul buried his face in
his arms.

"Don't worry," spoke Mrs. Racer soothingly.  "Now you boys must stop
talking about this, and get on a more cheerful subject.  I want you all
to promise to come and see me play golf to-morrow.  We have a medal
match at the Harbor View links, and it will do you good to get in some
society, other than that of whales, wrecked motor boats and sailors.
You will be strong enough to come, won't you, Paul?"

"I--I think so.  I'm feeling better every day."

Paul went to the golf match in a carriage, and sat on the shady porch
of the clubhouse while the two Racer boys followed their energetic
mother about the links.

The sixteenth hole was down near the sandy shore of the bay, and while
Mrs. Racer was teeing up for a trial at the seventeenth, Frank and Andy
strolled toward the beach.

"It's a fine day for a sail," observed the younger lad.

"What!  Go off and not see mother win!" cried Frank.

"Oh, I was only joking."

"Hum!  Joking!" exclaimed Frank, and Andy laughed uneasily.

"There's someone in a boat headed this way," said Frank, after a pause.
"He's rowing fast, too."

"Looks like Bob Trent's dory," commented his brother.

"It is," was the answer.  "Wonder what he's in such a hurry about?"

They watched the rower in silence for a few minutes, while Mrs. Racer
played on, too interested in the game to miss her sons.  A little later
Bob's boat grounded on the shelving beach.  He leaped out, pulled it up
farther on the sands, and then, seeing the two Racer boys regarding
him, he sang out:

"There she blows!  A whale!  Almost dead, and headed for shore.  There
she blows!"

He pointed out across the bay.

"A whale?" cried Frank.

"Maybe it's our whale!" exclaimed Andy "Let's go out and get It!"

He looked at his brother.  Then both glanced over to where their mother
was posing for a difficult shot.

"Come on!" cried Andy, and Frank followed him in a race to the beach,
where Bob Trent awaited them.  Out on the bay they could see two misty
fountains of spray blown into the air--the spouting of the wounded
whale.



CHAPTER X

A RIVAL CLAIM

"Pull hard!" cried Andy Racer.

"Pull hard yourself," retorted his brother.

"We've all got to pull for all we're worth if we want to get that whale
before someone else does," added Bob Trent.  They were all three in the
old captain's big boat--the one in which Bob had been out clamming when
he sighted the wounded whale, and hastened to shore with the news.

"Do you think anyone else would want it?" asked Frank, as he labored at
the heavy oars.  There was room for the trio of lads to handle sweeps.

"Sure, most anyone would want a whale," replied Bob.  "It'll be worth a
lot of money to the fertilizer factory, and then there's the oil."

"Then there's the whalebone," put in Andy eagerly.  "We ought to get a
lot of money for that."

"This kind of a whale doesn't have the sort of bone that is valuable, I
believe," suggested Frank.  "It's only for the oil that they're hunted.
But still, if we can get this one we ought to knock out a pretty penny."

"If there was a lump of ambergris in it we all be millionaires!"
exclaimed Andy eagerly.

"Well, of course ambergris is said to be found in dead whales,"
admitted Frank, as he cast a look over his shoulder to observe their
course, "but our whale isn't dead yet."

"And? maybe we won't get it after all," went on Bob.  "Have you seen
him spout lately?"

"No, but then he may have sounded and it will be about fifteen minutes
before he comes up again," announced Frank.  "Was he nearly dead, Bob?"

"Pretty far gone.  Some gulls were hovering over him in anticipation, I
guess, and that's a good sign."

"I wonder what mom will say," came from Frank, after a pause.  "We sort
of promised we wouldn't go whaling again, Andy."

"I don't believe she'd care if she knew how it was, but we didn't have
time to tell her.  Besides, she doesn't like to be interrupted when she
golfing.  Anyhow, this whale is nearly dead and there can't be any harm
going for a dead one.  I was a live one she and dad were thinking about
when they warned us."

"I guess so," agreed Frank.  "Anyhow we're out now and we might as well
keep on.  I wonder----"

"There she blows again!" interrupted Bob excitedly, and he stopped
rowing long enough, to point to a spot in the bay not far distant.

"And she's spouting blood now!" fairly yelled Andy.  "That whale is
ours as sure as guns!  Have you a line aboard, Bob?"

"Yes, a long anchor rope, strong enough, I guess, for what I need.
Let's put in a little closer.  We can keep track of the whale now.
Don't lose sight of it."

"One of us had better keep on the watch," proposed Andy.

"What are you trying to do--get out of rowing?" asked his brother with
a laugh.

"No, we can take turns being lookout.  Only we don't want to lose sight
of the whale."

This was agreed to, and, as he had suggested it, Andy was allowed to
take his place in the bow and watch the progress of the immense animal.
It was a large whale, probably seventy-five feet long and big in
proportion.  It was swimming slowly along, about half submerged.

"Don't go too close," advised the younger Racer boy, in memory of what
had once happened to him when he first met the whale.  "It may remember
me and be anxious to finish up what it began."

"Do you suppose it's the same one?" Frank wanted to know.

"Shouldn't be a bit surprised," said Bob.  "There would hardly be two
whales around here so close together, and both injured.  That's your
whale sure enough.  But Andy's right, we must not get too near.  It
might take a notion to charge us."

Accordingly they sheered off, and rowed along in a course parallel with
that of the monster They had paid little attention to where they were
heading, and it was not until an exclamation from Frank drew their
attention to it that they noticed how far away from land they were.

"We'll have a fine long row to get back," observed Andy.

"Yes, towing the whale, too," added his brother.

"Maybe we'd better take a chance and make fast," suggested Bob.  "I
think I can get my anchor line over that harpoon I see sticking out and
then we can begin towing."

"Nixy on that!" exclaimed Andy quickly.  "We don't tackle any live
whales.  We'll wait for this one to die."

"I wish it would hurry up about it then," grumbled Frank.  "I don't
want to stay out here a night."

Suddenly, as he spoke there was a flurry of water about the dying
monster of the deep.

"Look out!" yelled Andy.  "It's coming for us."

"Back water!" shouted Bob.

They bent to the oars with a will, Andy taking up his discarded ones.
But they need not have been alarmed.  It was the last move the whale
was destined to make.  Rearing itself partly up out of the water the
monster suddenly sank, making such a commotion that the boat of the
boys was tossed about like a chip in the surf.

"He's sounded again!" shouted Andy.

"No, that's the end," said Bob, who had heard his father tell of
whaling voyages.  "The whale is dead, and he's gone to the bottom."

"Then we can't get it," came regretfully from Andy.

"Oh, yes we can," declared Bob.

"How?" Frank wanted to know.

"Why, after a whale dies, and sinks, gases very soon begin to form
inside it.  This swells it up like a balloon, and it comes to the top
again.  Then we can get it."

"How long will it take?" asked Andy, with an anxious look at the sun,
for it was getting late.

"Oh, maybe an hour, perhaps longer," replied Bob.  "We will just have
to hang around here until it comes up."

"I hope our folks don't get worried about us," remarked Frank, who was
a little uneasy about having gone off as they had so suddenly.  "We
left Paul at the clubhouse all alone, too."

"Oh, well, he won't mind.  There's lots going on, and we'll soon be
back--if we have luck," commented Andy.

"Queer about that Paul," spoke Bob.  "You haven't seen anything more of
that strange man; have you?"

"No, and I'm afraid we won't, either," declared the elder Racer boy.
"It seems to be a mystery we'll never solve.  If we could only find
that missing motor boat it might help some.  But I guess that's sunk,
though it was floating when we took Paul aboard our craft."

The boys rowed slowly about the spot where the whale had gone down,
casting eager glances from time to time at the rolling billows.  They
were careful to keep far enough away so that the rising monster would
not come up beneath them, and capsize the boat.

It was a little short of an hour when Frank, who had stood up to
stretch his cramped legs, suddenly uttered an exclamation:

"Look!" he cried, and pointed dead ahead.

Something rose from the sea, rolled over several times, and then swayed
gently with the motion of the waves.

"Our whale!" cried Andy.

"Dead as a door nail!" added Frank.

"Don't be too sure," cautioned Bob.  "Wait a minute."

They waited, but there was no motion to the monster save that caused by
the heaving ocean, and they ventured closer.

"Gee whizz!  He's big all right!" exclaimed Andy.

"That's right," agreed Bob.  "Now let's make this line fast to the
harpoon handle, and we'll tow him ashore."

"Why, there are two harpoons in him!" cried Frank, as a second shaft
was visible.

"There was only one when he tackled us," declared Andy.  "Someone else
must have had a try at killing him since he smashed my boat."

The other lads agreed that this was very probable, but there was no
time to speculate on it.  The anchor line was quickly made fast, and
being attached to the stern of the boat the work of towing the whale to
the beach was begun.

It was hard work, and it might seem that three boys could not
accomplish it.  But it is well known that once a large and heavy body
is started in motion in water, a slight force will keep it going.  It
was so in this case.

At first the three lads tugged and strained on the oars to little
advantage.  The whale did not move.  But finally persistance told, and
the inert body began to slide through the waves.  After that it was but
a matter of keeping at it.

"Oh, we'll get home before dark I guess," remarked Andy, when they had
rowed in silence for half an hour.

"If we don't we'll be in for it when we do arrive," prophesied Frank
half dubiously.  "Let's see if we can't get up a little more steam."

They quickened their strokes, and soon the coast line came into view,
having been hidden by mist.  Then they headed for the stretch of sand
of their home town.

"Where shall we land it?" asked Frank, nodding at the whale, floating
astern.

"Oh, a little way up from the big pier will be a good place, I guess,"
decided Bob.  "It's deep water close in to shore there, and we'll have
to get the body stranded where the tide won't carry it off.  Besides,
if we sell it to the fertilizer factory that's the best place for them
to come after it."

To this the Racer boys agreed, and by hard work they managed to reach
the beach before dark, towing the whale in as close to shore as
possible.

Their arrival was soon noticed by the people of Harbor View and as word
of what they had captured spread, a large throng soon gathered on the
beach.

"A whale!  Good land, what will them Racer boys do next?" one woman
wanted to know.  No one took the trouble to answer her.

"It's a fair-sized one, too," observed old Captain Obed Harkness.  "I
mind the time I was up in the Arctic after them critters.  We didn't
often git 'em bigger'n that."

"What you fellows going to do with it?" asked Harry Dunn, who sometimes
went clamming with Bob.  "Gee, I wish I'd been along."

"We're going to sell it to the fertilizer factory," said Andy.  Then he
added to his brother, in a low voice: "Hadn't we better telephone to
mother that we're here?  She may get wind of this and worry."

"Yes, I'll call her up," volunteered Frank.  "Then we'll see if we can
talk to someone at the fertilizer factory.  You stay here.  I'll be
right back."

"Say, why don't you put a tent over the whale, and charge admission to
see it?" asked Bert Ramsey.  "You could make a lot of money.  Summer
visitors from Seabright and other places would like to see a real
whale."

"Couldn't get a tent big enough without a lot of trouble," replied
Andy, as his brother hurried away.  Meanwhile the crowd on the beach
became larger, and there were new arrivals every second, as the news
spread.

"There's a big motor boat coming in here," suddenly remarked Bob to
Andy, as they stood near the head of the whale.

The Racer lad glanced across the darkening sea.  He had a momentary
idea that it might be the craft from which he and his brother had
rescued Paul Gale.  But a glance showed him that it was a fishing
vessel, that had been fitted up with a "kicker" or small gasolene
engine, the noise of which came across the bay as the craft was headed
toward the spot where the whale was stranded.

"Wonder what they want?" mused Andy.

"Out of gasolene, perhaps, and need a supply," suggested Bob.

Few paid any attention to the oncoming craft, as they were too
interested in looking at the whale.  Frank came hurrying back, and said
to his brother:

"It's all right.  Mother was just beginning to get worried.  But I
fixed it all right, and said we had the whale, and hadn't been in a bit
of danger."

"What about the fertilizer factory?"

"Couldn't get 'em on the wire.  To-morrow will do for that.  Now let's
get home.  The whale will be safe here, I guess."

"Let's see that the line is good and tight," suggested Bob, for the
ketch anchor cable had been carried up on shore and made fast to an old
bulkhead.

The three boys were just making their way through the crowd when the
oncoming motor boat came to a stop as near the shore as was possible to
run in.  Two men, in long rubber boots, leaped overboard and waded
through the shallow water.

"Here it is, Bill!" called the foremost.

"So you were right about it, Jack.  Those lads in the small boat did
have it."

The two burly fishermen elbowed their way through the throng, shoving
people to right and left as they approached the whale.

"Come now!" exclaimed the one called Jack.  "Get away from our whale!
We're going to tow it out again."

"Your whale!" cried Frank, who, hearing the words, quickly turned back
with his brother and Bob.

"Yes, our whale!" cried Bill.  "We harpooned it the other day, and
we've been hunting for it ever since.  We thought we saw a motor boat
towing it away to-day, and chased after it just about the time Jack
spied you lads in the rowboat hauling something.  Jack wanted to take
after you, but the rest of us thought the motor boat had our prize, so
we lost time until we found it was only a wrecked boat that they were
towing.  Then we came after you.  I wish we'd caught you before you
hauled this up on shore, as we're going to have trouble getting our
whale off again."

"What makes you say that's _your_ whale?" demanded Andy hotly.

"Because it is," answered Jack.  "We struck it, though it didn't die
right away.  Now you folks keep back, and we'll haul it off.  Come on,
fellows!" he called to the others in the motor boat.  "Lend a hand
here, it's bigger than I thought."

"That's not your whale, and you can't have it!" cried Frank
determinedly.  "We picked it up at sea, and towed it in.  My brother
and I saw it several days ago, and it struck one of our boats.  It's
our whale, and we intend to keep it."

"Get out of the way!" roughly cried the man called Bill.  "We haven't
time to bother with you," and he elbowed Frank to one side.



CHAPTER XI

A FIRE ON BOARD

Surprise at the bold claim of their rivals held the three boys almost
spellbound for a moment.  The possibility that someone should seek to
get possession of the whale they had brought ashore after such labor,
and almost as soon as they landed, had never occurred to them.  Yet the
fishermen seemed determined, for one of them began casting off Bob's
anchor line, and several more of the burly chaps, in their long rubber
boots, leaped overboard from the boat, and waded ashore.

"What had we better do?" asked Andy of his brother.  "Are you going to
let them take our whale?"

"Not much!" exclaimed Frank, with a determined tightening of his lips.
"I'm going to fight every inch.  They shan't take it away."

"Let's appeal to the crowd," suggested Andy.  "Tell 'em just how we
found the whale, and they won't let these men take it away from us."

Frank looked doubtful as to the wisdom of that course.  Meanwhile the
men were busily preparing to tow the whale away out to sea in the
powerful motor boat.

"If my father was only here," began Bob, "he would know what to do, and
what our rights were.  There are certain laws about whales and things
found at sea, and he'd make these fellows skip out if they were in the
wrong."

"Of course they're in the wrong!" cried Andy.  "Didn't we see the whale
first, and didn't we to it home?"

"But they say they harpooned it," said Bob,

"Yes, and there was only one iron in it, Andy, when it broke your
boat," added Frank.  "Now there are two harpoons in the back.  One
might be theirs.  I'm going to notify Justice Fanchard and see what he
says."

"Lively now, men!" called Bill, as Frank started off.

There was another movement on the outskirts of the throng, and someone
pushed his way in.

"It's dad!" cried Bob.  "Hey, dad!" he shouted.  "These men are going
to take our whale!  We just towed it in, Frank and Andy Racer and me!
Can these men take it?"

"Of course we can, kid!" cried one of the fishermen.  "Get out of the
way, if you don't want to be knocked down."

"Oh, it's you, is it, Jack Kett!" exclaimed Captain Trent.  "And Bill
Lowden and his crowd.  Well, you fellows would take anything, whether
it was yours or not.  Now jest hold on a bit.  Luff up and let's see
where we're at.  Maybe you're on the wrong course and need new
clearance papers.  Avast there, and let me know the particulars."

"There ain't any particulars except that we harpooned this whale, and
it's ours," growled Bill Lowden.  "You needn't be putting your oar in,
Cap'n Trent.  We know our rights.  There's our iron, and it's got the
name of our boat branded in it--the _Scud_--you can see if you light a
match," for it was now dark.

"Hum!  When did you strike it?" asked the captain, amid a silence, for,
as an old whaling master and one of the most influential residents of
Harbor View, the captain was universally respected.

"We were going along just outside the Shark's Teeth reef day 'fore
yesterday," spoke Jack Kett, "when our lookout spied the whale.  We
keep a couple of irons aboard for sharks, dogfish and the like, and it
didn't take long to sink one in this critter.  Then he sounded and we
couldn't pick him up again.  We've been looking for him ever since, and
to-day we thought we saw someone in a motor boat towing our whale away.
I explained how we got on the wrong course," and he detailed what is
already known to my readers.

"Then we found the whale here," went on Jack Kett, "and we're going to
have it."

"Hum," mused the captain.  "It looks as they had the right of it,
boys," he said in a low voice, to his son and the latter's chums.

"Ask them if the whale wasn't about dead when they harpooned it, and if
it didn't already have an iron in it?" suggested Frank.

"Another iron; eh?  That's a different story.  Somebody bring a
lantern," called the captain quickly.

One was procured, and the crowd made way while the aged whaleman
approached the dead beast.

"Here, you can see our iron," said Bill Lowden eagerly.  "There it is,
as plain as day, with our boat's name burned in the handle."

"Hum, that's right," admitted Captain Trent as he noted the harpoon.
"But what about this?" he asked quickly, pointing to a second one,
lower down, and in such a position that it could not be readily seen.
"Is that yours too?" and Captain Trent held the lantern so that the
gleam shone on the other implement.

"What's that?  Another harpoon?" cried Kett.  "Did we use two, boys?"
and he turned to the group of his men.

"No, only one," somebody answered.

"This has a brand on it too," went on Bob's father.  He held the
lantern nearer.  "The _Flying Fish_," he read as he saw the burned
letters.  "Guess that was in some time before your iron, Lowden, for
it's pretty well worn by sea water.  There's a prior claim to this
whale, and as long as no one is here from the _Flying Fish_ this prize
belongs to the boys that towed it in.  If you don't agree with that
jest say so, an' we'll go to law about it.  But I know my rights, and
these boys will get theirs."

