“Monty, Monty,” she cried, pounding wildly on the door.
“Who is it? What is the trouble?” came in muffled tones from within, and Peggy breathed a prayer of thanks. Just then she discovered the key which Monty had dropped and quickly opened the door, expecting to find him cowering with fear. But the picture was different. The prisoner was seated on the divan, propped up with many pillows and reading with the aid of an electric light “The Intrusions of Peggy.”
“Oh!” was Peggy’s only exclamation, and there was a shadow of disappointment in her eyes.
“Come in, Peggy, and I’ll read aloud,” was Monty’s cheerful greeting as he stood before her,
“No, I must go,” said Peggy, confusedly. “I thought you might be nervous about the storm—and—”
“And you came to let me out?” Monty had never been so happy.
“Yes, and I don’t care what the others say. I thought you were suffering—” But at that moment the boat gave a lurch which threw her across the threshold into Monty’s arms. They crashed against the wall, and he held her a moment and forgot the storm. When she drew away from him she showed him the open door and freedom. She could not speak.
“Where are the others?” he asked, bracing himself in the doorway.
“Oh, Monty,” she cried, “we must not go to them. They will think me a traitor.”
“Why were you a traitor, Peggy?” he demanded, turning toward her suddenly.
“Oh—oh, because it seemed so cruel to keep you locked up through the storm,” she answered, blushing.
“And there was no other reason?” he persisted.
“Don’t, please don’t!” she cried piteously, and he misunderstood her emotion. It was clear that she was merely sorry for him.
“Never mind, Peggy, it’s all right. You stood by me and I’ll stand by you. Come on; we’ll face the mob and I’ll do the fighting.”
Together they made their way into the presence of the mutineers, who were crowded into the main cabin.
“Well, here’s a conspiracy,” cried Dan DeMille, but there was no anger in his voice. “How did you escape? I was just thinking of unlocking your door, Monty, but the key seemed to be missing.”
Peggy displayed it triumphantly.
“By Jove,” cried Dan. “This is rank treachery. Who was on guard?”
A steward rushing through the cabin at this moment in answer to frantic calls from Bragdon furnished an eloquent reply to the question.
“It was simple,” said Monty. “The guards deserted their post and left the key behind.”
“Then it is up to me to pay you a thousand dollars.”
“Not at all,” protested Monty, taken aback. “I did not escape of my own accord. I had help. The money is yours. And now that I am free,” he added quietly, “let me say that this boat does not go to Boston.”