“I don’t know,” replied Carlos. “They believe the story.”
A berth was now turned over to Madero and he was urged to lie down and take what rest he could. As he curled up in the berth, Rowdy came in, jumped up on the berth and curled up beside the newcomer. Not a sign of antagonism did the bulldog exhibit.
“Well, you’re all right now,” declared Harry. “That bulldog’s our acid test. When he thinks a fellow is all right, that settles it.”
“That is very comforting,” declared Carlos. “I hope Rowdy and I become great friends. He’s a nice dog.”
“How’s the foot?” inquired Harry. “I forgot to ask before.”
“Great,” declared Madero. “You boys are fine doctors.”
Just at dusk the Fortuna drew into Biloxi bay. The boys had decided that a few fish would be required for supper and had run out some distance from shore where they threw over their lines with good success. Several Spanish Mackerel graced the bag as a result of their efforts. They were justly proud of their catch.
Charley and Frank were elected cooks for the evening. With Doright’s assistance they soon had a fine supper prepared. Fresh mackerel with a package of Saratoga chips was the piece de resistance, but the table did not lack for comforts. It was noticeable that their appetites were increasing. All were feeling in prime condition.
Just before supper was served the Fortuna was tied up alongside the wharf of the shrimping factory where the fishing vessels landed their cargoes. The electric lights were turned on, presenting a cheerful scene as one viewed the craft from shore. Night was falling rapidly and the boys were glad they had reached port.
Rowdy interrupted the peaceful scene by growling and moving about uneasily. He ran whining from one door to the other.
Madero, who was sitting at the end of the table, glanced up from his plate to peer out of a window. With a gasp he fell back.
“There’s Lopez!” he cried, pointing through the window.
A DESPERATE ATTEMPT
Doright was standing near the door. Rowdy’s excitement now increased to a high pitch. He dashed madly to and fro in the cabin.
“I saw the fellow’s face for a minute,” cried Jack. “Open the door, Doright, and let Rowdy out. He wants to meet his friend.”
“Go on, dog!” whispered Doright, obeying Jack’s order.
Quick footsteps sounded on the wharf. A man was running away. Rowdy lost no time in scrambling on deck and from there to the wharf. In a moment came a shriek, followed by a shot. The boys shivered in apprehension. Their pet was alone in the dark and a shot had been fired. It seemed as if they must go to his assistance.
Not many minutes passed before the boys felt the Fortuna rock as a body landed on the deck. Rowdy burst into the cabin.