"That's right!" cried several in the crowd.  "The whale belongs to the
boys."

Jack Kett and Bill Lowden looked at each other.  This was something for
which they had not bargained.  There was a murmur among their men.

"We--we didn't know the whale had been struck before," admitted Bill.

"That's right," chimed in his partner.  "We only want what's fair," he
went on, in more conciliatory tone than at first.

"That's the way to talk," commented Captain Trent.  "I admit you have
some claim on the whale, for your iron helped to kill it.  The law
gives you a tenth part, after other parties have landed the prize, and
I'll see that you get it.  Now if it's settled you fellows can go, and
I'll notify you when the money's ready."

"All right," assented Bill, after a conference with his partner and
men.  "I guess it's the best we can get out of it.  But it's hard to
lose a prize when you think you're got it.  I'm not blaming you boys,"
he added quickly, "for I guess you had a hard pull with it.  Come on,
men, we'll leave our case with Captain Trent."

It was an unexpected turn of affairs, and the boys were glad the
contest had ended in their favor.  They were congratulated on all
sides, and jokingly asked what they were going to do with the money,
which was likely to be quite a large sum.

"We're going to buy a whaling vessel, make Mr. Trent captain, and go
into the business," said Andy with a laugh.  He looked around for his
brother, and saw Frank talking to Kett.

"I heard you say something about seeing a boat towing something you
thought was the whale, but which turned out to be a wrecked motor
boat," began the elder Racer lad.  "What sort of a boat was the wrecked
one?"

"Well, it was pretty big, with a hood up forward, and it looked as if
it had been in a fire.  It was all blacked."

"A fire!" cried Frank eagerly, as the memory of the boat from which
Paul Gale had been rescued came to him.  "Are you sure of this?"

"Certain.  We were right close to 'em.  That's what made us lose so
much time.  If we'd taken after you boys in the first place we might
have found the whale ourselves."

"Bob Trent sighted the whale before he came for us," explained Frank,
"so he'd have first claim on it anyhow.  But which way was the motor
boat going?"

"Along toward Seabright.  Then it got hazy and we lost sight of it."

"Did you notice whether there was a tall, dark man aboard?" asked Frank
eagerly.

"Yes, there was such a chap," broke in Bill Lowden.  "And he seemed
mighty anxious about the wrecked boat in tow.  Why, do you know him?"

"I don't know--I've met him," said Frank, as he quickly turned to join
his brother.  Then he whispered to Andy: "Come away, I've got on the
track of the mysterious man and the wrecked motor boat.  I want to talk
to you."

Wonderingly, Andy followed.  There was no need to stay and guard the
whale, as Kett and his crowd were preparing to leave.  Soon Andy had
been told all that Frank had learned.

"What are you going to do?" asked the younger brother.

"We'll go to Seabright the first thing in the morning.  Maybe we can
find the man there.  I believe we're on the right track.  Let's go and
tell Paul."

There was no little excitement in the Racer home when Andy and Frank
arrived with their tale of the sea, the whale, and the quarrel about
it.  So interested were Mr. and Mrs. Racer that they did not chide
their sons for their partial disobedience of orders.  As for Paul, he
leaned forward eagerly in the easy chair, listening to the tale of the
brothers.

"Oh!  If I would only get strong enough go with you!" he exclaimed
regretfully.

"Don't worry, you will be strong soon," said Mrs. Racer kindly.

"It was rather mean of us to go away and leave you all alone, momsey,"
spoke Frank.  "And Paul, too.  But when Bob called us we just couldn't
resist."

"I'll forgive you," said the mother.  "I won my golf match after all,
and perhaps if you had followed me over the links I might not have done
so."

"And I didn't mind being left alone," added Paul.  "I'm so glad you got
the whale."

"And we may get your motor boat, and find out who that strange man is,"
said Frank.

"Now go slowly," advised Mr. Racer.  "I don't want you boys getting
into trouble and danger.  I think I had better attend to this matter
myself, only I can't very well stay away from the office to-morrow."

"Oh, we can do the work all right," declared Frank.  "We'll go in our
sailboat, it won't take us long.  Perhaps Paul will be strong enough to
come along."

"I wish I was," and the invalid shook his head.  "But somehow I don't
feel so well to-night."

"Then we must have Dr. Martin look at you," decided Mr. Racer, and, in
spite of Paul's protests the physician was summoned by telephone.

"It is nothing," he said after examining Paul.  "He exerted himself a
little too much to-day.  He must be quiet for a couple of weeks yet and
he'll be all right."

"Then that means no trip for you to-morrow," said Mrs. Racer kindly.
"Never mind, I'll amuse you while the boys are away pretending they are
detectives," and she smiled at Paul.

It was about nine o'clock when Frank happened to remember that he had
left aboard their sloop _Gull_ a book of adventures in which he was
much interested.

"I'm going down and get it," he announced.  "I won't be long."

"I'll go with you," offered Andy, and the two started off toward the
mooring place, which was near the big public pier.  The boys kept a
light skiff tied to the float and in this way they used to row out to
the sailboat.

As they approached the pier they heard confused shouts and cries coming
from the direction of the bay.

"Something's going on!" cried Frank, breaking into a run.

"Yes.  Sounds like someone in trouble," added Andy as he hollowed.

Once more came the cry, and this time the brothers could make it out:

"Fire!  Fire!  Fire!"

They turned a corner of the street that led straight out on the long
pier, and there caught sight of a cloud of smoke in the moonlight, and
saw dancing flames near the surface of the water.  Then Frank uttered a
cry of alarm:

"It's our boat--the _Gull_--she's on fire!" he yelled.



CHAPTER XII

THE STRANGER AGAIN

Frank and Andy ran as they had never run before.  Out on the long pier
they speeded, their eyes turned toward their boat which they could now
hardly see on account of the haze of smoke.

"How do you think it happened?" panted Andy.

"Don't know.  We've got to get the fire out first, and think afterward.
Come on, leg it faster!"

Once more they heard the cries of fire.

"That's Bob Trent!" called Frank.  "There he goes out in his boat!
We'll have to get some sort of a pump."

"That's--right!" gasped Andy.

The brothers were now at the gangway leading down to the float.
Several men and boys who had been fishing off the end of the pier were
gathered there, and it was they who had been shouting.

"Guess your boat's a goner," observed Captain Trent.  "Bob has gone out
to her."

There was now more smoke than fire aboard the _Gull_, but it seemed to
the boys only a matter of a few seconds when the flames would again
break out.

"Is there a pump?  Has anyone a pump?" begged Frank.

"Here's a small one they use to get the bilge water out of their motor
boats," said the dock master, for the pier was a station for a yacht
club, and the dock-keeper lived in a small house on the pier.  "It
doesn't throw much of a stream, though."

"Better use pails," cried Captain Trent.  "Here are a couple I use for
clams.  Take 'em along.  The fire started sudden-like, when we were all
standing here talking about the whale."

Andy and Frank did not stay to hear more.  Quickly they shoved off in
their skiff and were soon approaching the _Gull_, at the side of which
Bob Trent now was.

"It's a lot of hay smoldering!" he shouted.  "Maybe I can get it
overboard with my boathook.  Come on, fellows."

"Row!  Row!" cried Frank, for Andy had the only available pair of oars.

"I am rowing as hard as I can.  Hay on fire!  We had no hay on our
boat.  Someone must have put it there and tried to burn it!"

"I guess so.  But don't talk--save your breath for rowing."

A minute later Frank and Andy were beside Bob in his boat.  Dense smoke
was pouring from the _Gull_, and Frank, dipping up a pailful of water,
dashed it into the cockpit.  There was a hiss, showing that fire was
present.

"Wait!" cried Bob.  "I think I can pull the hay overboard now.  It's a
small bale."

He stood up and jabbed his boat-hook into something.  The next moment a
dark mass, in which red glowing embers could be seen, and which gave
out a dense smoke, splashed into the water with a loud hissing noise.

"There's still some fire in the boat!" cried Andy, as he saw tiny
tongues of flame.

"Yes, the woodwork is on fire, but a little water will douse that,"
cried Frank, as he caught up another pailful.  With Bob using the
second pail, and Andy the pump, the fire was soon put out.

"Not so much damaged," observed Frank, as the three boys went aboard,
and examined the craft with a lantern.  "But how in the world did it
start--or, rather, who put the hay here and set fire to it?"

"That's the question," admitted Bob.  "All I know is that I was
standing talking to dad, when I smelled smoke, and saw it coming from
your boat."

"Did you see anyone around it to-night?" Andy wanted to know.

"Not a soul.  We'll ask the pier master."

But when the boys, after making sure that no sparks of fire remained,
had gone back to the float, the dock master could give them no
information.  He had not noticed any suspicious characters about, but
it was admitted that under cover of darkness, before the moon had
risen, someone might have rowed silently to the side of the _Gull_ and
started the fire smoldering in the bale of hay.

"But why would they want to do it?" asked Captain Trent.

"Give it up," said Frank.  "Well, we might as well get back home, Andy.
Will you keep your eyes open for any more fires, Mr. Robinson?" he
asked of the caretaker of the yacht station.

"Sure I will, and they'll find they're in the wrong harbor if they try
any more tricks like that."

"Have you any suspicions?" asked Andy of his brother, as they were on
their way home.

"I sure have," was the answer.

"What are they?"

"Well, either the men who were disappointed in not getting the whale
did this, or it's up to that mysterious man who knows Paul Gale."

"I believe it's the latter.  He wants to discourage us from trying to
get on his track."

"Probably.  Well, we won't say anything about that part of it at home,
though we'll have to mention the fire.  I hope we can make our trip
to-morrow to Seabright."

"So do I."

It was found the next morning that the _Gull_ was not much damaged,
and, though it smelled strongly of smoke, the two brothers did not mind
that as they prepared for the cruise to Seabright.

"Think we'll get any clue?" asked Andy, as he cast off, while Frank ran
up the sail.

"Well, it won't be from want of trying.  We'll keep a good lookout on
the way up, and then we'll go ashore there and make some inquiries.
I'm going to get at the bottom of this mystery if it's at all
possible," and Frank looked very determined as he fastened the throat
and peak halyards on the cleats and looked to see if the sheet was
running free in the blocks.

On the trip up the coast the boys kept a sharp watch for anything
resembling a wrecked motor boat, or for one in good condition
resembling the towing craft of which Jack Kett had spoken.  They saw
nothing, however, even though they sailed out to sea several miles.

"Let's head for Seabright now," proposed Andy, as they swung about on a
long tack.  "Maybe he's there waiting for us."

"He'll run if he sees us," jokingly replied Frank.

In about an hour the boys had made their craft fast to the Seabright
pier, and going to the office of the dock master they inquired for a
motor boat that answered the description of the one for which they were
looking.

"We have so many craft here in the summertime," said the dock official,
"that it's a pretty hard matter to remember 'em all.  I don't recall
the boat you speak of, and I'm sure no motor craft that was partly
burned has put in here.  But speaking of a tall dark man, I recollect
now that Jim Hedson, who runs the sailboat _Mary Ann_, was telling me
he had a fellow come to him and want to hire her.  Maybe that's the
fellow you're looking for."

"Perhaps!" agreed Andy eagerly.  "Where is Jim Hedson?"

"Over there," and the dock master pointed to where a group of sailors
and fishermen were seated on an overturned boat on the beach.

"We'll talk to him," proposed the elder Racer lad, and, followed by his
brother, he approached the little gathering.  Before they reached the
men Andy uttered a sudden exclamation.

"Look!" he cried to his brother, pointing up the street which led down
to the water front.  "That man--the mysterious stranger--here he comes!"

"Sure enough!" agreed Frank, as he saw a tall dark man hurrying toward
the pier.  "That's him all right."

The boys stood waiting, hoping against hope that they could now solve
the mystery.  The man hastened forward.  All at once he caught sight of
the lads.

Like a flash he wheeled about and fairly ran back up the street, while
Frank took after him calling:

"Hey!  Hey!  Wait a minute!  Stop!"



CHAPTER XIII

A MIDNIGHT SCARE

There was a trolley line, newly built, which ran through Seabright,
touching some of the other seacoast towns, but not Harbor View.  As
luck would have it, just when Frank Racer took after the strange man,
hoping to make him stop by calling to him, one of the trolley cars came
past.

In a flash the man had jumped aboard the electric vehicle, and, as fate
would have it, the motorman happened to be behind time.  No sooner was
the queer stranger in the car, which had not even stopped for him, than
the knight of the controller handle swung it clear around in an
endeavor to keep up to his schedule, and with a whizz the car darted
off.

"Wait!  Wait!" yelled Frank, waving at the conductor.  The latter
shouted something, what it was the lad could not make out.  Andy rushed
up and joined his brother.

"Missed him; didn't we?" exclaimed the younger lad ruefully.

"Yes, worse luck," replied Frank.  "He always seems to get away from
us."

"There'll be another car along in fifteen minutes, boys," said a kindly
fisherman passing along.

"It wasn't the car we wanted, it was someone on it," answered Frank.
"Fifteen minutes will give him such a start that we can't follow him."

"Was he a pickpocket?" asked the fisherman.

"We don't know what he was," said Andy.  "Come on, Frank, we'll go back
and talk to Jim Hedson."

"I was thinking of taking the next car, and keeping after this fellow,"
spoke Frank, with his usual determined manner.

"What would be the use?" asked Andy, who generally took the easiest
way.  "He might get off anywhere along the line, and we could hunt all
day and not find him.  It would be time wasted."

"I guess you're right," assented Frank, with a sigh.  "But I hate to
give up.  I'm sure there's some great mystery back of all this, and
Paul and that man are in some manner connected with it.  I shouldn't be
surprised if that man had wronged Paul in some way."

"How, by taking his motor boat?"

"No, in some other way.  It was a queer thing why Paul should be out in
his boat alone in the blow.  Then to have the boat disappear, and to be
seen again towed by this man."

"You're not sure of the last part."

"I am pretty sure.  But let's ask Mr. Hedson what he knows about it."

The boys did not find the boatman in a very kindly frame of mind.  He
greeted them rather sulkily as they approached:

"What do you lads mean by scaring off customers?" he asked.

"We didn't scare him off," answered Frank sturdily.

"What do you call it then?  Wasn't he coming here to hire a sailboat
off me, and didn't you chase after him, and make him leave on the car?
Now he'll likely go to Hank Weston at Edgemere, and hire a boat off
him.   I lose the trade."

"We're sorry," explained Frank, "but if you noticed that man you saw
that he ran as soon he saw us.  We didn't say a word to him. He just
turned tail and sprinted."

"So I see," grumbled Mr. Hedson, "but I thought maybe you flew some
kind of a distress signal."

"We were only too anxious to talk to him," put in Andy.  "But he's
afraid of us."

"Afraid; why?"

"Well, there's some mystery about him," went on Frank, "and we'd like
to discover it.  It's connected with a boy whom we saved from a gale."
And he told about Paul, and how the man had hastened away that day on
the beach.  "Do you know anything about him?" finished the elder Racer
lad.

"Only this," spoke the boatman, not quite so angry now.  "He come to
see me yist'day, and asked if I had a sailboat I could hire out for a
few days.  He said he wanted to go cruising out to sea to bring in a
boat of his that was disabled."

"A boat!" interrupted Frank eagerly.  "Did he say what kind?  Was it a
damaged motor boat?"

"He didn't say, and I didn't ask him.  I arranged with him to take my
_Spray_ and he was to come to-day and get her.  Now you see what
happened."

"We're sorry to have spoiled your business," spoke Frank regretfully,
"but perhaps it's just as well you didn't hire that man your boat.  I
don't believe he's to be trusted," and he told about the suspicion they
had that the stranger had already been seen towing a disabled motor
boat with a gasolene craft.

"The question is, where has he left the damaged boat--Paul's boat?"
went on Andy.  "This thing is getting more and more complicated.  Why
should he want a sailboat to go out and tow in the motor craft, when he
was seen in power vessel yesterday?"

"Maybe whoever owned the power vessel took it away from him," suggested
Frank.

"I wouldn't wonder but what you're right!" exclaimed Jim Hedson,
slapping his big pain down on his broad leg.  "Now I think of it, I
didn't like the looks of that man.  He wouldn't look you square in the
eye, but kept shifting around.  I'm just as glad I didn't hire him my
_Spray_, and I'm sorry I took you fellows up so short.  I'll keep a
lookout for that man, and if I see or hear anything of him I'll let you
know.  You're cottaging over Harbor View way; aren't you?  I think I've
seen you there."

"Yes, we're the Racer boys," replied Frank, "and we'll be obliged to
you if you can put us on the track of this man.  It isn't so much for
our sake, as that we want to find out who Paul Gale is."

"Paul Gale!" exclaimed Mr. Hedson "That's a good name for the lad found
as he was.  Well, I'll do my best."

"Where to now?" asked Andy, as he followed his brother up the street.

"To the fertilizer factory.  I think we can make a deal with them about
our whale better by talking than over the telephone."

"We ought to have some of Chet Sedley's fifteen cent perfume if we're
going up there," said Andy.  "It smells worse than ten skunks on a wet
night."

"Oh, well, I guess we can stand it a little while."

The fertilizer factory, where fish, chiefly menhadden, were ground up
and treated, before being spread on farms and gardens to enrich them,
was not a very delightful place.  The boys soon located the manager,
who had heard about their whale, and he made them a good offer for it,
agreeing to take the carcass away promptly.

Paul improved but slowly, and, as far as his mind was concerned, there
was no change.  The past was an entire blank to him, and Dr. Martin, as
the days passed, shook his head in doubt.

"I'm afraid it's going to take a long time," he said.

"Have you given up hope, Doctor?" asked Mrs. Racer, as she followed him
from Paul's room.

"No, not entirely, but I'm disappointed that there is not a glimmer of
the past.  Perhaps if he could see something or someone connected with
his former life it might produce a shock that would start the sluggish
brain cells to working.  Otherwise I don't know what can be done."

Andy and Frank, in their goings to and fro about the bay in their
sailboat, kept a close watch for the mysterious man.  But they did not
see him.  Neither had Jim Hedson heard anything.

"I guess you'll have to give it up," said Paul one night, when, with
his chums and Mr. and Mrs. Racer, he was discussing the case.  "You
better ship me off somewhere.  I--I'm afraid I'm becoming a burden to
you."

"Not a bit of it!" cried Frank heartily.  "Andy and I always wanted
another chum, an' now we've got him."

