Fortunately, although it was past noon, Mr. Temple was at hand. So anxious was he about the boys that he had been unable to sleep during the night. All morning, despite the belief that it was folly to expect to hear from the lads so early, he had stayed at the radio plant. Now, when he heard his son’s voice, there was heartfelt thanksgiving in his reply.
“Is it really you, Bob?” he asked, speaking in code. “I must have been insane to let you three lads go off on such a foolish venture. I have been tortured with anxiety every minute since you left. Tell me where you are and what has happened. And how in the world is it possible for you to radio? Are you all right?”
“Yes, we’re all right, Dad,” answered Bob, and there was a good deal of emotion in his voice, too. The big fellow and his father were real pals. “Don’t you worry, Dad,” he added. “We’re doing well, thank you.”
Then he retailed their adventures from the time of crossing the border into Old Mexico and leaving Tom Bodine at the boundary. There were many interruptions from his father.
“Thank heaven,” said the latter, when learning that Tom Bodine had followed the boys and joined them. “He’s a trustworthy chap, and to know that he is with you makes me breathe more easily.”
When he came to relate the fight in the cave, Bob diplomatically made little of it. He felt there was nothing to be gained by unnecessarily harrowing the feelings of his father. The latter’s anxiety, however, was great and he pumped rapid questions at his son which Bob could not avoid answering. The result was that Mr. Temple gained a fairly accurate idea of the peril in which the boys had been involved.
“But, Dad,” Bob interrupted his parent’s horrified exclamations, “it’s all over now. None of us is injured, and we have got back our airplane.”
“I know, Bob, I know,” answered the older man. “But you can’t understand a father’s feelings. And it isn’t all over yet by any means, for you haven’t rescued Mr. Hampton. And you don’t know what difficulties you will encounter in doing so, and what dangers you will run.”
“Oh, I believe the worst is over, Dad,” answered Bob. “We have captured Morales and Von Arnheim, and they were our two worst dangers. If we had encountered them at rebel headquarters and they had recognized me, our goose would have been cooked. We would have been taken prisoners, too. But now there will be nobody to recognize us. The rebels will take us for what we pretend to be, young Americans seeking adventure and riding in to enlist.”
“Perhaps, Bob,” said his father, only half convinced. “But let me think this over. There ought to be some other way to rescue Mr. Hampton now that you have the airplane again. Also you have these prisoners. It may be that you can gain some valuable information from them. Have you questioned them yet?”
“That’s just what I was coming to, Dad,” said Bob.