“Hurray!” shouted Torry, unable to suppress his delight.
“That will sure please my papa,” declared Ikey, with a broad smile and twinkling eyes. “It sure will.”
“But how about the Colodia, sir?” asked Whistler anxiously.
“That’s right! Be faithful to your first love, Morgan,” laughed Ensign MacMasters. “I imagine they intend to send us all back to her in time. But—whisper!—the Colodia is across the pond. So I am told. There is something doing over there.”
“Crickey!” gasped Torry. “And we not in it!”
“It may not come off before we get across in this new battleship——”
“Whew!” shrilled Frenchy, forgetting himself. “Will the Kennebunk go across, too?”
“That’s telling,” said Ensign MacMasters. “You will have several days yet to get ready for the cruise, no matter how long it may be. Yes, Morgan? What do you want to say?” for he observed that Whistler was restless and wished to speak.
“I’ve something to report, sir,” Whistler declared.
“We made an observation just now. Well, perhaps an hour and a half ago, sir.”
“What was it?” queried the ensign, with interest.
“A power boat passed us. She was not as long as this chaser and not very swift. She was steering into the sou’east, and she left a streak of oil in her wake. She was laden to the guards with oil casks, I believe.”
Ensign MacMasters made no comment for a moment; then he got the full significance of Whistler’s meaning and he briskly demanded:
“Sure her casks were filled, Morgan, and not empty?”
“She had a full cargo of something, sir,” said Whistler, nodding.
“And headed southeast?”
Mr. MacMasters wheeled to speak to his navigating officer. In thirty seconds the swift craft started.
“Hold on, Mr. MacMasters!” cried Torry. “We’ve got to get ashore somehow for supper, you know.”
The ensign smiled at him. “I am afraid you will have to remain aboard and help eat some of your own fish for supper. No time just now to put you boys on land.”
The S. P. 888 was shaking throughout her structure before she came square with the exit of the cove. If a destroyer is “a tin box built around a mighty big engine,” the term even more nearly fits one of these chasers.
The four Navy boys from Seacove were amazed by the quickness with which she got under way and the brief time it took to tune her up to top-notch speed.
“She’s a hundred and ten feet long,” said Mr. MacMasters, “about as wide as a happy thought, and can make her thirty-five knots an hour without any particular effort.”
“No effort?” muttered Torry. “And it feels as though she was shaking herself to pieces!”