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´╗┐Title: Stem to Stern - or building the boat
Author: Optic, Oliver
Language: English
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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 "Stem to Stern - or building the boat" ***

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OLIVER OPTIC'S

BOAT-BUILDER SERIES.


STEM * TO * STERN.

BOSTON,
LEE _AND_ SHEPARD
PUBLISHERS.


[Illustration: "Walk Billcord rushed out from the bushes."--Page 19.]


_THE BOAT-BUILDER SERIES_

STEM TO STERN

OR

BUILDING THE BOAT

BY

OLIVER OPTIC

     AUTHOR OF "YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD," "THE GREAT WESTERN SERIES," "THE
       ARMY AND NAVY SERIES," "THE WOODVILLE SERIES," "THE STARRY-FLAG
             SERIES," "THE BOAT-CLUB STORIES," "THE ONWARD AND
               UPWARD SERIES," "THE YACHT-CLUB SERIES," "THE
                LAKE-SHORE SERIES," "THE RIVERDALE SERIES,"
                      "ALL ADRIFT," "SNUG HARBOR,"
                         "SQUARE AND COMPASSES,"
                              ETC., ETC.

With Illustrations

BOSTON

LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS

NEW YORK CHARLES T. DILLINGHAM
1886


_Copyright, 1885_,
BY WILLIAM T. ADAMS.

_All Rights Reserved._

STEM TO STERN.


ELECTROTYPED BY
C. J. PETERS & SON, BOSTON.


TO

MY ADOPTED "NEVVY,"

JOHN S. SHRIVER

OF BALTIMORE,

THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.



The Boat-Builder Series.

     1. ALL ADRIFT; OR, THE GOLDWING CLUB.

     2. SNUG HARBOR; OR, THE CHAMPLAIN MECHANICS.

     3. SQUARE AND COMPASSES; OR, BUILDING THE HOUSE.

     4. STEM TO STERN; OR, BUILDING THE BOAT.

     5. ALL TAUT; OR, RIGGING THE BOAT.

     6. READY ABOUT; OR, SAILING THE BOAT.



PREFACE.


"STEM TO STERN" is the fourth volume of the "BOAT-BUILDER SERIES." Most
of the characters connected with the Beech Hill Industrial School
continue to take part in the action of the story. Like its predecessors,
a considerable portion of the work is devoted to business and mechanical
information. The writer finds it quite impracticable to give as minute
directions for the building of a boat as a few of his young readers may
desire, for the entire volume would hardly afford sufficient space for
all the details of planning and constructing a yacht. But he has
endeavored to impart some information in a general way in regard to
shipbuilding, and has indicated in what manner the ambitious young
boat-builder may obtain the amplest instruction in this difficult art.
It is necessary to assure his young friends that, with all the
book-knowledge it is possible to obtain on the subject, it will require
a great deal of skill and not a little scientific and technical learning
to enable him to construct anything more elaborate than an ordinary
flatboat. Nothing but assiduous practice can procure the skill, and
nothing but hard study the geometrical and technical details of the art.

As in the preceding volumes of the series, "STEM TO STERN" is largely a
story of adventure on Lake Champlain and its shores. A new character is
introduced as the leading spirit of the story, whose struggles with the
difficulties in his life-path can hardly fail to interest the young
reader. Though he is peaceful and submissive under ordinary
circumstances, with none of the swellish importance of many boys of his
years, he is not a milk-and-water youth, and has pluck and strength
enough to "stand up" for those whom misfortune has placed under his
protection.

Although the two remaining volumes of the series are especially devoted
to rigging and sailing a boat, the present and the preceding books
incidentally treat of these subjects. While so many young men on the
sea, lakes and rivers seem to inherit or early acquire a taste for boats
and boating, it is important that they should understand the theory of
managing a sailing craft, though nothing but intelligent practice can
make a competent "skipper." With such knowledge and skill, boat-sailing
is a safe, as well as a healthy and improving sport.

As in former volumes, the writer has endeavored to interest his young
readers in mechanical operations and pursuits; and he hopes the series
will contribute its mite in influencing boys to respect manual labor and
to adopt it as a pastime or the business of life.

DORCHESTER, MASS., August 17, 1885.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
                                             PAGE
LILY BRISTOL AND HER TORMENTOR                 13

CHAPTER II.

THE SON OF TOIL FIGHTS HIS OWN BATTLE          25

CHAPTER III.

THE FINAL MANDATE OF MAJOR BILLCORD            35

CHAPTER IV.

THE ABSENCE OF THE TRUANT DRAGON               45

CHAPTER V.

THE GOLDWING AT SANDY POINT                    55

CHAPTER VI.

A CALL FOR ALL HANDS AT BEECH HILL             65

CHAPTER VII.

AN EXPEDITION BY MOONLIGHT                     75

CHAPTER VIII.

A CHANGE OF LOCATION                           85

CHAPTER IX.

THE JANITOR OF THE BOAT-HOUSE                  95

CHAPTER X.

A LECTURE ON SHIP-BUILDING                    105

CHAPTER XI.

ROUGH WATER ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN                 117

CHAPTER XII.

A SAILBOAT IN THE TROUGH OF THE SEA           126

CHAPTER XIII.

THE DISASTER TO THE SILVER MOON               135

CHAPTER XIV.

THE WORK OF AN INCOMPETENT SKIPPER            145

CHAPTER XV.

"ROLL ON, SILVER MOON"                        155

CHAPTER XVI.

DORY DORNWOOD GIVES A LESSON IN BOAT-SAILING  167

CHAPTER XVII.

THE MISSION OF THE SIX RUFFIANS               176

CHAPTER XVIII.

THE RESULT OF AN UNEQUAL CONFLICT             186

CHAPTER XIX.

A DEADLOCK AT THE HEAD OF THE BAY             196

CHAPTER XX.

THE REBELLIOUS SKIPPER OF THE SLOOP           206

CHAPTER XXI.

AN OUTRAGE IN THE STANDING-ROOM OF THE SLOOP  216

CHAPTER XXII.

AN INVITATION TO SANDY POINT                  226

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE PROCEEDINGS AT SANDY POINT                236

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE STUDENTS DECIDE "WHAT'S IN A NAME"        246

CHAPTER XXV.

BUILDING THE BOAT                             256

CHAPTER XXVI.

THAT CUNNING TOM TOPOVER                      266

CHAPTER XXVII.

THE BRILLIANT STRATEGY OF THE BRUISER         276

CHAPTER XXVIII.

A HARD BATTLE AT SANDY POINT                  286

CHAPTER XXIX.

THE ENGINEER OF THE UNDINE                    296

CHAPTER XXX.

LAUNCHING THE BOAT                            312



STEM TO STERN;

OR,

BUILDING THE BOAT.



CHAPTER I.

LILY BRISTOL AND HER TORMENTOR.


"I don't want anybody to row for me, Mr. Walker; I came out to take a
little exercise, and I can do it best when I am all alone," said Miss
Lily Bristol to a young gentleman of about eighteen who stood on the
sandy beach.

"But it will be a good deal more sociable to have company," replied Walk
Billcord with a smile and a smirk.

Lily Bristol had the reputation of being a very pretty girl, and fame
had not exaggerated her beauty. She was very plainly dressed, but she
was as neat as though she had just come out of the bureau-drawer. She
was seated in a rude flatboat, with a pair of oars in her hands, which
she seemed to know how to use.

The boat was only a rod or two from the end of Sandy Point, at the
southern side of the entrance to a bay with the same name. It was in the
spring of the year, and the water in Lake Champlain was at its highest.

Hardly more than a rod from the point where the rippling weaves sported
with the bright sand was a small and lightly-built cottage. It contained
two rooms on the lower floor, with two small attic chambers over them.
The structure rested on posts set in the sand, and looked as light and
airy as a bird-cage.

This cottage was the home of Peter Bristol, or, rather, of his wife and
two children; for the father of the family had been away for two years,
seeking to better his impaired fortunes. Peter had always been a poor
man, and was always likely to be. He had been a sort of
Jack-at-all-trades, not particularly good at any. He had been a fireman
on a railroad, a farm-hand, a general jobber; he had tried his hand at
almost everything without much success.

Major Billcord owned all the land near Sandy Point. Some years before,
he had taken it into his head that the high ground in the rear of Sandy
Bay would be an excellent site for a hotel. Some of his friends did not
agree with him, and assured him that a hotel could not live in this
location.

But the major was an obstinate man, and had his own way. He erected a
structure of fifty rooms, with the intention of adding a hundred more
after the first season. But for half a dozen reasons the hotel was a
dreary failure. It never contained more than half a score of guests at
any one time.

Included in this small number was Colonel Buckmill, who was then looking
for a suitable site for an academy. The owner of the estate would not
admit that the hotel was a failure, but he hinted that the building
might be obtained for the school. It exactly suited Colonel Buckmill,
and a bargain was soon made for a lease of it. In this manner the
Sunnyside Hotel became the Chesterfield Collegiate Institute in the
autumn of the same year.

Of course, one of the attractions of the Sunnyside was to be boating on
the lake, and Major Billcord provided two sailboats and some rowboats;
and Peter Bristol, who Was a good boatman, was engaged to take care of
the boats, and act as skipper when required. The poor man, taking his
cue from his employer, believed he had fallen upon a bonanza. His
fortune was made, and the rest of his days would be spent at Sandy
Point.

His wife had over three hundred dollars in her own right in a savings
bank, which she was willing to put into a house, and the cottage on the
point was built. The family moved into it, and were delighted with the
situation, though it was a rather dismal place in the winter. Peter was
to have half the money derived from letting the boats; but he soon found
that he had nothing to do. The few guests did not care to row or sail.

The boatman had no rent to pay, for the major had given him permission
to put his house on the point without charge; but he found it was very
hard work to get enough for his family to eat. Lily obtained work in
Westport, and Paul attended to the boats while his father worked at
haying, and they got through the season. But the dream of fortune had
collapsed.

Peter Bristol was discouraged, and went to New York to find work. He
obtained no situation, and shipped for the West Indies. A letter from
him informed his family that he was at work on a plantation, and he
hoped to do well after a while. Since that, nothing had been heard from
him in two years.

Paul obtained a little work at the institute, and Lily kept her place in
Westport; so that the family had worried along until the daughter lost
her situation for the want of sufficient work at the store in which she
was employed. Then it was difficult even to obtain enough to eat. Paul
did his best, and allowed himself to be bullied and kicked by the
gentlemanly students of the institute, while he could make an occasional
quarter.

Major Billcord lived in Westport, and his son had lately become a pupil
in the institute. He was older than most of the students, and was a wild
young fellow. In the early spring he had seen Lily Bristol. He agreed
with others who had seen her that she was a remarkably pretty girl, and
he had made frequent visits to Sandy Point.

"I prefer to be in the boat alone," Lily replied to the young
gentleman's remark that it would be more sociable to have company.

"But I want to see you, Lily, and have a talk with you," persisted
Walker Billcord.

"I will see you at the cottage if you desire," answered Lily.

"But I wish to see you alone."

"You cannot see me alone, sir," replied the pretty maiden with a great
deal of spirit.

"What's the reason I can't? I shall not hurt you. I think I know how to
behave like a gentleman."

"Perhaps you do," added Lily rather doubtfully, for Walk Billcord's
reputation was none of the best.

"If you will come to the shore, I will row you all about the bay," Walk
insisted. "I will make it as pleasant for you as possible."

"No, I thank you," replied the damsel decidedly.

"What's the matter with you? I hope you don't think I mean to do you any
harm."

"I am not afraid of you, but I choose to be alone in the boat."

With this she pulled away from the shore, though he continued to call
out to her as long as she was within hearing. She did not like the young
man at all, but rather despised than feared him. He had often thrown
himself in her way, and exerted himself to please her. She was civil to
him, and that was all.

Lily remained in the boat, pulling about the little bay for over an
hour. Walk had stood upon the beach for at least half an hour, waiting
for her return to the shore. Then he had retired, and the fair maiden
supposed he had gone back to the institute. When she had taken all the
air and exercise she thought she needed, she rowed back to the shore.
Just as she had driven the bow of the flatboat as far as she could on
the sand, Walk Billcord rushed out from the bushes, where he had
concealed himself, and prevented her from getting out of the boat.

She had put the oars under the thwarts, and arranged everything inside
of the boat, which had delayed her a few moments. But as soon as she saw
her tormentor running to the waterside, she attempted to leap out of the
boat.

"No, you don't, my pretty maiden!" exclaimed Walk, as he seized her by
the shoulders, and crowded her back to her seat in the stern.

Under the impetus of the force applied to her by the young man, Lily
dropped into the seat, and was obliged to grasp the gunwale of the boat
to avoid being thrown into the water. The fair face of the young lady
was flushed with anger, as well it might have been, for she had not
suspected that her tormentor would resort to violence.

She was not inclined to submit quietly to the will of Walk, for she
immediately drew out one of the oars from under the thwarts, and poised
it in the air, as though she intended to defeat the intentions of the
reckless young gentleman even by meeting force with force.

Walk Billcord stood for a moment holding on at the prow of the boat, as
though he was undecided as to his next step. Doubtless he felt that he
had already passed the bounds of propriety, and appeared to be
considering whether it was prudent to proceed any further. A glance at
the glowing and indignant face of Lily increased his interest in the
adventure, and he was not willing to leave her in the moment of her
heightened beauty.

Lily was the daughter of a poor dependent of his father: at least, he so
regarded her, and thought he had some right to subject her to his own
whim. He wanted to row her about the bay, and talk with her; and this
was the extent of his present wishes. It was only a "bit of a lark," a
harmless pleasantry, on his part, as he afterward explained it, and he
had not the slightest intention of injuring her.

The fair maiden did not regard herself as a proper subject for the young
gentleman's pleasantry, and she was prepared to bring down the blade of
the oar upon his head if the occasion should require. In the attitude of
defence she waited for his next demonstration. The upraised oar rather
tempted Walk to proceed, and he pushed the bow of the boat from the
sand, springing into the foresheets as he did so.

As this was not a direct assault upon her, Lily did not bring down the
oar upon his head, as she would under greater provocation, but she
dropped it into the water at the stern of the boat. The water was shoal;
and, setting the blade upon the sand at the bottom, she dexterously
whirled the craft about, bringing the stern within a few feet of the dry
sands on the shore.

Mr. Walk Billcord did not object to this movement, as it was necessary
to head the boat away from the shore; but he deemed it prudent to secure
the other oar before his fair companion could do so. He stooped down and
got hold of the blade end of it. It required a little tact to remove it
from its position under the thwarts; and, while he was engaged in doing
it, Lily gave the oar another push, forcing the boat close up to the
shore.

Without waiting for her tormentor to get the second oar over the forward
thwart, she leaped lightly upon the dry sand, effecting her landing
without wetting the soles of her shoes. She still held the oar in her
hand, and stood on the shore, waiting for the next move of her
unwelcome companion.

She was too proud to run away from such a contemptible being as she
considered Mr. Walk Billcord. She looked as though she felt abundantly
able to defend herself from any attack on the part of the unmanly
persecutor. She evidently believed that he had no serious intention to
harm her, but was simply making her the sport of his whim.

The moment she leaped ashore, Walk realized that she had got the better
of him. Whatever he intended, he did not like to be outdone by a feeble
girl. It was not pleasant for him, even in fun, to be outwitted by a
weak maiden. He felt that he had not been smart, and he was annoyed at
the situation. His vanity demanded that he should do something to get
"even" with his intended victim.

The confident look and attitude of Lily on the shore disconcerted him,
and invited further action on his part. He had not yet obtained
possession of the oar, for it had to be shoved back before it could be
passed over the forward thwart. But he had no present need of the
implement, and he abandoned it to survey the position of Lily. He
interpreted her looks and attitude as a defiance.

The boat, detached from the sand, was floating away from the shore.
With a long leap he planted his feet on the land, and the effect of his
movement was to drive the boat farther from the beach. A gentle breeze
from the westward was driving it farther away, and Lily saw that it
would soon be out of her reach.

She rushed to the water's edge, and, reaching out as far as she could,
she succeeded in placing the end of the blade on the prow. She began to
draw the truant craft toward the shore, when Walk put himself at her
side. He took the oar from her hand, and pulled the craft up till its
bottom grated on the sand.

Lily took a stick, and tried to get hold of the painter. As soon as she
had it in her hand, Walk took it from her. He not only took the rope,
but the hand which held it. He grasped her wrist with one hand, while he
tried to drag the boat ashore with the other. He soon found that he had
his hands full, both literally and figuratively.

Lily attempted to shake him off; but Walk tightened his hold upon her
wrist, though he had to drop the painter of the boat, which, having no
hold upon the land, began to float off into the open lake. The fair
maiden turned and twisted in her efforts to escape, but the young
ruffian held on like a vise.

In a moment or two she was exhausted with the violence of her exertions,
and by this time she was thoroughly frightened. Very likely Walk had no
worse intentions than at first, and was simply engaged in the business
of getting "even" with the weak maiden who had outwitted him.

"What do you mean, you wretch? Let go of me!" gasped Lily, her chest
heaving with terror and emotion.

"Don't make a fuss, my pretty one; I will not harm you," replied Walk.

"Let go of me, Mr. Billcord! I thought you claimed to be a gentleman!
Let go, or I will scream," panted Lily.

"I only want to take a little row with you, and I shall, you may depend
upon that," added Walk, picking up the oar which had fallen on the
beach. "Don't make a fuss, and I won't hurt you."

But Lily again renewed the struggle with all her might. Just at that
moment, Paul Bristol and his mother came out of the cottage. The boy was
a stout youth of fifteen, and, the moment he saw what was going on, he
broke into a run.



CHAPTER II.

THE SON OF TOIL FIGHTS HIS OWN BATTLE.


Paul Bristol seemed to have made only a couple of bounds before he had
covered the distance between the cottage and the shore. He saw his
sister struggling to release herself from the grasp of Walk Billcord.
All the indignation Nature had portioned out to him was roused, and he
did not stop to ask any questions. He did not even utter a word of
warning or reproach.

His two fists were clinched in hard knots before he reached the scene of
the encounter, and, without waiting to consider the situation, he
planted a blow with his right fist between the two eyes of his sister's
persecutor, and then did the same with the left. The effect was instant
and decisive. Walk went over backwards upon the sand, and his hold upon
the fair maiden was released.

By this time Mrs. Bristol had come to the spot, and, putting her arm
around her panting, trembling daughter, she led her to the cottage
without taking note of the result of the battle, though she could not
help seeing that the tormentor had been vanquished in the first
onslaught.

Walk Billcord was utterly astonished as well as effectually upset. Paul
Bristol had always been meek and subservient in his dealings with the
students, and no one could have suspected that there was anything like a
claw in his hard paws. If Mr. Walker was astonished the first moment
after his unexpected fall, he was indignant and boiling over with wrath
the second.

Though it was probable that both of the young gentleman's eyes had been
put into mourning for the coming week, he was not otherwise damaged, and
he leaped to his feet as soon as he could realize what had happened. He
saw that he had been struck down by one whom he had always regarded as a
son of toil,--a sort of cur about the premises of the institute. His
blood boiled, and, without a word of any kind, he proceeded to "pitch
into" his late assailant with all the physical vigor he could bring to
bear upon him.

Paul warded off the wild blows aimed at him, and soon planted one of his
own on the end of the young gentleman's nose, which caused the blood to
flow in a stream from that organ. But Walk did not mind this little
incident, though Paul was rather startled to see what he had done. The
latter was inclined to deal as gently as he could with his gentlemanly
opponent; but he found it necessary to defend himself from the impetuous
charges of Walk. In doing so he delivered a hard hit, which carried his
foe to the ground again.

The young gentleman was not yet satisfied, though he realized that he
was not a match for his toil-hardened opponent. He sprang to his feet
once more, out of breath, but unwilling to yield a hair to such an
assailant. Grasping the stick Lily had used to haul in the boat, he
again rushed upon Paul, and aimed a blow at his head; but Paul retreated
a few steps, and picked up the oar which had dropped on the beach.

Paul Bristol was entirely cool, now that his sister was no longer in
peril, and he began to realize that a quarrel with the son of the
proprietor of the domain was a very serious matter. With the oar he
warded off the blows of his insane adversary, and this was all he wished
to do. He could easily have "laid him out" again, but the fear of
consequences kept him within bounds.

Walk exhausted himself to no purpose. He could not hit his opponent, and
his strength and his wind were soon used up. He drew back a little, and
fixed a savage gaze upon his stalwart enemy. He panted like a wild beast
at bay, and his blood boiled all the more because he could accomplish
nothing.

"I'll settle you yet, Paul Bristol!" exclaimed Walk as he stepped down
to the edge of the water and began to wash the blood from his face.

"I'm settled now," replied Paul calmly. "I have had enough of it, and I
should like to stop where we are."

"You won't stop where we are, not till I have beaten you to a jelly. I
shall break every bone in your dirty carcass before I get through with
you," gasped Walk, struggling for an even supply of breath.

"When I say I have got enough of it, that ought to end the affair,"
added Paul with a cheerful smile on his face.

"I don't care what you say; you haven't got enough. You have given me
two sore eyes and a bloody nose, and you haven't got anything to balance
it," growled Walk. "I mean to break your head, and then I will call it
square."

"But I don't want my head broken, if it is all the same to you," replied
Paul, leaning on the oar. "My head is of some use to me, and it would
not be pleasant to have it broken."

"You began it, and you shall have enough of it before we are done,"
added Walk, beginning to breathe a little more freely.

"I began it?" queried Paul with the same cheerful smile. "I don't think
so, and I should like to argue the question with you."

"Didn't you hit me first, you nunkhead?" demanded Walk.

"Didn't you lay hold of my sister first, and frighten her half out of
her wits?"

"I didn't hurt her, and I was only fooling with her."

"Fooling with her! That's just what I was doing with you. I was only
fooling with you, Mr. Walker."

"I don't like that sort of fooling, you speckled cur!"

"My sister didn't like your sort of fooling any better than you like
mine. But, if you want to stop fooling, now is a good time to begin."

"I will stop when I get even with you, and not before," snapped Walk.
"You struck the first blow, and I mean to strike the last."

By this time the young gentleman had fairly recovered his wind, but
nothing like coolness had come over his temper. Dropping the stick, he
rushed upon Paul again with his naked fists. He was savage, and the
boatman's son soon found that he could not passively defend himself, and
the result was that Walk soon went under again.

This disaster made him madder than ever, and when he rose from the beach
he seized the stick again, which Paul met with the oar. Paul liked this
way of carrying on the combat better than the other, for he could defend
himself without inflicting any injury on his furious opponent.

While Walk was thus wearing himself out, a gentleman with a riding-whip
in his hand came out of the path through the woods. As soon as he
discovered what was going on upon the beach, he quickened his pace, and
reached the scene of the conflict at a sharp run. It was Major Billcord,
the father of Paul's wrathy opponent.

"What does all this mean?" demanded the major when he had come within
speaking distance of the combatants. "How dare you strike my son with
that oar?"

"I haven't struck him once with it," replied Paul, aghast at the
presence of the mighty proprietor of the domain. "I am only defending
myself, sir."

"You have no business to defend yourself against my son, you dirty
puppy. How dare you lift a weapon against him?" stormed Major Billcord;
and to him there was only one side to the controversy, whatever it was.

Walk had dropped his stick as soon as he heard the voice of his father,
and Paul had done the same with the oar. The latter felt that he had got
into a very bad scrape. The major was a magnate of the first order, and
he was supreme on his own domain. His mother was a tenant at will at the
cottage. All the money she had inherited from her father's estate, and
all she had in the world, was invested in that cottage. The mighty major
could turn them out of house and home at a moment's notice, as they paid
no rent.

"What does all this mean, my son? I am sorry to see you fighting with
such a cur as that," said Major Billcord when the battle was suspended
for the moment.

"It means that he struck me first, and I intend to get even with him if
I fight till Lake Champlain dries up," blustered Walk, as he clinched
his fists again; and doubtless he had a clear idea of his father's views
on the subject of pugilism.

"He struck first! You did quite right, my son. Never take a blow from
any one," added the major.

"But he insulted my sister, sir! He had seized hold of her, and held her
when I hit him, sir," pleaded Paul with proper deference; and he felt
that he had a good defence.

"A fight begins with the first blow, and we needn't ask what happened
before it was struck. You admit that you struck the first blow,
Bristol?" continued Major Billcord, sitting in judgment on the case.

"I did strike the first blow, sir; and a fellow that wouldn't hit hard
when his sister was insulted, and held as a prisoner, don't amount to
much," Paul replied rather warmly.

"You struck the first blow; and that's all I want to hear about it,"
added the major sharply. "My son has done quite right to resent a blow
with another blow; and if he is not satisfied with the punishment he has
given you, you vagabond, I will stand by and see fair play till he is
satisfied."

Mr. Walker did not quite approve the ground taken by his father, and
wanted him to do something more than stand by and see fair play. But the
major had spoken, and the son realized that he had nothing to do but to
take the broad hint the patriarch had given him. Clinching his fists
again, he rushed upon Paul for the third time. Paul was indignant at the
decision of the magnate, and felt as though he had been commanded by the
great man to permit his son to insult his sister.

Walk rushed upon him, but Paul's back was up for the first time since he
had relieved his sister from the grasp of her assailant. His paws were
not velvet: they were all fangs. At the first onslaught of Walk, that
young gentleman went over on his back with the blood gushing from his
nostrils. Twice more he renewed the attack, with about the same result.

Mr. Walker was so full of wrath that he could no longer control himself,
and he laid hold of the stick again. Paul picked up the oar once more.
The son of toil knocked the stick out of the hands of his opponent, and
it flew into the lake. Walk could not find another, and Paul dropped the
oar. It was naked fists again, with the same effect as before.

By this time Major Billcord was as full of wrath as his son, and without
regard to fair play, of which he stood as champion, he rushed to the
assistance of his defeated son. Paul picked up the oar and retreated
before the two.

"Stop a moment, if you please, Major Billcord," shouted Paul. "I don't
want to hit you sir, and I won't if I can help it."

"But I am going to flog you within an inch of your life!" yelled the
major.

Paul had gone as far as he could without retreating into the cottage,
and he was unwilling to carry the battle into the presence of his mother
and sister. He halted; the major wrenched the oar from his grasp. He
struck the son of toil with it. Paul's blood was up; he gave the magnate
a blow between the eyes, under which he went down. Walk "pitched in"
again, and was planted by the side of his father.



CHAPTER III.

THE FINAL MANDATE OF MAJOR BILLCORD.


Major Billcord was a short, puffy man, inclined to corpulency. The blow
of the son of toil, and his fall upon the sand, proved to be enough for
him. He was all foam and fury in consequence of his signal defeat.
Possibly he had thought that a poor dependent upon his bounty would not
dare to strike him; and, in truth, Paul felt that it was something like
treading upon the Bible.

He had attempted to take the stalwart youth by the collar, and had
struck him with his riding-whip in a tender place. The pain was nothing,
but the indignity was great; and Paul's impulse had led him farther than
he would have gone if he had considered what he was doing.

The major and his son picked themselves up, and for a moment they gazed
with something like wonder upon the victor in the unequal contest. But
all three of them had been beside themselves for the moment. Paul
realized what he had done; and so did his mother and sister, for they
came out of the cottage while father and son were getting up from the
ground.

"Woman, do you see what your son has done?" demanded Major Billcord, who
was the first to break the impressive silence.

"I am very sorry, sir," pleaded the poor woman, stepping between Paul
and his victims, in order to prevent him from doing them any further
mischief if he should be disposed to renew the combat.

"Sorry for it!" exclaimed the magnate, as if simple regret could atone
for a blow given by a plebeian to a patrician. "Is this the way you
bring up your son?"

"I am very sorry, Major Billcord, but he has been greatly provoked. By
your leave, sir, it was Mr. Walker that began it."

"It is false, marm! Your brute of a son struck the first blow; he has
confessed it to me," puffed the magnate.

"But Mr. Walker had first insulted my daughter; he had seized hold of
her, and was trying to force her into the boat when Paul interfered,"
Mrs. Bristol explained with as much meekness as the subject would
permit.

"Nonsense, woman! Seized hold of your daughter! Don't talk such stuff
to me. Walker did not mean to do her any harm," added Major Billcord
with the utmost contempt.

"I only asked her to let me row her about the bay in the boat," the
young gentleman explained.

"It was impertinent in her to refuse when my son honored her with his
notice," continued the major.

"I thought she had a right to choose her own company," said Mrs. Bristol
with proper humility.

"I have allowed you to live on my land for two years without a penny of
rent, woman; and this is the return I get for it," replied the great
man, in whose heart the poor woman's ingratitude was beginning to make
havoc.

"You have been very kind to us, Major Billcord, and we are very grateful
for all you have done for us. I am so sorry that this sad thing has
happened!" pleaded Mrs. Bristol.

"And still you try to fasten the blame on my son," retorted the
proprietor of Sandy Point and its surroundings.

"I am very sorry he meddled with Lily; if he hadn't done it, there would
have been no trouble, for Paul has always treated Mr. Walker with
respect."

"At it again!" exclaimed the major. "You will insist that my son was to
blame, simply because he was polite enough to invite your daughter to
take a row with him in the boat."

"She was not willing to go; and I didn't know that she was obliged to go
out on the lake with him. She declined his invitation, and Mr. Walker
tried to force her into the boat."

"It was not civil in her to decline the invitation, and I don't wonder
that Walker was a little vexed at her refusal. She is a pert minx, marm,
and has not been well brought up, or she would have known better than to
decline," added the magnate, bestowing a look of severity upon the fair
maiden.

Mrs. Bristol and Paul saw that it was useless to attempt to reason with
such a man, and they were silent. The major took out his handkerchief,
and wiped the perspiration from his face. Then he felt of his nose and
the region about his two eyes, between which the son of toil had planted
his hard fist. Doubtless there was a soreness in those parts, and
perhaps the visual organs of the father would be clothed in sable
wreaths by the next day.

"That boy must be punished, severely punished, for what he has done,"
the major resumed. "He has had the audacity to strike me in the
face,--me, the benefactor of the whole family!"

"Didn't you catch me by the throat, and hit me with your riding-whip,
sir?" asked Paul calmly and meekly.

"What if I did! Do you mean to put yourself on a level with me, you
young reprobate?" demanded the magnate, his wrath beginning to boil
again. "Woman, I say that boy must be severely punished for this," he
continued, turning to Mrs. Bristol again. "He must be whipped till he
can't stand up!"

"Who will whip him, sir?" asked the poor woman innocently.

"I will do it, if you don't, marm," replied the major savagely.

"I could not whip him, sir; he is a great deal stronger than I am; and,
if he is whipped at all, you must do it, sir;" but Mrs. Bristol seemed
to think there was something a little satirical in what she said.

"Then I will do it!" said the magnate, raising his riding-whip.

"Perhaps he will not allow you to whip him, sir," suggested Mrs.
Bristol; and even her anger appeared to be approaching the
boiling-point.

"The boy deserves to be severely punished. If he submits to the
whipping which Walker and I will give him, we may be willing to let the
matter drop where it is."

"You had better arrange it with Paul, sir. I should as soon think of
whipping Colonel Buckmill as my son," replied the poor woman with a
decided touch of satire in her tones and manner.

"If the young villain submits, very well."

"If you should begin to punish him, I have no doubt he will speak or act
for himself," she added.

"Bristol, you hear what has been said. Will you submit to the punishment
you deserve?" demanded the major severely, turning to the culprit.

"No, sir, I will not."

"Do you hear him, marm?"

"I do, sir; and he answers just as I supposed he would."

"Then you uphold him in his treacherous treatment of my son? Then you
countenance him in biting the hand that feeds him?"

Mrs. Bristol made no reply, for she did not wish to irritate the
powerful man unnecessarily. She looked at her son, and she was proud of
him.

"Bristol, you refuse to submit to the whipping you deserve?" demanded
Major Billcord, approaching the stout youth with the riding-whip
upraised.

"If you hit me with that whip, sir, I will knock you as far beyond the
middle of next week as I can," replied Paul firmly and quietly. "Your
son insulted my sister, and I treated him as he deserved, and just as I
would another time if he did the same thing. My sister is a poor girl,
but she is just as good as you are, and just as good as Mr. Walker is.
If she is insulted, sir, I will stand up against five hundred Billcords
as long as there is anything left of me."

"Is this your gratitude for what I have done for the family?" asked the
major, knitting his brow into a knot of wrinkles.

"Yes, sir; this is my gratitude. Do you think, because you allowed my
father to put his cottage on your land, that you and your son have the
right to insult my sister?" demanded Paul with considerable energy.

"No one insulted her, you young reprobate!" interposed the father. "Is a
civil and gentlemanly invitation an insult?"

"If he had stopped there, we should have had no trouble."

"But she refused the invitation."

"She had as much right to decline it as any lady in Westport would
have."

"Was it treating a member of my family properly, after all I have done
for you?" demanded the major more calmly, but with a terrible havoc in
his tender feelings.

"You have had a good deal to say about what you have done for us, Major
Billcord. The land on which that cottage stands," continued Paul,
pointing to it, "is not worth ten dollars. At ten per cent, the ground
rent would be one dollar a year, or two dollars for the two years it has
stood there. I have done work enough for you in the shape of errands,
taking care of your boat, and in other ways, to pay for the land twice
over. I have carried the first black bass of the season to your house,
when I could have sold the fish for a dollar apiece, for two years. As I
look at the question of gratitude, there is a balance of at least twenty
dollars in my favor; but I give it to you with all my heart, and I don't
claim the privilege of insulting your daughter for what I have done."

"You are a glib-talking puppy, and there is no more reason or common
sense in you than there is in a heifer calf. I have had enough of you,
and so has my son," responded the major, choking with wrath over the
unanswerable argument of the poor dependent.

"If you have had enough of me, you and Mr. Walker, I am satisfied to let
the matter drop where it is; but if Mr. Walker, or any other student of
the Chesterfield Collegiate Institute, insults my sister, I shall hit
him as hard as I can," replied Paul coolly.

"Woman, you have heard the insulting words of your son, and you uphold
him in his wickedness. I must take the next step. I will not have such a
vile reprobate on my land. I will not have you or your ungrateful
daughter on my territory. You are a tenant at will. That cottage must
not remain another day on my premises. Remove it at once. If it is here
at three o'clock to-morrow afternoon, I will give the students
permission to tumble it into the lake. Do you hear me, woman?" stormed
the major fiercely.

"I hear you, sir," replied Mrs. Bristol, covering her face with her
handkerchief, and beginning to weep bitterly.

"You needn't cry about it, marm. You and that graceless son of yours
have brought it on yourselves; and I think the students will enjoy the
fun of pitching the shanty into the lake."

"It is all the property I have in the world, Major Billcord," pleaded
the poor woman. "Give me a little time to remove the cottage, I implore
you!"

"Don't implore me, marm! Thank your wretch of a son for it. By three
o'clock to-morrow afternoon, if you haven't removed it in the mean time,
the shanty shall be rolled into the lake."

"I cannot get it through the woods to remove it," groaned Mrs. Bristol.

"That's your lookout, marm," said the major as he and Walk departed.

Mrs. Bristol seated herself on the lower step of the cottage, and
continued to weep bitterly.



CHAPTER IV.

THE ABSENCE OF THE TRUANT DRAGON.


The cottage of the Bristols had been framed in Burlington, and brought
down to Sandy Point on a schooner. As it stood, it was estimated to be
worth about three hundred and fifty dollars, which was the cost of it to
the poor woman when she invested her all in what was to be a home for
the family.

It was a small sum the cottage cost, but to the poor woman it was as big
as a million to a millionnaire. She had been well brought up in her
father's house, and she could not exist like a Chinaman or a Hottentot,
and it had cost the family a struggle to live during the absence of the
father.

Now all that she had was to be taken from her. As they had paid no
ground rent for the site, the law could do nothing for her. She was a
tenant on suffrance rather than a tenant at will, and had no rights
whatever. The magnate could tumble the cottage into the lake, and the
wind would carry it where it listed. It would probably be broken up on
the rocks or shoals, and the major might as well set it on fire as turn
it adrift on the lake.

The rich man intended to execute his mandate in the cruelest manner
possible. The students were to have a frolic in tumbling it into the
lake. The humble structure contained all their household goods, all the
little articles they valued far beyond the money they cost. It was
hardly possible to remove them in the time allowed for the purpose, for
everything would have to be carried by hand or transported in the
flatboat.

