In a short time the boys returned and taking tackle and lunch set off up the river in the boat found on Petit Bois Island. Gaily they waved their hands at their comrades as they rounded a bend.
During the remainder of the day Jack, Tom and Frank were about the shipyard watching the carpenters at work on various vessels of small tonnage drawn up for repairs. After dinner they went uptown to purchase the necessary paint and to arrange for an additional supply of canned goods with which to stock their larder.
“Let’s get some vegetables for supper,” Tom said as they visited one of the stores. “It will surprise the boys when they get back all tired and hungry. They’ll like that.”
Well loaded the lads returned to the shipyard. As they neared the place where their vessel was now lying on the ways, Jack stopped short in his tracks. He turned a startled glance toward his companions. Alarmed, they eagerly crowded closer.
“What’s the matter, now?” inquired Tom in a whisper.
“I just saw Wyckoff sneaking behind that shed,” Jack replied.
SAVED BY A STRANGER
“Look, Harry,” Arnold cried as they rowed along. “See the palm leaf fans all growing in bunches on shore there.”
“Those must be what they call ‘Palmettos,’” answered Harry.
“Are they good to eat?” was Arnold’s query.
“Not that I know of,” Harry replied, “unless some native animal here wants to commit suicide. They are rough and have barbs growing on the leaf stems. They do resemble palm leaf fans with streamers on the edge. We won’t bother them, though.”
“Surely not,” responded Arnold. “But look at that tree with all the gray washing hanging on it. Looks for all the world like all the kitchen mechanics and pot wrestlers in the world had hung their dirty dish cloths on it to dry. And there’s another—and another—and another,” he exclaimed.
“I know what that is,” announced Harry. “That’s the Spanish moss we’ve heard about! At last, we’re getting closer to the Treasure Chest. At least we’ve found something Spanish.”
“Pull in toward the shore,” requested Arnold. “I see a spot I think would be ideal for a fishes park. I can almost imagine I see numbers of young fish sitting around on the benches in the shady spots right now. They look so cool and comfortable!”
“I wonder if any of them are hungry enough to take a little lunch,” mused Harry, pulling as close to the bank as he could.
“Try and see,” advised Arnold. “I’m going to drop a line to a big young fellow I’ve heard about and see if he will answer.”
Both boys laughed quietly at the conceit. Their day started finely and augured well. Preparing their tackle they lost no time in lowering an alluring bait to the finny denizens of the water.
Evidently the fish were hungry for not many minutes passed before Harry felt a tug at his line. He began reeling in rapidly.