“Yes,” went on Larry. “When you were outside, getting some wood, just before you ran down the beach when the life savers came, I was in here. The man stuck his head from the bed-room and asked for his clothes, which I gave him. I noticed he was smooth shaven——”
“Why, he had a beard on when we pulled him from the water,” interrupted the fisherman.
“I was sure he did, but when I asked him why he had shaved it off he said I was mistaken—said it was only a bunch of seaweed I had thought was a beard. Then you called me to hurry out, and I forgot all about it until now. But he must have shaved his whiskers off in here, and then he disappeared. There’s something strange about it all.”
“I rather guess there is,” Bailey admitted. “Wonder where he got his razor? I never use one.”
“He must have had it in that small valise he wore, strapped by a belt, around his waist,” Larry answered. “That’s probably where he carried his money. I’d like to get at the bottom of this mystery.”
“Well, you newspaper fellows are looking for just such things as this,” said the fisherman with a smile. “It’s right in your line.”
“So it is,” Larry replied. “I’ll solve it, too.”
But it was some time later, and Larry had many strange adventures before he got at the bottom of the queer secret that started down there on the lonely sea coast.
LARRY OVERHEARS SOMETHING
Larry decided that the disappearance of the fisherman’s guest was not a part of the story of the wreck, though the fact that the passenger was missing was an item of much interest, and he used it. He made up his mind to tell Mr. Emberg all about the strange happening when he got back.
Arriving at the telegraph office for the third time, he found a message from the city editor, instructing him to come back to New York, as the best of the story was now in, and the Associated Press would attend to the remainder. Some of the representatives of that news-gathering organization were already at the scene of the disaster.
“Your friend got a calling down,” volunteered the operator to Larry, as the young reporter began looking up trains to see when he could get back.
“He got a message from his city editor a while ago, wanting to know why he hadn’t secured a list of passengers and the crew. The message said the Leader had it, and had beaten all the other papers.”
“That’s good,” spoke Larry. “I worked hard enough for it.”
“The Scorcher man wanted me to give him your list, but I wouldn’t do it,” the operator went on. “So he’s gone out to get one of his own. But he’s too late, I reckon. I’ll have my hands full pretty soon, for there’ll be a lot of reporters here. But you’re the first to send off the complete story.”
Larry felt much elated. Of course he knew it was due, in part, to the forethought of his city editor in seeing a possible situation, and rushing a man to the scene ahead of the other papers. That counts for almost as much in journalism as does getting a good story or a “scoop.”