No team could be driven down to the point, for the major would not allow
a tree to be felled to make a road, and the owner had been compelled to
leave his saddle-horse at a considerable distance from the lake when he
visited it. Of course, the cruel magnate understood all this, and
realized that his final mandate doomed the cottage and all it contained
to certain destruction, for neither he nor his persecuted tenants could
see any means of relief.

Even if they could carry away their goods, they had no place to put
them. The brief period of probation given them was not more than enough
to enable the poor woman to find another tenement. It was two miles to
Westport, and five to Genverres, by water. The situation looked entirely
hopeless to Mrs. Bristol; and the more she thought of it, the more
bitterly she wept.

"I don't know what will become of us," said she when she had vented her
grief for a time.

"Don't cry, mother: we shall get out of the scrape in some way," replied
Paul in as soothing tones as he could command, for the situation was
hardly more hopeful to him than to his mother.

"I don't see that we can do anything but submit to the loss of
everything we have," moaned Mrs. Bristol. "We can't stay here any
longer, and we have no place to go to in the wide world. The students
will take a wicked delight in breaking up everything we have. I cannot
stay here to see them revel in the destruction of our home, which has
been as dear to me as though it had been a palace. But where can I go?"

"We had better go to Westport, mother," said Lily, wiping the tears from
her eyes. "We can take a few things with us in the boat."

"The boat went adrift in the row, and I saw it halfway over to Scotch
Bonnet," interposed Paul as he strained his eyes to discover the truant
craft.

"Then we can walk over to Westport; but we can't carry much of anything
in our hands in a walk of two miles," added Lily gloomily.

"Where shall we go in Westport when we get there?" asked Mrs. Bristol.
"We can't go to a hotel or boarding-house, for we haven't money enough
to pay our way for three days."

"I don't see that we can do a thing, mother," said Paul when he had
carefully looked over the situation. "I would borrow a boat, if there
was one to be had; but I am sure the institute boatman would not lend me
one now. Major Billcord's story will be all over the neighborhood in a
few hours. I could get one in Westport; but it might take me a whole day
to find our flatboat, for it must have been driven ashore on the other
side of the lake. Some vessel may have picked it up, for I saw two or
three going up the lake."

"I saw a sailboat go by while you were talking to the major," said Lily.

"I noticed her; it was one of the Beech Hill boats," added Paul. "One of
these vessels may have picked up the 'Dragon,'" as he had named the
flatboat, "and it may be five miles from here by this time."

"We are in the hands of Providence, and as helpless as babies,"
continued Mrs. Bristol. "I don't see that we can do a single thing for
ourselves, and we must trust in a higher power than man."

"We can stay in the cottage over night, at least, and it will be our
last in our happy home," said Paul. "The students will all be at their
studies in the forenoon, and then you and Lily can walk over to
Westport."

"What are you going to do, Paul?" inquired his mother, bestowing a look
of the deepest interest upon him.

"I shall stay here and save what I can."

"You must not stay here!" protested his mother warmly. "The students
will kill you, under the lead of Walker Billcord."

"I am not afraid of them."

"You must not stay here: if you do, I shall stay with you," replied the
devoted mother.

"There is that sailboat, Paul," said Lily, who had been gazing blankly
out upon the lake. "She looks as though she was headed for the point."

"That's the 'Goldwing,'" added Paul. "I hope Dory Dornwood is on board
of her. He is a good fellow, and he may do something to help us. If she
comes near enough, I will hail her."

"But Dory Dornwood will not do anything for any one on this side of the
lake," replied Mrs. Bristol. "The two schools have waged the fiercest
war upon each other."

"I know Dory Dornwood very well, mother. I had a long talk with him
about the war between the schools, and I know that the Beech-Hillers
have done all they could to keep out of trouble with the Chesterfields.
I am sure he will do anything he can for us. He don't like Major
Billcord any better than I do at this moment, for he had a row with him
when he was a waiter on a steamer."

"I don't see that he can do anything for us, even if he does come near
enough for you to hail him," added Mrs. Bristol, hardly less despondent
than before.

"He can take some of our things on board his boat, and carry them to a
place where they will be safe until we want them again."

Paul was quite hopeful that something would come of the visit of the
"Goldwing" to the point, if she came there. Without stopping to argue
the possibilities with his mother, he hastened to the shore. The
"Goldwing" was headed down the lake, and, with all sail set, she was
dashing over the waves at a tremendous high speed. She was towing a
small boat astern of her, but Paul could not tell whether it was the
"Dragon" or her usual tender.

The wind was exactly west, and the schooner was going free. When Paul
saw her before, she was on the easterly side of the lake, where she got
a better breeze than on the opposite side. He was satisfied that she
headed for the vicinity of the point; for she would have started her
sheets when she came up with Scotch Bonnet, if she had been bound
directly down the lake.

Though she was approaching the point, it was by no means certain that
she intended to make a landing there. The boat she was towing was astern
of her, and Paul could not see it plainly, as the hull of the yacht
obstructed his view. As on all occasions, he determined to do the best
he could. Running back to the house, he borrowed a tablecloth of reddish
hue, and fastened it to the oar. Elevating it as a signal to the
"Goldwing," he held it in position at the very apex of the point.

Lily and her mother were not inclined to join him, for they did not feel
in the mood to meet any young men, however civil they might be. They
remained seated on the steps of the cottage; but they watched the sails
of the yacht with as deep an interest as Paul did, for it was at least
possible that the party on board of her might help them in their
present dire emergency.

"She is headed for the point!" shouted Paul, when he had satisfied
himself of the fact.

"I pray that a kind Providence has sent her to our relief," replied Mrs.
Bristol.

Paul watched her with the most intense interest. When the "Goldwing" was
within a quarter of a mile of the point, the party on board of her waved
their handkerchiefs as a reply to Paul's signal. The hopes of the
watcher on the shore ran high, but he could not yet see whether or not
she had the "Dragon" in tow.

Sandy Point was a kind of double cape. It was shaped like a letter T.
The cottage was on the northeast point, inside of which was Sandy Bay,
where the Beech Hill students sometimes came to bathe. The other arm of
the point extended to the southwest, and inside of it was the station of
the boats belonging to the institute.

"Is that you, Paul Bristol?" shouted some one on board of the
"Goldwing."

"Yes! Is Dory Dornwood on board?" replied Paul.

"He is! Have you lost a flatboat?" called the speaker from the yacht.

"I have!"

The schooner kept well off the point, and appeared now to be headed for
the shore on the opposite side of Sandy Point. As she came abreast of
the shore, Paul saw that she had the "Dragon" and her tender in tow. The
return of the "Dragon" was a godsend, even if nothing else resulted from
the visit of the yacht. The "Goldwing" ran over towards the opposite
shore, and then tacked. The wind was light inside of the bay, and the
schooner circled gracefully about, coming up into the wind off the point
where Paul stood. Down went her jib in the twinkling of an eye, and over
went her anchor. In a moment she had come up to her cable, with her
mainsail fluttering in the breeze.

One of the party hauled up the "Dragon," and, casting off the painter,
sculled her ashore with the single oar that remained on board of her.

"This is your boat, I suppose," said Tucker Prince, one of the new
students of the Beech Hill Industrial School, as he stepped on shore
with the painter in his hand.

"It is my boat, and I owe you a thousand thanks for bringing her back to
me," replied Paul.

"The skipper wants to know if any accident has happened by which she
was turned adrift," continued Tuck Prince, whom the New-Yorkers called a
"Bosting boy."

"No accident; but who is the skipper?"

"Dory Dornwood."

"I would give more to see him than I would to meet my grandmother,"
added Paul.

In a few moments more Paul Bristol had Dory by the hand.



CHAPTER V.

THE "GOLDWING" AT SANDY POINT.


Dory Dornwood had been to the point before, and had met Paul Bristol
there. Of course, the son of toil had never associated with the
Chesterfields on anything like an equality, and he had no especial
interest in them or their affairs. In the quarrels between the two
schools he had been entirely neutral, for the reason that he had not
been called upon to take part in any of the battles, and his opinion of
the merits of either side was of no consequence.

Dory gave the resident of the point his hand, as he came on board of the
"Goldwing," and was glad to see him. Possibly the skipper was willing to
have a friend in this particular locality, though he knew that Paul had
no influence with the gentlemanly students of the institute.

"I picked up your boat over by Scotch Bonnet," said Dory. "It was just
going on the rocks, and I thought it would have a hard time there. I
knew from the direction of the wind that it must have come from this
region, and I was afraid some one had been upset in her, for there was
only one oar in the boat."

"No one was upset in her, though the 'Dragon' is not inclined to stay
right side up when the sea is heavy," replied Paul. "I am more thankful
to you than I can tell for bringing her back at just this time. If you
are willing to hear me, I should like to tell you how she happened to
get adrift, and why I am so glad to get her back."

"I am in no hurry, and I am ready to hear anything you wish to say to
me," replied Dory, as he invited Paul to take a seat in the
standing-room.

There were five other Beech Hill students in the boat, and they seemed
to be as willing to hear the story as the skipper was. All of them
judged by the manner of the Sandy-Pointer that he had something of
interest and importance to tell. Paul gave his account of the trouble
between Lily and Walk Billcord without exaggeration or embellishment,
though he did not do justice, in his modesty, to his own prowess in the
battles with the magnate and his son.

The narrative was exciting enough to secure the closest attention of
his auditors; and, when it was finished, all of them had some questions
to ask, and most of them some comments to make. As they were not
prejudiced in favor of the major or his son, they agreed that the son of
toil had served them right. Dory said he should have been very sorry to
strike a man of the age of Major Billcord, but he did not see how he
could have helped doing so under the circumstances.

"And he has ordered you to remove the cottage at less than a day's
notice?" continued the skipper.

"He has, and at a time when my boat had gone adrift, and I had no way to
move a single thing which we could not carry two miles in our hands.
That is the reason why I was so glad to see the 'Dragon' coming back to
the point," replied Paul, looking at the skipper of the "Goldwing" with
the deepest interest. "But the water is rather rough this afternoon out
on the lake, and I am afraid I can't do much towards moving my mother
and sister and all the furniture in that flatboat."

"Then you mean to leave the cottage to be pitched into the lake?" added
Dory.

"I don't see that we can do anything else," replied Paul blankly. "It is
about a quarter of a mile through the woods to the road, and Major
Billcord will not allow a tree to be cut down. I could not move it if I
had a hundred men to help me. I might take it to pieces, if I had time
enough to do the job; but we have little time, and not much money."

"Suppose we go on shore and take a look at the cottage," suggested Dory,
who seemed to be doing some heavy thinking, though he did not hint that
he knew of any remedy for the misfortunes of the Bristols. The tender
was brought up to the gangway, and Dory went ashore in it, accompanied
by Tuck Prince, while Paul took the "Dragon" back.

The skipper walked up to the cottage, and Paul introduced him to his
mother and sister. Dory had never seen Lily Bristol before, but he was
perfectly willing to agree with the "speech of people," that she was the
prettiest girl in the State of New York, and possibly in the State of
Vermont. But she looked very sad, and so did her mother, and Dory said
nothing to them about the mandate of the magnate.

The visitor looked at the house, and got its approximate dimensions in
his mind. He examined the foundations of the structure, and the land
upon which it lay. He was thinking, but he said nothing.

"Of course, Major Billcord knows very well that we cannot move the
cottage without making a pathway for it through the grove," said Paul,
who had observed the expression on Dory's face with the utmost interest.

But he had not expected that the skipper of the "Goldwing" could do
anything about moving the dwelling: the most he had hoped was that the
visitor would volunteer to assist in the transportation of the
furniture, or a portion of it, to some safe place, if such could be
found. But Dory was provokingly silent, and did not hint at anything.
When he had completed his examination of the premises, he walked towards
the end of the point again.

"I suppose you will agree with me that not a thing can be done," said
Paul as he followed the skipper; and he began to be very much
discouraged at the prospect.

"I don't know whether anything can be done or not," replied Dory,
musing. "I can't do anything myself, for I don't feel at liberty to act
without the knowledge of my uncle, Captain Gildrock," replied Dory. "If
you could move the cottage, have you any other place to put it?"

"Not a place. My mother owns a house, but not a foot of land in the
wide universe," answered Paul gloomily.

"It is not very easy to think of any plan for moving the building when
we haven't any idea of what is to be done with it," added Dory,
surveying with his eye the ground between the cottage and the water of
the lake.

"I didn't suppose you could do anything for us in that way," continued
Paul. "I thought we might save some of our furniture in the 'Dragon.'"

"You couldn't even get a bureau on board of her," replied Dory, glancing
at the flatboat. "If you laid it across the gunwales, it would upset
her. But I have an idea, though it may not amount to much. What are your
mother and sister going to do? I take it they will not stay here to see
the Chesterfields destroy your cottage and its contents?"

"No; they will leave in the morning; but there is no place under the sun
for them to go. We have no relations, and hardly any friends," answered
Paul very sadly.

"As I said before, I can't do anything without orders in a case like
this. I am very sorry for you. If the situation were what my uncle
defines as an emergency, I should be permitted to do what is required
to save life or property. But there is nearly a whole day's leeway in
this case," continued the skipper.

"I didn't know but you might carry some of our things over to the other
side in the 'Goldwing,' Paul hinted very timidly.

"I might be able to take some of them; but the schooner would not hold
one-half of the goods. I hope to do something better than that, though I
can't promise anything. So far as the furniture is concerned, I don't
think you need to worry about that, for there will be time enough to
remove it to-morrow morning," said Dory.

"Plenty of time, if I have any help," added Paul.

Dory hoped he should be able to do something better than this; and the
words had given Paul a strong hope, though he wished the skipper would
speak out plainly, and say what he thought of doing.

"It is now about five o'clock," continued Dory, looking at his watch.
"We have plenty of time, and I have something to propose. I can't do
anything without my uncle's knowledge, but I should like to have your
mother and sister go over to Beech Hill in the 'Goldwing;' and you too,
Paul, if you don't think it necessary to remain here and look out for
the cottage."

"What should they go over there for?" asked the son of toil.

"To tell my uncle your story. If Captain Gildrock decides that nothing
can be done for you, I will bring your mother and sister back before
dark. Then I will take a cargo of your goods to any place you say in
this part of the lake. That is all I feel at liberty to do under the
present circumstances," added Dory. "But I am pretty sure that something
more will be done for you."

"I will speak to my mother about it," replied Paul. "Will you come with
me, Dory?"

The skipper followed him to the cottage, and Paul stated the case to his
mother. She was willing to do anything her son thought best. She did not
think it was necessary for Lily to go if Paul was to remain in charge of
the house; but Dory thought she was a part of the story, and anticipated
some hard questions from his uncle which she could answer better than
any other person. Mrs. Bristol yielded the point, and in a few minutes
they were ready for the trip.

The ladies were seated in the standing-room, and the Beech-Hillers were
as polite as so many dancing-masters, "tinkers" though they were. A
short distance from the shore the wind was still fresh; and in half an
hour the "Goldwing" was in Beechwater, as the principal of the school
generally called the lake.

Without waiting to moor the schooner, which he left in charge of Tuck
Prince, Dory pulled the ladies to the new boat-house in the tender. They
landed at the steps, and the skipper conducted them to Captain
Gildrock's library. They were pleasantly welcomed by the principal,
though they were entire strangers to him.

Dory stated that he had brought Mrs. Bristol and Miss Lily from Sandy
Point, and he wished his uncle to hear the story they had to tell. He
hinted that the visitors had better confine themselves to the facts in
the case, without any comments; and, as Lily had been the principal and
first actor in the drama, he thought she had better open the narrative.

Possibly Dory thought an account of the opening proceedings from the
lips of so pretty a girl as Lily might have more influence with his
bachelor uncle. The captain smiled graciously, and bowed encouragingly
to the fair maiden. She began in a very straightforward way with the
narrative, and Dory was glad the occasion permitted him to gaze at her
without staring.

When she had completed her narrative, there was but little more for her
mother to say. The principal asked a few questions, and then he was in
possession of all the facts. He knew all about Major Billcord, and he
had no difficulty in believing the simple and unadorned statement to
which he had listened. Very likely he was as indignant as any Christian
man would have been at the outrage of the magnate and his son, but he
did not express himself in this direction.

When Mrs. Bristol and Lily had said all they had to say, the captain
looked at Dory to see if he had anything to offer. Dory was not slow to
take a hint, and he made quite an energetic speech of considerable
length, setting forth his views of the situation.



CHAPTER VI.

A CALL FOR ALL HANDS AT BEECH HILL.


"I am very sorry, Mrs. Bristol, that you should have been placed in such
an unpleasant situation," said Captain Gildrock when Dory had brought
his speech to a square conclusion, which some orators find it very
difficult to do. "Your son did no more than I would have done in the
same circumstances. It was highly proper for him to defend his sister
with his fists; and after that he acted only on the defensive."

"I was very well satisfied with Paul, sir," added Mrs. Bristol.

"I think you have reason to be. You have heard what my nephew has said,
and I fully indorse the plan he has outlined. I shall leave it to him to
carry it out in his own way."

"You are very kind, Captain Gildrock, and I shall be grateful to you as
long as I live," replied Mrs. Bristol, with enthusiasm. "Paul says your
students were always much better behaved than those of the institute."

"Unfortunately our relations with the school on the other side of the
lake are not as pleasant as I could wish; but I do not intend that our
young men shall be offensive to their neighbors."

"The Goldwing is all ready to take you back to Sandy Point, Mrs.
Bristol," Dory interposed.

"But why should you return, madam?" said the principal. "I think you had
better remain here. We have plenty of spare rooms, and we will do all we
can to make you comfortable."

"Thank you, sir; but I am afraid Paul will be uneasy in my longer
absence."

"Dory shall run over to Sandy Point, and inform your son what is to be
done, and can bring you anything you may want," suggested Captain
Gildrock.

The principal gave some strong reasons why she and Lily had better
remain at the mansion over night, and she finally consented to do so.
Mrs. Dornwood and Marian, Dory's mother and sister, were called, and
they soon made the visitors feel quite at home. Dory returned to the
Goldwing, and was soon standing out of Beechwater.

In less than half an hour the schooner was at the point. Paul was
greatly astonished, and not a little troubled, when he saw that his
mother and sister were not on board of her. But the skipper soon
explained their absence, and stated what was to be done with the
permission of his uncle. Paul went to the cottage for a few articles
which his mother had desired, in a note, while the skipper looked over
the situation of the cottage again, and arranged his plans for action.

"We shall disappoint the Chesterfields once more, Paul," said Dory, when
the son of toil joined him. "We have spoiled some of their little
arrangements before."

"They will miss the fun the major has promised them, but I think he will
feel the loss of it more than they will. Of course, all he wants is to
punish us," replied Paul, with a cheerful smile.

"You can go over to Beech Hill with me if you like," continued Dory,
when they reached the tender.

"I must stay here and watch the cottage. Some of the students might
think it was fun to set it on fire to-night, though it would not make a
very brilliant light in the moonshine," replied Paul.

"Do you expect any of the Chesterfields at the point to-night, Paul?"
asked Dory with some anxiety, for their presence might interfere with
his plan.

"No; I hardly expect any of them. I don't know that Major Billcord has
told them about the fun in store for them yet, though he was so mad when
he left the point that he could hardly keep it in," answered Paul.

"Well, if they come to-night, we can't help it," added Dory, as he
stepped into the tender. "We shall be here all the same, and we shall do
the work we have laid out."

The Goldwing got up her anchor, and filled away. Paul watched her till
she disappeared in Beaver River. The situation had changed entirely, and
Paul was as happy as though there had been no tempest at the point that
day. His mother and sister were in good quarters, and he did not much
care if the Chesterfields came down upon him in full force. As soon as
the schooner was out of sight he went into the house to get his supper.

As soon as the Goldwing was moored, and her crew had eaten their supper,
there was a call for all hands to assemble at the new boat-house. The
famous structure had been finished nearly a year before, for it was in
the month of May that the trouble at Sandy Point took place. The school
year began in the September preceding.

After considering the subject during the summer, Captain Gildrock had
decided to increase the number of pupils in the Beech Hill Industrial
School. But he was a prudent and practical man, and he had taken only a
dozen additional scholars. Two had left to take good-paying situations,
and the whole number now was thirty-six. There was room in the enlarged
dormitory for a dozen more, and space enough for them at the benches in
the shops.

A third class had been formed of the beginners; and, as they had been
under instruction for eight months, some of them had acquired
considerable skill in the use of tools. Another barge had been procured,
and the "green hands" had all learned to row, to swim, and a few of them
to handle a sailboat. The school was now larger than the one on the
other side of the lake. But the Chesterfields, after having been
defeated several times in their assaults upon the Beech Hillers, had
confined their attention more to their own affairs than formerly. They
were satisfied to give the barges of the "tinkers" a wide berth on the
lake; and the boating season closed without any more serious quarrels on
the water.

The Topovers had never accomplished anything by meddling with the
students on their side of the lake. A little discipline in one of the
courts had kept them at a distance for a time. When the fruit was ripe,
Mr. Brookbine's big dog became a terror to them; for the master
carpenter had built a house for him near the rear fence of the orchard,
and the animal understood his duty perfectly.

The call for the students after supper was unusual, and no one but the
members of the acting crew of the yacht knew what it meant; and even
they knew nothing of the plan they were to assist in carrying out. Since
the former season there had been some changes in the organization of the
students. Captain Gildrock was no longer the actual captain of the
Sylph, the beautiful steam yacht connected with the institution.

The position had been given to Dory Dornwood, and the students generally
sailed her without the interference of the principal or any of the
instructors. Mr. Jepson, the master-machinist, was no longer the chief
engineer, and was therefore at no time under the orders of any of the
juvenile officers. Corny Minkfield, who had served one season as first
assistant-engineer, had been promoted to the highest place, and the
second to the place thus made vacant.

Oscar Chester was the first pilot. He had been a diligent student in
the pilot-house, and knew the lake almost as well as the captain. All
the places had been filled after the first appointments in accordance
with the merits of the students, though of necessity "civil service"
rules prevailed, for the reason that the members of the ship's company
had become more skilful in the departments in which they had been
employed than in any other.

The only violent changes made were those which gave the cooks and
stewards a chance to learn seamanship or the management of the engine
and furnaces. As waiters they learned out in a few months, and even the
rather limited routine of cookery required on board was exhausted in the
same time. Old deck hands and firemen became stewards, while those who
had served in the fireroom and cabins were transferred to the deck.

The increase in the number of students allowed a very large force of
seamen, and the vessel was now heavily manned. Crews for the quarter
boats were appointed for permanent service, and four quartermasters were
added to the organization, who had regular tricks at the wheel in the
pilot-house under the direction of the first or second pilot.

Dory Dornwood had been in command of the steamer for the three months
at the close of the last season of navigation, and every Saturday he
exercised his ship's company in as long cruises us the length of Lake
Champlain would permit. Sometimes the principal was on board, and
sometimes he was not. If he had anything to say, he said it to Captain
Dory Dornwood; and the discipline was as perfect as though the steamer
had been in the navy.

In the beginning of Captain Dornwood's administration there had been
considerable difficulty. Boys from the country, or even from the city,
were not very prompt to see the necessity of obeying orders without
asking any questions. But as this was one of the principal lessons the
steam yacht was to impart to the pupils, there was no relaxation of the
discipline to accommodate those who were dilatory or rebellious.

If an officer was in the slightest degree disobedient to those above him
in rank, he was "broken" as soon as the case was proved to the
satisfaction of the principal. If the delinquent was a seaman,
under-steward, or fireman, he was relieved from further duty on board,
and required to stay on shore under the eye of the instructors, or of
Bates, the old salt, who obeyed orders as though they were all written
down in the constitution of the State.

As this was the severest punishment that could be inflicted upon any of
the students, it soon had its effect. Before the season closed, the
ship's company were as obedient to the new officers as they had ever
been when Captain Gildrock was in command. More than this, Dory was very
popular in the school; he was not unreasonable, snobbish, or tyrannical,
and never did violence to the self-respect of any of his shipmates.
After they had learned the trick of doing it, it was a pleasure to obey
orders.

The students assembled in the boat-house, and all eyes were fixed upon
Captain Dornwood, who was to have command of the expedition to Sandy
Point, for the operations on shore as well as those on board of the
Sylph.

"Perhaps I ought to call for volunteers for the work of to-night, for
some of you may not want to sit up so late as the business in hand may
require," the captain began, with a cheerful smile on his handsome face,
for his good looks had certainly improved in the last two years.

"All night if you like!" shouted Bob Swanton.

"The principal instructed me to say that the early bell will not be
rung to-morrow morning," continued Dory. "There will be a good deal of
hard work to be done, including some lifting, though there are enough of
us to make the task easy. These are the hardships of the trip; and if
any student prefers to stay at the school, he will be permitted to do
so. If there are any such they will please step forward."

Of course, there was not a single one who wished to be excused from
duty. The captain of the Sylph explained that they were to make a trip
up the lake by moonlight in the steamer, and do a smart job on the other
side. This was all he would tell them at that time, and he directed them
to put on their uniform.



CHAPTER VII.

AN EXPEDITION BY MOONLIGHT.


The Sylph lay at the new wharf, and as soon as the students had put on
their uniforms they went on board of her. Chief-engineer Minkfield was
directed to get up steam at once. Captain Dornwood ordered one of the
quarter boats to be lowered into the water and manned. Taking Thad
Glovering, the first officer, with him, he embarked.

At the order of the coxswain the bowman shoved off, and the oars were
dropped into the water. The boat was pulled up the little lake to the
stone quarries. Mr. Miker, the lessee of the quarries, had made good use
of some of the ideas of Bolly Millweed, the architect of the boat-house.
The _caisson_, on which the stone posts for the foundations of the
structure had been transported, had suggested to him the building of a
huge raft, or scow.

He called the craft a "gundalow," which appears to be a corruption of
gondola, though the affair bore but little resemblance to the airy boat
of the Venetians. It was fifty feet long and sixteen feet wide. It was
decked over and caulked, so that it was as tight as a ship on the ocean.
It had a stow-hole at each end; but these compartments were perfectly
tight, so that if any water flowed into them it could not get into the
large middle chamber upon which the craft depended for its power of
flotation.

When heavily loaded with stone, the deck was only a few inches above the
level of the water outside. Mr. Miker's principal market for the
production of the quarries was at Genverres, though he had sold a large
quantity of stone to be delivered in Burlington. In the centre of the
deck was a derrick, which was used as a mast when the gundalow went out
upon Lake Champlain. She was provided with a large, square sail, but it
could be used only when the wind was fair.

On her trips to Genverres she was poled by four or six men, and made
very slow progress. But Captain Gildrock had offered Mr. Miker the use
of the Sylph to tow her when he wished, for this was nothing but fun to
the ship's company, and, as it looked like business to them, they
enjoyed it more than mere sailing without a purpose.

The principal made no charge for the use of the steamer, and Mr. Miker
was grateful for the service rendered by the yacht and the students. The
gundalow was just the thing Captain Dornwood wanted for the operations
of the night. When the boat reached the quarry, the captain went on
board and measured it. But the derrick was in the way, and unless it
could be removed, the craft would be useless to him.

Returning to the boat, he proceeded farther up the creek, to a point
near Mr. Miker's house. Landing again, he found the quarryman in his
garden. He stated his business. Of course he could have the use of the
gundalow, and the derrick could be taken out of her. The man of stone
was enthusiastic to serve the students, and he did not even ask to what
use the craft was to be applied, though Dory volunteered the information
that the plan he was to carry out was approved by the principal.

Mr. Miker hastened to summon all his men, who lived near the quarries,
and by eight o'clock they were on the deck of the gundalow. But it was
no small undertaking to remove the derrick, for the mast was a very
heavy spar, and was stepped in the bottom of the scow.

The rigging and the long arm were taken from it, and then one of the
movable derricks used in the quarries was brought on deck, and guyed up
for work. With the aid of this machinery the mast was taken out, and
deposited on the shore. The mast-hole was covered with a tight scuttle
made for the purpose, and the gundalow was adapted to the business for
which she was to be used in the expedition to Sandy Point.

By this time it was nine o'clock, and the moon was just beginning to
cast its silvery light upon the still waters of the little lake. Captain
Dornwood promised to return the scow to the quarries before morning; but
Mr. Miker said he should not use her for a week, and the captain could
keep her as long as he wished.

"We shall want a lot of blocks, planks, and timbers, but we have plenty
of them on the school grounds, though we shall have to lug them a
considerable distance to put them on board of the gundalow," said
Captain Dornwood, as he was about to step into the boat.

"Hold on then, Dory! I have everything you can possibly want in that
line," interposed Mr. Miker. "The students have saved my men a vast deal
of hard work in towing the gundalow, and they will be glad to put all
the lumber you need on board of the scow."

"That we will!" exclaimed several of the men in the same breath.

"I don't want to give you and your men, who have been at work all day,
any unnecessary trouble," added Dory.

"No trouble at all!" protested the men, as they began to put the timbers
on board.

Dory was very grateful to them, and pointed out the kind of stuff he
wanted, including a large pile of rollers used in moving heavy blocks of
stone. In half an hour the gundalow was loaded with the materials Dory
had indicated. In the little time at his disposal, the energetic leader
of the enterprise had made a list of the material he was likely to
require. He had been at work, while the men were loading the blocks and
planks, with his pencil and paper, and had thought of several things
that were of prime importance.

"I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Miker, and I shall be still more so,
if you will lend us eight jack-screws, for we have not enough of them at
the shops," continued Dory.

"Are you going to move a meeting-house, Dory?" asked the quarryman,
laughing.

"We are going to do something of that sort," replied the leader of the
enterprise. "But I don't let on just yet."

"All right; you know what you are about every time, and it is best to
keep your mouth shut, in ease you should not succeed as well as you
expect. I have a dozen rather small jack-screws, and I will have all of
them put on the deck of the gundalow," added Mr. Miker, as he ordered
his men to bring them from a shanty where they were kept under lock and
key.

"I will see that everything is brought back again before morning," said
Dory, as he stepped into his boat, and gave the order to return to the
Sylph.

It was now nearly ten o'clock on as beautiful an evening as ever
gladdened the heart of any night wanderers. The full moon gave an
abundance of light, and the operations of the students could be as
readily conducted as in the day-time. Everything that would be needed,
with the exception of a few coils of rope, was on board of the gundalow.
A party was sent to the shops for them; and when these necessary
articles were obtained, the fasts were cast off, and the steamer stood
up to the quarries.

The gundalow had been so often towed by the Sylph, that the business was
perfectly understood. In a few moments more she was made fast to the
steamer by the double tow-lines, so that the awkward craft could be
steered even around a corner without any difficulty. Will Orwell, the
second officer, was detailed to take charge of a party of six on board
of the tow. But before the steamer got under way again, Captain Dornwood
called all hands together on the forward deck.

"Now we shall know what sort of a racket this is going to be," said Dick
Halifax, as they hastened to the place of meeting.

"No, you won't," replied Dick Short, to whom the remark was addressed.
"You won't know anything at all about it until we come to the work to be
done."

"Why don't he tell us what we are to do?" asked Dick. "I should like to
know something about it."

"It was a trick of Captain Gildrock to keep his business to himself, and
Dory takes after him. The principal thinks the fellows can obey orders
better when they don't know what is coming than they can when they
understand all about it. Every fellow thinks he knows best how to do
almost anything."

"I don't know but he is right. I never saw a horse tumble down in the
street, but every one of the crowd around him wanted to boss the job of
getting him on his feet again," added Dick.

"I have called you together, fellows, to say that it will be necessary
to keep as still as possible on the expedition of to-night;" said
Captain Dornwood, when the ship's company had all gathered on the
forward deck. "I don't know that a noise would defeat our plans, but I
am very much afraid it would cause us some trouble. I don't believe in
any yelling when we are on duty, but I fear it would make mischief
to-night. Please to observe this request in the strictest possible
manner."

"Where are we going, Captain Dornwood?" asked Bark Duxbury, one of the
new students.

"Going to work now," replied the captain with a smile. "All hands to
their stations."

The ship's company separated, and all the officers and seamen went to
the places where they belonged. Though no meals were to be served during
the night, so far as was known, the cooks went to the galley, and the
stewards to the forward cabin. The second officer, with his gang, went
on board of the gundalow, and at the order from the captain the pilot on
duty rang the bell to back her. By this movement the scow was hauled out
from the wharf, and the bell to go ahead was given.

Mr. Miker and some of his men stood on the shore watching the departure
of the expedition, and wondering what sort of a mission the students
were going upon at that time in the evening. But the Sylph and her tow
soon disappeared beyond the trees at the lower end of Beechwater. Dory
was on the hurricane deck, keeping a sharp lookout upon everything that
was done.

At the V-point the pilot slowed down without any order from the captain,
and the scow was switched around it without touching the mud. There was
now nothing to do outside of the engine-room and pilot-house; and the
crew gathered into companies in various parts of the deck to speculate
upon the nature of the expedition in which they were engaged. They
guessed a hundred things. The crew of the Goldwing were pretty sure they
were going to Sandy Point.

The Sylph was approaching the mouth of the river, and it would soon be
necessary for Captain Dornwood to say something. For, if the expedition
was bound to the northward, she would take that course as soon as she
came up with the point on that side of the river; if she was going to
the southward, she would have to keep her present course half a mile
farther out into the lake to avoid the shoals off Field's Bay.

Oscar Chester and Dick Short, the latter of whom had been promoted from
a deck-hand to the position of second pilot, were in the pilot-house. No
order came to alter the course at the north point, but a few minutes
later the captain entered the pilot-house.

"We are bound to Sandy Point," said he; and the head of the steamer was
turned to the southwest.

In less than half an hour, the Sylph was close in to the end of the
point, and Dory discovered Paul on the shore. The steamer was headed
into the bay, and the gundalow brought up to a point directly in front
of the cottage.



CHAPTER VIII.

A CHANGE OF LOCATION.


Both of the quarter boats of the Sylph were lowered into the water, and
a shore party landed with Captain Dornwood. The steamer was then left in
charge of the first pilot. The hands on board of the gundalow had poled
her up to the beach where she had grounded.

"I am glad to see you, Dory," said Paul Bristol, when the captain went
on shore. "It was so late that I was afraid you were not coming."

"We have plenty of time to do the job, for I don't think it will take us
a great while. Have you seen anything of the Chesterfields this
evening?"

"Not one of them has been near the point, so far as I know, and I don't
expect to see any of them. I suppose they are dreaming of the fun they
will have in pitching the cottage into the lake to-morrow afternoon,"
added Paul, with a cheerful smile. "But I don't see how you are going to
move the building, Dory."

"If you keep your eye on us sharp for an hour or so you will see,"
replied the leader of the enterprise, as he turned his attention to the
business before him.

After half an hour's hard work, the lumber, blocks, and rigging on the
deck of the scow were landed on the beach. With thirty pairs of hands
the work was not very hard, and they tossed the large sticks about as
though they had been nothing but chips. By this time they understood
what was to be done, and the students were full of enthusiasm. They were
required to work in silence; for though the Chesterfield school was all
of half a mile from Sandy Point, Dory was very anxious lest their
operations should be disturbed by the institute people.

Two heavy timbers were placed under the cottage; the jack-screws were
put in position under them, and the building raised from the posts which
supported it. A plankway was laid on the smooth sand, the posts were
removed, and the cottage set on rollers. The plankway was continued to
the water.

There was a considerable descent from the site of the cottage to the
water. Two heavy ropes were attached to the building, and passed around
a couple of large trees in the rear of it. The plankway was an inclined
plane, and it required but little force to start the cottage on its
journey. With a couple of turns around the trees, the hands stationed at
the check-lines easily controlled its movements, and slacked off only as
the captain gave the word.

In a few minutes the building was rolled down almost to the water. The
gundalow was aground on the shore end. Two heavy timbers were extended
from the deck to the beach and supported by blocks so that they would
bear the weight of the structure. These beams lay nearly level when they
were in position, and just reached the end of the plankway on shore. The
check-lines were eased off again when smooth bearings for the rollers
had been prepared.

When the cottage was about half on the timber-ways the force of gravity
was no longer available, and the building refused to budge another inch.
While Captain Dornwood was on the front of the structure, some twenty of
the students in the rear tried to push it toward the gundalow; but they
could not start it.

"Enough of that!" called Dory, as soon as he saw what they were doing.
"You are acting without orders, and wasting your strength for nothing."

"But the building sticks fast where it is," said Ben Ludlow.

"If you think you can push it ahead you are mistaken," added the
captain. "It has gone as far as I expected it to go of itself."

The two check-lines were then carried on board of the scow, and the
Sylph was backed up to her. The lines were made fast at the quarters of
the steamer. Dory stood on the after end of the gundalow, and, with a
boatswain's whistle, made a signal agreed upon with the pilot to go
ahead.

