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´╗┐Title: The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea
Author: Hope, Laura Lee
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 "The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images made available by the HathiTrust
Digital Library.)



[Illustration: THE BOBBSEYS AND OTHERS WERE ROWED TO THE SHORE.]



THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA

BY

LAURA LEE HOPE

AUTHOR OF "THE BOBBSEY TWINS," "THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES," "THE OUTDOOR
GIRLS SERIES," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED

NEW YORK

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1918, by Grosset & Dunlap



CONTENTS:

    CHAPTER I--ON THE RAFT
    CHAPTER II--TO THE RESCUE
    CHAPTER III--STRANGE NEWS
    CHAPTER IV--GETTING READY
    CHAPTER V--OFF FOR FLORIDA
    CHAPTER VI--IN A PIPE
    CHAPTER VII--THE SHARK
    CHAPTER VIII--THE FIGHT IN THE BOAT
    CHAPTER IX--IN ST. AUGUSTINE
    CHAPTER X--COUSIN JASPER'S STORY
    CHAPTER XI--THE MOTOR BOAT
    CHAPTER XII--THE DEEP BLUE SEA
    CHAPTER XIII--FLOSSIE'S DOLL
    CHAPTER XIV--FREDDIE'S FISH
    CHAPTER XV--"LAND HO!"
    CHAPTER XVI--UNDER THE PALMS
    CHAPTER XVII--A QUEER NEST
    CHAPTER XVIII--THE "SWALLOW" IS GONE
    CHAPTER XIX--AWAY AGAIN
    CHAPTER XX--ORANGE ISLAND
    CHAPTER XXI--LOOKING FOR JACK
    CHAPTER XXII--FOUND AT LAST



CHAPTER I

ON THE RAFT


"Flossie! Flossie! Look at me! I'm having a steamboat ride! Oh, look!"

"I am looking, Freddie Bobbsey!"

"No, you're not! You're playing with your doll! Look at me splash,
Flossie!"

A little boy with blue eyes and light, curling hair was standing on a
raft in the middle of a shallow pond of water left in a green meadow
after a heavy rain. In his hand he held a long pole with which he was
beating the water, making a shower of drops that sparkled in the sun.

On the shore of the pond, not far away, and sitting under an apple tree,
was a little girl with the same sort of light hair and blue eyes as
those which made the little boy such a pretty picture. Both children
were fat and chubby, and you would have needed but one look to tell that
they were twins.

"Now I'm going to sail away across the ocean!" cried Freddie Bobbsey,
the little boy on the raft, which he and his sister Flossie had made
that morning by piling a lot of old boards and fence rails together.
"Don't you want to sail across the ocean, Flossie?"

"I'm afraid I'll fall off!" answered Flossie, who was holding her doll
off at arm's length to see how pretty her new blue dress looked. "I
might fall in the water and get my feet wet."

"Take off your shoes and stockings like I did, Flossie," said the little
boy.

"Is it very deep?" Flossie wanted to know, as she laid aside her doll.
After all she could play with her doll any day, but it was not always
that she could have a ride on a raft with Freddie.

"No," answered the little blue-eyed boy. "It isn't deep at all. That is,
I don't guess it is, but I didn't fall in yet."

"I don't want to fall in," said Flossie.

"Well, I won't let you," promised her brother, though how he was going
to manage that he did not say. "I'll come back and get you on the
steamboat," he went on, "and then I'll give you a ride all across the
ocean," and he began pushing the raft, which he pretended was a
steamboat, back toward the shore where his sister sat.

Flossie was now taking off her shoes and stockings, which Freddie had
done before he got on the raft; and it was a good thing, too, for the
water splashed up over it as far as his ankles, and his shoes would
surely have been wet had he kept them on.

"Whoa, there! Stop!" cried Flossie, as she came down to the edge of the
pond, after having placed her doll, in its new blue dress, safely in the
shade under a big burdock plant. "Whoa, there, steamboat! Whoa!"

"You mustn't say 'whoa' to a boat!" objected Freddie, as he pushed the
raft close to the bank, so his sister could get on. "You only say 'whoa'
to a horse or a pony."

"Can't you say it to a goat?" demanded Flossie.

"Yes, maybe you could say it to a goat," Freddie agreed, after thinking
about it for a little while. "But you can't say it to a boat."

"Well, I wanted you to stop, so you wouldn't bump into the shore," said
the little girl. "That's why I said 'whoa.'"

"But you mustn't say it to a boat, and this raft is the same as a boat,"
insisted Freddie.

"What must I say, then, when I want it to stop?"

Freddie thought about this for a moment or two while he paddled his bare
foot in the water. Then he said:

"Well, you could say 'Halt!' maybe."

"Pooh! 'Halt' is what you say to soldiers," declared Flossie. "We said
that when we had a snow fort, and played have a snowball fight in the
winter. 'Halt' is only for soldiers."

"Oh, well, come on and have a ride," went on Freddie. "I forget what you
say when you want a boat to stop."

"Oh, I know!" cried Flossie, clapping her hands.

"What?"

"You just blow a whistle. You don't say anything. You just go 'Toot!
Toot!' and the boat stops."

"All right," agreed Freddie, glad that this part was settled. "When you
want this boat to stop, you just whistle."

"I will," said Flossie. Then she stepped on the edge of the raft nearest
the shore. The boards and rails tilted to one side. "Oh! Oh!" screamed
the little girl. "It's sinking!"

"No it isn't," Freddie said. "It always does that when you first get on.
Come on out in the middle and it will be all right."

"But it feels so--so funny on my toes!" said Flossie, with a little
shiver. "It's tickly like."

"That's the way it was with me at first," Freddie answered. "But I like
it now."

Flossie wiggled her little pink toes in the water that washed up over
the top of the raft, and then she said:

"Well, I--I guess I like it too, now. But it felt sort of--sort
of--squiggily at first."

"Squiggily" was a word Flossie and Freddie sometimes used when they
didn't know else to say.

The little girl moved over to the middle of the raft and Freddie began
to push it out from shore. The rain-water pond was quite a large one,
and was deep in places, but the children did not know this. When they
were both in the center of the raft the water came only a little way
over their feet. Indeed there were so many boards, planks and rails in
the make-believe steamboat that it would easily have held more than the
two smaller Bobbsey twins. For there was a double set of twins, as I
shall very soon tell you.

"Isn't this nice?" asked Freddie, as he pushed the pretend boat farther
out toward the middle of the pond.

"Awful nice--I like it," said Flossie. "I'm glad I helped you make this
raft."

"It's a steamboat," said Freddie. "It isn't a raft."

"Well, steamboat, then," agreed Flossie. Then she suddenly went:

"Toot! Toot!"

"Here! what you blowin' the whistle now for?" asked Freddie. "We don't
want to stop here, right in the middle of the ocean."

"I--I was only just trying my whistle to see if it would toot,"
explained the little girl. "I don't want to stop now."

Flossie walked around the middle of the raft, making the water splash
with her bare feet, and Freddie kept on pushing it farther and farther
from shore. Yet Flossie was not afraid. Perhaps she felt that Freddie
would take care of her.

The little Bobbsey twins were having lots of fun, pretending they were
on a steamboat, when they heard some one shouting to them from the
shore.

"Hi there! Come and get us!" someone was calling to them.

"Who is it?" asked Freddie.

"It's Bert; and Nan is with him," answered Flossie, as she saw a larger
boy and girl standing on the bank, near the tree under which she had
left her doll. "I guess they want a ride. Is the raft big enough for
them too, Freddie?"

"Yes, I guess so," he answered. "You stop the steamboat, Flossie--and
stop calling it a raft--and I'll go back and get them. We'll pretend
they're passengers. Stop the boat!"

"How can I stop the boat?" the little girl demanded.

"Toot the whistle! Toot the whistle!" answered her brother. "Don't you
'member, Flossie Bobbsey?"

"Oh," said Flossie. Then she went on:

"Toot! Toot!"

"Toot! Toot!" answered Freddie. He began pushing the other way on the
pole and the raft started back toward the shore they had left.

"What are you doing?" asked Bert Bobbsey, as the mass of boards and
rails came closer to him. "What are you two playing?"

"Steamboat," Freddie answered. "If you want us to stop for you, why,
you've got to toot."

"Toot what?" asked Bert.

"Toot your whistle," Freddie replied. "This is a regular steamboat. Toot
if you want me to stop."

He kept on pushing with the pole until Bert, with a laugh, made the
tooting sound as Flossie had done. Then Freddie let the raft stop near
his older brother and sister.

"Oh, Bert!" exclaimed Nan Bobbsey, "are you going to get on?"

"Sure I am," he answered, as he began taking off his shoes and
stockings. "It's big enough for the four of us. Where'd you get it,
Freddie?"

"It was partly made--I guess some of the boys from town must have
started it. Flossie and I put more boards and rails on it, and we're
having a ride."

"I should say you were!" laughed Nan.

"Come on," said Bert to his older sister, as he tossed his shoes over to
where Flossie's and Freddie's were set on a flat stone. "I'll help you
push, Freddie."

Nan, who, like Bert, had dark hair and brown eyes, began to take off her
shoes and stockings, and soon all four of them were on the raft--or
steamboat, as Freddie called it.

Now you have met the two sets of the Bobbsey twins--two pairs of them as
it were. Flossie and Freddie, the light-haired and blue-eyed ones, were
the younger set, and Bert and Nan, whose hair was a dark brown, matching
their eyes, were the older.

"This is a dandy raft--I mean steamboat," said Bert, quickly changing
the word as he saw Freddie looking at him. "It holds the four of us
easy."

Indeed the mass of boards, planks and rails from the fence did not sink
very deep in the water even with all the Bobbsey twins on it. Of course,
if they had worn shoes and stockings they would have been wet, for now
the water came up over the ankles of all of them. But it was a warm
summer day, and going barefoot especially while wading in the pond, was
fun.

Bert and Freddie pushed the raft about with long poles, and Flossie and
Nan stood together in the middle watching the boys and making believe
they were passengers taking a voyage across the ocean.

Back and forth across the pond went the raft-steamboat when, all of a
sudden, it stopped with a jerk in the middle of the stretch of water.

"Oh!" cried Flossie, catching hold of Nan to keep herself from falling.
"Oh, what's the matter?"

"Are we sinking?" asked Nan.

"No, we're only stuck in the mud," Bert answered. "You just stay there,
Flossie and Nan, and you, too, Freddie, and I'll jump off and push the
boat out of the mud. It's just stuck, that's all."

"Oh, don't jump in--it's deep!" cried Nan.

But she was too late. Bert, quickly rolling his trousers up as far as
they would go, had leaped off the raft, making a big splash of water.



CHAPTER II

TO THE RESCUE


"Bert! Bert! You'll be drowned!" cried Flossie, as she clung to Nan in
the middle of the raft. "Come back, you'll be drowned!"

"Oh, I'm all right," Bert answered, for he felt himself quite a big boy
beside Freddie.

"Are you sure, Bert, it isn't too deep?" asked Nan.

"Look! It doesn't come up to my knees, hardly," Bert said, as he waded
around to the side of the raft, having jumped off one end to give it a
push to get it loose from the bank of mud on which it had run aground.
And, really, the water was not very deep where Bert had leaped in.

Some water had splashed on his short trousers, but he did not mind that,
as they were the old ones his mother made him put on in which to play.

"Maybe we can get loose without your pushing us," said Freddie, as he
moved about on the raft, tilting it a little, first this way and then
the other. Once before that day, when on the "boat" alone, it had become
stuck on a hidden bank of mud, and the little twin had managed to get it
loose himself.

"No, I guess it's stuck fast," Bert said, as he pushed on the mass of
boards without being able to send them adrift. "I'll have to shove good
and hard, and maybe you'll have to get in here and help me, Freddie."

"Oh, yes, I can do that!" the little fellow said. "I'll come and help
you now, Bert."

"No, you mustn't," ordered Nan, who felt that she had to be a little
mother to the smaller twins. "Don't go!"

"Why not?" Freddie wanted to know.

"Because it's too deep for you," answered Nan. "The water is only up to
Bert's knees, but it will be over yours, and you'll get your clothes all
wet. You stay here!"

"But I want to help Bert push the steamboat loose!"

"I guess I can do it alone," Bert said. "Wait until I get around to the
front end. I'll push it off backward."

He waded around the raft, which it really was, though the Bobbsey twins
pretended it was a steamboat, and then, reaching the front, or what
would be the bow if the raft had really been a boat, Bert got ready to
push.

"Push, Bert!" yelled Freddie.

But a strange thing happened.

Suddenly a queer look came over Bert's face. He made a quick grab for
the side of the raft and then he sank down so that the water came over
his knees, wetting his trousers.

"Oh, Bert! what's the matter?" cried Nan.

"I--I'm sinking in the mud!" gasped Bert. "Oh, I can't get my feet
loose! I'm stuck! Maybe I'm in a quicksand and I'll never get loose!
Holler for somebody! Holler loud!"

And the other three Bobbsey twins "hollered," as loudly as they could.

"Mother! Mother!" cried Nan.

"Come and get Bert!" added Freddie.

"Oh, Dinah! Dinah!" screamed Flossie, for the fat, good-natured colored
cook had so often rescued Flossie that the little girl thought she would
be the very best person, now, to come to Bert's aid.

"Oh, I'm sinking away down deep!" cried the brown-eyed boy, as he tried
to lift first one foot and then the other. But they were both stuck in
the mud under the water, and Bert, afraid of sinking so deep that he
would never get out, clung to the side of the raft with all his might.

"Oh, you're making us sink. You're making us sink!" screamed Nan.
Indeed, the raft was tipping to one side and the other children had all
they could do to keep from sliding into the pond.

"Oh, somebody come and help me!" called Bert.

And then a welcome voice answered:

"I'm coming! I'm coming!"

So, while some one is coming to the rescue, I will take just a few
moments to tell my new readers something about the children who are to
have adventures in this story.

Those of you who have read the other books of the series will remember
that in the first volume, called "The Bobbsey Twins," I told you of
Flossie and Freddie, and Bert and Nan Bobbsey, who lived with their
father and mother in the eastern city of Lakeport, near Lake Metoka. Mr.
Richard Bobbsey owned a large lumberyard, where the children were wont
often to play. As I have mentioned, Flossie and Freddie, with their
light hair and blue eyes, were one set of twins--the younger--while Nan
and Bert, who were just the opposite, being dark, were the older twins.

The children had many good times, about some of which I have told you in
the first book. Dinah Johnson, the fat, jolly cook, always saw to it
that the twins had plenty to eat, and her husband, Sam, who worked about
the place, made many a toy for the children, or mended those they broke.
Almost as a part of the family, as it were, I might mention Snap, the
trick dog, and Snoop, the cat. The children were very fond of these
pets.

After having had much fun, as related in my first book, the Bobbsey
twins went to the country, where Uncle Daniel Bobbsey had a big farm at
Meadow Brook. Later, as you will find in the third volume, they went to
visit Uncle William Minturn at the seashore.

Of course, along with their good times, the children had to go to
school, and you will find one of the books telling what they did there,
and the fun they had. From school the Bobbsey twins went to Snow Lodge,
and then they spent some time on a houseboat and later again went to
Meadow Brook for a jolly stay in the woods and fields near the farm.

"And now suppose we stay at home for a while," Mr. Bobbsey had said,
after coming back from Meadow Brook.

At first the twins thought they wouldn't like this very much, but they
did, and they had as much fun and almost as many adventures as before.
After that they spent some time in a great city and then they got ready
for some wonderful adventures on Blueberry Island.

Those adventures you will find told about in the book just before this
one you are now reading. The twins spent the summer on the island, and
many things happened to them, to their goat and dog, and to a queer boy.
Freddie lost some of his "go-around" bugs, and there is something in the
book about a cave,--but I know you would rather read it for yourself
than have me tell you here.

Now to get back to the children on the raft, or rather, to Flossie,
Freddie and Nan, who are on that, while Bert is in the water, and stuck
in the mud.

"Oh, come quick! Come quick!" he cried. "I can't get loose!"

"I'm coming!" answered the voice, and it was that of Mrs. Bobbsey. She
had been in the kitchen, telling Dinah what to get for dinner, when she
heard the children shouting from down in the meadow, where the big pond
of rain water was.

"I hope none of them has fallen in!" said Mrs. Bobbsey as she ran out of
the door, after hearing Bert's shout.

"Good land ob massy! I hopes so mahse'f!" gasped fat Dinah, and she,
too, started for the pond. But, as she was very fat, she could not run
as fast as could Mrs. Bobbsey. "I 'clar' to goodness I hopes none ob 'em
has falled in de watah!" murmured Dinah. "Dat's whut I hopes!"

Mrs. Bobbsey reached the edge of the pond. She saw three of the twins on
the raft. For the moment she could not see Bert.

"Where is Bert?" she cried.

"Here I am, Mother!" he answered.

Then Mrs. Bobbsey saw him standing in the water, which was now well over
his knees. He was holding to the edge of the raft.

"Oh, Bert Bobbsey!" his mother called. "What are you doing there? Come
right out this instant! Why, you are all wet! Oh, my dear!"

"I can't come out, Mother," said Bert, who was not so frightened, now
that he saw help at hand.

"You can't come out? Why not?"

"'Cause I'm stuck in the mud--or maybe it's quicksand. I'm sinking in
the quicksand. Or I would sink if I didn't keep hold of the raft. I
dassn't let go!"

"Oh, my!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "What shall I do?"

"Can't you pull him out?" asked Nan. "We tried, but we can't."

They had done this--she and Flossie and Freddie. But Bert's feet were
too tightly held in the sticky mud, or whatever it was underneath the
water.

"Wait! I'll come and get you," said Mrs. Bobbsey. She was just about to
wade out to get Bert, shoes, skirts and all, when along came puffing,
fat Dinah, and, just ahead of her, her husband, Sam.

"What's the mattah, Mrs. Bobbsey?" asked the colored man, who did odd
jobs around the Bobbsey home.

"It's Bert! He's fast in the mud!" answered Mrs. Bobbsey. "Oh, Sam,
please hurry and get him out!"

"Yas'am, I'll do dat!" cried Sam. He did not seem to be frightened.
Perhaps he knew that the pond was not very deep where Bert was, and that
the boy could not sink down much farther.

Sam had been washing the automobile with the hose, and when he did this
he always wore his rubber boots. He had them on now, and so he could
easily wade out into the pond without getting wet.

So out Sam waded, half running in fact, and splashing the water all
about. But he did not mind that. As did Dinah, he loved the Bobbsey
twins--all four of them--and he did not want anything to happen to them.

"Jest you stand right fast, Bert!" said the colored man. "I'll have yo'
out ob dere in 'bout two jerks ob a lamb's tail! Dat's what I will!"

Bert did not know just how long it took to jerk a lamb's tail twice,
even if a lamb had been there. But it did not take Sam very long to
reach the small boy.

"Now den, heah we go!" cried Sam.

Standing beside the raft, the colored man put his arms around Bert and
lifted him. Or rather, he tried to lift him, for the truth of the matter
was that Bert was stuck deeper in the mud than any one knew.

"Now, heah we go, _suah!_" cried Sam, as he took a tighter hold and
lifted harder. And then with a jerk, Bert came loose and up out of the
water he was lifted, his feet and legs dripping with black mud, some of
which splashed on Sam and on the other twins.

"Oh, what a sight you are!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Oh, but good land of massy! Ain't yo' all thankful he ain't all
_drown?_" asked Dinah.

"Indeed I am," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Come on away from there, all of you.
Get off the raft! I'm afraid it's too dangerous to play that game. And,
Bert, you must get washed! Oh, how dirty you are!"

Sam carried Bert to shore, and Nan helped Freddie push the raft to the
edge of the pond. And then along came Mr. Bobbsey from his lumberyard.

"Well, well!" exclaimed the father of the Bobbsey twins. "What has
happened?"

"We had a raft," explained Freddie.

"And I had to toot the whistle when I wanted it to stop," added Flossie.

"We were having a nice ride," said Nan.

"Yes, but what happened to Bert?" asked his father, looking at his muddy
son, who truly was a "sight."

"Well, the raft got stuck," Bert answered, "and I got off to push it
loose. Then I got stuck. It was awful sticky mud. I didn't know there
was any so sticky in the whole world! First I thought it was quicksand.
But I held on and then Sam came and got me out. I--I guess I got my
pants a little muddy," he said.

"I guess you did," agreed his father, and his eyes twinkled as they
always did when he wanted to laugh but did not feel that it would be
just the right thing to do. "You are wet and muddy. But get up to the
house and put on dry things. Then I have something to tell you."

"Something to tell us?" echoed Nan. "Oh, Daddy! are we going away
again?"

"Well, I'm not sure about that part--yet," replied Mr. Bobbsey. "But I
have strange news for you."



CHAPTER III

STRANGE NEWS


Bert and Nan Bobbsey looked at one another. They were a little older
than Flossie and Freddie, and they saw that something must have happened
to make their father come home from the lumber office so early, for on
most days he did not come until dinner time. And here it was scarcely
eleven o'clock yet, and Dinah was only getting ready to cook the dinner.

"Is it bad news?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband.

"Well, part of it is bad," he said. "But no one is hurt, or killed or
anything like that."

"Tell us now!" begged Bert. "Tell us the strange news, Daddy!"

"Oh, I couldn't think of it while you look the way you do," said Mr.
Bobbsey. "First get washed nice and clean, and put on dry clothes. Then
you'll be ready for the news."

"I'll hurry," promised Bert, as he ran toward the house, followed by
Snap, the trick dog that had once been in a circus. Snap had come out of
the barn, where he stayed a good part of the time. He wanted to see what
all the noise was about when Bert had called as he found himself stuck
in the mud.

"Are you sure no one is hurt?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband. "Are
Uncle Daniel and Aunt Sarah all right?"

"Oh, yes, of course."

"And Uncle William and Aunt Emily?"

"Yes, they're all right, too. My news is about my cousin, Jasper Dent.
You don't know him very well; but I did, when I was a boy," went on Mr
Bobbsey. "There is a little bad news about him. He has been hurt and is
now ill in a hospital, but he is getting well."

"And is the strange news about him?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, as she walked
on, with Flossie, Freddie and Nan following.

"Yes, about Cousin Jasper," replied Mr. Bobbsey. "But don't get worried,
even if we should have to go on a voyage."

"On a voyage?" cried Mrs. Bobbsey in surprise.

"Yes," and Mr. Bobbsey smiled.

"Do you mean in a real ship, like we played our raft was?" asked
Freddie.

"Yes, my little fireman!" laughed Mr. Bobbsey, catching the little
bare-footed boy up in his arms. Often Freddie was called little
"fireman," for he had a toy fire engine, and he was very fond of
squirting water through the hose fastened to it--a real hose that
sprinkled real water. Freddie was very fond of playing he was a fireman.

"And will the ship go on the ocean?" asked Flossie.

"Yes, my little fat fairy!" her father replied, as he caught her up and
kissed her in turn.

"If your mother thinks we ought to, after I tell the strange news about
Cousin Jasper, we may all take a trip on the deep blue sea."

"Oh, what fun!" cried Freddie.

"I hope we can go soon," murmured Nan.

"But Bert mustn't get off the ship to push it; must he, Daddy?" asked
Flossie.

"No, indeed!" laughed her father, as he set her down in the grass. "If
he does the water will come up more than above his knees. But now please
don't ask me any more questions until I can sit down after dinner and
tell you the whole story."

The children thought the dinner never would be finished, and Bert, who
had put on dry clothes, tried to hurry through with his food.

"Bert, my dear, you must not eat so fast," remonstrated his mother, as
she saw him hurrying.

"Bert is eating like a regular steam engine," came from Flossie.

At this Nan burst out laughing.

"Flossie, did you ever see an engine eat?" she asked.

"Well, I don't care! You know what I mean," returned the little girl.

"Course engines eat!" cried Freddie. "Don't they eat piles of coal?" he
went on triumphantly.

"Well, not an auto engine," said Nan.

"Yes, that eats up gasolene," said Bert.

But they were all in a hurry to listen to what their father might have
to say, and so wasted no further time in argument. And when the rice
pudding was brought in Nan said:

"Dinner is over now, Daddy, for this is the dessert, and when you're in
a hurry to go back to the office you don't wait for that. So can't we
hear the strange news now?"

"Yes, I guess so," answered her father, and he drew from his pocket a
letter. "This came this morning," he said, "and I thought it best to
come right home and tell you about it," he said to his wife.

"The letter is from my Cousin Jasper. When we were boys we lived in the
same town. Jasper was always fond of the ocean, and often said, when he
grew up, he would make a long voyage."

"Freddie and I were having a voyage on a raft to-day," said Flossie.
"And we had fun until Bert fell in."

"I didn't fall in--I jumped in and I got stuck in the mud," put in Bert.

"Don't interrupt, dears, if you want to hear Daddy's news," said Mrs.
Bobbsey, and her husband, after looking at the letter, as if to make
sure about what he was talking, went on.

"Cousin Jasper Dent did become a sailor, when he grew up. But he sailed
more on steamboats than on ships with sails that have to be blown by the
wind. Many things happened to him, so he has told me in letters that he
has written, for I have not seen him very often, of late years. And now
the strangest of all has happened, so he tells me here."

"What is it?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Well, he has been shipwrecked, for one thing."

"And was he cast away on a desert island, like Robinson Crusoe?" asked
Bert, who was old enough to read that wonderful book.

"Well, that's what I don't know," went on Mr. Bobbsey. "Cousin Jasper
does not write all that happened to him. He says he has been shipwrecked
and has had many adventures, and he wants me to come to him so that he
may tell me more."

"Where is he?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"In a hospital in St. Augustine, Florida," was the answer.