"Don't you feel strong enough to come for sail with us to-morrow?"
asked Andy.

"I think so," answered Paul.  "Dr. Martin said I could go for a walk
to-morrow."

"Then we'll arrange for a sail," decided Frank.  "It will do you lots
of good."

"But mind, no chasing after whales, dead or alive!" stipulated Mr.
Racer, with a laugh.

"All right," agreed his sons.

Paul soon afterward went to his room.  A chamber on the ground floor,
with a window opening into the garden had been fitted up for him, to
save him the necessity of climbing up and down stairs.  It was in this
little chamber that, soon afterward, he went to bed, hoping against
hope that he might awaken on the morrow with his memory restored.

It was about midnight when Frank, who was a light sleeper, was awakened
suddenly by hearing a noise under his window.  He occupied the room
over Paul.

"I wonder if he's sick?" he thought, as he arose softly.  "Perhaps he
is, and doesn't want to call anyone.  I'll take a look I guess."

Before going down, however, Frank stepped to his window, softly raised
the screen, and looked out.  As he did so he was startled by a shrill
cry from the room below him.  It was Paul's voice, and the mysterious
lad was crying:

"Get away!  Leave me alone!  What do you want of me again?  Oh, why
can't you let me alone!"

"What's the matter?" shouted Frank in alarm.

"That man!  He's after me again!" screamed Paul.

Before Frank could leave his window to rush to the aid of the lad below
him, he saw a bright light flash out from the casement of the boy who
had no memory.  In an instant Frank recalled that it must be the
portable electric light with which they had furnished the invalid in
case he wanted to get up in the night.

Then a movement below him attracted Frank's attention, and he saw a
dark figure spring from Paul's window.  As this happened the light
flashed out once more, and in the glare of it the elder Racer lad saw
the countenance of the mysterious man, while Paul called out in fear:

"Oh, don't come near me!  Let me alone!  I'm afraid of you!"

Then it became dark, and Frank could hear someone crashing away through
the bushes of the garden.



CHAPTER XIV

THE WRECK AGAIN

"Paul, are you hurt?  I'm coming!  Father, turn on the light!  Someone
tried to get in Paul's room!"

Thus Frank cried as he made his way through the darkness to the hall,
and fairly ran down the stairs.  He knew every foot of the way.

"What's the matter?" yelled Andy.

"Oh, dear!  Is it burglars?" screamed Mrs. Racer.

"Careful, boys!" shouted Mr. Racer, as he stepped out into the hall
from his room, nearest to which the electric switch was, and flashed on
the incandescents.  "Don't run into danger."

Andy was now following his brother, having caught up a heavy fishing
rod, bound together, as a substitute for a club.

"Paul, are you hurt?" cried Frank again, and by this time he was at the
room door of the lad who had been so alarmed by the midnight visitor.

"No, I--I'm all right," was the panting answer, and Paul met Frank at
the portal, throwing the gleam of the hand electric all about.  Frank
turned on the regular light in Paul's room, and looked around.  The
wire mosquito screen was raised, showing how the intruder had gained
entrance.  By this time Andy and Mr. Racer had joined Frank and Paul,
and Mrs. Racer had been assured that whoever had entered was now
outside the house.

"But what was it?  Who was it?" demanded Mr. Racer.

"I--I--" began Paul, who was trembling from fright.

"I know who it was, I saw him!" interrupted Frank.  "It was the same
man we met on the beach--the mysterious man who knows something about
Paul but who won't tell!  What did he do to you, Paul?"

"Nothing.  That is, as far as I know.  I was sleeping soundly when I
heard a noise in my room, and I could just see someone moving about
around the bureau, opening drawers.  At first I thought it was one of
you boys, or Mr. Racer, and then I knew you wouldn't come in without
making a light.

"I reached under my pillow where I kept this electric lamp, and flashed
it.  As I did so the man came toward my bed.  Then I saw who he was and
I yelled.  I thought he was going to take me away."

"Take you away?" questioned Frank.  "Do you know him--have you seen him
before?"

"Yes!" suddenly exclaimed Paul.  "I--I know him!  His name is--"

"That's what we want to know--who is he?" interrupted Andy eagerly.

"He is--his name is--Oh, why can't I remember?" cried poor Paul,
passing his hand over his forehead in despair.  "I thought it was
coming to me, but it's faded away again!  Oh, why can't I recall who he
is?  Then I know the mystery would be solved.  But I can't--it's
all--so--so hazy.  Only I know that this man had something to do with
me--and, yes, I'm beginning to recall it now--my father also.  He
wanted to harm me--or was it my father?  I can't--"

"Now look here," broke in Mr. Racer kindly, "this won't do, you know.
You must calm yourself, Paul.  I can't let you excite him, boys.  Here
is some quieting medicine Dr. Martin left, Paul.  Take that and in half
an hour you will be calmer.  Then you can tell us all you recollect.
Perhaps by that time your memory will be stronger.  Meanwhile, if you
boys want to do something why don't you get some clothes on, and go
with Jake the gardener to see if you can get any trace of that
scoundrel?  I'll call up the police."

"Good!" cried Frank.  "That's what we'll do.  Come on, Andy."

The two boys were soon scouring the garden with lantern, accompanied by
Jake, the man of all work.  But they had little hope of coming upon the
intruder.  They found the place where he had burst through the currant
bushes after leaping from Paul's window, and there were his footprints
in the soft earth; but that was all.

"He's far enough off by this time," declared Andy.  "Let's go in and
see if Paul can tell us anything."

They found their friend much quieter.  Mr. and Mrs. Racer had dressed,
and Paul had on his clothes.  They were sitting in the dining room, Mr.
Racer drinking some hot coffee Mary had made.

"We'll have a little midnight supper," said the boys' mother with a
faint laugh.  "I'm sure I won't get to sleep again to-night."

"Did you see anything of him?" asked their father.

Frank shook his head.  "What about Paul?" he asked.  "Can he remember
anything?"

"I wish I could," said the unfortunate youth, with a sigh.  "But it's
all so hazy.  As soon as I saw that man's face in the light I knew I
had met him before, and that he was an enemy of mine.  But I can't
grasp any details.  I flashed the light on him as he was getting out of
the window."

"That's how I happened to see him," said Frank, in explanation, "and
how I knew him to be the mysterious man."

"Did he touch you?" asked Andy.

"No," answered Paul, "though I don't know what he might have done if I
hadn't awakened as I did."

"Did he take anything of yours from the room?" asked Mr. Racer.

"I haven't anything of my own, except the clothes I wore when the boys
rescued me, so he couldn't get anything."

"But you said he was at the bureau," went on Frank.

"Nothing is missing from there," said Mrs. Racer quickly.

"Perhaps he thought Paul had some important papers," suggested Andy.

"I'm sure I haven't," and once more the unfortunate youth passed his
hand across his forehead.  "I wish I could recall when it was, and
under what circumstances, I met that man before.  But I can't.  Only
I'm sure of one thing--he is an enemy of mine--and of my father."

"Can you recall anything of your father--or mother?" asked Mrs. Racer
softly.

"No," answered Paul with a shake of his head; and tears filled his eyes.

"Well, I know one thing!" exclaimed Frank decidedly.  "I'm going to
have another try at finding that man.  I'm sure he's in this vicinity
now.  He's hanging around here for some reason, and we have a double
motive in locating him.  I believe he set our boat on fire," and for
the first time he told his parents of his suspicions.

"Be careful if you do meet him," cautioned Mr. Racer.  "He is evidently
a dangerous character.  Now to see what the police can do, and then
we'll go back to bed."

The police could do very little, as might be expected, though they
promised to keep a lookout for the fellow.  They made an utterly
useless inspection of the house and grounds, and left.  Then the family
and Paul went to bed to get what little sleep they could.

Frank and Andy discussed the matter long and earnestly the next day.
Paul was not so well, on account of the fright, and so it was not
thought wise to have him accompany them on a sailing trip.

"I'm not so sure it will do any good to go off in our boat," declared
Andy.  "That fellow is just as likely to be on land as at sea."

"I think he's more likely to be at sea," declared Frank.  "He wants to
get that damaged motor boat."

"Well, let's try looking for him ashore a while and if that doesn't
amount to anything, I'll go sailing with you," suggested the younger
brother.

To this Frank agreed; and for several days he and his brother went from
one seacoast settlement to another, making inquiries.  Nothing,
however, came from them.  They spent much time riding back and forth on
the electric car line, hoping they might unexpectedly meet the
mysterious man there, but he kept out of their way as if he knew they
were on his trail.

"Well, now for a sailing cruise!" exclaimed Frank, one morning, and
Andy announced that his theory had been tried and found wanting.  The
brothers wanted to take Paul, but he was not well enough, so, having
taken along a supply of provisions, if they should be becalmed and kept
out all night, as was sometimes the case, they set sail, beating up
along the coast.

There was a fair wind, that freshened at noon, but which died out
toward evening, and finally there settled over the ocean a dead calm.

"It's us out for all night, unless you can whistle up a wind," said
Frank grimly.

"We'll both try," proposed Andy, and they whistled all the tunes they
knew, but without avail.

Then, having lighted their lamps, and cooked a supper on the oil stove
in the small galley, they prepared to spend the night at sea.  They had
often done it before, for their craft was a staunch one, and as they
had said at home that they might be detained, they knew their folks
would not worry.

They stood watch and watch, of several hours at a stretch, and Frank
was on duty when the gray and misty night began to be dispelled by the
rosy sun rising from the water.  As he glanced across the slowly
heaving billows, something in the very path of Old Sol's smiling beams
caught his eye.

It was a sailboat, somewhat larger than the _Gull_, but it was not the
sight of the craft itself that attracted Frank's attention.  It was
something trailing behind.

"Andy!  Andy, come up here!" called elder Racer lad.

"What's the matter?" demanded his brother, coming from his berth in the
tiny cabin, and rubbing his sleepy eyes.  "See another whale?"

"No, but look at that sailboat?  Isn't it dragging something?"

"It sure is!"

"What do you make it out to be?"

"It looks like--why it's a motor boat, and it looks as if it had seen
hard usage."

"That's what I thought, and I'll miss my guess if that isn't the very
boat that blew up when Paul Gale was in it."

"I believe you're right.  Wait a minute."  Andy disappeared, to return
a moment later with a pair of powerful glasses.  He focused the
binoculars on the object trailing behind the sailing craft.  Then he
uttered a cry:

"It's the damaged motor boat!  We're on the track of it again!  Let's
chase after it and see who has it!"



CHAPTER XV

ORDERED BACK

The wind had freshened and was now blowing at a lively rate.  Andy and
Frank sprang to the sails, even hoisting a small jib which they seldom
used.  But now they wanted all the speed they could get, for the craft
which was towing the damaged motor boat was some distance away, and was
rapidly drawing ahead.

"Can we catch her, do you think?" asked Andy, as he gave the tiller
over to his brother.

"We've got to," was the answer with quiet determination.  "Suppose you
get something to eat while I handle the boat?  We may not have time to
cook anything after we come up to them."

"Are you going to come to close quarters?"

"I'm going to try to get near enough to see if the mysterious man is
aboard, and if he is, I'm going to fire some questions at him, and let
him know that he's liable to arrest for entering our house the other
night."

"I'd like to fire something else besides questions at him.  I've got my
small rifle aboard."

"None of that!" objected Frank quickly.  "We'll proceed on lawful
lines, no matter what he does.  Now, Miss _Gull_," and he patted the
rail of the craft, "do your prettiest.  See if you can't catch up to
those fellows."

The wind continued good and the boys' craft slipped through the water
at a lively rate of speed.  Andy busied himself in the galley, whence
soon came the appetizing odor of coffee, bacon and eggs.

"Hurry up with that!" called Frank.  "I'm as hungry as a crab."

"It's almost ready," replied his brother.  "Shall I bring it up, or
will you come down?"

"You get yours first, and then relieve me.  I don't want to eat with
one hand and steer with the other.  Only don't be all morning, and
leave some for me."

There was enough, as Frank soon discovered, and when he came up on deck
again he found Andy leaning against the tiller and peering at the
distant vessel through the binoculars.

"Can you make out anything?" he asked.

"No, I can see several men aboard, but I don't notice our mysterious
friend."

"Do they seem to be paying any attention to us?"

"Not a bit.  Guess they don't even know we are here.  I don't believe
we are going to catch up to them, though."

"Oh, yes we are.  The _Gull_ is plenty fast, and they are handicapped
by dragging that motor boat in the water.  It must be partly filled, as
it sets so far down, and that makes it all the harder to tow.  We're
gaining on them."

"Not so's you could notice it."

"Oh, well, we've got all day, and grub enough for another night.  I'm
not going to give up this chase until I have to, or until I've solved
the mystery."

"And I'm with you."

There is not much excitement in a sailing race, as the boys very soon
found out.  There was nothing they could do, which would have been the
case in a motor craft, to add to their speed.  All they could do was to
sit and let the wind carry them.  And they were glad to see that the
breeze was continually freshening.

"There'll be another gale before night, if this keeps up," predicted
Frank.

"Let it," assented Andy.  "The _Gull_ likes heavy weather, and we can
stand it."

"Yes, but father and mother will be worried about us.  If it comes on
to blow too hard we'll have to turn back."

"And let that man get away?"

"There'd be no help for it.  But we haven't turned back yet, and now
his craft ought to be easy to trace."

Once more they looked through the glass at the vessel ahead of them.
They could see sailors moving about on deck, but that was all.  No sign
of the tall dark man was visible.

"Perhaps he isn't aboard," suggested Andy.

"It can't be helped," answered his brother.  "We want the motor boat
almost as much as we want the man, and we can't take our choice I'm
afraid.  But we are certainly creeping up on them."

This was true, for while two miles had at first separated the vessels,
the distance was now narrowed to a little less than a half mile, and
the _Gull_ was sailing better than was her rival.

"What are you going to do when you get within hailing distance?" asked
Andy, after a pause.

"I don't know--haven't exactly made up my mind," was the answer of the
elder Racer lad.  "But I'll have to soon."

Frank was giving all his attention to managing the _Gull_, so as to
gain every foot.  Andy went up forward now and then to report progress.

"Hey, Frank!" he suddenly called, "there's something doing on board."

"What makes you think so?"

"Why the whole crowd of them have come aft and are looking at us for
all they're worth."

"Are they using glasses?"

"No--yes, they are too!  A new man has come up on deck, and he's got a
pair.  He's training them on us."

"Good!  That shows they're worried.  Take our glasses and see what you
can make out."

Andy looked long and earnestly.  Then he let out a yell.

"It's him!  It's that mysterious man!" he shouted.  "He's excited, too,
for he's making motions to the crew!"

"Good!  Watch him carefully.  We'll be up to them in about five
minutes."

Andy watched.  In a minute he gave another cry.

"What is it?" asked Frank.

"They're laying-to--waiting for us, I guess."

"They won't have long to wait," declared Frank grimly.

The _Gull_ was swiftly slipping through the water.  In a little while
it was almost abeam of the craft towing the mysterious motor boat.
Frank threw her head up into the wind, and, as he did so a voice from
the other sailboat hailed him.

"_Gull_ ahoy!  Are you trailing us?"

It was the mysterious man calling, and he was standing on the rail.

"Yes, we are," answered Frank boldly.

"Well, what do you want?"

"We want to find out who you are, what you have to do with a boy named
Paul, why you have his motor boat in tow, and why you entered our house
like a thief in the night."

"Hu!  That's a lot of questions.  And I suppose you think they'll be
answered," commented the man, in sneering tones.

"I do," said Frank calmly.  "Where are you going with that boat?"

"None of your business!" snapped the man.  "And I want to tell you one
thing more.  You've got to quit trailing after us, too!"

"Suppose we refuse?" asked Andy.

"Then it will be the worse for you.  Meldrick, just run that brass
cannon over on this side."

A moment later the muzzle of a small brass gun was pointed menacingly
at our heroes.

"There's my answer," went on the mysterious man.  "If you persist in
following us you'll be plugged below the water line.  Now you go back
where you came from, and keep away.  Don't try to meddle with what
doesn't concern you."

"This does concern us--or, rather a friend of ours," said Frank
determinedly.  "And what's more, we're going to swear out a warrant for
your arrest for setting fire to our boat with a bale of hay."

The man on the rail started.

"Are you going to turn back?" he shouted.

"No!" declared Frank.

"Get ready to fire," said the scoundrel calmly.

"I guess they've got us," spoke Andy, in a low voice to his brother.
"We can't risk being fired at."

"No, I suppose not," answered Frank bitterly.  "We'll have to run back."

He let the head of his craft fall off in the wind.

"That's more sensible," commented the man on the rail.  "Good-bye!" he
called sarcastically as the vessels separated, the one towing the
damaged motor craft forging ahead, while the _Gull_ sailed off on the
backward tack.

There were bitter feelings in the hearts of Frank and Andy Racer.  They
had almost solved the mystery, only to lose at the last moment.  But
they resolved not to give up.



CHAPTER XVI

ON THE SEARCH

For some time after they had been ordered back from their pursuit of
the strange vessel neither Frank nor Andy said anything.  They were
thinking too hard for mere words.  Finally the younger lad expressed
himself.

"Well, wouldn't that spoil your clam chowder?"

"It sure would," agreed Frank, who was used to queer remarks from his
brother.

"He must be up to something crooked or he wouldn't be so anxious to
have us stop following him," went on the younger Racer lad.

"That's right.  And I was so sure I'd find out what the mystery was!
But I didn't count on the cannon."

"No, it wouldn't have been safe to risk a shot.  We might have sunk."

"But I'll not give up!" exclaimed Frank determinedly.  "We've got some
clues now, and we can follow them.  Just notice which way they're
sailing, Andy."

"What good will that do?"

"I intend to circle back in a short time, and see if I can pick them
up.  It's one thing for him to order us back, but we have just as much
right on the ocean as he has, and he can't keep us off.  If we stay far
enough back they can't see us, and we can find out where they're going."

"Where do you think they're heading for?"

"Give it up, but I know one thing.  It's evident that this man, whoever
he is, wants to keep out of observation.  That is proved by the fact
that he once had this damaged motor boat in tow of another gasolene
craft, and for some reason he gave it up.  He may have anchored it in
some out-of-the-way place, and has only just now gone for it.  That's
what he wanted of Jim Hedson's boat, but we spoiled his plans.  Now he
has another sailing craft to tow the prize in."

