“Hurray,” cried Harry, “You’re fetching it. I can see it coming around the bend. Just look at that, boys. I can see it coming.”
“Put up your hands,” came a coarse voice from the rear.
Startled, the lads with one accord jumped to their feet to see their guest of a short time previous pointing an automatic at them.
“Drop that gun,” came an order in Tom’s ringing voice.
THEIR PIRATE PRISONER
With an exclamation of surprise and alarm all eyes were turned in Tom’s direction. With a steady hand he was leveling an automatic pistol at the head of the outlaw who now dropped his pistol hand to his side without, however, relinquishing his hold upon the weapon. His shifty eyes were closely watching the boy.
“I’ll not tell you again!” warned Tom. “Once is plenty.”
“Yes, I heard you the first time!” gritted the outlaw, opening his hand and permitting the weapon to drop to the sand. “You wait! You Yankees can’t come down here and have your own way always.”
“We won’t argue that point just now,” was Tom’s rejoinder. “Right now, you’ll please put your hands up over your head.” Then as the outlaw obeyed, Tom added—“Way up with ’em. Pick me a star or two out of the sky. Keep ’em up there and watch a comet while one of my friends goes through you for souvenirs of the occasion.”
As Jack stepped forward to search the captive, Frank took a closer look at the dark face and bruised nose, then cried out:
“Why, Wyckoff, how did you get back here?”
“Is this your friend Wyckoff?” questioned Jack, turning to Frank before continuing his task of searching their involuntary guest.
“This is the man who warned me back and who marooned me on this lonely island!” declared Frank with some heat. “I know him!”
“That settles it!” stated Jack in a determined tone. “He’s going to get all that’s coming to him if I have a vote here!”
“Here, too!” chorused the others. “Here’s where he gets his.”
“Remember, boys, we’re Boy Scouts!” cautioned Jack. “No harsh measures will be permitted. Justice may be necessary—no more.”
A murmur of approval that ran around the little group showed that the boys heartily favored Jack’s sentiment in the matter.
Under cover of Tom’s leveled automatic Wyckoff, for it was he, remained passive while Jack searched his pockets, producing therefrom the missing flashlight made to imitate an automatic pistol, a watch, a purse with some coins inside, a vile smelling pipe with a pouch of tobacco, a stubby lead pencil and a note book partly filled with figures and memoranda. Apparently there was nothing of value.
“Aside from the flashlight and the real automatic pistol, I can’t find that he’s taken anything of our property,” Jack said when the search was completed. “I guess we’d better return his own property to him. We don’t want his money and wouldn’t use his pipe.”