"Oh, Florida!" exclaimed Flossie. "That's where the cocoanuts grow;
isn't it, Daddy?"

"Well, maybe a few grow there, but I guess you are thinking of oranges,"
her father answered with a smile. "Lots of oranges grow in Florida."

"And are we going there?" asked Bert.

"That's what I want to talk to your mother about," went on Mr. Bobbsey.
"Cousin Jasper doesn't say just what happened to him, nor why he is so
anxious to see me. But he wants me to come down to Florida to see him."

"It would be a nice trip if we could go, and take the children," said
Mrs. Bobbsey. "Though, I suppose, this is hardly the time of year to go
to such a place."

"Oh, it is always nice in Florida," her husband said, "though of course
when it is winter here it seems nicer there because it is so warm, and
the flowers are in blossom."

"And do the oranges grow then?" asked Freddie.

"I guess so," his father said. "At any rate it is now early spring here,
and even in Florida, where it is warmer than it is up North where we
live, I think it will not be too hot for us. Besides, I don't believe
Cousin Jasper intends to stay in Florida, or have us stay there."

"Why not?" Mrs. Bobbsey asked.

"Well, in his letter he says, after he has told me the strange news, he
hopes I will go on a voyage with him to search for some one who is
lost."

"Some one lost!" replied Nan. "What does he mean, Daddy?"

"That's what I don't know. I guess Cousin Jasper was too ill to write
all he wanted to, and he would rather see me and tell me. So I came to
ask if you would like to go to Florida," and Mr. Bobbsey looked at his
wife and smiled.

"Oh, yes! Let's go!" begged Bert.

"And pick oranges!" added Flossie.

"Please say you'll go, Mother!" cried Nan. "Please do!"

"I want to go in big steamboat!" fairly shouted Freddie. "And I'll take
my fire engine with me and put out the fire!"

"Oh, children dear, do be quiet one little minute and let me think,"
begged Mrs. Bobbsey. "Let me see the letter, dear," she said to her
husband.

Mr. Bobbsey handed his wife the sheets of paper, and she read them
carefully.

"Well, they don't tell very much," she said as she folded them and
handed them back. "Still your cousin does say something strange happened
when he was shipwrecked, wherever that was. I think you had better go
and see him, if you can leave the lumberyard, Dick."

"Oh, yes, the lumber business will be all right," said Mr. Bobbsey, whom
his wife called Dick. "And would you like to go with me?" he asked his
wife.

"And take the children?"

"Yes, we could take them. A sail on the ocean would do them good, I
think. They have been shut up pretty much all winter."

"Will we go on a sailboat?" asked Bert.

"No, I hardly think so. They are too slow. If we go we will, very
likely, go on a steamer," Mr. Bobbsey said.

"Oh, goody!" cried Freddie, while Mrs. Bobbsey smiled her consent.

"Well, then, I'll call it settled," went on the twins' father, "and I'll
write Cousin Jasper that we're coming to hear his strange news, though
why he couldn't put it in his letter I can't see. But maybe he had a
good reason. Now I'll go back to the office and see about getting ready
for a trip on the deep, blue sea. And I wonder----"

Just then, out in the yard, a loud noise sounded.

Snap, the big dog, could be heard barking, and a child's voice cried:

"No, you can't have it! You can't have it! Oh, Nan! Bert! Make your dog
go 'way!"

Mr. Bobbsey, pushing back his chair so hard that it fell over, rushed
from the room.



CHAPTER IV

GETTING READY


"Oh, dear!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey, "I wonder what has happened now!"

"Maybe Snap is barking at a tramp," suggested Bert. "I'll go and see."

"It can't be a tramp!" Nan spoke with scorn. "That sounded like a little
girl crying."

"It surely did," Mrs. Bobbsey said. "Wait a minute, Bert. Don't go out
just yet."

"But I want to see what it is, Mother!" and Bert paused, half way to the
door, out of which Mr. Bobbsey had hurried a few seconds before.

"Your father will do whatever needs to be done," said Bert's mother.
"Perhaps it may be a strange dog, fighting with Snap, and you might get
bitten."

"Snap wouldn't bite me."

"Nor me!" put in Nan.

"No, but the strange dog might. Wait a minute."

Flossie and Freddie had also started to leave the room to go out into
the yard and see what was going on, but when they heard their mother
speak about a strange dog they went back to their chairs by the table.

Then, from the yard, came cries of:

"Make him give her back to me, Mr. Bobbsey! Please make Snap give her
back to me!"

"Oh, that's Helen Porter!" cried Nan, as she heard the voice of a child.
"It's Helen, and Snap must have taken something she had."

"I see!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey, looking out the door. "It's Helen's
doll. Snap has it in his mouth and he's running with it down to the end
of the yard."

"Has Snap really got Helen's doll?" asked Flossie.

"Yes," answered her mother. "Though why he took it I don't know."

"Well, if it's only Snap, and no other dog is there, can't I go out and
see?" asked Bert. "Snap won't hurt me."

"No, I don't believe he will," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Yes, you may all go
out. I hope Snap hasn't hurt Helen."

Helen Porter was a little girl who lived next door to the Bobbsey twins,
and those of you who have the book about camping on Blueberry Island
will remember her as the child who, at first, was thought to have been
taken away by the Gypsies.

"Oh, Helen! What is the matter, my dear?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, as she
hurried out into the yard, followed by Bert, Nan, Flossie and Freddie.

"Did Snap bite you?" asked Nan, looking toward her father, who was
running after the dog that was carrying the little girl's doll in his
mouth.

"No, Snap didn't bite me! But he bit my doll!" Helen answered.

"It doesn't hurt dolls to bite 'em," said Bert, with a laugh.

"It does so!" cried Helen, turning her tear-filled eyes on him. "It
makes all their sawdust come out!"

"So it does, my dear," said Mrs. Bobbsey kindly. "But we'll hope that
Snap won't bite your doll as hard as that. If he does I'll sew up the
holes to keep the sawdust in. But how did he come to do it?"

"I--I guess maybe he liked the cookie my doll had," explained Helen, who
was about as old as Flossie.

"Did your doll have a cookie?" asked Nan.

"Yes. I was playing she was a rich lady doll," went on the little girl
from next door, "and she was taking a basket of cookies to a poor doll
lady. Course I didn't have a whole basket of cookies," explained Helen.
"I had only one, but I made believe it was a whole basket full."

"How did you give it to your doll to carry?" asked Nan, for she had
often played games this way herself, making believe different things.
"How did your doll carry the cookie, Helen?"

"She didn't carry it," was the answer. "I tied it to her with a piece of
string so she wouldn't lose it. The cookie was tied fast around her
waist."

"Oh, then I see what happened," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Snap came up to you,
and he smelled the cookie on your doll; didn't he?"

"Yes'm," answered Helen.

"And he must have thought you meant the cookie for him," went on Nan's
mother. "And he tried to take it in his mouth; didn't he?"

"Yes'm," Helen answered again.

"And when he couldn't get the cookie loose, because you had it tied fast
to your doll, he took the cookie, doll and all. That's how it was," said
Mrs. Bobbsey. "Never mind, Helen. Don't cry. Here comes Mr. Bobbsey now,
with your doll."

"But I guess Snap has the cookie," said Bert with a laugh.

"I'll get you another one from Dinah," promised Nan to Helen.

In the meantime Mr. Bobbsey had run down to the lower end of the yard
after Snap, the big dog.

"Come here, Snap, you rascal!" he cried. "Come here this minute!"

But for once Snap did not mind. He was rather hungry, and perhaps that
accounted for his disobedience. Instead of coming up he ran out of sight
behind the little toolhouse. Mr. Bobbsey went after him, but by the time
he reached the spot Snap was nowhere to be seen.

"Snap! Snap!" he called out loudly. "Come here, I tell you! Where are
you hiding?"

Of course, the dog could not answer the question that had been put to
him, and neither did he show himself. That is, not at first. But
presently, as Mr. Bobbsey looked first in one corner of the toolhouse
and then in another, he saw the tip end of Snap's tail waving slightly
from behind a big barrel.

"Ah, so there you are!" he called out, and then pushed the barrel to one
side.

There was Snap, and in front of him lay the doll with a short string
attached to it. Whatever had been tied to the other end of the string
was now missing.

"Snap, you're getting to be a bad dog!" said Mr. Bobbsey sternly. "Give
me that doll this instant!"

The dog made no movement to keep the doll, but simply licked his mouth
with his long, red tongue, as if he was still enjoying what he had
eaten.

"If you don't behave yourself after this I'll have to tie you up, Snap,"
warned Mr. Bobbsey.

And then, acting as if he knew he had done wrong, the big dog slunk out
of sight.

"Here you are, Helen!" called Flossie's father, as he came back. "Here's
your doll, all right, and she isn't hurt a bit. But the cookie is inside
of Snap."

"Did he like it?" Helen wanted to know.

"He seemed to--very much," answered Mr. Bobbsey with a laugh. "He made
about two bites of it, after he got it loose from the string by which
you had tied it to the doll."

Helen dried her tears on the backs of her hands, and took the doll which
had been carried away by the dog. There were a few cookie crumbs
sticking to her dress, and that was all that was left of the treat she
had been taking to a make-believe poor lady.

"Snap, what made you act so to Helen?" asked Bert, shaking his finger at
his pet, when the dog came up from the end of the yard, wagging his
tail. "Don't you know you were bad?"

Snap did not seem to know anything of the kind. He kept on wagging his
tail, and sniffed around Helen and her doll.

"He's smelling to see if I've any more cookies," said the little girl.

"I guess he is," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Well, come into the house, Helen,
and I'll give you another cookie if you want it. But you had better not
tie it to your doll, and go anywhere near Snap."

"I will eat it myself," said the little girl.

"One cookie a day is enough for Snap, anyhow," said Bert.

The dog himself did not seem to think so, for he followed the children
and Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey back to the house, as though hoping he would
get another cake.

"Heah's a bone fo' yo'," said Dinah to Snap, for she liked the big dog,
and he liked her, I think, for he was in the kitchen as often as Dinah
would allow him. Or perhaps it was the good things that the fat cook
gave him which Snap liked.

"When we heard you crying, out in the yard," said Mr. Bobbsey to Helen,
as they were sitting in the dining-room, "we didn't know what had
happened."

"We were afraid it was another dog fighting with Snap," went on Nan.

"Snap didn't fight me," Helen said. "But he scared me just like I was
scared when the gypsy man took Mollie, my talking doll."

I have told you about this in the Blueberry Island book, you remember.

"Well, I must get back to the office," said Mr. Bobbsey, after a while.
"From there I'll write and tell Cousin Jasper that I'll come to see him,
and hear his strange story."

"And we'll come too," added Bert with a laugh. "Don't forget us, Daddy."

"I'll not," promised Mr. Bobbsey.

The letter was sent to Mr. Dent, who was still in the hospital, and in a
few days a letter came back, asking Mr. Bobbsey to come as soon as he
could.

"Bring the children, too," wrote Cousin Jasper. "They'll like it here,
and if you will take a trip on the ocean with me they may like to come,
also."

"Does Cousin Jasper live on the ocean?" asked Flossie, for she called
Mr. Dent "cousin" as she heard her father and mother do, though, really,
he was her second, or first cousin once removed.

"Well, he doesn't exactly live on the ocean," said Mr. Bobbsey. "But he
lives near it, and he often takes trips in boats, I think. He once told
me he had a large motor boat."

"What's a motor boat?" Freddie wanted to know.

"It is one that has a motor in it, like a motor in an automobile,
instead of a steam engine," said Mr. Bobbsey. "Big boats and ships,
except those that sail, are moved by steam engines. But a motor boat has
a gasolene motor, or engine, in it."

"And are we going to ride in one?" asked Flossie.

"Well, we'll see what Cousin Jasper wants us to do, and hear what his
strange news is," answered her father.

"Are we going from here to Florida in a motor boat?" Freddie demanded.

"Well, not exactly, little fireman," his father replied with a laugh.
"We'll go from here to New York in a train, and from New York to Florida
in a steamboat.

"After that we'll see what Cousin Jasper wants us to do. Maybe he will
have another boat ready to take us on a nice voyage."

"That'll be fun!" cried Freddie. "I hope we see a whale."

"Well, I hope it doesn't bump into us," said Flossie. "Whales are awful
big, aren't they, Daddy?"

"Yes, they are quite large. But I hardly think we shall see any between
here and Florida, though once in a while whales are sighted along the
coast."

"Are there any sharks?" Bert asked.

"Oh, yes, there are plenty of sharks, some large and some small," his
father answered. "But they can't hurt us, and the ship will steam right
on past them in the ocean," he added, seeing that Flossie and Freddie
looked a bit frightened when Bert spoke of the sharks.

"I wonder what Cousin Jasper really wants of you," said Mrs. Bobbsey to
her husband, when the children had gone out to play.

"I don't know," he answered, "but we shall hear in a few days. We'll
start for Florida next week."

And then the Bobbsey twins and their parents got ready for the trip.
They were to have many strange adventures before they saw their home
again.



CHAPTER V

OFF FOR FLORIDA


There were many matters to be attended to at the Bobbsey home before the
start could be made for Florida. Mr. Bobbsey had to leave some one in
charge of his lumber business, and Mrs. Bobbsey had to plan for shutting
up the house while the family were away. Sam and Dinah would go on a
vacation while the others were in Florida, they said, and the pet
animals, Snap and Snoop, would be taken care of by kind neighbors.

"What are you doing, Freddie?" his mother asked him one day, when she
heard him and Flossie hurrying about in the playroom, while Mrs. Bobbsey
was sorting over clothes to take on the trip.

"Oh, we're getting out some things we want to take," the little boy
answered. "Our playthings, you know."

"Can I take two of my dolls?" Flossie asked.

"I think one will be enough," her mother said. "We can't carry much
baggage, and if we go out on the deep blue sea in a motor boat we shall
have very little room for any toys. Take only one doll, Flossie, and let
that be a small one."

"All right," Flossie answered.

Mrs. Bobbsey paid little attention to the small twins for a while as she
and Nan were busy packing. Bert had gone down to the lumberyard office
on an errand for his father. Pretty soon there arose a cry in the
playroom.

"Mother, make Freddie stop!" exclaimed Flossie.

"What are you doing, Freddie?" his mother called.

"I'm not doing anything," he answered, as he often did when Flossie and
he were having some little trouble.

"He is too doing something!" Flossie went on. "He splashed a whole lot
of water on my doll."

"Well, it's a rubber doll and water won't hurt," Freddie answered.
"Anyhow I didn't mean to."

"There! He's doing it again!" cried Flossie. "Make him stop, Mother!"

"Freddie, what _are_ you doing?" demanded Mrs. Bobbsey. "Nan," she went
on in a lower voice, "you go and peep in. Perhaps Flossie is just too
fussy."

Before Nan could reach the playroom, which was down the hall from the
room where Mrs. Bobbsey was sorting over the clothes in a large closet,
Flossie cried again:

"There! Now you got me all over wet!"

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey, laying aside a pile of garments. "I
suppose I'll have to go and see what they are doing!"

Before she could reach the playroom, however, Nan came back along the
hall. She was laughing, but trying to keep quiet about it, so Flossie
and Freddie would not hear her.

"What is it?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "What are they doing?"

"Freddie is playing with his toy fire engine," Nan said. "And he must
have squirted some water on Flossie, for she is wet."

"Much?"

"No, only a little."

"Well, he mustn't do it," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "I guess they are so
excited about going to Florida that they really don't know what they are
doing."

Mrs. Bobbsey peered into the room where the two smaller twins had gone
to play. Flossie was trying different dresses on a small rubber doll she
had picked out to take with her. On the other side of the room was
Freddie with his toy fire engine. It was one that could be wound up, and
it had a small pump and a little hose that spurted out real water when a
tank on the engine was filled. Freddie was very fond of playing fireman.

"There, he's doing it again!" cried Flossie, just as her mother came in.
"He's getting me all wet! Mother, make him stop!"

Mrs. Bobbsey was just in time to see Freddie start his toy fire engine,
and a little spray of water did shower over his twin sister.

"Freddie, stop it!" cried his mother. "You know you mustn't do that!"

"I can't help it," Freddie said.

"Nonsense! You can't help it? Of course you can help squirting water on
your sister!"

"He can so!" pouted Flossie.

"No, Mother! I can't, honest," said Freddie. "The hose of my fire engine
leaks, and that makes the water squirt out on Flossie. I didn't mean to
do it. I'm playing there's a big fire and I have to put it out. And the
hose busts--just like it does at real fires--and everybody gets all wet.
I didn't do it on purpose!"

"Oh, I thought you did," said Flossie. "Well, if it's just make believe
I don't mind. You can splash me some more, Freddie."

"Oh, no he mustn't!" said Mrs. Bobbsey, trying not to laugh, though she
wanted to very much. "It's all right to make believe you are putting out
a fire, Freddie boy, but, after all, the water is really wet and Flossie
is damp enough now. If you want to play you must fix your leaky hose."

"All right, Mother, I will," promised the little boy.

One corner of the room was his own special place to play with the toy
fire engine. A piece of oil cloth had been spread down so water would
not harm anything, and here Freddie had many good times.

There really was a hole in the little rubber hose of his engine, and the
water did come out where it was not supposed to. That was what made
Flossie get wet, but it was not much.

"And, anyhow, it didn't hurt her rubber doll," said Freddie.

"No, she likes it," Flossie said. "And I like it too, Freddie, if it's
only make believe fun."

"Well, don't do it any more," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "You'll soon have water
enough all around you, when you sail on the blue sea, and that ought to
satisfy you. Mend the hole in your fire engine hose, Freddie dear."

"All right, Mother," he answered. "Anyhow, I guess I'll play something
else now. Toot! Toot! The fire's out!" he called, and Mrs. Bobbsey was
glad of it.

Freddie put away his engine, which he and Flossie had to do with all
their toys when they were done playing with them, and then ran out to
find Snap, the dog with which he wanted to have a race up and down the
yard, throwing sticks for his pet to bring back to him.

Flossie took her rubber doll and went over to Helen Porter's house,
while Nan and Mrs. Bobbsey went back to the big closet to sort over the
clothes, some of which would be taken on the Florida trip with them.

"I'm going to take my fire engine with me," Freddie said, when he had
come in after having had fun with Snap.

"Do you mean on the ship?" asked Nan.

"Yes; I'm going to take my little engine on the ship with me. But first
I'm going to have the hose mended."

"You won't need a fire engine on a ship," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Oh, I might," answered Freddie. "Sometimes ships get on fire, and
you've got to put the fire out. I'll take it all right."

"Well, we'll hope our ship doesn't catch fire," remarked his mother.

When Mr. Bobbsey came home to supper that evening, and heard what had
happened, he said there would be no room for Freddie's toy engine on the
ship.

[Illustration: THEY WENT ON BOARD THE SHIP.]

"The trip we are going to take isn't like going to Meadow Brook, or to
Uncle William's seashore home," said the father of the Bobbsey twins.
"We can't take all the trunks and bags we would like to, for we shall
have to stay in two small cabins, or staterooms, on the ship. And
perhaps we shall have even less room when we get on the boat with Cousin
Jasper--if we go on a boat. So we can't take fire engines and things
like that."

"But s'posin' the ship gets on fire?" asked Freddie.

"We hope it won't," said Mr. Bobbsey. "But, if it does, there are pumps
and engines already on board. They won't need yours, Freddie boy, though
it is very nice of you to think of taking it."

"Can't I take any toys?"

"I think you won't really need them," his father said. "Once we get out
on the ocean there will be so much to see that you will have enough to
do without playing with the toys you use here at home. Leave everything
here, I say. If you want toys we can get them in Florida, and perhaps
such different ones that you will like them even better than your old
ones."

"Could I take my little rubber doll?" asked Flossie.

"Yes, I think you might do that," her father said, with a smile at the
little girl. "You can squeeze your rubber doll up smaller, if she takes
up too much room."

So it was arranged that way. At first Freddie felt sad about leaving his
toy fire engine at home, but his father told him perhaps he might catch
a fish at sea, and then Freddie began saving all the string he could
find out of which to make a fish line.

Finally the last trunk and valise had been packed. The railroad and
steamship tickets had been bought, Sam and Dinah got ready to go and
stay with friends, Snap and Snoop were sent away--not without a rather
tearful parting on the part of Flossie and Freddie--and then the Bobbsey
family was ready to start for Florida.

They were to go to New York by train, and as nothing much happened
during that part of the journey I will skip over it. I might say,
though, that Freddie took from his pocket a ball of string, which he was
going to use for his fishing, and the string fell into the aisle of the
car.

Then the conductor came along and his feet got tangled in the cord,
dragging the ball boundingly after him halfway down the coach.

"Hello! What's this?" the conductor cried, in surprise.

"Oh, that's my fish line!" answered Freddie.

"Well, you've caught something before you reached the sea," said the
ticket-taker as he untangled the string from his feet, and all the other
passengers laughed.

After a pleasant ride the Bobbsey twins reached New York, and, after
spending a night in a hotel, and going to a moving picture show, they
went on board the ship the next morning. The ship was to take them down
the coast to Florida, where Cousin Jasper was ill in a hospital, though
Mr. Bobbsey had had a letter, just before leaving home, in which Mr.
Dent said he was feeling much better.

"All aboard! All aboard!" called an officer on the ship, when the
Bobbseys had left their baggage in the stateroom where they were to stay
during the trip. "All ashore that's going ashore!"

"That means every one must get off who isn't going to Florida," said
Bert, who had been on a ship once before with his father.

Bells jingled, whistles blew, people hurried up and down the gangplank,
or bridge from the dock to the boat, and at last the ship began to move.

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey were waving good-bye to friends on the pier, and
Nan and Bert were looking at the big buildings of New York, when Mrs.
Bobbsey turned, putting away the handkerchief she had been waving, and
asked:

"Where are Flossie and Freddie?"

"Aren't they here?" asked Mr. Bobbsey quickly.

"No," answered his wife. "Oh, where are they?"

The two little Bobbsey twins were not in sight.



CHAPTER VI

IN A PIPE


There was so much going on with the sailing of the ship--so many
passengers hurrying to and fro, calling and waving good-bye, so much
noise made by the jingling bells and the tooting whistles--that Mrs.
Bobbsey could hardly hear her own voice as she called:

"Flossie! Freddie! Where are you?"

But the little twins did not answer, nor could they be seen on deck near
Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey where they stood with Bert and Nan.

"They were here a minute ago," said Bert. "I saw Flossie holding up her
rubber doll to show her the Woolworth Building." This, as you know, is
the highest building in New York, if not in the world.

"But where is Flossie now?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, and there was a worried
look on her face.

"Maybe she went downstairs," said Mr. Bobbsey.

"And where is Freddie?" asked his mother.

"I saw him getting his ball of string ready to go fishing," laughed
Bert. "I told him to put it away until we got out on the ocean. Then I
saw a fat man lose his hat and run after it and I didn't watch Freddie
any more."

"Oh, don't laugh, Bert! Where can those children be?" cried Mrs.
Bobbsey. "I told them not to go away, but to stay on deck near us, and
now they've disappeared!"

"Did they go ashore?" asked Nan. "Oh, Mother! if they did we'll have to
stop the ship and go back after them!"

"They didn't go ashore," said Bert. "They couldn't get there, because
the gangplank was pulled in while Freddie was standing here by me,
getting out his ball of string."

"Then they're all right," Mr. Bobbsey said. "They are on board, and
we'll soon find them. I'll ask some of the officers or the crew. The
twins can't be lost."

"Oh, but if they have fallen overboard!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Don't worry," said her husband. "We'd have heard of it before this if
anything like that had happened. They're all right."

And so it proved. A little later Flossie and Freddie came walking along
the deck hand in hand. Flossie was carrying her rubber doll, and Freddie
had his ball of string, all ready to begin fishing as soon as the ship
should get out of New York Harbor.

"Where have you been?" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "You children have given us
such a fright! Where were you?"

"We went to look at a poodle dog," explained Flossie.

"A lady had him in a basket," added Freddie.

"What do you mean--a poodle dog in a basket?" asked Bert.

Then Freddie explained, while Mr. Bobbsey went to tell the steward, or
one of the officers of the ship, that the lost children had come safely
back.

The smaller twins had seen one of the passengers with a pet dog in a
blue silk-lined basket, and they had followed her around the deck to the
other side of the ship, away from their parents, to get a better look at
the poodle. It was a pretty and friendly little animal, and the children
had been allowed to pat it. So they forgot what their mother had said to
them about not going away.

"Well, don't do it again," warned Mr. Bobbsey, and Flossie and Freddie
said they would not.

By this time the big ship was well on her way down New York Bay toward
the Statue of Liberty, which the children looked at with wondering eyes.
They took their last view of the tall buildings which cluster in the
lower end of the island of Manhattan, and then they felt that they were
really well started on their voyage.

"Oh, I hope we have lots of fun in Florida!" said Nan. "I've always
wanted to go there, _always_!"

"So have I," Bert said. "But maybe we won't stay in Florida long."

"Why not?" his sister asked.

"Because didn't father say Cousin Jasper wanted us to take a trip with
him?"

"So he did," replied Nan. "I wonder where he is going."

"That's part of the strange news he's going to tell," said Bert. "Anyhow
we'll have a good time."

"And maybe we'll get shipwrecked!" exclaimed Freddie, who, with his
little sister Flossie, was listening to what the older Bobbsey twins
were saying.

"Shipwrecked!" cried Bert. "You wouldn't want that, would you?"

"Maybe. If we could live on an island like Robinson Crusoe," Freddie
answered, "that would be lots of fun."