"I believe you're right, Frank, but where do you suppose he's taking
it?"

"Give it up, but I'm going to keep on the search for him.  If there's a
chance of bringing back Paul's memory I'm going to do it."

"And I'm with you!" exclaimed Andy heartily.

The two brothers cast backward glances at the vessel with which they
had had a clash.  It was rapidly disappearing in a slight haze that was
arising, and soon Frank thought it would be safe to turn about, sail
with the wind, and take after the mysterious man.

But he did not count on the weather.  Soon the wind increased in
violence, and there was a choppy sea.

"I don't like this," remarked Andy, as their small craft pitched and
tossed on the waves.  "I don't mean I'm seasick, or anything like that,
but we're getting pretty far out, and with a storm coming on toward
night--"

"That's right," agreed Frank.  "We'll have to turn back.  It's tough
luck, just as we're on the right track, but it can't be helped.  It
wouldn't be right to make mom and dad worry.  We'll beat it back for
home."

But the wind came up with such sudden violence, and the sea ran so
high, that the best the boys could do was to run for shelter.  In fact
it was only with considerable risk that they made a safe harbor, for
with a rising tide and a cross current their small craft was in a bad
way.

"We'll never make Harbor View!" cried Frank above the noise of the wind
and the spatter of the salt spume on deck.

"What'll we do then?" shouted Andy.  The two brothers had donned their
oilskins which were glistening with moisture in the fading light of the
day.

"Run for Mardene and anchor there.  Then we can go home on the
railroad."

"All right.  Got any cash?"

"Enough for fares I guess."

It was some hours later when two tired boys entered the Racer cottage,
where they found their father and mother not a little alarmed at their
absence in the storm which had rapidly developed.

"But we're on the right track!" cried Frank with enthusiasm.

"How's that?" asked his father.

"We saw the mysterious man, and he had your motor boat, Paul."

"I'm not sure it was my boat," answered Paul.  "I can't seem to
remember that I ever owned one."

"Well, that man had possession of it, whoever it was," went on Andy.
"And he was quite threatening, too," he added, as he related about the
brass cannon.

"I'm glad you boys had sense enough to turn back," spoke Mr. Racer.
"Don't take any chances with such scoundrels.  The probability is that
he wouldn't have shot at you, but it isn't safe to run the risk.  But,
Paul, is your memory any better for what Frank and Andy have told you?"

"No, I'm afraid not.  I think--yes, I can remember something more!" he
suddenly cried.  "I think I was once in a chase after that same man.
Now that you boys speak of it my mind is a little clearer, but there is
still that haze.  I'm sure I was after that man for something that
belonged to me or my father.  And I remember something else?"

"What is it?" cried Andy eagerly.

"It has something to do with a doctor.  My father is ill, or was ill, I
can dimly recollect that.  And I seem to see a nurse in a uniform,
and--and--but it is all so hazy and blank!" and again the poor lad
passed his hand over his aching head, in a vain endeavor to remember.

"There, never mind," soothed Mrs. Racer.  "That's enough for to-night.
My! how it rains!  I'm glad you boys are not out in the storm."

"Just the same, I wish we were after that man," said Frank in a low
voice.

For three days the storm continued, and with such violence that the
Racer boys could not even go after their boat which they had left at
Mardene.

Then, on the fourth day, the clouds broke and the sun shone.  There was
a brisk wind, and Frank proposed that they take a train and get the
_Gull_, sailing her back to Harbor View.

"Before you go I wish you'd call at Captain Trent's fish store, and get
me some lobsters," requested Mrs. Racer.  "I want some for dinner
to-night."

"And Andy wants one for a leg bracelet," added Frank with a laugh.

"Aw, cut it out!" begged his brother.

They stopped in the fish store on their way to the depot.  There they
found Bob, busily engaged in putting up clams, and other products of
the sea, for customers.  Andy remarked to the captain that he thought
he had a new clue to the mysterious man.

"And that reminds me, that I meant to ask you where he would likely be
heading for when he drove us back," put in frank.

"Where was he?" inquired the old seaman, and the brothers described the
location.

"By Neptune!" suddenly exclaimed the captain.  "I shouldn't wonder but
what he was going to Cliff Island!"

"Cliff Island!" cried Frank.

"Yes, you know that group of rocks--it's not much more than ten miles
from the Shark Teeth."

"Sure we know where it is," agreed Andy "But no one lives on it.  It's
as desolate as a volcano."

"All the better for what that man wanted," declared die captain.  "Take
my word for it he's gone there with the damaged motor boat, though why
I can't say.  But he wants to be let alone, and that's the best place
he could pick out for the purpose.  Why don't you go there?"

"I believe we will!" cried Frank.  "We didn't know just how to begin
the search, but that's the best clue yet."

"On to Cliff Island!" cried Andy.

"Hush!  Not so loud," cautioned his brother.  "You can't tell who might
hear you."

Then, having ordered the lobsters, they hurried away to take the train
for Mardene to get the sailboat.  Once more they were on the search for
the mysterious man.



CHAPTER XVII

ON CLIFF ISLAND

"Why didn't we think before of going to the island?" asked Andy, as he
and his brother sat in the train on the way to Mardene.

"Give it up," answered Frank.  "But, as the captain says, it would be
just the place for a criminal to hide.  Hardly any boats stop there if
they can help it, unless they want shelter from a storm, and it's out
of the line of regular travel.  Still, we may not find our man there."

"Yes, but it's a good chance.  There's a fine wind to-day, and we
oughtn't to be a great while running to the island."

The brothers discussed the curious case into which they had been drawn
since rescuing Paul Gale, and they talked about the island.

Its name came from the fact that, situated in the center of it, there
was a high rocky cliff.  There were several caves running under this
cliff, hollowed out by natural means, and rumor had it that, in the
early days, sea rovers and pirates used them as places of refuge, or to
hide their ill-gotten plunder.

No one had been able to confirm this, however, though it was not for
want of trying, as our heroes, as well as several other boys, had paid
a number of visits to the island.

But they found no traces of pieces of eight or Spanish doubloons, and,
truth to tell, the caves were not very inviting places, being damp and
dark, so the lads never penetrated very deeply.  Thus Cliff Island was
not very well known.  It was a desolate, barren sort of place, wind and
storm swept, and the abiding place of innumerable gulls.

"I tell you what we ought to do," remarked Andy, as the train neared
their destination.

"What's that?  Not play any more jokes I hope."  And Frank smiled as he
looked at his brother.

"No, I mean about this chase.  We ought to arrange to stay on the
island for several days--sort of camp there.  It's so big and so
irregular in shape, and with so many caves, that we can't go all over
it in one day.  And there's no telling where that man may be hiding."

"That's so.  Then you think we'd better stock up with grub, and make it
a sort of picnic?"

"I do.  We can telephone word home of what we're going to do, so they
won't worry.  It will be fun, even if we don't find any clues of the
mysterious man."

"I'm with you.  We can buy our grub in Mardene and stock our boat.
Then for 'a life on the ocean wave, a home on the bounding deep,'"
quoted Frank, in a sing-song voice.

The _Gull_ was tied up in a small slip where they had left her, and the
provisions were soon put aboard.  Then the two brothers went over every
rope and sail, to make sure they would serve in the strain of a storm.

"Well, guess we might as well pull out," remarked Frank, as he looked
up at the "tattle-tale," or piece of triangular bunting flying from the
mast to tell the direction of the wind.  "We've got a good breeze now.
I hope it holds."

"Wait just a minute," begged Andy.  "I want to take a look at that
motor boat," and he motioned to a large one that was tied near the
sailboat.  "I wish we had one like that.  It's a beaut!"

No one was near the craft and soon Andy was in it, inspecting her
critically.  Frank saw him handling some of the wires that ran to spark
plugs in the four cylinder heads.

"Better let things alone," cautioned the older Racer lad.  "You might
get something out of order."

"I just thought of a little joke I can play on the fellow who owns
this," chuckled Andy, as he disconnected one of the high-tension cables.

"Oh you and your jokes!" objected Frank, somewhat sternly.  "You'll get
more than you count on, some day."

"Oh, I'm only going to fix things so that when he turns on the
batteries and starts to turn over the fly wheel he'll get a shock,"
explained Andy.  "I'll just cross these wires and----"

Andy Racer didn't finish what he was going to say.  Instead he jumped
back as though he had been stung by a hornet, and let out a yell:

"Wow!  Sufferin' cats!" he cried, holding one hand in the other and
prancing about.

"What's the matter?" asked Frank in some alarm.

"I got a fearful shock!  The wires were short-circuited and I didn't
know it!  Smoked mackerel!  I got a big charge of electricity!" howled
Andy.

"Serves you right for meddling with other people's boats, and trying to
play jokes on them," declared Frank, as sternly as he could, though he
had to laugh at the wry face Andy was making as he danced about.

"Huh!  Guess you wouldn't think it funny if you had about twenty-seven
hornets after you!" grumbled the younger lad.

"Well, maybe you'll get over playing jokes some day," predicted Frank.

"I didn't suppose it was going to turn out this way," was the dubious
answer.

"Well, come aboard now, and we'll get under way," said Frank, trying
not to laugh.

A little later, under a spanking breeze, the _Gull_ was standing out
for Cliff Island, while the boys peered eagerly forward for the first
sight of the bit of land in the big bay which might mean so much to
them.

"Are you going to sail straight up to it?" asked Andy after they had
covered several miles.

"Well, the best place to drop anchor is in that little inlet on the
east side.  To get to that we have to sail half way around the island,
and I was thinking we might as well make a complete circuit."

"Why?"

"Oh, we might see something of the man, or the boat, and that would
give us a line on how to act.  After we go around we can tie up in the
inlet and row ashore.  Then we can begin our search."

"I guess that's a good plan," assented Andy; "Now I'll go get some grub
ready and by that time we may sight the island."

It was shortly after the meal, partaken of while the little boat was
pitching and tossing on long ground swell, that the younger lad, who
had stationed himself in the bow, called out:

"Land ho!"

"Where away?" demanded Frank.

"Dead ahead."

"It's the island, all right," exclaimed Frank.  "I laid a straighter
course for it than I thought."

In a little while the barren speck loomed up lore plainly.  As they
approached closer the boys eagerly scanned the shores for a sight of he
mysterious man, or the wrecked motor boat.  But they saw nothing, even
through the powerful glasses they used.

"Now to tie up and go ashore," said Frank, after the circuit was
completed.  A little later the anchor splashed into the shallow waters
of the inlet and the two brothers were rowing ashore.

"Look out for yourself, Mr. Mysterious Man!" exclaimed Andy, as he
stepped out of the boat.  "We're on your trail."

"Bur-r-r-r!  It's as desolate as the place where Robinson Crusoe was
stranded!" cried Frank, as he looked about.

Overhead gulls were wheeling and circling with noisy cries, but this
was the only sign of life on Cliff Island.



CHAPTER XVIII

"THERE HE IS!"

"Well, what's the first thing to be done?" asked Andy, after he had
assisted Frank to pull the boat up on the beach beyond high-water mark.

"There's plenty to do," declared his brother.  "In the first place
we've got to decide whether we'll stay on shore over night, or sleep on
the boat.  If we stay on land we've got to bring our grub ashore.
Then, the next thing is to map out a plan so we can search the island,
and not go over the same ground twice."

"My!  You'd think you had done this sort of thing all your life, and
had it down to a science," declared Andy with a laugh.

"Well, if it's going to be done at all, it might as well be done right.
This thing is getting serious, and I want to clear it up if possible.
For our sakes as well as for Paul's."

They talked the matter over at some length, and decided that it would
be more fun to camp on shore instead of going back and forth to the
boat to sleep and eat.

"The weather is warm," said Andy, "and we can sleep out in the open,
especially as we have plenty of blankets.  And it will be jolly to
build a fire on shore and sit around it nights.  Just like some old sea
pirates.  Wow!"

"Easy!" cautioned his brother.  "This isn't a joy-picnic.  We're here
on serious business, and there may be some danger."

"But we might as well have some sport along with it," argued Andy, who
could not help seeing the funny or bright side of everything.  Frank,
though more serious, did not despise a good time by any means, but he
went at matters more determinedly than did his brother.

"To my notion, the first thing to do is to go at this search with a
system," went on the older lad.  "We'll climb up to the top of the
cliff, and see if we can make out anything from there.  If that man is
here he may have set up a camp, and built a fire.  If he has, we can
easily see it from the cliff.  Then we will know where we're at."

To this Andy agreed, and soon they were toiling to the top of the high
land that ran lengthwise of the island, roughly dividing it into two
parts.  It was no easy matter to reach the summit, and several times
the boys had to stop for a rest.  But finally they were at the goal.

Below them, on all sides, washing the rocky shores of the island were
the heaving waters of the great bay.  They could take in most of the
shore line, irregular and indented as it was, but, look as they did,
there was no sign of life.

They saw no curling smoke from a campfire.  They saw no figure of a
man--the man whom they had so fruitlessly pursued.  Nor was there any
vestige of a big motor boat half-burned.

"Well, nothing doing so far," remarked Frank, after a pause.  "Now
we'll go down and begin a circuit of the shore and see what is in some
of the caves."

Slipping and sliding over the loose stones and gravel, they reached the
bottom of the slope near where they had drawn up their boat.  The sight
of this craft gave Frank an idea.

"Suppose while we're on one side of the island that man--or
someone--should happen to come along?" he suggested.  "He'd make off
with our boat, sure."

"Probably," agreed Andy.  "But we can prevent that."

"How?"

"By hiding the oars.  We'll shove 'em under some bushes quite a
distance back, so they can't be found."

Frank agreed that this was a good idea, and though there was a chance
that someone might land in a motor boat and tow off their rowing craft,
still they had to take that risk.

Then began a systematic search of the island.  They went along the
shore, and looked into many small caves.  The interior of these was
dark, but they had each provided a pocket portable electric flash lamp,
so that they were able to illuminate the caverns.

"Nothing here," announced Frank, after an inspection of the first one.
And that was the result in all the others that they penetrated before
dusk.  By nightfall they had covered perhaps a quarter of the shore
line and then they turned back.

A roaring blaze was kindled on the sand from the plentiful supply of
driftwood that strewed the beach, and at the cheerful fire they sat and
talked as they ate their supper.

"Jolly fun, isn't it?" asked Andy.

"It sure is, even if we don't discover anything.  I wish Paul was
along."

"Perhaps it's just as well he's home," commented the younger lad.  "I
have an idea that this man keeps informed of our movements, and don't
fancy having him sneak up on us during the night, which he would be
very likely to do if Paul was with us."

"That's so.  But, speaking of night, what are we going to do about
sleeping?"

"Under our boat, with our blankets spread out on the sands," said the
younger lad.  "It's plenty warm enough."

It was not a half bad way to spend the night, especially as the
overturned rowboat kept off the chilly dew.  Soon the two brothers were
soundly sleeping.  They did not bother to keep a watch and even allowed
the fire to die out, taking the precaution, however, to put some wood
under the boat, where it would be dry in case of rain in the night.

"Well, now for another try at the mysterious man!" called Frank, as he
crawled out from under their shelter the next morning.  "Maybe we'll
have better luck to-day."

They set off directly after breakfast, and took with them their
blankets and a supply of food.  For they intended to make a half
circuit of the island that day, and they figured that night would find
them too far away from their camp to make it practical to return.

"We'll eat and sleep wherever we are when it's dark," decided Frank.

Their search that day was as fruitless as fore.  Not a vestige of the
man or boat to be seen.  They made a sort of shelter of driftwood and
seaweed before darkness fell, and built a rousing fire in front of it,
where they sat and talked until it was time to turn in.

"I don't like the looks of the weather," remarked Frank as he wrapped
up in his blankets.

"Why not?" his brother wanted to know.

"It looks like rain, and if it does we're going get wet."

"Oh, I guess not," said the younger lad easily.  He never looked for
trouble.

It was along toward morning when Frank awoke from a troubled dream that
he was standing under a shower bath.  He found it to be almost a
reality, for it was raining and the water was coming in through the
flimsy roof of their shelter.

"What's the matter?" asked Andy sleepily as he heard his brother moving
about.

"It's raining a flood!  I'm drenched and so must you be."

"That's right, I am pretty wet.  What had we better do; make for the
_Gull_?"

"What, in this storm and darkness?  No, but I think there's a cave near
here.  We can go in that and keep dry, at any rate."

"Go ahead, I'm with you."

They were fortunate in finding a small cavern, and in it was a supply
of dry wood.  They made a fire, though the smoke was almost as bad as
the dampness, but it served to get rid of that chilly feeling.

It was still raining when morning came, but the boys were more cheerful
with the appearance of daylight, though they had to breakfast on cold
food, for all the wood was wet, and the supply in the cave had been
burned.

"Oh, well, we can go back to our first camp and row out to the _Gull_
pretty soon," remarked Frank.  "Let's hurry on with our search now."

"I'm afraid it isn't going to amount to anything," declared Andy.
"That man isn't here, and he hasn't been here.  Captain Trent's theory
was all right, but it didn't work out."

"Oh, I'm not going to give up yet," insisted Frank.  "We have a good
part of the island to explore yet."

But, as they went farther on, it became more and more evident that
there was no one on the island but themselves--that is, unless the
mysterious man was hidden somewhere between them and their first
camp--a distance of about a mile.

"We'll cover that, and then all there is to do is to sail back home,"
proposed Andy, as they started on the last lap of their search, after
eating a hasty lunch.  It had stopped raining, for which they were very
thankful.

There was one more cave to explore, and this was soon proved to contain
nothing but a colony of bats, which they disturbed with their flashing
light.

"I hope our boat's safe," mused Frank as they headed for the place
where they had left it.  "I don't fancy swimming out to the _Gull_."

"Oh, it will be all right," asserted Andy confidently.  "There she is,"
he added a moment later, as he made the turn around a jutting rock.
"She hasn't been moved since we slept under her."

Together they approached their boat.  As he neared it Frank looked
critically at some marks in the wet sand--a series of footprints all
about the craft.

"Look!" he exclaimed, pointing to them.

"Well, what about it?" asked Andy calmly.  "You and I made them."

"It rained since we were here night before last," said Frank in a low
voice, as if afraid someone would hear him.  "Our footprints would have
been washed away.  Someone has been here since--a man----"

He paused and looked down the beach.  An indefinable something had
attracted his attention.  The next moment he grasped Andy by the arm.

