One by one, as the light strengthened, the others stumbled on deck, yawning and rubbing their sleepy eyes. The Adventurer was anchored more than a mile from the inner harbour, and between her and Ten Pound Island lay a big, rusty-red salt bark, high out of water, and five fishing schooners. But these, aside from the disreputable little gill-netter, were all the craft that met their gaze.
“Either,” said Steve wearily, “she never came in at all or she’s up in the inner harbour. I’ll wager she didn’t get out again last night. We’ll go up and mosey around, I guess. Ossie, how about some coffee?”
“I’ll make some, Steve. Guess we’d better have an early breakfast too.”
“It can’t be too early to suit me,” murmured Bert Alley, as he dragged his feet down the companion way and toppled onto a berth. The Adventurer weighed anchor and in the first flush of a glorious Summer dawn, chugged warily up the still harbour. She kept toward the eastern shore and the boys swept every pier and cove with sharp eyes. Then Rocky Neck turned back them and they picked a cautious way over sunken rocks to the entrance of the inner harbour. By this time it was broad daylight and their task was made easier. Still, as the inner harbour was nearly a mile long and a good half-mile wide, and indented with numerous coves, the search was long. They nosed in and out of slips, circled basins and ran down a dozen false clues supplied by sailors on the fishing schooners that lined the wharves. And, at seven o’clock they had to acknowledge defeat. The Follow Me was most surely not in Gloucester Harbour. Nor, for that matter, was there a cabin-cruiser that resembled her in any way. It was the latter fact that puzzled them, for they had somehow become convinced that the darkened craft that had led them past the breakwater last night was, if not the Follow Me, at least a boat of her size. “And,” said Harry Corwin, “we know that that boat did come in here, for we saw her light disappear behind the breakwater. Let’s look around again.”
“If she came in for gasoline,” said Phil, “we might find out whether she got it. There can’t be many places where she could fill her tanks.” The Adventurer was slowly rounding a point that lay between the cove from which she had just emerged and Western Harbour, and Wink Wheeler, who was sitting on the rail on the starboard side of the deck, gave utterance to an exclamation of surprise and pointed ahead to where a drab-coloured power-boat had suddenly emerged into sight nearly a half-mile away.