At that moment the fury of the storm cut off further talking. A sudden rush of wind had come up, whistling through the jungle and bringing down a palm close to the house with a crash. The fall of the tree made Baxter jump in alarm.
“The house is coming down!” he cried, and ran outside.
The wind made the waves in the bay rise higher and higher until they lashed furiously in all directions. Then came another downpour of rain, which caused the bully to seek shelter again.
“Hark!” said Nellie suddenly, and raised her hand for silence.
“What did you hear?” asked Grace.
“Somebody calling. Listen!”
All were silent once more, and just then the wind fell a little.
“I don’t hear anything,” said Dora.
But then followed a distant voice—two voices calling desperately:
“Help! help! Our boat is sinking! Help!”
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE BAY
To go back to Tom, Sam, and Captain Blossom at the time that they placed the two dead goats in their rowboat and prepared to return to the camp.
It was already raining by the time the shore of the bay was reached, and scarcely had they begun to row when the water came pouring down in torrents.
“Gracious! I must say I don’t like this!” cried Tom. “The rain is running down my neck in a stream.”
“I move we row into shore over yonder,” said Sam, pointing up the coast. “There are some trees which will shelter both us and the boat nicely.”
Captain Blossom was willing, and in a few minutes they were under the trees and wringing out their clothes as best they could.
“If I know anything about it, this storm is going to last for some time,” said the captain, after a long look at the sky.
“Such a downfall as this can’t last,” said Sam. “Perhaps we can get home between showers.”
It was dry under the trees for about half an hour, but then the water began to reach them once more, and they had to shift their position again.
This kept up for some time, until all were wet through and thoroughly uncomfortable, when Tom proposed that they start for home regardless of the storm.
“We can’t get any wetter than we are,” he declared. “And the sooner we reach the house the sooner we’ll be able to change our clothes.”
The others agreed, and when the worst of the lightning and thunder had passed they set off once more, two rowing and the third steering the boat and bailing out the water, which came in faster than was desirable.
“When it rains in the tropics, it rains,” observed Tom. “Puts me in mind of that storm we met when we were in Africa. Do you remember, Sam?”
“Indeed, I do,” answered his brother. “I thought we’d all be killed by the trees that fell in the jungle.”
“Have you been in Africa?” came from Captain Blossom in astonishment.