"There he is!" he exclaimed.

And there, about a quarter of a mile away was a man, standing beside a
big wrecked motor boat that was drawn up on the beach.  It was the
mysterious personage for whom the Racer boys were searching.



CHAPTER XIX

IN THE CAVE

For a moment Frank and Andy were so surprised that neither one of them
could think of anything to say.  It seemed almost impossible that their
search should be rewarded just at the time when they had given it up.
Yet there was no mistake.  There was the man they wanted.  At least
they assumed so, for they could not make out his features at that
distance.  At any rate, there was the wrecked motor boat, and the tall
man was critically inspecting it.

"Look!  Look!" was all Andy could whisper.

"Yes," assented Frank.  "Now if he'll only let us get within talking
distance, and not run as he always does, we may learn something.  I
wish we could steal up on him quietly."

"No chance of that, I'm afraid.  He knows we're here.  It was he who
was walking around our boat."

"Sure; and he knows it's the one from the _Gull_.  Well, the only thing
to do is to go right up to him.  I wonder what he wants with that boat,
anyhow?  See, he's poking into it as if there were gold or diamonds
concealed in it."

"Perhaps there are.  Maybe that's the mystery," said the younger Racer
lad eagerly.

"Oh, you got that out of some of the books you read.  But I can't
understand how we could have missed him."

Andy did not answer.  Instead he grabbed his brother and pulled him
down on the sand behind the boat.  It was only just in time, for the
man had turned and was gazing back toward the overturned craft.

"I hope he didn't see us," whispered Andy.

"We must lay low until we think of some plan.  Maybe he'll get down
inside the motor boat and then we can get up to him before he knows it.
But I tell you what I think, Frank," he went on, "either that man was
hiding in some cave farther back than we looked, or he has just
arrived."

"The motor boat has just arrived, anyhow, or at least since night
before last," assented the elder lad.  "We couldn't have overlooked
that.  Say, Andy, he is getting inside!  Now's our chance!"

They saw, by peering over the edge of their craft, that the mysterious
man had climbed over the half-burned rail of the damaged motor boat.
His back was toward them, and they could not see his head.  He appeared
to be tearing the interior of the craft apart.

Cautiously the two brothers crept out from behind their shelter and
made their way softly over the sand toward where the man was.  What
they intended to do when they confronted him they hardly knew.  Frank
was sure that he wanted to ask the queer stranger certain questions,
and he hoped to be able to plead with him to tell what he knew of Paul
Gale.  The question was, whether or not the man would answer.

It was lucky that their footsteps made no sound on the soft sand, for
they were thus enabled to approach to within a short distance of the
wreck as it rested on the beach.  The man was still in it, and they
could hear him pounding and splitting wood in the interior.  Evidently
he was not aware of their presence.

For the first time since they had begun their surprising series of
adventures, the boys were able to make out the name of the strange
craft.  It was the _Swallow_, and as they had a chance to look at her
graceful lines they realized that, before the fire, wreck, and
explosion the boat had been a powerful one.

"I think we have him this time," whispered Andy, as they came nearer
and nearer, and the man was still bending over with his back toward
them.

Frank laid his finger across his lips as a sign of caution.  At that
moment an unfortunate thing happened.  Andy stepped on a shell, not
seeing it, and it broke under his weight with a sharp, crackling sound.

Like a flash the man leaped up, and fairly sprang out of the boat.  He
stood confronting the Racer boys.

"Who are you?  What do you want?" he demanded sharply.  Then, as he
recognized them, he added: "Oh, it's you two again.  Didn't I warn you
to stop following me?"

"We didn't choose to," retorted Frank calmly.  "We've found you after a
good deal of trouble, and we intend to end this mystery now.  A boy's
life--the life of Paul Gale--hangs in the balance."

"As if I cared," sneered the man.  "You have had your trouble for your
pains.  I shall tell you nothing, and I order you off this island."

"We're not going!" exclaimed Andy firmly.  "This is a public place, and
we have as much right here as you have.  Besides, you haven't any
cannon now, and we're two to one."

"Oh, you are; eh?" demanded the man in an ugly voice.  "We'll see about
that.  Once more I order you to stop following me; do you hear?"

"We're not going to let you get away until you answer our questions!"
declared Frank.  "We demand to know what you are doing with Paul's
boat, and we want to know what his full name is, so that we can
communicate with his friends."

"You'll never know from me!" fairly shouted the man.  "And I defy you
to get anything out of me.  I'm not going to be bothered with you.
Come on, men, here are these two bothersome boys!  Let's get rid of
them!" he suddenly cried, waving his hand as if at someone approaching
Andy and Frank from the rear.

Involuntarily they turned, but the next instant they heard a triumphant
laugh, and when they turned back, having seen no one, they beheld the
mysterious man racing across the sands toward the interior of the
island.

"Quick!  After him!" cried Frank.

"Yes, we mustn't let him get away again!" added his brother.

They set off after the stranger at full speed.  He was running rapidly,
now and then glancing over his shoulder at them.

All at once he changed his course, and darted around a small rocky
promontory.  The tide was rising and he had to step into the water to
make the turn.

"After him!" yelled Frank again.

The two brothers made the turn, and just far enough behind the man to
see him dart into the black entrance of a small cave.  It was one they
had looked into, but into which they had not penetrated far.

"Now we've got him!" yelled Andy.  "There's no way out of that!  Come
on, Frank!"

Together the two brothers entered the dark cavern.  The change from the
glaring sunlight on the sands to intense gloom made them pause for a
moment, and they heard from somewhere in the blackness of the rear a
sinister chuckle.

"He's in here," declared Andy.  "We have him now."

The two pressed forward resolutely in the darkness.  Of what lay before
them--the danger from a desperate man and the danger of the cavern they
knew not--they only resolved to end the mystery if possible.



CHAPTER XX

THE RISING TIDE

"Where are you, Frank?" called Andy.

"Right here.  Give me your hand.  It won't do to get lost in this
darkness.  Where are you?"

The two brothers groped about in the darkness until they had found each
other.

"Listen," whispered the older one.  "Do you hear him?"

In the silence and blackness there came to them the sound of retreating
footsteps, and of small stones and particles of earth falling.

"He must be climbing up," said Andy.  "This cave is bigger than we
thought, and he must know the place, even in the dark.

"It _is_ as dark as a pocket," complained Frank.  "I can't see
anything."

"Wait!" suddenly exclaimed Andy.  "Why didn't we think of them before?
Our pocket electrics.  They'll do the trick!"

"Sure enough."

An instant later two small but powerful gleams of light cut the
blackness of the cavern, and the boys were enabled to see so they could
hurry ahead.  They could still hear the man retreating before them.

"We're coming!" cried Andy in reckless bravado.

"Hush!  He'll hear you," cautioned his mother.

"What of it?  I want him to.  He'll see our lights anyhow.  But I think
we have him trapped."

"If there isn't another outlet to the cave.  But come on."

Forward they pressed.  They could still hear the noise made by the man,
and once they were startled by his mocking laugh.  So close was it that
they knew he must have doubled on his tracks returned toward them.

"There are several passages in this cave, I'm sure of it," declared
Frank.  "We'll have to be careful not to get lost."

"That's right.  This fellow must be at home here.  But the floor is
beginning to slope upward.  Say, it's damp in here, all right," Andy
added, as he stepped into a little puddle of water.

"From the rain, I guess," replied Frank.

"Hu!  How could rain get in here?"

"It must have soaked in through the roof.  But we can't talk and listen
for that man.  Let's hurry on."

Once more they advanced, but they became confused by many windings and
turnings of the dark passages, until Frank called a halt.

"Let's consider a bit," he said to his brother.  "We can't go on this
way.  We've got to mark some of these passages so we'll know them again
if we come by.  Otherwise we'll get all confused."

"Good idea.  Make some scratches on them with your knife.  That will
do."

Frank quickly did this and they pressed on.  Occasionally they called
to the man, but he did not answer them now--not even by his mocking
laugh.  They, however, could still hear him.

"He's leading us on a wild goose chase!" declared Frank at length.
"The first thing we know he'll get back to the entrance and escape."

"Then one of us had better go to the mouth of the cave and either stop
him, or else be there to give the alarm when he tries to get out,"
proposed Andy.  "I'll go."

"No, I think we'd better stick together," suggested his brother.  "That
man is too dangerous for one of us to tackle alone.  We may catch up to
him any moment now, and I hope he'll give in, and tell us what we want
to know."

Without the portable electric lights which they each carried it would
have been impossible for the Racer boys to have found their way about
the cave.  They marveled how it was that the mysterious man could
follow the windings and turnings in the dark, but, as they learned
afterward, he had been in the cave before.

Back and forth, up and down, here and there, like following some
will-o'-the-wisp went the boys.  At times they thought they had lost
the object of their pursuit, but again they would hear him hurrying on
ahead of them.

"Hold on a minute!" suddenly exclaimed Frank, when he had led the way
down a steep descent.  "I don't like this."

"Like what?" asked Andy, in some alarm.

"This chase.  That man knows what he's doing and we don't.  If he
wanted to he could have been out of this cave a dozen times or more,
yet he's staying in and leading us on.  He has some object in it, and I
don't mind confessing that I'm afraid of it."

"How do you mean afraid?"

"I think we may come to some harm.  He fairly enticed us in here and
now he's playing with us as a cat does with a mouse.  I'm going to stop
and go back to the entrance."

"Well, perhaps you're right," admitted Andy, and it was quite an
admission for him, as he was always willing to take more risks than was
his brother.  "We'll stand still a few minutes and see what happens."

They remained there, quiet in the darkness.  For a time not a sound
broke the stillness.  Then, with startling suddenness came a hail:

"Well, why don't you catch me?"

"Catch me?" repeated the echoes, and there followed a mocking laugh.

"Here he is!" cried Andy.  "Off to the left."

"No, the right," insisted Frank.  "Over this way."

"All right," agreed Andy, and he followed his brother.

Hardly had he spoken than there rang throughout the cave a dull,
booming sound.  It seemed to shake the ground.

"He's exploded something!" cried Frank, coming to a halt.  He flashed
his electric torch around, but could see nothing.  He and his brother
were in a low, rock-roofed passage.

"It sounded like something falling," was Andy's opinion.  "Let's go
forward and see what it was."

They had not gone forward more than a dozen steps before they were
halted by the sound of a voice--the voice of the mysterious man.

"Maybe you'll take a warning next time!" he sneered.  "I think you've
followed me once too often.  This is the end."

They could hear him hastening away.  Then came silence.

"What did he mean?" asked Andy.

"I don't know," replied his brother.  "Let's look."

Andy was in the lead.  Slowly he advanced, flashing his electric light.
Then he came to a halt.

"What's the matter?" asked Frank.

"I can't go any farther.  The passage ends here in a solid rock."

"Then we'll have to go back.  I thought he was fooling us.  He wanted
to get us in some side chamber, so he could make his escape from the
entrance.  Hurry back."

They fairly ran to the other end of the passageway, retracing their
steps.  This time Frank was ahead.  Suddenly he came to a halt.

"Well, why don't you go on?" asked Andy.

"I can't.  There's a big rock here."

"A rock?  There wasn't any there when we came in."

"I know it, but it's fallen down since.  The passage is closed."

"Closed!" gasped Andy.  "Then I know what happened.  That was the noise
we heard.  That man toppled this rock down to trap us here.  We're
caught, Frank!  Caught!"

For a moment the older brother did not answer.  Then he replied:

"It does looks so.  But we'll try to shove this stone out of the way.
Come on, lend a hand."

Together the boys pushed and shoved.  But all to no purpose.  Flashing
their lights on the obstruction, they saw that it had fallen down in a
wedged-shaped place, dove-tailing itself in so that no power short of
dynamite could loosen it.  The hopelessness of moving it struck them at
once.

"The other end!" cried Frank.  "We must try to get out the other way!"

Back they raced along the passage, slipping stumbling on the wet, rocky
floor.  But it only to come face to face with a solid wall of rock.

"No use trying to get through there," said Andy.  "We must try to move
the big rock."

"We can't," spoke Frank.  "I think----"  But he never finished that
sentence.  Instead focused his light down on the stone floor of passage
in the cave.  A thin stream of water trickling along it.

"Look!  Look!" whispered Andy.

"Yes," answered his brother in a low voice.  "The tide is rising.  It's
running into the cave, and we--we're trapped here, Andy.  No wonder
that man said it was the last time.  We're trapped by the rising tide!"



CHAPTER XXI

DEATH IS NEAR

"Frank, are you there?"

"Yes, Andy.  Give me your hand."

The two brothers spoke softly.  It was in the darkness of the cave, for
they had both released the pressure on the springs of their portable
lights to make the little dry batteries last as long as possible.  It
was several minutes after the first awful discovery of the incoming
tide, and they had maintained a silence until the younger lad, unable
to longer endure the strain, had called out.

Silently they clasped hands in the blackness.

"Frank, do you--do you think there's any way out?"

"Why, of course there is, Andy.  All we've got to do is to wait a
while, and someone will surely come to our rescue.  Father and mother
know we started for this island, and if we don't get home soon they'll
start a searching party after us."

"Yes, but the rising tide, Frank.  We--we may drown."

"Nonsense.  The water can't get very high in here.  We'll simply go to
the highest part of the passage, and wait until the tide goes out.
That won't be so very long.  What makes me mad though, is to think how
that man fooled us.  That was his object all along.  He wanted to get
us in here so he could drop that rock across the opening and have us
caged."

"Can't we try to get out?" asked Andy.  his usually joyous spirits had
departed.  He was very much subdued now, and in the momentary flash of
his light, which he permitted himself, Frank saw that his brother was
very pale.

"Of course we'll try!" exclaimed the elder lad, with all the assurance
he could put into his voice.  "Perhaps we can manage it, too.  Let's
have a try.  It's of no use to do it here.  We must go back to where he
pushed down the rock.  Perhaps it isn't in as tight as we thought at
first.  Come on.  But don't use your light.  Mine is enough, and we
must save them as long as we can."

By the gleam of the single electric torch they made their way back.
Soon they were at the rock which made them prisoners.  It loomed grim
and black in the semi-darkness.

"The water's higher," said Andy, in a low voice.   Frank had noticed
that, for it now reached to his ankles as he splashed his way back
along the passage.  But he had said nothing, hoping Andy had not
observed it.

"Yes," said the older boy cheerfully, "It's bound to rise until the
tide is at flood, and then--why, it will go down again--that's all."

"But suppose it fills this cave?"

"Nonsense!  It can't.  I'm not going to suppose anything of the sort.
Now come on.  Let's see if we can move this rock."

Together they pressed on the stone with all their strength.  They might
as well have tried to budge the side of a mountain.  The rock was
firmly wedged in place.

"It's no use," spoke Andy, in a dull, hopeless tone.

"Oh, don't give up so easily," urged his brother.  "If we can't do it
one way, we may another.  See, it has slid down in a sort of groove.
Only a little ridge of rock on either side holds it in place.  Now if
we can break away those upright ridges, which are like the pieces on a
window sash up and down which the window slides, we may be able to push
the rock out.  Let's try.  Use your knife and take a rock for a hammer."

Frank placed his torch on a ledge of rock, tying the spring down by a
piece of cord so that the light would focus on the big bowlder.  Then,
with their pocket-knives as chisels, and stones as mallets, they began
their futile attempts to cut away the holding ridges of rock.

That it was a futile attempt was soon made evident, for their knives
slipped off the flint-like stone, and several times when the blades
unexpectedly shut, the lads received severe cuts on their hands.

Suddenly Andy uttered an exclamation:

"The water!  It's getting deeper!" he cried

It was up to their knees now.

"Of course it getting deeper," said Frank, with a cheerfulness that he
was far from feeling.  "The tide isn't half in yet."

Andy shuddered.

"What will we do when it's high water?" he asked.

Frank did not answer, but kept on chipping away at the rock.  He
managed to break off several pieces, but it was easy to see that it
would take much more work to loosen the retaining ridges so that the
bowlder that imprisoned them would fall outward.

"There it goes!" suddenly exclaimed the older brother in despair.
"I've broken my knife blade!  You'll have to do all the work, Andy."

"Oh, what's the use?" sighed the younger lad.  "The water is coming in
faster.  See, it's up to our waists now, and the tide is nowhere at
full!  We're doomed, Frank!"

"Not a bit of it.  See that ledge of rock up there?  We'll climb up on
it and wait until the water goes down.  Then maybe someone will come
for us, or we can get out.  Climb up, Andy.  We won't try to break off
any more rock."

Frank helped his brother to take a position on the narrow ledge.  It
was barely wide enough for two, but, somehow, they managed to cling to
it.  The surface was wet, and there were little puddles of water here
and there.  Seeing them in the gleam of his light, Frank could not
repress a shudder.

"The tide must come up even to here," he thought.  "If it comes up to
the roof--well, that's the end of us."  But he said nothing to Andy.

Slowly the water rose.  They boys watched it, sitting on the narrow
ledge with their feet and legs dangling off.  From time to time Frank
would flash his light on the little lapping waves.

"It will soon stop," he said, as cheerfully as he could.  But he did
not believe himself.  He held Andy's hand in a firm grip.

Higher and higher rose the tide.  It was at the knees of the boys now,
and still mounting.

"Let's stand up," proposed Frank at length.  "I'm tired of sitting."

They took an upright position on the ledge of rock.  Their heads just
touched the rocky roof of the cave.  In fact Frank, who was a trifle
taller than his brother, had to stoop.

"Now we'll be all right, Andy," he said.  "We can stand here until the
water goes down."

"If--if it doesn't touch the roof," was the solemn answer.

Frank said nothing.

Standing on the ledge, high above the floor the cave, the water now
lapped their ankles once more.  Frank could feel it creeping
higher--ever higher.  In spite of himself, a horrible fear took
possession of him.  Death was very near, he thought--a terrible death
by drowning in the cave where they were caged like rats in a trap.



CHAPTER XXII

THE STORM

"Do you know how high the tide rises on this island?" asked Andy after
a pause.  His voice sounded strange in that hollow, dark place, amid
the ceaseless lapping of the water on the rocks.

"How high?  No, but it can't get much higher," answered Frank as
cheerfully as he could.  "It's been rising some time now, and it must
stop soon."

"It seems a long time, but it isn't," went on Andy in that quiet voice.
"Look, it's seven o'clock," and he held out his watch, illuminating it
with the flashing electric light.

