“The captain, it appears, was picked up By another vessel, and landed at a small coast town. He sent me the telegram from there, and I forwarded him money to come to San Francisco, to meet me. But, for some reason, he did not arrive, and so I decided to come down here, and see if I could get any news of the ship and the valuable cargo. Of course, if the ship sank at once that is the end of her, but, if she broke up, there is a chance of some parts of her, and perhaps some of the cargo, being washed ashore. At any rate I would like to get some news of her, that I might collect the insurance, if nothing else.
“So that’s why I’m here. I arrived yesterday, but, so far, I have been unable to obtain any news of the brig. I left word for the captain to join me here, and he may arrive at any time. I am glad to have met you, for it will not be so lonesome now.”
“I hope you have good luck,” said Nellie, as she arose to leave the place. “I think we must be going now,” she added to her sisters. “Papa might worry about us.”
“Give Mr. Seabury my regards,” said Carson Blowitz, “and tell him I shall do myself the honor of calling on him soon, to pay my respects. As for you young people, I shall see you again, I hope. I am going to hire a boat and cruise about in search of my brig— if I don’t get some news soon— and perhaps you might like to go along.”
“Perhaps,” replied Jerry, as he and his chums followed the girls out of the place.
Mr. Blowitz remained in the courtyard, drinking chocolate, and, as the little party was leaving Ned looked back. He saw their recent host pull a bundle of papers from his pocket, and, spreading them on the table in front of him, closely scan them.
“I don’t like that man,” declared Nellie, when they were out of hearing. She was very frank in her statements.
“Neither do I,” said Jerry, “though he was nice enough to us.”
“He has a strange manner,” commented Olivia.
“And that was a queer story he told of the abandoning of the brig,” went on Bob. “I wonder if he made it up, or if it’s true? It seems strange that the captain would leave his ship, and not give a reason for it.”
“There’s some mystery back of it, I think,” was the opinion of Rose. “The less we have to do with Mr. Carson Blowitz, the better it will be, I think.”
“Well, we’re not likely to see much of him.” said Jerry. But in this opinion he was mistaken. They were to see and hear much of him, as later events proved.
In A motor boat
Several days after this, during which time the boys had, under the escort of the three girls, visited many places of interest, Rose suggested they make a trip on the bay.
“But what can we go in?” asked Bob. “We haven’t any boat.”
“We have several rowing skiffs,” said Nellie. “I know they are not as fine as your Dartaway, but you can have a nice time. The fishing is good, and it is very pleasant on the water.”