There was only one way in which such communication could be managed, and that way Crawford now took with characteristic promptitude and energy. The Clydevalley crossed the Irish Sea to Fishguard, where he took train on Sunday night to London and Yarmouth, having first made arrangements with the skipper for keeping in touch. But there was no trace of the Fanny at Yarmouth, and no word from Agnew at the Post Office. There appeared to be no solution of the problem, and every precious hour that slipped away made ultimate failure more menacing. But at two o’clock the outlook entirely changed. A second visit to the Post Office was rewarded by a telegram in code from Agnew saying all was well, and that he would be at Holyhead to pick up Crawford on Tuesday evening. There was just time to catch a London train that arrived in time for the Irish mail from Euston. On Tuesday morning Crawford was pacing the breakwater at Holyhead, and a few hours later he was discussing matters with Agnew in the little cabin of the Clydevalley.
The latter had amply made up for the loss of time caused by some misunderstanding as to the rendezvous at the Tuskar, for he was able to show Crawford, to his intense delight, that the cargo had all been safely and successfully transferred to the hold of the Clydevalley in a bay on the Welsh coast, mainly at night. Some sixteen transport labourers from Belfast, willing Ulster hands, had shifted the stuff in less than half the time taken by Germans at Langeland over the same job. There was, therefore, nothing more to be done except to steam leisurely to Copeland, for which there was ample time before Friday evening. The Fanny had departed to an appointed rendezvous on the Baltic coast of Denmark.
It was now the turn of the Clydevalley to yield up her obscure identity, and to assume an historic name appropriate to the adventure she was bringing to a triumphant climax—a name of good omen in Ulster ears. Strips of canvas, 6 feet long, were cut and painted with white letters on a black ground, and affixed to bows and stern, so that the men waiting at Copeland might hail the arrival of the Mountjoy II.
Off Copeland Island a small vessel was waiting, which Agnew recognised as a tender belonging to Messrs. Workman & Clark. The men on board, as soon as they could make out the name of the approaching vessel, understood at once, and raised a ringing cheer. Two of them were seen gesticulating and hailing the Mountjoy. Crawford, suspecting fresh orders to retreat, paid no attention, and told Agnew to hold on his course; and even when presently he was able to recognise Mr. Cowser and Mr. Dawson Bates on board the tender, and to hear them shouting that they had important instructions for him, he still refused to let them come on board. “If the orders are not signed by Sir Edward Carson,” he shouted back, “you can take them back to where they came from.” But the orders they brought had been signed by the leader, a special messenger having been sent to London to obtain his signature, and the change of plan they indicated was, in fact, just what Crawford desired. The bulk of the arms were to be landed at Larne, the port he had always favoured, and lesser quantities were to be taken to Bangor and Donaghadee.