Max stayed up late that night, with phones to his ears, eager to get another message from the island, and he was a very much disappointed enthusiast when at last he gave up his efforts, convinced that they were useless. He slept late next morning and consequently lost an opportunity to respond to Hal’s first call to enlist the aid of the Rockport amateurs in the campaign to rescue the missing “Crusoe”.
But at last he caught a message from the island, and the conversation, translated from code, that took place between him and Hal, following a few introductory inconsequentials, was as follows:
“I listened-in last night and heard your arrangements for today,” the Canadian dot-and-dashed. “When are you coming to Rockport?”
“Two of us are on the way,” Hal replied. “They ought to be there by this time.”
“Is there anything I can do to help you?”
“Yes. Can you go to the dock and ask them to hurry back? There are four ugly acting men here on the island, who have ordered us off. They threatened to make trouble for us if we do not go soon.”
“Don’t your friends know those men are there?”
“No; we discovered them after the boat left.”
“All right, I will run down to the dock and tell them.”
Max literally kept his promise relative to his manner of travel. He ran all the way to the dock, half a mile. The Catwhisker was there, tied fast with cables, but nobody was on board.
“They’ve gone to the depot,” he concluded; then he turned his steps toward the railroad station.
He ran and walked alternately, with a dozen changes of speed, and arrived just as the train from the west was pulling in. He had no difficulty in identifying Mr. Perry and Cub when they introduced themselves to Mr. Baker, as the latter stepped from a coach, and a moment later he was addressing the owner of the Catwhisker thus:
“Is this Mr. Perry of Oswego, New York?”
The latter turned quickly and beheld a youth about the age of his own son, but of considerably shorter stature.
“It is,” he replied somewhat apprehensively, in view of recent stirring events and the logical probability of more of the same sort.
“Well, I have something important to tell you,” Max continued. “I’m the boy who gave you the radio compass information that made it possible for you to find Friday Island.”
“Gee! I’m glad to meet you,” exclaimed Cub, seizing the Canadian youth by the hand and forgetting, in his eagerness, the announcement from the “radio compass detective” that he had “something important” to communicate.
But the latter, although equally pleased to meet the young amateur from the States, was on his guard against a delay of this sort and soon broke through the effusion of cordiality with which Cub greeted him and continued his communication thus:
“I was just telegraphing with one of the boys on the island, and he told me to tell you to hurry back. There are four men on the island who ordered them away and threatened to make trouble for them if they didn’t get away soon.”