“Do you?” asked the stout youth.
“Then, maybe you’ll quit making fun of me,” was Bob’s answer, as, from one of the lockers he drew out a bulky package.
“What is it?” asked Jerry.
“Sandwiches and cake. I bought ’em in the little booth where we had chocolate with Mr. Blowitz the other day. I thought we might be hungry, so I got ’em while you were tinkering with the engine. Now, maybe you wish I hadn’t.”
“Not a bit of it, Chunky,” declared Jerry heartily. “You’re all right!”
“It was very thoughtful to provide for us,” said Rose.
There was fresh water in a cooler, and the young people made a merry meal. They ate everything to the last crumbs, and, as Bob said, they could probably have gotten away with more, for the salt air gave them good appetites.
“The fog’s lifting!” exclaimed Ned suddenly. “Now we can start for home. I can just make out the coast.”
True enough, right ahead of them was a low, dark line.
“Well, if that isn’t queer,” remarked Bob. “I would have said the shore was off there,” and he pointed in the opposite direction.
“I guess we must have turned around when we drifted,” said Jerry. “We’re quite a way from the buoy now.”
Once it began to lift, the fog dispersed rapidly, and Jerry soon had the engine going, and the boat headed for the shore. He speeded the motor up to as high a pitch as was safe, in unfamiliar waters, and soon the town of San Felicity came into view.
“Get near the shore,” advised Ned, “then, if the fog shuts down on us again, we’ll know where we are.”
Jerry decided this was good advice, and steered the Ripper straight in, intending to run up along the coast to San Felicity. It was well that he did so, for the lifting of the fog was only temporary. When they were about a quarter of a mile from the shore the white mist closed in again, worse than before. But Jerry had his sense of direction now, and decided it would be safe to continue on at half speed, as there did not appear to be any other craft in sight, when he took a rapid survey of the bay just as the fog settled down.
Peering through the almost impenetrable white mass of vapor ahead of him, Jerry sent the Ripper slowly on her way.
“You’ll have to be careful,” cautioned Rose. “The tide is running out, and there’s not much water along here at the ebb. I hope we don’t go aground.”
“So do I,” answered Jerry.
Just then there was a shock, and the boat quivered, hesitated for an instant, and then resumed her course.
“We struck bottom that time,” said Ned. “Luckily it seemed to be mud.”
“There are rocks along here,” declared Nellie. “Go slow, Jerry.”
The steersman, who could manage the boat from the engine cockpit, as well as from the bow, further slowed down the motor, until the Ripper was barely moving through the water.