The Adventure Club Afloat eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 177 pages of information about The Adventure Club Afloat.
had dropped to the protecting darkness of a big table, but Perry still peered, crouching, from behind the chair.  In the dim light of an electric lamp the intruder’s face had shown for an instant, and in that instant Perry had sensed it all!  The stealthy manner of the man’s entrance from the terrace instead of by the door, the plainly furtive way in which he crossed the room and the anxious expression of his face, a face which Perry saw at once to be criminal, was enough!  The watcher was not in the least surprised when the man, hurriedly and still stealthily, drew out a square of mahogany paneling at the left of the fireplace and revealed the front of a small safe.  Perry’s heart began to thump agitatedly at the thought of witnessing a robbery.  The man’s fingers worked deftly at the knob.  Perry could hear in the silence the click of the tumblers as they slid into place.  Then the door was pulled open.

Between Perry and the robber lay a full thirty feet of floor, and a big table impeded his progress, but it took the boy less than a second to cover the distance, to seize the robber from behind, pinioning his arms, and to bear him heavily back to the floor.

CHAPTER XVII

FLIGHT

“Wink!” he cried.  “Ossie!  Come quick!  Help here!”

The robber, having uttered a stifled cry of alarm at the instant of the unexpected attack, was now thrashing mightily about on the thick rug.

“Help!” he shouted.  “Who are you?  Let me go!”

“S-sh!” commanded Perry sternly, as the others plunged to his aid, overturning a chair on the way.  “Be quiet!  Sit on his legs, Ossie!” Perry was astride the man’s chest, holding his arms to the floor.  “Punch him if he makes a noise, Wink!” Perry, breathing hard, surveyed his captive in triumph.  “Now then,” he asked, “what have you got to say for yourself?  What were you doing at that safe?”

The man glared in silence for an instant.  To Wink it seemed that the emotion exhibited on the robber’s countenance was amazement rather than fear.

“Come on,” urged Perry.  “What’s the game?”

“Game!” choked the man, finding his voice at last.  “Game?  You—­you young ruffians!  You—­”

“Cut that out, or I’ll hand you something,” growled Wink.  “Answer politely.”

“Let me up!”

“Nothing doing!” answered Perry.  “Come across.  What’s your name and where do you come from?  As you didn’t get anything out of there, maybe we’ll be easy with you if you talk quick.”

“Let me suggest, if I may,” said the man in a strangely quiet and restrained tone, “that you get off my stomach.  This conversation can just as well be conducted under more comfortable conditions.”

Perry blinked and Wink viewed the captive doubtfully.

“Promise not to try to run?” demanded Perry.

“I have no intention of running, thanks.”  The robber carefully dusted his clothes as he arose and then felt anxiously of a bruised elbow.  “Now, if you will inform me what this—­this murderous assault means I shall be greatly obliged to you.”

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The Adventure Club Afloat from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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