“A chaser!” cried Torry, finding his voice and growing excited.
“She’s aiming right this way,” added Frenchy excitedly.
Phil Morgan had his glass out again, and his lips unpuckered and the tune he had been monotoning died.
“What do you make of her, Phil?” whispered Al Torrance.
“It is a sub patrol boat all right,” agreed their leader.
Ikey, who had the tiller at this juncture, got so excited watching the swiftly approaching craft that he pretty nearly swung the Sue Bridger in a circle.
“Look out, you chump!” yelled Torry. “Want to yank the stick out of her? If you haven’t a care Captain Bridger will get the price of a new catboat out of us.”
Whistler gave Torrance the glass and went aft himself to relieve Ikey at the helm.
“You’re a fine garby,” called Donahue to Rosenmeyer. “Lose your head mighty easy. That chaser isn’t chasing us.”
“How do you know she isn’t?” returned Ikey.
“She certainly is following us,” Whistler said. “But until she bespeaks our attention with her forward gun I guess we need not worry,” and he smiled grimly.
The boys watched the swiftly approaching boat. It came in through the narrows at top speed, circled around toward the docks, and passed the catboat at a distance.
“’S. P. 888’!” yelled Torry. “Look there!”
“I thought it was that same chaser we saw before,” Frenchy said.
“Wonder what she wants in here at Seacove?” Ikey asked.
Whistler had changed their course to bring the catboat nearer to the naval boat, which was slowing down. Torry leaped upon the low-decked cabin and began signaling by the semaphore code. In his blue uniform his body stood out clearly against the catboat’s sail, and he was at once observed by the crew of the S. P. 888.
“Whew! Look at that!” gasped Frenchy. “They are answering.”
Then he and Ikey began to spell out the word that the seaman on the deck of the chaser was signaling in the same code Torrance had used.
“Oi, oi!” yelled Ikey. “They’re after you, Whistler!”
“What’s the next?” gasped Frenchy.
Another name was not long in coming.
“They want you, too.”
“Look, they are calling somebody else.”
Quickly the Navy Boys spelt out the next name.
“That’s me,” came in a groan from Frenchy.
“Maybe they don’t want me,” murmured Ikey.
“Don’t you fool yourself,” returned Whistler promptly. “We couldn’t do without you.”
“But they ain’t wigwaging no more, Whistler.”
“Maybe the sailor doin’ it got tired,” offered Torry.
“R-O-S-E-N-M-E-Y-E-R!” came the signal presently.
“See them coming, boys!”
“Some speed there!”
“He’s after us,” said Torry. “Whip up this old tub, Whistler. Let’s start the engine.”