“Well, we’ll help you all we can when the time comes,” cried Tom heartily. “I’m sure we’ll do that.”
“Here comes somebody on the wharf,” declared Arnold with a hand on Rowdy’s collar. “Wonder who it is now?”
“That’s the watchman,” said Harrison. “He’s got the shovels.”
As the watchman delivered the implements to the Marshal he was requested to keep an eye on the Fortuna. This he promised to do.
“I have an idea,” explained Harrison in parting, “that the parties I am expecting to call will be across the bay, but in case they should come, hold them even if you have to resort to violence.”
“A few more and we’d have a load,” remarked Jack as the skiff with its unusual cargo pulled away from the Fortuna. I’m glad there are enough boys to go around so we can have one to each oar.”
“We have got a crowd, sure enough,” admitted Frank. “Did you bring a gun with you in case something might turn up?”
“Indeed I have,” replied Jack. “I am pretty sure the others have theirs, too,” he added. A vote of the crowd showed he was right. Every member of the Fortuna’s regular crew had an automatic.
A short time only was required for the passage across the bay, between the supports of the railroad bridge and around the point to a spot as near the fort as Harrison deemed best to approach.
“Hello,” cried Tom shaking out the line he had brought for a painter, “there are two pieces here. One is short and the other a long one. I may as well use only the short one.”
“Better take the other with you,” suggested Jack. “Someone may pass while we’re away and think they could use it.”
“Good idea,” assented Tom. “I’ll keep it with me.”
Not far from where the boys landed they discovered the time-worn earthworks of what had once been the old fort. Trees nearly a foot in diameter were seen growing on the former breastworks. Everywhere one could see that the fort had been long unoccupied.
Harry immediately proceeded to search for the trees that had been used as ranges when the map had been made. He was not long in finding what he sought. His feet were almost in the waters of the rising tide when the spot where the treasure was supposed to be was located. All were visibly excited. The prospect was alluring.
“Shall we start to dig a hole here?” asked Tom, shovel in hand.
“Make a little hole and we’ll touch off the dynamite.”
A short time sufficed to bury the explosive in a good location.
“Let’s all stand back now and see what happens,” cried Tom.
“Mr. Harrison, show Harry how to light it,” requested Jack.
“Stand back; here come Wyckoff and Lopez.”
DEFEATED BY GREED
Loaded with men, a boat was approaching from the westward. Standing in the bow were Wyckoff and Lopez, the two principals in the efforts to drive our friends from that neighborhood.