One day late in June Mr. and Mrs. Winslow, with Edward Norman and Bobby, went down to Boston, where they boarded their steamer, and immediately the lines were thrown off and the steamer had turned her prow seaward, Bobby nearly shouted with joy, and every throb of the steamer’s engine, and every turn of the propeller, brought fresh delight to his heart, for they were beating away the miles that separated him from home.
In Halifax there was a day’s vexatious delay while they awaited the St. John’s steamer, but at last it came, and at last they were on board the schooner Gull in St. John’s harbor, and at last the Gull was plowing northward past stately icebergs glimmering in the sunshine, and vagrant pans of ice rising and falling on the swell, and home was drawing near.
THE MYSTERY CLEARED
How slowly those last days dragged away! Bobby could scarcely restrain his impatience. But one day in the middle of July Itigailit Island was sighted, and that evening the Gull anchored in its lee. Abel Zachariah had not come out to his fishing yet, and the island was bare and deserted. Bobby’s emotion nearly got the better of him when he remembered that stormy winter’s day when he had last been here, with Skipper Ed and Jimmy.
They launched a motor boat with which they had provided themselves, and went ashore for a half hour, while Bobby pointed out Abel’s landing place, and the place where they always pitched their tent, and where the snow igloo had stood. The seals were gone, so Bobby knew Skipper Ed and Abel had hauled them home before the ice broke up.
And then Bobby took his friends to see the grave, and the cairn he had built over it, and for a little they stood, in silence and in pity for the nameless man who lay there.
Day comes early in this latitude at this season, and at two o’clock, in the morning twilight, anchor was weighed, sails hoisted before a good fair breeze, and the Gull was plowing her way into Abel’s Bay, with Bobby as pilot, for he knew its waters as you and I know our city streets. And what old friends the distant mountains and headlands seemed, as he pointed them out to his companions!
It was mid-afternoon when the Gull at last approached the head of Abel’s Bay, and in the distance the two cabins gradually came into view. Skipper Ed’s cabin was the nearer, and their course was laid toward it, and presently two figures were discerned at the boat landing.
“That’s the Skipper on the left!” exclaimed Bobby. “I know him because he’s so tall! The other must be Father, but he doesn’t look like Father, either!”
And then, standing intently gazing at the men, he suddenly shouted:
“It’s Jimmy! Oh, it’s Jimmy! He was saved! He was saved! He was saved! Oh, thank God, he was saved!”
And in spite of himself tears of joy sprang to Bobby’s eyes, and he leaned over the rail and shouted and shouted, and waved his hat, and at last Skipper Ed and Jimmy heard, and they knew his voice, and they too shouted and waved their hats, in no less excitement and joy than Bobby.