"Seven in the evening," murmured Frank.  "It must be getting dark
outside."  It had been dark from the beginning in the cave.

"Seven o'clock in the evening," went on Andy, "and we came in here
about four!  The tide has several hours to rise yet, and----"

He did not finish, but he glanced down at the water that was steadily
rising up on their legs.  It was chilling them, yet they dared not move
much for fear of toppling off the narrow ledge.

Frank did not answer.  He was busy trying to think of some way of
escape.  Yet, rack his brain as he did, no way out of the cave seemed
possible.  Were they doomed to die there?

"Can we climb any higher?" asked Andy, after another period of silence.
"If we could, we might get out of reach of the water, even when the
tide is full.  Let's turn on both our lights and look at the wall back
of us."

They had been saving the fast-waning current in the electric lamps
against the time of need.  They might have but little further use for
it, so both Andy and his brother pressed the springs that turned on the
gleaming lights.

In the glow they could see the black and gurgling water at their knees.
It was swirling around from the force of the tide outside that was
rushing into the cave.  Though the stone thrown down by the man at the
entrance prevented our heroes from escaping, the bowlder did not fit so
tightly but what water could come in.

"Now to see what's back of us," spoke Frank, turning around as well as
he could on the small shelf, and flashing his light on the wall behind
him.

"Say!" suddenly exclaimed Andy, "doesn't it strike you that the water
isn't coming in so fast is it was?"

Frank held his light lower, and looked at the rising tide.

"There doesn't seem to be quite so much force to it," admitted the
elder Racer lad, "but I'm afraid that's only because it's higher, and
because it has to wind in and out of so many passages, and force itself
under and around the rock which that scoundrel threw down.  I wish we
had him here!"

"I guess he's far enough off by this time," remarked Andy.  "But let's
see if there's a way to get higher up."

Together they examined the wall of the cave against which they had been
leaning.  Frank uttered a cry of joy.

"It's mostly dirt, not stone!" he exclaimed.  "We can cut steps in it,
and climb up.  Maybe we can get high enough so that the tide won't
reach us, or at least we can keep our heads above water until it goes
down.  Come on, where's your knife?"

Working by turns, with the only knife available between them, the boys
began frantically cutting niches or steps in the dirt wall.
Fortunately it was packed hard enough so that it did not crumble.  They
took turns at the desperate labor, one holding the torch, and the other
wielding the knife.

All the while the tide kept coming higher, until it was now to their
waists.  But they had not yet made enough notches to enable them to
stand up, clinging by their hands and toes.  For it needed four niches
for each lad--eight laboriously-cut holes in the wall, four niches for
the hands and four for the feet, some distance apart.  Even when this
was done it would only raise them about twenty inches.  Would that be
enough?

"We can't cut any more after this," said Frank dully, when they had
almost finished the eight.

"Why not?"

"Because we can't hold on in these and cut any more.  The footing isn't
good enough.  If we only had a sort of platform to stand on, we could
reach up higher.  As it is, I'm afraid this isn't going to do much
good--that is for very long.  The water is still rising."

"If we only had some sticks," exclaimed Andy hopelessly.  "We could
drive them in the dirt, leaving the ends projecting, and then we could
go up, like on a ladder."

"But we haven't any sticks."

"Maybe there are some on the shelf where are standing; imbedded in it."

It was a slim chance, but worth trying, and by turns they stooped over
and felt down beneath the water.  This had the effect of wetting them
to their shoulders, but not a piece of wood could they discover.
Helplessly they stared at each other in the dying gleam of their
electric torches.  Relentlessly the water mounted higher.

"We might as well get up in the niches," said Andy, after another long
pause.  "We may not be able to climb if we wait too long."

"Wait as long as possible," advised his brother in a low voice.

"Why so?"

"Because it's going to be hard to cling there.  It's a stiff position
to hold, and we ought to stay here, where we have a good footing, as
long as possible.  There's time enough when the water gets up to our
shoulders."

It was like waiting for almost certain death, but the boys never lost
their hearts.  Somehow they felt that there would be a way out--yet how
it would come they dared not even imagine.  They only hoped and--waited.

"We'd better climb up now," said Frank at length.  "You go first, Andy,
and get a good hold.  I'll follow."

"Why don't you go first?"

"Oh, you might fall."

"So might you."

"Go ahead, I tell you!" and Frank spoke more sharply to his brother
than he had ever done before.  Andy turned and clambered up in the
niches.  They had cut them slanting to give their feet and hands a
better grip, and this was a wise provision, for it was desperate
holding at best.

Frank followed his brother, and then, at the last stand, they clung
there together, listening to the lapping of the water that, raised up
as they were, even now wet their legs.

How long they clung thus they did not know.  It seemed a long time, but
it could not have been more than fifteen minutes they agreed afterward,
for the water did not gain much.  But suddenly the silence of the night
outside was broken by a loud report.

"Signal guns!" exclaimed Andy.  "Some vessel is in distress."

"No, that's thunder!" said Frank.  "There's a storm coming up.  But we
won't know it--in here."

"I hope our boat is safe, and that the _Gull_ is well anchored," went
on the younger lad anxiously.

"As if that mattered," thought Frank, but he did not say so.  He began
to think they would never have any further use for their craft.  He
choked back the dreadful fear that seemed to take possession of him.

Once more came a terrific clap of thunder, and it seemed to shake the
very island to its center.

"It's a fierce one," murmured Andy.

In quick succession came a number of awful reports.  The earthy wall to
which they were clinging seemed to tremble.  The water gurgled below
them, rising higher and higher.

"I wonder--" began Andy, after a terrific clap, but his words were
silenced in the thunderous vibration that followed.  It was the hardest
clap yet, and the boys felt a tingling, numbing sensation in their
fingers.

"That struck near here!" yelled Frank.

His face was turned upward toward the roof of the cavern.  He felt
something falling on his cheeks.  It seemed to be particles of dirt.
Then he felt a dampness that was not from the waters below him.  More
particles fell.

"What's the matter?" cried Andy.  "Something is happening.  What is it?"

Before Frank could answer, had he known what was taking place, there
came a loud splash in the water at Andy's left.

"Is that you Frank?  Have you fallen?" he called desperately.

"No, I'm here," replied his brother.  "That must have been part of the
side or roof of the cave jarred off by the thunder.  Hold fast, Andy."

There came a second splashing sound in the water, followed by another.
The drops of dampness and particles of earth continued to rain into the
faces of the lads.

"The cave's crumbling in!" cried Andy.  "The roof is falling."

"Hold--" began Frank.

A roar interrupted him.  Suddenly the cave seemed to be illuminated by
a dazzling light bluish in color.  By it the boys could see each other
as they clung to the wall.  They could see the black and swirling
waters now waist high.  But they could see something else.

They could look up and out through a jagged hole in the roof of the
cavern, and through that opening they had a glimpse of the fury of the
storm.  They could see the lightning flashing in the sky.

For a moment the meaning of it was lost on them.  Then Frank uttered a
cry of hope.

"We're saved, Andy, saved!  Now we can crawl up out of the top of the
cave and escape.  The tide can't reach us now!  We're saved!"



CHAPTER XXIII

TO THE RESCUE

Back in the Racer cottage there was an anxious consultation going on.
It was the afternoon of the second day since Andy and Frank had gone to
Cliff Island, and they had not returned.

"I don't like it!" exclaimed Mr. Racer, tossing aside the paper he had
been trying to read, and restlessly pacing the floor.  "I wish they
hadn't gone.  I wish they were back."

"Don't you think they can look after themselves?" asked the mother.
Usually she was the more nervous, but this time it was her husband.

"Oh, I suppose they could, ordinarily," he answered.  "But this is
different."

"How, Dick?" and there was an anxious note in Mrs. Racer's voice.  She
had just come in from a tennis tournament to find that her husband had
returned from New York earlier than usual.  Now she began to realize
the cause.  It was on account of the boys.

"Well, there's a storm coming up, for one thing, and then there's that
man.  I wish Andy and Frank hadn't started after him."

"It was to help Paul, dear."

"I know.  They meant all right, but they're too daring.  However, it
can't be helped.  Where's Paul?"

"He felt so well that he went for a little walk.  He said he'd go down
toward the pier and see if he could see or hear anything of the boys.

"Well, I'm glad he's getting better."  Mr. Racer once more tried to
read the paper, but gave it up.

"You're nervous," said his wife, as he tossed it aside.

"Yes, I am.  Nothing is worse than sitting still, and waiting--waiting
for something to happen.

"Oh, Dick!  I'm sure you don't want anything to happen!"

"Of course not.  But I don't like this weather."

Paul came in at that moment.  The glow off health was beginning to
reappear in his pale cheeks.

"Well?" asked Mr. Racer quickly.

"They're not in sight," answered the lad who did not know who he was.
"And Captain Trent says a bad storm is brewing."

"That settles it!" exclaimed Mr. Racer.  He started up and took down an
old overcoat and hat.

"Where are you going?" asked his wife in alarm.

"I'm going for those boys.  I can't stand it any longer."

"But how can you get to Cliff Island if a storm is coming up?  You have
no boat, and to row--"

"I don't intend to row.  Mr. Lacey, a friend of mine, put in here with
his big motor boat a little while ago.  I saw him as I got off the New
York steamer, and he said he might stay here a couple of days.  His
craft is at the pier float.  I know he'll take me to Cliff Island, blow
or no blow, and his _Norma_ is big enough to weather quite a sea."

"Oh, Dick, I'm afraid to have you go!"

"Oh, there's no danger, but there might be to our boys, and I'm going
to the rescue.  Don't worry.  I may be able to get out to the island
and back before dark.  They're probably scouting around, looking for
that man, and he isn't there at all.  They think they're having a good
time, but they don't realize what the weather is going to be."

Mr. Racer went on with his preparations for being out in the storm.
Mrs. Racer, after the first alarm, agreed with him that it was best to
go after the boys.

"Do you think that I--that is--Oh, mayn't I go?" burst out Paul Gale.
"I'd like to help.  Andy and Frank have done so much for me.  Can't I
go?"

"I'm afraid you're not strong enough," objected Mr. Racer.

"Oh, but I am!" insisted the lad.  "I believe it will do me good.  But
can't you ask Dr. Martin?"

They were saved the necessity of calling the physician up on the
telephone for he drove past at that moment and Mr. Racer hailed him.
The case was soon stated.

"I agree with you that it is a good thing to go after Andy and Frank,"
said the medical man.  "As for taking Paul along--hum--well, I don't
know."

"Oh, I'm all right, doctor," insisted the lad again.

"You certainly have gained much strength in the last few days," went on
the physician.  "If you take care of yourself perhaps it won't do you
any harm.  But don't exert yourself too much."

"No," promised Paul eagerly.  Then, as he hurried to his room to get
ready, Dr. Martin said to Mr. Racer in a low voice:

"I'm not so sure but what it won't be a good thing for him.  He lost
his memory in a storm, you know, and if there is a little blow out in
the bay his mind may be restored again.  We doctors don't know as much
about the brain as we'd like to.  It can't do any harm to try it,
especially as you are going in a big, safe boat.  Good luck to you."

Mrs. Racer parted with her husband and Paul rather tearfully.  The
signs of the storm increased as the two went down to the pier.  Mr.
Racer found his friend there, and Mr. Lacey readily agreed to the use
of his boat.

"I'll pilot you to the island myself," he said generously, "and I'll
tell the engineer and crew to make all the speed they can.  We've got
lots of gasolene, and I guess we can weather almost any blow that's due
this time of year."

They were soon speeding away from the pier, and the sharp prow of the
_Norma_ was turned in the direction of Cliff Island.  Clouds were
rapidly gathering and there was an occasional muttering of thunder.

Paul Gale kept to the cabin, as the wind had freshened since they
started and there was quite a sea on, that sent the spume and spray of
the salty waves across the deck.

They were longer reaching the island than they counted on, and just
before they sighted it the storm broke in all its fury.  But they were
prepared for it, and the _Norma_ plunged gallantly ahead through the
smashing big seas of green water that at times buried her nose out of
sight.  Suddenly there was a slight crash forward and a shiver seemed
to go through the gasolene craft.

"What's that?" cried Mr. Racer in alarm.

"We hit something," said Mr. Lacey.  "Danforth, just see what it is,
will you?" he asked of the mate, who was in the snug cabin with the
owner and his guests.

But Mr. Racer did not wait.  He rushed up on deck.  The _Norma_ had
been brought to quarter speed and the silk merchant could see, floating
off to one side, a small wrecked skiff.  It seemed familiar to him.

"That's what we hit, sir," explained one of crew.  "Cut it right in
two."

"It's my boys' boat!" cried Mr. Racer.  "The one they carry on the
_Gull_.  I know the shape of it, and I can see the red circle on the
stern.  Were they in it when we cut it down?"

"No, sir.  I don't think so, sir," answered sailor as he noted the
anguish of Mr. Racer.  "I saw it immediately after we struck, and I'm
almost sure no one was in it.  I'd have seen them, sir, if there was,
sir."

"Oh, but perhaps they were in it!" cried Mr. Racer.  "Their sailboat
may have foundered and they might have had to take to the small boat.
Oh, Mr. Lacey.  We _must_ pick up my boys!" he added, as the owner came
on deck.

"Of course.  Captain Nelson, put back and circle around that boat.
Light the searchlight and play it on the wreck."

"Aye, aye, sir!"

The _Norma_ began the search amid the storm and gathering darkness,
while the father peered over the side in anguished fear.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE ESCAPE

"Climb up, Andy!  Climb up!  Every time you see a lightning flash!"

"But where are we going, Frank?"

"Out of this cave!  Don't you see what has happened?  There's a hole in
the roof, and it slopes right down to us here.  Crawl up on your hands
and knees, but don't slip back.  It's our only chance!"

It was a few minutes after the stunning crash that had actually opened
up a way of escape for the two lads imprisoned in the cave.  Frank was
quick to see and take advantage of it.  A sort of sloping way was now
before them, and it was possible to crawl up along it.

But there was danger, too, for the rain was pouring in through the
opening in the roof--a veritable stream of water, probably diverted
from some puddles that had gathered from the heavy downpour.  And to
climb up through this, along a muddy, slimy slope, was no easy task.
But it was their only means of escape, for back of them the tide was
still rising relentlessly.

"All ready, Andy?" called Frank.

"As ready as I ever shall be," was the grim answer.

"Well, don't move except when you see where you're going by means of
the flashes.  It's the only safe way.  Go ahead; I'll follow."

Slowly the younger lad took his feet and hands from the niches.  He was
stiff from holding the same position so long, but his young blood was
soon in circulation again.  He crawled out on the slope.  It was quite
steep, but considerable earth had been jarred and washed from it so
that it was no worse than going up the peaked roof of a house, and Andy
and his brother had often done this in carrying out some of their
boyish pranks.

Slowly and painfully the younger lad toiled upward, followed by his
anxious brother.  It was but a comparatively short distance up which to
climb, but going on their hands and knees made it seem doubly long.

Finally it was accomplished, however, and Andy crawled out of the
ragged hole and stretched out on the wet earth above, almost exhausted.

"Come!  Get up!" cried Frank, as he finished the perilous journey and
sought to raise his brother.  "You mustn't lie there.  You'll get cold
and stiff.  Move around--get warmed up.  We're safe now, Andy!  Safe!"

"Yes, I know, but I'm so tired--I--I want a rest."

"There'll be time enough to rest when we get to some shelter.  It's
raining cats and dogs, and we can't get much wetter.  Let's see if we
can make out where we are, and maybe we can get back to camp, and find
some grub.  I'm starved."

"So am I.  What time is it?"

"My watch has stopped," answered Frank, looking at the timepiece by a
lightning flash.  "The water did it."

"Mine's not going either.  Well, let's see if we can find our camp.
Some grub wouldn't be bad.  Only we've got to look out for that man."

"Which side shall we go down?" asked Frank, as they paused on the
summit of the cliff.

"It's hard to decide," answered Andy.  "Let's try this," and he
motioned to the left.

Down they went, slipping and stumbling, pausing now and then to get
their breaths, and again to speak of the terrible fate they had escaped.

"Don't mention it any more," begged Andy with a shudder.  "I can't bear
to think of that tide rising--rising all the while, and no way of
getting out!"

"Lightning probably struck a place on where the earth was thinner than
anywhere else made a hole, and the rain did the rest," was Frank's
theory.

Drenched to the skin, covered with mud from the climb up the slope,
tired and weary, the Racer boys stumbled on in the darkness.  Sometimes
they fell over huge boulders or were tripped on outcropping tree roots.
But they did not halt until they were on the sandy beach, where the big
waves were pounding.  There, at least, the going was easier.

"Now, which way?" asked Andy, as they halted to rest.

"It's hard to say.  Camp might lie in either direction, and it's too
dark to see.  I guess it doesn't make much difference.  We'll come up
to it by morning, anyhow, if we can keep going that long.  Let's head
off this way."

Frank started to circle the island shore to the right, and Andy
followed.  At times the rain would cease, and then it would begin its
downpour again.  The lightning was less frequent, but they did not need
the flashes to guide them now.

That night seemed almost a year long, they said afterward.  Sometimes
they fell from very weariness, only to get up again and struggle on.
Frank placed his arm about his brother and half carried him at times.

They covered many miles.  As yet they had seen no indication of their
"camp," as they called the place on the beach opposite where they had
left the _Gull_ riding at anchor, and where they had placed their small
boat and a supply of provisions.

"We must have come the wrong way, and have almost made a circuit of the
island," said Andy wearily.

"Never mind, it can't be much farther off now," and Frank tried to
speak cheerfully.  But it was hard work.

The rain had ceased for some time now, and looking up the boys saw the
faint gleam of stars.

"It's going to clear," observed Andy.

"Yes," assented Frank.

Another mile was covered.  A dim glow seemed to suffuse the sky.  It
grew brighter.

"It's morning!" cried the older lad.

"Yes, and look there!" suddenly exclaimed Andy.  He pointed ahead.
"There's where our camp was," he added.

Frank gazed for a moment in silence.  Then he gasped:

"But our small boat's gone."

"And so is the _Gull_!" fairly shouted the younger lad as he waved his
hand toward the place where it had been anchored.  "That man has taken
it and gone off!  We're marooned Cliff Island!"