"Yes, but if we had to live on an island without anything to eat and no
water to drink, that wouldn't be so much fun," said Nan.

"If it was an island there'd be a lot of water all around it--that's
what an island is," Flossie said. "I learned it in geogogafy at school.
An island has water all around it, my geogogafy says."

"Yes, but at sea the water is salty and you can't drink it," Bert said.
"I don't want to be shipwrecked."

"Well, maybe I don't want to, either," said Freddie, after thinking
about it a little. "Anyhow we'll have some fun!"

"Yes," agreed Bert, "I guess I will."

"Now I'm going to fish," remarked Freddie.

"You won't catch anything," Bert said.

"Why not?" Freddie wanted to know, as he again took the ball of string
from his pocket.

"'Cause we're not out at sea yet," Bert replied. "This is only the bay,
and fish don't come up here on account of too many ships that scare 'em
away. You'll have to wait until we get out where the water is colored
blue."

"Do fish like blue water?" asked Flossie.

"I guess so," answered Bert. "Anyhow, I don't s'pose you can catch any
fish here, Freddie."

However, the little Bobbsey twin boy had his own idea about that. He had
been planning to catch some fish ever since he had heard about the trip
to Florida. Freddie had been to the seashore several times, on visits to
Ocean Cliff, where Uncle William Minturn lived. But this was the first
time the small chap had been on a big ship. He knew that fish were
caught in the sea, for he had seen the men come in with boatloads of
them at Ocean Cliff. And he had caught fish himself at Blueberry Island.
But that, he remembered, was not in the sea.

"Come on, Flossie," said Freddie, when Bert and Nan had walked away down
the deck. "Come on, I'm going to do it."

"Do what, Freddie?"

"I'm going to catch some fish. I've got my string all untangled now."

"You haven't any fishhook," observed the little girl; "and you can't
catch any fish lessen you have a hook."

"I can make one out of a pin, and I've got a pin," answered Freddie. "I
dassen't ever have a real hook, anyhow, all alone by myself, till I get
bigger. But I can catch a fish on a pin-hook."

He did have a pin fastened to his coat, and this pin he now bent into
the shape of a hook and stuck it through a knot in the end of the long,
dangling string.

"Where are you going to fish?" asked Flossie. She and her brother were
on the deck not far from the two staterooms of the Bobbsey family. Mrs.
Bobbsey was sitting in a steamer chair near the door of her room, where
she could watch the children.

"I'm going to fish right here," Freddie said, pointing to the rail at
the side of the ship. "I'm going to throw my line over here, with the
hook on it, just like I fish off the bridge at home."

"And I'll watch you," said Flossie.

Over the railing Freddie tossed his bent-pin hook and line. He thought
it would reach down to the water, but he did not know how large the boat
was on which he was sailing to Florida.

His little ball of string unwound as the end of it dropped over the
rail, but the hook did not reach the water. Even if it had, Freddie
could have caught nothing. In the first place a bent pin is not the
right kind of hook, and, in the second place, Freddie had no bait on the
hook. Bait is something that covers a hook and makes the fish want to
bite on it. Then they are caught. But Freddie did not think of this just
now, and his hook had nothing on it. Neither did it reach down to the
water, and Freddie didn't know that.

But, as his string was dangling over the side of the ship there came a
sudden tug on it, and the little boy pulled up as hard as he could.

"Oh, I've caught a fish! I've caught a fish!" he cried. "Flossie, look,
I've caught a fish!"

Of course Flossie could not see what was on the end of her brother's
line, but it was something! She could easily tell that by the way
Freddie was hauling in on the string.

"Oh, what have you got?" cried the little girl.

"I've got a big fish!" said Freddie. "I said I'd catch a fish, and I
did!"

From somewhere down below came shouts and cries.

"What's that?" asked Flossie.

"Them's the people hollering 'cause I caught such a big fish," answered
Freddie. "Look, there it is!"

Something large and black appeared above the edge of the rail.

"Oh! Oh!" cried Flossie.

Mrs. Bobbsey, from where she was sitting in her chair, heard the cries
and came running over to the children.

"What are you doing, Freddie?" she asked.

"Catching a fish!" he answered. "I got one and----"

The black thing on the end of his line was pulled over the rail and
flapped to the deck. Flossie and Freddie stared at it with wide-open
eyes. Then Flossie said:

"Oh, what a funny fish!"

And so it was, for it wasn't a fish at all, but a woman's big black hat,
with feathers on it. Freddie's bent-pin hook had caught in the hat which
was being worn by a woman standing near the rail on the deck below where
the Bobbsey family had their rooms. And Freddie had pulled the hat right
off the woman's head.

"No wonder the lady yelled!" laughed Bert when he came to see what was
happening to his smaller brother and sister. "You're a great fisherman,
Freddie."

"Well, next time I'll catch a real fish," declared the little boy.

Bert carried the woman's hat down to her, and said Freddie was sorry for
having caught it in mistake for a fish. The woman laughed heartily and
said no harm had been done.

"But I couldn't imagine what was pulling my hat off my head," she told
her friends. "First I thought it was one of the seagulls."

Freddie wound up his string, and said he would not fish any more until
he could see where his hook went to, and his father told him he had
better wait until they got to St. Augustine, where he could fish from
the shore and see what he was catching.

From the time they came on board until it was the hour to eat, the
Bobbsey twins looked about the ship, seeing something new and wonderful
on every side. They hardly wanted to go to bed when night came, but
their mother said they must, as they would be about two days on the
water, and they would have plenty of time to see everything.

Bert, Freddie and their father had one stateroom and Mrs. Bobbsey and
the two girls slept in the other, "next door," as you might say.

The night passed quietly, the ship steaming along over the ocean, and
down the coast to Florida. The next day the four children were up early
to see everything there was to see.

They found the ship now well out to sea, and out of sight of land. They
were really on the deep ocean at last, and they liked it very much. Bert
and Nan found some older children with whom to play, and Flossie and
Freddie wandered off by themselves, promising not to go too far from
Mrs. Bobbsey, who was on deck in her easy chair, reading.

After a while Flossie came running back to her mother in great
excitement.

"Oh, Mother! Oh, Mother!" gasped the little girl. "He's gone!"

"Who's gone?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, dropping her book as she quickly stood
up.

"Freddie's gone! We were playing hide-and-go-seek, and he went down a
big pipe, and now I can't see him! He's gone!"



CHAPTER VII

THE SHARK


Mrs. Bobbsey hardly knew what to do for a moment. She just stood and
looked at Flossie as if she had not understood what the little girl had
said. Then Freddie's mother spoke.

"You say he went down a big pipe?" she asked.

"Yes, Mother," answered Flossie. "We were playing hide-and-go-seek, and
it was my turn to blind. I hollered 'ready or not I'm coming!' and when
I opened my eyes to go to find Freddie, I saw him going down a big,
round pipe."

"What sort of pipe?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, thinking her little boy might
have crawled in some place on deck to hide, and that to Flossie it
looked like a pipe.

"It was a pipe sticking up like a smokestack," Flossie went on, "and it
was painted red inside."

"Oh, you mean a ventilator pipe!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "If Freddie
crawled down in one of those he'll have a dreadful fall! Flossie, call
your father!"

Flossie did not exactly know what a ventilator pipe was, but I'll tell
you that it is a big iron thing, like a funnel, that lets fresh air from
above down into the boiler room where the firemen have to stay to make
steam to push the ship along. But, though Flossie did not quite know
what a ventilator pipe was, she knew her mother was much frightened, or
she would not have wanted Mr. Bobbsey to come.

Flossie saw her father about halfway down the deck, talking to some
other men, and, running up to him, she cried:

"Freddie's down in a want-you-later pipe!"

"A want-you-later pipe?" repeated Mr. Bobbsey. "What in the world do you
mean, Flossie?"

"Well, that's what mother said," went on the little girl. "Me and
Freddie were playing hide-and-go-seek, and he hid down in a pipe painted
red, and mother said it was a want-you-later. And she wants you now!"

"A want-you-later pipe!" exclaimed one of the men. "Oh, she must mean a
ventilator. It does sound like that to a little girl."

"Yes, that's it," said Flossie. "And please come quick to mother, will
you, Daddy?"

Mr. Bobbsey set off on a run toward his wife, and some of the other men
followed, one of them taking hold of Flossie's hand.

"Oh, Dick!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey as her husband reached her, "something
dreadful has happened! Freddie is down a ventilator pipe, and I don't
know what to do!"

Neither did Mr. Bobbsey for a moment or two, and as the men came
crowding around him, one of them bringing up Flossie, a cry was heard,
coming from one of the red-painted pipes not far away. It was not a loud
cry, sounding in fact, as if the person calling were down in a cellar.

"Come and get me out! Come and get me out!" the voice begged, and when
Flossie heard it she said:

"That's him! That's Freddie now. Oh, he's down in the pipe yet!"

"Which pipe?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

Flossie pointed to a ventilator not far away. Mr. Bobbsey and the men
ran toward it, and, as they reached it, they could hear, coming out of
the big opening that was shaped somewhat like a funnel, a voice of a
little boy, saying:

"Come and get me out! I'm stuck!"

Mr. Bobbsey put his head down inside the pipe and looked around. There
he saw Freddie, doubled up into a little ball, trying to get himself
loose. Flossie's brother was, indeed, stuck in the pipe, which was
smaller below than it was at the opening--too small, in fact, to let the
little boy slip through. So he was in no danger of falling.

"Oh, Freddie! what made you get in there?" asked his father, as he
reached in, and, after pulling and tugging a bit, managed to get him
out. "What made you do it?"

"I was hiding away from Flossie," answered the little fellow. "I crawled
in the pipe, and then I waited for her to come and find me. She didn't
know where I was."

"Yes, I did so know where you went," declared Flossie. "I saw you crawl
into the pipe, and I didn't peek, either. I just opened my eyes and I
saw you go into the pipe, and I was scared and I ran and told mother."

"Well, if you didn't peek it's all right," Freddie said. "It was a good
place to hide. I waited and waited for you to come and find me and then
I thought you were going to let me come on in home free, and I tried to
get out. But I couldn't--I was stuck."

"I should say you were!" laughed Mr. Bobbsey. He could laugh now, and so
could Mrs. Bobbsey, though, at first, they were very much frightened,
thinking Freddie might have been hurt.

"Don't crawl in there again, little fireman," said one of the men with
whom Mr. Bobbsey had been talking, and who knew the pet name of
Flossie's brother. "This pipe wasn't big enough to let you fall through,
but some of the ventilator pipes might be, and then you'd fall all the
way through to the boiler room. Don't hide in any more pipes on the
steamer."

"I won't," Freddie promised, for he had been frightened when he found
that he was stuck in the pipe and couldn't get out. "Come on, Flossie;
it's your turn to hide now," he said.

"I don't want to play hide-and-go-seek any more," the little girl said.
"I'd rather play with my doll."

"If I had my fire engine I'd play fireman," Freddie said, for he did not
care much about a doll.

"How would you like to go down to the engine room with me, and see where
you might have fallen if the ventilator pipe hadn't been too small to
let you through?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"I'd like it," Freddie said. "I like engines."

So his father took him away down into the hold, or lower part of the
boat, and showed him where the firemen put coal on the fire. There
Freddie saw ventilator pipes, like the one he had hid in, reaching from
the boiler room up to the deck, so the firemen could breathe cool, fresh
air. And there were also pipes like it in the engine room.

Freddie watched the shining wheels go spinning round and he heard the
hiss of steam as it turned the big propeller at the back of the ship,
and pushed the vessel through the waters of the deep blue sea.

"Now we'll go up on deck," said Mr. Bobbsey, when Freddie had seen all
he cared to in the engine room. "It's cooler there."

Freddie and his father found several women talking to Mrs. Bobbsey, who
was telling them what had happened to her little boy, and Bert and Nan
were also listening.

"I wonder what Freddie will do next?" said Bert to his older sister.
"First he catches a lady's hat for a fish, and then he nearly gets lost
down a big pipe."

"I hope he doesn't fall overboard," returned Nan.

"So do I," agreed Bert. "And when we get on a smaller ship, if we go on
a voyage with Cousin Jasper, we'll have to look after Flossie and
Freddie, or they will surely fall into the water."

"Are we really, truly going on a voyage with Cousin Jasper, do you
think?" Nan asked.

"Well, I heard father and mother talking about it, and they seemed to
think maybe we'd take a trip on the ocean," went on Bert.

"I hope we do!" exclaimed Nan. "I just love the water!"

"So do I!" her brother said. "When I get big I'm going to have a ship of
my own."

"Will you take me for a sail?" asked Nan.

"Course I will!" Bert quickly promised.

The excitement caused by Freddie's hiding in the ventilator pipe soon
passed, and then the Bobbsey family and the other passengers on the ship
enjoyed the fine sail. The weather was clear and the sea was not rough,
so nearly every one was out on deck.

"I wonder if we'll see any shipwrecks," remarked Bert a little later, as
the four Bobbsey twins were sitting in a shady place not far from Mrs.
Bobbsey, who was reading her book. She had told the children to keep
within her sight.

"A shipwreck would be nice to see if nobody got drowned," observed Nan.
"And maybe we could rescue some of the people!"

"When there's a shipwreck," said Freddie, who seemed to have been
thinking about it, "they have to get in the little boats, like this
one," and he pointed to a lifeboat not far away.

"That's an awful little boat to go on the big ocean in," said Flossie.

"It's safe, though," Bert said. "It's got things in it to make it float,
even if it's half full of water. It can't sink any more than our raft
could sink."

"Our raft nearly did sink," said Flossie.

"No, it only got stuck on a mud bank," answered Bert. "I was the one
that sank down in my bare feet," and he laughed as he remembered that
time.

"Well, anyhow, we had fun," said Freddie.

"Oh, look!" suddenly cried Nan. "There's a small boat now--out there on
the ocean. Maybe there's been a shipwreck, Bert!"

Bert and the other Bobbsey twins looked at the object to which Nan
pointed. Not far from the steamer was a small boat with three or four
men in it, and they seemed to be in some sort of trouble. They were
beating the water with oars and poles, and something near the boat was
lashing about, making the waves turn into foam.

"That isn't a shipwreck!" cried Bert. "That's a fisherman's boat!"

"And something is after it!" said Nan. "Oh, Bert! maybe a whale is
trying to sink the fisherman's boat!"

By this time Mrs. Bobbsey and a number of other passengers were crowding
to the rail, looking at the small boat. The men in it did, indeed, seem
to be fighting off something in the water that was trying to damage
their boat.

"It's a big shark!" cried one of the steamship sailors. "The fishermen
have caught a big shark and they're trying to kill it before it sinks
their boat. Say, it's a great, big shark! Look at it lash the water into
foam! Those men may be hurt!"

"A shark! A shark!" cried the passengers, and from all over the ship
they came running to where they could see what was happening to the
small boat.



CHAPTER VIII

THE FIGHT IN THE BOAT


When the Bobbsey twins first saw the small boat, and the fishermen in it
trying to beat off the shark that was trying to get at them, the steamer
was quite a little distance off. The big vessel, though, was headed
toward the fishing boat and soon came close enough for the passengers to
see plainly what was going on. That is, they could not see the shark
very plainly, for it was mostly under water, but they could see a long,
black shape, with big fins and a large tail, and the tail was lashing up
and down, making foam on the waves.

"Hi!" cried Freddie in great excitement. "That's better'n a shipwreck,
isn't it?"

"Almost as _bad_, I should say," remarked Mr. Bobbsey, who, with his
wife and other passengers, stood near the rail with the children
watching the ocean fight.

"The captain ought to stop the ship and go to the rescue of those
fishermen," said the man who had told Freddie not to get in the
ventilator pipe again. "I guess the shark is bigger than those men
thought when they tried to kill it."

"Is that what they are trying to do?" asked Bert.

"It looks so," replied his father. "Sometimes the fishermen catch a
shark in their nets, and they kill it then, as sharks tear the nets, or
eat up the fish in them. But I guess this is a larger shark than usual."

"And is it going to sink the boat?" Nan wanted to know.

"That I can't say," Mr. Bobbsey replied. "Perhaps the fishermen caught
the shark on a big hook and line, and want to get it into the boat to
bring it to shore. Or maybe the shark is tangled in their net and is
trying to get loose. Perhaps it thinks the boat is a big whale, or other
fish, and it wants to fight."

"Whatever it is, those fishermen are having a hard time," said another
passenger; and this seemed to be so, for, just as soon as the steamer
came close enough to the small boat, some of the men in it waved their
hands and shouted. All they said could not be heard, because of the
noise made by the steamer, but a man near Mrs. Bobbsey said he heard the
fisherman cry:

"Come and help us!"

"The captain ought to go to their help," said Flossie's mother. "It must
be terrible to have to fight a big shark in a small boat."

"I guess we are going to rescue them," observed Bert. "Hark! There goes
the whistle! And that bell means stop the engines!"

The blowing of a whistle and the ringing of a bell sounded even as he
spoke, and the steamer began to move slowly.

Then a mate, or one of the captain's helpers, came running along the
deck with some sailors. They began to lower one of the lifeboats, and
the Bobbsey twins and the other passengers watched them eagerly. Out on
the sea, which, luckily, was not rough, the men in the small boat were
still fighting the shark.

"Are you going to help them?" asked Mr. Bobbsey of the mate who got into
the boat with the sailors.

"Yes, I guess they are in trouble with a big shark, or maybe there are
two of them. We'll help them kill the big fish."

When the mate and the sailors were in the boat it was let down over the
side of the ship to the water by long ropes. Then the sailors rowed
toward the fishermen.

Anxiously the Bobbsey twins and the others watched to see what would
happen. Over the waves went the rescuing boat, and when it got near
enough the men in it, with long, sharp poles, with axes and with guns,
began to help fight the shark. The waters foamed and bubbled, and the
men in the boats shouted:

"There goes one!" came a call after a while, and, for a moment,
something long and black seemed to stick up into the air.

"It's a shark!" cried Bert. "I can tell by his pointed nose. Lots of
sharks have long, pointed noses, and that's one!"

"Yes, I guess it is," his father said.

"Then there must be two sharks," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "for the men are
still fighting something in the water."

"Yes, they certainly are," her husband replied. "The fishermen must have
caught one shark, and its mate came to help in the fight. Look, the
fishing boat nearly went over that time!"

That really came near happening. One of the big fish, after it found
that its mate had been killed, seemed to get desperate. It rushed at the
fishermen's boat and struck it with its head, sending it far over on one
side.

Then the men from the steamer's boat fired some bullets from a gun into
the second shark and killed it so that it sank. The waters grew quiet
and the boats were no longer in danger.

The mate and the sailors from the steamer stayed near the fishing boat a
little while longer, the men talking among themselves, and then the
sailors rowed back, and were hoisted upon deck in their craft.

"Tell us what happened!" cried Mr. Bobbsey.

"It was sharks," answered the mate. "The fishermen came out here to lift
their lobster pots, which had drifted a long way from shore. While they
were doing this one of them baited a big hook with a piece of pork and
threw it overboard, for he had seen some sharks about. A shark bit on
the hook and then rammed the boat.

"Then another shark came along and both of them fought the fishermen,
who might have been drowned if we had not helped them kill the sharks.
But they are all right now--the fishermen, I mean--for the sharks are
dead and on the bottom of the ocean by this time."

"Were they big sharks?" asked Bert.

"Quite large," the mate answered. "One was almost as long as the fishing
boat, and they were both very ugly. It isn't often that such big sharks
come up this far north, but I suppose they were hungry and that made
them bold."

"I'm glad I wasn't in that boat," said Nan.

"Indeed we all may well be glad," Mrs. Bobbsey said.

"Will those fishermen have to row all the way to shore?" asked Freddie,
looking across the waters. No land was in sight.

"No, they don't have to row," said the mate of the steamer. "They have a
little gasolene engine in their boat, and the land is not so far away as
it seems, only five or six miles. They can get in all right if no more
sharks come after them, and I don't believe any will."

The fishermen waved their hands to the passengers on the steamer, and
the Bobbsey twins and the others waved back.

"Good-bye!" shouted the children, as loudly as they could. Whether the
others heard them or not was not certain, but they continued to wave
their hands.

It took some time to hoist the lifeboat up in its place on the steamer,
and in this Freddie and the others were quite interested.

"I'd like to own a boat like that myself," said the little boy.

"What would you do with it?" questioned Flossie.

"Oh, I'd have a whole lot of fun," was the ready answer.

"Would you give me a ride?"

"Of course I would!"

At last the lifeboat was put in its proper place, and then the steamer
started off again.

The Bobbsey twins had plenty to talk about now, and so did the other
passengers. It was not often they witnessed a rescue of that kind at
sea, and Bert, who, like Freddie, had been hoping he might sight a
shipwreck--that is, he wished it if no one would be drowned--was quite
satisfied with the excitement of the sharks.

"Only I wish they could have brought one over closer, so we could have
seen how big it was," he said.

"I don't," remarked Nan. "I don't like sharks."

"Not even when they're dead and can't hurt you?" asked Bert.

"Not even any time," Nan said. "I don't like sharks."

"Neither do I," said Flossie.

"Well, I'd like to see one if daddy would take hold of my hand," put in
Freddie. "Then I wouldn't be afraid."

"Maybe there'll be sharks when we get to Cousin Jasper's house," said
Flossie.

"His house isn't in the ocean, and sharks is only in the ocean,"
declared Freddie.

"Well, maybe his house is _near_ the ocean," went on the little "fat
fairy."

"Cousin Jasper is in the hospital," Nan remarked; "and I guess they
don't have any sharks there."

"Maybe they have alligators," added Bert with a smile.

"Really?" asked Nan.

"Well, you know Florida is where they have lots of alligators," went on
her older brother. "And we're going to Florida."

"I don't like alligators any more than I like sharks," Nan said, with a
little shivery sort of shake. "I just like dogs and cats and chickens."

"And goats," said Flossie. "You like goats, don't you, Nan?"

"Yes, I like the kind of a goat we had when we went to Blueberry
Island," agreed Nan. "But look! What are the sailors doing?"

She pointed to some of the men from the ship, who were going about the
decks, picking up chairs and lashing fast, with ropes, things that might
roll or slide about.

"Maybe we're almost there, and we're getting ready to land," said
Freddie.

"No, we've got another night to stay on the ship," Bert said. "I'm going
to ask one of the men." And he did, inquiring what the reason was for
picking up the chairs and tying fast so many things.

"The captain thinks we're going to run into a storm," answered the
sailor, "and we're getting ready for it."

"Will it be very bad?" asked Nan, who did not like storms.

"Well, it's likely to be a hard one, little Miss," the sailor said. "We
will soon be off Cape Hatteras, and the storms there are fierce
sometimes. So we're making everything snug to get ready for the blow.
But don't be afraid. This is a strong ship."

However, as the Bobbsey twins saw the sailors making fast everything,
and lashing loose awnings and ropes, and as they saw the sky beginning
to get dark, though it was not yet night, they were all a little
frightened.



CHAPTER IX

IN ST. AUGUSTINE


The storm came up more quickly than even the captain or his sailors
thought it would. The deep, blue sea, which had been such a pretty color
when the sun shone on it, now turned to a dark green shade. The blue sky
was covered by black and angry-looking clouds, and the wind seemed to
moan as it hummed about the ship.

But the steamer did not stop. On it rushed over the water, with foam in
front, at the prow, or bow, and foam at the stern where the big
propeller churned away.

"Come, children!" called Mrs. Bobbsey to the twins, as they stood at the
rail, looking first up at the gathering clouds and then down at the
water, which was now quite rough. "Come! I think we had better go to our
cabins."

"Oh, let us stay up just a little longer," begged Bert. "I've never seen
a storm at sea, and I want to."

"Well, you and Nan may stay up on deck a little longer," said Mrs.
Bobbsey. "But you must not go far away from daddy. I don't want any of
you to fall overboard, especially when such big sharks may be in the
ocean."

"Oh, I'm not going to fall overboard!" exclaimed Bert. "Never!"

"Nor I," added his sister. "I'll keep tight hold of the rail, and when
it gets too rough we'll come down."

Mr. Bobbsey and some of the men passengers were still on deck, watching
the approach of the storm, and Bert and Nan moved over nearer their
father, while Mrs. Bobbsey went below with Flossie and Freddie. The two
smaller twins, when they found their older brother and sister were going
to stay on deck, also wanted to do this, but their mother said to them:

"No, it is safer for you to be down below with me. It may come on to
blow hard at any moment, and then it won't be so easy to go down the
stairs when the ship is standing on its head, or its ear, or whatever
way ships stand in a storm."

"But I want to see the storm!" complained Freddie.

"You'll see all you want of it, and feel it, too, down in our stateroom,
as well as up on deck, and you'll be much safer," his mother told him.

The storm came up more and more quickly, and, though it was not yet four
o'clock, it was as dark as it usually is at seven, for so many clouds
covered the sky. The waves, too, began to get larger and larger and,
pretty soon, the steamer, which had been going along smoothly, or with
not more than a gentle roll from side to side, began pitching and
tossing.

"Oh, my! isn't it getting dark?" cried Flossie.

"Say, it isn't time to go to bed yet, is it?" questioned Freddie
anxiously.

"Of course not!" answered his twin. "It's only about the middle of the
afternoon, isn't it, Mother?"

"Just about," answered Mrs. Bobbsey.

In the meanwhile the others, who were still on deck, were having a
decidedly lively time of it.

"Come on, Nan and Bert!" called Mr. Bobbsey, to the older twins. "Better
get below while you have the chance. It's getting too rough for children
up here."

"Are you coming too, Daddy?" asked Nan.

"Yes, I'll go down with you. In fact, I think every one is going below
except the sailors."

