“Don’t you intend to stand by me, Jerry?”
“To be sure I do; but the mate is the mate, ye know.”
There was an uncertain pause all around.
“There is no harm in my visiting the wreck,” growled Jack Lesher presently.
“Perhaps not, but you had better wait until Captain Blossom gets back.”
“I only want to get some things that belong to me.”
“And I want to get my extra clothes,” said Baxter. “These are in rags, as you can see.”
“Then wait until after breakfast and we’ll all go over,” said Dick, but he had scarcely spoken when he felt sorry for the words.
“Oh, Dick, don’t trust yourself with them!” cautioned Dora.
“We want to hurry, for I want to go back to where I left the sailors before night,” answered Lesher.
“Then we’ll have breakfast at once.”
Rather reluctantly the mate turned back to the shore and he and Baxter left the boat. Then the girls prepared breakfast with all haste. Lesher ate but little, but eagerly tossed off the glass of liquor Dick allowed him.
“Give me one more,” he pleaded, but Dick was firm, and the mate stalked away muttering under his breath.
Before Dick entered the rowboat he called Jerry aside, and handed the old sailor a pistol.
“We had better go armed,” he said. “Keep your eyes open, for they may try to play us a foul trick. And don’t let Lesher talk you into obeying him. He has no authority whatever over you.”
“All right, Dick, I’ll stand by ye always from this minit on,” said Jerry, and the compact was sealed by a handshake.
The girls came down to see them off, and Dora warned Dick again to be on guard. It was decided that Lesher and old Jerry should do the rowing. Baxter sat in the bow of the boat, and Dick in the stern.
The trip to the wreck was accomplished in almost utter silence. Everybody was busy with his thoughts. As they drew near Dick showed the mate where a ladder hung from the side, and as they drew close to this Baxter was the first to mount to the deck.
As Dick had surmised, Lesher’s first hunt was for liquor, and he drank several glasses at a gulp. Then he began to roam around the wreck, noting the damage that had been done and the amount of stores still on board.
“Might float her, if the tide got extra high,” he said. “Eleven men in our crowd and five in your own ought to be able to do something, surely.”
“The captain says the ship is too deep in the sand,” answered Dick briefly.
“Blossom don’t know everything,” growled the mate.
Both he and Baxter soon found some comfortable clothing, and put it on. Then they made up a bundle of things they said the other sailors needed.
When arming themselves, the Rovers and Captain Blossom had placed all of the remaining firearms in a stateroom and locked the door.
“What did you do with all of the guns and pistols?” asked Lesher presently, after looking in vain for them.