At 7 o’clock he called all the sleepers to breakfast. The two “sand-bag headaches” were no more, and everybody was as cheerful as could have been expected under the circumstances.
“What are we going to do about Bud’s prisoner?” Hal inquired as they were about to gather around the cabin table, which was well loaded with appetizing dishes, some of them steaming hot.
“Oh, we’ll have to give him some breakfast,” replied Mr. Perry, starting for the prison-stateroom. “I’d quite forgotten him.”
Without more ado, the prisoner was produced and supplied with conveniences to prepare for the morning meal. After he had washed and combed his tousled hair, he presented a fairly respectable appearance and was given a place at the table. He sat through the meal without as much as a “thank you” for dishes passed to him, and the other breakfasters, observing that he was in anything but a cheerful mood, did not attempt to draw him into conversation.
After breakfast the three men on board held a conference, the result of which was an agreement to run back to the Friday Island group and make an inspection of it with glasses from every possible angle. In this way they hoped to be able to obtain a clew relative to the headquarters and activities of the men who had ordered them to move their camp from Friday Island. Then the engine was started, and the course of the Catwhisker directed up stream.
“Now, my friend,” remarked Mr. Buckley, addressing the young Canadian; “you’d be perfectly welcome to the freedom of the deck under ordinary circumstances, but the present are extraordinary circumstances, so we’ll have to ask you to resort to the pleasures and comforts of the cabin. Boys,” he added, addressing the three young Catwhiskerites, “you may go into the cabin, too, and get acquainted with him.” Then in lower tone to Cub, who stood near the officer, he suggested: “Maybe he’ll be more talkative with you boys than he has been with us men. See if you can’t get something out of him.”
Cub “tipped” Hal and Bud as to the purpose communicated to him by the Canadian officer, and the three conducted “Bud’s prisoner” into the cabin.
But the latter proved to be about as uncommunicative as he had been when the older members of the yacht’s company tried to get something out of him. He appeared to be bright enough and not especially coarse grained, so that from the standpoint of quality qualifications, there seemed to be no reason for his sullenness. Hal frankly made a statement to him to this effect, but it produced no result of the kind desired and intended. They got only short, surly returns in response to their most friendly advances.
At last they gave it up and returned on deck. Before leaving the cabin, however, Cub said to the prisoner:
“Now, if you’ll promise to stay here and not make any attempt to escape, we won’t lock you up. Otherwise we’ll have to lock you up in a stateroom.”