Bud made the first score in the frequent attempts to get a message to the “island prisoner”. Conditions in the ether became much better toward evening when a cool wind began to blow. Just before sending the message that reached its goal, Bud received the following from Vax:
“Where are you? Can’t you reach me? Nobody in sight yet. Ate my last crust of bread an hour ago. Have to drink lake water to keep alive. Try again to get a message to me.”
Bud tried again and received the following reply:
“Got you faintly. Try again. Where are you?”
But fifteen minutes elapsed before the boy at the key was able to score again. After that, however, they had no difficulty in reaching “Crusoe island” with key and spark.
Then arose the question as to whether they should attempt to find the “radio Crusoe’s” island that evening or should seek a suitable mooring place and postpone the search until morning.
“There’s one matter to be taken up before we decide to go much further to-night,” said Mr. Perry, who had just turned the wheel over to Hal and joined the conference in the cabin.
“What’s that?” asked Cub.
“The weather. We’re right at the beginning of the Thousand Isles now, but we can have a nasty time of it anywhere in the upper part of the river in a storm. The wind is getting pretty lively, and you know how much the temperature has dropped.”
“Oh, I can take care of that,” Bud declared eagerly. “I’ve been having a chat with a ‘ham’ somewhere along the coast. I’m sure he’ll get the evening forecast for me.”
As he spoke, Bud dropped his eye on the log where he had made note of the shore “ham’s” call and then began to tune for his wave length. To his gratification, he found the fellow busy with his spark and waited till the message was finished; then he threw his aerial switch into sending and lettered the call. The “ham” answered and asked what was wanted.
“I want the weather forecast for to-night,” Bud replied. “We’re out in a motor boat and want to know if it’s safe to stay out till dark.”
“I’ll get the latest by telephone and call you back in a few minutes,” was the operator’s generous offer.
Ten minutes later the promised call came, thus:
“Clear to-night. Wind brisk, but not violent.”
Cub was listening-in and read this message to his father.
“That means we can go on nearly three hours yet before we have to seek a post for the night,” the latter announced.
“Good!” exclaimed Cub. “Now I’m going to test that radio compass and see what may be expected of it in the morning if we don’t find Mr. Crusoe to-night, which isn’t very likely.”
Preparation for the test was simple and quickly made. The loop aerial, a collapsible affair, was set up in the cabin and connected in such manner that it could be used for receiving simultaneously with the use of the outside aerial for sending.