“Yes,” chuckled Tom, “and when you get your innings you’ll be wild to swap them for outings—–for the innings will be in jail.”
“Don’t push my temper too far,” cautioned Hawkins with a scowl.
“Let it go as far as you like, always being ready to take the consequences,” Tom smiled genially.
There followed a period of tense waiting. After nearly a half an hour of this a ’bus arrived, with four police officers from Blixton in it. Tom Reade preferred his charges against the gamblers and bootleggers. The officers had no choice but to take them, so the late troublemakers, now amid jeers and hoots from many of the workmen, were led outside and into the ’bus.
“You’ll hear from this!” hissed Hawkins, in the young chief engineer’s ear.
“I believe you,” nodded Tom thoughtfully.
After the police and their prisoners had gone Tom led his own party back to the house.
“You’d better get to bed now, Harry,” Reade advised his chum. “There can be no telling how soon I’ll need to call you up, and you ought to have some sleep first.”
“You look for trouble to break to-night?” Harry asked.
“Between now and daylight,” said Tom simply.
“Whee! I’d like to stay up with you.”
“You might find more fun that way, Harry, but the work to-morrow would suffer, and work is more important than mere fun,” Tom answered.
Nor was Tom to be disappointed in his expectation that the worst trouble yet experienced would break loose that night.
WISHING IT ON MR. SAMBO
“Oho!” breathed young Reade, as he crouched low behind the fringe of bushes, peering toward the beach.
It was now somewhat past midnight. For three hours Tom had been scouting stealthily along this shore section, well to the west of the breakwater.
For, in pondering over the explosions, Tom had come to the conclusion that the blow-outs on the retaining wall, however accomplished, were controlled from a point to the westward of the sea wall.
This conclusion had been rather a simple matter to a trained engineer. Tom had witnessed the flash of one explosion, and that, as he remembered, had sprung up at the west side of the wall. Moreover, the appearance and condition of the wall, at the point of each explosion, had shown that the attack in each case must have been made at the west side of the wall.
And now, after nearly three hours of work, Tom Reade had come upon a real clue.
“Another blow-out is arranged for to-night, just as I had expected,” Reade muttered, with an angry thrill, as he glanced at a figure down on the beach. “Moreover, my guess that the huge negro is the fellow who touches off the blow-outs has proved to be the correct one.”
Down on the beach a big, black man was moving about stealthily. Though the spot was a lonely one, this scoundrel plainly intended to take no unnecessary risks of detection.