“O.K.” nodded Wolgast. “Come alongside and let me haul you in.”
“You let me alone,” muttered Dalzell, coming alongside and grasping the rail. “Do you think a short cold bath makes me too weak to attend to myself?”
With that Dan drew himself aboard. Back in the cockpit Mrs. Meade and some of the girls were in frenzied way doing their best to revive Pauline Butler, who, at the present moment, showed no signs of life.
“Let me take charge of this reviving job. I’ve taken several tin medals in first aid to the injured,” proclaimed Farley modestly.
In truth the midshipman had a decided knack for this sort of work. He assailed it with vigor, making a heap of life preservers, and over these placing Miss Butler, head downward. Then Farley took vigorous charge of the work of “rolling” out the water that Miss Butler must have taken into her system.
“Get anchor up and start the steamer back to Annapolis at the best speed possible,” ordered Dave, long before he could talk in a natural voice.
Wolgast and Dan aided Danny in hoisting the anchor. Steam was crowded on and the little craft cut a swift, straight path for Annapolis.
“Pauline is opening her eyes!” cried Farley, after twenty minutes more of vigorous work in trying to restore the girl.
The girl’s eyes merely fluttered, though, as a slight sigh escaped her. The eyelids fell again, and there was but a trace of motion at the pulse.
“We mustn’t lose the poor child, now that we’ve succeeded in proving a little life there,” cried Mrs. Meade anxiously.
“Now, that’s what I call a reflection on the skill of Dr. Farley,” protested that midshipman in mock indignation. It was necessary, at any amount of trouble, to keep these women folks on fair spirits until Annapolis was reached. Then, perhaps, many of them would faint.
All of the dry jackets of midshipmen aboard had been thrown protectingly around the girls who had been in the water.
“Torpedo boat ahead, sir,” reported the helmsman.
“Give her the distress signal to lie to,” directed Dave.
The engine’s whistle sent out the shrieking appeal over the waters. The destroyer was seen to heave about and come slowly to meet the steamer.
Long before the two craft had come together Dave Darrin was standing, holding to one of the awning stanchions, for he was not yet any too strong.
“Destroyer, ahoy!” he shouted as loudly as he could between his hands. “Have you a surgeon aboard?”
“Yes,” came back the answer.
“Let us board you, sir!”
But Dave had turned to the helmsman with:
“Steam up alongside. Lose no time.”
In a very short space of time the destroyer was reached and the steamer ran alongside. The unconscious form of Miss Butler was passed up over the side, followed by the other members of the sailboat party. Mrs. Meade followed, in case she could be of any assistance.