CHAPTER XXV

A LUCKY QUARREL

Frank stared uncomprehendingly toward the slowly heaving waters of the
bay.

"I can't believe it!" he exclaimed.  "The _Gull_ must be somewhere
else.  We're at the wrong place."

"I only wish we were," spoke Andy dubiously.

"But you can see for yourself that this is where we camped.  Here is
where our small boat was pulled up on shore, where we slept under it,
and, if you want any better evidence--here's grub!  Grub, Frank do you
hear?  We shan't starve, even if we are marooned!"

He raced to a clump of scrub bushes some distance up on shore and began
pulling out boxes and tins.

"Good!" shouted Frank.  "I never was so hungry before in my life.  Now
if we could only make a fire!"

But that was out of the question.  Every bit of driftwood, of which
there was a big supply, was soaking wet.  The boys had plenty of
matches, in waterproof boxes, but they would be useless until some dry
fuel was available.

"Well, it can't be helped," said Andy, as he proceeded to open a tin of
corned beef.  "We ought to be thankful for this.  Open that tin box of
crackers.  Luckily they're not wet.  We can make a meal off this, and
we'll have a cooked dinner.  I wonder--why--blub--ugh--that
man--um--lum--didn't--"

"Oh, don't try to talk and eat at the same time," requested Frank with
a laugh--the first since their adventure in the cave.  "Take your
time."  For Andy was fairly devouring the corned beef.

"Hum!  I guess you can't be very hungry, or you wouldn't take your
time," retorted the younger lad.  "Hurry up with those crackers.  And
there's some jam, somewhere.  Oh, for a cup of hot coffee."

"Cheese it!" cried Frank sharply.  "Do you want to make me throw
something at you?  But what were you trying to say when you had your
mouth full a while ago?"

"I said it was a wonder that man didn't take this grub with him when he
took our boat and the _Gull_."

"I don't know.  Maybe he couldn't find the food.  But what makes you
think he took our boats?"

"They're gone; aren't they?"

"Yes, but I think the tide carried away the small boat.  The waves came
up unusually high, as you can see by the marks in the sand.  We didn't
pull the skiff up far enough."

"What about the _Gull_?"

"Well, I admit he might have taken that, though there is a possibility
that it dragged the anchor.  We'll take a look all around the island
after we get things in shape.  If we've got to stay here a while we
might as well be comfortable."

"I don't believe we'll stay very long."

"Why not?"

"Because dad will start out and search for us if we don't get home
pretty soon, and the first place he'll head for will be this island."

"Guess you're right.  Pass the jam.  My! but this tastes good!"

"Good!  I should say so!" agreed Andy.

They made a rude but substantial breakfast, washing it down with plenty
of spring water which they found a little way inland.  Then they talked
matters over.

The first thing to do, they agreed, was to look for the _Gull_, and to
this end they once more ascended the cliff and looked all about.  She
was not in sight, nor was there any other craft on the waters that now
sparkled in the sunlight, for the storm had passed away.

"The next thing to do is to make another circuit of the island," went
on Frank.  "We'll do it as quickly as we can, and perhaps we can come
upon our boat.  It may have drifted ashore."

Together they started off.  They planned to keep up the search all day,
taking their lunch with them, and camping out at night, as they had
done before.

"But first we'll hoist a distress signal, in case dad comes for us, and
we'll leave a note saying where we have gone and that we'll come back,"
suggested Frank.

This was done.  They tied one of their coats to a tall tree well up on
the cliff, where it could be seen by a boat coming from the direction
of Harbor View.  Then, leaving a note, written on a piece of paper from
a cracker box, they set out.

Up to noon they had found nothing, but an hour later Andy, who was in
the lead, suddenly uttered a cry as he turned a little promontory and
started down a level stretch of beach.

"There's our man!" he cried.  "He's just come ashore, and the wrecked
motor boat is there too!  It must have drifted away and he went after
it.  He has a man with him!"

Frank saw what his brother indicated.  Disembarking from a large
rowboat were two men--one the mysterious stranger who had imprisoned
them in the cave.  The other seemed to be a boatman, or fisherman.  The
two were pulling up on the beach the battered hull of the wrecked motor
boat, now more dilapidated than ever.

"What shall we do?" asked Andy.

"Let's go right up to him," proposed Frank.

"He ought to be afraid of us now, and he may play right into our hands."

They started forward, but, were suddenly stopped by loud voices between
the two men, neither of whom had yet noticed the approach of our heroes.

"I want my pay now!" they heard the boatman declare.

"And you won't get it until I'm ready to give it to you," retorted the
mysterious man angrily.  "Now you help me get this boat farther up on
the sand."

"I won't do another thing!  I'm done with you.  Give me my money!"

"No!"

"Then take that!"

With a quick motion the boatman drew back his fist and sent it with all
his force into the face of the mysterious man.  The latter reeled under
the blow, staggered for a second, and then toppled over backward on the
sand, falling heavily.

"Try to cheat me, will you!" shouted the man.  Then he caught sight of
the boys.  A change seemed to come over him.  He shoved out the big
rowboat, ran out after it, holding to the stern and then leaped in.
The next moment he was pulling away lustily.

The mysterious man lay motionless on the sands.

"Now's our chance!" cried Frank.  "That was a lucky quarrel for us.  We
can capture him.  That boatman saved us a hard job.  Come on, Andy!"

Together the brothers ran forward.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE PRISONER

"What had we better do to him?" asked Andy, as they neared the
prostrate man.

"Tie him up so he can't get away again," replied Frank, as he glanced
at the seaman who was rapidly rowing away.  "If we keep him, now that
we've got him, he may tell us what we want to know.  And we've got the
wreck of the motor boat, too.  We sure ought to get at the bottom of
this mystery now."

"Well, we deserve something after all we went through," remarked the
younger lad, as he thought of the rising tide in the cave.

"That fellow is in a hurry all right," went on Frank, with a wave of
his hand toward the sailor who was now some distance out.  "I guess he
hit him a pretty hard blow."

"Maybe he killed that man, and is afraid we'll arrest him," suggested
Andy.

"Nonsense!  I don't believe that man is dead."

They were close to him now and stopped to observe the quiet figure.
They hesitated for a moment, for, though they had made up their minds
to make the man a prisoner, it was the first time they had done
anything of the sort, and, naturally, they were a little timid.

Suddenly the figure on the sands stirred, and there came a murmur from
the mysterious man.

"If we're going to do anything, we'd better get at it," suggested Andy.
"He'll come to his senses in a minute and we'll have our hands full.
He's a powerful fellow."

"That's so.  I wonder where there's some rope?" asked Frank.

Andy motioned to the wreck of the motor boat, near which the man lay.

"There's plenty," he said.  "They had a long rope to tow it with.  I'll
get some."

Holding the cord in readiness, the two brothers approached the man, one
on either side.

"You take his feet, and I'll attend to his hands," whispered Frank.
"Have a slip-noose ready to put on, and pull it tight.  Then take
several turns and we'll truss him up."

They worked silently and rapidly.  Andy slipped the coil of rope about
the man's ankles, and pulled the noose taut.  As he was doing this the
man stirred and murmured:

"I'll get even with you for this, Hank Splane!"

"Quick!  He'll come to in a minute!" whispered Andy.

"I've got him," answered Frank.  As one of the man's arms was partly
under him the lad had to pull it out before he could slip the noose
around it.  But he finally accomplished this, and, just as he had it
tight, the fellow suddenly sat up.

"Here!  What's this?  Splane, are you crazy to tie me up this way?  Let
me go, I say, or I'll make you sorry for this.  Let me go, I say!"

He was struggling violently, swaying to and fro as he sat on the sands.
Then his vision, which was probably obscured by the blow he had
received, cleared, and he saw the two boys holding the ends of the
ropes that bound him.

"Oh, it's you; is It?" he gasped, plainly astonished.  "Didn't I tell
you to stop following me?  I won't have it!  If you don't--"  He
stopped short.  A look of wonder followed by one of alarm came over his
face.

"The cave!" he exclaimed.  "I left you in the cave.  The tide was
rising.  You--you--"

"Yes, we escaped, but no thanks to you!" exclaimed Frank sternly.  "You
meant us to be drowned, but we found a way out, and now we have you
just where we want you, you rascal!  You'll tell us what we want to
know, you'll clear up the mystery of Paul Gale, and you'll confess what
you want of this motor boat now, I guess."

"Suppose I refuse?"

"Then we'll take you before the authorities.

"Ha!  Ha!  A likely story.  Marooned on this lonely island you can't do
much.  You see I happen to know your boat is gone, and--"

"Gone, yes, because you took her," interrupted Andy.

"No, I didn't take either your sailboat or the rowboat," spoke the man
simply.  "I wanted to, but some one else got ahead of me.  I had to row
away from the island as the storm came up, and it was no joke, either."

"Then who did take our boats?" asked Andy blankly.

"I don't know," replied the man.  "But I do know that you have more
than you bargain for if you think you can make me talk.  There is no
one on this island but ourselves, now that Splane played me a mean
trick, and deserted.  Talk of authorities!  Ha!  Ha!  It's a joke," and
he pretended to be amused.

"We'll soon be off the island," said Frank, with more confidence than
he felt.  "Our father will be looking for us, and may arrive at any
minute."

The man uttered an exclamation beneath his breath.  Evidently he had
not counted on this.  The two boys stood regarding him.  Now that they
had him, they hardly knew what to do with the fellow.

With a suddenness that was surprising, considering that his feet were
tied, the man managed to stand upright.  Then, with a mighty effort, he
tried to loosen the rope around his hands.

"When I get loose I'll show you what it means to trifle with me!" he
shouted.  "You'll be sorry you ever meddled in this matter!  Wait until
I get this rope off!"

He tried desperately to get it off his hands, and Andy saw the strands
loosening.

"Quick, Frank!" cried the younger lad.  "We've got to take some more
turns on that!  I'll help!  He can't hurt us now!"

The two brothers fairly threw themselves on their prisoner and all
three went down in a heap on the sands.



CHAPTER XXVII

SEARCHING THE WRECK

There was a hard struggle on the beach of lonely Cliff Island.  And the
boys did not have such an advantage as it would seem at first, even
though the hands and feet of their mysterious prisoner were bound.

He was big and strong, and he had evidently been in tight places
before, for he knew how to handle himself.  Every time he got a chance,
as he and his captors rolled together over the sands, he would strike
out with his two hands at once.  Several times he hit Frank or Andy
glancing blows, and once he gave the elder lad such a bop on the side
of the head that the boy saw stars for a moment.

Again he hit Andy, and knocked him several feet distant so that at
first Frank feared his brother had been hurt.

"I'm all right!" shouted the plucky Racer lad, as he jumped and came on
to renew the struggle.  "Hold his head down in the sand, Frank, and
I'll tie some more ropes around his feet!"

"You will not!" yelled the man, and as Frank took his brother's advice,
and pressed the man's head down in the yielding sand, Andy endeavored
to slip another noose about the feet, for the boys had cut the tow rope
into several pieces.

Like a madman the fellow kicked out with both feet.  Frank saw his
object, and uttered a warning cry.

"Keep away!" shouted the elder lad.  "If he hits you it will be all day
with you!"

"That's what it will!" yelled the infuriated man.

"Watch me!" cried Andy with a laugh.  "I didn't learn to throw a lasso
for nothing."  He swung the noose in a circle about his head, and, as
the man raised his feet in the air, to ward off any personal attack,
Andy skillfully tossed the coils about his feet.  They fell around the
shoes, and in an instant Andy had pulled his end of the rope taut,
making two coils about the prisoner.

"Now I have him, Frank," he called.  "I'll take a turn around part of
the boat, and pull.  Then you tie down his arms."

It was a good plan, and well carried out.  With a turn of the rope
about a part of the wrecked motor boat, Andy pulled the man's menacing
legs down flat on the sands.  He could no longer raise them.

"I have him!" exclaimed Frank a moment later, as he passed several
turns of the rope he held about the still bound hands and arms of their
prisoner.  "Now we'll truss him up!"

The man was practically helpless now, and realized it.  Suddenly he
ceased his struggles and when the brothers had completed their work,
and raised him to a sitting position on the sand, he could do no more
harm.

"Well, I guess you've got me," he growled.  "What are you going to do
with me?"

"It depends on what you tell us," said Frank.

"I'll tell you nothing!"

"Then we'll take you where you will.  I guess when Paul Gale sees you
he'll remember something about you that will put us on the right track."

"Paul Gale!  That's not his name.  It's--you say he'll remember?" and
the man interrupted himself in some confusion.  "Has he lost his mind?"
The question was an eager one.

"He can't remember--" began Andy, but Frank stopped him with a sudden
gesture.

"When you tell us what we want to know, we'll answer some of your
questions," the elder lad said.  "Come on, Andy.  Let's have a look at
the wrecked motor boat.  Maybe we can find some clues there."

"You keep away from that boat!" cried the man savagely.  "It's mine.  I
order you to keep away!"  He struggled desperately to get loose, but
could not.

"We'll do as we please now," said Frank.  "You had your way long
enough.  We're going to solve this mystery.  Come, Andy."

The man glared at them, but he could not help himself.  He watched them
go toward the boat and muttered threats at them.  But the boys were not
frightened.

The interior of the motor boat, which once had been an expensive craft,
was all confusion.  It plainly showed the effects of the fire and
explosion, and the battering of the sea.  The hull, however, was sound,
or it would have sunk.

"What do you suppose is in it that he's been looking for?" asked Andy.

"I don't know," replied Frank.  "Gold perhaps, or jewels."

"Maybe valuable papers."

"Perhaps.  Well, let's see what we can find."

They poked about in the engine cockpit, looked in all the lockers, and
took out some of the broken seats to search under them, but came upon
nothing of value.  There were many splintered and charred boards, and
these they removed, but all to no purpose.

"If anything is here it's well hidden," remarked Frank at length.

"This is a fine boat, and with a little fixing could be made good
again."

They went on with the search.  At times the man laughed at them, and
again he harshly urged them to leave the wreck alone.  But the boys
searched on.  The sun rose higher and the day grew hot.

"I wonder if dad will come for us?" ventured Andy.

"Sure," asserted his brother.

"I suppose they'll say we did wrong to come here, and run so many
risks," went on Andy.

"Well, we meant it all for the best, and it has turned out fine,"
declared Frank.  "They won't worry much, I guess.  I wish they'd come
for us though.  I don't know what to do with this man."

"That's right.  Well, keep on looking.  Dad may come by afternoon."

If the boys had only known of the cutting down of their rowboat and the
intense anxiety of Mr. Racer they would not have been so confident of
the lack of worry on the part of those at home.

"Say, are you fellows going to keep me here like this all day, in the
hot sun without shelter and nothing to eat?" the prisoner finally
exclaimed.  "It's not right!"

"Well, perhaps it isn't," agreed Frank, "but it wasn't right for you to
shut us in the cave, either.  However, we will give you something to
eat, if you promise not to attack us if we loose your hands."

"Loosen only one hand, and don't trust him," whispered Andy.

"Oh, I suppose I've got to promise," grumbled the man.  "I'm half
starved."

"So am I," remarked Andy to his brother.  "Let's quit searching now,
and go for grub.  We have plenty of it at our camp, and we can bring it
here.  Guess we'd better camp here, too.  It's a better place, and we
can't move him down very well."

To this Frank agreed, and they soon had their food moved to the new
location.  They looked well to the bonds of the prisoner before leaving
him, even for a few minutes.  Then, when a fire had been built, and
some food prepared, they loosened the ropes from one of his hands so
that he might feed himself.  Andy and Frank were seated in front of
him, eating, when Andy happened to turn around.

He saw that the man had in some manner, secured possession of a piece
of heavy driftwood.  This club he was raising to bring down on the head
of Frank, who was nearest to him.  There was no time to call out, for
the stick was already descending, and Andy did the next best thing.

With a quick shove of his foot he sent his brother sprawling over on
his side in the sand, while the club came down harmlessly, but only a
few inches away.



CHAPTER XXVIII

BUILDING A RAFT

"What was the matter?" gasped Frank, somewhat dazed, as he crawled away
and sat up.  "Why did you shove me over?"

"Don't you see?" asked Andy quickly.  "He was going to hit you!  Then
he'd have tackled me I guess.  Look out!  He's at it again!"

With a snarl of rage the man had again raised the club.  But Frank was
too quick for him.  Fairly leaping at him, the sturdy lad tore the
piece of driftwood away and tossed it some distance off.

"So!  That's how you keep your promise, is it?" the elder lad asked.
"We won't give you any more chances.  We'll tie him up again, Andy, and
let him go hungry for a while."

The man glared hatred at them, and tried to fight them with the hand
they had freed so that he might eat.  But the two lads were more than a
match for him in his condition, and soon had him made fast again.  He
had eaten only a part of his dinner when he thought he saw this chance
to make his escape.

"Are you going to leave me like this?" he growled, when Andy and Frank
resumed their interrupted meal.  "I'll get sunstruck."

"It would almost serve you right," murmured Frank, "but we'll return
good for evil.  Let's make a sort of shelter, Andy."

With pieces of driftwood they raised a framework over their prisoner as
he sat on the sands.  On the boards they put sea weed, of which there
was an abundance, and soon the man was sheltered from the hot sun.

"We'll have to make something like that for ourselves to-night,"
observed Frank.

"Yes, and it isn't going to be very pleasant staying here with that
man, even if he is tied up," went on his brother.  "I'm afraid he'll
get loose in the night and attack us."

"We'll have to look well to the knots, and keep a sort of watch I
suppose," remarked Frank.  "But let's go back and finish searching in
that wreck.  I wonder what it is that's in it, and where it is?"

But the boys found no answer to their questions, though they made
diligent search.

"I don't believe it's here," said Andy at length.  "Whatever there was
Paul must have taken away before he lost his memory, and he may have
hidden it somewhere else.  But I have another plan, Frank?"

"No jokes, I hope."

"No, this is serious.  The more I think of staying here with that man
all night, the less I like it."

"I don't like it either, but what can we do!  Dad may think we're
staying away too long, and he may come for us.  He knows we started for
Cliff Island.  Then again he may not come for several days, as he knows
we've got lots of food.  And our distress signal doesn't seem to
attract any attention."

"No, and that's why I think we oughtn't to stay here any longer.  It is
very seldom that vessels come here, and we haven't much chance of being
taken off.  We ought to get away and in the path of the fishing
schooners.  Then we would be picked up."