This was so, for the mate was going about telling the passengers still
on deck that it would be best for them to get to the shelter of the
cabins and staterooms.

Nan and Bert started to walk across the deck, and when they were almost
at the stairs, or the "companionway" as it is called, that led to their
rooms, the ship gave a lurch and roll, and Bert lost his balance.

"Oh! Oh!" he cried, as he found himself sliding across the deck, which
was tilted up almost like an old-fashioned cellar door, and Bert was
rolling down it. "Oh, catch me, Dad!"

Luckily he rolled in, and not out, or he would have rolled to the edge
of the ship. Not that he could have gone overboard, for there was a
railing and netting to stop that, but he would have been badly
frightened if he had rolled near the edge, I think.

"Look out!" cried Mr. Bobbsey, as he saw Bert sliding and slipping.
"Look out, or you'll fall downstairs!"

And that is just what happened. Bert rolled to the top of the
companionway stairs, and right down them. Luckily he was a stout, chubby
boy, and, as it happened, just then a sailor was coming up the stairs,
and Bert rolled into him. The sailor was nearly knocked off his feet by
the collision with Bert, but he managed to get hold of a rail and hold
on.

"My! My! What's this?" cried the sailor, when he got his breath, which
Bert had partly knocked from him. "Is this a new way to come
downstairs?"

"I--I didn't mean to," Bert answered, as he managed to stand up and hold
on to the man. "The ship turned upside down, I guess, and I rolled down
here."

"Well, as long as you're not hurt it's all right," said the sailor with
a laugh. "It is certainly a rough storm. Better get below and stay there
until it blows out."

"Yes, sir, I'm getting," grinned Bert.

"I think that is good advice," said Mr. Bobbsey to the sailor, with a
smile, as he hurried after Bert, but not coming in the same fashion as
his son.

Nan had grabbed tightly hold of a rope and clung to it when the ship
gave a lurch. She was not hurt, but her arms ached from holding on so
tightly.

After that one big roll and toss the steamer became steady for a little
while, and Mr. Bobbsey and the two children made their way to the
stateroom where Mrs. Bobbsey was sitting with Flossie and Freddie.

"What happened?" asked Bert's mother, as she saw that he was rather
"mussed up," from what had occurred.

"Oh, I tried to come down the stairs head first," Bert answered with a
laugh. "I don't like that way. I'm not going to do it again," and he
told what had taken place.

And then the storm burst with a shower of rain and a heavy wind that
tossed and pitched the boat, and made many of the passengers wish they
were safe on shore.

The Bobbsey twins had often been on the water, when on visits to Uncle
William at the seashore, as I have told you in that book, and they were
not made ill by the pitching and tossing of the steamer.

Still it was not much fun to stay below decks, which they and the others
had to do all that night and most of the next day. It was too rough for
any one to be out on deck, and even the sailors, used as they were to
it, had trouble. One of them was nearly washed overboard, but his mates
saved him. And one of the lifeboats--the same one in which the men had
gone to save the fishermen from the sharks--was broken and torn away
when a big wave hit it.

"Is it always rough like this when you go past Cape Hatteras?" asked
Bert of his father.

"Very frequently, yes. You see Cape Hatteras is a point of land of North
Carolina, sticking out into the ocean. In the ocean are currents of
water, and when one rushes one way and one the other, and they come
together, it makes a rough sea, especially when there is a strong wind,
as there is now. We are in this rough part of the ocean, and in the
midst of a storm, too. But we will soon be out of it."

However, the steamer could not go so fast in the rough water as she
could have traveled had it been smooth, and the wind, blowing against
her, also held her back. So it was not until late on the second day that
the storm passed away, or rather, until the ship got beyond it.

Then the rain stopped, the sun came out from behind the clouds just
before it was time to set, and the hard time was over. The sea was
rough, and would be for another day, the sailors said.

"And can we go on deck in the morning?" asked Bert, who did not like
being shut up in the stateroom.

"I guess so," his father answered.

The next morning all was calm and peaceful, though the waves were larger
than when the Bobbsey twins had left New York.

Every one was glad that the storm had passed, and that nothing had
happened to the steamer, except the loss of the one small boat.

"Were those fishermen who fought the sharks out in all that blow in
their small motor boat, Dad?" asked Bert.

"Oh, no," his father told him. "They only go out from shore, take up
their nets or lobster pots, and go quickly back again. Their boats are
not made for staying out in all night. Though perhaps sometimes, in a
fog, when they can't see to get back, they may be out a long time. But I
don't believe they were out in this storm."

It was peaceful traveling now, on the deep blue sea, which was a pretty
color again, and the Bobbsey twins, leaning over the rail and looking at
it, thought they had never come on such a fine voyage.

"It's getting warmer," said Bert when they had eaten dinner and were
once more on deck.

"Yes, we are getting farther south, nearer to the equator, and it is
always warm there," said Mr. Bobbsey.

"Are we near Florida?" asked Nan.

"Yes, we will be there this evening," her father told her.

It was late in the afternoon when the steamer reached Jacksonville. As
the arrival of the steamship had been delayed by the storm, the
Bobbsey's were left no time to look about Jacksonville, but hurried at
once to the railroad station, and there took the train that carried them
to St. Augustine. It was about an hour before sunset when they got out
of the train at this quaint, pretty old town.

"Oh, what funny little streets!" cried Bert, as they started for their
hotel where they were to stay until they could go to the hospital and
see Cousin Jasper. "What little streets!"

"Aren't they darling?" exclaimed Nan.

"Yes, this is a very old city," said Mr. Bobbsey, "and some of the
streets are no wider than they were made when they were laid out here
over three hundred years ago."

"Oh, is this city as old as that--three hundred years?" asked Nan, while
Flossie and Freddie peered about at the strange sights.

"Yes, and older," said Mr. Bobbsey. "St. Augustine is the oldest city in
the United States. It was settled in 1565 by the Spaniards, and I
suppose they built it like some of the Spanish cities they knew. That is
why the streets are so narrow."

And indeed the streets were very narrow. The one called St. George is
only seventeen feet wide, and it is the principal street in St.
Augustine. Just think of a street not much wider than a very big room.
And Treasury street is even narrower, being so small that two people can
stand and shake hands across it. Really, one might call it only an
alley, and not a street.

The Bobbseys saw many negroes about the streets, some driving little
donkey carts, and others carrying fruit and other things in baskets on
their heads.

"Don't they ever fall off?" asked Freddie, as he watched one big, fat
colored woman on whose head, covered with a bright, red handkerchief, or
"bandanna," there was a large basket of fruit. "Don't they ever fall
off?"

"What do you mean fall off--their heads?" asked Bert with a smile.

"No, I mean the things they carry," said Freddie.

"Well, I guess they start in carrying things that way from the time they
are children," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "and they learn to balance things on
their heads as well as you children learn to balance yourselves on
roller skates. I dare say the colored people here would find it as hard
to roller skate as you would to carry a heavy load on your head."

"Well, here we are at our hotel," said Mr. Bobbsey, as the automobile in
which they had ridden up from the station came to a stop in front of a
fine building. "Now we will get out and see what they have for supper."

"And then will we go to Cousin Jasper and find out what his strange
story is?"

"I guess so," her father answered.

"Say, this is a fine hotel!" exclaimed Bert as he and the others saw the
beautiful palm and flower gardens, with fountains between them, in the
courtyard of the place where they were to stop.

"Oh, yes, St. Augustine has wonderful hotels," said his father. "This is
a place where many rich people come to spend the winter that would be
too cold for them in New York. Now come inside."

[Illustration: THE SHIP GAVE A LURCH AND BURT LOST HIS BALANCE.]

Into the beautiful hotel they went, and when Mr. Bobbsey was asking
about their rooms, and seeing that the baggage was brought in, Mrs.
Bobbsey glanced around to make sure the four twins were with her, for
sometimes Flossie or Freddie strayed off.

And that is what had happened this time. Freddie was not in sight.

"Oh, where is that boy?" cried his mother. "I hope he hasn't crawled
down another ventilator pipe!"

"No'm," answered one of the hotel men. "He hasn't done that. I saw your
little boy run back out of the front door a moment ago. But he'll be all
right. Nothing can happen to him in St. Augustine."

"Oh, but I must find him!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "Dick, Freddie is
gone again!" she said to her husband. "We must find him at once!" and
she hurried from the hotel.



CHAPTER X

COUSIN JASPER'S STORY


Mr. Bobbsey, who had been talking to the clerk of the hotel at the desk,
looked toward Mrs. Bobbsey, who was hurrying out the front door.

"Wait a minute!" he called after her. "I'll come with you!"

"No, you stay with the other children," she answered. "I'll find
Freddie."

"But you don't know your way about St. Augustine," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"You've never been here before."

"Neither have you," returned his wife with a laugh, for she was not very
much alarmed about Freddie--he had slipped away too often before.

"I can find my way about as well as you can, Dick," went on Mrs.
Bobbsey. "You stay here and I'll get our little fat fireman."

"Maybe he has gone to see a fire engine," suggested Nan.

"I don't believe so," answered her father. "I didn't hear any alarm, but
perhaps they don't sound one here as we do back in Lakeport."

"I guess he's just gone out to look at the things in the streets here,"
said Bert. "They're a lot different from at home."

"Indeed they are!" exclaimed Mr. Bobbsey. "Well, I'll stay here," he
said to his wife, "and you go and look for Freddie. But if you don't
soon find him come back and I'll go out."

"I'll find him," she said, and one of the porters from the hotel offered
to go with her to show Mrs. Bobbsey her way about the strange streets of
St. Augustine--the little, narrow streets that had not been changed much
in three hundred years.

"Oh, what a lovely place this is," said Nan to Bert, while their father
was talking with the hotel clerk. "It's like a palace."

"It looks like some of the places you see in a moving picture," said
Bert.

And indeed the beautiful hotel, with the palms and flowers set all
about, did look like some moving picture play. Only it was real, and the
Bobbsey twins were to stay there until they had seen Cousin Jasper, and
found out what his strange story was about.

Soon after Mr. Bobbsey had finished signing his name and those of the
members of his family in the hotel register book, Mrs. Bobbsey came
back, leading Freddie by the hand.

The little boy seemed to be all right, and he was smiling, while in one
hand he held a ripe banana.

"Where've you been, Freddie?" asked Flossie. "I was afraid you had gone
back home."

"Nope," Freddie answered, as he started to peel the banana. "I was
seeing how they did it."

"How who did what?" asked his father.

"Carried the big baskets on their heads," Freddie answered, and by this
time he had part of the skin off the yellow fruit, and was breaking off
a piece for Flossie. Freddie always shared his good things with his
little sister, and with Bert and Nan if there was enough.

"What does he mean?" asked Bert of his mother. "Was he trying to carry
something on his head?"

"No," answered Mrs. Bobbsey with a laugh, "but he was following a big
colored woman who had a basket of fruit on her head. I caught him
halfway down the street in front of another hotel. He was walking after
this woman, and he didn't hear me coming. I asked him what he was doing,
and he said he was waiting to see it fall off."

"What fall off?" asked Nan, coming up just then.

"I thought maybe the basket would fall off her head," Freddie answered
for himself. "It was an awful big basket, and it wibbled and wobbled
like anything. I thought maybe it would fall, but it didn't," he added
with a sigh, as though he had been cheated out of a lot of fun.

"If it did had fallen," he went on, "I was going to pick up her bananas
and oranges for her. That's why I kept walking after her."

"Did she drop that banana?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, while several smiling
persons gathered about the Bobbsey twins in the hotel lobby.

"No, I bought this with a penny," Freddie answered. "The colored lady
didn't drop any. But if her basket did had fallen from off her head I
could have picked up the things, and then maybe she'd have given me a
banana or an orange."

"And when that didn't happen you had to go buy one yourself; did you?"
asked Mr. Bobbsey with a laugh. "Well, that's too bad. But, after this,
Freddie, don't go away by yourself. It's all right, at home, to run off
and play in the fields or woods, for you know your way about. But here
you are in a strange city, so you must stay with us."

"Yes, sir," answered Freddie, like a good little boy.

"I will, too," promised Flossie.

The Bobbsey family was together once again, and when Flossie and Freddie
had eaten the banana, and porters had taken charge of their baggage,
they all went up to the rooms where they were to stay.

"We don't know just how long we'll be here," said Mr. Bobbsey, as they
were getting ready to go down to supper, as the children called it, or
"dinner," as the more fashionable name has it.

"Are we going out on the ocean again?" asked Nan.

"Did you like it?" her father wanted to know.

"Oh, lots!" she answered.

"It was great!" declared Bert.

"I want to see 'em catch some more sharks," Freddie said.

"I like to see the blue water," added Flossie, who had got out a clean
dress for her rubber doll.

"Yes, the blue water is very pretty," remarked Mr. Bobbsey. "Well, we
shall, very likely, sail on it again. I don't know just what Cousin
Jasper wants to tell me, or what he wants me to do. But I think he is
planning an ocean trip himself. I'll go to see him this evening, after
we have eaten, and then I can tell you all about it."

"May I come with you?" asked Bert.

"Well, I think not this first trip," answered Mr. Bobbsey slowly. "I am
going to the hospital where Cousin Jasper is ill, and he may not be able
to see both of us. I'll take you later."

"We can stay and watch the colored people carry things on their heads,"
put in Freddie. "That's lots of fun, and maybe some of 'em will drop
off, and we can help pick 'em up, and they might give us an orange."

"I guess I'd rather buy my oranges, and then I'll be sure to have what I
want," said Bert with a laugh.

"There are plenty of things you can look at while I'm at the hospital,"
said Mr. Bobbsey, and after the meal he inquired the way to the place
where Cousin Jasper was getting well, while Mrs. Bobbsey took the
children down to the docks, where they could see many motor boats, and
fishing and oyster craft, tied up for the night.

It was a beautiful evening, and the soft, balmy air of St. Augustine was
warm, so that only the lightest clothing needed to be worn.

"It's just like being at the seashore in the summer," said Nan.

"Well, this is summer, and we are at the seashore, though it is not like
Ocean Cliff," said Mrs. Bobbsey with a smile. She was glad the children
liked it, and she hoped they would have more good times if they were
again to go sailing on the deep, blue sea.

When they got back to the hotel Mr. Bobbsey had not yet returned from
the hospital, but he came before Flossie and Freddie were ready for bed,
for they had been allowed to stay up a little later than usual.

"Well, how is Cousin Jasper?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Much better, I am glad to say," answered her husband. "He will be able
to leave the hospital in a few days, and then he wants us to start on a
trip with him."

"Start on a trip so soon!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "Where does he want
to go, and will he be well enough to travel?"

"He says he will. And as to where he wants to go, that is a strange
story."

"Oh, tell us about it!" begged Bert.

"We're going to hear Cousin Jasper's secret at last!" cried Nan.

"Is it a real story, with 'once upon a time' in it?" Freddie questioned.
"And has it got a fire engine in it?" he added.

"Well, no, not exactly a fire engine, though it has a boat engine in the
story. And I can make it start with 'once upon a time,' if you want me
to."

"Please do," begged Flossie. "And has it got any fairies in it?"

"No, not exactly any fairies," her father said; "though we may find some
when we get to the island."

"Oh, are we going on an island?" exclaimed Bert.

"There!" cried his father, "I've started at the wrong end. I had better
begin at the beginning. And that will be to tell you how I found Cousin
Jasper.

"He has been quite ill, and is better now. Part of the time he was out
of his head with fever, even after he wrote to me, and for a time the
doctor feared he would not get well. But now he is all right, except for
being weak, and he told me a queer story.

"Once upon a time," went on Mr. Bobbsey, telling the tale as his littler
children liked to hear it, "Cousin Jasper and a young friend of his, a
boy about fifteen years old, set out to take a long trip in a motor
boat. That is it had an engine in it that ran by gasolene as does an
automobile. Cousin Jasper is very fond of sailing the deep, blue sea,
and he took this boy along with him to help. They were to sail about for
a week, visiting the different islands off the coast of Florida.

"Well, everything went all right the first few days. In their big motor
boat Cousin Jasper and this boy, who was named Jack Nelson, sailed
about, living on their boat, cooking their meals, and now and then
landing at the little islands, or keys, as they are called.

"They were having a good time when one day a big storm came up. They
could not manage their boat and they were blown a long way out to sea
and then cast up on the shore of a small island.

"Cousin Jasper was hurt and so was the boy, but they managed to get out
of the water and up on land. They found a sort of cave in which they
could get out of the storm, and they stayed on the island for some
time."

"For years?" asked Bert, who, with the other Bobbsey twins, was much
interested in Cousin Jasper's strange story. "That was just like
Robinson Crusoe!" Bert went on. "Why didn't they stay there always?"

"They did not have enough to eat," said Mr. Bobbsey, "and it was too
lonesome for them there. They were the only people on the island, as far
as they knew. So they made a smudge of smoke, and on a pole they put up
some pieces of canvas that had washed ashore from their motor boat. They
hoped these signals would be seen by some ship or small boat that might
come to take them off."

"Did they get rescued?" asked Bert.

Mr. Bobbsey was about to answer when the telephone, which was in the
room, gave a loud ring.

"Some one for us!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey.



CHAPTER XI

THE MOTOR BOAT


Mr. Bobbsey arose to answer the telephone, which big hotels put in the
rooms of their guests nowadays instead of sending a bellboy to knock and
say that the traveler is wanted.

"I wonder who wants us?" murmured Mr. Bobbsey.

The children looked disappointed that the telling of the story had to be
stopped.

"Hello!" said their father into the telephone.

Then he listened, and seemed quite surprised at what he heard.

"Yes, I'll be down in a little while," he went on. "Tell him to wait."

"What is it?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "Was that Cousin Jasper?"

"Oh, no indeed!" her husband answered. "Though he is much better he is
not quite well enough to leave the hospital yet and come to see us. This
was an old sea captain talking from the main office of the hotel
downstairs."

"Is he going to take us for a trip on the ocean?" asked Bert eagerly.

"Well, that's what he wants to do, or, rather, he wants me to see about
a big motor boat in which to take a trip. Cousin Jasper sent him to me.
But let me finish what I was saying about the island, and then I'll tell
you about the sea captain."

Mr. Bobbsey hung up the telephone receiver and took his seat between
Flossie and Freddie where he had been resting in an easy chair, telling
the story.

"Cousin Jasper," went on Mr. Bobbsey, "was quite ill on the island, and
so was Jack Nelson. Just how long they stayed there, waiting for a boat
to come and take them off, they do not know--at least, Cousin Jasper
does not know."

"Doesn't that boy--Jack Nelson--know?" asked Bert.

"No, for he wasn't taken off the island," said Mr. Bobbsey. "And that is
the strange part of Cousin Jasper's story. He, himself, after a hard
time on the island, must have fallen asleep, in a fever probably. When
he awakened he was on board a small steamer, being brought back to St.
Augustine. He hardly knew what happened to him, until he found himself
in the hospital.

"There he slowly got better until he was well enough to write and ask me
to come to see him. He wanted me to do something that no one else would
do."

"And what is that?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"He wants me to get a big motor boat, and go with him to this island and
get that boy, Jack Nelson."

"Is that boy still on the island?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "Why how long ago
was this?"

"About three weeks," her husband answered. "Cousin Jasper does not know
whether or not the boy is still there, but he is afraid he is. You see
when the boat came to rescue Mr. Dent, as my cousin is called at the
hospital, they did not take off with him his boy friend. The sailors of
the rescue ship said they saw Cousin Jasper's canvas flag fluttering
from a pole stuck up in the beach, and that brought them to the island.
They found Cousin Jasper, unconscious, in a little cave-like shelter
near shore, and took him away with them."

"Didn't they see the boy?" asked Nan.

"No, he was not in sight, the sailors afterward told Mr. Dent. They did
not look for any one else, not knowing that two had been shipwrecked on
the island. They thought there was only one, and so Cousin Jasper alone
was saved.

"When he grew better, and the fever left him, he tried to get some one
to start out in a boat to go to the island and save that boy. But no one
would go."

"Why not?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Because they thought Cousin Jasper was still out of his mind from
fever. They said the sailors from the rescue ship had seen no one else,
and if there had been a boy on the island such a person would have been
near Mr. Dent. But no one was seen on the island, and so they thought it
was all a dream of Cousin Jasper's."

"And maybe that poor boy is there yet!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey.

"That's what my cousin is afraid of," her husband said. "And that is why
he sent for me, his nearest relative. He knew I would believe him, and
not imagine he was dreaming. So he wants me to hire for him, as he is
rich, a motor boat and go to this island to rescue the boy if he is
still there. Cousin Jasper thinks he is. He thinks the boy must have
wandered away and so was not in sight when the rescue ship came, or
perhaps he was asleep or ill further from the shore.

"At any rate that's Cousin Jasper's strange story. And now he wants us
to help him see if it's true--see if the boy is still on the island
waiting to be rescued."

"How can you find the island?" asked Nan.

"Cousin Jasper says he will go with us and show us the way. The sea
captain who called me up just now from down in the office of the hotel
is a man who hires out motor boats. Cousin Jasper knows him, and sent
him to see me, as I am to have charge of everything, Mr. Dent not yet
being strong enough to do so."

"And are you going to do it?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Oh, yes," her husband said. "I came here to help Cousin Jasper, and if
he wants me to set off on a sea voyage to rescue a poor lonely boy from
an island, why I'll have to do it."

"May we go?" eagerly asked Bert.

"Yes, I think so. Cousin Jasper says he wants me to get for him a big
motor boat--one large enough for all of us. We will have quite a long
trip on the deep, blue sea, and if we find that the boy has been taken
off the island by some other ship, then we can have a good time sailing
about. But first we must go to the rescue."

"It's just like a story in a book!" cried Nan, clapping her hands.

"Is they--are there oranges and bananas there?" asked Freddie.

"Where?" his father asked.

"On the island where the boy is?"

"Well, I don't know," answered Mr. Bobbsey. "Perhaps bananas may grow
there, though I doubt it. It is hardly warm enough for them."

"Well, let's go anyhow," said Freddie. "We can have some fun!"

"Yes," said Flossie, who always wanted to do whatever her small brother
did, "we can have some fun!"

"But we are not going for fun--first of all," said Mr. Bobbsey. "We are
going to try to rescue this poor boy, who may be sick and alone on the
island. After we get him off, or find that he has been taken care of by
some one else, then we will think about good times.

"And now, my dear," said Mr. Bobbsey to his wife, "the question is,
would you like to go?"

"Will it be dangerous?" she asked.

"No, I think not. No more so than coming down on the big ship. It is now
summer, and there are not many storms here then. And we shall be in a
big motor boat with a good captain and crew. Cousin Jasper told me to
tell you that. We shall sail for a good part of the time--or, rather,
motor--around among islands, so each day we shall not be very far from
some land. Would you like to go?"

"Please say yes, Mother!" begged Bert.

"We'd like to go!" added Nan.

"Well," answered Mrs. Bobbsey slowly, "it sounds as if it would be a
nice trip. That is it will be nice if we can rescue this poor boy from
the lonely island. Yes," she said to her husband, "I think we ought to
go. But it is strange that Cousin Jasper could not get any one from here
to start out before this."

"They did not believe the tale he told of the boy having been left on
the island," said Mr. Bobbsey. "They thought Cousin Jasper was still out
of his head, and had, perhaps, dreamed this. He was very anxious to get
some one started in a boat for the island, but no one would go. So he
had to send for me."

"And you'll go!" exclaimed Bert.

"Yes, we'll all go. Now that I have told you Cousin Jasper's strange
story I'll go down and talk to the sea captain. I want to find out what
sort of motor boat he has, and when we can get it."

"When are we going to start for the island?" asked Bert.

"And what's the name of it?" Nan questioned.

"Is it where Robinson Crusoe lived?" queried Freddie.

"I'll have to take turns answering your questions," said Mr. Bobbsey
with a laugh. "In the first place, Bert, we'll start as soon as we
can--that is as soon as Cousin Jasper is able to leave the hospital.
That will be within a few days, I think, as the doctor said a sea voyage
would do him good. And, too, the sooner we start the more quickly we
shall know about this poor boy.

"As for the name of the island, I don't know that it has any. Cousin
Jasper didn't tell me, if it has. We can name it after we get there if
we find it has not already been called something. And I don't believe it
is the island where Robinson Crusoe used to live, Freddie. So now that I
have answered all your questions, I think I'll go down and talk to the
captain."

Flossie and Freddie were in bed when their father came back upstairs,
and Nan and Bert were getting ready for Slumberland, for it was their
first day ashore after the voyage, and they were tired.

"Did you get the motor boat?" asked Bert.

"Not yet," his father answered with a laugh. "I am to go to look at it
in the morning."

"May I come?"

"Yes, but go to bed now. It is getting late."

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey stayed up a little longer, talking about many
things, and sending a few postcards to friends at home, telling of the
safe arrival in St. Augustine.

Freddie was up early the next morning, standing with his nose flattened
against the front window of the hotel rooms where the Bobbseys were
stopping.

"I see one!" he cried. "I see one!"

"What?" asked Flossie. "A motor boat?"

"No, but another colored lady, and she's got an awful big basket on her
head. Come and look, Flossie! Maybe it'll fall off!"

But nothing like that happened, and after breakfast Mr. Bobbsey
suggested that the whole family set out to see some of the sights of St.
Augustine--the oldest city of the United States--and also to go to the
wharf and view the motor boat.

"Can't we send some postcards before we start, Mother?" questioned Nan
eagerly.

"Certainly," returned Mrs. Bobbsey.

"I think I'll send a few to my friends," said Bert, and he and Nan spent
some time picking out the postcards.

Even Flossie insisted upon it that she be allowed to send several to her
best friends at home.

