“You’ve covered everything that’s possible, I think, Mr. Reade,” commented the foreman.
“I think I have. But there won’t be any rest for any one until we have found Hazelton.”
“Are you going to have the water dragged?”
“Not before daylight—–perhaps not then,” Reade replied. “I can’t bring myself to believe that Harry was thrown into the water and that he drowned there.”
“It’ll take the chief a day or two to realize that,” sighed the superintendent to himself. “Yet that is exactly what has happened. The chief won’t believe it, though, until the body is found.”
Down on the beach there was really nothing for Tom and his head man to do after the arrival of the foremen and their gangs. Everything went ahead in an orderly manner.
“I don’t suppose you could get any rest, under the circumstances, Mr. Reade,” hinted the superintendent, “yet that is just what you are going to need.”
“Rest?” echoed Tom, gazing at the man, in a strange, wide-eyed way, while a grim smile flickered around the corners of his mouth. “What have rest and I to do with each other just now?”
“Yet there’s nothing you can do here.”
“I am here, anyway,” Reade retorted. “I’m on the spot—–that’s something.”
“Let me run back to the house and get you some blankets,” urged the superintendent. “Then you can lie down on the sand and rest. Of course I know you can’t sleep at present.”
“It is not necessary go back,” volunteered a voice behind them. “I have the blankets.”
“Nicolas!” gasped Tom, in surprise. “How did you know I was here?”
“I wake up when you talk to Meester Renshaw,” replied the Mexican simply. “I listen. I know, now—–poor Senor Hazelton!”
Nicolas’s voice broke, and, as he stepped closer, Tom beheld some large tears trickling down the little Mexican’s face.
“Nicolas, you’re a good fellow!” cried Tom, impulsively, “but I don’t want the blankets. Spread them on the sand, then lie down on them yourself until I need you.”
“What—–me? I lie down?” demanded Nicolas. “No, no! That impossible is. I must walk, walk! Me? I am like the caged panther to-night. I want nothing but find the enemy who have hurt Senor Hazelton. Then I jump on the back of that enemy!”
Saying which Nicolas saluted, and, as became his position of servant, fell back some yards. But first he had dropped the blankets to the beach.
The light of lanterns showed that the men of one gang were searching thoroughly all along the top of the wall. Once in a while a man belonging to the beach patrol passed the chief engineer and the superintendent, reporting only that no signs of Harry had been found.
An hour thus passed. Then, from over the water, as the lantern-bearing searchers were returning, a dull explosion boomed across the water.
“Great Scott!” quivered Tom. “There they go at it again, Mr. Renshaw! Another section of the retaining wall has gone—–blown up!”