And this they did. The train for Seacove came along in a few minutes. The boys got aboard. Ikey ran ahead down the aisle of the car and got into a seat by an open window. The first thing he did was to thrust his head out of the window and look back along the platform as the train started.
“Oi, oi!” he cried, under his breath. “Here he comes!”
“Here who comes?” demanded Al Torrance.
“The German spy,” declared Ikey.
“Hush up!” commanded Frenchy. “Want everybody to hear you?”
“What do you mean?” asked Whistler.
“That man,” said Ikey. “He got aboard. He went into the last car.”
“You don’t mean Blake?”
“That’s who I mean,” declared Ikey with conviction.
“Aw, he’s crazy,” scoffed Frenchy.
But Torry went back through the train after it was well under way and the conductor had taken their tickets. He peered through the glass in the door of the rear car.
He came back shaking his head and looking puzzled.
“He’s there all right,” he said to Whistler. “Bet he’s going to Elmvale instead of to sea again. What do you make of it?”
“Not a thing,” grumbled Whistler. “I wish I knew what to do.”
“Let’s have him pinched,” suggested the eager Frenchy.
“Not a chance! On what charge?” asked Torry. “Accuse him of being in disguise because he wears that beard?” and he chuckled.
But to Whistler Morgan’s mind it was no laughing matter. He was silent all the way to Seacove. Torry suggested that they stay on the train to Elmvale and see if Blake got off at that station.
“No,” his friend said decidedly, “we can’t do that. Our folks will be worried about us if we don’t report soon. Cap Bridger may have told around town that we went off on the submarine chaser, and perhaps our folks will think we’ve gone for good.”
So they alighted at their station and left the mysterious Blake aboard the train. Whistler hurried home to consult with his father. There was nobody else in whom he had so much confidence; at least, nobody within reach.
In this case, however, his father was not within reach. Dr. Morgan had been called away to see a patient in the country. It was a call that might keep him away from home all night. Whistler was greatly disappointed.
He went down town again and hunted up Torry. He found his friend getting into his father’s car in front of the garage.
“I was just coming over to get you,” Torry said. “D’you know, Whistler, I feel just as nervous as a cat?”
“I guess that’s what is the matter with me,” Morgan confessed. “I’m bothering my head about that fellow Blake.”
“Me, too. Say! let’s run over there.”
“Yep. Pa’s gone away——”
“So has my father,” admitted Whistler.
“Well, neither of them can advise us, then,” said Torry, practically. “How about talking with somebody in Elmvale? The manager of the munition works, for instance?”