Much had happened since that Thursday when they had toasted the Adventure Club in Steve’s and Joe’s room in Sumner. Graduation Day had sent them scurrying homeward. Then had followed much correspondence with Steve. After an anxious four days, Perry and the rest had each received a brief but highly satisfactory telegram: “Cockatoo ours for two months. Meet Ballinger’s Basin, Brooklyn, fourth.” But work on the cruiser had delayed the starting date, and they had now been kicking their heels about New York for four days. Perry and Phil Street had been taken care of by Steve, and Joe had had Neil, Han and Ossie as his guests. At Bay Shore, on the south side of Long Island, the Follow Me was awaiting them impatiently. The Follow Me had been ready to put to sea for a full week.
Although Steve and Joe had provisioned the Cockatoo—which, by the way, was no longer the Cockatoo, but the Adventurer, having been renamed during the process of painting—the crew had not been altogether idle during their wait. Each had thought of something further to add. Ossie, who, as a special favour, was to be allowed to try his hand at cooking, had made several trips between a big department store on Fulton Street and had returned to the basin laden each time with mysterious packages, many of which rattled or clinked when deposited in the galley. Perry had purchased an inexpensive talking machine and a dozen records. Neil had contributed a patent life-preserver that looked like a waistcoat to be used by an Arctic explorer and was guaranteed to keep Barnum and Bailey’s fat man afloat. Phil had supplied the cabin with magazines, few of them, to Perry’s chagrin, of the sort anyone but a “highbrow” would care to tackle. Joe, as an after-thought, had stocked up heavily with Mother Somebody’s Cure for Seasickness. George Hanford had tried to smuggle on board a black and white puppy about a foot long which he had bought on a street corner for two dollars and a half. Steve, however, had objected strenuously and Han had been forced to see the puppy’s former owner and sell his purchase back for a dollar, the value of it having decreased surprisingly in a few hours. Even Steve had supplemented the boat’s contents the day before by stowing two desperate-looking revolvers and several boxes of cartridges in a locker in the forward cabin.