I wish I had room to tell you all the things the children saw--the queer
old streets and houses, the forts and rivers, for there are two rivers
near the old city. But the Bobbsey twins were as anxious as I know you
must be to see the motor boat, and hear more about the trip to the
island to save the lonely boy, so I will go on to that part of our
story.



CHAPTER XII

THE DEEP BLUE SEA


"Glad to see you! Glad to see you! Come right on board!" cried a hearty
voice, as the Bobbsey twins and their father and mother walked down the
long dock which ran out into the harbor of St. Augustine.

"That's Captain Crane, with whom I was talking last night," said Mr.
Bobbsey to his wife in a low voice.

"And is that the boat we are to take the trip in?" she asked, for the
seaman was standing on the deck of a fine motor craft, dark red in
color, and with shiny brass rails. A cabin, with white curtains at the
portholes, or windows, seemed to offer a good resting place.

"Yes, that's the _Swallow_, as Captain Crane calls his boat," Mr.
Bobbsey said.

"She's a beaut!" exclaimed Bert.

"Come on board! Come on board! Glad to see you!" called the old captain
again, as he waved his hand to the Bobbseys.

"Oh, I like him, don't you?" whispered Nan to Bert.

"Yes," he replied. "He's fine; and that's a dandy boat!"

Indeed the _Swallow_ was a beautiful craft. She was about eighty feet
long, and wide enough to give plenty of room on board, and also to be
safe in a storm. There was a big cabin "forward," as the seamen say, or
in the front part of the boat, and another "aft," or at the stern, or
back part. This was for the men who looked after the gasolene motor and
ran the boat, while the captain and the passengers would live in the
front cabin, out of which opened several little staterooms, or places
where bunks were built for sleeping.

The _Swallow_ was close to the dock, so one could step right on board
without any trouble, and the children were soon standing on the deck,
looking about them.

"Oh, I like this!" cried Freddie. "It's a nicer boat than the _Sea
Queen_!" This was the name of the big steamer on which they had come
from New York. "Have you got a fire engine here, Captain?" asked the
little Bobbsey twin.

"Oh, yes, we've a pump to use in case of fire, but I hope we won't have
any," the seaman said. "I don't s'pose you'd call it a fire engine,
though, but we couldn't have that on a motor boat."

"No, I guess not," Freddie agreed, after thinking it over a bit. "I've a
little fire engine at home," he went on, "and it squirts real water."

"And he squirted some on me," put in Flossie. "On me and my doll."

"But I didn't mean to--an' it was only play," Freddie explained.

"Yes, it was only in fun, and I didn't mind very much," went on the
little girl. "My rubber doll--she likes water," she added, holding out
the doll in question for Captain Crane to see.

"That's good!" he said with a smile. "When we get out on the ocean you
can tie a string around her waist, and let her have a swim in the
waves."

"Won't a shark get her?" Flossie demanded.

"No, I guess sharks don't like to chew on rubber dolls," laughed Captain
Crane. "Anyhow we'll try to keep out of their way. But make yourselves
at home, folks. I hope you'll be with me for quite a while, and you may
as well get used to the boat. Mr. Dent has sailed in her many times, and
he likes the _Swallow_ first rate."

"Can she go fast?" asked Bert.

"Yes, she can fairly skim over the waves, and that's why I call her the
_Swallow_," replied the seaman. "As soon as Mr. Dent heard I was on
shore, waiting for some one to hire my boat, he told me not to sail
again until you folks came, as you and he were going on a voyage
together. I hope you are going?" and he looked at Mr. Bobbsey.

"Yes, we have made up our minds to go," said the children's father. "We
are going to look for a boy who may be all alone on one of the islands
off the Florida coast. We hope we can rescue him."

"I hope so, too," said Captain Crane. "I was shipwrecked on one of those
islands myself, once, as your Cousin Jasper was. And it was dreadful
there, and I got terribly lonesome before I was taken off."

"Did you have a goat?" asked Flossie.

"No, my little girl, I didn't have a goat," answered Mr. Crane. "Why do
you ask that?"

"Because Robinson Crusoe was on an island like that and he had a goat,"
Flossie went on.

"When you were shipwrecked did you have to eat your shoes?" Freddie
queried.

"Oh, ho! No, I guess not!" laughed Captain Crane. "I see what you mean.
You must have had read to you stories of sailors that got so hungry,
after being shipwrecked, that they had to boil their leather shoes to
make soup. Well, I wasn't quite so bad off as that. I found some oysters
on my island, and I had a little food with me. And that, with a spring
of water I found, kept me alive until a ship came and took me off."

"Well, I hope the poor boy on the island where Cousin Jasper was is
still alive, or else that he has been rescued," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"I hope so, too," said the captain. "Now come and I'll show you about my
boat."

He was very proud of his craft, which was a beautiful one, and also
strong enough to stand quite a hard storm. There was plenty of room on
board for the whole Bobbsey family, as well as for Mr. Dent, besides a
crew of three men and the captain. There were cute little bedrooms for
the children, a larger room for Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, one for the
captain and there was even a bathroom.

There was also a kitchen, called a cook's galley, and another room that
could be used in turn for a parlor, a sitting-room or a dining-room.
This was the main cabin, and as you know there is not room enough on a
motor boat to have a lot of rooms, one has to be used for different
things.

"What do you call this room?" questioned Flossie, as she looked around
at the tiny compartment.

"Well, you can call this most anything," laughed the captain. "When you
use it for company, it's a parlor; and when you use it for just sitting
around in, it's a sitting-room; and when you use it to eat in, why, then
what would you call it?"

"Why, then you'd call it a dining-room," answered the little girl
promptly.

"And if I got my hair cut in it, then it would be a barber shop,
wouldn't it?" cried Freddie.

"Why, Freddie Bobbsey!" gasped his twin. "I'm sure I wouldn't want my
dining-room to be a barber shop," she added disdainfully.

"Well, some places have got to be barber shops," defended the little boy
staunchly.

"I don't think they have barber shops on motor boats, do they, Daddy?"

"They might have if the boat was big enough," answered Mr. Bobbsey.
"However, I don't believe we'll have a barber shop on this craft."

"When are we going to start?" asked Bert, when they had gone all over
the _Swallow_, even to the place where the crew slept and where the
motors were.

"We will start as soon as Cousin Jasper is ready," said Mr. Bobbsey. "It
may be a week yet, I hope no longer."

"So do I, for the sake of that poor boy on the island," said Mrs.
Bobbsey. "Tell me, has nothing been heard of him since he was
shipwrecked there with Mr. Dent?" she asked Captain Crane. "Has no other
vessel stopped there but the one that took off Cousin Jasper?"

"I guess not," answered Captain Crane. "According to Mr. Dent's tell,
this island isn't much known, being one of the smallest. It was only
because the men on the ship that took him off saw his flag that they
stood in and got him."

"And then they didn't find the boy," said Mr. Bobbsey.

"Perhaps he wasn't there," Captain Crane said. "He might have found an
old boat, or made one of part of the wrecked motor boat, and have gone
away by himself."

"And he may be there yet, half starved and all alone," said Mrs.
Bobbsey.

"Yes, he may be," admitted the old seaman. "But we'll soon find out. Mr.
Jasper Dent is very anxious to start and look for this boy, who had
worked for him about two years on his boat. So we won't lose any time in
starting, I guess."

"But how do you like my boat? That's what your cousin will be sure to
ask you. When he heard that you were coming to see him, and heard that I
was free to take a trip, he wanted you folks to see me and look over the
_Swallow_. Now you've done it, how do you like it?"

"Very much indeed," said Mr. Bobbsey. "We like the boat exceedingly!"

"And the captain, too," added Mrs. Bobbsey, with a smile.

"Thank you kindly, lady!" said the seaman, with a smile and a bow. "I
hope we'll get along well together."

"And I like the water pump!" exclaimed Freddie. "Please may I squirt the
hose some day?"

"I guess so, when it's nice and warm, and when we wash down the decks,"
said Captain Crane. "We use the pump for that quite a lot," he added.
"We haven't had to use it for fire yet, and I hope we never have to."

"That's what we all say," put in Mr. Bobbsey. But no one could tell what
might happen.

The Bobbsey twins went about the _Swallow_ as they pleased, having a
good time picking out the rooms they wanted to sleep in. Bert said he
was going to learn how to run the big gasolene motors, and Freddie said
he was going to learn how to steer, as well as squirt water through the
deck hose.

"I want to cook in the cute little kitchen," said Nan.

"And I'll help set table," offered Flossie.

"We'll have a good time when we get to sea in this boat," declared Bert.

"And I hope we find that boy on the island," added Nan.

"Oh, yes, I hope that, too," agreed Bert.

None of the crew of the _Swallow_ was on board yet, Captain Crane not
having any need for the men when the boat was tied up at the dock.

"But I can get 'em as soon as you say the word," he told Mrs. Bobbsey
when she asked him.

"And what about things to eat?"

"Oh, we'll stow the victuals on board before we sail," said the seaman.
"We'll take plenty to eat, even though lots of it has to be canned. Just
say the word when you're ready to start, and I'll have everything
ready."

"And now we'll go see Cousin Jasper," suggested Mr. Bobbsey, when at
last he had managed to get the children off the boat. "He will be
wondering what has become of us."

They went to the hospital, and found Mr. Dent much better. The coming of
the Bobbseys had acted as a tonic, the doctor said.

"Do you like the _Swallow_ and Captain Crane?" asked the sick man, who
was now getting well.

"Very much," answered Mr. Bobbsey.

"And will you go with him and me to look for Jack Nelson?"

"As soon as you are ready," was the answer.

"Then we'll start in a few days," decided Cousin Jasper. "The sea-trip
will make me entirely well, sooner than anything else."

The hospital doctor thought this also, and toward the end of the week
Mr. Dent was allowed to go to his own home. He lived alone, except for a
housekeeper and Jack Nelson, but Jack, of course, was not with him now,
being, they hoped, either on the island or safely rescued.

"Though if he had been taken off," said Mr. Dent, "he would have sent me
word that he was all right. So I feel he must still be on the island."

"Perhaps the ship that took him off--if one did," said Mr. Bobbsey,
"started to sail around the world, and it will be a long while before
you hear from your friend."

"Oh, he could send some word," said Cousin Jasper. "No, I feel quite
sure he is still on the island."

Just as soon as Mr. Bobbsey's cousin was strong enough to take the trip
in the _Swallow_, the work of getting the motor boat ready for the sea
went quickly on. Captain Crane got the crew on board, and they cleaned
and polished until, as Mrs. Bobbsey said, you could almost see your face
in the deck.

Plenty of food and water was stored on board, for at sea the water is
salt and cannot be used for drinking. The Bobbseys, after having seen
all they wanted to in St. Augustine, moved most of their baggage to the
boat, and Cousin Jasper went on board also.

"Well, I guess we're all ready to start," said Captain Crane one
morning. "Everything has been done that can be done, and we have enough
to eat for a month or more."

"Even if we are shipwrecked?" Freddie questioned.

"Yes, little fat fireman," laughed the captain. "Even if we are
shipwrecked. Now, all aboard!"

They were all present, the crew and the Bobbseys, Captain Crane and
Cousin Jasper.

"All aboard!" cried the captain again.

A bell jingled, a whistle tooted and the _Swallow_ began to move away
from the dock. She dropped down the river and, a little later, was out
on the ocean.

"Once more the deep, blue sea, children!" said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Shall you
like the voyage?"

"Oh, very much!" cried Nan, and the others nodded their heads to agree
with her.

And then, as they were puffing along, one of the crew called to Captain
Crane:

"There's a man in that motor boat who wants to speak to you! Better wait
and see what he wants!"



CHAPTER XIII

FLOSSIE'S DOLL


Captain Crane jingled a bell that told the engineer of the motor boat to
slow down. Then he steered the _Swallow_ over toward the other motor
boat in which was a man waving his hand, as though he wanted the
Bobbseys to stop, or at least to come closer, so that he might speak to
them.

The Bobbsey twins were wildly excited.

"Hello, Captain Harrison!" called Captain Crane, as soon as the two
boats were close enough to talk from one to the other. "Did you want to
see me?"

"Well, yes, I did," answered Captain Harrison, who was on the other
motor boat, which was named _Sea Foam_. "I think I have some news for
you."

"I hope it's good news," Captain Crane made reply.

"Yes, I believe it is. Are you going out to rescue a boy from an island
quite a way to the south of us?"

"Yes, these friends of mine are going," answered Captain Crane, pointing
to the Bobbseys and to Cousin Jasper, who were sitting on the deck under
the shade of an awning. "But how did you know?"

"I just passed Captain Peters in his boat, and he told me about your
starting off on a voyage," went on Captain Harrison. "As soon as I heard
what you were going to do, I made up my mind to tell you what I saw. I
passed that island, where you are going to look for a lost man----"

"It's a lost boy, and not a lost man," interrupted Captain Crane.

"Well, lost boy, then," went on Captain Harrison. "Anyhow, I passed that
island the other day, and I'm sure I saw some one running up and down on
the shore, waving a rag or something."

"You did!" cried Cousin Jasper, who, with the Bobbseys, was listening to
this talk. "Then why in the world didn't you go on shore and get Jack?
Why didn't you do that, Captain?"

"Because I couldn't," answered Captain Harrison. "A big storm was coming
up, and I couldn't get near the place on account of the rocks. But I
looked through my telescope, and I'm sure I saw a man--or, as you say,
maybe it was a boy--running up and down on the shore of the island,
waving something.

"When I found I couldn't get near the place, on account of the rocks and
the big waves, I made up my mind to go back as soon as I could. But the
storm kept up, and part of my motor engine broke, so I had to come back
here to get it fixed.

"I just got in, after a lot of trouble, and the first bit of news I
heard was that you were going to start off for this island to look for
some one there. So I thought I'd tell you there is some one on the
shore--at least there was a week ago, when I saw the place."

The Bobbsey twins listened "with all their ears" to this talk, and they
wondered what would happen next.

"Well, if Captain Harrison saw Jack there he must be alive," said Bert
to Nan.

"Unless something happened to him afterward in the storm," remarked Nan.

"I wish we could hurry up and get him," said Freddie.

"Be quiet, children," whispered Mrs. Bobbsey. "Captain Crane wants to
hear all that the other captain says."

"S-sh," hissed Flossie importantly.

"How long ago was this?" asked Captain Crane.

"About a week," answered Captain Harrison. "I had trouble getting back,
so it was a week ago. I tried to see some other boat to send to the
island to take off this lost boy, but I didn't meet any until I got
here. Somebody on shore told me about you. Then I thought, as long as
you are going there, I'd tell you what I saw."

"I'm glad you did," observed Cousin Jasper. "And I'm glad to know that
Jack is well enough to be up and around--or that he was when you saw
him. We must go there as fast as we can now, and rescue him."

"Maybe some other boat stopped and took him off the island," said
Captain Harrison.

"Well, maybe one did," agreed Cousin Jasper. "If so, that's all the
better. But if Jack is still there we'll get him. Thank you, Captain
Harrison."

Then the two motor boats started up again, one to go on to her dock at
St. Augustine and the other--the one with the Bobbsey twins on
board--heading for the deep blue sea which lay beyond.

"Do you think you can find Jack?" asked Freddie, as he stood beside
Captain Crane, who was steering the _Swallow_.

"Well, yes, little fat fireman. I hope so," was the answer. "If Captain
Harrison saw him running around the island, waving something for a flag,
that shows he was alive, anyhow, and not sick, as he was when the folks
took Mr. Dent off. So that's a good sign."

"But it was more than a week ago," said Mr. Bobbsey. "Of course we all
hope he can be found, but we must hurry as fast as we can."

"That's right," said Cousin Jasper. "Make the boat go as fast as you
can, Captain Crane."

"I will," answered the seaman. "You'll see how quickly my _Swallow_ can
skim over the waves."

Now that they were started on their voyage over the sea the Bobbsey
twins had a good chance to get better acquainted with Cousin Jasper.
There had been so much to do in getting ready for the trip and in
leaving the hotel that they had hardly spoken to him, or he to them.

But now that they were all on board the motor boat, and there was
nowhere else to go, and nothing to do, except to sit around on deck, or
eat when the meal times came, there was a chance to see Cousin Jasper
better and to talk with him more.

"I like him," said Freddie, as the four twins sat together under an
awning out of the sun, and listened to the conversation of the older
folk, who were talking about the news given them by Captain Harrison. "I
like Cousin Jasper!"

"So do I. And he likes my rubber doll," said Flossie.

"What makes you think he likes your doll?" asked Nan, with a laugh at
her little sister.

"'Cause when I dropped her on the floor in the cabin he picked her up
for me and asked if she was hurt."

"You can't hurt a rubber doll!" exclaimed Freddie.

"I know you can't," said Flossie, "'ceptin' maybe when you pretend, and
I wasn't doing that then. But Cousin Jasper brushed the dust off my
doll, and he liked her."

"That was nice of him," said Bert. "I like Captain Crane, too. He's
going to let me steer the boat, maybe, when we get out where there
aren't any other ships for me to knock into."

"And he's going to let me run the engine--maybe," added Freddie.

"Well, you'd better be careful how you run it," laughed Bert. "It's a
good deal bigger than your fire engine."

So the Bobbsey twins talked about Cousin Jasper and Captain Crane, and
they were sure they would like both men. As for Cousin Jasper, he really
loved the little folk, and had a warm place in his heart for them,
though he had not seen any of them since they were small babies.

On and on puffed the _Swallow_, over the deep blue sea, drawing nearer
to the island where they hoped to find Jack Nelson.

"But it will take us some little time to get there, even if nothing
happens," said Cousin Jasper, as they all sat down to dinner in the
cabin a little later. The meal was a good one, and Nan and her mother
were quite surprised that so much could be cooked in the little kitchen,
or "galley," as Captain Crane called it, for on a ship that is the name
of the kitchen.

One of the members of the crew was the cook, and he also helped about
the boat, polishing the shiny brass rails, and doing other things, for
there is as much work about a boat as there is about a house, as Nan's
mother said to her.

"Yes, Mother, I can see that there is a lot of work to do around a boat
like this, especially if they wish to keep it in really nice style,"
said Nan. "The sailors have to work just about as hard as the servants
do around a house."

"Yes, my dear, and they have to work in all sorts of weather, too."

"Well, we have to work in the house even in bad weather."

"That's true. But the sailors on a boat often have to work outside on
the deck when the weather is very rough."

"And that must be awfully dangerous," put in Bert.

"It does become dangerous at times, especially when there is a great
storm on."

"Do you think we'll run into a storm on this trip?" Nan questioned.

"I'm sure I hope not!" answered the mother quickly. "To run into a big
storm with such a small boat as this would be dangerous."

"Maybe we'd be wrecked and become regular Robinson Crusoes," said Bert.

"Oh, please, Bert! don't speak of such dreadful things!" said his
mother.

"But that would be fun, Mother."

"Fun!"

"All right. We won't be wrecked then." And Bert and his mother both
laughed.

After dinner the Bobbsey twins sat out on the deck, and watched the blue
waves. For some little time they could look back and see the shores of
Florida, and then, as the _Swallow_ flew farther and farther away, the
shores were only like a misty cloud, and then, a little longer, and they
could not be seen at all.

"Now we are just as much at sea as when we were on the big ship coming
from New York, aren't we?" Bert asked his father.

"Yes, just about," answered Mr. Bobbsey.

It was a little while after this that Mrs. Bobbsey, who had gone down to
the staterooms, to get a book she had left there, heard Flossie crying.

"What's the matter, little fairy?" asked her mother, as she came up on
deck.

"Oh, Mother, my nice rubber doll is gone, and Freddie took her and now
he's gone," said Flossie.

"Freddie gone!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "What do you mean, Flossie? Where
could Freddie go?"

"I don't know where he went. I guess he didn't go to look at any colored
ladies with baskets on their heads, 'cause there aren't any here. But he
went downstairs, where the engine is, and he took my doll with him. I
saw him, and I hollered at him, but he wouldn't bring her back to me.
Oh, I want my doll--my nice rubber doll!" and Flossie cried real tears.

"I must find Freddie," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "I wonder where that boy could
have gone this time?"



CHAPTER XIV

FREDDIE'S FISH


Although she was a little worried about Freddie, Mrs. Bobbsey felt quite
sure nothing very serious could happen to him. He would not go near
enough the railing of the deck to fall over, for he and Flossie, as well
as Bert and Nan, had promised not to do this while they were on the
_Swallow_. And if the little boy had gone "downstairs," as Flossie said,
he could be in no danger there.

"Even if he went to the motor room," thought Mrs. Bobbsey, "he could
come to no harm, for there is a man there all the while looking after
the engine. But I must find him."

Flossie was still sobbing a little, and looking about the deck as if, by
some chance, her doll might still be there.

"Tell me how it happened, Flossie," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

Her husband was down in the cabin, talking to Captain Crane and Cousin
Jasper. The cook was getting things ready for supper, one of the men was
steering, and another was looking after the engine. Nan and Bert were up
in the bow of the boat, watching the waves and an occasional seagull
flying about, and Flossie was with her mother. The only one of her
family Mrs. Bobbsey did not know about was Freddie.

"It happened this way," said Flossie. "I was playing up here with my
rubber doll, making believe she was a princess, and I was putting a gold
and diamond dress on her, when Freddie came up with a lot of string. I
asked him what he was going to do, and he said he was going to fish, and
he asked me if I had a piece of cookie."

"What did he want of a piece of cookie?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"He wanted it to fasten on his line for bait for the fishes, he said,"
went on Flossie. "But I didn't have any cookie. I did have some before
that, and so did Freddie. The cook gave them to us, but I did eat all my
piece up and so did Freddie. So I didn't have any for his fishline."

"Then what happened?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, as she started down the
companionway to look for Freddie.

"Well, Freddie asked me to go and get some more cookie from the cook,
and I did, 'cause I was hungry and I wanted to eat more. But I couldn't
find the cook, and when I came back upstairs again, and outdoors--here
on deck, I mean--I saw Freddie grab up my doll, and run down the other
stairs."

"Oh, well, maybe he only took it in fun," said Mrs. Bobbsey, and she was
not at all worried now, feeling sure Freddie was safe, though he might
be in some sort of mischief.

"Anyhow he took my doll," Flossie went on. "And he wouldn't bring her
back to me when I told him to. Then I--I cried."

"Yes, I heard you," said her mother. "But you mustn't be such a baby,
Flossie. Of course it wasn't right for Freddie to take your doll, but
you shouldn't have cried about a little thing like that. I'll tell him
he mustn't plague you."

"But, Mother! he was going to throw my doll into the ocean, I'm sure he
was."

"Oh, no, Flossie! Freddie wouldn't do a thing like that!"

"But I saw him tying a string to her, and I'm sure he was going to throw
her into the ocean."

"Well, then he could pull her out again."

"Yes, but I don't want my doll in the ocean. The ocean is salty, and if
salty water gets in her eyes it might spoil them."

Mrs. Bobbsey wanted to laugh, but she did not dare, for that would have
made Flossie feel worse than ever.

"What makes you think Freddie was going to toss your doll into the
ocean?" asked Flossie's mother.

"'Cause, before that he wanted me to do it to give her a bath. He had a
long string and he said, 'let's tie it to the rubber doll and let her
swim in the ocean.'"

"No, he mustn't do that, of course," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "And I'll tell
him so when I find him. But perhaps he didn't do it, Flossie."

"Oh, yes he did!" said the little girl. "When he ran downstairs with my
doll, and wouldn't come back when I hollered at him, he was tying a
string on her then. Oh, dear!"

"Never mind! I'll get your doll back," Mrs. Bobbsey said. "But first we
must find Freddie."

"He went down those stairs," said Flossie, pointing to a flight that led
to the motor room, where the engine was chug-chugging away, sending the
_Swallow_ over the waves. "He went down there."

The engine room of the motor boat was a clean place, not like the engine
room on a steamboat, filled with coal dust and a lot of machinery, and
Mrs. Bobbsey knew it would be all right for her and Flossie to go down
there and see what Freddie was doing.

"Now don't cry any more," Flossie's mother told her, giving the little
girl a handkerchief on which to dry her tears. "We'll get your doll
back, and I'll have to scold Freddie a little, I think."

"Maybe you can't find him," said Flossie.

"Oh, yes I can," her mother declared.

"You can't find him if he is hiding away."

"I don't think he will dare hide if he hears me calling him."

"Maybe he will if he's got my doll," pouted Flossie.

"Now, Flossie, you mustn't talk that way. I don't believe Freddie meant
to be naughty. He was only heedless."

"Well, I want my doll!"

It was no easy matter for little Flossie to get down into the engine
room of the motor boat. The little iron stairway was very steep, and the
steps seemed to be very far apart.

"Let me help you, Flossie," said her mother. "I don't want you to fall
and get yourself dirty."

"Oh, Mother, it isn't a bit dirty down here!" the little girl returned.
"Why, it's just as clean as it can be!"

"Still, there may be some oil around."

"I'll be very careful. But please let me go down all by myself,"
answered the little girl.

She was getting at that age now when she liked to do a great many things
for herself. Often when there was a muddy place to cross in the street,
instead of taking hold of somebody's hand Flossie would make a leap
across the muddy place by herself.

Knowing how much her little girl was disturbed over the loss of her
doll, Mrs. Bobbsey, at this time, allowed her to have her own way. And
slowly and carefully the stout little girl lowered herself from one step
of the iron ladder to the next until she stood on the floor of the
engine room.

"Now, I got down all right, didn't I?" she remarked triumphantly.

"Yes, my dear, you came down very nicely," the mother answered.

Down in the engine room a man was oiling the machinery. He looked up as
Mrs. Bobbsey and Flossie came down the stairs.

