And Andy, of course, fully endorsed his course.
So the sun began to draw closer to the western horizon, represented by the distant mountains where the chief inland town of the province, Sabanalarga, lay.
Felipe had spoken of a place on the eastern bank of the river, where they could draw in, and put the two suspects ashore. And Frank told Andy to back him up in what he was about to do.
“There’s the town ahead, only a little place, but it answers our purpose, for they can never say we deserted them in the howling wilderness,” and Frank, who had been counting out some money, started to make his way down to the waist of the vessel, where most of the crew had gathered, wondering what the object of the landing might be.
Enrique and “Cospita” were surely very much astonished and alarmed when told that their services were needed no longer—that it was ascertained they were carrying too many men; and also that they were to receive full pay for the time they had engaged.
Of course they started to make objections, and the air was filled with various excited exclamations; but Frank proved as firm as adamant, and showed the automatic revolver sticking from his pocket all the while, a fact that kept the two men from venturing to do more than shout.
Clutching their money they were pushed ashore by members of the crew, who doubtless could give a pretty good guess as to what the whole thing meant, since they had talked with Felipe.
“A good riddance of bad rubbish!” declared Andy, as the boat again started up the river, leaving a pair of yelling natives behind, making all sorts of furious gestures with both arms.
“Yes,” pursued Frank, reflectively, “and if we wanted any more evidence that we nipped a conspiracy to seize the vessel in the bud, there it is in their anger at being paid for not working. Nothing like that was ever known before down in this country, as Felipe says. And now, Andy, I feel that we’re another step nearer the carrying out of your great task.”
“Oh! I hope so,” said the other, his face marked by an eagerness that told of the one sole wish of his youthful heart.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE.
Frank took the first watch.
It was to begin about ten o’clock that night; for both of them had remained on deck, talking, up to that hour. The night was so comfortable after the hot day that they disliked going into the sleeping quarters. These happened to face the deck, however, so that the vessel was admirably suited to cruising in tropical regions.
“Every thing seems to be going on decently right now,” remarked Andy, yawning, as he prepared to have a few hours’ sleep.
“That’s so,” returned his chum. “But while we’ve got some of the faithful ones on duty, we mustn’t forget that there may be other snakes aboard. Enrique and the little shouter may not have been all the sympathizers with the revolutionists. And not for a minute will we relax our vigilance.”