The lines stiffened and strained, and then the cottage began to move
again. The timber ways had been continued on the deck of the scow, and
the building moved very slowly until the captain gave a second signal
with the whistle.

The rollers were instantly blocked by hands under the direction of the
first officer. But the rear of the cottage just reached the stern of the
gundalow. At least half of the weight of the building rested upon the
sand at the bottom. The water deepened very rapidly near the shore on
the outside of the point, and it became necessary to handle the heavy
burden with the greatest care, for the forward end of the craft would
settle down as soon as the structure was moved any further, forming an
inclined plane, on which the cottage might roll overboard.

There were four iron rings at the stern of the scow, and check-lines
were extended from them to the structure. A double turn was taken in
each over a cleat, and hands placed at these ropes. The signal was again
given for the steamer to go ahead. The building moved a few feet
further, and the rollers were promptly chocked when the captain gave the
whistle to "stop her."

The cottage was not yet exactly in the middle of the deck, and another
movement was necessary. The bow of the scow settled down, but the
check-lines held the house firmly in position. The second move was so
well timed that it placed the building in exactly the right place.

The check-lines were belayed under the direction of the first officer,
while the second officer proceeded to fasten the cottage to the rings in
the bow of the scow. It was to remain on the rollers during the trip to
its destination, and Captain Dornwood made sure that it was secured
beyond the possibility of any accident.

All the spare hands were then ordered to the shore, Dory leading the
way. The lumber, jack-screws, blocks, and other material were put on the
scow, for there was still abundance of space forward and abaft the
house. Everything connected with the cottage was put on board.

"By the big wooden spoon!" exclaimed Paul, when the burden of the work
was done. "I didn't believe you could do it with a hundred men."

"We haven't finished the job yet," replied Dory, laughing.

"But I believe you can do all the rest of it," added Paul, filled with
admiration. "These students are good for something besides keeping bread
and meat from spoiling."

"They are good fellows," answered Dory, "but we have not quite finished
over here yet."

"You fellows might come over here some night and carry off the building
of the Chesterfield Collegiate Institute if you felt like it. I don't
see what more there is to do."

A lot of shovels, hoes, and iron rakes had been brought over on the
steamer, and these were now carried on shore. The post-holes under the
cottage were filled up, every particle of rubbish was removed, and the
ground raked over until every thing was as smooth as though no human
being had ever resided within a mile of the spot.

"By the big wooden spoon!" shouted Paul. "It looks just as it did when
we first came here."

"We will leave everything in good order and condition so that Major
Billcord shall have nothing to complain of," replied Dory. "Now make the
Dragon fast to the stern of the gundalow, and we will get under way. I
think you had better stay in the house to see that everything goes right
there."

"All right, Dory, I will do just as you say; but I don't believe you
have started a joint in the cottage. I went up to look at the chimney
with a lantern while you were shifting it, and there is not a crack in
it."

The chimney reached only from a beam to the ridge pole, and a couple of
feet above it, so that the brickwork had required no special
consideration. But the building had been subjected to no hard usage, and
no damage had been done to it. All the furniture remained just as it had
been for two years, and Mrs. Bristol might have kept house in it as well
as when it was stationary.

As soon as the ship's company were all on board of the steamer, or the
scow, the captain gave the word to go ahead. The tow-lines had been
adjusted before. The end of the gundalow, which was aground, grated a
little on the sand, but it came off without difficulty, and the Sylph
with her tow headed down the lake.

The officers of the steamer were so well accustomed to handling the
gundalow that no difficulty was experienced in getting the cottage to
its destination, which was to be at Hornet Point, near the outlet of the
creek into Beechwater. The location had been suggested by Dory, and
agreed to by Captain Gildrock. It was quite as pleasant a spot as the
former site of the cottage, and was but a short distance from the new
boat-house.

The plank and timber ways were laid down as they had been on the other
side of the lake, and the building was moved to the shore as readily as
it had been put on board of the gundalow. By two o'clock in the morning
it was in position on the posts upon which it had rested at Sandy Point.
The materials were all conveyed to the quarry, and the gundalow was left
at its usual moorings.

By this time most of the students were gaping fearfully, and were very
tired. Paul remained at the cottage and went to bed after the departure
of the Sylph. The ship's company were dismissed at the wharf, and before
half past two they were all asleep in the dormitory. Mrs. Bristol and
Lily were up early in the morning, and went out to walk by six o'clock.

After the departure of the students the night before in the steamer,
they had not heard a word about the cottage. They walked over to the
boat-house, where they found the principal, who was an early riser. The
cottage could not be seen from the boat-house, though it could from the
wharf. Bates was bringing up a boat in which the captain was going out
to inspect the operations of the night.

"Good morning, Mrs. Bristol; good morning, Miss Lily. You are up early,"
said the principal.

"But I don't see anything of the cottage," replied Mrs. Bristol, after
they had returned the pleasant salutations of the captain. "I did not
hear a sound in the night, and I suppose Dory was not able to carry out
the plans we talked about."

"They certainly did not make any noise about it; but if you and Miss
Lily will take a seat in this boat, we shall soon ascertain what has
been done," said the captain, as Bates brought one of the four-oar boats
to the landing steps.

The ladies seated themselves in the stern-sheets of the boat, and the
boatman pulled out into the lake. But he kept near the shore, and the
overhanging trees obstructed the view of Hornet Point. In a few
minutes, however, the boat was out far enough to afford its occupants a
view of the mouth of the creek.

"Why, there's the cottage!" exclaimed Lily. "It looks as though it had
stood there since it was built."

"The boys have done their work very well," added Captain Gildrock.

The party landed and walked up to the cottage. Not a particle of rubbish
had been left on the premises; not a plank or a block. Where the sand on
the beach had been disturbed it had been raked over, and everything
looked as neat as though the family had lived there for a year. They
went to the front door and the back door, but both were locked. Paul was
still fast asleep in his chamber, and they did not disturb him.



CHAPTER IX.

THE JANITOR OF THE BOAT-HOUSE.


Captain Gildrock was delighted with the skill and the industry which the
students had displayed in the removal of the cottage. It was not the
difficulty of the feat they had accomplished so much as the neat and
orderly as well as quiet manner in which the work had been done. Usually
boys cannot do anything without a great noise and not a little bluster.
But the Beach Hillers had not disturbed any one on either side of the
lake.

With the machinery at their command it was not a great achievement to
move a building no larger than the home of the Bristols across the lake.
The principal had as yet no report of the work, but, taking the
appearance of the cottage at Hornet Point as a specimen of the labor
done, nothing could be better.

"Everything seems to be in good order here, Mrs. Bristol," said Captain
Gildrock, when he had examined the cottage and its surroundings.

"I can't see for the life of me how the students brought the cottage
over here and put it on the posts just as it was before, and in the
night, too," added Mrs. Bristol.

"And everything is just as neat as wax-work," said Lily.

"Just beyond the quarries is what we call the lake road, which is the
boundary of my land on the east side. There is a driveway from it
through the quarries, near the shore of the creek. I shall continue this
road to Beechwater, which will carry it by the end of the cottage,"
continued Captain Gildrock, pointing out the locality. "By this road you
can go to the town without passing through the school-grounds, though
you are entirely welcome to use the latter."

"You are very kind, sir," replied Mrs. Bristol. "I am sure I have not
the slightest claim upon you for anything, and you have done more for me
already than all others. We shall be grateful to you as long as we
live."

"I think you are a very worthy woman, and I am very glad to be able to
serve you," replied the captain. "But I have come to the conclusion that
my mission in the world is to help others to help themselves. You have a
son and a daughter."

"And they are both able and willing to work," added the woman.

"So I have heard from my nephew; and I expect to put you in the way of
earning your living. In the first place what is to be done with your
son?"

"He will do any kind of work he can get to do--work in a store or on a
farm."

"If he goes into a store, he has about one chance in ten of becoming
something more than a counter-jumper on five dollars a week. But he
ought to learn a trade."

"I should be very glad to have him do so, but we are dependent upon him
just now for the means of living. When Lily had a place in Westport, she
received only a dollar a week besides her board; and sometimes Paul
could not make any more than that."

"I have a place for Paul. I want a janitor for the boat-house, for Bates
is getting rather too old to do such work. I will give your son a salary
of twenty dollars a month for the service."

"You are very kind, sir; that is more than we ever had to live on,"
replied Mrs. Bristol.

"But I think he had better join the school at the same time. We can make
a carpenter or a machinist of him; and if he prefers some other trade,
what he learns here will not come amiss. He can do his work in the
boat-house and be a member of the school at the same time, though he
will have to work some part of the day while the students are at play."

"Paul will be very glad to work and never play, for he has always been a
very good boy," added the devoted mother.

"Your daughter, you said, had worked at the millinery business, and
perhaps a place can be found for her in Genverres," continued the
captain, as he led the way back to the boat. "We will go to breakfast
now."

The family took their morning meal at the usual hour; but not a single
student had yet appeared on the grounds. The principal would not allow
them to be disturbed until nine o'clock, when the bell was rung in the
dormitory, though a few of the boys had turned out at this hour. At
half-past nine breakfast was served to them; and they all appeared to be
in as good condition as usual.

Paul was invited to join them, though he was to board at home as soon as
his mother was established in the cottage. By this time he was pretty
well acquainted with the students, and was very popular among them. The
story of his fight with Walk Billcord and his father had been told on
board of the Sylph on the passage to Sandy Point, and his prowess made
him a hero among the boys.

"Paul, did you take the tin box from the hollow of the tree?" asked Mrs.
Bristol, as her son was leaving the mansion with the rest of the
students, for Fatima Millweed had already entered his name on the roll.

"I never thought a word about it, mother," replied Paul, not a little
mortified at the neglect. "I was so busy and so anxious that it never
came into my head. But I will go over in the Dragon and get it right
off."

"But Captain Gildrock has a place for you as janitor of the boat-house,
and perhaps he cannot spare you," added Mrs. Bristol.

"Janitor of the boat-house!" exclaimed Paul, opening his eyes very wide.

"And your salary is to be twenty dollars a month," continued Mrs.
Bristol. "The captain says his mission is to help those who are willing
to help themselves. Besides this, you are to be one of the students, and
learn to be a carpenter or a machinist."

"One of the students!" almost screamed Paul.

"But you will have to work while the other students play, my son."

"By the big wooden spoon! I shall be willing to work all night if I can
learn what the other fellows learn," replied Paul.

His mother explained to him more fully the intentions of the principal,
and the son of toil was more delighted than if a fortune had suddenly
dropped into his lap. He knew all about the course of study at Beech
Hill, and thought it was the finest school in the world. He had long
wished that he might learn a trade, and he would have sought a place
with a carpenter before, but he would have to work for nothing at first,
and his mother needed the dollar or two a week he could earn.

"When will Paul begin his work as janitor?" asked Mrs. Bristol, as the
principal was passing them in the hall.

"At once, Mrs. Bristol. His wages shall begin to-day," replied Captain
Gildrock. "But if you want him at the cottage till you get settled we
can spare him, though he had better join his class to-day."

"I wanted him to go over to Sandy Point," continued Mrs. Bristol, who
then explained the errand upon which she proposed to send Paul. "The
tin box contains my wedding ring, my mother's gold ring, and a
two-dollar bill. I was afraid to keep them in the house, for rough
characters sometimes land at the point. I didn't think of the box till I
wanted the money to buy some provisions."

"But Paul would have to row ten miles to get the box," added the
principal. "This is a broken day, and we shall not do much in the school
or the shops, and he can go over in the Goldwing after the students are
dismissed. I will pay Paul's first month's wages in advance, for I am
sure you will want some money."

The good woman took the money under protest, though it was true that she
needed it. The gold rings were of more value to her than any sum of
money, and she hoped they would not be lost.

At ten o'clock the bell rung for the forenoon studies. Paul took a desk
assigned to him, and no other boy was ever more interested in a circus
than he was in the exercises of the school-room. As soon as the school
was assembled, Captain Gildrock took the platform and called upon the
leader of the moonlight expedition to report upon the action he had
taken.

Dory modestly related all the particulars of the trip to Sandy Point,
and the removal of the cottage, and warmly commended the ship's company
for the good order they had maintained, the promptness with which his
orders had been obeyed, and the quietness with which all had done their
duty.

The principal believed in giving reasonable commendation when it was
deserved, and he bestowed handsome praise upon them on this occasion.

When the boys came into the school-room, they noticed upon the wall in
the rear of the platform a large drawing which they had never seen
before. It consisted of three plans of a vessel. On a table was a model
of the hull of a craft of some sort, resting in a cradle. The students
had kept their eyes fixed on the drawings and the model most of the time
while they listened to the commendation of the principal and the report
of their leader.

They manifested a very strong interest in these things, and they were
likely soon to forget the operations of the night before. For six months
there had been a great deal of talk among them about building a boat,
and the project was a very attractive one to them. But up to the present
time nothing had officially been said or done about it. As soon as the
spring opened, they had been required to erect a sort of shop on the
very bank of the little lake, near the old wharf of the steamer.

This structure was seventy-five feet long, with plenty of windows, and
was entirely open on the water side. In accordance with the general
policy of the principal, its use had not been explained; but all the
students believed it was to contain the ways on which the boat was to be
built. It looked now as though the desired information in regard to the
building of the boat was to be communicated to them.

"I need not ask you if you have noticed these drawings, and this model
of a vessel," said Captain Gildrock, after he had finished what he had
to say about the moving of the cottage; "for you have been looking at
these things most of the time since you came into the school-room."

"Are we to begin on the boat to-day?" Lon Dorset asked; and he was one
of the new students, not yet thoroughly broken in with the customs of
the school.

"When I set you at work you will begin; not before. It always affords me
very great pleasure to answer sensible questions, boys, and I shall do
everything I can to encourage you to ask them; but I don't believe in
foolish questions. Such is the character of all questions relating to
what we are going to do. You are never required to do anything until an
order is given. Foolish questions take up as much time as sensible
ones."

Lon Dorset was somewhat abashed at the manner in which his inquiry had
been treated; but the principal knew that some of the boys would talk
all day about nothing, if permitted to do so; and the questions he
tolerated and encouraged were those which brought out real information,
and revealed the condition of the inquirer's mind.

"The building of the boat has been somewhat delayed on account of the
difficulty of obtaining suitable lumber," continued the principal. "A
load which came from Boston yesterday will enable us to make a
beginning."

Some of the new pupils were disposed to give three cheers.



CHAPTER X.

A LECTURE ON SHIP-BUILDING.


"We are not ship-builders, boys; in fact, there is not a ship-builder
connected with the school, and I do not intend to engage one even as an
instructor," said the principal, continuing his remarks on the platform.
"In the present depressed state of this important industry, perhaps it
is not advisable to devote much time to the study of scientific
construction in ship-building. It looks now as though the ships of the
future were to be of iron; and many vessels of this material are built
in this country at the present time.

"But perhaps ship-building is rather too ambitious a term to apply to
our intended operations. We shall build a boat of considerable size, and
while we are doing the work we shall learn what we can about
ship-building. Many years ago I built a ship for myself, and
superintended its construction from the keel to the trucks. In building
our boat we shall not put in every stick used in a ship.

"Did any of you ever tow a log in the water?" asked the principal,
pausing for a reply.

"I have," answered Leo Pownall, whose father owned a saw-mill. "I have
towed lots of them on the mill-pond."

"To which end of the log did you make fast?" inquired the captain.

"To either end; just as it came handy," replied the student.

"Then you sometimes did more work than was necessary with your oars. A
log tows easier when you make fast to the big end," continued the
principal, waiting for the pupils to digest the idea.

"I don't see what difference it can make," added Leo. "If anything, I
should say that the small end would open a passage through the water
more readily than the big end."

"I suppose none of you ever saw a whale, but most of you have caught
horn-pouts, or bullheads."

"I have seen a whale on exhibition in New York," interposed Luke
Bennington.

"What was the shape of his head?"

"The one I saw was round; but I have seen pictures of whales in which
the head was nearly square."

"How is it with the pout!"

"His mouth is about the widest part of him," laughed Alick Hartford.

"Take fishes in general, in what part of the body do you find the
greatest girt?" asked the principal.

"Just astern of the head," replied Kit Burlington.

"In some fishes, about one third of the length from the mouth," added
Bark Duxbury.

"Very good; you are about right, though some fishes vary from the
general rule. Now don't you think Nature made a mistake, Leo Pownall,
and that fishes ought to swim tail first instead of head first, as you
would tow a log?"

"I suppose God made the fishes all right; but He gave some of them very
sharp noses," returned the saw-mill owner's son.

"Corresponding to the shape of the butt of a log after it has been
felled; but the greatest girt is still near the head. This is the
general shape of the hull of a vessel."

"But the head of a sperm whale is almost square; and no other fish is
like him," added Phil Gawner.

"The whale is not a fish, Gawner. I have seen a school of porpoises
alongside an ocean steamer. Their greatest girt is one third of the
length from the head end; but they will swim past a fast steamer, and
make something like twenty knots an hour," said Captain Gildrock.

"I was trying to find the porpoise in Wood's Natural History the other
day; but there is no such fish in the book," added Sol Guilford.

"Where did you look?"

"In the volume about fishes."

"The porpoise is not a fish, and you would have found it in the volume
marked 'Mammalia,'" replied the principal with a smile.

"But isn't the porpoise a fish? He lives in the water."

"So do hippopotami; but they are not fishes. Whales, porpoises,
dolphins, seals, and some others, are mammals; that is, they suckle
their young as a cow does a calf. Properly they are not fishes, though
they are very often called so."

These were the kind of questions the captain believed in encouraging,
though they sometimes led the conversation out of the legitimate
channel. They elicited useful information; and he was careful not to let
the students wander too wide of the subject under discussion.

"I don't know now why a log or a fish goes best with the big end
ahead," said Leo Pownall.

"After the passage for a moving body in the water is opened, this fluid
follows its own laws, and seeks an equilibrium. As it moves back to its
natural level, it crowds in upon the after part of the body, whether it
be a log, a fish, or a ship, and thus pushes it ahead. Under the stern
of a vessel, the hull is curved, or hollowed out, just as the size of a
fish diminishes at the tail, which is the fish's rudder.

"But the shape of the hull is varied according to the use to which the
vessel is to be put; but the rule will hold good in the main. In
building a ship the beginning of the work is done on paper. As in
erecting a house, the first thing is to obtain the plans, which are made
by the naval architect. In fact, the entire shape of the vessel is laid
down on the drawing-board. From these the builder gets his dimensions,
all the curves, and the form of every timber and piece of wood used.

"On the drawing on the wall," continued the principal, taking the
pointer and indicating the plans, "everything is put down that can be
needed in the construction of the boat we intend to build. There are
three plans, you will observe. I had them drawn by a naval architect in
New York. This," and the principal pointed to the highest one on the
paper, "is the sheer plan. It shows the side or profile of the hull on a
flat surface. It looks just as the broadside of the Sylph would, if she
were too far off for you to get any idea of the curves in her sides.

"This plan gives the exact curve of the bow, and the exact slant of the
stern-post. The three straight lines extending the whole length of the
hull are the levels to which the water would stand if the vessel were
submerged to three different depths. This drawing is made on a scale of
one inch to a foot. The sheer plan is a vertical plane through the keel.
From it we get the length and height. The red lines which extend from
certain points at the bow to the lower part of the stern post indicate
the various curves of the hull at different distances from the vertical
plane of the keel. In other words, they are three vertical planes,
parallel with the central plane.

"The next plan, of the same length as the first, shows you one half of
the deck of the boat, and is called the half-breadth plan. All the plans
are on the same scale. The straight lines on the deck are the curved
lines of the sheer plan, or the tops of the several vertical planes.
This plan reversed would show the other side of the vessel.

"The third is the body plan, and exhibits a vertical section of the
hull, looking at it end-on, at the point where it has the greatest
breadth. The right-hand half of it shows the bows, and the left the
stern. The curved lines are the same as those on the sheer plan, though,
of course, they are shown only at the bow and stern, for you cannot see
a line when you look end-on.

"With the making of these plans the task of the naval architect comes to
an end, unless he is employed to superintend the construction of the
vessel. From the plans the builder gets the exact size and shape of the
craft he is to build. From it the moulds, or patterns, of all parts of
the hull are made. In an apartment called the moulding-room, with which
every ship-yard is provided, full-sized plans of the vessel are drawn on
the floor. I do not mean that the entire ship is drawn at the same time.

"If the bow or stern was accurately transferred to the floor, enlarged
to the actual size of the hull, the exact form of the stem or stern post
could be marked off. From this, a mould or pattern could be made of
board or plank. As a matter of fact, a mould is made for every part
used in the construction of the ship, not every piece of wood, for what
is used for one side may do just as well for the other side. For
example, a timber on one side is exactly like the one on the opposite
side.

"In ship-building, the word timber has two meanings. As in general use,
it may be any large stick of wood. In the technical sense, it is one of
the ribs of the vessel. The means of understanding which is meant will
be given you as you proceed with the work. The keel is the backbone of
the vessel, and the strength of the hull depends largely upon it.

"The keel corresponds with the backbone of your bodies. At the forward
end of it is the stem, shaped as you see in the sheer plan. At the after
end is the stern-post; and these three parts form the profile of the
vessel. Between them are the timbers, or ribs, curved as required by the
shape of the hull. To the timbers, the stem and stern-post, the
planking, or outer skin of the ship, is fastened. If you were to build a
canvas canoe, you would make a frame such as I have described. The cloth
part would correspond to the planking.

"But, besides the principal parts I have mentioned, of course there is
a vast number of other parts, whose names you could not remember if I
gave them to you. I shall add only a few of the principal ones. The
timbers--I use the word in its technical sense--are set up about three
feet apart, sometimes a little more, and sometimes a little less. The
lower end of each is fastened to the keel, and of course each timber has
to be shored up, and carefully secured in its proper position.

"The timbers are at right angles with the keel, and in large vessels are
formed of several pieces. Across the keel is laid the floor timber,
which is the connecting link between the pair of ribs. In the middle of
the ship, the floor is nearly flat; but near the stern-post the timbers
strike the keel at an acute angle, and in the same manner at a less
angle at the bows.

"Above the floor timbers is laid the keelson, which is a large and
strong timber a foot square or more in large vessels. These pieces are
fitted together, and bolted to the keel through the timbers. The sharp
angle at the stern is filled with solid wood. As you have seen, the
floor timbers are parts of the ribs," continued the principal, pointing
to a diagram of a full rib. "The next two sticks, forming the sharpest
bend in the timber, are the futtocks, above which are the top timbers
and the lengthening pieces. The plankshear is placed on the top of the
timbers, extending from bow to stern, even with the upper deck, if there
is more than one.

"Large ships have two, three, and even four decks. Fastened to the
timbers are pieces called shelves, upon which rest the beams or timbers
extending across the ship, upon which the decks are laid. In the
corners, where the beams join the ribs, are placed the knees (timbers
like brackets) in which the angle is formed by the natural growth of the
wood. Of course all these pieces are bolted together in the strongest
manner.

"The timbers next to the stem are the knight-heads. They extend upwards
higher than the tops of the other ribs, and assist in the support of the
bowsprit. In the keel, stem, and stern-post, a rabbet, or triangular
groove, is cut out, into which the planks are extended. The first course
of the planking, next to the keel, whether composed of one or many
pieces, is called the garboard streak. This word is often written
_strake_. The other word is more commonly used in this country.

"The next coarse above the garboard streak is the bilge streak, which
may consist of several widths of plank. Above there are the wales, and
still higher the shear streaks. Some of these terms are applied to the
parts of the ship as localities. The bilge is where the sharpest bend
comes in the hull; the wales are the sides near the load line.

"I have tried to give you a general view of ship-building, with a few of
the more important technical terms, some of which most of you have
learned before. As I have said, we shall not use all these pieces in
building the boat. For example, a false keel is put under the true keel
of a ship. It is a timber of the toughest wood, from four to six inches
thick, which is bolted to the keel after the keelson is secured. It is
but lightly fastened, for it is intended to come off, if the vessel
strikes a shoal, and thus allow the true keel to slide off. We shall not
need this addition, unless we require it to increase the depth of the
keel. In that case, it would be better to have the part corresponding to
the false keel made of lead or iron, and then it will serve as so much
ballast.

"On the table you see a wooden model of the boat we are to build. Its
form and size are exactly indicated by the three plans I have
explained. We are not ship-builders, only amateurs; and, while I shall
take pains to have you understand the theory and practice of the art, I
do not feel obliged to follow all the methods in use. So far as I know,
no such model as the one on the table was ever made before. As I shall
direct the construction of the boat, I shall do it in my own way, though
it may not be according to the accepted rules.

"I have kept you now longer than I intended, for, after the hard work
you did last night, and the very quiet and business-like way in which
you did it, I shall make the rest of the day a holiday. The Beech Hill
fleet is at your service, and you may spend the day in any proper manner
that you please. To-morrow afternoon we will dissect this model, and
give out the work of building the boat. In the meantime I shall be glad
to receive suggestions as to her name; but no student must send in more
than one name, for I wish you to have decided opinions."



CHAPTER XI.

ROUGH WATER ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN.


The wind was very fresh from the northwest on the lake, and its surface
was covered with white-caps. Above Split Rock Point the lake looked like
a sea of foam, and heavy waves rolled in upon the beach in Porter's Bay.
Even Beechwater was considerably agitated. Prudent mothers would have
thought it dangerous to go out upon the lake at such a time.

Apparently for the reason that the water was rough on Lake Champlain,
the students elected to have an excursion in the barges. The principal
did not object, for the boys had been trained to rough weather, and they
knew how to handle the boats in any sea that ever was stirred up on
fresh water, albeit the waves are often more perilous on large lakes
than on the ocean.

Oscar Chester was the coxswain of the Gildrock, and Thad Glovering of
the Winooski. The former was still used by the first class, and the
latter by the second. But the classes had been considerably changed,
and vacancies in the first had been filled from the second and from the
most advanced of the new pupils. The third class consisted mainly of new
scholars.

The twelve-oar barges each had a crew of thirteen, including the
coxswains. Nine of the third class were detailed for service in the new
eight-oar barge, and there was one who had no station in any boat. One
of the thirty-six students to which the school was now limited had been
taken sick, and returned to his home in the winter. He was from the far
South, and the climate was too severe for him. His place had not been
filled before the coming of Paul Bristol. He was to be a spare hand for
the present, and was to take the place of any one who was absent.

The eight-oar barge was the Marian, in honor of Dory's sister, and the
name had been given by the students. Paul had spoken to Dory about the
tin box in the hollow of the tree, and it had been arranged to visit
Sandy Point in the Goldwing: but when the students decided to go out in
the barges, the plan had been changed. Dick Short, though a first-rate
mechanic, and one of the best boatmen in the fleet, had been transferred
to the third class because he was deficient in some of his book
studies, and could not keep up with his class-mates.

Dick had been elected coxswain in the Marian. Dory had trained the new
crew, but he declined to be the chief in the boat. He pulled the stroke
oar, though he exchanged places with the coxswain when the boys were in
training. The crew of the Marian generally manned the Goldwing, though
the schooner was often used by other parties.

A lunch had been put up for each of the crews of the barges, and they
were expected to be absent all the rest of the day. Sometimes Captain
Gildrock was called by business or pleasure to visit Burlington,
Plattsburgh, or other places on the lake, when the students were at
their studies, or off in the barges. At such times he was his own pilot,
Mr. Jepson was the engineer when not instructing in the shop or
drawing-room, Bates was deck-hand, and Collins, the gardener, was the
fireman.

Before the students were dismissed from the school-room, steam was up on
the Sylph, and the barges had hardly departed before she left the wharf.
If she had any particular destination, it was unknown to most of the
students; and possibly the principal desired to take a view of Sandy
Point after the event of the preceding night.

It was half-past eleven when the barges backed out of the boat-house.
Paul was seated in the stern-sheets of the Marian. He had not yet been
trained to pull with the crew, though he would have gladly taken an oar.
On the present occasion his mission related to business. While they were
at breakfast, Lily had spoken to him about a valise she had been obliged
to leave at the house of her former employer in Westport. Paul had
promised to get it when he could.

The Marian led the way down the creek into the river, and then out into
the lake. The other barges followed at a respectful distance, and their
crews did not seem to be inclined to engage in any scrub races. The
speed of the eight-oar boat had not yet been tested, and it had always
been taken for granted that either of the other barges could beat her
without half trying. But it was no time to indulge in a race when the
water was so rough.

The waves were dashing smartly over the point at the mouth of Beaver
River, and the bow of the Marian was lifted up in the air as she plunged
in among the white-caps. Dick Short got the hang of the waves as soon as
they struck the boat. Paul thought it was about as rough a time as he
had ever seen on the lake during the season of navigation; but he had
never been in the barge before, and everything was new to him.

"By the big wooden spoon!" exclaimed the passenger, when the Marian was
in the thickest of the miniature billows, and the water was occasionally
slopping in over the bow. "Don't you expect you will all get drowned?"

"You can't tell about that," replied the coxswain, who felt as much at
home in the boat as he would in the school-room. "We are not prophets,
and we can't tell what is going to happen."

"Don't you think it is dangerous to come out here when the lake is
boiling after this sort?" asked Paul, as he looked at the angry waves
around him.

"I suppose it is. There is always water enough in the lake to drown the
whole of us," answered Dick Short, who was rather inclined to work upon
the fears of a timid voyager.

"Then what do you come out here for?"

"For fun."

"Is there any fun in being drowned, Dick Short?" asked Paul seriously,
as he glanced at Dory, whose face was as calm as the minister's on
Sunday.

"Any fun in being drowned? How should I know? I never tried it,"
returned the coxswain.

"But don't you think it is dangerous to be out here in such a blow?"
Paul insisted; and he really believed he was in peril.

"Of course it is."

"Then don't you think you had better put back into the river?"

"But it is dangerous in there," added Dick. "Suppose a tree should blow
down and kill every fellow in the boat? Suppose the sea-serpent should
be having a vacation up Beaver River, and take it into his head to
swallow us all, one at a time? Suppose the river should catch fire and
burn us all up? Suppose the sky should fall, as Chicken Little said it
would, and smash us all to jelly?"

"You are making fun of me, Dick," said Paul, laughing.

"The principal says it is useless to worry about anything. We do the
best we can with the boat; and if she spills us into the fluid, all we
have to do is to get out if we can."

"I think I can stand it as well as any of the rest of the fellows can,
and I don't mean to worry," returned Paul. "I never was out on the lake
when it was anything near as rough as it is to-day, and it looks
dangerous to me."

"If you don't feel right about it, we will put you ashore," added the
coxswain.

"I am not scared; I can stand it as well as the rest of you. I was only
asking about it for information," continued Paul.

"I don't believe you are scared; if you had pluck enough to stand up
against Walk Billcord and his father, I don't believe you will mind a
little ripple on the lake like this," replied Dick, laughing.

"You said it was dangerous."

"Well, an ox-team is dangerous if you let the beasts run off a
precipice. It is dangerous to go to bed, for the house may burn up
before morning."

"We don't think we are in any more danger here, Paul, than we are every
hour of the day on shore," added Dory. "Dick could upset the boat, and
spill us all into the drink, if he did not understand his business and
attend to it."

"All right; I am satisfied," replied the son of toil. "But I thought you
were going up to Sandy Point."

"So we are; but the direct course would be about southwest, and that
would put us into the trough of the sea and keep us rolling the gunwale
under all the time," replied Dick. "The principal don't allow the
fellows to be reckless. There comes the Sylph out of the river, and
Captain Gildrock is on board of her. If he should see me letting the
barge wallow about in the trough of the sea, when there is no need of
it, he would give me fits."

"We could go direct to Sandy Point, though at a little risk. We should
take in a good deal of water, and it would be uncomfortable," said Dory.
"In a small boat in a blow, or in a squall, the safe way is to keep her
head up to the sea."

"The other boats are following us."

"The coxswain of each can do as he pleases; but the fellows all know
there is no fun in being knocked about in the trough of a smart sea,"
added the coxswain. "Do you expect to find any one at the point when we
get there, Paul?"

"No; it isn't twelve o'clock yet. The Chesterfields are in school from
eight to one, and then go to dinner. They won't get away from the house
before two," replied Paul. "I don't believe any one at the school has
any idea of what was done at the point last night."

"I should like to be where I could see them when they get to the point,
and find that the cottage is missing," added Dick, chuckling. "Major
Billcord will be the maddest man in the State of New York when he finds
it is gone."

"Of course he will be. He don't care anything about the land over there,
and all he wanted was to punish us for resisting his saintly son."

"I don't believe it will be safe for you to show your head in Westport
again, Paul, or let any of the Chesterfields see you."

"Land me in Westport and see," laughed Paul.

Dick agreed to do so.



CHAPTER XII.

A SAILBOAT IN THE TROUGH OF THE SEA.


When the Marian was half-way across the lake, the waves began to
diminish in force; and within an eighth of a mile of the high shore the
water was comparatively smooth. The barge was then headed to the
southwest, and had a quiet time of it till she reached Sandy Point. The
Gildrock and the Winooski had followed her, and were now about an eighth
of a mile astern of her.

Dory Dornwood was very popular with all the students, not because he was
the nephew of the principal, but on account of his fairness, his pluck,
and his good judgment. Though Captain Gildrock believed and trusted in
him, no one could accuse him of partiality. Perhaps the coxswains of the
two twelve-oar barges, who knew that Dory was on board of the Marian,
considered it wise and prudent to follow the lead of the eight-oar barge
for this reason.

On shore everything was as silent as the tomb. At Sandy Point, Paul
looked with deep interest for the appearance of any person in the
vicinity of the site where the cottage had stood. It was possible that
Major Billcord had sent one of his men from Westport to ascertain what
the Bristol family intended to do about the removal of the cottage or
the furniture which it contained; but Paul could see no one.

"It looks as though the coast was clear," said he, when he had completed
his survey of the point and the woods in the rear. "I don't believe any
one has been here since we left last night."

"Major Billcord must have regarded it as utterly impossible for your
mother or you to do anything more than remove some of your furniture,"
added Dory. "I am sure he did not think of such a thing as your taking
the cottage away; and I don't believe he would have considered it
possible for the Beech Hillers to do such a job. Probably he did not
count us in, or think of us at all."

"It was lucky for my mother that you came along in the Goldwing as you
did, for you have saved her all she had in the world," said Paul, with
enthusiasm.

"Now, where is the tin box in the hollow of a tree?" asked Dick Short,
as the barge approached the entrance to Sandy Bay.

"The tree is near the neck, and I had to climb up about ten feet to
reach the hollow in which the tin box was put," replied Paul. "As the
Chesterfields are expecting to have a big time in dumping the cottage
into the lake, this afternoon, they may come up early. I have no doubt
they will pull around here in their boats."

"Then I think we had better get away from the point as soon as
possible," replied the coxswain. "We don't want to get into any row with
them."

"I suppose you are not afraid of them," added Paul, laughing.

"I don't think we are, and most of the fellows wouldn't enjoy anything
better than a skirmish with them," replied Dick Short. "But the student
that does anything to bring on a row with them would be out of favor
with the principal, and might have to spend a few days in the brig for
it."

Paul had never heard of the brig, and Dick described the strong-room, or
black hole, to him. The brig is the place of confinement, or prison, on
board ships of war, and the principal had such an apartment in the
dormitory. But there had been very little use for it since the earlier
days of the school, and not half a dozen of the students had ever seen
the inside of it.

"I don't see any of the Chesterfield boats," added Paul, as he looked
along the shore. "By the big wooden spoon! Isn't the lake stirred up
ahead of us!"

"The wind has full sweep across North West Bay, where the lake is four
miles wide. It looks decidedly foamy over in Button Bay," replied Dick
Short.

"By the big wooden spoon!" repeated Paul, as he rose in his seat in the
stern-sheets.

"Sit down, Paul," said the coxswain, rather sharply. "We don't allow any
fellow to stand up in this boat when he gets excited. What is the matter
now?"

"There is a sailboat over there, and she looks as though she was tipping
over!" exclaimed Paul, dropping into his seat.

"She is over, as true as you live," added Dick, rather louder than he
usually spoke, but with hardly more excitement, so thoroughly had the
students been trained to keep cool in emergencies.

At the same time he glanced at his crew; but not one of them had turned
around to obtain a view of the event described by Paul and the
coxswain, for they had been schooled to keep their eyes on the officer
of the boat. The crew took more pride in observing this general order
than almost any other.