"Have you seen my little boy?" asked Freddie's mother. "My little girl
says he came down here."

"So he did," answered the engineer. "I asked him if he was coming to
help me run the boat, and he said he would a little later. He had
something else to do now, it seems."

"What?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Well, he said he wanted to go fishing. And as I knew you wouldn't want
him leaning over the rail I showed him where he could fish out of one of
the portholes of the storeroom. A porthole is one of the round windows,"
the engineer said, so Flossie would know what he was talking about. "I
opened one of the ports for him, and said he could drop his line out of
that. Then he couldn't come to any harm."

"Did he have a line?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Yes, a good, strong one. I guess he must have got it off Captain Crane.
He's a fisherman himself, the captain is, and he has lots of hooks and
lines on board."

"Oh, I hope Freddie didn't have a hook!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.

"No'm," answered the engineer. "I didn't see any, and I don't think he
did have any. He just had a long string, and I thought all he was going
to do was to dangle it out of the porthole in the storeroom. He couldn't
come to any harm there, I knew, and I could keep my eye on him once in a
while."

"Did he have my rubber doll?" asked Flossie.

"I didn't see any doll," answered the engineer. "But he's in there now,"
he went on. "You can ask him yourself."

Looking out of the engine room, Freddie could be seen farther back in
the motor boat, in a place where boxes and barrels of food, and things
for the boat, were kept. One of the side ports was open, and Freddie's
head was stuck out of this, so he could not see his mother and Flossie
and the engineer looking at him.

"Well, I'm glad he's all right," said Mrs. Bobbsey with a sigh of
relief. "Thank you for looking after him."

"Oh, I like children," said the man with a smile. "I have some little
ones of my own at home."

Mrs. Bobbsey and Flossie went into the storeroom. Freddie did not hear
them, for his head was still out of the round window. There was no
danger of his falling out, for he could not have got his shoulders
through, so Mrs. Bobbsey was not frightened, even though the little boy
was leaning right over deep water, through which the _Swallow_ was
gliding.

"Oh, where is my doll?" asked Flossie, looking about and not seeing it.
"I want my rubber doll!"

"I'll ask Freddie," said Mrs. Bobbsey, and then, in a louder voice, she
called:

"Freddie! Freddie! Where is Flossie's doll? You mustn't take it away
from her. I shall have to punish you for this!"

For a moment it seemed as if the little boy had not heard what his
mother had said. Then, when she called him again, he pulled his head in
from the porthole and whispered:

"Please don't make a noise, Mother! I'm fishing, and a noise always
scares the fish away!"

"But, Freddie, fishing or not, you mustn't take Flossie's playthings,"
his mother went on.

Freddie did not answer for a moment. He had wound around his hand part
of a heavy cord, which Mrs. Bobbsey knew was a line used to catch big
fish. Freddie was really trying to catch something, it seemed.

"Is there a hook on that line?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, fearing, after all,
that her little boy might have found one.

"Oh, no, Mother, there's no hook," Freddie answered. "I just tied
on----" And then a queer look came over his face. His hand, with the
line wound around it, was jerked toward the open porthole and the little
boy cried:

"Oh, I got a fish! I got a fish! I got a big fish!"



CHAPTER XV

"LAND HO!"


Mrs. Bobbsey at first did not know whether Freddie was playing some of
his make-believe games, or whether he really had caught a fish.
Certainly something seemed to be pulling on the line he held out of the
porthole, but then, his mother thought, it might have caught on
something, as fishlines often do get caught.

"I've caught a fish! I've caught a fish!" Freddie cried again. "Oh,
please somebody come and help me pull it in!"

Flossie was so excited--almost as much as was her brother--that she
forgot all about her lost doll.

"Have you really caught a fish?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"I really have! I guess maybe it's a shark or a whale, it's so big, and
it pulls so hard!" cried Freddie.

And, really, the line that was wound around his hand was pulled so
tight, and stretched so hard, where it went out of the hole and down
into the ocean, that Freddie could not lower his fist.

"Oh, Freddie!" cried his mother. "If you have caught a fish it may cut
your fingers by jerking on that line."

"Well, I--I caught something!" Freddie said. "Please somebody get it off
my line. And hurry, please!"

By this time Nan and Bert had run down into the storeroom. They saw what
was going on.

"Are you sure you haven't caught another hat?" asked Bert, as he
remembered what had once happened to his little brother.

"It doesn't pull like a hat," Freddie answered. "It's a real fish."

"I believe he has caught something," said Mr. Chase, the engineer, as he
ran in from the motor room. "Yes, it's either a fish or a turtle," he
added as he caught hold of the line and took some of the pull off
Freddie's hand. "Unwind that cord from your fingers," he told the little
boy. "I'll take care of your fish--if you really have one."

"Could it be a turtle?" asked Nan.

"Yes, there are lots of 'em in these waters," the engineer said. "But I
never knew one of 'em to bite on just a piece of string before, without
even a hook or a bit of bait on it."

"Oh, I got something on my line for bait," Freddie answered.

But no one paid any attention to him just then, for the engineer, gently
thrusting the little boy aside, looked from the porthole himself, and
what he saw made him cry:

"The little lad has caught something all right. Would you mind running
up on deck and telling Captain Crane your brother has caught something,"
said Mr. Chase to Bert. "And tell him, if he wants to get it aboard he'd
better tell one of the men to stand by with a long-handled net. I think
it's a turtle or a big fish, and it'll be good to eat whatever it
is--unless it's a shark, and some folks eat them nowadays."

"Oh, I don't want to catch a shark!" exclaimed Freddie.

"It's already caught, whatever it is," said Mr. Chase, "It seems to be
well hooked, too, whatever you used on the end of your line."

"I tied on a----" began Freddie, but, once again, no one paid attention
to what he said, for the fish, or whatever it was on the end of the
line, began to squirm in the water, "squiggle" Freddie called it
afterward--and the engineer had to hold tightly to the line.

"Please hurry and tell the captain to reach the net overboard and pull
this fish in," begged Mr. Chase of Bert. "I'd pull it in through the
porthole, but I'm afraid it will get off if I try."

All this while the _Swallow_ was moving slowly along through the blue
waters of the deep sea, for when the engineer had run in to see what
Freddie had caught he had shut down the motor so that it moved at a
quarter speed.

Up on deck ran Bert, to find his father and Captain Crane there talking
with Cousin Jasper.

"What is it, Bert?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"Oh, will you please get out a net, Captain!" cried Nan's brother.
"Freddie has caught a big fish through the porthole and the
engineer--Mr. Chase--is holding it now, and he can't pull it in, and
will you do it with a net?"

"My! that's a funny thing to have happen!" said Mr. Bobbsey.

"I'll get the net!" cried Captain Crane. "If your brother has really
caught a fish or a turtle we can have it for dinner. I wouldn't be
surprised if it was a turtle," said the captain to Bert's father. "There
are plenty around where we are sailing now, and they'll sometimes bite
on a bare hook, though they like something to eat better. What bait did
Freddie use?" he asked.

"I don't know," Bert answered.

By this time Captain Crane had found a large net, which had a long
handle fast to it, and also a rope, so that if the fish were so large
that the handle should break in lifting it from the water, the rope
would hold.

With the net ready to dip down into the water, Captain Crane ran along
the deck until he stood above the porthole, out of which ran the line.
The fish, or whatever it was, was still fast to the other end of the
strong cord.

"Haul it up as close as you can to the side of the boat!" called the
captain to the engineer, who thrust his head partly out of the round
hole. "Then I'll scoop it up in the net. Watch out he doesn't get off
the hook."

"That's the trouble," said the engineer. "I don't believe Freddie used a
hook. But we'll soon see."

Up on the deck of the _Swallow_, as well as down in the storeroom, where
Freddie, his mother and the others were watching, there was an anxious
moment. They all wanted to see what it was the little boy had caught.

"Here we go, now!" cried Captain Crane, as he lowered the long-handled
net into the water near the cord. The captain held to the wooden handle,
and Mr. Bobbsey had hold of the rope.

Through the porthole Mr. Chase pulled on the cord until he had brought
the flapping, struggling captive close to the side of the motor boat.
Then, with a sudden scoop, Captain Crane slipped the net under it.

"Now pull!" he cried, and both he and Mr. Bobbsey did this.

Up out of the blue sea rose something in the net. And as the sun shone
on the glistening sides Freddie, peering from the porthole beside the
engineer, cried:

"Oh, it's a fish! It's a big fish!"

And indeed it was, a flapping fish, of large size, the silver scales of
which shone brightly in the sun.

"Pull!" cried the captain to Mr. Bobbsey, and a few seconds later the
fish lay flapping on deck.

Up from below came Freddie, greatly excited, followed by his mother,
Nan, Flossie and Mr. Chase, Flossie chanting loudly: "Freddie caught a
fish! Freddie caught a fish!"

"Didn't I tell you I caught a fish?" cried the little boy, his blue eyes
shining with excitement.

"You certainly did," his father answered. "But how did you do it, little
fat fireman?"

"Well, Captain Crane gave me the fishline," Freddie answered.

"Yes, I did," the captain said. "He begged me for one and I let him take
it. I didn't think he could do any harm, as I didn't let him take any
sharp hooks--or any hooks, in fact."

"If he didn't have his line baited, or a hook on it, I don't see how he
caught anything," said the engineer.

"I did have something on my line," Freddie exclaimed. "I had--I had----"

But just then Flossie, who had been forgotten in the excitement, burst
out with:

"Where's my doll, Freddie Bobbsey? Where's my nice rubber doll that you
took? I want her! Where is she?"

"I--I guess the fish swallowed her," Freddie answered.

"The fish!" cried all the others.

"Yes. You see I tied the rubber doll on the end of the line 'stid of a
hook," the little boy added. "I knew I had to have something for to bait
the fish, so they'd bite, so I tied Flossie's doll on. The fish couldn't
hurt it much," he went on. "'Cause once Snap had your rubber doll in his
mouth, Flossie, and she wasn't hurt a bit."

"And is my doll in the fish now?" the little girl demanded, not quite
sure whether or not she ought to cry.

"I guess it swallowed the doll," returned Freddie. "Anyhow the doll was
on the end of the string, and now the string is in the fish's mouth. But
maybe you can get your doll back, Flossie, when the fish is cooked."

Captain Crane bent over the fish, which was flopping about on deck.

"It has swallowed the end of the line, and, I suppose, whatever was fast
on the cord," he said. "If it was Flossie's doll, that is now inside the
fish."

"And can you get it out?" asked Bert.

"Oh, yes, when we cut the fish open to clean it ready to cook, we can
get the doll."

"Is that fish good to eat?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Very good indeed. It's one of our best kind," the captain said.
"Freddie is a better fisherman than he knew."

And the little Bobbsey twin had really caught a fish. Just why it was
the fish had bit on the line baited with Flossie's rubber doll, no one
knew. But Captain Crane said that sometimes the fish get so hungry they
will almost bite on a bare hook, and are caught that way.

This fish of Freddie's was so large that it had swallowed the doll,
which was tied fast on the end of the line, and once the doll was in its
stomach the fish could not get loose from the heavy cord.

"But you mustn't take Flossie's doll for fish-bait again," said Mrs.
Bobbsey.

"No'm, I won't!" Freddie promised. "But now maybe I can have a real hook
and bait."

"Well, we'll see about that," said Mr. Bobbsey with a smile.

The line was cut, close to the mouth of the big fish, which weighed
about fifteen pounds, and then Freddie's prize was taken by the cook
down to the galley, or kitchen. A little later the cook brought back
Flossie's rubber doll, cleanly washed, and with the piece of string
still tied around its waist.

"Is she hurt?" asked Flossie, for her doll was very real to the little
girl, since she often pretended she was alive.

"No, she's all right--not even a pinhole in her," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"There are a few marks of the teeth of the fish, where it grabbed your
rubber doll, but she was swallowed whole, like Jonah and the whale, so
no harm was done."

"I'm glad," said the little girl, as she cuddled her plaything, so
strangely given back to her. "And don't you dare take her for fish-bait
again, Freddie Bobbsey."

"No, Flossie, I won't," he said. "I'll use real bait after this."

"But you mustn't do any more fishing without telling me or your mother,"
cautioned Mr. Bobbsey. "You might have been pulled overboard by this
one."

"Oh, no, I couldn't," Freddie declared. "Only my head could go through
the porthole."

"Well, don't do it again," his father warned him, and the little boy
promised that he would not.

The fish was cooked for supper, and very good it was, too. Flossie and
Freddie ate some and Flossie pretended to feed her doll a little, though
of course the doll didn't really chew.

"The fish tried to eat you, and now you can eat some of the fish,"
Flossie said, with a laugh.

The Bobbsey twins wanted to stay up late that night, and watch the
moonlight on the water, but their mother, after letting them sit on deck
a little while, said it would be best for them to "turn in," as the
sailors call going to bed. They had been up early, and the first day of
their new voyage at sea had been a long one.

So down to their berths they went and were soon ready for bed.

"My, we had a lot of things happen to-day!" remarked Flossie.

"Well, I'm sorry I took the doll, but I'm awful glad I caught that great
big fish," answered Freddy.

"But you're never going to take her for fish bait again, Freddie
Bobbsey!" repeated his twin.

"I didn't say I was. I guess the next time I want to go fishing I'll get
a regular piece of meat from the cook."

"Children, children! It's time to go to sleep now," broke in their
mother. "Remember, you'll want to be up bright and early to-morrow."

"If I don't wake up, you call me, please," cried Freddie; and then he
turned over and in a few minutes was sound asleep, and soon the others
followed.

The next day passed. The children had fun on board the motor boat, and
the older folks read and talked, among other things, of how glad they
would be to rescue Jack from the lonely island. The following day it
rained hard, and the four twins had to stay in the cabin most of the
time. But they found plenty to amuse them.

The third morning, as they came up on deck, the sun was shining, and one
of the men was looking at something through a telescope.

"Does he see another fish, or maybe a whale or a shark?" asked Freddie.

The sailor answered for himself, though he was really speaking to
Captain Crane, who was at the steering wheel.

"Land ho!" cried the sailor.

"Where away?" asked the captain.

"Dead ahead!" went on the sailor.

That is the way they talk on board a ship and it means:

"I see some land."

"Where is it?"

"Straight ahead."

The Bobbsey twins looked, but all they could see was a faint speck, far
out in the deep, blue sea.

"Is that land?" asked Nan.

"Yes, it's an island," answered Captain Crane.

"Oh, maybe it's the island where Jack is!" Bert cried.

"Perhaps," said Captain Crane. "We'll soon know, for it is not many
miles away, though it looks far off on account of the fog and mist.
We'll soon be there."

He was just going to ring the bell, giving a signal to the engineer to
make the boat go faster when, all at once, Mr. Chase, who had helped
Freddie catch the fish, came hurrying up out of the motor room.

"Captain!" he cried. "We'll have to slow down! One of the motors is
broken! We'll have to stop!"

This was bad news to the Bobbsey twins.



CHAPTER XVI

UNDER THE PALMS


Cousin Jasper, who had been talking to Mr. Bobbsey, walked along the
deck with the children's father until he stood near Captain Crane, who
was now looking through the telescope, across the deep, blue sea, at the
speck which, it was said, was an island.

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Dent. "Why are we stopping, Captain
Crane?"

"Because one of our motors is broken, Mr. Dent. But don't let that worry
you. We have two, or, rather, a double motor, and if we can't go with
one we can with the other. It's like a little boy or girl, when they
break one of their roller skates," he went on, looking at Flossie and
Freddie.

"If they can't skate on two skates they can push themselves around on
one skate," said the captain. "And that's what we'll have to do. But,
Mr. Chase, you think you can mend the broken engine easily enough, don't
you?" he asked the man who had helped Freddie hold on to the big fish.

"Oh, yes," answered the engineer. "We can easily fix the broken motor.
But it will take a day or so, and we ought to be in some quiet place
where the waves won't rock us so hard if a storm comes up. So why not go
to this island that we see over there?" and he pointed to the speck in
the ocean. "Maybe there is a little bay there where the _Swallow_ can
rest while my men and I fix the engine."

"That's a good idea," said Captain Crane. "Can you run to the island?"

"Oh, yes, if we go slowly."

"What's that?" cried Cousin Jasper. "Is there an island around here?"

"The sailor who was looking through his telescope just saw one,"
returned Captain Crane. "I was going to tell you about it when Mr. Chase
spoke to me about the broken engine. There is the island; you can see it
quite plainly with the glass," and he handed the spy-glass to Cousin
Jasper.

"Maybe it's the island where that boy is," said Flossie to her father.

"Maybe," agreed Mr. Bobbsey.

"I hardly think it is," said Mr. Dent, as he put the telescope to his
eye. "The island where we were wrecked is farther away than this, and
this one is smaller and has more trees on it than the one where poor
Jack and I landed. I do not think this is the place we want, but we can
go there to fix the engine, and then travel on farther."

"Can we really land on the island?" asked Freddie.

"Yes, you may go ashore there," the captain said. "We shall probably
have to stay there two or three days."

"Oh, what fun we can have, playing on the island!" cried Flossie.

"We'll pretend we're Robinson Crusoe," said her little brother. "Come
on, Flossie, let's go and tell Nan and Bert!"

And while the two younger Bobbsey twins ran to tell their older brother
and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, Cousin Jasper and Captain Crane took
turns looking through the glass at the island, which was about five
miles away.

"It is not the island where I was," said Cousin Jasper again. "But it
looks like a good place to stay while the engines of the _Swallow_ are
being mended. So we'll go there, Captain!"

"All right," Captain Crane answered. "We'll have to go a little slow,
but we'll be there in plenty of time."

Once more the motor boat started off, not going as fast as at first, but
the Bobbsey twins did not mind this a bit, as they were thinking what
fun they would have on the island so far out at sea, and they stood at
the rail watching it as it appeared to grow larger the nearer the boat
came to it.

"We're coming up pretty fast, aren't we?" remarked Freddie.

"Not as fast as we might come," answered Bert. "However, we've got lots
of time, just as Captain Crane said."

"Is it a really and truly Robinson Crusoe place?" questioned Flossie.

"I guess we'll find out about that a little later," answered her sister.

"I can see the trees now!" exclaimed Freddie presently.

"So can I," answered his twin.

At last the anchor was dropped in a little bay, which would be sheltered
from storms, and then the small boat was lowered so that those who
wished might go ashore.

"Oh, what lovely palm trees!" exclaimed Nan, as she saw the beautiful
branches near the edge of the island, waving in the gentle breeze.

"They are wonderful," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "The whole island is covered
with them."

"Do palm leaf fans grow on these trees, Mother?" asked Freddie as they
were being rowed ashore by one of the sailors.

"Well, yes, I suppose they could make palm leaf fans from some of the
branches of these palm trees," Mrs. Bobbsey said. "And shall we call
this Palm Island? That is, unless it has some other name?" she asked
Captain Crane.

"No, I hardly think it has," he answered. "I was never here before,
though I have been on many of the little islands in this part of the
sea. So we can call this Palm Island, if you like."

"It will be a lovely place to stay," stated Nan. "I just love to sit
under a tree, and look at the waves and the white sand."

"I'm going in swimming!" declared Bert. "It's awful hot, and a good swim
will cool me off."

"Don't go in until we take a look and see if there are any sharks or big
fish around," his father warned him. "Remember we are down South, where
the water of the ocean is warm, and sharks like warm water. This is not
like it was at Uncle William's at Ocean Cliff. So, remember, children,
don't go in the water unless your mother, or some of the grown people,
are with you."

The children promised they would not, and a little later the rowboat
grated on the sandy shore and they all got out on the beach of Palm
Island.

"Then this isn't the place where you were wrecked with Jack?" asked Mr.
Bobbsey of Cousin Jasper.

"No; it isn't the same place at all. It is a beautiful island, though;
much nicer than the one where I was."

"I wonder if any one lives on it," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"I think not," answered Captain Crane. "Most of these islands are too
small for people to live on for any length of time, though fishermen
might camp out on them for a week or so. However, this will be a good
place for us to stay while the engines are being fixed."

"Can we sleep here at night?" asked Bert, who wanted very much to do as
he had read of Robinson Crusoe doing.

"Well, no, I hardly think you could sleep here at night," said Captain
Crane. "We may not be here more than two days, and it wouldn't be wise
to get out the camping things for such a little while. Then, too, a
storm might come up, and we would have to move the boat. You can spend
the days on Palm Island and sleep on the _Swallow_."

"Well, that will be fun!" said Nan.

"Lots of fun," agreed Bert. "And please, Daddy, can't we go in
swimming?"

It was a hot day, and as Captain Crane said there would be no danger
from sharks if the children kept near shore, their bathing garments were
brought from the boat, and soon Bert and Nan, and Flossie and Freddie,
were splashing about in the warm sun-lit waters on the beach of Palm
Island.

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey were sitting in the shade watching them, while the
men on the boat were working at the broken engine, when suddenly
Flossie, who had come out of the water to sit on the sand, set up a cry.

"Oh, it's got hold of me!" she shouted. "Come quick, Daddy! Mother! It's
got hold of my dress and it's pulling!"

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey jumped up and ran down the beach toward the little
girl.

[Illustration: FLOSSIE WAS TRYING TO PULL AWAY.]



CHAPTER XVII

A QUEER NEST


Nan and Bert, who, with Freddie, were splashing out in the water a
little way from where Flossie sat on the beach, heard the cries of the
little girl and hurried to her. But Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey were the first
to reach Flossie.

"What is it?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"What's the matter?" asked Flossie's mother.

"Oh, he's pulling me! He's pulling me!" answered the little girl.

And, surely enough, something behind her, which Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey
could not see, did appear to have hold of the little short skirt of the
bathing suit Flossie wore.

"Can it be a little dog playing with her?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"We'd hear him bark if it was," his wife answered. "And I don't believe
there are any dogs on this island."

Flossie was trying to pull away from whatever had hold of her, and the
little girl was having a hard time of it. Her bare feet dug in the white
sand, and she leaned forward, just as she would have done if a dog had
had hold of her short skirt from behind.

Mr. Bobbsey, running fast, caught Flossie in his arms, and when he saw
what was behind her he gave a loud shout.

"It's a turtle!" he cried. "A great, big turtle, and it took a bite out
of your dress, Flossie girl!"

"Will it bite me?" asked the little "fairy."

"Not now!" the twins' father answered with a laugh. "There, I'll get you
loose from him!"

Mr. Bobbsey gave a hard pull on Flossie's bathing suit skirt. There was
a sound of tearing cloth and then Mr. Bobbsey could lift his little girl
high in his arms. As he did so Mrs. Bobbsey, who hurried up just then,
saw on the beach behind Flossie a great, big turtle, and in its mouth,
which looked something like that of a parrot, was a piece of the bathing
skirt. Mr. Bobbsey had torn it loose.

"Oh, if he had bitten you instead of your dress!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Flossie, are you hurt?"

"No, she isn't hurt a bit," her father said. "But of course it is a good
thing that the turtle did not bite her. How did it happen, Flossie?"

"Well, I was resting here, after I tried to swim," answered the little
girl, for she was learning to swim; "and, all of a sudden, I wanted to
get up, for Freddie called me to come and see how he could float. But I
couldn't get up. This mud turkle had hold of me."

"It isn't a mud turtle," said Mr. Bobbsey. "But it certainly had hold of
you."

Just then Cousin Jasper came along and saw the turtle crawling back
toward the water.

"Ha! I'll stop that and we'll have some turtle soup for dinner
to-morrow!" he cried. "Not so fast, Mr. Turtle!"

With that Cousin Jasper turned the turtle over on its back, and there
the big creature lay, moving its flippers, which it had instead of legs.
They were broad and flat.

"Won't it bite you?" asked Freddie, who, with Nan and Bert, had waded
ashore.

"Not if I don't put my hand too near its mouth," Cousin Jasper answered.
"If I did that it would take hold of me, as it took hold of Flossie's
dress. But I'm not going to let it. Did the turtle scare you, little fat
fairy?"

"I--I guess it did," she answered. "Anyhow I hollered."

"You certainly did," her father said with a laugh. "At least, you
hallooed."

"What are you going to do with it?" asked Bert, as he watched the big
turtle, which still had hold of the piece torn from Flossie's bathing
skirt.

"We'll eat him--that is part of him, made into soup," answered Cousin
Jasper.

"Can't he get away?" Nan inquired.

"Not when he's on his back," said Mr. Dent. "That's how the people down
here catch turtles. They go out on the beach, and when any of the
crawling creatures are seen, they are turned over as soon as possible.
There they stay until they can be picked up and put into a boat to be
taken to the mainland and sold."

"Can they bite hard?" asked Bert.

"Pretty hard, yes. See what a hold it has of Flossie's dress. I had to
tear it to get it loose," returned Mr. Bobbsey. And the turtle still
held in his mouth, which was like the beak of a parrot, a piece of the
cloth.

"He looks funny," put in Nan. "But I feel sorry for him."

Bert and Freddie laughed at Nan for this.

"The turtle must have been crawling along the beach, to go back into the
ocean for a swim," said Cousin Jasper, "and it ran right into Flossie as
she sat on the sand. Then, not knowing just what sort of danger was
near, the turtle bit on the first thing it saw, which was Flossie's
dress."

"And it held on awful tight," said the little girl. "It was just like,
sometimes, when our dog Snap takes hold of a stick and pulls it away
from you. At first I thought it was Snap."

"Snap couldn't swim away down here from Lakeport!" said Freddie, with
some scorn.

"I know he couldn't!" said his little sister. "But only at first I
thought it was Snap. Are there any more turkles here, Cousin Jasper?"

