Louis discovered a plan on the part of Farrongate to appropriate the stakes and other money dependent upon the great race of the season, and escape to England with his wife and stepson. In this scheme Louis, after he had obtained the evidence of the jockey’s villany, went on board of the steamer which was to convey them all over the ocean, and succeeded, with no little difficulty, in convincing his mother of the unworthiness of her husband; and she returned with her son to Von Blonk Park. The young man went back to the steamer, and by skilful management obtained all the plunder of the villain, who sailed for England without his treasure.
Farrongate, or rather John Scoble, which was his real name, was a deserter from the British army. He was arrested on his return, and compelled to serve out the remainder of his term of service. The death of an uncle in India recruited his finances, and he returned to New York. It afterwards appeared that he had some clew to Peter Belgrave’s missing million, and he was therefore anxious to recover the possession of the wife who had repudiated him.
A successful conspiracy enabled him to convey her to Bermuda. At this stage of the drama, Captain Royal Ringgold, an early admirer of the pretty widow, became an active participant in the proceedings, and from that time he had been the director of all the steps taken to recover Louis’s mother.
In the interim of Scoble’s absence, Louis, assisted by his schoolfellow and devoted friend, Felix McGavonty, had accomplished what his father had failed to achieve in ten years of incessant search: he had found the missing million of his grandfather, and had become a millionaire at sixteen. The young man fancied that yachting would suit him; and he proposed to Squire Moses Scarburn, the trustee of all his property, to purchase a cheap vessel for his use.
The spiriting away of his mother gave a new importance to the nautical fancy of the young man. Captain Ringgold condemned the plan to buy a cheap vessel. He had made a part of his ample fortune as a shipmaster, and had been an officer in the navy during the last half of the War of the Rebellion. He advised the young man’s mother, who was also his guardian, and the trustee to buy a good-sized steam-yacht.
A New York millionaire had just completed one of the most magnificent steamers ever built, of over six hundred tons’ burden; but his sudden death robbed him of the pleasures he anticipated from a voyage around the world in her, and the vessel was for sale at a reasonable price. The shipmaster fixed upon this craft as the one for the young millionaire, declaring that she would give the owner an education such as could not be obtained at any college; and that she could be sold for nearly all she cost when she was no longer needed.
This argument, and the pressing necessity of such a steamer for the recovery of Mrs. Belgrave, carried the day with the trustee. The vessel was bought; and as she had not yet been named, Louis called her the Guardian-Mother, in love and reverence for her who had watched over him from his birth. After some stirring adventures which befell Louis, the new steam-yacht proceeded to Bermuda, where Scoble had wrecked his vessel on the reefs; but the object of the search and all the ship’s company were saved.