Dick Short gazed with all his might at the struggling sailboat, for a
moment, but he seemed to be in doubt, for the craft was at least a mile
distant. Besides himself, no one but Paul, whose judgment in regard to
the management of a sailboat was not to be relied upon, had even glanced
in the direction indicated.

"Stand by to toss!" called Dick. "Toss!"

At the last word the crew brought their oars to a perpendicular.

"Now you can look, and I wish you would do so," continued the coxswain,
as he fixed his own gaze upon the sail, which was dead to leeward, and
some distance south of Button Island.

The students were glad enough of the permission, for they had as much
curiosity, and were as much disposed to get excited, as the average of
boys. They gazed with all their eyes at the sail in the distance.

"What do you think of it, Dory?" asked Dick Short.

"I should say that sailboat is half full of water, and that the skipper
has lost his head," replied Dory, after he had taken in the situation.
"She is rolling in the trough of the sea, and they seem to be trying to
take in sail."

All the crew gazed in silence at the sailboat; but no one of them
ventured to give an opinion, if he had any, in relation to the disaster.
Dory had more experience in sailing a boat than any other student, and
perhaps they were not inclined to speak in the presence of an expert.
But Dick Short was an excellent boatman, and he deferred only to the
skipper of the Goldwing.

"She must be rolling the water into her all the time, and she may go to
the bottom at any moment," added the coxswain, whose opinion coincided
with that of Dory. "We must go to their assistance at once."

Dory indicated his assent to this proposition only by a nod of his head,
for he did not like to appear before the crew to be even an adviser of
the coxswain.

"Ready!" called Dick; at which every member of the crew at the oars
fixed his eyes upon the officer.

"Let fall!" and all the blades dropped into the water. "Give way!" and
the rowers bent to their oars.

The Marian was headed towards the disabled sailboat, and in a few
moments she was going at full speed. The coxswain did not hurry the
oarsmen, for he knew better than to exhaust them before the hard work
came on. The lake was comparatively smooth under the lee of the land,
but in a few minutes they would be in the boiling waves of the broad
bay.

"Have you seen anything of the Sylph?" asked Dory of the coxswain.

"She went up the lake when we crossed to the west shore," replied Dick.
"The last I saw of her she was off Scotch Bonnet. I think the principal
has gone up to Port Henry to order a barge-load of coal, for I heard him
tell Mr. Jepson he should do so soon."

"Then by this time he is too far off to see that sailboat," added Dory.

"He couldn't do much if he did see it, for he has not hands enough to
handle the steamer and man a boat," said Dick.

"He would manage to render all the assistance needed if he saw the
boat," replied Dory, with a smile; for he could not conceive of such a
thing as his uncle failing in any duty in an emergency. "He could put
the sailboat under the lee of the Sylph, and take every person out of
her."

"Of course he would do all he could, and he would save the people at all
hazards," continued Dick, still straining his vision to get a better
idea of the situation of the sailboat. "But how about the tin box in the
hollow of the tree, Paul?"

"I shall have time enough to get that before the fellows go to the point
to tip the cottage over into the lake," replied Paul. "This boat begins
to leap like a greyhound chasing a rabbit."

"The boat will do very well as long as we can keep her end-on to the
sea," added Dory, who thought the new pupil might be alarmed when the
barge got into the worst of it. "But remember that you are to do nothing
without orders from the coxswain. Simply keep your seat and look out for
yourself."

"I think I can stand it as long as the rest of you," replied Paul, with
a cheerful smile. "I won't meddle with anything till I am told to do
so."

"The Gildrock and the Winooski are following us, and the fellows are
putting in the heavy strokes," said Dory.

"Are they gaining on us?" asked Dick.

"I think not."

The sea was very heavy ahead of the Marian, but the waves were not like
those of the ocean. They were shorter and more "choppy." But the boats
made tolerably good weather among them. In a smart sea, speed is
desirable; and it is the element in the progress of the boat which
insures safety. At such a time there are two forces acting, the
propelling power of the boat and the action of the waves. In heavy
weather there is a struggle between the two forces. In the case of the
sailing craft, the waves had got the better of the boat.

With the three barges, the advantage was on the side of the boats. They
went ahead fast enough to keep the upper hand of the waves.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE DISASTER TO THE SILVER MOON.


The stout students at the oars of the Marian drove the barge ahead,
helped somewhat by the wind, so that the great billows seemed to have no
effect upon her. In a few minutes she was in the midst of the heaviest
of the waves. Sometimes she trembled and shook, but she did not yield
sensibly to the power which was opposed to her.

"I think that is Tom Bissell's boat," said Paul Bristol, who was
watching the craft in trouble very attentively. "When I went to see my
sister in Westport, about a month ago, she was sewing a full moon into a
blue flag."

"A full moon?" queried Dick.

"It was a round piece of white stuff, and it looked like a full moon."

"She has a burgee with a white circle on a blue ground," added Dick.
"Then that must be Tom Bissell's boat?"

"She is a sloop as big as the Goldwing," continued Paul.

"Who is Tom Bissell?" asked the coxswain.

"He runs a store in Westport, and his wife keeps a millinery shop in the
same building. My sister worked for them," replied Paul.

"Does he know how to handle a sailboat?"

"He thinks he does, and most people believe he does."

"Perhaps he does, and has met with some accident to his sail or
rigging," added Dick. "I believe there are some ladies in the boat."

"I shouldn't wonder, for his wife is as fond of sailing as he is; and
sometimes he takes out the girls that work for them," said Paul.

"The sloop is in the trough of the sea, rolling very badly. She is
having a rough time of it," continued Dick, as the Marian came near
enough for him to see the position of the craft.

"I am very sure that is the Silver Moon," added Paul.

"If it is, it looks like a wet moon, as Bates calls it, when he looks to
the silvery orb for the state of the weather," said Dick.

The waves were certainly having it all their own way so far as the
Silver Moon was concerned. The peak of the mainsail had been dropped,
and the main sheet had run out so that the boom stood at right angles
with the keel. Either the halyards were foul, or the rudder had given
out, or she was suffering from both of these mishaps. As the sloop
rolled with a heavy jerk in the violent seas, the ladies screamed as
though they expected each movement would send them to the bottom.

The craft contained six ladies and one man. The latter was baling out
the boat with a bucket, and was working with all his might. He had pluck
enough; but the sloop seemed to be dipping up more water than he could
possibly throw out, though he had doubtless delayed a little the
catastrophe which awaited him.

[Illustration: "The craft contained six ladies and one man."--Page 137.]

Dick looked back at the other barges, and he was confident that they had
not gained even a length upon the Marian since they all started for the
craft in peril. He had not driven his crew, though he had kept them at
work briskly. In the barge fleet, Oscar Chester, as coxswain of the
senior boat, as the Gildrock was ranked, was the acting commodore. When
the barges were within hail of each other, he was in command of the
fleet. If the Winooski and Marian were within hail, the command devolved
upon Thad Glovering.

As long as the other barges were as far off as at present, Dick Short
was in full command. He could use such measures as he thought best, but
the coxswain of either of the other boats could take the management of
the affair into his own hands, if he chose to do so. As the Marian
approached the sloop, Dick quickened the movements of his crew, for he
desired to take some action before he was superseded in the command.

The Silver Moon was headed to the northeast, and lay in the trough of
the sea. She was rolling like a round log in the heavy waves. She had
settled down deep in the water, and behaved like a stick of wood. The
skipper was doing nothing at all to combat with the waves. As there was
no power exerted to force the boat ahead, she had no steerage way, and
the rudder was as useless as the spare tiller.

The Marian went as closely astern of the Silver Moon as she could
without fouling the port oars. The moment they were clear of the hull of
the sloop it was time to execute the difficult manoeuvre of the
occasion. In coming entirely about it was necessary to put the barge in
the trough of the sea for an instant, and this was the dangerous point.

But Dick Short had decided to pass this point of danger as nearly under
the lee of the Silver Moon as he could. The water on the starboard of
the sloop was a trifle smoother for a couple of fathoms. It required a
nice measurement of distances with the eye to handle the boat, and a
prompt obedience of orders on the part of the crew.

"Port side! Stand by to lay on your oars!" called the coxswain, when the
Marian was astern of the sloop. "Oars!" he added, as soon as the last
blade on the port was clear of the hull. "On the starboard, give way
lively!"

The effect of the first stroke of the starboard oars, after the order
was given, was to throw the head of the barge to port. A few more pulls
brought the boat into the trough of the sea; but it remained in that
position only an instant.

"Port oars!" continued Dick. "Hold water! Stern all!"

The port oarsmen backed water as the starboard rowers gathered up their
blades, so that no confusion occurred, and in less than half a minute
the Marian was headed up to the sea, with her stem within a few feet of
the sloop.

"On the port, oars!" At this command, the oarsmen indicated lay upon
their oars again, and seemed as unmoved as though they had been in the
school-room, and not one of them looked behind him.

All the crew had obtained a single glance at the interior of the Silver
Moon the moment before the barge began to swing around; but this was all
they knew about the sloop, except what they had heard the coxswain say.

"Stand by, all, to lay on your oars!" called Dick, as coolly as though
nothing was the matter with the Silver Moon, and her passengers were in
a frolic rather than in mortal peril. "Oars!" And every blade was poised
and feathered on a level above the water.

"Bowman, stand by with the boat-hook!" continued Dick. "One stroke! Give
way!"

This single stroke brought the bow up near enough to the sloop to enable
the bowman to fasten the boat-hook to the gunwale of the helpless craft.
The crew lay upon their oars, ready to obey the next order, but not one
of them manifested the slightest interest in the Silver Moon, so far as
any look or movement was concerned. Paul Bristol was excited and uneasy,
and once he was on the point of standing up to get a better view of the
interior of the sloop. But he remembered the order of the coxswain in
season to restrain himself.

"On board the Silver Moon!" shouted the coxswain, but not louder than
was necessary to make the skipper hear him above the noise of the wind
and the water. "What is the matter?"

"I miss-stayed in going about, and shipped a sea. The boat is half full
of water, and I can't do anything with her," replied Bissell, in tones
which indicated that he was in utter despair. "The girls are frightened
out of their wits, and the water comes in faster than I can get it out."

"Do you want assistance?" asked the coxswain.

"Of course I do!" exclaimed the skipper. "We shall all go to the bottom
in a few minutes, for there is a good deal of ballast in the boat."

"All right! We will stand by you," replied Dick.

"Can't you do something more than that?" demanded Bissell, in shaky
tones.

"I will send two hands on board to assist you," added Dick. "Dory, you
will go on board of the Silver Moon. Take any one you please with you,
and report what you think should be done."

"As Paul Bristol is of the least use in the barge, I will take him,"
replied Dory, as he unshipped his oar.

"He is not the best boatman on board," added the coxswain.

"If he will only obey orders, that is all I want of him," answered
Dory, as he made his way to the bow of the barge.

A standing order to all hands was never to stand up in a boat when it
could possibly be avoided, and Dory crawled on all fours, from thwart to
thwart, between the oarsmen. He was followed by Paul, in the same safe
though undignified manner, for he thought it was not derogatory to
follow the example of the skipper of the Goldwing. The bowman hauled the
boat up so that the two hands could get on board of her.

Just at that moment all the girls screamed, or, as Paul expressed it,
"squealed," and the lee side of the Silver Moon rolled under, taking in
a barrel or two of water.

"We shall all be drowned!" shrieked one of the ladies, as they all
sprang out of their seats and rushed over to the weather side, throwing
the boat out of trim so that she took in another barrel of water over
the port side.

"She won't sink yet, ladies, unless you sink her," said Dory, rather
sharply. "Three of you on each side, and don't move for your lives. You
will certainly swamp the boat if you don't keep still. Don't one of you
move again without orders."

"That's what's the matter," said the skipper. "I can't keep them
still."

"They must keep still," added Dory with emphasis.

Just at that moment came another roll, and Dory told Paul to stand in
the middle of the boat, and allow none of the passengers to move. He
took position near him, and together they kept the ladies quiet, and
very little water was taken aboard.

"I am about used up," said Bissell, who was still baling with all his
might, though he was nearly exhausted. "I have been throwing out the
water for more than an hour."

"You might as well try to bail out Lake Champlain as this boat, while
she lies in her present position. The water comes in faster than you can
throw it out," said Dory. "Here come our other barges. Don't be alarmed,
ladies. Even if the boat sinks, we can save every one of you. Do as you
are told, and you shall be made comfortable in a few minutes."

Oscar Chester put the Gildrock about with consummate skill, though the
barge shipped some water during the manoeuvre. Thad Glovering did quite
as well in the Winooski. In a few moments, the three barges had brought
their bows up to the water-logged sloop. The oars were trailed, and
bunters put over the sides to prevent the boats from grinding against
each other. The Silver Moon smoothed the water for them a little, and
they rode very easily on the swell.

Dick Short reported to the acting commodore what he had done, and Oscar
said he should not interfere. At this time, Dory reported the condition
of the sloop, and advised that two of the six ladies be taken into each
barge. With great difficulty, on account of the uneasy motion of the
boats, the passengers were transferred to the stern-sheets of the
barges. They were all wet through, but the commodore would not allow the
boats to leave the scene of the disaster until the safety of the Silver
Moon was assured.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE WORK OF AN INCOMPETENT SKIPPER.


The removal of the six ladies made the Silver Moon a little more
buoyant; but she was in hardly less peril than before, for she rolled
even worse than when her passengers were on board. Dory formed a very
unfavorable opinion of the seamanship of Bissell almost as soon as he
had put his foot over the gunwale of the sloop. Nothing at all was the
matter with the Silver Moon. Her rudder was not disabled, and the
halyards on the mainsail were in working condition. The craft had lost
nothing, but the skipper had lost his head.

But the Beech Hiller did not utter a word of rebuke, or even a critical
comment on the management of the sloop. He saw how it was, and
understood the situation perfectly, but he did not feel called upon to
censure the action which had been taken, or the steps which had been
neglected. The craft was in the trough of the sea, and half full of
water. He looked about him, and discovered a pair of oars stowed away
under the seats in the large room.

"As you are tired out, Mr. Bissell, Paul will bale for a while till you
get rested," said Dory, as soon as the passengers had been transferred
to the barges, and without any of the delay indicated by the printed
page.

"I can do that first-rate," replied Paul, who had wondered what he could
do in a sailboat, in the management of which he was comparatively
ignorant.

Paul took the bucket; and it is safe to say that he threw out more water
than the skipper could have done in his exhausted condition. But the
baling appeared to have little or no effect on the large quantity of
water in the standing room.

"I am about tuckered out, but what do you think I had better do?" asked
the skipper, as he gave up the bucket to the fresh hand.

"I think you had better rest yourself," replied Dory, as he drew out the
oars from under the seats. "I will look out for the boat, and I think
she will come out of the scrape all right."

"What are you going to do? Do you mean to row her over to Westport?"
asked Bissell, panting with his last exertions.

"No; I don't think we should make much trying to row this boat nearly
four miles against a head sea," answered Dory.

"But you can't land over on this side of the lake. Just see the waves
breaking on the shore in Button Bay. The Silver Moon would be smashed
into a thousand pieces," protested the skipper.

"Of course we can't make a landing on a lee shore in this weather,"
answered Dory, as he went forward.

Bissell could not make anything of Dory, and he looked at him only to
wonder what he was going to do. The skipper had always believed that he
knew all about sailing a boat; and in a moderate, or even a fresh
breeze, he could do very well when everything went along smoothly. But
he had never been trained, as the students at Beech Hill had, for
seasons of emergency.

The Silver Moon miss-stayed probably because she had not a "good full,"
had fallen off into the trough of the sea, and rolled herself half full
of water before the skipper thought of doing anything to overcome the
difficulty. Under these trying circumstances, he was not instructed
either by precept or actual trial what to do.

The throat halyard of the sail, Dory found when he went forward, had
not been cast off. He got hold of the peak halyard and hauled on it till
he got a good set on the mainsail.

"What are you about?" cried Bissell. "You will upset her as sure as you
live! I let that part of the sail down because it blowed so hard. I was
going to lower the whole sail, but I hadn't time. I was afraid the boat
would sink if I didn't bale with all my might."

Dory secured the peak halyard without paying any attention to the shout
of the skipper. When he had put on the half hitch, he went aft again.

"Let the sail down just as quick as you can!" yelled Bissell.

"I think not," replied Dory quietly.

"If you don't, I shall lower it myself. I can't stand this!" added the
frightened skipper.

"This boat belongs to you, Mr. Bissell, and you can do what you please
with her, and I shall not quarrel with you about it. If you don't want
any assistance, Paul and I will return to the barge."

"But I don't want anybody to sink her," protested the skipper.

"I shall not sink her; but it is all nonsense to think of baling her out
while she is in the trough of the sea, shipping water as fast or faster
than you can throw it out. I am not willing that Paul should wear
himself out for nothing."

"That's the only way to keep her from sinking."

"You have a perfect right to your own opinion, as I have to mine. I am
confident that I can get the sloop out of this scrape, if you will allow
me to do it; if not, Paul and I will return to the barges."

"But I want you to help bale out the boat. She will sink if the water
rises any higher in her," the skipper insisted.

At that moment, a heavier wave than usual struck her, and rolled the
boat over till she took in at least a barrel of water. Bissell sprang
from his seat as though he expected the Silver Moon to go to the bottom
at that instant. But she did not sink, though her floating power seemed
to be very nearly exhausted.

"Do you see that?" demanded the skipper, as though he regarded the water
just shipped as a triumphant vindication of his opinion.

"I see it; and I should say she will go down after she has done that
thing once or twice more," replied Dory calmly. "Say quick whether I am
to get the sloop under way, or whether I am to leave her! Do as you
please about it. The barges will save you when she sinks."

"I will see what you are going to do," replied Bissell doggedly; and he
was by no means convinced, though he was satisfied that he could do
nothing alone to save the craft.

Dory made no reply, for he was rather disgusted with the obstinacy and
nautical ignorance of the skipper. Taking one of the oars in his hand,
he went to the side of the boat and hailed the commodore of the
barge-fleet.

"I am going to get under way now, for there is nothing the matter with
the boat," said Dory.

"All right, Dory," replied Oscar, as he looked about him to determine
the best way to separate the barges, and get them clear of the Silver
Moon.

They were all lying close together, the Gildrock being nearest to the
bow of the sloop. The commodore ordered the Winooski to cast off first.
With her port oars she kept her head up to the sea till those on the
other side of the boat were clear of the Marian, which was next to her.
When her twelve oars were in the water, the boys backed her clear of the
other boats, and then the crew were ordered to lay on their oars. In the
same manner the other two boats backed into safe positions. The barges
pitched tremendously, and the ladies were inclined to "squeal." When any
of them attempted to stand up, the gallant coxswains pulled them back
into their seats.

"Are they going to quit us?" asked Bissell, as he looked with something
like dismay upon the movements of the barges.

"We could not get the sloop under way with all those boats hanging to
her," replied Dory. "They will be here quick enough if they are wanted.
But we are not going to ship any more water; we shall leave the rest of
it in the lake."

"I don't see how you are going to help taking in all the water that
rolls in," growled the skipper.

"If you keep your eyes wide open tight for one minute more, I will show
you that the Silver Moon is the mistress of the situation, and Lake
Champlain will have to stay out in the cold," replied Dory, as he
shipped his oar between a couple of thole-pins on the quarter.

"There is another oar under the seats," added Bissell.

"One is enough to do the business," said Dory, as he began to pull with
all his might.

The water-logged craft moved as though it had been fastened to the
bottom. The boom was still hanging out at right angles with the keel,
and the main sheet was flopping about in the water.

"Can't I help you?" asked Bissell.

"You may take the other oar, if you please."

The skipper pulled out the oars, and was about to ship it on the weather
side when Dory interposed, and, shifting his own blade to the fore
rigging, directed his companion to ship his between the thole-pins he
had left.

"On this side? Who ever heard of rowing in that way?" blustered Bissell.
"Both oars on the same side!"

"We have no time to argue the question now, if you want to keep your
boat on the top of the water instead of the bottom," said Dory sharply.

Bissell did as he was told, though he had no faith in rowing with two
oars on one side of the boat. The united strength of the two was
immediately seen in the motion of the boat. Her bow was soon thrown up
to the wind, and then the boom swung in over the standing room. This was
the acting skipper's object, and as soon as he could reach the main
sheet, he dropped his oar. Grasping the rope, he carried it aft, and got
a turn with it over the cleat above the rudder head.

The sail filled as soon as he hauled in the sheet, and Dory got hold of
the tiller. The sloop heeled over till Bissell declared that the new
skipper would upset her. Paul continued to bale with all his might.
Dory trimmed the sail down as flat as he could, and soon had perfect
control of the craft, heavy as her movements were in her water-logged
condition. He was obliged to touch her up in the fierce blasts which
struck her, but he had her well balanced, and she did not realize any of
the evil predictions of her incompetent skipper. On the other hand, she
did not dip up any more water over her gunwale, and all that came into
her was in the form of spray.

At Dory's suggestion, Bissell got out a firkin in which the lunch for
the party had been brought on board, and assisted Paul in the work of
baling. But there were hogsheads of water in her, and the process of
relieving her was very slow. The three barges were still laying on their
oars, watching the movements of the Silver Moon. Dory ran for Button
Island, which was separated from the main land only by a narrow channel.
Slacking off the sheet, he ran her aground in the sand behind the point,
where the water was as smooth as the lake in a calm.

"She is aground!" exclaimed Bissell, as the keel grated on the bottom.

"I know it; and that is where I intended to have her," replied Dory, as
he left the tiller.

Bissell began to protest that he would not have the boat aground; but
the new skipper paid no attention to him. Taking the bucket from Paul,
he told him to rest. Dory worked hard at baling for half an hour, and
Bissell did his part as soon as he found that his protest was not
heeded. By this time the water had dropped so it had to be dipped out of
the well. It was all out at last, and the well sponged dry. To the
stupid astonishment of Bissell, the Silver Moon was again afloat.



CHAPTER XV.

"ROLL ON, SILVER MOON."


For about three-quarters of an hour the three barges had waited, pulling
just enough to keep their heads up to the sea. By this time, the ladies
had become accustomed to the motion of the boats; and, in spite of their
wet and bedraggled condition, they began to be very jolly. The long
boats rose and fell with the waves, and occasionally the spray was
dashed over the bows, and carried the whole length of the craft. At
last, they began to sing, and the students joined them. It was getting
to be a very merry time on the rough waters, but the confidence of the
crews inspired the ladies with courage.

As soon as the Silver Moon was free from her burden of water, Dory
examined the sail, and, finding it all right, he shoved off. As Paul
Bristol had said, the Silver Moon was about the size of the Goldwing,
and was a very good boat.

"I have not the least idea that you can sail this boat over to Westport
in this blow," said Bissell, as Dory shoved the sloop out of the shoal
water.

"What's to prevent?" asked the new skipper coldly.

"It blows too hard, and the sea is too heavy for any boat, I don't care
how good she is," answered the owner of the Silver Moon. "I think this
boat is as good as any of them, but I had rather walk twenty miles than
cross Lake Champlain in her in this blow."

"The sloop belongs to you, sir, and you can do as you please about
crossing," answered Dory. "You can anchor and stay here till to-morrow
if you like."

"Do you think it is safe to cross the lake in a sailboat when the wind
blows as it does now, and has since ten o'clock?" asked Bissell.

"I have been off Burlington, where the lake is twelve miles wide, when
the sea was a good deal worse than it is here, and I did not think I was
in any greater danger than if I had been on shore."

"If you are not afraid, I ought not to be," added the owner of the
craft, evidently laboring to stimulate his courage. "I guess I will risk
it, as those barges will be near enough to pick us up if anything
happens."

"All right," answered Dory, as he hauled down the sheet, and let the
boat go ahead. "Why did you come out in such a blow, if you don't think
it is safe?"

"The girls hadn't anything to do to-day, and wanted to go down to Port
Henry. We started at six o'clock this morning, and got there at eight.
It began to blow pretty hard by nine, and we started back, though we
intended to stay at the Port all day. I got along very well, though the
girls were scared, till we got down to Barber's Point; and after that it
blew like tophet."

"You had the full rake of the wind across North West Bay then," added
Dory.

"Yes; and I had to beat all the way home right against it," continued
the skipper. "I thought we should tip over every minute. If I let her
off enough to make her go ahead, she tipped so that the girls all
screamed. When I was half way over to Button Island I tacked, but the
boat would not come about. She lay there with her sail banging. Then the
wind caught the sail again, and tipped her so she took in some hogsheads
of water. She got in between the waves, and began to roll like a chip. I
thought it was time to haul down the sail, and I went forward to do so.
Then the main sheet run out, and I couldn't get it again."

"It was a bad situation," added Dory, as Bissell paused and looked at
him, apparently as if to ascertain what he thought of the skipper's
management; but Dory expressed no opinion.

"I let go the peak halyard, and did the best I could to get the boom in,
but I couldn't do a thing with it. The boat kept rolling in the water
all the time, and I had to take the bucket and bale with all my might. I
was afraid to haul the sail down then, for it would have gone into the
water, and helped drag her over on one side."

Dory, as an expert, had a very decided opinion in regard to the
skipper's management; but he did not feel called upon to express it, for
Bissell was an obstinate man, and he did not care to dispute with him.
The Silver Moon was running out close-hauled from the lee of Button
Island, which carried her to windward of the fleet of barges. Dory had
taken the helm when she got under way; and as long as the skipper did
not object, he retained it.

"The boat don't work very well without the jib, and that was what made
all the trouble," continued the skipper. "But it blowed so like all
possessed, that I couldn't carry it."

Dory doubted whether this was all, or even the principal trouble, but
he made no remark. He was not satisfied with the working of the boat,
and without saying anything to the skipper, he put her about, and ran
back to the lee of the island. Getting her forefoot on the sand far
enough to hold her, he let go the halyards, and lowered the mainsail a
few feet.

"What are you going to do now?" asked Bissell, who had watched the
movements of the acting skipper with interest and anxiety.

"I am going to put a single reef in the mainsail. Where do you keep the
reef pendant?" replied Dory.

The skipper had no reef pendant, and probably did not know what it was.
But Dory found a couple of ropes which answered his purpose. Having
lashed down the clew and tack, with the assistance of Paul, he tied the
reef-points. Hoisting the sail up to a good set, he shoved off with the
boat-hook, and was soon standing out from the shore again. Keeping his
place at the helm, Dory stood out to the fleet of barges. The wind had
not abated a particle of its force, and even with the reef in the
mainsail, she was inclined to bury herself in the waves. Dory was not
yet satisfied, and under his direction Paul pulled up a couple of loose
boards in the floor of the standing-room, and lifted out a couple of
cast-iron blocks of ballast. These were placed in the stern, and the bow
was lifted a little more out of the water.

"What's all that for?" asked Bissell.

"To change her trim a little," replied Dory. "She was ballasted too much
by the head. She works better now."

The sloop was less inclined than before to bury her bow in the waves,
and was more buoyant forward. She dashed ahead at a gallant speed, and
in a few minutes she was approaching the barges. The passengers in the
stern sheets of the boats were very merry by this time, and seemed to be
actually enjoying the motion of the boats. As the sloop came within hail
of the barges, the ladies struck up "Roll on, silver moon," in which all
the students who could sing joined, and it made a very effective chorus.

"Very appropriate," said Dory, laughing; "but she don't do that now. She
has done rolling for the present."

"The girls are jolly enough now; and they don't seem to be a bit
scared," added Bissell.

"Will you take them on board again?" asked the acting skipper.

"I don't know; what do you think?"

"If you don't know, you had better leave it to them," replied Dory.
"Hail them, and ask them what they will do."

"I say, girls, are you ready to come on board of the Silver Moon?"
called Bissell, in a loud voice, as the sloop passed astern of them.

"No!" screamed the whole of them, almost with one voice. "We are going
back to Westport in the barges," added one of them.

"Just as you like," returned Bissell.

"Roll on, silver moon," the girls struck up again, and the boys took up
the chorus with enthusiasm.

"That settles it," added Bissell.

"Then we may as well return to the Marian, Paul," said Dory.

"I am ready to do just as you say," replied the spare hand.

"You don't mean to leave me, do you?" demanded Bissell, aghast at the
proposition. "I don't want you to go."

"I thought you might prefer to handle your own boat," suggested Dory.

"I guess I'd rather have you take her over to Westport, if you will,"
replied the skipper, anxiously.

"Even if we remain on board of the sloop, you had better take the helm,"
added Dory, who had some curiosity to see how Bissell worked the boat.

"I'd rather have you steer her. I don't know but you can manage her
better than I can."

"You ought to be able to handle your own boat better than any one else
can. You have sailed her more than any other person, and a boat is
something like a horse, and does better in the hands of one who is used
to her."

"I bought the Silver Moon last year, and got a man to show me how to
manage her. I was out in her every day last summer, but I never went out
when it blew very hard. Folks say it is dangerous sailing on Lake
Champlain, there are so many currents and flaws from the hills."

"There is no doubt about the flaws and currents, but I look upon them as
bugbears. A skipper must keep his craft in hand all the time, and then
he is ready for flaws and squalls."

"One of the girls has taken your place at the stroke oar, Dory," said
Paul, who was watching the barges as they began to move over the savage
waves.

"So I see," replied Dory. "Dick is coaching her, and I have no doubt she
will make good my absence."

"It is Susy Wellington; and she knows how to row better than most of the
men," added Paul.

At this moment, the acting skipper went in stays, and though he had
given her a good full, he had some doubts about her; but she came up to
the wind handsomely, and went on the port tack as promptly as the
Goldwing could have done it. As she filled away, she heeled over till
her washboard was almost buried; but she righted a little in a moment,
and dashed off on her course like a racehorse. She rose and fell on the
waves, with her gunwale under all the time, but with eight inches of
washboard above the water.

The wind was rather flawy, and, of course, the boat heeled over more
when the puffs struck her, so that most of the washboard was sometimes
under water. But the sloop, in her altered trim, was as steady as an old
horse on a smooth road. As the Silver Moon was close-hauled, she struck
the seas constantly; and the waves broke with no little noise against
her bows, tossing the spray from stem to stern.

Bissell watched the lee washboard all the time, and seemed to be very
nervous. He did not heed the singing in the barges, which greatly
interested the acting skipper. The owner evidently expected the sloop
would ship a sea every moment, which would fill her half full of water
as she had been before. But she tore along on her course without taking
in a drop of water over her lee side, unless when a wave broke there,
and spit the spray over the washboard.

"You will put the Silver Moon on the bottom before you get her over to
Westport," said Bissell, when he could hold in no longer, and his mental
excitement had become intense.

"I certainly shall not do it after we get to Westport," replied Dory,
with a smile. "But if you wish to take the helm, of course you can do
so. I suppose you can swim, Paul?"

"I could swim in Sandy Bay, but I don't think I could in these waves,"
answered Paul.

"I don't think it is safe to sail along in this way with the gunwale
under water all the time," said Bissell, as the water rose nearly to the
top of the washboard.

"Then you take the tiller, Mr. Bissell," replied Dory, rising and
offering his place on the weather-side to the skipper.

Bissell was clearly full of doubts, but he took the tiller. His first
movement was to put the helm down a little, so that the reefed mainsail
began to shake slightly, and of course the gunwale was lifted out of the
water. He kept the tiller shaking all the time, as the boat was in
danger of broaching to.

When he had steered about a quarter of an hour, it was seen that the
barges were rapidly overhauling the Silver Moon, though she gained on
them while Dory had the tiller. But it was necessary to tack, and the
skipper put the helm hard down. The sail shook, and the boat did
precisely what Dory knew she would do--she miss-stayed, and then began
to roll in the trough of the sea. She had little headway when the helm
was put down, and her momentum was not sufficient to carry her around
against the head sea.

The water began to roll into her on the sides; but Dory seized one of
the oars, and with a few smart pulls, threw her head up into the wind.
The instant the sail began to fill, which it did with a rush, Bissell
put his helm hard down. Dory plied the oar once more.

"I wish you would take the helm again," said Bissell.

"I will, if you say so," replied Dory, who had entirely satisfied his
curiosity in regard to the seamanship of the skipper.



CHAPTER XVI.

DORY DORNWOOD GIVES A LESSON IN BOAT-SAILING.


It was absolutely certain that Bissell was not a reckless and
over-daring skipper, which is often the most glaring fault of those in
charge of sailboats. He erred in the opposite extreme,--he was too
timid. He had not pluck enough when it was blowing fresh to keep his
sail full. The barges were overhauling her, because she had hardly any
headway; and when she went in stays, she had not speed enough to meet
the fierce waves.

Dory took the helm, while the skipper, with the bucket, dipper and
sponge, soon removed the water from the well. The sail was permitted to
fill, and the Silver Moon dashed on her course at a lively rate again.
The barges pulling against a head sea could not keep within hail of her
when she was on her long tack.

"I have about made up my mind that you can handle this sloop better than
I can," said Bissell, when he had wiped out the well with the sponge.

Paul Bristol burst out into a loud laugh at this remark.

"What are you laughing at, Paul?" asked the skipper, looking rather
severely at the spare hand.

"I was only thinking it had taken you a long time to make up your mind,
Mr. Bissell," replied Paul, suppressing his risibles when he saw that
Dory looked as serious as a judge.

"I suppose you think I am not much of a skipper, Paul," added Bissell,
evidently annoyed by the laugh of the spare hand.

"I don't know much about sailing a boat, and I think I had better not
say anything," answered Paul prudently.

"I never got into such a scrape before with the boat," continued the
owner. "This boat will be for sale after I get ashore."

"She is a very good boat, and works well," said Dory; but, cautious in
regard to offending the skipper by any criticisms, he was not willing to
have the boat blamed for the fault of the man.

"I always thought so myself till to-day; and I have always believed I
could handle her better than any other man. It goes a little hard with
me to give in to one boy and have another laugh at me," replied the
skipper. "I should like to have you tell me just what ails my
management of the boat."

"I don't volunteer any criticism; but if you will not be offended with a
boy for expressing his mind plainly, I will do so," added Dory.

"That's what I want you to do, and I shall not get mad, though it hurts
for me to give in on handling the Silver Moon.

"You are just a little too careful; and that is what has made the
mischief every time," Dory began. "If you don't give your boat a good
full, she won't go about in stays. That was the trouble when you had the
ladies on board."

"The man that showed me how to sail a boat said I could not be too
careful," protested Bissell, astonished at the remark of the acting
skipper.

"I don't quite agree with him, though he is right in the main. Most of
the accidents happen because the skippers are careless. Your sloop was a
little out of trim. When it blows too hard for you to carry the jib, you
must put a single reef in the mainsail. With a whole mainsail, the mast
ought to be farther forward. Since I shifted the ballast, she carries a
stronger weather helm."

It was necessary to tack again, and Dory explained more fully what he
meant by a "good full," and then put the helm down. The sloop's head
flew up into the wind at a lively pace, and the mainsail went over; but
the helmsman righted the helm, and met her with it so that she should
not fall off too far, thus putting her lee gunwale under.

Bissell was deeply interested, and began to learn what he had not before
acquired. He took her, and made the next tack, under the direction of
the acting skipper, himself. From that time he retained the helm, and
Dory continued to instruct him until the Silver Moon got into
comparatively still water.

Dory and his pupil had made more tacks than were necessary, in order to
illustrate the subject. The boats came up with the sloop just as she was
going in at the wharf. The ladies and the crews were still singing, and
their merry voices attracted quite a collection of people.

"When I was over off Button Island I did not expect ever to see Westport
again," said Bissell, after he had made the Silver Moon fast at the
wharf. "I have only ten dollars in my pocket, now, but I want you to
take that and let me owe you another ten."

"You must excuse me, Mr. Bissell," protested Dory.

"It ain't enough, I know; and I will make it up to fifty dollars when I
get to the store," added the skipper.

"It is enough, and more than enough, Mr. Bissell. I cannot take a single
cent for that kind of service. Captain Gildrock would put me into the
brig if I took money for assisting anyone in distress on the water,"
said Dory earnestly. "Sailors are bound to help each other always when
in danger."

The store-keeper pressed Dory quite warmly to take the money, but the
latter was as firm as a rock. Then he tried to give a few dollars to
Paul, but the spare hand, though he wanted the money for his mother,
took his cue from Dory, and refused to take a cent. Bissell expressed
his gratitude in very warm terms, and said he should like to take some
more lessons in sailing a boat from such a skilful master. He would
gladly pay for the time and trouble, and he concluded not to sell the
Silver Moon at present.

