“No, she’s turned and run inside back of the breakwater. Keep your ears and eyes open for that whistling buoy, Phil. I want to pass it to port.”
“It’s pretty near. There it is now! Look!”
“I’ve got it! All right. Now it’s straight for the white beacon.” Steve sighed relievedly. “No use hurrying any longer, I guess.” He eased the throttle back and the Adventurer slowed her pace. “Have a look at the chart, Harry. Isn’t there a buoy near the end of the breakwater?”
“Yes, a red spar buoy.”
“What’s the depth just inside?”
“Four fathoms, shoaling to one.”
“Good enough. We’ll drop anchor just around the breakwater and train the searchlight across the channel. I don’t believe, though, they intend to run out again before morning. All I’m afraid of is that they swung off when darkness came and are sneaking around the Cape.”
“I’ll bet anything we’ll find her at anchor when daylight comes,” replied Harry. “She had only enough gas for seventy miles, and she’s gone about sixty at top speed. We’ve got her, Steve. Don’t you worry.”
“Hope so. Get your bow anchor ready, Han, and stand by to heave. When you let go make as little noise as you can. I’m going to turn the lights out, fellows, so don’t go messing about or you may walk overboard. Switch them all off below, Ossie, will you? If those chaps have anchored just inside the breakwater there’s no sense in letting them know that this is the Adventurer. Got your anchor ready, Han?”
“Ay, ay, sir!”
“All right. Don’t let your windlass rattle. Keep quiet, fellows.” Suddenly all the lights on deck save that in the binnacle went out, leaving the boat in darkness. Nearby the red flash of the lighthouse glowed periodically, while, ahead, shone the white beacon. In silence the Adventurer drew nearer and nearer to the latter, put it abeam and then swung to starboard. “Let her go, Han,” called Steve softly. Those on the bridge deck heard the faint splash of the hundred-pound navy anchor as it struck the water. Han crept back and swung himself down to the bridge.
“All fast, sir,” he reported.
Somewhere in the darkness at the head of the harbour, where tiny pin-pricks of light twinkled, a town clock struck two.
WHAT STEVE SAW
Waiting was weary work after that. It was two hours and a half to sunrise and, since two of their number were sufficient to keep watch, the others presently went below and napped. Steve and Bert Alley remained on deck. Steve, although he perhaps needed sleep more than anyone, refused to trust other eyes than his own, and while darkness lasted he watched the white path cast across the water by the Adventurer’s searchlight. But darkness and silence held until shortly after four, when the eastern sky began to