The boys had breakfast about half-past six. Except coffee and bread there was little left, and the outlook, in case the gale continued, was not inspiring! Perry declared that he’d much rather drown than starve to death. The first cheerful event that happened was the drawing near of the Adventurer. The white cruiser came plunging up to within a quarter of a mile about nine o’clock and signals were exchanged. An hour later the Follow Me appeared coming up from westward and at noon the schooner and the two convoys were reunited. But there was still no chance of getting lines aboard. All that they could do was wait. Dinner hour aboard the Catspaw was dinner hour in name only. There was coffee, to be sure, but the sugar was low and the condensed milk had given out completely. All else had disappeared at breakfast time. The spirits of the “prize crew” got lower and lower as the afternoon began and they were faced with another night aboard the schooner. Twice they sighted other craft, once a steamer headed toward the northeast and once a schooner dipping along under reefed sails. Neither craft showed any curiosity and each went on its way without a sign.
Once the Adventurer circled close to the windward and Steve shouted encouragement through his megaphone. Just what was said they couldn’t make out, and Joe’s attempts to acquaint the cruiser with the fact that they were out of provisions was unsuccessful, since he had only his hands to shout through and the wind was unsympathetic. But having the cruisers at hand was comforting, and when, at about four, there was a brief glimpse of sunlight to the south their spirits arose somewhat. The wind now began to go down perceptibly and by five it no longer roared down on them from the northwest, but, swinging around to the northeast, became quite docile and friendly. They put up their sail again and gradually the Catspaw pointed her nose toward the coast. Just before darkness came the sea had quieted enough to make possible an attempt to get the cables aboard again and those on the schooner saw the cruisers draw together. Steve and Phil caught the line hurled from the Follow Me after several attempts and then the tender was dropped over and with the two cables aboard the boys made for the Catspaw.
Those on the schooner watched anxiously. At one moment the tiny dingey was seen poised on the summit of a great green sea and the next was quite gone from sight. The sun came out momentarily before saying Good Night, as though to watch that struggle. At last the tender came sidling down the slope of a wave, the occupants striving hard at the oars, and after one breathless moment, during which it seemed that the little boat would be crushed to splinters against the old black hull of the schooner, Joe caught the painter, Steve made a flying leap for the deck and gained it in safety, and Phil, boat-hook in hand, worked manfully and skilfully to fend off while the cables were brought aboard. The dingey had fetched food as well and a shout of joy went up as Phil, taking advantage of the calm moments between the rushing waves, hurled the bundles to the deck.