It was now nearly two o'clock, and the students thought it was about
time to attend to the contents of the lunch baskets. The ladies had been
landed, and were profuse in their expressions of delight at their trip
in the barges. The Beech Hillers landed, and camped under a tree to
dispose of their lunch. Dory and Paul joined them, and it took some time
for the former to explain what he had done on board of the sloop. He did
not say any unpleasant things about the skipper, or dwell upon his
mistakes.

Before the boys had made any deep inroads into their stock of
provisions, Bissell and the ladies appeared laden with ice cream, pies,
and cake, which were a welcome addition to the lunch. The "girls," as
Bissell called them, waited upon their deliverers, and gushed over the
delightful time they had had in the barges.

"There come the Chesterfield barges," said John Brattle when the clock
indicated half past two. "I wonder what they are going to do over here."

"I thought they had business about this time over at Sandy Point," added
Tuck Prince.

"Don't say a word about the cottage, fellows," interposed Paul Bristol,
with a good deal of earnestness. "I know what they come here for; at
least, I think I know."

"Why don't you let on then, Paul?" demanded Phil Gawner.

"They have come over here after Major Billcord, for I am sure he will
want to see the cottage pitched into the lake. I am almost sure now
that none of them know the house is gone," replied Paul, rubbing his
hands with delight when he thought of the disappointment of his
oppressors.

"If you like, Mr. Bissell, I will sail down the lake with you as far as
Sandy Point," Dory proposed, while the boys were digesting what Paul had
said. "The coxswain consents to my absence; but I must return to Beech
Hill in the Marian."

"All right, for I want very much to see you sail the Silver Moon with a
heavy wind on the beam or over the quarter," replied the store-keeper.
"But I must go up to the house and change my clothes, for I am as wet as
a drowned rat."

Bissell hastened to his house, which was only a short distance from the
head of the landing. The Chesterfield barges had just reached the wharf,
and the young gentlemen were coming up the steps. The boats had pulled
around under the lee of the land, so that they had not been seen until
near the wharf.

The Chesterfield students formed a procession on the wharf, and it was
evident that they intended to escort Major Billcord, who was fond of
parades, to the boats. The ladies waiting on the students from the other
side said this was the meaning of the procession, which was not a
strange sight in the streets of the town.

"You will take no notice of them whatever, fellows," said Commodore
Chester very impressively. "If they salute us properly, which they are
not likely to do, we must be as polite as they are, and more so, if
possible. If they call us 'tinkers' and 'chip-makers,' which they are
more likely to do, make no answer of any kind. I will report any student
who utters an offensive word to them. You all know that this is the
order of the principal, and not mine."

For some reason the procession of Chesterfields did not pass near the
tree under which the Beech Hillers were lunching. Paul pointed out the
elegant mansion of Major Billcord, and the students of the institute
marched in that direction.

"While we are waiting for Mr. Bissell, I should like to go up to his
house and get my sister's valise, which she left there," said Paul to
the coxswain of the Marian.

Dick consented, though he would not have permitted any of the crew to
leave without a good reason for it while the Chesterfields were so near.
Paul hastened up to the main street. He saw the institute students halt
in the grounds of Major Billcord's mansion. They broke ranks, and the
magnate was talking to them.

"I will give twenty-five dollars to any student or party of students
that will capture that young scoundrel, Paul Bristol, and hand him over
to me at Sandy Point." This was what the great man said to a group of
half a dozen of the students.

The party in front of him promised to carry out his wishes if he would
not mention the matter to the rest of the students.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE MISSION OF THE SIX RUFFIANS.


Paul Bristol saw the conference between the six Chesterfield students
and Major Billcord; but he could not hear what passed between them, and
had no suspicion that he was the subject of remark. None of them saw
Paul when he entered the gate to Mr. Bissell's premises, though his
curiosity prompted him to stand there a few minutes to observe the
proceedings of the party.

He expected to see nothing more than a sort of reception of the magnate,
who was evidently to be their passenger to Sandy Point, and the students
proposed to take him to the scene of the afternoon's sport in state. But
Major Billcord appeared to have selected the six ruffians best suited to
the undertaking in which they were to engage. He had called them aside,
and made his offer to them.

Those who were near enough to the magnate to see his face could not help
noticing that he had a pair of black eyes. In this respect he was the
counterpart of his hopeful son, though the mourning of the latter was of
a deeper shade than that of his father. The major had remained in his
elegant mansion all the forenoon, for he was more modest in the display
of the weeds under his eyes than he was of his person generally.
Doubtless he had often looked in his lofty mirrors to observe the
condition of his face.

He did not like the looks of himself with the marks Paul had left on his
face, for they certainly added nothing to the dignity of his expression.
He was a pompous, overbearing, and tyrannical man, and every time he saw
his mourning organs they filled him with wrath, and inspired him to seek
a wholesale revenge. He did not give a thought to the insult his son had
offered to Miss Lily. She was of not the slightest consequence, and it
would have been quite proper, in his opinion, for her to submit in
silence to the pleasure of the reckless young man.

On the way home from the scene of his signal defeat at the hands of Paul
Bristol, he had called at the institute, and intimated that he had a
mission for the students, at the point, on the following day. He wished
them to call for him at his house in the afternoon, and he would insure
them an hour or more of the liveliest recreation. He did not say what he
had in view, and he had cautioned Walk not to mention the business in
which the young men were to be engaged.

As Walk went home with his father, he had no opportunity to let the cat
out of the bag, even if he had been so disposed. Father and son had
spent the rest of the day in studying out an adequate punishment for
Paul. If they could have "hung, drawn, and quartered" him, it might have
satisfied them. Walk suggested that he should be prosecuted, and that
the justice would send him to prison for a month or two. But his father
saw that such a course would bring out the whole story of the son's
assault upon Miss Lily, and the judge might not regard the affair in the
same light as the sufferers did.

They could agree upon nothing, but before morning Major Billcord had
devised the scheme he had now taken the first step to carry out. He
thought it wise not to implicate his son in the outrage, for he might be
prosecuted and compelled to pay a fine for himself and those he employed
to do the actual work. The vengeance of the magnate was to be
administered to Paul at Sandy Point. The plant for the black eyes had
been set out near the doomed cottage, and it was proper that the
punishment should be inflicted on the same spot.

Walk Billcord had not been in condition to return to the institute that
day, for he did not care to put his mourning on exhibition, and to
answer all the questions that it would call forth. But he was going to
Sandy Point in the boat to which he belonged, for he was anxious to take
part in the destruction of the cottage. After the students marched up to
the mansion of the magnate, they had informed him of the presence of the
Beech Hillers, and of Paul, in Westport. The story of the Silver Moon's
mishap had been related to them at the wharf when they landed. The
students from the other side had come to the town to convey the ladies
from the disabled boat; and this sufficiently accounted for their
presence.

Nothing was said about Paul, except that he had come in the sloop. Major
Billcord had no doubt that his stalwart foe was still staying at the
point, and he had arranged his plan on the supposition that he would be
found in that vicinity. But when he was informed of his presence in
Westport, he had been obliged to make a slight change in his scheme. He
had not intended to mention it till the students landed at Sandy Point.
He had before selected his ruffians, and he was simply obliged to make
his offer a little sooner than before arranged.

Paul Bristol went into Mr. Bissell's house and obtained his sister's
valise. As he was about to depart, the owner of the Silver Moon came
down stairs in his changed dress, with a letter in his hand.

"Paul, do you know where Captain Bleeker lives?" asked Bissell, as soon
as he saw the boy with the valise in his hand.

"Of course I do," replied Paul. "I used to work for him on his place
when he had anything for me to do."

"I am going to Sandy Point in the sloop, and Dory is waiting for me,"
continued the skipper. "I am in a hurry to be off, and if you will go
round by Captain Bleeker's and leave this letter at his house, I will
carry your valise down to the boat. I will put it on board of the
Marian."

"All right, if you will tell the coxswain to wait for me; for I suppose
I am to go in the barge," replied Paul, as he took the letter.

Bissell hastened to the wharf with the valise, and Paul started for his
destination, which was on a street in the rear of Major Billcord's
mansion. The procession had re-formed in the spacious grounds to escort
the magnate to the wharf. The six ruffians had been excused from
marching in the line, by request of the major, and they were consulting
in regard to their mission in the street in front of the house.

Paul was obliged to take a cross street to reach the house of Captain
Bleeker, and he had to pass within a few rods of the elegant mansion. As
he turned the corner, the chief of the six ruffians, who was called Buck
Lamb by his fellow-students, discovered him, and the conference came to
a sudden conclusion. The time for council had passed, and the time for
action had come. Buck Lamb was an acknowledged leader, and, without any
appointment as such, he assumed the position and began to give off his
orders.

Paul was in sight, going up the cross street with a letter in his hand.
The back street ran parallel to the main street, and the object of the
attack must be going to some house in that direction. Buck sent two of
his force to the cross street next beyond that taken by Paul, with
orders to intercept the victim if he went that way. Two more were to
remain near the mansion of the magnate, and Buck himself, with Ham
Jackson, followed Paul. One of the two parties was sure to meet him, or
if they failed, by any accident, the pair on the main street were in
position to capture him. It was a quiet little place, and there was
scarcely a person in the streets after the procession had marched to the
wharf.

Paul Bristol, all unconscious of what had been done to make him a
prisoner, walked with a rapid step towards the house of the person to
whom the letter was addressed. He had not noticed the movements of the
six ruffians, or even that any of the Chesterfields had been left
behind. He was thinking that the students would soon reach Sandy Point
with Major Billcord, and he was engaged in picturing their astonishment
and disappointment when they discovered that the cottage had taken to
itself wings, and that the locality had assumed its original appearance.

He went up to the door of the house, and rang the bell. It was answered
by Captain Bleeker himself. He seemed to be somewhat surprised when he
saw Paul, for he had been expecting another person.

"Is that you, Paul? I was in hopes that it was Bissell; for I expected
an important letter as soon as the mail got in, and he promised to bring
it over to me," said the captain.

"He asked me to bring the letter over, and here it is," replied Paul,
as he handed the important missive to him.

"Good! It contains a draft which I need as much as I need the air I
breathe," added Captain Bleeker, as he took the letter, and thrust his
hand deep into one of his trousers pockets, drawing forth a quarter. "I
am more glad to see you than I should be to meet my grandmother, who
died twenty-five years ago. Here is something to prove it;" and he
handed him the quarter.

"I don't want anything for this errand; I only did it because Mr.
Bissell asked me to."

"Take the money," said the captain imperatively. "If you come over here
in about a week, I shall have something for you to do, for it will be
time then to hoe the garden."

"I don't think I can come, sir, for I have a place now, with steady
work, on the other side of the lake," replied Paul.

"All right," added Captain Bleeker, as he broke the seal of the letter,
and proceeded to close the door, manifesting no interest in the
messenger's new position.

Paul put the quarter in his pocket, thinking there had been no time in
two years when it was so little needed as at present, thanks to Captain
Gildrock. But he did not lose a moment, for he thought that by this time
the crew of the Marian might be waiting for him. He walked at his most
rapid pace up the street in the direction by which he had come. There
was not a person to be seen in the back street, though Buck Lamb and Ham
Jackson had reached the corner.

Paul saw them approaching him on the same side of the street. If he had
seen them in the neighborhood of the institute, he might have known
them; as it was, he did not recognize them, though they wore the barge
uniform. Being in a hurry, he deserted the sidewalk to cut off the angle
at the corner of the street. But the two ruffians promptly placed
themselves in front of him in the middle of the highway.

"Stop where you are!" said Buck Lamb, in an imperative tone.

"What am I to stop for?" asked Paul, with a smile, and with the
simplicity of an infant.

"You are to stop because I order you to do so," replied Buck, who was of
the genus bully, and could not well help manifesting authority, whether
he had it or not.

"As I am in a hurry to join my boat, I don't think that is a sufficient
reason for my stopping," replied Paul, with abundant cheerfulness. "If
you will excuse me, I had rather not stop just now."

"But I order you to stop!" said Buck savagely.

"Oh, you do!" added the intended victim. "Then I must take the liberty
to disobey your orders."

"When I order you to stop, I mean to enforce my order," said Buck, with
his teeth set fast together.

"I can't stop to jaw with you now; for, as I told you, I am in a hurry,"
replied Paul, beginning to be a little indignant at the interruption.

"If you move another step, I shall hit you," continued the bully,
placing himself in front of the victim, with his fists clinched ready to
execute his threat.

Paul dodged back, and attempted to pass the ruffians, but Buck got in
front of him again.



CHAPTER XVIII.

THE RESULT OF AN UNEQUAL CONFLICT.


Buck Lamb evidently considered himself as more than a match for Paul
Bristol, for neither Walk Billcord nor his father had given the students
the particulars of the battle at Sandy Point. All the magnate said was
that he and his son had been insulted and assaulted by the ungrateful
son of the woman he had harbored on his land. Buck was a stout fellow,
who had the reputation of possessing scientific skill in the noble art
of pugilism, and who was ready for any fellow of his avoirdupois, either
with soft gloves or with hard gloves, or with no gloves at all.

Happily, Paul had no knowledge of the reputation of the bully, which the
more knowing of the students would have said was only reputation. In his
ignorance of the accredited accomplishments of Buck Lamb, Paul was not
in the least afraid of him. Possibly, though not probably, if he had
known what a bruiser the leader of the six ruffians claimed to be, he
would have taken to his heels and escaped in the best way he could, or
expressed his willingness to obey the imperative order of his assailant.

Buck not only intercepted his intended victim, but he levelled a blow
with his iron fist, as he called it, at the modest nose of Paul Bristol.
This was enough to satisfy the son of toil, who had often hoed corn and
potatoes in the garden near the corner, that his opponent meant
business. He parried the blow aimed at him successfully, and it was the
right time for him to have returned it; but Paul did not yet mean
business, for he was not a fighting character, and despised the whole
subject of pugilism. Instead of striking, he looked about him for the
means of escape, and discovered two more of the ruffians running with
all their might towards the scene of the encounter. They wore the
uniform of the barges of the institute, as did Buck and Ham. There was
no chance of escape, and Paul was beginning to get a glimmering idea of
the purpose of the assault. He concluded that the fellows before and
behind him were to punish him for what he had done the day before at
Sandy Point.

Buck Lamb did not wait for the second pair of the ruffians to join him;
and in that he made a bad mistake for himself. His blow had been
parried, and he began to think that his antagonist had some skill in the
sublime art of pugilism; in this he was again mistaken, for Paul had
never learned the first thing about it. He was fully roused, and he
aimed a second blow at Paul, which was not as successfully warded off as
the first had been, and he received a portion of its force in his right
cheek.

Perhaps this hit was needed to render Paul fully equal to the needs of
the occasion; at any rate, it roused all the tiger of his nature, and
then he was ready for anything that might come. He attempted to parry
the blow with his left arm; but as soon as the hit was felt on his
cheek, he struck a tremendous blow with his right hand. It was the
stroke of a son of toil, whose muscles had been hardened by constant
labor. It fell between the eyes of the bully, which seemed to be a
favorite locality for Paul.

The pugilist of the institute reeled backwards, and then fell over into
the dirt in the middle of the street. Doubtless he saw all the stars his
vision could encompass, and his ideas were awfully confused. At any
rate, he did not "come to time," but lay on the ground where he had
fallen.

Ham Jackson was appalled at the result of the first onslaught, which
was accomplished in a tenth part of the time it has taken to narrate it.
Perhaps he was not a pugilist; but it was certain from his actions that
he was not prepared for the state of things now existing. He seemed to
be quite as much bewildered as his companion in the dirt. But he
recovered himself more quickly, and rushed upon Paul with the apparent
intention of seizing him by the collar of his coat. But the son of toil
did not know what he meant, and only saw him coming. Without waiting to
inquire into his purpose Paul gave him the counterpart of the blow which
had upset Buck Lamb. The effect was precisely the same, and Ham went
over backwards.

The two students approaching from the rear were only a few rods distant,
and Paul did not wait for them to come any nearer. As he would gladly
have done in the first place, he took to his heels and ran as fast as he
could towards the main street. Before he reached it, he looked back to
see if his enemies were pursuing him. The two who had just come up with
their unhorsed companions were picking them up, and there was no effort
yet made to overtake him.

Paul slacked his speed to a walk, and as he approached the main street
he saw two more students in the barge uniform. The instant they
discovered him, they rushed to a position in front of him. One of them
commanded him to stop; but he declined to do so. One of them attempted
to seize the collar of his coat, and Paul felt obliged to hit again. His
blow was parried better than either of his former assailants had been
able to do it, but he repeated the attempt with success. The blood
spurted from the nose of the foremost student, but he was not upset by
the shock.

Both of them came upon him then, the second putting one of his feet
between Paul's legs while he was attending to the first, and tripping
him up. Down went the son of toil, and the two ruffians pounced upon him
with the intention of holding him till the rest of the party joined
them. But Paul did not hold still worth a cent; and with his great
strength he shook off his assailants.

The last couple were more plucky than the first had proved to be, and
they followed him up very closely. The victim rained blows upon them
without regard to the belt, hitting them where he could. He was furious,
and raging like a lion. It was a very uneven combat, and Paul was
rapidly exhausting himself. The second of his present antagonists used
his boots almost exclusively. He kicked the son of toil in the shins,
and labored to trip him up again. Just as Paul had given the one who
used fists a blow between the eyes, which upset him, the leg operator
succeeded, by an attack in the rear, in bringing the victim to the
ground.

As soon as Paul was down, Mad Twinker, who was the one who demonstrated
with his boots, jumped upon him, and clawed his fingers into the throat
of the unfortunate son of toil. Just at this moment the party from the
back street came up, and the two fresh ruffians assisted Mad in securing
the victim. They had obtained a couple of pieces of bedcord at the house
of the major, and they tied his arms behind him.

Paul was so exhausted that he could make no further resistance, and he
submitted to be bound. His breath was hardly shorter than that of his
last opponents, who were now wiping the blood from their faces. The
ruffians had earned their money, so far as the capture of the victim was
concerned; and it only remained for them to deliver the prisoner to
Major Billcord at Sandy Point.

Two of the ruffians went to a pump and wet their handkerchiefs, with
which they washed their own faces. Paul's handkerchief was taken from
his pocket, and the stains of blood were removed from his battered face.
In a few minutes they had wiped away the traces of the conflict. Then
two of the students, one on each side, took Paul by the arms and marched
him towards the wharf. When they came in sight of it, they saw that all
the barges were manned, and had pulled a short distance from the shore,
where they awaited the absent members of the crews. The Beech Hillers
had taken position off the end of the pier, while the Chesterfields were
near the land.

There was still quite a collection of people on the wharf, drawn thither
for the purpose of seeing the barges, and possibly expecting a race or a
fight, the latter being more probable in the opinion of the spectators;
the battles of the previous season having been duly reported in the
town. The Silver Moon, with Bissell and Dory in the standing-room, was
running with the wind on her beam for Scotch Bonnet. The six ruffians
halted when they came in sight of the wharf, and gathered around their
prisoner.

"This will never do," said Mad Twinker, shaking his head. "We can't take
him through that crowd of people on the wharf."

"That's so," replied Buck Lamb, who had lost some of his prestige since
his overthrow, and Mad Twinker had come to the front. "Four of us can
handle him well enough now. Jeff Monroe, and you, Steve Douglas, go and
get Bissell's four-oar boat."

"Bissell isn't there now," replied Jeff.

"Stop at his store as you go along, hire it for a couple of hours, and
get the key," continued Mad Twinker. "Pull up to the creek at the head
of the bay, and we will meet you there."

Though there appeared to be no one in the streets, for all the idlers
had gone down to the wharf, there were people in the houses. Among the
latter was Miss Susy Wellington, who had pulled an oar in the Marian.
She had gone home to change her wet dress for a dry one, and saw from
her chamber window the capture of Paul Bristol by the ruffians. She had
heard something in the boat about Paul's battle with Major Billcord and
his son, and she had some idea of the occasion of the assault upon the
son of toil.

While Mad Twinker and his fellow-ruffians were hurrying their prisoner
to the creek, she hastened down to the wharf. On her way she stopped at
Bissell's store, where she had worked with Lily Bristol. She learned
that her employer had gone off in the sloop again, and that some of the
Chesterfields had just hired the four-oar boat. She continued on her
way, and soon saw the two students in her employer's boat, pulling
rapidly towards the head of the bay. When she reached the end of the
wharf she waved her handkerchief to the Marian, and beckoned with all
her might with her hand.

Dick Short gave the order "Stern all!" and the barge backed up within
hail of the fair oarswoman. The coxswain asked her if she desired to
pull an oar in the barge again.

"We are waiting for Paul Bristol, and he ought to be on board by this
time," added Dick. "If he don't come, you can take his place."

"No, I thank you, Mr. Coxswain," replied Miss Susy, and she proceeded to
detail what she had seen from her window.

"Paul a prisoner!" exclaimed Dick, thoroughly aroused by the
intelligence. "Stand by! Give way lively!"

He ran the Marian under the stern of the Gildrock, and reported the
astounding intelligence to Commodore Chester.

"A prisoner!" exclaimed Oscar, startled by the news. "Where is he now?"

"Do you see that boat near the head of the bay? Two of the six fellows
who captured Paul were sent for the boat, while the others took him in
that direction."

"This looks like serious business. The Chesterfield barges both lie
between us and that small boat," continued Oscar Chester.

The Gildrock was hauled around so that the commodore could confer with
Thad Glovering. The details were repeated so that all the students in
the three barges heard the whole story.

"It looks as though the rascals were going to bring Paul off in that
boat, and put him on board of the Racer or the Dasher," which were the
names of the two Chesterfield barges.

"Then, if we pull up there in a hurry, we may be able to get him away
from them," added Thad Glovering.

"On the other hand, if the fellows in charge of the prisoner see our
barges coming, they will put Paul ashore."

It was a difficult point to settle.



CHAPTER XIX.

A DEADLOCK AT THE HEAD OF THE BAY.


It was finally decided by the commodore that all the Beech Hill barges
should proceed to the head of the bay, and if the ruffians landed with
their prisoner, or did not put him in the boat, they should follow them
on shore and rescue Paul at all hazards. Oscar Chester gave the word,
and the Gildrock dashed off, with the other two barges following her.
The crews were not spared, and the boats appeared to leap over the
water, which was tolerably smooth under the lee of the land.

The Chesterfield barges still lay near the shore, above the wharf, and
in order to avoid them the commodore headed the Gildrock across the bay.
In the absence of the spare hand and Dory, the Marian was one oarsman
short, and Dick Short missed the stroke very much. The Silver Moon was
not more than a quarter of a mile from the wharf, for Dory was showing
off the sloop in various points of sailing. Very likely he desired to
keep the Beech Hill barges in sight as long as the Chesterfields were
near.

Dick Short waved his handkerchief in the direction of the sloop. Dory
saw the signal, and headed the Silver Moon to the head of the bay.
Before the commodore changed the course of the fleet, he ran across the
stern of the Marian.

"The Chesterfields have made Paul a prisoner!" shouted Dick Short.

Dory heard the announcement, and then the sloop passed out of speaking
distance. He was not a little astonished at the information, and fully
realized the peril of the son of toil. Glancing at the Chesterfield
barges, he saw Major Billcord seated in the stern-sheets of the Dasher,
and it did not need a very vivid imagination to comprehend the programme
of the enemy.

"I must ask you to excuse me to-day, and I will come over some other
time when the wind blows, and put the Silver Moon through her paces,"
said Dory to the owner of the sloop.

"What's the trouble here?" asked Bissell.

The acting skipper explained the situation to him, including enough of
the proceedings at Sandy Point the day before to enable him to
understand it.

"Major Billcord is as savage as a wild hyena when he gets mad," added
Bissell. "He is bound to have his own way against everybody else. He
tries to rule the town, though most of the people hate him."

Dory tacked and stood back to the Marian. He hailed the coxswain and
asked to be taken on board. Dick told him to come alongside as quick as
he could, and he would be ready for him.

"I wonder if I can't do something to help you," said Bissell. "You
fellows have done me a good turn to-day, and I shouldn't mind helping
you out if I could."

"You will only offend Major Billcord, and I think we can manage the
affair," replied Dory.

"No matter whom I offend; Paul worked well in the sloop, and he seems to
be the bottom dog in this business, and if I see a chance to do anything
for him I shall do it, if the major bu'sts over it."

By this time the Marian was close under the bow of the Silver Moon. Dick
checked the headway of the barge, and Dory put the helm down. Up went
the starboard oars on the Marian, and the sloop was alongside of her the
next minute. Dory leaped into the stern-sheets, and took his place at
the stroke oar. The sailboat fell astern, and the crew gave way again.

Dick gave Dory all the information he had in regard to the capture of
Paul. Both of them were satisfied that the poor fellow would be beaten
half to death if he was not rescued from the enemy. By the time the
story had been told, the Gildrock changed her course, and pointed her
bow for the creek at the head of the bay. On the shore they could see
several young men in the uniform of the Chesterfield barges, and they
could be no other than the captors of Paul. The four-oar boat was just
making a landing.

When the commodore changed his course, the barges of the two schools
were at about the same distance from the mouth of the creek. Oscar's
strategy had given Beech Hill this equal advantage. The movement of the
barges created a sudden sensation on board of the Racer and the Dasher.
Major Billcord began to demonstrate, and a good deal of violent jawing
came from the crews. The magnate had seen the two ruffians take the boat
from the wharf, and pull to the head of the bay. He could not fail to
understand that the prisoner was to be brought off in her.

Doubtless, he commended the prudence of the ruffians in avoiding the
crowd on shore. He had kept faith with his hired villains for his own
sake as well as for theirs, and he was the only person in the barges
who expected Paul to be put on board, or who comprehended the movements
of the six absentees from the boats. It was evident to him that the
Beech Hillers had discovered what was going on, though it was a mystery
to him how they had obtained their information, for the coming of Susy
Wellington had not been observed.

"Run for the head of the bay, Jack Woodhorn!" exclaimed Major Billcord,
when he saw the Beech Hill barges headed in that direction. "You must
get there before those rascals from the other side do, or they will
thrash the six boys of the institute who are there."

"We can't do anything, sir; we are four oars short in this boat, and two
in the other," replied the coxswain of the Dasher.

"Don't waste a second, Jack!" protested the magnate. "Do the best you
can. You have the inside track, and you ought to beat them with half a
crew."

Woodhorn gave the order to give way, and the eight rowers in his boat
were soon pulling with all their might. The Racer followed her, and,
having ten oars, she passed her. It looked like a race between the two
schools, though it was a very unequal one. The Chesterfield students had
improved in rowing a great deal since the last season, but discipline
was still the wanting element in their organization, and though they had
never measured speed with the Beech Hill boats, they were no match for
them.

The boys from the other side did not seem to hurry themselves, but only
pulled a steady and strong stroke. In five minutes it was clear enough
that they were beating their opponents. The magnate urged the
Chesterfields to greater exertion, and did more harm than good by his
ill-timed interference.

Dory had shaken out the reef in the Silver Moon, and made an additional
change in the ballast, so that she was now behaving remarkably well.
Bissell had run over to the north side of the bay, and now had a slant
which would carry him to the mouth of the creek. Oscar Chester had kept
his gaze fixed on the party on the shore. He saw the six ruffians, and
recognized Paul Bristol with his arms still bound behind him. The
four-oar boat lay at the mouth of the creek, but the six ruffians had
retreated to the high ground in the rear of the landing.

The approach of the three Beech Hill barges had completely upset the
calculations of the ruffians. They stood looking down upon the lake,
and appeared to be entirely non-plussed. The Gildrock was bearing
towards the Westport side of the bay, and was coming between the shore
and the Chesterfield barges. It was plainly folly to put the prisoner
into the boat that had come for him. In the barges there were
thirty-five Beech Hillers, and only twenty belonging to the institute.
Besides, the boats from the other side had always been victorious over
their own.

The Gildrock came to a stand, with the crew lying on their oars, and the
other two barges followed her example at the order of the commodore. If
the Chesterfields advanced, they would have to break their way through
the Beech Hill line of boats. Jack Woodhorn ordered a halt before he
came up with the formidable line in front of him. Colonel Buckmill, the
principal, who was not present, had told the students of the institute
never to come in collision with any of the boats from the other side,
and the coxswains were disposed to obey their orders, especially as all
the chances were against them.

"What are you stopping for, Jack Woodhorn?" demanded Major Billcord,
when the oarsmen in the Dasher brought their blades to a level.

"We can go no farther without running into those barges," replied the
coxswain.

"Run into them, then! Smash them if they don't get out of your way. Are
you afraid of those chip-makers?" blustered the magnate.

"The principal ordered us never to come in collision with any of the
boats from the other side, sir," replied Woodhorn respectfully.

"Are you going to leave your fellow-students on the shore to be mauled
by those rascals?"

"I don't believe the tinkers will meddle with them as long as they stay
on shore."

"But you want the rest of your oarsmen, and I want you all at Sandy
Point. There is the biggest pile of fun for you over there that you ever
had in your lives," continued Major Billcord, moderating his tone a
little when he found his own wishes were in conflict with the orders of
the principal.

Neither Jack Woodhorn nor Phil Fessenden, the coxswain of the Racer, was
disposed to get into a row with the Beech Hillers. Both of them had been
in the barges the summer before in all their tilts with the Gildrock and
the Winooski, and they had learned wisdom from experience. It was in
vain, therefore, that Major Billcord coaxed and threatened them. With a
pair of black eyes out of the battle of the day before, Walk was hardly
inclined to support his father, though he was quite as anxious as the
magnate to get Paul into their possession.

For full a quarter of an hour the boats remained in the same relative
position. The six ruffians on the shore had come to the conclusion that
there was no getting out of the deadlock, and that the only way for them
to earn their money was to march their prisoner to Sandy Point by land,
a distance of two miles.

Bissell had run the Silver Moon into the mouth of the creek, and had
been waiting for some movement on the part of the combatants in which he
might do something to serve his friends. The ruffians were jawing among
themselves as to what it was best to do, but he could not hear enough of
their talk to understand their plans, if they had any. The skipper's
patience was exhausted, and, taking his painter in his hands, he went on
shore. Securing the rope, he walked up the bank.

"What are you trying to do?" he asked, addressing his remark to Mad
Twinker.

"We want to put this fellow on board of the Dasher," replied the leader,
as he had been since the overthrow of Buck Lamb.

"Well, why don't you do it?" asked Bissell briskly.

"Because the tinkers will interfere."

"I will take him in the Silver Moon if you like," added the skipper
indifferently.

"Will you take the rest of us too?" asked Mad.

"Yes; I can carry a dozen well enough," replied Bissell.

About all the students were small customers at Bissell's store, and were
well acquainted with him. They had no suspicion of any treachery on his
part.



CHAPTER XX.

THE REBELLIOUS SKIPPER OF THE SLOOP.


"What are you going to do with Paul Bristol, Mad Twinker?" inquired
Bissell, as they marched him down to the sloop.

"We are not going to do anything with him. Major Billcord wants to see
him, and we promised to take him over to Sandy Point for him," answered
the chief ruffian.

"Oh, that's all, is it?" added the skipper. "What is the major going to
do with him?"

"We don't know; and it's none of our business."

"Of course it isn't," replied Bissell cheerfully, as he hauled up the
bow of the boat so that the party could get on board. "How are you
feeling now, Paul?"

"I think I am all right. I have got some hard cracks since I saw you at
your house, but I guess I shall come out of it all right," replied the
prisoner, looking with interest and anxiety into the face of the
store-keeper.

Just then, while the ruffians were picking their way into the boat,
Bissell gave the prisoner an almost imperceptible wink, which Paul saw
and comprehended. It was full of hope to him, for he did not see how the
skipper could deliver him over to the magnate after the good service he
had rendered, in his humble way, on board of the Silver Moon. Besides,
he was a Beech Hiller now, and the store-keeper knew it. He was under
great obligations to them, and Paul did not believe he would betray one
of their number.

The skipper had not lowered his mainsail when he made the landing, and
the sloop was all ready to shove off. After two of the ruffians were in
the standing-room, the prisoner was conducted on board between two
others. At this point, Bissell went on board and took a stand near the
tiller.

"It blows like Sam Hill to-day," said he, "and I want you to keep your
places, and not move out of them. There are eight of us now, and sit
four on a side. Here, Paul, you sit there," and he shoved the prisoner
into the place next to his own, on the port side.

"But you won't have to go out into the rough water to get to Sandy
Point," suggested Mad Twinker.

"We must go out some distance, for there is hardly any wind under the
bluffs," replied the skipper. "You take a seat in that corner, Mad;" and
he crowded him into the place opposite his own.

The other ruffians were arranged to suit him, and then he shoved the
sloop off into deep water. The sail filled on the port tack, and the
Silver Moon went off with the wind a little abaft of the beam. The shore
was low at the head of the bay, and the sloop got her full share of the
breeze. She struck into an eight-knot speed at once.

"It was lucky for us that you came up to the creek, Mr. Bissell," said
Mad Twinker, as the boat shot ahead.

"Perhaps it was," replied the skipper; but there was not much enthusiasm
in the remark.

"Those villains from the other side blocked us in so that we couldn't do
anything, and we were thinking of walking Paul over by land," added the
leader. "But some of us are about used up, and we did not like the idea
of such a tramp through the woods."

As he spoke he glanced at the battered faces of some of his companions.
They all looked as though they had been through the wars.

"The head boat of the tinkers is swinging around," said Alf Sumner, as
the Gildrock turned her bow towards the shore.

"I wonder what they are going to do now," added Mad Twinker, with no
little anxiety in his expression.

"The rest of the tinker boats are following her," continued Ham Jackson.

The Gildrock made a graceful sweep before the sloop came up with the
position of the last barge in the line, and was abreast of the Silver
Moon about as soon as she was under full headway. The Beech Hillers now
laid themselves out, though they could hardly expect to keep up with the
sailboat in that wind.

"Can't you outsail those barges, Mr. Bissell?" asked Mad Twinker.

"Every time when we have as much breeze as we have now," replied the
skipper. "And we shall have a good deal more before we have any less."

"There goes the Dasher," said Alf Sumner. "The Racer is after her."

"And both of them will be a long way after the tinkers," added Ham
Jackson.

"We want you to put us ashore on the Sandy Bay side of the point," said
Mad Twinker. "Of course, we shall pay you the dollar an hour for the
boat and boatman for all the time we have her."

"That's all right," answered the skipper, as he headed the Silver Moon
farther out into the bay, and let off the main sheet to suit the change.

In a few minutes more the boat was in rough water, and she began to
pitch and roll in a manner somewhat trying to the nerves of persons not
used to it. The six ruffians, who were no boatmen, for they had very
seldom been allowed in a sailboat, did not like it.

"What's the use of going out so far from the shore, Mr. Bissell?"
demanded Mad Twinker.

"I don't think it is safe to sail near the bluffs, for the wind is flawy
and snappish there," replied the skipper. "I don't know but I shall have
to put a reef in the mainsail, for the gusts come heavier than I thought
for."

As he spoke he hauled out a lot of rope from the locker under the
tiller. He began to fuss over the lines to find a reef pendant. He took
his knife from his pocket, and cut one of them off the right length. He
laid the knife down by his side on the seat, and then returned all the
ropes, except the one he had cut off, to the locker.

"I may not want to reef, but it is best to be ready," continued the
skipper, shifting the tiller a couple of notches on the comb. "Do you
think those barges will come up with us, Mad?"

"I should judge that they would not," replied the leader.

"The Beech Hillers are putting in some strong strokes," added Bissell.

"So are our boats," replied Mad.

"They are getting up quite a smart race. Will you fellows bet on your
own boats?" asked the skipper, with a cheerful smile.

"Of course we won't while the Dasher is four hands short of her
complement," said Jeff Monroe.

"But your boats are doing their prettiest, and I shouldn't wonder if
they got the best of it in the end. Don't you see that the Dasher is
gaining on the Marian?" continued Bissell, with a great deal of
earnestness.

"I don't think she is gaining at all," put in Steve Douglas.

But the six ruffians were gazing with all their eyes at the five barges;
and this was the one thing that Bissell most desired. While he held on
to the tiller with his right hand he had picked up his knife with the
other. Reaching around behind him, he got hold of the cord which bound
Paul Bristol. Making sure that the blade was in the right place, in
which he was assisted by the prisoner, he cut the rope.

"Is the Dasher gaining anything, Mad?" he asked when he had accomplished
his purpose without attracting the attention of the ruffians.

"Not a hair; she is losing, and the tinkers are running away from our
boats. They ought to when our fellows are short-handed."

"I guess you are right, Mad," added the skipper, as he looked about him,
as if in search of something. "The wind comes stronger and stronger, and
I think I shall want my long tiller. It is in the cuddy forward; Will
you hand it to me, Jeff Monroe?"