"Well, yes, a great many, I suppose. They come up out of the sea now and
then to lie on the sand in the sun. But I don't believe any more of them
will take hold of you. Just look around before you sit down, and you'll
be all right."

"My, he's a big one!" cried Bert, as he looked at the wiggling creature
turned on its back.

"Oh, that isn't half the size of some," said Cousin Jasper. "They often
get to weigh many hundreds of pounds. But this one is large enough to
make plenty of soup for us. I'll tell Captain Crane to send the men over
to get it."

A little later the turtle was taken on board the _Swallow_ in the boat,
and the cook got it ready for soup.

"And I think he'll make very good soup, indeed," said the cook.

"He certainly ought to make good soup," answered Captain Crane. "It will
be nice and fresh, if nothing else."

While Mr. Chase and his men were mending the broken engine, and the cook
was making turtle soup, the Bobbsey twins, with their father and mother
and Cousin Jasper, stayed on Palm Island. They walked along the shore,
under the shady trees, and watched the blue waves break up on the white
sand. Overhead, birds wheeled and flew about, sometimes dashing down
into the water with a splash to catch a fish or get something else to
eat.

"It's getting near dinner time," said Mr. Bobbsey, after a while. "I
guess you children had better get ready to go back to the boat for a
meal. You must be hungry."

"I am," answered Nan. "It always makes me hungry to go in swimming."

"I'm hungry anyhow, even if I don't go in swimming," Bert said.

"Perhaps we could have a little lunch here, on Palm Island, without
going back to the _Swallow_," Mrs. Bobbsey suggested.

"Oh, that would be fun!" cried Nan.

"Daddy and I'll go to the ship in the boat and get the things to eat,"
proposed Bert. "Then we'll bring 'em here and have a picnic."

"Yes, we might do that," Mr. Bobbsey agreed. "It will save work for the
cook, who must be busy with that turtle. We'll go and get the things for
an island picnic."

"This is almost like the time we were on Blueberry Island," said Nan,
when her father and brother had rowed back to the _Swallow_.

"Only there isn't any cave," Freddie said.

"Maybe there is," returned Nan. "We haven't looked around yet. Maybe we
might find a cave here; mightn't we, Mother?"

"Oh, yes, you might. But don't go looking for one. I don't want you to
get lost here. We must all stay together."

In a little while Bert and Mr. Bobbsey came back with baskets filled
with good things to eat. They were spread out on a cloth on the clean
sand, not far from where the waves broke on the beach, and then, under
the waving palms, the picnic was held, Captain Crane and Cousin Jasper
having a share in it. On the _Swallow_ the men still worked to mend the
broken engine.

"How long shall we be here?" Mr. Bobbsey asked.

"About two days more," answered Captain Crane. "It will take longer than
we at first thought to fix the break."

"Oh, I'm sorry about that!" exclaimed Cousin Jasper. "I wanted to get to
the other island as soon as we could, and save Jack. It must be very
lonesome for him there, and perhaps he is hurt, or has become ill. I
wish we could get to him."

"We'll go there as soon as we can," promised Captain Crane. "I am as
anxious to get that poor boy as you are, Mr. Dent. At the same time I
hope he has, before this, been taken off the island by some other boat
that may have seen him waving to them."

"I hope so, too," said Mr. Dent. "Still I would feel better if we were
at the other island and had Jack safe with us."

They all felt sorry for the poor boy, and wondered what he was doing
just then.

"I hope he has something as good to eat as we have." Nan spoke with a
sigh of satisfaction.

"Indeed, this is a very nice meal, for a picnic," said her mother. "We
ought to be very thankful to Cousin Jasper for taking us on such a nice
voyage."

"I am glad you like it," returned Mr. Dent. "All the while I was in the
hospital, as soon as I was able to think, my thoughts were with this
poor boy.

"I tried to get the hospital people to send a boat to rescue Jack; but
they said he could not be on the island, or the sailors who brought me
off would have seen him. Then they thought I was out of my head with
illness, and paid little attention to me.

"Then I thought of you, Dick, and I wrote to you. I knew you liked
traveling about, and especially when it was to help some one."

"Indeed I do," said the father of the Bobbsey twins. "And if all goes
well we'll soon rescue Jack!"

After the picnic lunch the Bobbseys and their friends sat in the shade
of the palms and talked over what had so far happened on the voyage.
Flossie and Freddie wandered down the beach, and the little girl was
showing her brother where she sat when the turtle grabbed her dress.

"Let's dig a hole in the sand," Freddie said, a little later.

"We haven't any shovels," Flossie answered.

"We can take shells," said Freddie.

Soon the two little twins were having fun in the sand of the beach. They
had not been digging very long when Freddie gave a shout.

"Oh, I hope nothing more has happened!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey, starting
up.

"What is it, Freddie?" called Mr. Bobbsey.

"Look at the funny nest we found!" answered the little boy. "It's a
funny nest in the sand, and it's got a lot of chicken's eggs in it! Come
and look!"



CHAPTER XVIII

THE "SWALLOW" IS GONE


"What is the child saying?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband, for she
did not hear all that Freddie said.

"He's calling about having found a hen's nest," Mr. Bobbsey answered,
"but he must be mistaken. There can't be any chickens on this island."

"Maybe there are," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Perhaps, after all, some one
lives here, on the other side where we haven't been. And they may keep
chickens."

"Oh, no," answered her husband.

"I hardly think so," said Cousin Jasper. "But we'll go to look at what
Freddie has found."

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, with Cousin Jasper, followed by Bert and Nan,
hurried down the beach to Flossie and Freddie, standing beside a hole
they had dug in the sand. The children were looking down into it.

"I busted one egg with my clam-shell shovel," Freddie was saying, "but
there's a lot left."

"They were all covered with sand," added Flossie. "And we dug 'em up!
Didn't we, Freddie? We dug up the chickie's nest!"

"But we didn't see any chickens," said the little boy.

"And for a very good reason," stated Cousin Jasper with a laugh, as he
looked down into the little sand pit. "Those are the eggs of a turtle.
Perhaps the very turtle that had hold of your dress, Flossie."

"Do turtles lay eggs?" asked Freddie in surprise.

"Indeed they do," said Cousin Jasper.

"O-o-oh!" gasped Flossie.

"And the turtle's eggs are good to eat, too. They are not quite as nice
as the eggs of a hen, but lots of people, especially those who live on
some of these islands, like them very much," went on Mr. Dent.

"Does a turkle lay its eggs in a nest like a hen?" Flossie questioned.
"What made them all be covered up?"

"Well," answered Cousin Jasper, as they all looked at the eggs in the
sand, "a turtle lays eggs like a hen, but she cannot hover over them,
and hatch them, as a hen can, because a turtle has no warm feathers. You
know it takes warmth and heat to make an egg hatch. And, as a turtle
isn't warm enough to do that, she lays her eggs in the warm sand, and
covers them up. The heat of the sun, and the warm sand soon hatch the
little turtles out of the eggs."

"Would turtles come out of these eggs?" asked Nan.

"Really, truly?" added Flossie.

"Just as surely as little chickens come out of hen's eggs," answered
Cousin Jasper. "But they must be kept warm."

"Then we'd better cover 'em up again!" exclaimed Freddie. "We found the
turtle's eggs when we were digging in the sand--Flossie and me. And I
didn't know they were there and I busted one of the eggs. First I
thought they were white stones, but when I busted one, and the white and
yellow came out, I found they were eggs."

"And the shells aren't hard," said Mrs. Bobbsey, as she leaned over the
hole and touched the queer eggs in the sand-nest. "The shells are like
the shell of a soft egg a hen sometimes lays."

"Except that the shells, or rather, skins, of these eggs are thicker
than those of a chicken," explained Cousin Jasper. "These egg-skins are
like a piece of leather. If they were hard, like the eggs of a hen,
perhaps the little turtles could not break their way out, as a turtle,
though it can give a hard bite, has no pointed beak to pick a hole in
the shell."

"Well, you have made quite a discovery," said Mr. Bobbsey to the little
twins. "Better cover the eggs up now, so the little turtles in them will
not get cold and die."

"Are there turtles in them now?" asked Freddie.

"No, these eggs must be newly laid," Cousin Jasper said. "But if they
are kept warm long enough the little turtles will come to life in them
and break their way out. Would you like some to eat?" he asked Mr.
Bobbsey.

The father of the twins shook his head.

"I don't believe I care for any," he answered. "I'm not very fond of
eggs, anyhow, and I'll wait until we can find some that feathered
chickens lay."

"Well, I'll take a few for myself, and I know Captain Crane likes them,"
said Cousin Jasper. "The rest we will leave to be hatched by the warm
sun."

Mr. Dent took some of the eggs out in his hat, and then Flossie and
Freddie covered the rest with sand again.

"We'll dig in another place, so we won't burst any more turtle's eggs,"
said the little boy, as he walked down the beach with Flossie, each one
carrying a clam shell.

It was so nice on Palm Island that Mrs. Bobbsey said they would have
supper there, before going back on board the _Swallow_ to spend the
night. So more things to eat were brought off in the small boat, and, as
the sun was sinking down in the west, turning the blue waves of the sea
to a golden color, the travelers sat on the beach and ate.

"Maybe we could build a little campfire here and stay for a while after
dark," suggested Bert, who felt that he was getting to be quite a large
boy now.

"Oh, no indeed! We won't stay here after dark!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Snakes and turtles and all sorts of things might crawl up out of the
ocean and walk all around us on the beach. As soon as it gets dark we'll
go back to the ship."

"Yes, I think that would be best," said Mr. Bobbsey. "When we get to the
other island, where we hope to find Jack, it will be time enough to camp
out."

"Shall we stay there long?" Bert wanted to know.

"It all depends on how we find that poor boy," answered Cousin Jasper.
"If he is all right, and doesn't mind staying a little longer, we can
make a camp on the island. There are some tents on board and we can live
in them while on shore."

"Oh, that'll be almost as much fun as Blueberry Island!" cried Nan.

"It'll be nicer!" Bert said. "Blueberry Island was right near shore, but
this island is away out in the middle of the ocean, isn't it, Cousin
Jasper?"

"Well, not exactly in the middle of the ocean," was the answer. "But I
think, perhaps, there is more water around it than was around your
Blueberry Island."

After supper, which, like their lunch, was eaten on the beach under the
palm trees, the Bobbsey twins and the others went back to the _Swallow_.
The men working for the engineer, Mr. Chase, had not yet gotten the
engine fixed, and it would take perhaps two more days, they said, as the
break was worse than they had at first thought.

"Well, we'll have to stay here, that's all," said Cousin Jasper. "I did
hope we would hurry to the rescue of Jack, but it seems we can't. Anyhow
it would not do to go on with a broken engine. We might run into a storm
at sea and then we would be wrecked. So we will wait until everything is
all right before we go sailing over the sea again."

"It seems like being back home," said Mrs. Bobbsey, as she sat down
later in a deck chair.

"Didn't you like it on the island?" asked Bert.

"Yes. But after it got dark some big turtle might have come up out of
the sea and pulled on you, as one did on Flossie," and Bert's mother
smiled.

"Well, no mud turkles can get on our ship, can they?" asked the little
"fat fairy."

"No turtles can get on board here, unless they climb up the anchor
cable," said Captain Crane with a laugh. "Now we'll get all snug for the
night, so if it comes on to blow, or storm, we shall be all right."

It was a little too early to go to bed, so the Bobbsey twins and the
grown folks sat on deck in the moonlight. The men of the crew, and the
cook, sat on the other end of the deck, and also talked. It was very
warm, for the travelers were now in southern waters, nearer the equator
than they had ever been before. Even with very thin clothes on the air
felt hot, though, of course, just as at Lakeport or Meadow Brook, it was
cooler in the evening than during the day.

"It's almost too hot to go down into the staterooms," said Mrs. Bobbsey.
"I wonder if we couldn't sleep out on deck?"

"Yes, we could have the mattresses brought up," said Cousin Jasper. "I
have often slept on the deck of my own boat."

"Some of the crew are going to, they tell me," Captain Crane said.

"Then we will," Mr. Bobbsey decided. "It will be more like camping out.
And it certainly is very hot, even with the sun down."

"We may have a thunderstorm in the night," the captain said, "but we can
sleep out until then."

So the mattresses and bed covers were brought up from the stateroom.

"This is a new kind of camping out, isn't it?" remarked Flossie, as she
viewed the bringing up of the bed things with great interest.

"It's a good deal like moving, I think," answered Freddie. "Only, of
course, we haven't got any moving van to load the things on to."

"What would you do with a moving van out here on a boat?" demanded Bert.

"I could put it on another boat--one of those flat ones, like they have
down at New York, where the horses and wagons walk right on," insisted
Freddie, thinking of a ferryboat.

"Well, we haven't any such boats around here, so we'd better not have
any moving vans either," remarked Mr. Bobbsey, with a laugh.

"I don't want to move anywhere, anyway," said Flossie. "I'm too tired to
do it. I'm going to stay right where I am."

"Oh, so'm I going to stay!" cried Freddie quickly. "Come on--let us make
our beds right over here," and he caught up one of the smaller
mattresses. He struggled to cross the deck with it, but got his feet
tangled up in one end, and pitched headlong.

"Look out there, Freddie Bobbsey, or you'll go overboard!" cried his
brother, as he rushed to the little boy's assistance.

"If I went overboard, could I float on the mattress?" questioned
Freddie, as he scrambled to his feet.

"I don't think so," answered his father. "And, anyway, I wouldn't try
it."

Presently the mattresses and bedcovers were distributed to everyone's
satisfaction, and then all lay down to rest.

For a time, Flossie and Freddie, as well as Nan and Bert, tossed about,
but at last they fell asleep. It was very quiet on the sea, the only
noise being the lapping of the waves against the sides of the _Swallow_.

Mrs. Bobbsey was just falling into a doze when there was a sudden splash
in the water, and a loud cry.

"Man overboard! Man overboard!" some one yelled.

"Oh, if it should be one of the children!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. For, no
matter whether it is a boy, girl or woman that falls off a ship at sea,
a sailor will always call: "'Man' overboard!" I suppose that is easier
and quicker to say.

"Who is it? What's the matter?" cried Mr. Bobbsey, awakened suddenly
from his sleep.

There was more splashing in the water alongside the boat, and then
Captain Crane turned on a lamp that made the deck and the water about
very light.

"Jim Black fell overboard," answered Mr. Chase, the engineer. "He got up
to draw a bucket of water to soak his head in so he could cool off, and
he reached over too far."

"Is he all right?" asked Captain Crane.

"Yes, I'm all right," was the answer of the sailor himself. "I feel
cooler now."

At this the older people laughed.

He had fallen in with the clothes on, in which he had been sleeping, but
as soon as he struck the water he swam up, made his way to the side of
the ship, grabbed a rope that was hanging over the side, and pulled
himself to the deck.

"My! what a fright I had!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "I thought one of the
children had rolled into the ocean!"

"That couldn't happen," said Captain Crane. "There is a strong railing
all about the deck."

"Well, it's cooler now," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "I think I'll take the twins
and go to our regular beds."

She did this and was glad of it, for a little later a thunderstorm
broke, and it began to rain, driving every one below. The rest of the
night the storm kept up, and though the thunder was loud and the
lightning very bright, the rain did one good service--it made the next
day cooler.

"Well, shall we go ashore again?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, when breakfast had
been eaten aboard the _Swallow_.

"Oh, yes!" cried the twins. "We want to go swimming again!"

"And I'm going to watch out for 'mud turkles,'" said Flossie, as she
called them.

Once more they went to the beach of Palm Island, and they had dinner on
the shady shore. In the afternoon, leaving the engineer and his helpers
on board to work away at the motor, the whole party of travelers,
Captain Crane, Cousin Jasper and all, started on a walk to the other
side of the island. This took them out of sight of the boat.

They found many pretty things at which to look--flowers, a spring of
sweet water where they got a drink, little caves and dells, and a place
where hundreds of birds made their nests on a rocky cliff. The birds
wheeled and soared about, making loud noises as they saw the Bobbsey
twins and the others near their nests.

It was along in the afternoon when they went back to the beach where
they had eaten, and where they were to have supper. Bert, who had run on
ahead around a curve in the woodland path, came to a stop on the beach.

"Why--why!" he cried. "She's gone! The _Swallow_ is gone!" and he
pointed to the little bay.

The motor boat was no longer at anchor there!



CHAPTER XIX

AWAY AGAIN


"What's that you say?" asked Captain Crane. "The _Swallow_ gone?"

"She isn't there," Bert answered. "But maybe that isn't the bay where
she was anchored. Maybe we're in the wrong place."

"No, this is the place all right," said Cousin Jasper. "But our boat
_is_ gone!"

There was no doubt of it. The little bay that had held the fine, big
motor boat was indeed empty. The small boat was drawn up on the sand,
but that was all.

"Where can it have gone?" asked Mr. Bobbsey. "Did you know the men we
left on it were going away, Captain Crane?"

"No, indeed, I did not! I can't believe that Mr. Chase and the others
have gone, and yet the boat isn't here."

Captain Crane was worried. So were Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey and Cousin
Jasper. Even Flossie and Freddie, young as they were, could tell that.

"Maybe a big mud turkle came and pulled the ship away," said Flossie.

"Or a whale," added Freddie. Any big fish or swimming animal, the little
twins thought, might do such a thing as that.

"No, nothing like that happened," said Captain Crane. "And yet the
_Swallow_ is gone. The men could not have thought a storm was coming up,
and gone out to sea to be safe. There is no sign of a storm, and they
never would have gone away, unless something happened, without blowing a
whistle to tell us."

"Maybe," said Bert, "they got word from Jack, on the other island, to
come and get him right away, and they couldn't wait for us."

Captain Crane shook his head.

"That couldn't happen," he said, "unless another boat brought word from
poor Jack. And if there had been another boat we'd have seen her."

"Unless both boats went away together," suggested Mr. Bobbsey.

"No, I think nothing like that happened," said the captain.

"But what can we do?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "Shall we have to stay on this
island until the _Swallow_ comes back?"

"She may not be gone very long," Mr. Bobbsey said.

"We can camp out here until she does come back," observed Nan. "We have
lots left to eat."

"There won't be much after supper," Bert said. "But we can catch some
turtles, or find some more eggs, and get fish, and live that way."

"I'll catch a fish," promised Freddie.

"I don't understand this," said Captain Crane, with another shake of his
head. "I must go out and have a look around."

"How are you going?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"In the small boat. I'll row out into the bay for a little way," said
the seaman. "It may be that the _Swallow_ is around some point of the
island, just out of sight. I'll have a look before we get ready to camp
here all night."

"I'll come with you," offered Cousin Jasper.

"All right, and we'll leave Mr. Bobbsey here with his family," the
captain said. "Don't be afraid," he added to the children and Mrs.
Bobbsey. "Even if the worst has happened, and the _Swallow_, by some
mistake, has gone away without us, we can stay here for a while. And
many ships pass this island, so we shall be taken off pretty soon."

"We can be like Robinson Crusoe, really," Bert said.

"That isn't as much fun as it seems when you're reading the book," put
in his mother. "But we will make the best of it."

"I think it'd be fun," murmured Freddie.

Captain Crane and Cousin Jasper got in the small boat and rowed out into
the bay. Anxiously the others watched them, hoping they would soon come
back with word that the _Swallow_ had been blown just around "the
corner," as Nan said, meaning around a sort of rocky point of the
island, beyond which they could not look.

"I do hope we shall not have to camp out here all night," said Mrs.
Bobbsey, with a little shiver, as she looked around.

"Are you afraid of the mud turkles?" asked Flossie.

"No, dear. But I don't want to sleep on the beach without a bed or any
covers for you children."

"Perhaps we shall not have to," said Mr. Bobbsey.

They waited a while longer, watching the small boat in which were
Captain Crane and Cousin Jasper, until it was rowed out of sight. Bert
did not seem to mind much the prospect of having to stay all night on
Palm Island.

Nan, however, like her mother and her father, was a bit worried. But
Flossie and Freddie were having a good time digging in the sand with
clam shells for shovels. The little twins did not worry about much of
anything at any time, unless it was getting something to eat or having a
good time.

"I know what I'm going to build!" cried Freddie.

"What?" demanded his twin quickly.

"I'm going to build a great big sand castle."

"You can't do it, Freddie Bobbsey. The sand won't stick together into a
castle."

"I'm going to use wet sand," asserted Freddie. "That will stick
together."

"You look out, Freddie Bobbsey, or you'll fall in!" cried his sister,
when Freddie had gone further down near the water where the sand was
wet.

"Freddie! Freddie! keep away from that water!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "I
don't want you to get all wet and dirty."

"But I want to build a sand castle."

"Well, you come up here where the sand is dry and build it," continued
Mrs. Bobbsey.

"All right. In a minute," answered Freddie.

Mr. Bobbsey was straining his eyes, looking out toward the point of
rock, around which the rowboat had gone, and his wife was standing
beside him, gazing in the same direction, when Bert, who looked the
other way, cried:

"There she comes now! There's the _Swallow_!"

And, surely enough, there she came back, as if nothing had happened.

Mr. Bobbsey waved his hat and some one on the motor boat blew a whistle.
And then, as if knowing that something was wrong, the boat was steered
closer to shore than it had come before, and Mr. Chase cried:

"What's the matter? Did anything happen?"

"We thought something had happened to you!" shouted Mr. Bobbsey.
"Captain Crane and Mr. Dent have gone off in the small boat to look for
you."

"That's too bad," said Mr. Chase. "While you were away, on the other
side of the island, we finished work on the engine. We wanted to try it,
so we pulled up anchor and started off. We thought we would go around to
the side of the island where you were, but something went wrong, after
we were out a little while, and we had to anchor in another bay, out of
sight. But as soon as we could we came back, and when I saw you waving
your hat I feared something might have happened."

"No, nothing happened. And we are all right," said Mr. Bobbsey, "except
that we were afraid we'd have to stay on the island all night. And
Captain Crane has gone to look for you."

"I'm sorry about that," returned the engineer. "It would have been all
right, except that the motor didn't work as I wanted it to. But
everything is fine now, and we can start for the other island as soon as
we like. I'll blow the whistle and Captain Crane will know that we are
back at our old place."

Several loud toots of the air whistle were given, and, a little later,
from around the point came the small boat with the captain and Cousin
Jasper in it. They had rowed for some distance, but had not seen the
_Swallow_, and they were beginning to get more worried, wondering what
had become of her.

"However, everything is all right now," said Captain Crane, when they
were all once more on board the motor boat, it having been decided to
have supper there instead of on Palm Island.

"Aren't we coming back here any more?" asked Freddie.

"Not right away," his father told him. "We stopped here only because we
had to. Now we are going on again and try to find Jack Nelson."

"We have been longer getting there than I hoped we'd be," said Cousin
Jasper, "but it could not be helped. I guess Jack will be glad to see us
when we do arrive."

The things they had taken to Palm Island, when they had their meals
under the trees, had been brought back on the _Swallow_. The motor boat
was now ready to set forth again, and soon it was chug-chugging out of
the quiet bay.

"And we won't stop again until we get to where Jack is," said Mr. Dent.

"Not unless we have to," said Captain Crane.

The _Swallow_ appeared to go a little faster, now that the engine was
fixed. The boat slipped through the blue sea, and, as the sun sank down,
a golden ball of fire it seemed, the cook got the supper ready.

The Bobbseys had thought they might get to eat on the beach, but they
were just as glad to be moving along again.

"And I hope nothing more happens," said Mr. Bobbsey. "Freddie, don't try
to catch any more fish, or anything like that. There is no telling what
might come of it."

"I won't," promised the little fellow. "But if I had my fire engine here
Flossie and I could have some fun."

On and on sailed the _Swallow_. Every one was safely in bed, except one
man who was steering and another who looked after the motor, when Mrs.
Bobbsey, who was not a heavy sleeper, awakened her husband. It was about
midnight.

"Dick!" she exclaimed in a loud whisper, "I smell smoke! Do you?"

Mr. Bobbsey sniffed the air. Then he jumped out of his berth.

"Yes, I smell smoke!" he cried. "And I see a blaze! Wake up, everybody!"
he cried, "The boat is on fire!"



CHAPTER XX

ORANGE ISLAND


Perhaps Freddie Bobbsey had been dreaming about a fire. At any rate he
must have been thinking about it, for, no sooner did Mr. Bobbsey call,
after his wife spoke to him, than Freddie, hardly awake, cried:

"Where's my fire engine? Where's my fire engine? I can put out the
fire!"

Mr. Bobbsey hurried to the berths where the children were sleeping.

That is, they had been sleeping, but the call of their father, and the
shouting of Freddie, awakened them. Flossie, Nan and Bert sat up,
rubbing their eyes, though hardly understanding what it was all about.

"What's the matter?" cried Bert.

"The boat is on fire!" his mother answered. "Slip on a few clothes, take
your life preserver, end get out on deck."

When the Bobbseys first came aboard the _Swallow_ they were shown how to
put on a life preserver, which is a jacket of canvas filled with cork.
Cork is light, much lighter than wood, and it will not only float well
in water, but, if a piece is large enough, as in life preservers, it
will keep a person who wears it, or who clings to it, up out of the sea
so they will not drown.

"Get your life preservers!" cried Mr. Bobbsey; then, when he saw that
his wife had one, and that the children were reaching under their berths
for theirs, he took his.

The smoke was getting thicker in the staterooms, and the yells and
shouts of Captain Crane, Cousin Jasper and the crew could be heard.

Up on deck rushed the Bobbseys. There they found the electric lights
glowing, and they saw more smoke. Cousin Jasper and Captain Crane had a
hose and were pointing it toward what seemed to be a hole in the back
part of the boat.

"Oh, see!" shouted Flossie.

