When he returned at last, he found his own boat safe enough, and he really could not tell if any of the others had walked away; but he looked around in vain for any signs of his late comrade. Not that he spent much time or wasted any great pains in searching for him; and he muttered to himself, as he gave it up,—
“Gone, has he? Well, then, it’s a good riddance to bad rubbidge. I ain’t no aingil, but that feller’s a long ways wuss’n I am.”
Whether or not old Peter was right in his estimate of himself or of Burgin, in a few moments more he was all alone in his “cat-boat,” and was sculling it rapidly out of the crooked inlet.
His search for Burgin had been a careless one, for he had but glanced over the gunwale of “The Swallow.” A second look might have shown him the form of the tramp, half covered by a loose flap of the sail, deeply and heavily sleeping on the bottom of the boat. It was every bit as comfortable a bed as he had been used to; and there he was still lying, long after the sun had looked in upon him, the next morning.
Other eyes than the sun’s were to look in upon him before he awakened from that untimely and imprudent nap.
It was not so very early when Ham Morris and Dabney Kinzer were stirring again; but they had both arisen with a strong desire for a “talk,” and Ham made an opportunity for one by saying,—
“Come on, Dab. Let’s go down and have a look at ‘The Swallow.’”
Ham had meant to talk about school and kindred matters, but Dab’s first words about the tramp cut off all other subjects.
“You ought to have told me,” he said. “I’d have had him tied up in a minute.”
Dab explained as well as he could; but, before he had finished, Ham suddenly exclaimed,—
“There’s Dick Lee, on board ‘The Swallow!’ What on earth’s he there for?”
“Dick!” shouted Dabney.
“Cap’n Dab, did yo’ set this yer boat to trap somebody?”
“‘Cause you’s done gone an’ cotched ‘im. Jes’ you come an’ see.”
The sound of Dick’s voice, so near them, reached the dull ears of the slumbering tramp; and as Ham and Dabney sprang into a yawl, and pushed along-side the yacht, his unpleasant face was slowly and sleepily lifted above the rail.
“It’s the very man!” excitedly shouted Dabney.
No one would have suspected Ham Morris of so much agility, although his broad and well-knit frame promised abundant strength; but he was on board “The Swallow” like a flash, and Burgin was “pinned” by his iron grasp before he could so much as guess what was coming.
“Le’ go o’ me!”
“I’ve got you!”