Jeff produced the spare tiller, and passed it astern to the skipper. It
was about three feet long, and was made of the toughest oak. Bissell
took it, and placed it at his side, between himself and the prisoner.
Though Paul knew that his arms were free, he had not removed them from
the position in which the cord had kept them, and no one but the skipper
suspected that he was not still in bonds.

All that the owner had said about rough seas had been uttered to blind
the six ruffians. It was rough, but not nearly so bad as it had been in
the forenoon farther from the land. Bissell had become more interested
that day in sailing a boat than he had ever been before. He had obtained
a good many new ideas on the subject, and was really desirous of
reducing them to practice. Without saying anything about his intention,
he had gradually let off the sheet, and put up the helm until the Silver
Moon was now a full mile from the shore, and was exposed to the entire
force of the moderate gale.

The Beech Hill barges followed the sloop, but the Chesterfields were
inclined to keep near the shore. The latter were short-handed, and this
was doubtless their excuse. The sailboat was now at least half a mile
from the Gildrock. Bissell was glowing with his new ideas, and he was
disposed to profit by the instructions of the skipper of the Goldwing
while they were fresh in his mind. Suddenly he hauled in the sheet, and
threw the sloop up into the wind and then let her off on the starboard
tack. Laying a course which would take him back to the mouth of the
creek, he trimmed the sail and let her drive.

"What under the canopy are you doing, Mr. Bissell?" demanded Mad
Twinker angrily.

"I am afraid the Dasher will not catch us if I run off any farther,"
replied Bissell.

"No matter whether she catches you or not. All you have to do is to land
us at Sandy Point, on the bay side," added the leader of the ruffians.

"I guess we had better run back a piece," said Bissell, unmoved by the
wrath of his passengers.

"We don't wish to go back," protested Jeff Monroe. "Do you want the
tinkers to board us and take our prisoner out of the sloop?"

"I don't know that I care if they do."

"Don't you? Well, we do! We won't stand this sort of thing. We hire the
boat, and she must go where we say," replied Jeff, rising from his seat,
boiling over with wrath. "We won't stand it!"

"What are you going to do about it?" inquired Bissell in the mildest of
tones.

"I order you to come about and take us to Sandy Point, as you agreed to
do."

"I didn't agree to do anything of the kind. I told you I would take Paul
on board, and then the rest of you, when you asked me to do so. That's
the whole of it."

"This is treachery," yelled Mad Twinker.

"Well, if it is, I think we have carried this thing about far enough. I
hadn't any idea of helping you to hand Paul over to Major Billcord. I
would sink my carcass to the bottom of the lake first," continued the
skipper of the Silver Moon, warmly.

"All we have to do, fellows, is to take possession of the boat," shouted
Jeff Monroe, as he made a rush aft.

"Back into your seat, or I will spill you into the lake!" said Bissell
sharply.

But Jeff was not to be intimidated by a threat, and, supported by Mad,
he made a dive at the skipper. Suddenly the spare tiller appeared in
air, in the hands of Paul, and then it came down upon the head of Jeff
Monroe.



CHAPTER XXI.

AN OUTRAGE IN THE STANDING-ROOM OF THE SLOOP.


Jeff Monroe fell all in a heap at the door of the cuddy; but his fall
did not deter his fellow-ruffians from advancing upon the skipper. Buck
Lamb threw himself in front of Mad Twinker, as though he intended to
redeem his escutcheon from the stain of defeat. Bissell was no more a
fighting character than Paul, and he had not the least idea of
"science." Buck was in proper position to make or receive an attack, and
the skipper had risen from his sitting posture when the prisoner did.

[Illustration: "His fall did not prevent his fellow-ruffians from
advancing upon the skipper."--Page 216.]

Instead of hitting as a pugilist should, Bissell reached out his long
arm, and took the bully by the collar of his uniform, jerked him over
once, and then tossed him upon the prostrate form of Jeff Monroe. Mad
Twinker had bravely followed up the attack until he was in reach of the
skipper's arm, and he was tumbled over in a heap.

But Bissell could not do duty with his long arms and steer at the same
time; and the Silver Moon, now having a strong weather helm, came up
into the wind, and, with her boom shaking in the midst of the
combatants, began to roll as though she intended to pitch the ruffians
overboard without any help from her owner. Jackson, Sumner and Douglas
had retreated from the after part of the standing-room, and the motion
of the boat, made more unsteady by the movements of the ruffians,
pitched them all into the seats.

Buck Lamb and Mad Twinker rose to their feet as soon as they could, but
Jeff Monroe was not yet in a condition to move. The skipper put the helm
up, and the sloop filled away again. Paul had advanced a pace, and taken
a seat near the skipper, but with the spare tiller ready to deal a blow
as soon as a head came near enough to receive it.

The ruffians looked at the heavy tiller in the hand of Paul, and then
they looked at the long arms of the skipper. While they were gazing
there was a halt all along the line, which afforded an opportunity for
reflection. Some of them cast their eyes about them for something in the
shape of a weapon. The spare tiller seemed to be the only stick that
would answer the purpose of a club, except the crutch used to support
the boom when the sail was furled, and that was under the owner's seat.

Both Mad and Buck seemed to realize that they could do nothing without
bringing that tiller down upon their heads, and its descent was almost
sure to reduce them to the condition of Jeff Monroe, who was just
beginning to show some signs of life. While they were thinking about it,
the skipper came about, and headed the sloop towards the shore. When he
had done so, he picked up the crutch, and placed it on the seat, by his
side.

The Silver Moon was now headed in the direction of Sandy Point. The
Beech Hill barges were some distance astern of her, and the
Chesterfields at least a quarter of a mile farther to the westward.

"I don't think it is quite safe, Paul, to leave these fellows lying
round loose in the standing-room," said Bissell, when he had the boat
well in hand on the new tack. At the same time he drew out from the
locker under him the ropes from which he had selected the reef pendant.

"What do you mean by that?" demanded Mad Twinker, before Paul had time
to reply.

"I mean that I shall be under the disagreeable necessity of tying your
arms behind you, just as you had Paul when you brought him on board,"
replied Bissell; but his tone and manner did not indicate that the duty
was a very unpleasant one.

"But we won't stand it!" replied Mad angrily.

"Won't you?" continued Bissell, as he took the crutch in his hand.

"I protest against such an outrage!" exclaimed Ham Jackson.

"Oh, you protest, do you? And you really think it would be an outrage?"
said Bissell, in a mocking tone.

"We are students in the Chesterfield Collegiate Institute, and we are
the sons of gentlemen," returned Ham, with dignity. "Of course, it would
be an outrage to put us in bonds, like common felons."

"Precisely so; then we will tie your hands behind you like uncommon
felons. We won't quarrel about words, for you can beat me every time in
that line. I suppose it was not an outrage for you to attack Paul
Bristol, six to one, in the street, and tie his hands behind him,"
replied the skipper, with a very heavy sneer. "He don't happen to belong
to the Institute, but he is a member of the Beech Hill School."

"We don't care what he is," interposed Mad Twinker. "We won't submit to
be bound! We won't stand such an indignity!"

"You think you won't? I don't believe I shall have much trouble in tying
the hands behind him of that fellow on the floor," continues Bissell.
"It is for you to decide whether you will have your hands tied before or
after you are knocked stiff. I will begin with you, Mr. Twinker."

"No, you won't!" cried Mad, as he sprang from his seat, and rushed madly
upon the skipper.

Bissell was on his feet, and, reaching out his long arm, he took his
assailant by the throat, in spite of the wild blows he aimed at him.
This time he did not pitch him on the floor, but choked him till the
ruffian began to feel weak, and to relax his struggles.

"You take the tiller, Paul, but don't let go the spare one. If one of
them moves aft, knock him as you did the first fellow," said Bissell, as
he picked up the reef pendant he had cut off.

Paul took the helm. He had steered a sailboat before, though he knew
next to nothing about the general management of the craft, and kept her
as she was. By this time Mad was decidedly faint, and the owner had no
difficulty in tying his arms behind him. When he had done so, he picked
up the crutch again, and stepped forward. His next victim was Buck Lamb;
but as about all the vim had gone out of the bully, it was an easy job
to secure him. The other four ruffians made no resistance worth
mentioning, for the crutch in the hand of the skipper was an awful
weapon; so was the spare tiller which Paul wielded. If the ruffians
could have got hold of anything in the way of clubs, doubtless they
would have held out longer.

As it was, they were completely vanquished. Bissell had ranged them
three on a side as he bound them, and they had not been inclined to
move. Possibly they thought they were in a bad condition to save
themselves if the Silver Moon had taken it into her head to upset and
spill them into the angry lake.

"We are all right now, Paul. Don't you say so?" said the skipper, as he
seated himself on the weather side and took the helm.

"I should say that we were," replied the late prisoner heartily. "You
have saved me, Mr. Bissell, from an awful pounding at the hands of Major
Billcord and his son; and I owe you a thousand thanks. I shall never
forget what you have done for me to-day."

"I think I got saved myself this forenoon," added the skipper; "and I
guess I know how it feels. I think we should all have been drowned in
the Silver Moon if it hadn't been for the Beech Hillers; and I don't
feel as though I could ever do half enough for them. We are not square
yet, Paul, and you did your share."

"I didn't do much; it was Dory Dornwood who did it all," answered Paul
modestly.

"It cut me like a sharp razor to give in to a mere boy on sailing, but
Dory knows more about a boat with his eyes shut than I do with mine wide
open. He didn't put on any airs, either," continued Bissell, with
enthusiasm.

"By the big wooden spoon, there comes the Sylph!" exclaimed Paul, as the
steam yacht came out from behind Barber's Point. "Captain Gildrock is on
board of her, and you may be sure he will put things to rights in double
quick time."

"All right; I am glad he is coming, for I don't know what to do with
these fellows, now that we have them where they can't set the lake on
fire," added the skipper, as he glanced at the Sylph. "We will keep on
as we are, for I suppose she is going over to Beaver River."

"I think you have carried this thing about far enough, Mr. Bissell,"
said Mad Twinker, after he had taken a glance at the steam yacht.

"Not quite, Mr. Twinker," replied the skipper, with a smile. "I shall
carry it about as far as that steam yacht, and then I don't care a
button what becomes of it."

"You mean by that to hand us over to the principal of the Beech Hill
School?" inquired Ham Jackson.

"I reckon it amounts to that."

"If you settle the thing that way, you will have to answer to Colonel
Buckmill," added Mad Twinker.

"I am ready to answer to him. Do you think the principal of the
Chesterfield school will justify you in committing such an outrage as
you have put on Paul Bristol?" demanded Bissell indignantly.

"Then why don't you hand us over to Colonel Buckmill?"

"So I would if he happened along here at about this time. Perhaps the
other principal will pass you over to Colonel Buckmill," suggested the
skipper, with a sort of chuckle, as though he had his doubts on the
subject. "Six of you set upon Paul in the most cowardly manner, and--"

"Only two at a time," interposed Buck Lamb.

"How was it, Paul?" asked Bissell.

The intended victim of the ruffians told his story in full, not omitting
to mention the punishment he had bestowed upon his assailants. Bissell
expressed himself very emphatically in regard to the cowardly character
of the assault, and was glad Paul had defended himself till he was
overpowered by numbers. The faces of some of the ruffians bore the marks
of his hard fists, and they were probably booked for mourning eyes by
the next day.

By this time the Silver Moon was off Sandy Point. Paul had watched with
interest the movements of the Sylph. When first seen she was headed for
Scotch Bonnet, which was her direct course when homeward bound; but she
soon shifted her helm, as though she was going up to Westport.

"She is going to make a landing at the town," said Paul, when he noticed
the change of course.

"I am sorry for that, for I thought she was coming over this way,"
replied Bissell.

"Captain Gildrock must see all the barges, and I am sure he will run
over here as soon as he makes them out," added Paul.

The words were hardly out of his mouth before the head of the steamer
was turned in the direction of the Beech Hill barges, which were not
half a mile astern of the Silver Moon. The skipper decided to come
about, and stand back to the fleet. Before he could reach the boats, the
Sylph had stopped her screw, and was hailing the Gildrock. Oscar Chester
informed him that Paul Bristol had been taken a prisoner by six of the
Chesterfields, and that the skipper of the sloop was conveying him to
Sandy Point. This was all the commodore knew about the matter, but it
was enough for the captain. He started the screw again, and in a few
moments he had overhauled the Silver Moon.

From the pilot-house the principal could see the condition of things in
the standing-room of the sloop. Again Captain Gildrock rang one bell,
and then two. As the steamer lost her headway the Silver Moon rounded to
under her lee side, where she had still water.



CHAPTER XXII.

AN INVITATION TO SANDY POINT.


"I should like to hand these fellows over to you, Captain Gildrock,"
said Bissell, hailing the principal. "We have tied their hands behind
them, and they won't set the lake on fire just yet."

"I should like to know something more about the case. Will you send
Bristol on board to report to me?" replied Captain Gildrock. "Mr.
Wolfenden, of Westport, is on board, and will join you in the boat."

"Wolfenden! Why, he is the deputy sheriff!" exclaimed Bissell. "I guess
he is the very man we want."

"Mr. Bulfington is also on board," added the principal.

"Perhaps both of us had better go on board of the Silver Moon," said Mr.
Wolfenden, for both he and Bulfington, who was a constable, were in the
pilot-house.

"I should like to have one of you remain and hear the statement of
Bristol, upon whom this outrage has been perpetrated," added Captain
Gildrock. "As Bulfington is the constable, perhaps he had better
remain."

The deputy sheriff was satisfied to let it be so, and he went on board
of the sloop. The two officers had been down to Port Henry on official
business, and, manifesting quite an interest in the Sylph, the principal
had invited them to take passage to Westport in her. As the officer went
on board of the sloop, Paul left her, and hastened to the pilot-house.

"Well, Bristol, it seems that you did not see the last of the trouble at
Sandy Point yesterday," said the principal, bestowing a look of kindness
and sympathy upon the new pupil. "Your face looks as though you had had
a hard time of it to-day."

"The toughest time I have had yet, but not so tough as it would have
been if Mr. Bissell had not stood by me, and got me out of the scrape.
We did him a good turn this forenoon, and he did not forget it," replied
Paul.

"I am glad to see you, Paul," added Mr. Bulfington, taking him by the
hand. "It is about time the pranks of those students should come to an
end; and I think the people of Westport have had about enough of them."

"What service did you render to Mr. Bissell?" asked Captain Gildrock.

"It is rather a long story, sir;" but Paul proceeded to relate it in
full, and he soon found that both of his auditors were deeply interested
in it.

"My daughter was one of the six girls," said Mr. Bulfington, when the
spare hand had finished his narrative. "I am sure I owe the boys a debt
of gratitude which I shall never expect to discharge."

Paul then gave the particulars of the assault upon him very minutely,
and described the events which had followed his capture up to the
present moment.

"It would have gone terribly hard with you, Paul, if Major Billcord had
got you over to the point, for there is no more reason or mercy in him
than there is in a fighting bulldog," added the constable. "He has got
money enough to pay all damages, and he would not mind a thousand or two
if he got his revenge in full."

"These boys must have been employed to capture Bristol," said the
principal, whose face was flashed with indignation. "Mrs. Bristol this
morning gave her son into my charge, and he shall not be abused while he
is in my care."

"What do you intend to do about it, Captain Gildrock?" asked Mr.
Bulfington.

"I shall prosecute the ruffians first; and if I can prove that Major
Billcord employed them to assault my pupil, I will prosecute him,"
replied the captain.

The principal went to the side and had a brief talk with Bissell. It was
arranged that the skipper should convey the boys to Westport, the
constable going with him. Mr. Wolfenden returned to the steamer, and
instructed the captain in the proper method of procedure in the court.

Bissell lost no time in getting under way. The ruffians were utterly
crestfallen when they understood that they were to be prosecuted for the
outrage upon Paul. Very likely Colonel Buckmill and the magnate would
choose to regard it as a mere lark, a little wildness, on the part of
the students, which ought to be passed over without any appeal to the
courts.

Before this time the Beech Hill barges had come to the side of the
Sylph. The Chesterfield barges had given the steamer a wide berth. They
were close up to the shore, and were pulling in the direction of Sandy
Point. Major Billcord could not help seeing his minions on board of the
sailboat, and to suspect that they had come to grief; but he could not
prevail on the coxswains to go near any of the craft from the other side
of the lake.

Paul remained on board of the Sylph, for his evidence was needed in
Westport in getting out the warrant for the arrest of the ruffians. The
principal gave no orders of any kind to the commodore of the fleet, and
he was left to do as he pleased. The students were consulted in regard
to their wishes. Dory had gone on board of the Silver Moon as soon as
the Marian came alongside of the steamer, and had obtained from Bissell
all the details of the capture of Paul, and the subsequent events.

The Sylph stood over to the town, and the three boats locked together
for a conference. The first thing was to hear Dory's account of Paul's
adventures. Then they decided to wait until the Sylph started for home,
for they were filled with curiosity to know what might be done with the
ruffians.

Just then they discovered that the Chesterfield barges were lying on
their oars off the southern arm of Sandy Point. They had some curiosity,
and doubtless were more interested than their rivals. All the boats
retained their positions for over an hour, when the Sylph was seen to
leave the wharf. In a few minutes more she had crossed the bay, and
stopped her screw near the Marian. The eight-oar barge was ordered to
come alongside the steamer, and Paul was taken on board.

Of course they could not separate until the students had heard the news
from Westport. In a few words the spare hand informed them that a
warrant had been issued on the testimony of Paul and Bissell, and the
six ruffians had been committed to the lockup. They were to be examined
the next day, and the witnesses were duly summoned. In the presence of
the magistrate Buck Lamb had broken down, and he declared that they had
been employed by Major Billcord to capture Paul for the sum of
twenty-five dollars. Two of the others indorsed this statement, and the
principal had procured a warrant for his arrest, which was now in the
hands of the constable. Captain Gildrock had procured the services of
the best lawyer in the county of Essex to look after the business for
him.

The news from Westport was very satisfactory, and the question seemed
to be whether or not a man who had money enough to pay the bills could
outrage a poor boy with impunity. Captain Gildrock's blood boiled,
though it did not bubble, or otherwise manifest its condition.

The commodore gave the order for a start, and in a short time the barges
came up with the Chesterfields, though they were a quarter of a mile
farther out in the lake. The Sylph was hardly moving through the water,
the principal doubtless holding her back to see that no trouble arose
between the two schools. He took the precaution to run the steam yacht
between the two parties, and soon found himself within hailing distance
of the Dasher, with Major Billcord in the stern-sheets.

The two gentlemen were somewhat acquainted, and had occasionally met on
the lake and at the bank in Burlington. As the Sylph went lazily along,
the captain discovered a white handkerchief hoisted on a stick, and saw
that the Dasher was pulling towards the steamer. He rang his bell to
stop her, and she awaited the pleasure of the barge.

"Captain Gildrock, you and I have always been good neighbors, though we
don't live on the same side of the lake," said Major Billcord, standing
up in the stern-sheets of the barge. "I feel it my duty to give you a
friendly warning. I learn that a young scoundrel by the name of Paul
Bristol, whose family I have charitably harbored on my land without the
payment of rent, came over to Westport to-day with the students of your
school. He is a young villain, and I warn you not to trust him."

"I had come to the conclusion that he was a very good boy," replied the
captain.

"You are utterly mistaken, sir!" protested the major. "He assaulted both
my son and myself, for which I intend to punish him in the severest
manner. His mother and sister live on the point here, in a cottage owned
by the woman; and the boy lived here before he went to Genverres, if he
has gone over there. I warned the woman to move her house at once. She
has not done it, and I shall tumble the building into the lake. It will
make some sport for our boys, and I thought yours might like to see the
fun, and learn a good lesson in the administration of human justice. I
should be happy to have your steamer and your barges take position near
the point, where you can see the proceedings."

Captain Gildrock made no reply, and the Dasher pulled away without
waiting for any. The two Chesterfield barges ran their bows into the
sand in front of where the cottage had stood, and the Sylph, after
whistling for the Beech Hill barges to approach, followed the Dasher.
The barges from the other side pulled to the entrance of the bay, and
lay upon their oars.

"Now is the time for the fun to begin, and we are invited to see it,"
said Dick Short to Paul, who sat by his side.

"I think there will be some fun, though it will not be what Major
Billcord and his crowd came to see," added Dory.

On board of the Dasher, Jack Woodhorn had risen from his seat, after he
had given the order for the oarsmen to boat their oars. All the students
were busy attending to their blades. Woodhorn was evidently looking for
the cottage; but he did not see it. Then the magnate stood up; then all
the students in the two boats stood up, and then both barges were nearly
upset by this folly, and the coxswains ordered their crews to be seated.

"Did I understand you to say there was a cottage here to be tumbled into
the lake to illustrate the administration of human justice, Major
Billcord?" called Captain Gildrock, who had placed the bow of the Sylph
within a few feet of the stern of the Dasher.

"I don't understand this," replied the magnate. "The cottage was here
yesterday, and it was quite impossible for the woman to move it. Send
the young gentlemen ashore to see if they can find it."

The young gentlemen could not find it. The site where it had stood was
smoothed over as nicely as though the building had never been there. The
major said it was a great mystery.

"No human justice to-day, then?" queried the principal of the Beech Hill
school. "Perhaps divine justice had got ahead of human justice in this
instance, as it sometimes does."

"Do you know anything about it, sir?" demanded the major angrily.

"The cottage was removed to Genverres by the students of the Beech Hill
Industrial School last night," replied the captain.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE PROCEEDINGS AT SANDY POINT.


It is to be regretted that Major Billcord set a very bad example to the
Chesterfield students by using profane language when the Beech Hill
principal "let the cat out of the bag." At first he was not inclined to
believe the statement, for it seemed incredible to him that any company
of boys should have been able to put the cottage on a boat and convey it
across the lake.

Captain Gildrock was obliged to explain how the work had been done,
before he would accept the solution of the mystery. The principal
offered to take him over to the school grounds and show him the cottage
if he had any doubts on the subject.

"It was a shabby trick on your part, after all," said Major Billcord,
when he had got the explanation through his head. "I don't interfere
with your affairs on the other side of the lake, and I don't know of any
reason why you should meddle with mine."

"As I understand the matter, major, you warned Mrs. Bristol to remove
her cottage within twenty-four hours, or you would tumble it into the
lake," replied the captain. "I simply allowed the students to assist the
good woman in doing what you required her to do."

"You knew very well that this was a case of discipline on this side of
the lake," replied the major, waxing exceedingly wrathy. "My son was
attacked in the most brutal manner by that woman's cub, and she upheld
the young villain, and would not allow him to be punished as he
deserved. Of course, I knew the woman could not remove the cottage, and
it would have been here now if you had not meddled with my business,
like a very bad neighbor."

"I don't care to discuss the assault, as you call it, with you, but I
think the boy and his mother were fully justified in their action,"
replied the principal, in firm but gentle tones.

"You do, do you?" demanded the major. "The young rascal abused my son.
Look at his face," and he pointed at the interesting features of Walk,
who sat in the boat listening to what his father said. "When I
interfered to save my son from serious injury, he flew at me like a
wildcat, and look at my eyes."

"Why didn't you prosecute the boy in the court, and have him properly
punished?" suggested the captain, looking rather sarcastically at the
magnate.

"I don't do business in that way," returned the major, boiling over with
anger. "I shall punish the young rascal myself! I shall do it here at
Sandy Point, where the outrage was committed. I have taken steps to have
him brought here for that purpose."

"Then you expect Paul to be brought here, do you?" asked Captain
Gildrock, astonished at the remarks of the magnate, for he had not a
doubt that he had seen what had transpired while the sailboat was
alongside the Sylph.

"I do expect him here very soon; and I shall tie him up to a tree and
give him such a thrashing that he won't get off his bed for one month
after it!" exclaimed Major Billcord, flourishing a rawhide in the air as
he spoke.

"This strikes me as rather brutal," added the principal.

"Brutal? Look in Walker's face! Look in my face! Were the blows that
made these marks brutal, or were they not? I shall have satisfaction for
them!"

Captain Gildrock was trying to explain to himself how it happened that
the magnate knew nothing of what had taken place alongside the steam
yacht. As he thought the matter over he understood it better. The Sylph
had been between the Silver Moon and the Chesterfield barges, so that
they could not see what took place on the lee side of her.

While Paul was telling his story in the pilot-house, the Chesterfields,
finding the Beech Hill boats gathering around the steamer, had pulled
close up to the shore, and continued on their way to Sandy Point.
Neither Major Billcord nor the students with him had been troubled with
a doubt in regard to the fidelity of Bissell to their interests. Even if
he was faithless, he had the six ruffians with him, and they would be
more than a match for a single man.

However it had happened, it appeared that the magnate and the crews with
him knew nothing at all about the capture of the ruffians. They had
waited off the point till the Beech Hill fleet came up, and they
concluded that the sloop was standing off towards Westport to avoid a
meeting with the "tinkers."

The magnate wished the visitors from the other side to see the
destruction of the cottage, and he had invited them to be spectators of
the expected frolic. He had decided to attend of the cottage first, so
that the Beech Hillers might see the fun, and to administer the
punishment to Paul Bristol after they had gone, for he did not care to
have them witness that spectacle.

"I am afraid you are laboring under a mistake, Major Billcord,"
continued Captain Gildrock. "Did I understand you to say that you
expected Paul here to be punished for his brutality?"

"That is precisely what I do expect; and he will be here in the course
of half an hour. But I need not detain you any longer, sir," replied the
magnate, with very ill grace. "There is no mistake about it, you may
depend upon it."

"If you will pardon me, there is some mistake, for Paul Bristol is here
now," added the captain. "Marian, ahoy! Back down this way," he shouted
to the barges, which were lying at the entrance to Sandy Bay.

The crews were lying on their oars, and Dick Short promptly gave the
order, "Stern all," and the Marian soon put her stern very near the bow
of the steamer.

"Stand up, Bristol, and show yourself," said the captain.

Paul stood up in the stern-sheets of the barge, and Major Billcord
looked at him as though he had been a spectre from some neighboring
graveyard. Then he had a moment's animated conversation with the
coxswain at his side. It was another mystery, and possibly the magnate
thought he was in the middle of the last chapter of a novel. How had it
been possible for him to get out of the clutches of the six ruffians?

But the mystery suddenly paled, and the major threw himself into a
towering passion. The object of his intended vengeance was before him.
Jack Woodhorn, at the request of the magnate, summoned his crews from
the shore. It looked as though the enraged major intended to attempt the
capture of his victim under the very eyes of the Beech Hillers.

"That is Paul Bristol, as you may see for yourself, Major Billcord,"
said Captain Gildrock, when he observed the preparations on the part of
the Chesterfields to do something. "He is now a student in the Beech
Hill Industrial School; and to him, for the time being, I stand in the
relation _in loco parentis_; I shall protect him to the fullest extent."

"Captain Gildrock, this is unfriendly to me, and--"

"But friendly to the boy and his mother, who need a friend more than
you do," interposed the principal. "The six ruffians you hired to
capture that poor boy have been arrested and committed to the lockup.
Some of them admitted that they were employed by you to do this piece of
villany, and there is a warrant out for your arrest. Doubtless, the
facts will all come out at the examination to-morrow forenoon; and if it
appears that I have done you any wrong, I shall be prepared to make you
abundant reparation."

"A warrant for my arrest!" exclaimed Major Billcord, sinking down into
his seat.

"I have employed the Hon. Richard Lawbrook to look after the case in my
absence, and I hope justice will be done," added the captain as he rang
two bells in the pilot-house.

At the same time the principal made a motion with his hand, in the
direction of home, to the boats ahead of the steamer. The barges backed
into position, and the commodore shouted the order to give way. In a
minute more they were in line, pulling down the lake, but keeping near
the shore.

Major Billcord did not utter a word to anyone. He was in deep thought.
Very likely his impulsive nature had led him to organize the plan for
the capture of Paul without any consideration of the possible
consequences. He was by far the richest man in that region, and owned no
end of shares in all the industrial and commercial enterprises of that
part of the State. He was a man of large influence, and was not
over-scrupulous in regard to the use of it. With such power, he was in
the habit of having his own way, though there were a few people in the
neighborhood who contrived to maintain their own independence, even at
the risk of quarrelling with the magnate.

Among the latter was the Hon. Richard Lawbrook, a prominent lawyer in
the county, who had been made a senator, though without pledges, in part
by the influence of the major. But when the legislator was requested and
pressed to promote by his eloquence a more than questionable enterprise,
his conscience revolted, and he refused his aid. This had produced a
bitter quarrel between himself and the magnate, though all the honest
people believed that the senator was an upright and just man.

Doubtless, the mention of the senator's name had produced a decided
effect upon the mind of the magnate. Mr. Lawbrook was a man of
influence, who believed that the laws should be impartially executed
upon the rich as well as the poor. The prospect ahead was not pleasant.

There was no "pile of fun" to be had at the point that day, and
Commodore Woodhorn backed away from the beach as soon as his crews were
in a condition to do so. Without asking the major any questions, he
conveyed his distinguished passenger over to the town, and landed him at
the steps. The procession was formed to escort him to his elegant
mansion when Mr. Bulfington appeared, and respectfully announced that he
had a warrant for the arrest of the object of the parade. The major was
impatient when the officer presented himself, and told him to call at
his house if he had any business with him.

The constable politely intimated that it was a criminal proceeding, and
that he was under the necessity of taking his prisoner wherever he could
find him. He treated the culprit just as though he had been a poor man,
which was a new experience to the magnate. He was taken to the lockup,
and confined in a cell. With the major behind the bars, Mr. Bulfington
was complaisant enough to do anything he required. A couple of wealthy
friends were sent for, and the major and the six ruffians were bailed
out in the course of an hour.

There had been some earnest talk between Captain Gildrock and Mr.
Lawbrook, for the former wished to know whether justice represented a
substantial idea in the State of New York. The senator was confident
that all men were equal before the law; and as he had more influence
with the constable than any other person had, Mr. Bulfington was
unwilling to assume any special responsibility in regard to his powerful
prisoner.

The Beech Hill fleet went home, and not only the students, but the
families at the mansion and at Hornet Point had enough to talk about for
the rest of the day. The next morning, when all the students except Paul
were at their studies in the school-room, the Sylph, with Mrs. Bristol
and Lily on board with Paul, sailed for Westport.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE STUDENTS DECIDE "WHAT'S IN A NAME."


Major Billcord had the services of a distinguished lawyer from
Plattsburgh and of another from Elizabethtown to defend himself and the
six ruffians. They almost made a "celebrated case" of it. They got the
trial into the county court, and the six ruffians were sentenced to ten
days confinement in the county prison, and the major himself to thirty
days.

The assault and the conspiracy were too outrageous, in the opinion of
the justice, to be punished with a simple fine. The workingmen and the
farmers had got hold of the case and talked a great deal about it.
Against the advice of the eminent legal gentlemen he employed, Paul
Bristol was prosecuted for the first assault upon Walker Billcord, and
this brought in the testimony of Lily and her mother, which the lawyers
wanted to keep out. This evidence completed the history of the case by
filling in the beginning of the trouble.

Paul was fully justified and acquitted, and the people praised him for
his defence of his sister. Fathers and mothers were interested, for they
looked to the law for the protection of their children. Every effort was
made to save the magnate from the disgrace of being confined in a common
prison, but public sentiment would have been indignant, and he had to
serve out his time.

The farmers and mechanics were inclined to go as far the wrong way in
one direction as the major and his friends were in the other. The
magnate was a "soulless capitalist," a "bloated bondholder," and he
suffered, especially among the mill hands, for this senseless reason.
But the judge was even-handed between the two parties, and the major
learned a lesson which was worth half his fortune to him--that before
the law he was no more than the equal of the poor man.

Four of the six ruffians were taken from the institute by their parents,
who had sent them there to be fitted for college, and they were sure
that their sons had been led away by the influence of Major Billcord,
and by the lack of proper discipline in the school. Three others were
removed for the same reason. The loss of these pupils was a severe blow
to Colonel Buckmill, who had condemned the conduct of the major from
the first.

Though other students were soon obtained to take their places, and even
to increase the number of pupils in the school, the colonel realized
that he was not managing the institution on the right principle. The
magnate had lost much of his influence in the vicinity, and the
principal found that he could afford to be independent of him, for it
would pay better.

On the day of the examination, Captain Gildrock called the students of
Beech Hill together in the school-room in the afternoon, after the
studies had been finished. The model to which he had alluded at the time
of his lecture on shipbuilding was still on the table where it had been
placed on that occasion. The students had examined it with a great deal
of interest. They had read all they could find in the books in the
library on the subject, and studied the three plans on the wall.

They were very impatient, as young men always are, to begin the actual
work of building the boat. It was even more to their taste than erecting
a house, though many of them were now competent to frame a building from
the plans.

The subject of a name for the craft had engaged their attention, and
they had given a great deal of thought to it. They were all ambitious to
name the schooner, and a great variety of names was likely to be
presented. They had all been handed in; and when the principal announced
that the first business was to select one from them, Mr. Bentnick handed
him the envelope which contained them.

"Lily," said the captain, laughing, as he took the first paper from the
enclosure.

All the boys looked very good-natured, though something like
embarrassment appeared upon the faces of not a few of them.

"Lily," continued the captain, reading the second suggestion.

The good-natured looks expanded into smiles.

"Lily," the principal said again, as he drew out the third paper. The
smile became a little more intense.

"Lily," repeated the principal once more, and then he emptied all the
slips of paper from the envelope, and began to sort them over.

Principal, instructors and students were all laughing merrily by this
time. It was evident that the boys were very impressible fellows, and
had been captivated by the beauty of Miss Bristol. Possibly some of
them were disturbed because they found that others had made the same
selection as their own.

"They are not all alike," said Captain Gildrock, when he had finished
sorting the papers. "Only about two thirds of them are 'Lily.' It is
certainly a very pretty name, and there is no flower more pure and
beautiful than the lily. But the name is rather general and indefinite.
We have the tiger lily, the lily of the valley, the pond lily, and other
kinds. What do you say to calling the schooner the Pond Lily?"

"No, sir!" shouted a majority of the students, with one voice.

"The Tiger Lily, then?"

"No, sir," was the emphatic reply.

"Then Lily of the Valley?"

"No, sir!" again voted the majority.

"Perhaps I shall have to ask Miss Millweed for the names of other kinds
of lilies," added the principal, with a very pleasant smile.

"None of them!" exclaimed the crowd, encouraged by the cheerful
expression of the captain.

"None of them?"

"Lily Bristol!" called Luke Bennington. "I put in another name, but that
is what the fellows mean."

"Yes, sir!" cried the majority.

Captain Gildrock improved this opportunity to say something about the
influence of female society, and especially of young ladies. If Beech
Hill were not a school of mechanic arts, he should be in favor of having
as many young ladies as young gentlemen on its roll of pupils. He was in
favor of co-education, whereat Mr. Bentnick shook his head, and seemed
to be uneasy in his seat, though Mr. Darlingby showed a disposition to
clap his hands. The captain was an old-fashioned man, he said, but he
hoped he had modern and progressive ideas. He was not in favor of
"pretty girls."

At this point about half a dozen of the students gave something like a
suppressed groan. The principal paused, the dissentients wished they had
said nothing; but he did not add a word. He seemed to feel that they had
as much right to express themselves in this manner as to applaud, or
express themselves in other ways.

"I don't believe in pretty girls as such," he continued, "because they
monopolize the sole attention of young men, to the exclusion of others
even more worthy who are personally less attractive. But I hardly expect
young gentlemen to adopt my views on this subject before they have
lived to be as old as I am. When you have an opportunity, boys, bestow
some attention upon the 'wallflowers.'"

He had not intended to say so much on this part of the subject, and he
resumed the general topic. Ladies should be treated with the utmost
respect, whether attractive or not, and even if they did not conduct
themselves like ladies. He did not prohibit the students from
associating with the young ladies of Genverres and the neighboring
towns, under proper circumstances, and thought female society was
beneficial to them. But profound respect must be the basis of such
relations. There should be nothing like undue familiarity with them, and
a young lady, even if not more than fifteen, should not be addressed by
her Christian name except by her relatives. It must always be "Miss
Bristol," and not "Lily," or even "Miss Lily."

"Not Miss Lily?" said a puzzled student.

"That is a grade of familiarity between the surname and the given name,
proper enough for persons who are intimate enough to use it, but not
applicable in the present instance. Now, to return to the name of the
schooner, from which the papers withdrew my attention. I am entirely
willing that you should give her a name."