"Is the fire engine working?" Freddie demanded, as he saw them. "Can I
help put the fire out?"

"No, little fireman!" said Captain Crane with a laugh, and when Mrs.
Bobbsey heard this she felt better, for she thought that there was not
much danger, or the captain would not have been so jolly. "We have the
fire almost out now," the captain went on. "Don't be worried, and don't
any of you jump overboard," he said as he saw Mrs. Bobbsey, with the
twins, standing rather close to the rail.

"No, we won't do that," she said. "But I was getting ready to jump into
a boat."

"I guess you won't have to do that," said Cousin Jasper.

"Is the _Swallow_ on fire?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"It was," his cousin answered. "But we have put it out now. There is a
good pump on board, and we pumped water on the blaze as soon as we saw
it."

From the hold, which was a place where canned food and other things
could be stored, smoke was still pouring, and now and then little
tongues of fire shot up. It was this fire which Mr. Bobbsey had seen
through the open door of his stateroom.

"Oh, maybe it's going to be an awful big fire!" said Freddie. "Maybe
it'll burn the whole boat up!"

"Freddie, Freddie! Don't say such dreadful things!" broke in his mother.
"We don't want this boat to burn up."

"I see where it is," said Flossie. "It's down in that great big
cellar-like place where they keep all those things to eat--those boxes
of corn and beans and salmon and sardines and tomatoes, and all the
things like that."

"Yes. And the 'densed milk!" put in Freddie. "And 'spargus. And the jam!
And all those nice sweet things, too!" he added mournfully.

"What shall we do if all our food is burnt up?" went on Flossie.

"We can't live on the boat if we haven't anything to eat," asserted
Freddie. "We'll have to go on shore and get something."

"You might catch another big fish," suggested his twin.

"Would you let me have your doll?"

"No, I wouldn't!" was the prompt response. "You can get lots of other
things for bait, and you know it, Freddie Bobbsey!"

"How did the fire happen?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of the captain, when she
got the chance.

"One of the electric light wires broke and set fire to some oily rags,"
answered Captain Crane. "Then some empty wooden boxes began to blaze.
There was nothing in them--all the food having been taken out--but the
wood made quite a fire and a lot of smoke.

"Mr. Chase, who was on deck steering, smelled the smoke and saw the
little blaze down in a storeroom. He called me and I called Mr. Dent. We
hoped we could get the fire out before you folks knew about it. But I
guess we didn't," said the captain.

"I smelled smoke, and it woke me up," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Then I called
my husband and we all came on deck."

"That was the right thing to do," Captain Crane said. "And it was also
good to put on the life preservers," for even Flossie and Freddie had
done this. "Always get ready for the worst," the captain went on, "and
then if you don't have to take to the small boats so much the better.
But the fire will soon be out."

"Can I see the fire engine?" asked Freddie. "I haven't seen a fire
engine for a long while." At his home he was always interested in this,
but, luckily, Lakeport had few fires.

"It isn't exactly a fire engine," said Cousin Jasper to the little
fellow. "It's just a big pump that forms part of one of the motors. I
guess you can see how it works, for the fire is so nearly out now that
we won't need much more water on it."

So the Bobbseys took off their life preservers, which are not very
comfortable things to wear, and stayed on deck, watching the flames die
out and the smoke drift away. The _Swallow_ had been slowed down while
the captain and the others were fighting the fire.

"Everything is all right now," said Cousin Jasper, and he took Freddie
to the motor room to show him the pump, while Captain Crane still played
the hose on the last dying embers.

The fire only burned up the oil-soaked rags and some empty boxes, not
doing any damage to the motor boat, except a little scorching. The smoke
made part of the _Swallow_ black, but this could be painted over.

"And very lucky for us it was no worse," said Mr. Bobbsey, when they
were ready to go back to their staterooms.

Freddie stayed and watched the pump as long as they would let him. It
could be fastened to one of the motors and it pumped water from the
ocean itself on the blaze.

"It's better than having a regular fire engine on land," said Freddie,
telling Flossie about it afterward, "'cause in the ocean you can take
all the water you like and nobody minds it. When I grow up I'm going to
be a fireman on the ocean, and have lots of water."

"You'll have to have a boat so you can go on the ocean," said the little
girl.

"Well, I like a boat, too," went on Freddie. "You can run the boat,
Flossie, and I'll run the pump fire engine."

"All right," agreed little Flossie. "That's what we'll do."

After making sure that the last spark was out, Captain Crane shut off
the water. The Bobbseys went back to bed, but neither the father nor the
mother of the twins slept well the rest of the night. They were too busy
thinking what might have happened if the fire had not been seen in time
and plenty of water sprayed on it to put it out.

"Though there would not have been much danger," Captain Crane said at
the breakfast table, where they all gathered the next morning. "We could
all have gotten off in the two boats, and we could have rowed to some
island. The sea was smooth."

"Where would we get anything to eat?" asked Nan.

"Oh, we'd put that in the boats before we left the ship," said the
captain. "And we'd take water, too. But still I'm glad we didn't have to
do that."

And the Bobbseys were glad, too.

Part of the day was spent in getting out of the storeroom the burned
pieces of boxes. These were thrown overboard. Then one of the crew
painted over the scorched places, and, by night, except for the smell of
smoke and paint, one would hardly have known where the fire had been.

The weather was bright and sunny after leaving Palm Island, and the
twins sat about the deck and looked across the deep, blue sea for a
sight of the other island, where, it was hoped, the boy Jack would be
found.

"I wonder what he's doing now," remarked Bert, as he and Nan were
talking about the lost one, while Flossie and Freddie were listening to
a story their mother was telling.

"Maybe he's walking up and down the beach looking for us to come,"
suggested Nan.

"How could he look for us when he doesn't know we're coming?" asked
Bert.

"Well, maybe he _hopes_ some boat will come for him," went on Nan. "And
he must know that Cousin Jasper wouldn't go away and leave him all
alone."

"Yes, I guess that's so," agreed Bert. "It must be pretty lonesome, all
by himself on an island."

"But maybe somebody else is with him, or maybe he's been taken away,"
went on Nan. "Anyhow we'll soon know."

"How shall we?" asked Bert.

"'Cause Captain Crane said we'd be at the island to-morrow if we didn't
have a storm, or if nothing happened."

On and on went the _Swallow_. When dinner time came there was served
some of the turtle soup from the big crawler that had pulled on
Flossie's dress. There was also fish, but Freddie did not catch any
more.

Cousin Jasper and Mr. Bobbsey fished off the side of the motor boat and
caught some large ones, which the cook cleaned and got ready for the
table.

"Going to sea is very nice," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "You don't have to send
to the store for anything to eat, and when you are hungry all you have
to do is to drop your hook overboard and catch a fish."

It was about noon of the next day when Bert, who was standing in the
bow, or front part of the vessel, said to his father:

"I see something like a black speck out there," and he pointed. "Maybe
it's another boat."

Mr. Bobbsey looked and said:

"I think more likely that is an island. Perhaps it is the very one we
are sailing for--the one where Cousin Jasper left Jack."

He called to Captain Crane, who brought a powerful telescope, and
through that the men looked at the speck Bert had first seen.

"It's land all right," said Captain Crane. In about an hour they were so
near the island that its shape could easily be made out, even without a
glass. Then Cousin Jasper said:

"That's it all right. Now to go ashore and find that poor boy!"

On raced the _Swallow_, and soon she dropped anchor in a little bay like
the one at Palm Island. In a small boat the Bobbseys and others were
rowed to the shore.

"Oh, look at the orange trees!" cried Nan, as she saw some in a grove
near the beach.

"Are they real oranges, Captain?" asked the younger girl twin.

"Yes. And it looks as though some one had an orange grove here at one
time, not so very long ago, though it hasn't been kept up."

"Is this Orange Island?" asked Bert.

"Well, we can call it that," said Cousin Jasper. "In fact it never had a
name, as far as I know. We'll call it Orange Island now."

"That's a good name for it, I think," remarked Nan.

"And now to see if we can find Jack!" went on Nan's twin.

"Let's all holler!" suddenly said Freddie. "Let's all holler as loud as
we can!"

"What for?" asked Cousin Jasper, smiling at the little boy. "Why do you
want to halloo, Freddie?"

"So maybe Jack can hear us, and he'll know we're here. Whenever me or
Flossie gets lost we always holler; don't we?" he asked his little
sister.

"Yes," she answered.

"And when Bert or Nan, or our father or mother is looking for us, even
if we don't know we're lost, they always holler; don't you, Bert?"

"Yes, and sometimes I have to 'holler' a lot before you answer," said
Nan's brother.

"Well, perhaps it would be a good thing to call now," agreed Mr.
Bobbsey. "Shall we, Cousin Jasper?"

"Yes," he answered. So the men, with the children to help them, began to
shout.

"Jack! Jack! Where are you, Jack?"

The woods and the orange trees echoed the sound, but that was all.

Was the missing boy still on the island?



CHAPTER XXI

LOOKING FOR JACK


Again and again the Bobbseys and the others called the name of Jack, but
the children's voices sounding loud, clear and shrill above the others.
But, as at first, only the echoes answered.

"That's the way we always holler when we're lost," said Freddie.

"But I guess Jack doesn't hear us," added Flossie.

"No, I guess not," said Cousin Jasper, in rather a sad voice.

"Are you sure this is the right island?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, looking
about the place where they had landed from the _Swallow_.

"Oh, yes, this is the island where I was shipwrecked," said Mr. Dent,
"though Jack and I did not land just here. It was on the other side, and
when we go there I can show you the wreck of my motor boat--that is, if
the storms have not washed it all away."

"Well, then maybe Jack is on the other side of the island," said Bert.
"And he couldn't hear us."

"Yes, that might be so," agreed Cousin Jasper. "We'll go around there.
But as it will take us some little time, and as we want to get some
things ashore from the ship, we had better wait until later in the day,
or, perhaps, until to-morrow, to look. Though I want to find Jack as
soon as I can."

"Maybe he'll find us before we find him," suggested Mr. Bobbsey. "I
should think he would be on the lookout, every day, for a ship to which
he could signal to be taken off."

"Perhaps he is," said Cousin Jasper. "Well, I hope he comes walking
along and finds us. He'll be very glad to be taken away from this place,
I guess."

"And yet it is lovely here," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "I never thought we
would find oranges growing in such a place."

"I forgot to speak about them," said Cousin Jasper. "In fact I was so
ill and so miserable after the wreck, that I did not take much notice of
what was on the island. But there are many orange trees. It must have,
at some time, been quite a grove."

"I was thinking maybe we'd find cocoanuts," said Freddie.

"But oranges are just as nice," put in his little sister.

"Nicer," Freddie declared. "I like oranges. May we eat some, Mother?"

"Why, yes, I guess so," answered Mrs. Bobbsey slowly. "Will it be all
right, Cousin Jasper?"

"Oh, yes, the oranges are for whomsoever wants them. Help yourselves,
children, while we get the things on shore that we need from the motor
boat."

"Oh, goody!" shouted Flossie.

"Are we going to sleep here at night?" asked Bert.

"Well, I did think we might camp out here for a week or so, after we got
here and found that Jack was all right," answered Cousin Jasper. "But if
he is ill, and needs a doctor, we shall have to go right back to
Florida. However, until we are sure of that, we will get ready to camp
out."

"Oh, what fun!" cried Nan.

"It'll be as nice as on Blueberry Island!" Flossie exclaimed, clapping
her fat little hands.

"But there weren't any oranges on Blueberry Island," added Freddie.
"Still the blueberries made nice pies."

"Mother made the pies," said Flossie.

"Well, the blueberries helped her," Freddie said, with a laugh.

The Bobbsey twins gathered oranges from the trees and ate them. The men
folks then began to bring things from the _Swallow_, which was anchored
in a little bay, not far from shore.

Two tents were to be set up, and though the crew would stay on the boat
with Captain Crane, to take care of the vessel if a sudden storm came
up, the Bobbseys and Cousin Jasper would camp out on Orange Island.

In a little while one tent was put up, an oil-stove brought from the
boat so that cooking could be done without the uncertain waiting for a
campfire, and boxes and baskets of food were set out.

"I want to put up the other tent," said Freddie. "I know just how it
ought to be done."

"All right, Freddie, you can help," was the answer from Bert. "Only, you
had better not try to pound any of the pegs in the ground with the
hatchet, or you may pound your fingers."

"Ho! I guess I'm just as good a carpenter as you are, Bert Bobbsey!"
said the little boy stoutly.

He took hold of one of the poles and raised it up, but then it slipped
from his grasp and one end hit Nan on the shoulder.

"Oh, Freddie! do be careful!" she cried.

"I didn't mean to hit you, Nan," he said contritely. "It didn't hurt,
did it?"

"Not very much. But I don't want to get hit again."

"Freddie, you had better let the older folks set up that tent," said
Mrs. Bobbsey. "Here, you and Flossie can help put these boxes and
baskets away. There is plenty of other work for you to do."

A little later the second tent was in position, and everything about the
camp was put in good shape.

Then Cousin Jasper, Mr. Bobbsey and the captain, taking Bert with them,
started around for the other side of the island to look and call for the
missing Jack.

"I want to come, too," said Freddie.

"Not now," his mother told him. "It is too far for a little boy. Perhaps
you and Flossie may go to-morrow. You stay and help me make the camp
ready for night."

This pleased Freddie and Flossie, and soon they were helping their
mother, one of the sailors doing the heavy lifting.

Meanwhile Bert, his father and the others walked on through the woods,
around to the other side of the island. They found the place where
Cousin Jasper's boat had struck the rocks and been wrecked, and Mr. Dent
also showed them the place where he and Jack stayed while they were
waiting for a boat to come for them.

"And here is where we set up our signal," cried Mr. Bobbsey's cousin, as
he found a pole which had fallen over, having been broken off close to
the ground. On top was still a piece of canvas that had fluttered as a
flag.

"But why didn't Jack leave it flying, to call a boat to come and get him
when he found you gone?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"I don't know," said Cousin Jasper. "This is very strange. I thought
surely we would find Jack as soon as we reached the island. It may be
that he has been taken off by some fishermen, but I think I would have
heard of it. And he was here about a week ago, for Captain Harrison saw
him, you remember he told us. Well, we must look further."

"And yell and yell some more," added Bert. "Maybe he can hear us now."

So they shouted and called, but no one answered them, and Cousin Jasper
shook his head.

"I wonder what can have happened to the poor boy!" he said.

They walked along the beach, and up among the palm and orange trees,
looking for the missing boy. But they saw no signs of him.



CHAPTER XXII

FOUND AT LAST


When Bert, with his father, Cousin Jasper and Captain Crane, got back to
the place where Mrs. Bobbsey had been left with Nan and the two smaller
twins, the camp on Orange Island was nearly finished. The tents had been
put up, and the oil-stove was ready for cooking.

"Didn't you find that poor boy?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey.

"No, we saw no trace of him," her husband answered.

"Oh, isn't that too bad?"

"Yes, I am very sorry," sighed Cousin Jasper. "But I have not yet given
up. I'll stay here until either I find him, or make sure what has
happened to him. Poor Jack has no relatives, and I am his nearest
friend. I feel almost as though he were my son. We will find him if he
is on this island."

Bert and the others who had walked around to the other side of the
island, hoping that Jack might be found, were tired from their trip, and
when they got back were glad to sit on the beach in the shade. A meal
was soon ready, and when they had eaten they all felt better.

"It is too late to do much more searching to-day," said Cousin Jasper,
"but we will start early in the morning."

And this they did, after a quiet night spent on the island. As soon,
almost, as the sun had risen, the Bobbsey twins were up, and Bert and
Nan gathered oranges for breakfast.

"I wish we could live here always," said Freddie. "I'd never have to go
to the store for any fruit."

"But if we stayed here we couldn't have Snap or Snoop or Dinah or Sam,
or anybody like that from Lakeport," put in Flossie.

"Couldn't we, Mother?" asked the little boy.

"Course we couldn't!" insisted Flossie.

"Well, I guess it would be hard to bring from Lakeport all the friends
and all the things you like there," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Well, then we'll go back home after we find Jack," decided Freddie.

Breakfast over, the search for the missing boy was begun once more, Mrs.
Bobbsey and the smaller twins going along.

In some places, however, the way was rough and steep, and once on top of
a little hill, Freddie suddenly cried:

"Look out! I'm coming!"

And come he did, but in a queer way. For he slipped and fell, and rolled
to the bottom, bringing up with a bump against a stump.

"Oh, my dear little fat fireman! Did you hurt yourself?" asked his
father.

Freddie did not answer at first. He slowly got to his feet, looked up
the hill down which he had rolled, and then at the stump, which was
covered with moss.

"I--I guess I'm all right," he said.

"He's so fat he didn't get hurt," said Cousin Jasper. "Fat boys and
girls are just the kind to bring to a place like this. They can't get
hurt easily."

Freddie laughed, and so did the others, and then they went on again.
They looked in different places for the missing boy, and called his name
many times.

But all the sounds they heard in answer were those of the waves dashing
on the beach or the cries of the sea-birds.

"It is very strange," said Captain Crane. "If that boy was here about a
week ago, you'd think we could find some trace of him--some place where
he had built a fire, or set up a signal so it would be seen by passing
ships. I believe, Mr. Dent, that he must have been taken away, and when
we get back to St. Augustine he'll be there waiting for us."

"Well, perhaps you are right," said Cousin Jasper, "but we will make
sure. We'll stay here a week, anyhow, and search every part of Orange
Island."

They had brought their lunch with them, so they would not have to go
back to the camp when noon came, and, finding a pleasant place on the
beach, near a little spring of water, they sat down to rest.

Flossie and Freddie, as often happened, finished long before the others
did, and soon they strolled off, hand in hand, down the sands.

"Where are you going, children?" called Mrs. Bobbsey to them.

"Oh, just for a walk," Freddie answered.

"An' maybe we'll see Jack," added Flossie.

"I only wish they would, but it is too much to hope for," said Cousin
Jasper, and he looked worried.

Bert, Nan and the others stayed for some little time after lunch,
sitting in the shade on the beach, and talking. They were just about to
get up and once more start the search; when Flossie and Freddie came
running back. One look at their faces told their mother that something
had happened.

"What is it, children?" she asked.

"We--we found a big, black cave!" answered Freddie, somewhat out of
breath.

"An'--an' they's a--a _giant_ in it!" added Flossie, who was also
breathing hard.

"A cave!" cried Mr. Bobbsey.

"What do you mean by a giant in it?" asked Cousin Jasper.

"Well, when you see a big black hole in the side of a hill, isn't that a
cave?" asked Freddie.

"It surely is," said his father.

"An' when you hear somebody making a big noise like 'Boo-oo-oo-oo! Boo!'
maybe that's a giant, like it is in the story," said Flossie.

"Oh, I guess perhaps you heard the wind moaning in a cave," said Captain
Crane.

"No, there wasn't any wind blowing," Freddie said. And, surely enough,
there was not. The day was clear and calm.

"We heard the booing noise," Freddie said.

"Are you sure it wasn't a mooing noise, such as the cows make?" asked
Nan.

"There aren't any cows on Orange Island; are there, Cousin Jasper?"
asked Bert.

"I think not. Tell me, children, just what you heard, and where it was,"
he said to Flossie and Freddie.

Then the little twins told of walking along the hill that led up from
the beach and of seeing a big hole--a regular cave. They went in a
little way and then they heard the strange, moaning sound.

Cousin Jasper seemed greatly excited.

"I believe there may be something there," he said. "We must go and look.
If they heard a noise in the cave, it may be that it was caused by some
animal, or it may be that it was----"

"Jack!" exclaimed Bert. "Maybe it's Jack!"

"Maybe," said Cousin Jasper. "We'll go to look!"

Cousin Jasper and Mr. Bobbsey walked on ahead, with Flossie and Freddie
to show where they had seen the big, black hole. It was not far away,
but so hidden by bushes that it could have been seen only by accident,
unless some one knew where it was.

Outside the entrance they all stopped.

"Listen!" said Flossie.

It was quiet for a moment, and then came a sound that surely was a
groan, as if some one was in pain.

"Who's in there?" cried Cousin Jasper.

"I am," was the faint answer. "Oh, will you please come in and help me.
I fell and hurt my leg and I can't walk, and----"

"Are you Jack Nelson?" cried Cousin Jasper.

"Yes, that's my name. A friend and I were wrecked on this island, but I
can't find him and----"

"But he's found you!" cried Mr. Dent. "Oh, Jack! I've found you! I've
found you! I've come back to get you! Now you'll be all right!"

Into the cave rushed Cousin Jasper, followed by the others. Mr. Bobbsey
and Captain Crane had pocket electric flashlights, and by these they
could see some one lying on a pile of moss in one corner of the cavern.

It was a boy, and one look at him showed that he was ill. His face was
flushed, as if from fever, and a piece of sail-cloth was tied around one
leg. Near him, on the ground where he was lying, were some oranges, and
a few pieces of very dry crackers, called "pilot biscuits" by the
sailors.

"Oh, Jack, what has happened to you? Are you hurt, and have you been in
this cave all the while?" asked Mr. Dent.

"No, not all the while, though I've been in here now for nearly a week,
I guess, ever since I hurt my leg. I can crawl about a little but I
can't climb up and down the hill, so I got in here to stay out of the
storms, and I thought no one would ever come to me."

"You poor boy!" softly said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Don't talk any more now. Wait
until you feel better and then you can tell us all about it. Poor boy!"

"Are you hungry?" asked Freddie; for that, to him, seemed about the
worst thing that could happen.

"No, not so very," answered Jack. "When I found I couldn't get around
any more, or not so well, on my sore leg, I crawled to the trees and got
some oranges. I had a box of the biscuit and some other things that
washed ashore from the wreck after you went away," he said to Cousin
Jasper.

"Well, tell us about it later," said Mr. Bobbsey. "Now we are going to
take care of you."

They made a sort of little bed on poles, with pieces of the sail-cloth,
and the men carried Jack to the camp. There Captain Crane, who knew
something about doctoring, bound up his leg, and when the lost boy had
been given some hot soup, and put in a comfortable bed, he felt much
better.

A little later he told what had happened to him.

"After you became so sick," said Jack to Cousin Jasper, the others
listening to the story, "I walked to the other end of the island to see
if I could not see, from there, some ship I could signal to come and get
us. I was so tired I must have fallen asleep when I sat down to rest,
and when I woke up, and went back to where you had been, Mr. Dent, you
weren't there. I didn't know what had happened to you and I couldn't
find you."

"Men came in a boat and took me away," said Cousin Jasper, "though I
didn't know it at the time. When I found myself in the hospital I
wondered where you were, but they all thought I was out of my head when
I wanted them to come to the island and rescue you. So I had to send for
Mr. Bobbsey to come."

"And we found the cave, didn't we?" cried Freddie.

"Yes, only for you and Flossie, just stumbling on it, as it were," said
his father, "we might still be hunting for Jack."

"I'm glad we found you," said Flossie.

"So'm I," added Freddie.

"I'm glad myself," Jack said, with a smile at the Bobbsey twins. "I was
getting tired of staying on the island all alone."

"What did you do all the while?" asked Bert. "Did you feel like Robinson
Crusoe?"

"Well a little," Jack answered. "But I didn't have as much as Robinson
had from the wreck of his ship. But I managed to get enough to eat, and
I had the cave to stay in. I found that other one, and went into that,
as it was better than where we first were," he said to Mr. Dent.

"I made smudges of smoke, and set up signals of cloth," the boy went on,
"but a storm blew one of my poles down, and I guess no one saw my
signals."

"Yes, Captain Harrison did, but it was so stormy he couldn't get close
enough to take you from the island," said Captain Crane.

"And then we came on as soon as we could," added Cousin Jasper. "Oh,
Jack, I'm so glad we have found you, and that you are all right! You had
a hard time!"

"Yes, it was sort of hard," the boy admitted. "But it's a good thing
oranges grow here. I got some clams, too, and I found a nest of turtle's
eggs, and roasted some of them. I didn't like them much, but they
stopped me from being hungry."

"Well, now we'll feed you on the best in camp," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"And I caught a turkle, once!" added Flossie.

"I guess you mean the turtle caught you," said Nan with a laugh.

But now Jack's troubles were over. As he was weak from not having had
good food, and from being ill, it was decided to keep him at the camp
for a short while. In that time the Bobbsey twins had a good time on
Orange Island, and when he was able to walk about, even though he had to
limp on a stick for a crutch, Jack went about with the children, showing
them the different parts of the cave where he had stayed. He could not
have lived there much longer alone, for his food was almost gone when
Flossie and Freddie heard him groaning in the cavern.

"And we thought you were a giant!" said Flossie with a laugh.

They had found, by accident, what the others had been looking for so
carefully but could not find. And Jack had no idea his friends were on
the island until they walked into the cave with the flashing lights.

"Oh, I'm glad we traveled on the deep, blue sea," said Nan, about a week
after Jack had been found. "This is the nicest adventure we ever had!"

These were happy days on Orange Island. Jack rapidly grew better, and
would soon be able to make the trip back to St. Augustine in the motor
boat. But it was so lovely on that island in the deep, blue sea that the
Bobbseys stayed there nearly a month, and by that time they were all as
brown as berries, including Jack, who had been pale because of his
illness.

So the lost and lonely boy was found, and he and Cousin Jasper were
better friends than ever. And as for the Bobbsey twins, though they had
had many adventures on this voyage, still others were in store for them.
But now we will say "Good-bye!" for a time.

THE END



BOOKS BY LAURA LEE HOPE

THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES

    THE BOBBSEY TWINS
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA

THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY

THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES

    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND
    THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN ARMY SERVICE

GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK





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