“All right, let’s get busy at once,” said Mr. Perry. “The boys, however, must stay here on the boat. We don’t want to run any risk of their falling into the hands of the enemy.”
“Oh, Mr. Perry, let me go along with you and get my radio outfit,” Hal begged.
The yachtsman looked at the pleading youth for a few moments in hesitating manner.
“I don’t know,” he replied slowly. “Still, I suppose we could protect one of you if anything happened. Well, inasmuch as we men don’t know anything about disconnecting a radio hook-up. I guess we’ll take you for one trip. Come on; no more delay. Keep a good lookout, Cub and Bud, and set up a holler if anything goes wrong. And, Bud, be careful not to mistake us for the enemy when we return; we don’t want to be hit by that sling of yours.”
“We ought to have a signal, so we could be sure to recognize each other,” Bud suggested.
“All right, what’ll it be?”
“The Catwhisker ought to have an official signal,” said Hal. “Why not make it ’meow’?”
“Very good; it’s adopted.”
The first trip was made without incident worthy of special note. Hal and Mr. Baker brought all of the radio set except the aerial, and Mr. Perry and Mr. Buckley each carried a load of camp equipment on their return trip. Then Mr. Perry insisted that Hal remain on the yacht, and the three men went ashore again for another load.
But from this trip they came back sooner than looked for, and the manner of their return alarmed the boys, who expected momentarily to hear pistol shots fired at them from the shore. The three men came down the hill to the landing almost at a run, and as they reached the deck, Mr. Perry announced in cautious tones:
“Boys, we’ll have to leave that camp as it is for a while. Those men are up there watching for us. We don’t want to get into a gun battle with them; so we’re going to back out of here as fast as we can.”
A Radio Eavesdropper
The Catwhisker was backed out of the narrow inlet or strait, in which she had been moored, without interference on the part of the hostile men on Friday Island. Whether or not the latter knew of the departure of the yacht, the men and boys on board had no way to determine. It is probable, however, that they heard the coughing and sputtering of the gasoline engine and that they watched proceedings from any of the numerous places of concealment afforded by rocks, bushes, and trees along the shore elevations.
At any rate, the most careful scrutiny of the deep shadows revealed nothing to the Catwhiskerites and their guests as the yacht worked its way out of the inclosure, and presently they exchanged congratulations one with another on the assurance that they were well out of pistol-shot range from the group of islands.
“How far do you think we had better go?” asked Mr. Perry addressing the Canadian officer after this matter of concern had been well taken care of.