At the end of ten days the yacht had progressed but two hundred miles and Monty was beginning to plan the rest of his existence on a capital of $100,000. He had given up all hope of the Sedgwick legacy and was trying to be resigned to his fate, when a tramp steamer was suddenly sighted. Brewster ordered the man on watch to fly a flag of distress. Then he reported to the captain and told what he had done. With a bound the captain rushed on deck and tore the flag from the sailor’s hand.
“That was my order,” said Monty, nettled at the captain’s manner.
“You want them to get a line on us and claim salvage, do you?”
“What do you mean?”
“If they get a line on us in response to that flag they will claim the entire value of the ship as salvage. You want to spend another $200,000 on this boat?”
“I didn’t understand,” said Monty, sheepishly. “But for God’s sake fix it up somehow. Can’t they tow us? I’ll pay for it.”
Communication was slow, but after an apparently endless amount of signaling, the captain finally announced that the freight steamer was bound for Southampton and would tow the “Flitter” to that point for a price.
“Back to Southampton!” groaned Monty. “That means months before we get back to New York.”
“He says he can get us to Southampton in ten days,” interrupted the captain.
“I can do it, I can do it,” he cried, to the consternation of his guests, who wondered if his mind were affected. “If he’ll land us in Southampton by the 27th, I’ll pay him up to one hundred thousand dollars.”
THE PRODIGAL’S RETURN
After what seemed an age to Monty, the “Flitter,” in tow of the freighter “Glencoe,” arrived at Southampton. The captain of the freight boat was a thrifty Scotchman whose ship was traveling with a light cargo, and he was not, therefore, averse to taking on a tow. But the thought of salvage had caused him to ask a high price for the service and Monty, after a futile attempt at bargaining, had agreed. The price was fifty thousand dollars, and the young man believed more than ever that everything was ruled by a wise Providence, which had not deserted him. His guests were heartsick when they heard the figure, but were as happy as Monty at the prospect of reaching land again.
The “Glencoe” made several stops before Southampton was finally reached on the 28th of August, but when the English coast was sighted every one was too eager to go ashore to begrudge the extra day. Dan DeMille asked the entire party to become his guests for a week’s shooting trip in Scotland, but Monty vetoed the plan in the most decided manner.