After what the principal had said about pretty girls, most of the
students concluded that any attempt to give the name of one of that
sisterhood to the craft would be vetoed. They were not quite satisfied
to have their wishes disregarded. His last words, however, gave them a
little encouragement. The principal picked up the slips of paper and
counted them, or a portion of them.

"Twenty-three have given in the name of 'Lily,'" said he, taking up
those which indicated some other name. "'Champlain,' 'Lake Bird,' 'Lake
Gem,' 'Saranac,' and the names of most of the lakes and rivers in
Vermont. Among them are 'Addison' (our county), 'Genverres,' either of
which would be a very good, and a very appropriate name. I don't like
the fancy names, such as 'Gem of the Lake,' as well as the more
substantial ones. Now you may vote on the question, and the name among
those I have read which has a majority shall be the one selected."

This announcement brought out some applause. Then the captain said it
would be in order for any student who wished to recommend any particular
name, to say what he pleased on the subject. This permission brought
Luke Bennington to his feet.

"I don't believe there is a craft on the lake now called the
'Champlain.' There has been a large steamer, but she is no longer in
existence," said the speaker, with considerable earnestness. "In my
opinion--and I have seen the lakes of Scotland and Switzerland--Lake
Champlain is the finest lake in the world."

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" murmured several listeners.

"Of course the size of the lake comes into the comparison, or Lake
George might be nothing by the side of a little pond between a couple of
hills. We have the Adirondacks on one side, and the Green Mountains on
the other; and, taking everything into consideration, I vote for Lake
Champlain as the finest. For this reason, and because it is the element
on which the schooner is to figure, I hope its name will be given to
her."

Another student spoke in favor of "Battenkill," but he proved to be the
only one who had ever heard the name. He explained that it was a river
which had its source in Vermont, though it soon wandered into New York.
A third student spoke for "Addison," and a fourth for "Genverres." The
advocates of "Lily" seemed to be conscious of their strength, and all
of them were too bashful to make a speech in its favor.

Mr. Darlingby passed around the box, and all voted. The ballots were
quickly counted by the instructors, who appeared to be quite as much
interested as the boys, and the principal read the result. It was
evident then that a few did not care a straw for the name, and voted for
the fun of it.

"Tiger Lily, 1; Pond Lily, 1; Lake Gem, 1; Genverres, 1; Addison, 1;
Battenkill, 1; Champlain, 2; Lily, 28," the principal read from the
paper made out by Mr. Bentnick.

The vote was received with tremendous applause, and the students
continued to clap their hands until the captain raised his linger as a
signal for them to cease.

"The schooner will be called the 'Lily,'" added the principal.



CHAPTER XXV.

BUILDING THE BOAT.


While the boys were getting over the excitement attending the vote on
the name of the unbuilt schooner, Captain Gildrock moved the table on
which the model of the craft stood to the front of the platform, where
all could see it. It was a very graceful form, and the nautical boys
were sure that the schooner would be a fast sailer.

"I told you before," said the principal, "that this model was
constructed on a new plan; but I have since learned that the idea is not
as original as I supposed it was, and that boats have been built by this
method. I supposed I should be the first to introduce it, but I find I
am not, though the model-maker had never made one before.

"The plans are drawn and the model made on the scale of one inch to a
foot. Whatever measures an inch in the plan or model measures a foot in
the boat. Every stick in the craft will therefore be twelve times the
size it is in this model. The Lily will have a beam of thirteen feet,
which is a little more than one-third of the length.

"This model is made of soft pine and mahogany. The ribs are to be
twenty-one inches from the centre of one to the centre of the next one.
What looks to you like the space between the timbers, or ribs, is pine.
The mahogany strips, which are comparatively narrow, represent the
timbers. The pieces are transverse sections of the hull, made separately
and put together.

"This is the stem," continued the principal, detaching the piece from
the model. "A model of it is to be made of soft wood, enlarged to twelve
times the size of this piece. Removing a piece of the pine, we come to a
mahogany section. As the bow is round, these sections radiate from a
shorter line on the keel than the horizontal line above it on the deck
would be."

The captain held up one of these diagonal sections, the top or deck part
of which was in the shape of a triangle with a very acute angle. The
parts were in pairs, one belonging on each side of the bows.

"The outer edge of this half section gives the shape of the bow where
this piece belongs. If you lay it on a smooth board, you can mark from
it the exact curve of the timber which is to go where this piece is
taken out. It must be enlarged to twelve times the size of the section.
Of course the outer surface of the section only is of any use to you;
but having obtained the exact shape of the outside, the rib may be made
of any width and thickness we wish."

The principal removed several of the diagonal half sections, all of
which were to be treated like the first one. At the widest part of the
model he came to pieces which were of uniform thickness. These were also
in pairs, separated on the vertical plane above the keel. The lines of
the outer surface in these half sections were to be transferred and
enlarged as before, and the mould or pattern was to be made from them.

In this manner the model was pulled to pieces, and from the edges of the
transverse sections the shape of the craft was to be obtained. The
stern-post, stern-knees and transoms were to be shaped in the same way.
The captain stated that the model represented the craft after she was
planked, and it would be necessary, in drafting the moulds, to allow for
its thickness.

Mr. Jepson then took the platform and explained in what manner the
outlines of the half sections were to be enlarged. To give all the
details would take a whole volume, and doubtless it would be very dry
reading to most young people. Only an idea of how the work was to be
done can be given, and those who wish to build such a craft as the Lily,
or even a boat or a canoe of a third of her length, need full drawings
and very minute explanations.[A]

These lectures used up the rest of the afternoon. The next day was
devoted to making the moulds. At the end of ten days the frame was ready
to set up. The keel was laid down at an angle of three-quarters of an
inch to the foot, so that it would readily slide off when the time came
to launch it. The boys had been studying on the subject, and the
principal had supplied the library with all the available works. They
labored very hard because they were very deeply interested.

Setting up the frame was an exceedingly exciting labor with them; but
when it was up they found the shape corresponded with the model. Some
had done their work better than others, and here and there it was
necessary to do considerable fitting. In another week the frame was
ready for the planking. Captain Gildrock gave frequent lectures on the
proper methods of doing the work, and explained the construction of
larger vessels than the Lily.

A part of the Champlain mechanics, as they still called themselves,
worked in the shop, and a part in the building-shed. There were a great
many bolts of iron and copper, and a great many metal plates, braces and
straps to be prepared, which gave abundant employment to the machinists,
who had been instructed by the head of this department in forge-work, as
well as filing and turning.

The carpenters had plenty to do in the shop, with abundant opportunity
to learn many things which are not required in the ordinary experience
of such mechanics. There was also room enough for the exercise of their
inventive powers.

With so many enthusiastic workmen, who found abundant variety in their
operations as the schooner advanced towards completion, the planking was
soon finished. Then a dozen of the carpenters went to work upon it with
the smoothing-planes, and the outer surface was made as smooth as a
floor.

The hull rested in the cradle which had been erected for it, and the
tops of the timbers were secured in their places by cross-stays. So far,
little or nothing had been said about the interior of the hull, for the
reason that the frame and planking had absorbed all the attention of the
workmen. The next step was to put in the deck-beams, and secure the
shelves on which they were to rest.

"Now, boys, we must decide upon the plan for the inside of the
schooner," said the principal, when he had called the students together
in the building-shed. "What accommodations shall we provide on board?"

"A cabin and a standing-room," replied Life Windham.

"Like the Goldwing," suggested Matt Randolph.

"The Goldwing contains a cabin, cook-room and standing-room. We can have
all these on a larger scale in the Lily; and there will be space in the
run for a store-room and ice-house, with a door into it from the cabin."

"Behind the steps at the companion-way," added Matt.

"There is no other way to reach it unless you put a scuttle in the floor
of the standing-room, which is liable to leak," replied the principal.
"The steps can be hung on hinges and turn up, but I think it is better
to slip them back out of the way. How long will you have the cabin?"
"How much clear space have we inboard?" asked Luke Bennington.

"About thirty feet, after allowing for the bend of the bows and the rake
of the stern," answered the principal.

"Cabin fourteen feet, I should say," continued Luke. "That will leave
eight feet besides the overhang for the standing-room, and the same for
the cook-room."

"That was my calculation," replied Captain Gildrock. "Then we want a
trunk fourteen feet long, which may be about nine feet wide on the main
deck. This will make a very roomy apartment for a lake craft. On each
side of it we must build up transoms, or divans, for seats or berths. As
we have no centreboard in the middle of it, there will be nothing in our
way." "Why didn't we build a centreboard boat?" asked Matt Randolph.

"I think a keel boat is safer and stiffer. In Lake Champlain we have
plenty of water, though we shall draw about five feet aft. There are
shoal places, but there isn't the least need of running over them."

"In a centreboard boat, if you get aground, there is a chance for you to
work off when you cannot in a keel," said Matt.

"That is very true; but I think the stiffness of the keel craft more
than compensates for the advantage of light draft in these waters."

The principal then made a drawing to illustrate the method of putting in
the beams and the knees that were to support them. As only a portion of
the beams could extend entirely across the boat, on account of the
elevation of the trunk, it required careful work and planning to secure
the necessary strength. But this problem had been solved by the
instructors, and the descriptions of the timbers were obtained.

In a few days more the frame of the trunk and deck was in place. While a
part of the workmen were planking the deck, the rest were putting down
the floor of the cabin, and building the transoms. Before the 1st of
July the work on the hull was completed. The boys had contrived a great
many lockers in the cook-room and cabin, for the storage of dishes and
cooking utensils, and for everything needed on board.

Inside and outside, all hands went over the work with sandpaper. A gang
of calkers had already filled the seams with oakum. Tar, pitch, and
putty had been used where they were needed, and no one considered it
possible for the craft to leak a drop.

A thin coat of lead color was then put on the outside, and one of white
inside. The boys had some skill in painting, for they had been called
upon to do all kinds of work, from laying brick up to tinkering a watch.
Several coats were given to the whole, but the last two on the outside
were of black.

Captain Gildrock had decided to have an iron false keel added, partly to
protect the wood and partly to serve as ballast. A pattern of the
casting had been made and sent up to Port Henry to be cast. It was in
one piece, and weighed over a ton. Of course, it had to be bolted on
before the Lily was launched. It was too heavy and cumbrous to be
transported on the Sylph; but Mr. Miker had to deliver a cargo of stone
at Port Henry, and it could be brought down on the gundalow. It was
nothing but fun for the students to tow the unwieldy craft about the
lake, and the next Saturday holiday was to be used for this purpose.

At eight o'clock in the morning the Sylph, fully manned by the students
this time, started out of the creek with her tow. Paul Bristol had been
assigned to a place as a deck hand on board, and he had made several
trips in the steamer. On the present occasion he had asked to be
excused, in order to attend to some work for his mother.

For two weeks before, Lily had been at work for Mr. Bissell, taking the
place of Susy Wellington, who had gone to visit her friends in Albany.
She had written to her mother that she should like to spend Sunday at
home. It was difficult and expensive to get from Westport to Genverres
then, for the steamers did not go up Beaver River.

Paul thought he could manage it. As it was a still day on the lake, he
was going after her in the flatboat, in the afternoon. It was a ten-mile
pull, but he was good for that. He had hauled up the boat after dinner
to put it in order, when he discovered a queer-looking craft coming down
the creek.

FOOTNOTE:

[A] The editor of "Forest and Stream" has prepared a work for
amateurs, called "Canoe and Boat Building," which may be obtained of the
publishers of that valuable paper, or at the bookstores.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THAT CUNNING TOM TOPOVER.


The strange craft appeared to be modelled after the catamaran, though
the builder thereof had never seen one. It consisted of two logs a foot
in diameter and ten feet long, which were placed three feet apart. In
the middle of the supports two boards were nailed on the sticks, so that
the thing looked more like the letter H than it did like a catamaran.

On the cross-boards was an old window-glass box; and on the box was
seated Tom Topover. He was the naval architect of the structure which
bore him, and the craft was not at all creditable to his ingenuity. If
he had nailed the cross-boards across the ends of the logs, there would
have been more stability to the affair, though in that case it would
have been stigmatized as a raft.

In his hand Tom held a rude paddle with which he was trying to control
the movements of the aquatic chariot. It had no propelling power, and
floated with the current down the creek. A bend of the stream threw the
force of the water against Hornet Point, and Tom was trying to keep it
from going against the rocks. He did not succeed at all, and one of the
logs, striking the bank, twisted the structure entirely out of shape.

The two logs came together, the nails which held the cross-pieces
twisting off with the slight shock. Paul saw that Tom was in peril, and
he rushed into the house to get his oars, which he kept in his chamber,
in the attic, for he was afraid that some of the hard-looking boys of
the Topover herd might steal his boat. He had heard of Tom before, but
he had never seen him, and he did not know that the fellow on the queer
craft was he.

Tom Topover dropped from the box down upon the log, allowing his seat to
fall into the water. With the paddle in his hand he threw around the end
of the affair, till it was within reach of Paul's flatboat. Reaching
out, he hauled it in, and jumped into it. The logs floated off with the
current of the little lake.

"You are there, are you?" said Paul, as he returned with the oars.

"Yes I am. How are you, Paul Bristol?" replied Tom, with a grin from ear
to ear.

"Well, I thank you; how are you?" added Paul. "I thought you were
booked for a bath, and I went in for my oars."

"That's right, and you are a good fellow. They say you are a Bristol
brick."

"Perhaps I am, but I don't happen to know you, and can't say what sort
of a brick you may be," replied Paul.

"I'm a perfect brick. Gi' me them oars and I'll pick up them logs,"
continued Tom, extending his hand to receive them.

"I'll help you do it," replied Paul, taking the painter and hauling in
the boat.

"What's your name?"

"Jack Sheppard," replied Tom, with a fresh grin.

"Have you got a rope, Jack Sheppard?"

"Never mind the logs; they don't belong to me, and I don't care for 'em.
Can't you lend me this boat a little spell? I want to git some saxifax
over there for my mother."

"I can't spare her now; I have to go over to Westport after my sister,"
answered Paul.

"Be you, though? I guess I'll go over with you," said Tom, with
refreshing confidence.

"I thought you were going to get some sassafras for your mother," added
Paul, who had by this time come to the conclusion that his visitor was
as queer as the craft upon which he had come.

"I guess I'll git it another time. I want to go over to Westport to see
a feller I know there."

"But I can't bring you back, for my sister is coming with me, and the
boat won't carry more than two," answered Paul, supposing this would end
the matter.

"All right; I will stay with the feller I know all night," replied the
accommodating stranger. "I'll help you row the boat over."

Paul was quite willing to have the queer fellow go with him, even if he
had to row all the way himself, for the flatboat worked better with two
in her than with one. Without a passenger she was too deep in the water
forward, and dug her nose into the wave. He had not the least idea who
his visitor was, but did not believe he had given his right name. If he
had known him, he would have given him the cold shoulder at once.

"I am not ready to go yet; I have to fix up the boat a little,"
continued Paul, as he laid the oars on the beach.

"How long before you can go? I don't want to wait all day, Bristol
Brick," added Tom.

"You needn't wait one minute if you don't wish to," replied Paul, who
wondered in what school of politeness his involuntary companion had been
brought up. "I am going to wash out the boat and let her dry a little
before I go."

"What's the use of washing her out? She is clean enough for any feller
to eat his dinner in," growled Tom.

"Perhaps she is if the fellow's a pig," said Paul, as he hauled the boat
up on the beach, nearly upsetting the Topover in the act.

"Mind out! What are you doing? Do you mean to spill me into the drink?"
demanded the saucy visitor.

"If you don't get out of the boat, you will be likely to get a ducking,"
added Paul, as he took up a pail and a broom he had brought from the
house before.

Tom looked at the owner of the Dragon; in fact, he eyed him from head to
foot. Tom was a pugilist, or he thought he was. He was a fighting
character, and possibly he was thinking whether he could whip the son of
toil, whose story had been told all over Genverres as well as on the
other side of the lake.

The Chesterfields had patronized and encouraged Tom Topover the season
before, because they believed that he and his vicious companions could
assist them in their encounters with the Beech Hillers.

During the present season the students of the two schools had not come
in collision, for the reason that Colonel Buckmill had forbidden his
pupils to meddle with their old enemies. Since the removal of the
cottage from Sandy Point the Chesterfield barges had been down to
Porter's Bay, where Tom had met Walker Billcord. The Topover and his
gang had fully discussed the attempt to capture Paul Bristol, and were
familiar with all the particulars.

Tom wished the magnate had offered _him_ twenty-five dollars for
capturing the fellow, and handing him over to the major at Sandy Point.
This he said to Walk. He would be willing to do the job for ten dollars.
He didn't think it was a great undertaking.

"You had better try it on, then," added Walk, morosely, for he hated
Paul not a particle less than when the son of toil had laid him out on
the point. "He will knock you out every time, without half trying."

"I should like to see the feller that can do that!" exclaimed Tom,
clenching his dirty fists.

"Haven't you seen Paul Bristol?" asked Walk.

"I saw him on the other side of the pond; I never see him close to. But
I ain't afear'd on him. I'll bet I can lick him so he won't know whether
it's Sunday or Thanksgiving," blustered Tom. "Will your old man give a
feller anything now for ketchin' him?" inquired Tom, looking anxiously
into the face of Walk.

"He don't make any offers for him now," added the son cautiously. "He
don't want to get into any more rows about the fellow."

"Oh, he don't?" muttered Tom, evidently greatly disappointed. "If your
old man will only do the handsome thing, I'll scrape this Bristol Brick
till there ain't nothin' left on him."

Walk Billcord looked at the ugly customer at his side, and his thirst
for vengeance stirred all the bad blood in his veins. He had plenty of
spending money, and he could even afford to give ten dollars himself for
satisfactory vengeance. Nim Splugger and Kidd Digfield, as rough
specimens as the Topover himself, would assist Tom. But Walk's father
had just been discharged from confinement, and there was great risk in
making the trade suggested.

"You would be prosecuted if you did anything," suggested Walk. "Then it
would come out that I had a hand in the business."

"Not a bit on 't!" exclaimed Tom, very positively. "Jest as quick as I
git the ten dollars, nobody won't see nothin' more of me within a
hund'ed miles of Lake Champlain."

"What do you mean by that, Tom?" asked Walk curiously.

"I'm go'n to run away. My old man is so hard on me that I can't stand it
no longer. I'm go'n' to New York to ship in a pirate vessel. I shan't be
caught nohow."

"I would give ten dollars quick enough to see Paul tied to a tree and
lathered with a cowhide for twenty minutes or half an hour; but I don't
make any offers, and I won't hire any fellow to do such a thing," added
Walk, as he considered the appalling risk.

"I cal'late I know jest what you mean, and you don't make me no offers.
You don't promise to give me no money," protested Tom.

"What are you jawing about, Walk?" asked Ham Jackson, coming up at this
moment.

"Tom Topover offers to catch Paul Bristol, and give him a lathering that
will keep him on his bed a month, for ten dollars; but I won't do
anything of the sort. I don't offer him a cent. I won't give him a
penny if he kills the rascal," said Walk, with as much earnestness as
though he meant every word he said.

"That's jest how it is. He won't give me nothin', and says he won't,"
added Tom.

"If you choose to larrup him on your own account, it is none of my
business," continued Walk.

"Of course it isn't," Ham Jackson chimed in. "I should like to pay that
fellow off for the few cracks he gave me, but they go to law on this
side, and it isn't safe."

"Of course I can lick him if I want to, and 't ain't nobody's business,"
added Tom, who thought he was very cunning. "I guess I understand you,
and you understand me. About next Saturday night at Sandy Point, say."

The coxswain's call summoned them to the boat, and they parted from Tom
Topover. The latter believed he had made a square bargain with Walk
Billcord, and ten dollars would take him to New York and pay his way
till he could ship in a "pirate vessel." He meant a pilot-boat, for he
had heard some one talking about one of these brisk little schooners a
few days before.

Since that interview Tom had watched the school grounds all the time.
Paul lived on the point, and he could catch him alone there some
evening. He had built the queer craft for use in his great enterprise.
He had seen the Sylph go down the river in the morning, and he intended
to put his scheme in operation that evening. Paul often sat on the rocks
about dark, and the opportunity would not be wanting.

While he was nailing the logs together on the other side of the creek, a
little way up, he saw Paul in his flatboat. Then it seemed to him that
the son of toil was as good as bagged. He was absolutely sure he could
handle him, in spite of the experience of the kid-glove chaps on the
other side. But Tom was cunning in his own estimation. Paul was going to
Westport, and it was safer to do the job near Sandy Point than on the
school premises.

He could hardly help bullying, but he refrained as soon as he thought
what he was doing; and half an hour later he embarked in the flatboat
with his victim.



CHAPTER XXVII.

THE BRILLIANT STRATEGY OF THE BRUISER.


That cunning Tom Topover was actually behaving himself in something like
a civilized manner, in his desire not to alarm his victim. Just now he
was engaged in a strategetic enterprise, and found it necessary to
display only the fur side of his nature, though even that was very like
the bristles of a pig. He did his best, which was not saying much, to
keep on the right side of his intended victim. But Paul was a
good-natured fellow, and it was an easy matter to conciliate him.

The son of toil rowed down the river, and crossing the shoal water of
Field's Bay, took a straight course for his destination. Tom sat at the
stern, and did not seem to be as much inclined to talk as he had been
immediately after the wreck of the queer craft. In fact, he was turning
over in his mind sundry cunning propositions, to accomplish the purpose
for which he had embarked in the present venture.

It was a good six-mile pull to Westport, but Paul was used to the
Dragon, and she went ahead without much effort on his part. The lake was
as smooth as glass, and the rower wondered that it could ever be as
rough as it had been the day the Silver Moon was so nearly wrecked.
Though he was as tough as an oak knot, and had not yet become tired, he
thought it was about time for the stranger in the stern to begin to do
his share of the pulling, for the boat was now about half way to
Westport. Sandy Point was half a mile ahead, and Paul mentioned the fact
as a hint that his companion had better take the oars.

"They say you used to live there, Bristol Brick," said Tom in reply, and
without taking the hint, which was altogether too indefinite for one
with a skin so thick and dirty as the bruiser had.

"I lived there two years," replied Paul indifferently.

"Sho'! You don't say so!" exclaimed Tom, albeit there was nothing very
astonishing in the statement. "They say the Beech Hill fellers kerried
the house you lived in over to Hornet P'int one night, and left
everything jest as though there never hadn't been no house there."

"That's all very true. Major Billcord warned my mother to move the
cottage within twenty-four hours, and told her he should pitch it into
the lake if she didn't do it," added Paul; and the stranger seemed to be
the only person in Addison County who didn't know all the particulars of
the affair.

"I guess the major was a little struck up when he found it had scooted,"
said Tom, with a cheerful grin, as he looked ahead at the point where he
had suggested a meeting of the oarsman with Walk Billcord on the evening
of that day.

"He was very much astonished, and so were the students of the institute,
to whom he had promised a pile of fun in tipping the cottage and all
that it contained into the lake."

"I don't see how the Beech Hill fellers could move the house. I don't
believe they did it," added Tom, shaking his head.

Paul explained how the job had been done, and assured his companion he
had seen the whole work himself. Tom insisted on being incredulous, for
just then he believed he was particularly cunning.

"I never went ashore at Sandy Point, Bristol Brick, and I should like to
see how the land lays there," suggested Tom, with one of his cheerful
grins, exaggerated for the occasion.

"You can see the whole of the shore from here," replied Paul, turning
around and pointing out the locality of the cottage.

"But I want to see the place, and 't won't take two minutes for me to
run up to where the house was," Tom insisted. "Then I will row the rest
of the way over to Westport, and nobody won't git hurt none."

Paul had started more than an hour earlier than he had intended, and
would reach his destination before Lily had finished her day's work.
Besides, he had a kind of affection for the place where he had lived two
years. Just then it flashed upon his mind that he had never visited the
hollow tree which had done duty as a safe for the two dollars and the
gold rings belonging to his mother.

In the excitement of his last visit to the point at the invitation of
the magnate, he had forgotten all about the treasure. His mother had
spoken of it often, but Paul had no doubt it was safe in its
hiding-place, for the money and rings had been put at a tin box.

His mother had spoken of it, and so had he, at the time of it, but
latterly it seemed to have passed out of the memory of all the family.
Paul pulled to the shore as soon as the treasure came into his mind,
and he wondered that he had not thought of it before. His mother had
plenty of money now, and that seemed to be the reason it had been
forgotten.

When Paul swung the boat around, and headed it for the point, he took a
look down the lake. Over in the direction of Button Bay he saw a steam
yacht. There were several such craft on the lake, though all or nearly
all of them were kept farther down. The yacht looked exactly like the
Sylph, and he had no doubt it was she.

"I wonder what the Sylph is doing over there," said he, continuing to
pull for the beach before him. "She went down to Port Henry towing the
gundalow with a cargo of stone."

"I guess the fellers are taking a little turn in her while the men are
unloadin' the stone," suggested Tom, who was not at all pleased to find
the Beech Hill steamer in this part of the lake.

"She is headed this way, and perhaps she is going back to Beech Hill
after something that was forgotten," added Paul, as the Dragon struck
the sand on the beach.

Paul took the painter in his hand and stepped ashore. He paused a moment
to take another look at the Sylph. She was coming up from Button Bay on
the east shore of the lake, and this course would carry her within a
mile of Sandy Point. It was now four o'clock in the afternoon, and the
steamer, with her heavy tow, must have reached Port Henry by eleven at
the latest. If anything had been forgotten, they must have found it out
earlier in the day.

While he was looking at the steam yacht and wondering what she was doing
in this part of the lake without her tow, she suddenly changed her
course and stood over in the direction of Westport. This settled it that
nothing had been forgotten, for she was not going back to Beech Hill.
She was sailing very fast, and seemed to be shaken by the effort of her
engine. They were certainly driving her at a very unusual speed.

Tom Topover was walking about the point, apparently engaged in a very
minute inspection of the locality. Paul saw him looking at the former
site of the cottage, and then he disappeared in the woods. The owner of
the Dragon drew his boat a little farther up on the beach, but he
continued to watch the movements of the steamer; and he was so absorbed
in the effort to fathom her strange behavior that he was in danger of
again forgetting the treasure in the tin box.

From his position on the point Paul could see the steamboat wharf at
Westport, or, rather, he could see where it was, for it was over two
miles distant. But the steam yacht did not go to it; and for a short
time she disappeared from his view behind the trees on the lower arm of
the point. But he knew she must come in sight again soon, for there was
no landing-place above the wharf, and the water was shoal.

In a few minutes she did reappear, and now she was close inshore,
following the southern trend of the bay. She had reduced her speed
somewhat, but she was still sailing faster than her standard rate. Paul
watched her till she reached Barber's Point, behind which she again went
out of sight. He could make nothing of her erratic movements, and he was
forced to the conclusion that Tom was right, and that the fellows were
taking a little turn in her while waiting for the cargo of the gundalow
to be discharged, or for the iron shoe for the keel of the Lily.

By this time Tom Topover appeared to have completed his survey of the
locality of the cottage, and joined Paul on the beach. The cunning
fellow seemed to be somewhat uneasy and excited, though his companion
was too much absorbed in the wonder of the steam yacht to notice it.

"Be you about ready to start on?" asked Tom, after he had looked about
him for a few minutes. "I guess I've seen the whole thing now."

"I can't make out what the Sylph is doing," said Paul, still perplexed
by the problem, though there wasn't the least reason why he should
bother his head at all about her strange movements; but, like the
average boy of intelligence, he desired to know what everything meant.

"She's only cruising about for the fun on't," grinned Tom. "I guess I
don't want to stop no longer."

That cunning reprobate had arranged his plan of operations. In the
darkness of the woods he had examined the tarred spun-yarn which filled
one of his trousers pockets. He had taken it from a new building on the
back road, where it had been used to secure bundles of laths. He had
coiled up the single lengths in such a way that they would be ready for
use when wanted. With these he intended to bind his victim hand and
foot, and then tie him to a sapling, which he had selected for the
purpose, in the woods back of the cottage site, where the prisoner could
not be seen or heard from the lake.

He had promised to row the Dragon from Sandy Point to Westport; and it
was with a purpose that he had proposed to do so. Paul was to sit in the
stern, and would have to get into the boat first. Tom would be close
behind him, and when he took the first step, he would seize him by the
throat, throw him down on the beach, and lie down on him. With the
spun-yarn in his pocket he could easily secure his hands behind him. He
had picked up a stout stick in the woods, which he dropped carelessly on
the shore, where it would be available in case of need.

Tom had no doubt whatever of his ability to carry out this
nicely-arranged programme. Paul was a stout fellow, and events at the
point and elsewhere proved that he had plenty of pluck, and that he hit
hard. But if he took him behind, what could Paul do? What could any
fellow do, under such unfavorable circumstances? The blunder of the six
ruffians, in Tom's estimation, was in attacking him in front instead of
in the rear.

The cunning bruiser was ready to execute the plan his busy brain had
contrived, and he was a little nervous and uneasy, as before noted. He
did not take the least interest in the movements of the steamer, though
he was rather pleased to find Paul so much absorbed in anything that
kept his mind occupied.

"You git in fust, as I'm go'n to row the rest of the way," said Tom, as
he took the oars from the boat, the blades of which were projecting over
the bow.

"I am not quite ready to go yet; I have to go over after something I
left in the hollow of a tree," replied Paul, as he turned away from the
boat.

"In the holler of a tree!" exclaimed Tom.

"That's what I said," added Paul. "It is a tin box containing a little
money and a couple of gold rings. It won't take me long to get them."

"How fur off is it?" asked the bruiser, much interested when he heard
there was money in the box, for he was sure to get it.

Paul said it was up in the hollow, and started off.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

A HARD BATTLE AT SANDY POINT.


The brilliant strategy of the bruiser was not affected by the visit of
Paul Bristol to the hollow tree. On the contrary, it improved its
prospects of success. The intimation that there was even a little money
in the tin box was encouraging, for it would add something to the ten
dollars he was to receive on account of his blind bargain with Walk
Billcord.

As soon as Paul disappeared in the woods, Tom took the boathook from the
Dragon, the oars being already in his possession, and hastened off in
the direction to which he had carried his previous survey of the
locality. He had found a low place beyond the site of the cottage, where
a rotten log lay on the ground. Beneath this decayed wood he deposited
the oars and boathook. Pulling off enough of the punky wood to cover the
articles, he returned to the boat with a rapid step.

He had been absent but a few minutes, and Paul had not yet appeared
with the tin box. If the cunning strategist had been asked why he
concealed the oars and the boathook, very likely he would have replied
that he had done so to prevent the possibility of an escape on the part
of his victim. But Tom was a cunning fellow, and this was by no means
his object. If he failed to accomplish his purpose in the first
onslaught, there is not the slightest doubt that he would have been
entirely willing that his intended victim should escape, and even be
glad to have him do so, even if he had been left to find his way on foot
from the point.

The three implements which constituted the furniture of the Dragon might
be dangerous weapons in the hands of a resolute fellow like Paul
Bristol. He had secured a club for himself, and picking it up, he was
plying it as a cane and plaything, in order to avert any suspicion as to
its probable use.

Paul soon returned with the tin box in his hand. It was an old mustard
can, and it was not a convenient thing to have in his pocket, and was of
no value. He took the rings and money from it, and put them into his
pocket, throwing away the can.

"How much money have you got, Bristol Brick?" asked Tom, with his usual
grin.

"Only a two-dollar bill, and that belongs to my mother," replied Paul,
who did not know his companion, and would not have been afraid of losing
the money if he had.

"Ain't you goin' to spend it down to Westport, and treat a feller that
helps you row the boat?" asked Tom, with a mighty grin.

"Of course not; I don't spend my mother's money for anything, without
her orders to do so," replied Paul.

"What odds does it make?"

"It makes a good deal of odds to me, for I don't spend what don't belong
to me. By the big wooden spoon! There comes the Sylph again, and without
the gundalow in tow. She is going as though she were running a race too.
It looks to me just as though Captain Dory Dornwood had gone crazy, and
I shouldn't wonder if Captain Gildrock hauled him over the coals for
it."

"Is the cap'n aboard?" inquired Tom.

"No; he went to Burlington this morning in the cars."

"Then he won't know nothin' about it."

"Some one will be sure to tell him; but the officers have to keep a log,
and put down the speed every hour. I am afraid Dory will catch it, for
that steamer is running fifteen knots an hour. They say she can do it,
but the fellows are not allowed to do more than twelve."

"All right; but I guess we can watch her from the boat just as well as
we can here," suggested the strategist, placing himself close behind his
victim, and bracing up for the effort he was to make.

"If she comes near us, we can hail her, and find out what she is doing,
for I should like to know," added Paul, as he stepped down to the beach,
in the direction of the bow of the boat; but his eyes were fixed all the
time on the steamer, which was certainly going like the Flying Dutchman.

"Jump in, Bristol Brick, and I will take the oars."

Paul had reached the stem of the Dragon by this time, still closely
observing the steamer. He was just beginning to wonder if she would not
blow up under such a tremendous pressure of steam as she appeared to
have on, when the arms of the cunning strategist encircled his neck, and
his right knee was applied to the small of his back. He had raised one
foot to step into the boat, but he had no chance to bring it down, for
he went over backwards on the beach.

The bruiser had the club in his hand when he passed his arm around the
neck of his victim. In the suddenness of the attack Tom Topover had it
all his own way, as he had intended to have it. As he drew his prisoner
back, he threw him over so that he fell on his face, and Tom came down
on top of him. He hugged him with all his might. Dropping the stick, he
fixed his grip on the throat of Paul, and began to jam down upon him
with his knees.

But Paul soon came to a realizing sense of his situation, and he was not
at all inclined to submit to the sharp discipline of his companion. He
began to struggle with all the energy of desperation. His hands were at
liberty, and, reaching down with them, he succeeded in getting hold of
the legs of his assailant. He immediately put a stop to the action of
the assailant's knees, and then, with a mighty effort, rolled over so
that Tom was under him, though Paul was still wrong side up.

With the weight of his victim upon him, Tom could no longer kick or use
his knees, and Paul's hands were relieved for other duty. He brought
them up and got hold of Tom's hair, getting two fistfuls of it, for the
bruiser did not wear a fighting cut just then. He pulled with all his
strength, increased by his desperation. At the same time the struggle
with the other parts of the body continued, Tom's hair was coming out by
the roots, and the intense pain caused him to yield a little of his hold
at the prisoner's neck.

Paul felt his advantage, and, seizing the hands of his foe, dragged them
from his throat. This enabled him to turn over in part so that he could
use his fists. He did not wait for any preliminaries, but rained his
blows upon the head of his assailant in the agony of his desperation.
Tom could no more stand this treatment than he could have endured the
pounding of a trip-hammer. He begged for mercy, and Paul let him up.

Neither of them could speak, and Tom's dirty face was covered with
blood. Both were gasping for breath, and an involuntary truce prevailed.
Paul had received no blows in the face, though his throat was
considerably lacerated by the nails of his cowardly enemy. Tom was now
in a position to understand the reason why the six ruffians had been so
badly used before they succeeded in making a prisoner of Paul. It seemed
to make no difference in the end whether the attack was made in the
front or the rear. Possibly, the brilliant strategist was willing to
believe that he had made a mistake in the quality and quantity of his
intended victim.

A couple of minutes were enough to enable the combatants to recover
their breath. Neither of them said a word, but Tom suddenly made a
spring at Paul, this time with clenched fists. But the latter had been
looking for something of this kind, and he easily parried the blows
aimed at him, and then upset the bruiser with a heavy blow between the
eyes. Paul realized that he could do this sort of thing till the sun
went down, but he was tired of it.

Tom lay still for a minute or so after his fall, for his ideas were
doubtless greatly confused. Paul looked at him; and as he did so he saw
one of the coils of rope-yarn sticking out of his trousers pocket. He
seized it at once, and, turning his assailant over, tied his hands
behind him, and then secured his arms at the elbows. As Tom came to a
realizing sense of his defeat, he began to resist, but the bruiser was
about played out, and Paul dragged him to a tree and made him fast.

"You don't fight fair, Bristol Brick," said he, rather feebly, and he
made a weak attempt to break from his bonds.

"I don't mean to fight fair with such fellows as you are," replied
Paul, looking with disgust at his prisoner. "I suppose you do, though,
and that's the reason you pitched into me when my back was turned. You
may call it fair to jump on a fellow's back and pull him down."

"But 't ain't fair for you to tie me afore we have done," groaned Tom.
"That's mean, and Tom Topover never lets up on a feller that don't fight
fair."