"Yes, but how are we going to get off?  We haven't a boat."

"I know, but we can make a raft.  There's no end of wood here, and we
have plenty of rope left after tying that man up, with which to bind
the planks together.  There are some nails in that motor boat wreck,
too, and some tools.  We could make a raft good enough to take us far
enough out so we would be picked up.  We might even make the main land.
There are two paddles in the _Swallow_."

"What are we going to do with him--leave him here?" and he nodded
toward the prisoner.

"We'll have to take him along," said Andy.  "We're not going to lose
him after we had so much trouble in finding him."

"Well, perhaps it's the best thing to do," agreed Frank, after thinking
it over.  "But we can't get it done in time to leave to-day.  It's late
afternoon now."

"No, but we can start it, finish it the first thing in the morning, and
leave as early as possible.  We ought to be home by to-morrow easily."

"I wish we could be.  If we could only run the _Swallow_."

"It wouldn't be safe, in the condition she's in.  The raft is the only
thing."

They ceased their useless searching of the motor boat, and began
gathering large pieces of driftwood.  Their prisoner in his seaweed
shelter watched them curiously.

"What are you up to now?" he asked in his surly voice.

"You'll see soon enough," answered Frank.  He had no idea of telling
their plans.

It was not so easy to build a raft that would hold three as Andy had
supposed.  But they did manage to get the framework of it together.
Then they had to think of a shelter for themselves, and built one near
that of the prisoner.  They also gathered wood for a campfire and made
preparations for supper.

"Am I going to starve?" demanded the man, as they made no effort to
loosen his bonds so that he might eat.  "I'm thirsty, too."

"We'll feed you and give you a drink," spoke Frank.  "We aren't going
to take any more chances."

And this they did, putting pieces of food in the man's mouth, and
holding up a tin cup for him to drink from.

They divided the night into watches, each taking turns.  While one
slept the other would sit by the fire to see that the desperate man did
not loosen his bonds.

It was Andy's trick, and he was very tired.  In spite of himself his
head would nod at times.  He even walked up and down to get rid of the
sleepy feeling but it came back.  As he sat by the fire his head swayed
to and fro.

"I'll just close my eyes for a half minute," he told himself.  "Just
for a few seconds.  I--I'll--"

Andy was asleep and in the shelter where the prisoner lay bound there
was a movement.  Eager and cruel eyes watched the lad on guard.  Both
Andy and Frank were slumbering now.

"It's my only chance," murmured the man as he heard their heavy
breathing.  "My only chance."  Then he began rolling over and over on
the sand, out of his shelter.



CHAPTER XXIX

"SAIL HO!"

Frank, in the heavy slumber that had come to him as soon as his watch
was over, seemed to smell something burning.  It was like the mingled
odor of charred rope and scorched leather and came pungently to his
nose.

At first he paid no heed to it, but turned restlessly in his slumber to
compose himself more comfortably on the bunch of seaweed that served as
his bed.  Then the odor became stronger.

"Andy must be too near the fire, and is burning his shoes," he thought
in a sort of hazy way.  "He ought to be more careful.  I guess--"

Frank was wide-awake in a moment, for he heard some one exclaim aloud
as if in pain.

"What's that?" cried the lad, sitting up.  The smell of burnt leather
and rope was even more noticeable.  Frank peered out of the shelter
toward the campfire.

A strange sight met his eyes.  There was Andy fast asleep, and there
was the mysterious man, lying at full length on the sand, holding his
rope-bound feet as near to the blaze as he dared.  He was burning off
the cords that bound his legs that he might be free, and it was the
smell of charred rope and leather that had awakened Frank.

The explanation came to him in an instant.  The man had seen Andy fall
asleep.  He had rolled from his shelter over and over on the sand and
had gotten near enough to the blaze to nearly, accomplish his purpose.
Frank dashed out.

"Andy!  Andy!" he called.  "Wake up, our prisoner is trying to get
away!"

The man, with a snarl of rage, tried to burst the ropes that still held
his legs, but they were not yet burned enough to break.  He had not
risked loosening his hands in that way.

Frank, in another instant, was beside their prisoner.  He had a spare
piece of rope, and this he quickly passed about the man's ankles, for
fear some of the other strands had become weak.

"What's the matter?" demanded Andy, rubbing his eyes and leaping up.
"Did I fall asleep?  Did he get away?"

"You were asleep all right," replied Frank, "But he didn't escape.  I
guess we'll have to both watch after this."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," said the younger lad contritely.

"That's all right," spoke Frank kindly.  "You couldn't help it.  We had
no sleep last night.  Now you get back where you came from," he ordered
the man.

"Aren't you going to help me.  I can't walk."

"Then roll in the same as you rolled out."

There was no help for it, and the prisoner, muttering threats against
the lads, was forced to roll over and over on the sand until he was
back in his shelter.  Thereafter Andy and Frank both stayed awake until
morning came.

They resumed work on the raft immediately after a hasty breakfast.  In
order that their prisoner might be taken to the mainland, or out as far
as they might go before a ship picked them up, they made a sort of
platform, on which he could sit.  They also improvised a mast on which
they stretched a piece of canvas they found in the wrecked motor boat.
By noon their rude vessel was completed.

"Now for the launching," exclaimed Frank.  "It's nearly high tide, and
if we can work it a little farther down the beach the tide will do the
heaviest work for us.  Then we'll go aboard."

"I'm not going on that thing!" snarled their prisoner.

"Yes, you are, if we have to carry you," declared Frank.

"But I may be drowned.  You ought to take off these ropes if you're
going to do such a fool-hardy thing as to sail on that raft."

"Not much!" exclaimed Frank determinedly "We've had enough of your
tricks.  You'll go on that raft, and you'll stay tied up."

"But if I give you my promise?" whined the man, who seemed to have lost
much of his bravado.

"Nixy on _your_ promises," exclaimed Andy.  "Come on, Frank, let's work
the raft down to shore a bit."

It was not without much labor that the boys succeeded in getting the
heavy mass of driftwood down where the tide would float it for them.
The man watched them with a scowling face, occasionally muttering to
himself.

"Better take something to eat along with us; hadn't we?" asked Andy,
when they were waiting for the rising tide.

"Sure," assented Frank.  "We may not be picked up until along toward
night.  And we'll want water.  Lucky we've got some empty cracker tins
to carry it in."

They put the food and water aboard, rigged up their rude sail, and then
carried their prisoner aboard, as it would be awkward to handle him
after the raft was afloat.

Meanwhile they had looked eagerly for any sign of an approaching sail,
but had seen nothing.

"Well, I guess we can get aboard," spoke Frank at length.  "It's been
quite an adventure for us, and I'm glad it's about over.  Paul Gale
will soon know who he is."

"We'll see," sneered the man.

The raft was afloat.  With their paddles the boys began to work it
slowly from shore.  The wind caught their small sail.

Suddenly Frank, who was seated ahead of his brother, uttered a cry.

"Sail ho!  Sail ho!" he shouted.

"Where?" demanded Andy.

"Right over there and she's headed this way," said Frank, pointing.
"It's a big motor boat.  I believe it's coming to rescue us, Andy!
Let's wait a bit!"

Eagerly they looked to where a speedy craft was plowing over the waters
of the great bay.  Frantically they shouted and waved anything they
could find until answering signals told them that theirs had been seen.



CHAPTER XXX

THE ACCUSATION--CONCLUSION

"Frank!  Andy!" came a hail from the swift motor boat.

"It's dad!" cried the two brothers together.

"Yes, and Paul Gale is with him!" added the older lad.  "They arrived
just in time.  Now we'll be all right."

"And this will wind you up, Mr. Man!" exclaimed Frank, looking at the
prisoner.

"We'll see," was the sullen answer.

"We might as well put back to shore, and unload our stuff," proposed
Andy.

"No, stay on the raft," suggested Frank.  "I will be easier to get in
the motor boat then, as she can't run in too close to shore."

It was a good idea, for the speedy craft of Mr. Lacey, as it proved to
be, could not have come in very close.  But the raft made a good
landing float.

"Well, Andy and Frank!" exclaimed Mr. Racer, when he could grasp their
hands.  "You've given us a fine scare."

"We didn't mean to," spoke Andy.

"And we have the man who caused all the trouble," added Frank.  "He's a
prisoner, dad.  See, Paul.  Here's the man we've been after."

Paul Gale pressed to the side of the motor craft as it floated near the
raft.  At once a strange change came over the lad's face.  His cheeks
flushed and his eyes grew bright.  There was a look of fear, and then
it gave place to one of anger.  As for the prisoner he tried to turn
his head away, but his bonds held him.

"Ha!  Now I remember!" cried Paul.  "I know you, James Shallock!  I
remember all!  It all comes back to me when I see you face to face."

"Who is he?" asked Frank eagerly.

"And who are you, if you can tell us?" demanded Mr. Racer.  This was
more important than learning about the prisoner.  Frank and Andy
thought it even more to the point than learning how their father had
come to their rescue.  While, as for Mr. Racer, as long as his boys
were safe he could forgive them the anxiety they had caused him.  "Who
are you, Paul?" demanded the silk merchant.

"I am--I am--" the lad hesitated.  He denied to be undergoing a severe
mental struggle.  "I am Paul--Bartlett!" he cried.  "That's it!  I
remember it all now!  And this man, who tried to swindle my sick father
and myself, ought to be in jail!"

"That's where he'll be, soon," declared Frank.

"Tell us about it," urged Andy.

"How did you happen to come for us, dad?" asked Frank.

"We came here as a last hope, after we ran down your rowboat at sea,
and found the _Gull_ adrift."

"The _Gull_ adrift!" exclaimed Frank.  "That explains it then.  Our
rowboat was washed away by the tide.  The _Gull_ pulled her anchor in
the storm."

"And we thought you were drowned or had fallen overboard," said the
father.  "Thank the Lord you are safe!  It will be good news to your
mother.  But let us hear Paul's story."

"This man is a scoundrel," began the lad who had so suddenly recovered
his memory.  "For a number of years he was my father's confidential
secretary.  My father, who had large business interests fell ill, and
this man took advantage of him to secure important papers.  He sought
to ruin my father, and enrich himself.

"There came a time when my father could no longer attend to business,
and he went to a sanitarium to be cured.  I was an only son, and as
there were no other near relatives I stopped at a seaside hotel not far
from here.  I had only just arrived when I found that this man, James
Shallock, was following me.  I had certain important papers of my
father's and I knew he was trying to get them away from me as they were
very valuable.

"I made up my mind to escape.  Perhaps I acted foolishly, but I was
very much afraid of this man.  I decided to go away in my motor boat,
which my father had given me just before I went to the seaside hotel.
One night I started out, taking the papers with me.  I was all alone,
and I decided to go to some quiet place in my boat, and there stay
until I could communicate with my father.  I hoped to throw this man
off my track.

"I left one evening, and soon found myself in this bay.  I did not know
much about navigation, and I soon got off my course in the darkness.
Then in the morning the storm came up, and my boat hit some obstruction
which threw the steering gear out of order.

"Next something went wrong with my engine, so I shut it down, hid the
papers, and drifted at the mercy of the wind and waves, for no boat
answered my signals of distress.  The storm grew worse, and all the
next day I was driven about.  Then came a calm, but I could not make
land, nor were my signals of distress answered.  I drifted farther and
farther, and as I had no food or water I soon became partly delirious,
I suppose.

"Then came another storm, and I saw some jagged rocks, there was no way
of avoiding them.  I thought of leaping overboard for I am a good
swimmer, but my foot caught in an electric wire.  I pulled it from
place as I fell, injuring my arm, and this made a short circuit.  There
was some gasolene, from a leaky tank, on the floor of the cockpit, and
this caught fire from the electric spark.

"The storm grew worse.  I did not know what to do.  Then came an
explosion and I found myself in the water.  I remember some one calling
to me, and taking me on board a sailing vessel, and then it all became
a blank.  My mind left me."

"That was when we rescued you," spoke Frank, as Paul Bartlett finished.
"But what did you do with the important papers?"

"Wait.  Let me think," pleaded the lad.  "I put them--"

They all leaned eagerly forward to hear answer.  The mysterious man
struggled vainly at his bonds.

"I put them in one of the cylinders of the engine," cried the lad.
"One of the cylinders was out of commission.  I shut off the water
supply, took off the head and stuffed the papers between the outer wall
and the inner one.  They ought to be there now."

"No wonder we couldn't find them," exclaimed Frank.

"And where is your father now?" asked Mr. Racer.

"Still in the sanitarium I hope," answered Paul.  "That is the reason
none of our advertisements about me were answered.  My father did not
see them, and I have no other relatives.  His business was closed up,
and his friends did not know where he or I had gone.  But it's all
right now.  Oh, how I want to see my father!"

"We'll send him word at once, if you have his address," said Mr. Racer.

"And what shall we do with this man?" inquired Mr. Lacey.

"Jail is the place for him," declared Mr. Racer.  "He is a desperate
criminal to have followed Paul about as he did.  Now, boys, get aboard,
and we'll take Mr. James Shallock in with us also.  Cast off the raft,
and we'll go home."

"Wait until I get Paul's papers!" cried Frank.

It did not take long to remove one of the engine cylinder heads, and
there, between the two walls, were the important papers, safe.  They
involved the possession of much property that Shallock hoped to get
under his control.

They set out for the mainland with their sullen prisoner.  He soon
realized that his games were up, and when turned over to the
authorities he made a partial confession.  He admitted that he had
followed Paul, soon after the lad left the hotel, hoping to get the
papers.  When the lad left in his motor boat the scoundrel lost track
of him for a while.  Then he learned of Paul's efforts to escape and
set out after him.  From the Racer boys the man learned of Paul's
rescue, but naturally he would not tell what he wanted of him, and
hurried away.  He hung about Harbor View, hoping for a chance to get
hold of the helpless lad, or steal the papers.  That was the cause of
his midnight visit to the Racer home.

Then he had an idea that the papers were in the boat, and he made a
search for that.  He found it floating at sea, and hiring a sailboat,
started to tow it to land.

He was frightened by the Racer boys, however, and soon afterward, a
storm coming up, the tow line parted and the _Swallow_ was once more
afloat.  Shallock made another attempt to find it, and succeeded.  Then
he decided to tow it to Cliff Island so he might have plenty of time to
search it.

The arrival of the boys spoiled his plans, and once more he fled, after
imprisoning them in the cave.

He next hired a boatman to put him on the island with the wreck of the
boat, but there was the quarrel which the boys witnessed, and once more
the scoundrel's plans failed.  The rest is known to my readers.
Shallock confessed to setting fire to the sailboat of the Racer boys,
and after a trial he was sent to jail for a long term.

Mr. Racer explained to the boys how he and Mr. Lacey had set out in
search for them, and how they had run down the rowboat.  Then sure,
after a fruitless search in the storm, that his sons were drowned, the
silk merchant was distracted.  He was more so when the _Gull_ was found
adrift a little later, having dragged her anchor in the gale.

After that Mr. Racer, in the motor boat of Mr. Lacey, made a search up
and down the coast for his sons' bodies.  Paul Bartlett, who was much
improved, went with them, and it was Paul who suggested the possibility
of the boys still being on the island.  Accordingly another trip was
made there, with what result we have seen.

"Oh, I'm so glad I know who I am, and that I have a father!" exclaimed
Paul, when word had been sent to the invalid in the sanitarium.  "I
thought I would never get my memory back."

"It was the shock of seeing Shallock the second time that did it," said
Dr. Martin.  "You are as good as ever now, Paul, and you won't need any
more medicine."

And the doctor was right.  The former invalid joined his father, who
also recovered his health and Paul grew into a sturdy youth who had
many good times with the Racer boys, and with Bob Trent.  He also
helped to play several jokes on Chet Sedley, the Harbor View dude, for
Paul was as lively as was Andy.

"I declare I don't know what to do with of two boys," said Mrs. Racer
in despair one day to her husband.  "Here is the latest.  Andy took out
that Chet Sedley for a row, and dumped him overboard.  Something ought
to be done."

"I suppose they ought to be sent away school," said Mr. Racer
reflectively.  "They getting to be old enough now."

"Yes, a good quiet school would do them good," said his wife.  "I think
I know of right place, kept by an old professor who is very deep
student.  It is a nice quiet place."

"We'll send them there," decided Mr. Racer.

And how the Racer boys went to this same "quiet" school, and how they
gave that same school a very rude, but very necessary, awakening will
be related in the second volume of this series, to be called, "Frank
and Andy at Boarding School; or, Rivals for Many Honors."

Paul went back to his sick father a few days after the mystery had been
cleared up, taking the important papers with him.  He gave Andy and
Frank the wrecked motor boat, which they brought from Cliff Island and
had repaired, so that it was a fine craft.  In it the brothers and Bob
Trent had many a trip.

Mr. Bartlett's health improved very much after his son joined him at
the sanitarium.  Though the truth about the lad's disappearance had
been kept from him as much as possible, yet something of it had to be
told, and this, naturally, made the invalid worry.

"But I am all right, now that you are safe, Paul," he said,
affectionately patting his son on the shoulder.  "I think I will soon
be able to leave this place."

And he was, for his condition grew rapidly better after that.  The
finding of the important papers, without which much of his fortune
would have gone to Shallock, no doubt aided in Mr. Bartlett's return to
health.

"I should like to meet those brave Racer boys who aided you so much,
Paul," said his father one day.  "How would it do for you and me to
take a trip to Harbor View?"

"Just the thing, dad!" exclaimed the boy, and thither they went.  That
Frank and Andy were glad to see their chum once more goes without
saying, and in the repaired motor boat they went to the island where
Frank and Andy had undergone such an experience, visiting the cave
where the lads had been held prisoners.

Paul and his father remained at Harbor View for some weeks, and then
business called Mr. Bartlett away.  He left, promising to see his
friends again soon.

"Come on," called Andy to Frank one day, "I've just thought of a fine
trick to play on Chet Sedley."

"Not for mine!" exclaimed Frank.  "I've had enough of your tricks for a
while.  I'm going fishing.  We haven't much more time at the beach, as
it will soon be time to go back to New York."

"And then for boarding school," exclaimed Andy, turning a handspring.
"I heard dad talking to mother about it.  Say!  Maybe we won't have
sport!"

"If we don't, it won't be your fault," spoke Frank.

Then he and his brother went for a run in the _Swallow_; and here we
will take leave of them for a time.





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