It was almost half past nine before Andy decided that the time had come for them to shut up shop, and do no more talking.
“I’m going to take the first watch myself, Felix, and I promise to wake you up when I get to gaping, whether it’s midnight or two in the morning,” he said, as he settled himself more comfortably on his blanket, and pulled it up over his shoulders, because the night air was already quite chilly, and would undoubtedly be much more so ere long.
“But chances air, Andy, they’re a-goin’ to come inside an hour or so; and you must promise to give me a kick, if so be I’m sleepin’, then. You will, won’t you?”
“Sure,” replied the Bird boy. “After you being so kind as to keep me company, I’d never think of making a move, and you asleep. So just settle down, and don’t get excited if you feel me pushing my toe into your ribs later on.”
Felix was tired from his day’s work. He had probably been constantly busy since four the morning before. It was therefore a fight between weary muscles and brain, and the desire to stay awake, in order to see all that went on.
This lasted for perhaps ten minutes.
Then Andy knew that Nature had won out, for he could catch the regular breathing of the stout farmhand, and from this judged that Felix must be sound asleep.
From where Andy sat he had a fine view of the field on all sides of the broken hydroplane, and especially in that quarter toward the fence, beyond which the road leading to Bloomsbury lay.
He kept up a constant watch, never relaxing his vigilance for a single second, for Andy knew that while one might be on guard for fifty-nine minutes, if he relaxed just for a breath, that was almost sure to be the time when something would happen. How often he had proved that when fishing, and taking his eye from his float just to glance up at some passing bird, when down it would bob, and he had missed a chance to hook a finny prize.
The time passed on.
Three separate times did Andy look at his little dollar nickel watch, and in the bright moonlight he could see that it was now after eleven. He was beginning to believe that if there was anything doing that night, it must come about very soon, when he thought he heard a sound down the road that made him think a car that had been coming along had stopped short.
Thrilled with the expectation that a change was about to occur, he sat up a little more eagerly, and continued to scan the line of fence, as well as the field lying between the road and the helpless hydroplane.
NOT CAUGHT NAPPING
Five, ten minutes passed.
Andy was beginning to fear that after all he had been mistaken, and that it had been some other sound he had heard when he thought a car had stopped down the road toward Bloomsbury.
Then all at once he detected a movement over at the fence, and the figure of a man or boy was seen to quickly clamber over, dropping in the field. Even as he looked a second followed suit, then a third and even a fourth.