"Oh, then, you are Tom Topover, are you?" exclaimed Paul, looking over
his victim from head to foot. "Why didn't you tell me who you were when
I asked you?"

"I was afear'd you'd run away if I told you who I was," answered the
bruiser, who was likely to be a bully to the end.

"I don't believe I should have run away," added Paul, with a smile on
his face. "I don't run away from such carrion as you are."

"You haven't seen the end of this thing yet. I can lick you in fair
fight any time," blustered Tom, as he began to regain his strength.

"Will you do it now if I let you loose?" demanded Paul sharply.

"I don't feel very well to-day," replied Tom, after some hesitation. "I
ain't in fightin' trim nohow, and that's the reason I got the worst
on't so fur."

"What did you pitch into me for if you are not in good condition?"
demanded Paul, who was good-natured enough by this time to smile.

"I didn't think you was so much of a feller, and I had to do what I did
to-day," muttered Tom.

"Why to-day?" demanded Paul.

"Well, I agreed to do it."

"Whom did you agree with?" continued Paul, picking up the stick the
mighty strategist had brought from the woods.

"It don't make no difference," whined Tom, evidently startled when he
saw the weapon in the hand of his conqueror.

"Yes, it does make all the difference in the world; and if you don't
tell me in two seconds, I will take it out of your hide!" exclaimed the
son of toil, demonstrating violently with the stick.

"I didn't agree to do it, but Walk Billcord was to give me ten dollars
for the job. He didn't say he would, but we understood one another,"
answered Tom, in mortal terror.

"That's all I want to know," added Paul, as he walked towards the boat.

He looked into the Dragon, but did not see the oars. He searched all
about the beach without being able to find them. While he was thus
engaged, the steamer came within a few feet of the shore. He concluded
that the absence of the oars was a part of the cunning strategist's
plan; and he was about to return to the tree where Tom was tied, when
the steamer rang one bell, followed by two. This meant stop and back
her.

Paul picked up the stick he had brought to the water side, and, without
looking particularly at the Sylph, he pushed off the boat, and then gave
it a hard shove with the short pole. The impetus carried the Dragon to
the side of the steam yacht, and he sprang on board of her with the
painter in his hand.



CHAPTER XXIX.

THE ENGINEER OF THE UNDINE.


Paul Bristol was somewhat excited after his tough conflict with the
strategetical bruiser. He was not a little startled to find that the
Billcords were still trying to punish him for defending his sister from
insult. Captain Gildrock was his friend and his mother's friend, and he
was unwilling to do anything more with the pestilent bully without his
advice and direction. He was confident that the exhibition of the stout
stick would induce Tom to tell him where the oars were; but as the
steamer was close to the shore, he preferred to take counsel before he
acted any further.

At first he forgot that the principal was not on board of the Sylph, but
it came to his mind before he reached the bulwarks. But Dory was
certainly on board, and he could advise and assist him. Passing the
painter over a stanchion, he leaped over the rail. Then it struck him as
a little strange that he saw none of the large ship's company that had
manned her when she left the wharf in Beechwater that morning.

A man who was an entire stranger to him stood on the forecastle, but not
a single Beech Hiller was to be seen. He looked up at the windows of the
pilot-house, where he expected to see the face of Oscar Chester and the
second pilot; but another stranger stood at the wheel.

"Cast off that boat!" called the man at the wheel to the one on the
forecastle.

Before Paul could interfere the deck hand had detached the painter from
the stanchion and dropped it into the water. At the same moment two
bells rang, and the steamer backed away from the point.

"What did you do that for?" demanded Paul of the deck hand.

"I have to obey my orders," replied the man.

The son of toil looked at him and wondered who he was, for he had never
seen his face before. He went to the bow and saw the Dragon, fifty feet
from him by this time, and the steamer still backing. He had been sure
of obtaining good advice and strong support from his friends on board,
but he could not even find a person that he knew.

He walked aft, and looked into the engine-room. There was a man there,
but he was bending over the machinery, and he did not see his face, but
he appeared to be a stranger like all the others he had seen. He
continued his walk to the door of the after cabin, but not a single
Beech Hiller could he find. It looked to him as though, if the thing had
been possible, the Sylph had been captured by an enemy, who were then in
full possession of her.

Paul returned to the forecastle, and again looked up at the windows of
the pilot-house. The man at the wheel appeared to be talking to some
person or persons behind him, who were not in sight. At this moment the
engine stopped again, and the steamer was at rest on the smooth water.
Paul was confident that the persons in the pilot-house had seen the
whole or a portion of the hard battle at Sandy Point, for the tree where
he had secured Tom Topover was in plain sight from the lake.

The deck hand seemed to take no notice of him, though he could not help
seeing him, and observing all his movements. As the steamer had stopped
her propeller, and run close in to the shore, she must be there for a
purpose. The last he had seen of her before the bruiser opened the
fight, she was running with tremendous speed down the lake. After that
she slowed down, and headed for the point, for he had obtained an
occasional glimpse of her even in the heat of the struggle with the
strategist.

"Is Captain Dory Dornwood on board, sir?" asked Paul, very respectfully,
of the deck hand, who had walked forward to look out.

"I don't know him," replied the man shortly, but civilly enough.

"Are none of the Beech Hill fellows on board?"

"I don't know the Beech Hill fellows," answered the man.

Paul was utterly bewildered. He looked up at the pilot-house once more
to find a solution of the mystery if he could. The stranger still stood
at the wheel, and was still talking with some one not in sight. Just
then it occurred to Paul that there was something wanting in the
appearance of the pilot-house. In the station bill he belonged on the
forecastle of the Sylph, and was more familiar with this part of her
than with any other. He studied the situation for some time before he
could determine what was wanting to complete the usual appearance of the
steamer. At last he was able to supply the deficiency. On the front and
on each side of the pilot house was a sign on which was painted the name
of the craft. They were not there; and if the strangers had captured the
Sylph they had removed these signs. There was nothing in sight to
indicate that the vessel was the Beech Hill steam yacht.

Paul looked around him on the forecastle, and some other familiar
objects were missing. Suddenly it flashed into his mind that this was
not the Sylph after all; but the absurdity of his making a mistake in
the identity of the steamer which he was accustomed to see at the wharf
in Beechwater every day, and in which he had made so many trips to
Westport and elsewhere, was so apparent to him that he instantly
rejected the idea.

To his mind, in spite of the absence of the signs on the pilot-house,
and other familiar objects, the steamer was the Sylph. The mystery of
her being in possession of other persons than the Beech Hillers seemed
to thicken upon him. She had taken position not fifty feet from the
water side, and there she lay. Paul wondered what she was waiting for,
and why she did not do something. If any person on board was to be
landed at the point, it was about time to lower one of the quarter
boats, which hung on davits abaft the engine. But nothing was done, and
no one said anything; and Paul was getting desperate.

There was a mystery about the steamer, which, in spite of the good order
which prevailed on board of her when her regular ship's company were on
duty, presented a very lively aspect. Paul was not patient in the
presence of mysteries which concerned him, as in the present instance,
for since the setting adrift of the Dragon he was practically a prisoner
on board of her. He decided to solve the problem of the strangeness of
things on the deck, and for this purpose he went aft to the ladder on
the port side which led to the hurricane deck. He was determined to have
a pow-wow with the pilot, and to ascertain who were the modest persons
that concealed themselves in the back part of his quarters.

He reached the deck on which the pilot-house stood, without impediment,
and walked to the door. It was locked, which was not usual on board of
the Sylph. He passed on to the side window, where the man at the wheel
suddenly confronted him. He had seen this man before, but he had no
acquaintance with him.

"Will you be kind enough to tell me what steamer this is?" Paul began,
in his efforts to solve the mystery.

"The Undine, of Westport," replied the pilot, for such he undoubtedly
was.

"I never heard of her before," added Paul, overwhelmed to find that she
was not the Sylph.

"As she came into the lake for the first time this morning, you were not
in the way of hearing of her," answered the man, rather stiffly.

"But she looks exactly like the Sylph, which belongs to the Beech Hill
Industrial School," said Paul, trying to get a sight of the persons on
the sofa of the room.

But the pilot kept himself directly in front of him, and he was unable
to gratify his curiosity.

"The builder has sent out at least half a dozen steam yachts of the
hundred-feet order which are so near like this one that you could not
tell the difference in them," added the pilot in answer to his remark.

"If this is not the Sylph, I have no business on board of her,"
continued Paul. "I shall be very much obliged to you if you will put me
on shore, or pick up my boat for me, though I am very sorry to trouble
you."

"You were not invited on board, and you must look out for yourself."

"Why did you cast off the painter of my boat?" asked Paul, not pleased
with the situation.

"I obey my orders."

"Who gave the order, if you please?"

"The owner," replied the pilot. "Something was going on ashore there
just before we came over here. It looked like a very hard fight between
two fellows."

"It was a hard fight," answered Paul.

"And you were one of the fellows in it?"

"I was; and the other fellow is tied to a tree on shore," replied Paul,
pointing in the direction of the tree, which he could see from his
position on the hurricane deck.

"What was it all about? Speak up a little louder, for I am rather deaf,"
added the pilot, as he glanced behind him. "Who was the other fellow?"
And the last question seemed to be prompted by the person on the sofa.

"It was Tom Topover," answered Paul; and in answer to questions put by
the pilot, he told the whole story of his affair that day with the
brilliant strategist, from the time he had appeared in the creek on his
queer-looking craft.

The pilot occasionally told him to speak louder, and at last he
concluded that he was giving the narrative for the benefit of the
concealed listeners.

"But what made Tom Topover attack you?" asked the man at the wheel.

"He was hired to do it by Major Billcord's son, Walk Billcord," replied
Paul bluntly.

"Do you mean to say that my son hired that rough to attack you?"
demanded the magnate of Westport, suddenly rushing to the door of the
pilot-house, and throwing it wide open. Close behind him was Walk
himself.

"I didn't know you were here!" exclaimed Paul, starting back with
astonishment when he saw the major; and he had not had the remotest
suspicion that he was the owner of the steam yacht, for the pilot had
prevented him from asking who owned the craft.

"No matter if you didn't know it," replied the major angrily. "I asked
you a question. Answer it!"

"Tom Topover said he was to get ten dollars from your son for doing the
job. He didn't say Mr. Walker agreed to give him the money, but there
was an understanding between them to this effect," replied Paul.

"Tom Topover is a liar!" exclaimed Walk.

"He was to do the job to-day; and you seem to be here at Sandy Point to
attend to the prisoner if Tom got him," added Paul.

Major Billcord was not in the habit of controlling his wrath, and he
made a spring at the son of toil; but Paul beat a hasty retreat, for he
dreaded another encounter with the magnate. He went aft and descended to
the main deck; but he soon discovered that he was not pursued. He heard
two bells in the engine-room, and the Undine began to back. Paul came to
a halt under the starboard quarter boat, and devoted himself to an
examination of the falls by which it was secured to the davits.

While he was thus engaged, one bell struck in the engine-room, followed
by another, and the Undine went ahead. A moment later the jingle bell
rattled, and the craft began to go at full speed. Paul heard steps on
the hurricane deck above him, and he concluded that the major and Walk
were after him. He walked astern to the doors of the main cabin. They
were open, and he decided to retreat into this apartment if he was
pursued.

"Engineer!" called Major Billcord.

"On deck, sir," replied the man in charge of the engine, as he stepped
out of his room.

The sound of the engineer's voice was a familiar one, and it startled
the son of toil as much as the sound of an earthquake would at that
moment.

"Keep an eye on that boy down on the main deck, and don't let him touch
the boats," continued Major Billcord, who suspected the purpose of the
object of his hatred. "Don't let him escape on any account, for I shall
have a reckoning with him before we part."

This looked like a threat, and Paul realized that he was in the hands of
the enemy. In spite of his imprisonment, the magnate intended to punish
him for what he had done at the point, and the poor fellow began to be
very much discouraged.

"I will see to him," replied the engineer.

The engine of the Undine was working at a moderate speed, and the
engineer walked aft to get a view of his prisoner. Paul looked at him as
he approached, for the sound of his voice had prepared him for an early
meeting. He thought no more of getting away in the boat. He gazed with
all his eyes at the man walking towards him.

"Why, father!" exclaimed he, rushing upon him with extended hand.

"Why, Paul, my son! Is it possible that it is you?" cried the engineer,
grasping the extended hand. "But come into the engine-room."

Mr. Bristol led the way, still holding his son's hand. They had scarcely
entered the apartment before there was a whistle at the speaking-tube.

"Take that boy into the engine-room, and don't let him get away," said
the magnate through the tube.

"All right; I have him here," replied the engineer. "What does all this
mean, Paul?" asked the astonished father, turning to his son.

Paul related all the events in the family history since the assault upon
Lily at the point; and the returned wanderer fully understood the feud
between Paul and the magnate. His blood boiled at the insult to his
daughter, and the persecution to which his son had been subjected. He
had put his hand on the wheel to shut off the steam, when Paul asked him
where he had been for two years, and why he had not written to his
family.

The engineer did not turn the wheel, for the wanting letters were an
imputation upon him. He was not a scholar, but he had written a score of
letters and had never had a reply to one of them. Before he left,
something had been said between himself and his wife about her going to
the home of an uncle in Iowa. He had invited them to visit him and take
care of him, for he was a bachelor. He would support them, and they
could do work enough to earn their living. They had expected to hear
from him every day at the time Peter Bristol left home.

The father had no doubt they would go there, and had directed his
letters after the first one to their new home. A few days after his
departure for New York, where he hoped to find work, the letter came
from the West to Mrs. Bristol, but it brought no hope. The writer had
bought a ranch in Texas, had married, and could do nothing for the
family of his brother. This clearly explained the miscarriage of the
letters.

Peter Bristol had worked as a fireman on a railroad. When he got to New
York he found a situation as an oiler on a steamer bound to Havana. In
Cuba he soon secured a good situation to run an engine on a plantation.
He saved his money, and did his best to find what had become of his
family. At last it occurred to him to write to the postmaster of his
brother's late residence in Iowa. Nothing was known of his family, his
brother had gone to Texas, and a score of letters for his wife had gone
to the dead-letter office.

Then he had written to a friend in Westport, and learned that his
family were still at Sandy Point, and were very poor. When this last
letter came, nearly two years after he had left home, he was filled with
sorrow and anxiety. He wrote no more letters, but started for home with
all the money he had saved. About the first person he met when he landed
in New York was Wheeler, whom he had known as a pilot on Lake Champlain.
He had been sent by Major Billcord to take his steamer, just purchased,
up to the lake by the way of the Hudson and the canal. He wanted an
engineer, and, after a deal of talk, employed Peter Bristol.

Wheeler had his doubts about the competency of Bristol. The magnate
wanted a suitable engineer, and would give him good wages. He might
object to a man who had been known on the lake as nothing but a boatman.
Peter wanted the place, and had been running an engine for two years.
Wheeler agreed to do what he could for him with the magnate; but he
thought it best for him not to say who he was for the present. Time and
the tropical sun had so changed him that he was not likely to recognize
him if he was careful.

Peter Bristol had served as engineer on the way up, and Major Billcord
and Walk had joined the vessel at Whitehall in the morning. The steamer
was on trial, and the major wanted her run at her highest speed a part
of the time. The magnate had hardly looked at the engineer, he was so
interested in the machinery and the craft, and Bristol had had no
trouble in concealing his identity so far. This was the story he told
Paul, and repeated to his wife and Lily in the evening.

Paul had looked out at the door and saw that the Undine was near
Westport. She did not go to the shore, but when she came about and
headed down the lake again, Peter Bristol turned the wheel and shut off
the steam. There was a ringing of the bell, and then a call through the
tube.

"I shall run her no longer!" replied the engineer, emphatically, at the
mouthpiece.

Major Billcord came below, followed by Walk. Mr. Bristol stated his
position, and took no further pains to conceal his identity. The father
spoke to him like a man, and insisted upon being landed at Westport with
his son. The magnate was taken all aback. He could do nothing without an
engineer, and he could not punish Paul in the presence of his father.
The engineer would take the steamer up to the wharf, but in no other
direction. The magnate had to yield, and father and son, both the
Bristol and the Billcord, landed.

Lily was found, and she had a joyful meeting with her father. Bissell
was very willing to loan his four-oar boat to convey them to Beech Hill.
On the way they released Tom Topover, and, putting him into the Dragon,
towed him back to Hornet Point. The happy re-union in the transplanted
cottage need not be described.



CHAPTER XXX.

LAUNCHING THE BOAT.


The Sylph, with the gundalow, did not arrive till it was nearly dark.
The shoe was not done when the scow was ready to take it on board, and
they had to wait for the workmen to drill the holes for the bolts. The
ship's company had seen the Undine when she passed Port Henry, but no
one there knew to whom she belonged, or anything whatever in regard to
her. They saw that she was the counterpart of the Sylph, and knew that
she was one of the celebrated class to which she belonged.

Some of the students thought there might be a chance for a race between
her and the Beech Hill steamer; but Dory was sure enough that Captain
Gildrock would not permit the Sylph to race with anything that went by
steam.

The principal had returned from Burlington in the afternoon, and when he
saw the four-oar boat, with the Dragon in tow, moving up to Hornet
Point, he walked over to the cottage. He was a spectator of the
affecting interview between Mrs. Bristol and her husband, even before
the Dragon was hauled up to the shore.

Tom Topover was very much battered in the conflict with Paul. He was
sure of two very black eyes, and he could hardly walk when he was helped
out of the flatboat. The principal thought he had been punished enough
for the present; and as he seemed to be very humble, for him, he was
allowed to limp home, after a strong admonition from the captain.

The principal had been so good a friend to the family, that Mrs. Bristol
begged him to stay and hear her husband's story, and listen to the
adventures of Paul since he left in the afternoon. The moving of the
cottage had to be related by Paul. The prolonged conversation was
interrupted only by the arrival of the Sylph. After the shoe was landed
at the boat-shed, and the gundalow towed to the stone quarry, the
students learned all about the new steamer, in which they were very much
interested, though they were sorry to learn that Major Billcord was her
owner.

On Monday afternoon, the shoe was bolted to the keel of the Lily, and
the inside work, which had been left unfinished for this job, was
completed. The following Saturday was appointed for the launch of the
boat, for this day would complete the school year of the institution.
Invitations had been sent to the gentlemen who had served as examiners
the preceding year, and on Friday afternoon the Sylph, fully manned, and
dressed in gay colors, brought up Mr. Bridges, Mr. Ritchie, and Mr.
Plint. They were hospitably entertained at the mansion.

In the forenoon a sort of public exhibition took place in the great hall
of the boat-house, which delighted the spectators, and gave them a very
high idea of the progress of the students in the mechanic arts, as well
as in the book studies. After this show, the visitors went through the
shops, and inspected the Lily as she stood on the stocks. A brass band
played a portion of the time, and in the middle of the day a choice
collation was served on the green.

About all the young ladies in Genverres, and not a few from Burlington
and Westport, were present. Possibly there was some heavy flirting done,
for again the students in their uniform were lions of the first order.

But the great event of the day was to be the launch of the Lily. She
had been fully prepared in the morning for the exciting occasion, and
two jury-masts had been put up on board, and she was covered with flags
and streamers. The boat was to move from the ways at four, and an hour
before that time the students and the principal were not a little
astonished to see the two Chesterfield barges pull into the Beechwater,
and take positions near the farther side of the lake.

Captain Gildrock sent Mr. Bentnick, the principal instructor, to invite
them on shore to partake of a collation. Colonel Buckmill sat in the
stern-sheets of the Dasher, but he politely declined the invitation,
with profuse thanks. His young gentlemen desired to see the launch, but
he would not give the principal any trouble on such a busy day.

The captain was sorry for this refusal, but he seemed to insist that the
hospitality of Beech Hill should not suffer in the estimation of the
students from the other side, and he sent a boat loaded with ice-cream,
cake, and lemonade to the unwonted visitors, which were accepted with
more thanks.

At a few minutes before four, the principal and a small party, including
not more than half a dozen of the students, went on board of the Lily.
A little later, the gallant captain of the Sylph escorted Miss Lily
Bristol to the deck of the boat. Her appearance was the occasion of the
most tremendous applause on the part of the students and the crowd
assembled on shore. It was observed that the Chesterfields joined in
this demonstration, with a vigor which astonished their former foes.

Captain Gildrock gave certain orders, which were followed by the sound
of hammers as the hands knocked away the wedges. The principal raised
his hand, which was followed by one discharge of a cannon. At this
instant the hull began to move very slowly. Assisted by Captain
Dornwood, Lily Bristol ascended to the heel of the bowsprit with a
bottle in her hand.

What this bottle contained no one but the captain knew. According to
tradition and custom, it ought to be filled with wine; but the principal
was a very strong, practical temperance man. However, as the contents of
the bottle were to be dashed into the lake, it did not much matter what
they were.

The velocity of the moving hull increased as she descended the inclined
plane; and as soon as she was under full headway, Lily broke the bottle
over the bow of the schooner.

"I give to this vessel the name of Lily, and may she be prosperous on
the element to which she belongs," said she.

Then the band struck up "Hail to the Chief," and all the students and
everybody else yelled and applauded with all their might. The ladies
waved their handkerchiefs, and a salvo of artillery followed. The Lily
struck the water, and ploughed her way nearly to the other side of the
lake, where she was brought up by the lines attached to her. She rested
on the water as gracefully as a swan, and as soon as she was fairly
afloat, another series of ringing cheers saluted her.

The Sylph, under the charge of the first officer, immediately fastened
to her, and she was towed to her berth at the wharf, where she was to
remain until the next school year began, in September. But the visitors
were eager to examine her, and an arrangement was made by which all who
desired could pass on board, make the circuit of her deck and then leave
without causing an uncomfortable crowd. Through the cabin doors and the
opening for the skylight they could see something of the cabin, while
the fore-scuttle gave a partial view of the cook-room.

The young officers and crew of the Sylph told their friends they should
see her after she was rigged, her sails bent on, and the cabin and
cook-room were furnished. There could be no doubt, so far as the
students were concerned, that the young ladies who gushed so prettily
over the craft would be invited to sail in her.

With this great event ended the second school year of the Beech Hill
Industrial School. The students were certainly satisfied with the
experience they had had there, and, notwithstanding the sharpness of the
discipline, they had only pleasant memories of the past. Those who had
been there two years were well prepared to earn their own living. Though
none of the machinists or carpenters could be called finished workmen,
they were skilled enough to obtain moderate wages. It would require more
years of study and practice to make them into first-class mechanics.

None of them had yet completed the course of instruction, though the
needs of their parents compelled seven of them to leave the school and
assist in supporting families. By this time the reputation of the school
had been established, and there were applications for three times as
many young men to work as engineers, carpenters, and machinists. Good
places were secured for those who were obliged to leave.

Three of them were to run stationary engines, one was to work as a
carpenter, and three more were to learn trades for which their education
had fitted them to a considerable degree. The principal had given them a
lecture on the subject of wages, in which he bluntly told them that they
could not expect full wages, for they were not competent to earn them.
They were not yet physically able to do the work of a man, and they were
not competent to do all that would be required of them in their several
trades and callings. They had learned a great deal, and had acquired
considerable dexterity; but if they were judged by what they did not
know, they would stand as weak vessels. No man ever learned out in his
trade, and the time never came when there was nothing more to learn.

A certain very wise man, as men are measured, declared that he had only
learned enough to realize what a fool he was. The principal told the
graduates that one of their greatest perils was that of knowing too
much. Modesty in regard to the measurement of their own skill and
knowledge was essential to them. It was better that others should find
out how much they knew rather than themselves.

On Monday morning the Sylph went up the lake with the examiners and
others who were to spend their vacations at home. In the afternoon she
went down the lake with those who were going in that direction, and the
ship's company was considerably smaller when the steamer returned to
Beech Hill.

Mr. Bristol went on the afternoon trip, for Corny Minkfield and John
Brattle, the engineers, were to be left at Burlington. Mr. Jepson was
privately instructed by the principal to test his qualifications. It
appeared that while he had but little scientific knowledge, he was as
competent to run an engine as the majority of those who were employed in
this capacity.

"I confess, Mr. Bristol, that I am very much interested in your family,
and I shall be glad to retain you at the school," said Captain Gildrock.
"I find that Mr. Jepson's duty in connection with the running of the
engines in the shops interferes with his usefulness as an instructor. I
shall relieve him entirely of the laborious task he has hitherto
performed in the most faithful manner, for he is too valuable as a
teacher to have any of his time wasted. I shall appoint you as engineer
of the shops, though you are to serve in the steamer when required."

"I thank you, sir, with all my heart," replied Mr. Bristol. "You have
done so much for my family, that I already owe you a debt of gratitude I
could never repay."

"What I have done has afforded me as much pleasure as it has the members
of the family," added the principal.

"The moving of the cottage was the greatest and the most timely thing
that ever was done. But, Captain Gildrock, I saved considerable money,
for a poor man, and I should like to buy a lot of land for my wife's
cottage, and put a cellar under it."

"How do you like its present location?" asked the captain.

"Paradise has no finer spot, sir."

"Then I will give you a deed of the lot on which the house stands,
without any money, for it will be a great protection to my estate to
have your family in just that locality."

Mr. Bristol was overwhelmed at this generous offer, and he accepted it
with a heart full of gratitude. During the vacation the house was raised
somewhat and a cellar put under it. The Topovers, who had troubled the
captain for years by their incursions, ceased to come in by the road to
the stone-quarries.

Though it was vacation at Beech Hill, and only a very few of the boys,
who had no homes, remained during the summer months, there were some
lively times there. The instructors were all gone, but plenty of company
came from the cities. Almost every day there was some kind of an
excursion, and Mr. Bristol was available as engineer, so that the Sylph
was constantly in use.

Captain Gildrock had another idea come into his fertile brain. The Lily
was so great a success that he decided to build a steam yacht about half
the length of the Sylph, and to have the engine constructed in the shops
by the students. He found they enjoyed their work more when they were
doing something which they could use when it was completed. However, he
did not say much about it.

Dory Dornwood, though his uncle suggested a trip to New York, Niagara,
or Montreal, found more pleasure in staying at home, strange as it may
seem. Paul made himself useful as fireman or deck hand on board of the
steam yacht, or as a foremast hand in the Goldwing. Mrs. Bristol and
Lily were almost always passengers when either craft made an excursion,
and so were Mrs. Dornwood and Marian.

The young captain of the Sylph spent a good deal of time at the cottage
on Hornet Point, possibly because he had conducted the enterprise of
transporting the structure from Sandy Point to its present locality. The
captain and Dory's mother laughed a great deal about his constant
visits, but as he never called the young lady anything but "Miss
Bristol," the visits were not regarded as dangerous for the present.

Major Billcord and Walk sailed the Undine all over the lake, but she was
apt to give the Sylph a wide berth. The testimony of Tom Topover was not
considered sufficient to convict Walk of bribing him to capture Paul.
Certainly, Tom got the worst of it, and the magnate was content to let
the punishment of the son of toil go by default.

The third school year opened as prosperously as either of its
predecessors, and the next volume of the series will doubtless contain
as many of the adventures of the students on the lake and elsewhere as
the former ones, as well as complete the unfinished work on the Lily;
and, of course, the reader will find everything "All Taut" about the
schooner after they have finished "Rigging the Boat."



_OLIVER OPTIC'S BOOKS._


ARMY AND NAVY STORIES.

Six Volumes. Illustrated. Per vol., $1.50.

1. THE SOLDIER BOY;
Or, Tom Somers in the Army.

2. THE SAILOR BOY;
Or, Jack Somers in the Navy.

3. THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT;
Or, Adventures of an Army Officer.

4. THE YANKEE MIDDY;
Or, Adventures of a Navy Officer.

5. FIGHTING JOE;
Or, The Fortunes of a Staff Officer.

6. BRAVE OLD SALT;
Or, Life on the Quarter-Deck.

This series of six volumes recounts the adventures of two brothers, Tom
and Jack Somers, one in the army, the other in the navy, in the great
civil war. The romantic narratives the fortunes and exploits of the
brothers are thrilling in the extreme. Historical accuracy in the
recital of the great events of that period is strictly followed, and the
result is not only a library of entertaining volumes, but also the best
history of the civil war for young people ever written.


YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD.

FIRST SERIES.

A Library of Travel and Adventure in Foreign Lands. 16mo. Illustrated by
Nast, Stevens, Perkins, and others. Per volume, $1.50.

1. OUTWARD BOUND;
Or, Young America Afloat.

2. SHAMROCK AND THISTLE;
Or, Young America in Ireland and Scotland.

3. RED CROSS;
Or, Young America in England and Wales.

4. DIKES AND DITCHES;
Or, Young America in Holland and Belgium.

5. PALACE AND COTTAGE;
Or, Young America in France and Switzerland.

6. DOWN THE RHINE;
Or, Young America in Germany.

The story from its inception and through the twelve volumes (see _Second
Series_), is a bewitching one, while the information imparted,
concerning the countries of Europe and the isles of the sea, is not only
correct in every particular, but is told in a captivating style. "Oliver
Optic" will continue to be the boy's friend, and his pleasant books will
continue to be read by thousands of American boys. What a fine holiday
present either or both series of "Young America Abroad" would be for a
young friend! It would make a little library highly prized by the
recipient, and would not be an expensive one.--_Providence Press._


YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD.

SECOND SERIES.

A Library of Travel and Adventure in Foreign Lands. 16mo. Illustrated by
Nast, Stevens, Perkins, and others. Per volume, $1.50.

1. UP THE BALTIC;
Or, Young America in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

2. NORTHERN LANDS;
Or, Young America in Russia and Prussia.

3. CROSS AND CRESCENT;
Or, Young America in Turkey and Greece.

4. SUNNY SHORES;
Or, Young America in Italy and Austria.

5. VINE AND OLIVE;
Or, Young America in Spain and Portugal.

6. ISLES OF THE SEA;
Or, Young America Homeward Bound.

"Oliver Optic" is a _nom de plume_ that is known and loved by almost
every boy of intelligence in the land. We have seen a highly
intellectual and world-weary man, a cynic whose heart was somewhat
imbittered by its large experience of human nature, take up one of
Oliver Optic's books and read it at a sitting, neglecting his work in
yielding to the fascination of the pages. When a mature and exceedingly
well-informed mind, long despoiled of all its freshness, can thus find
pleasure in a book for boys, no additional words of recommendation are
needed.--_Sunday Times._


WOODVILLE STORIES.

Uniform with Library for Young People. Six vols. 16mo. Illustrated. Per
vol., $1.25.

1. RICH AND HUMBLE;
Or, The Mission of Bertha Grant.

2. IN SCHOOL AND OUT;
Or, The Conquest of Richard Grant.

3. WATCH AND WAIT;
Or, The Young Fugitives.

4. WORK AND WIN;
Or, Noddy Newman on a Cruise.

5. HOPE AND HAVE;
Or, Fanny Grant among the Indians.

6. HASTE AND WASTE;
Or, The Young Pilot of Lake Champlain.

Though we are not so young as we once were, we relished these stories
almost as much as the boys and girls for whom they were written. They
were really refreshing even to us. There is much in them which is
calculated to inspire a generous, healthy ambition, and to make
distasteful all reading tending to stimulate base desires.--_Fitchburg
Reveille._


THE STARRY FLAG SERIES.

Six volumes. Illustrated. Per vol., $1.25.

1. THE STARRY FLAG;
Or, The Young Fisherman of Cape Ann.

2. BREAKING AWAY;
Or, The Fortunes of a Student.

3. SEEK AND FIND;
Or, The Adventures of a Smart Boy.

4. FREAKS OF FORTUNE;
Or, Half Round the World.

5. MAKE OR BREAK;
Or, The Rich Man's Daughter.

6. DOWN THE RIVER;
Or, Buck Bradford and the Tyrants.

Mr. Adams, the celebrated and popular writer, familiarly known as
"Oliver Optic," seems to have inexhaustible funds for weaving together
the virtues of life; and notwithstanding he has written scores of books,
the same freshness and novelty runs through them all. Some people think
the sensational element predominates. Perhaps it does. But a book for
young people needs this; and so long as good sentiments are inculcated
such books ought to be read.--_Pittsburg Gazette._


THE ONWARD AND UPWARD SERIES.

Complete in six volumes. Illustrated. In neat box. Per volume, $1.25.

1. FIELD AND FOREST;
Or, The Fortunes of a Farmer.

2. PLANE AND PLANK;
Or, The Mishaps of a Mechanic.

3. DESK AND DEBIT;
Or, The Catastrophes of a Clerk.

4. CRINGLE AND CROSS-TREE;
Or, The Sea Swashes of a Sailor.

5. BIVOUAC AND BATTLE;
Or, The Struggles of a Soldier.

6. SEA AND SHORE;
Or, The Tramps of a Traveller.

Paul Farringford, the hero of these tales, is, like most of this
author's heroes, a young man of high spirit, and of high aims and
correct principles, appearing in the different volumes as a farmer, a
captain, a bookkeeper, a soldier, a sailor, and a traveller. In all of
them the hero meets with very exciting adventures, told in the graphic
style for which the author is famous.--_Native._


FAMOUS "BOAT-CLUB" SERIES.

Library for Young People. Six volumes, handsomely illustrated. Per
volume, $1.25.

1. THE BOAT CLUB;
Or, The Bunkers of Rippleton.

2. ALL ABOARD;
Or, Life on the Lake.

3. NOW OR NEVER;
Or, The Adventures of Bobby Bright.

4. TRY AGAIN;
Or, The Trials and Triumphs of Harry West.

5. POOR AND PROUD;
Or, The Fortunes of Katy Redburn.

6. LITTLE BY LITTLE;
Or, The Cruise of the Flyaway.

This is the first series of books written for the young by "Oliver
Optic." It laid the foundation for his fame as the first of authors in
which the young delight, and gained for him the title of the Prince of
Story-Tellers. The six books are varied in incident and plot, but all
are entertaining and original.


THE GREAT WESTERN SERIES.

Six Volumes. Illustrated. Per vol., $1.50.

1. GOING WEST;
Or, The Perils of a Poor Boy.

2. OUT WEST;
Or, Roughing it on the Great Lakes.

3. LAKE BREEZES;
Or, The Cruise of the Sylvania.

4. GOING SOUTH;
Or, Yachting on the Atlantic Coast.

5. DOWN SOUTH;
Or, Yacht Adventures in Florida. (In Press.)

6. UP THE RIVER;
Or, Yachting on the Mississippi. (In Press.)

This is the latest series of books issued by this popular writer, and
deals with Life on the Great Lakes, for which a careful study was made
by the author in a summer tour of the immense water sources of America.
The story, which carries the same hero through the six books of the
series, is always entertaining, novel scenes and varied incidents giving
a constantly changing, yet always attractive aspect to the narrative.
"Oliver Optic" has written nothing better.


YACHT CLUB SERIES.

Uniform with the ever popular "Boat Club," Series, Completed in six
vols. 16mo. Illustrated. Per vol., $1.50.

1. LITTLE BOBTAIL;
Or, The Wreck of the Penobscot.

2. THE YACHT CLUB;
Or, The Young Boat-Builders.

3. MONEY-MAKER;
Or, The Victory of the Basilisk.

4. THE COMING WAVE;
Or, The Treasure of High Rock.

5. THE DORCAS CLUB;
Or, Our Girls Afloat.

6. OCEAN BORN;
Or, The Cruise of the Clubs.

The series has this peculiarity, that all of its constituent volumes are
independent of one another, and therefore each story is complete in
itself. "Oliver Optic" is perhaps the favorite author of the boys and
girls of this country, and he seems destined to enjoy an endless
popularity. He deserves his success, for he makes very interesting
stories, and inculcates none but the best sentiments; and the "Yacht
Club" is no exception to this rule.--_New Haven Jour. and Courier._


THE LAKE SHORE SERIES.

Six volumes. Illustrated. In neat box. Per vol., $1.25.

1. THROUGH BY DAYLIGHT;
Or, The Young Engineer of the Lake Shore Railroad.

2. LIGHTNING EXPRESS;
Or, The Rival Academies.

3. ON TIME;
Or, The Young Captain of the Ucayga Steamer

4. SWITCH OFF;
Or, The War of the Students.

5. BRAKE-UP;
Or, The Young Peacemakers.

6. BEAR AND FORBEAR;
Or, The Young Skipper of Lake Ucayga.

"Oliver Optic" is one of the most fascinating writers for youth, and
withal one of the best to be found in this or any past age. Troops of
young people hang over his vivid pages, and not one of them ever learned
to be mean, ignoble, cowardly, selfish, or to yield to any vice from
anything they ever read from his pen.--_Providence Press._





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