“But I always get seasick,” objected Joe. “And when I’m seasick you couldn’t tempt me with any number of adventures. I simply—um—don’t seem to enthuse much at such times.”
“You can take a lemon with you,” suggested Perry cheerfully. “My grandmother—”
Joe shook his head. “They don’t do you any good,” he said sadly.
“Don’t they! My grandmother—”
“Bother your grandmother! How do we go to sea, Steve? Swim or—or how?”
“We get my father’s cruiser,” replied Steve simply. “She’s a forty-footer and togged out like an ocean-liner. Has everything but a swimming-pool. She—”
“Nix on the luxuries,” interrupted Perry. “The simple life for me. Let’s hire an old moth-eaten sailboat—”
“Nothing doing, Sweet Youth! If I’m to risk my life on the heaving ocean I want something under me. Besides, being seasick is rotten enough, anyhow, without having to roll around in the cock-pit of a two-by-twice sailboat. That cruiser listens well, Steve, but—um—will papa fall for it? If it was my father—”
“I think he will,” answered Steve seriously. “Dad doesn’t have much chance to use the boat himself, and this Summer he’s likely to be in the city more than ever. The trouble is that the Cockatoo is almost too big for three of us to handle.”
“It’s so, though. I know the boat, Perry. She’s pretty big when it comes to making a landing or picking up a mooring. If we were all fairly good seamen it might be all right, but I wouldn’t want to try to handle the Cockatoo without a couple of sailors aboard.”
“I once sailed a knockabout,” said Perry.
“And I had a great-grandfather who was a sea captain,” offered Joe encouragingly. “What price great-grandfather?”
“Don’t see where your grandfather and Perry’s grandmother come into this,” replied Steve. “How would it do if we gathered up two or three other fellows? The Cockatoo will accommodate six.”
“Who could we get?” asked Joe dubiously.
“Neil Fairleigh, for one.”
“How about Han?” offered Joe.
“Hanford always wants to boss everything,” objected Perry.
“He knows boats, though, and so does Neil,” said Steve. “And they’re both good fellows. That would make five of us, and five isn’t too many. We can’t afford to hire a cook, you know; at least, I can’t; and someone will have to look after that end of it. Who can cook?”
“I can’t!” Perry made the disclaimer with great satisfaction.
“No more can I,” said Joe cheerfully. “Let Neil be cook.”
“I guess we’ll all have to take a try at it. I dare say any of us can fry an egg and make coffee; and you can buy almost everything ready to eat nowadays.”
“Tell you who’s a whale of a cook,” said Perry eagerly. “That’s Ossie Brazier. Remember the time we camped at Mirror Lake last Spring? Remember the flapjacks he made? M-mm!”