Suddenly there was a grinding sound, the boat heeled over to one side, and came to a stop.
“The rocks!” cried Rose. “We’re on the rocks!”
“Reverse!” yelled Ned, and Jerry did so, as quick as a flash, but it was too late.
“We’re aground,” he announced grimly.
“Will we sink?” asked Olivia in alarm.
“I guess there’s no danger of that,” announced Jerry, as he went forward, “but I hope we haven’t stove a hole in her,” he added, peering anxiously over the side.
“How about it?” asked Ned.
“Well, it might be worse,” answered Jerry. “We have run right on the cleft of a rock, and we’re held there. Can’t get off until high tide, I suppose. Say, we seem to be up against it on our first trip.”
“Oh, as long as we’re not sinking we’re all right,” said Olivia. “We can wade ashore. It’s not far.”
“Yes, it’s quite a way, and I don’t want to spoil my shoes,” objected Nellie. “We should have brought our bathing suits. Oh, dear! Isn’t it unfortunate? I’m afraid father will be worried about us.”
“One of us will wade or swim ashore, and tell him,” said Ned. “We can easily do it.”
“Boat ahoy!” suddenly called a voice out of the mist. “Who are you?”
“The Ripper,” answered Jerry. “Who are you?”
A moment later a rowboat appeared from behind the white curtain of fog, and the boys and girls saw. that Mr. Carson Blowitz was in the craft.
“Well! Well!” he exclaimed. “You’re in trouble, aren’t you?— and I’m just in time to effect a rescue,” and he smiled at the boat load of boys and girls.
NEWS of the brig
“Oh!” exclaimed Rose, rather excitedly, “take us off please! Our boat is sinking!”
“No, it isn’t,” declared Jerry. “We’re all right only we’re aground. Can’t get off until high tide I suppose.”
“Then perhaps I had better take the young ladies ashore,” proposed Mr. Blowitz. “I have a large boat here, and they will be more comfortable than sitting there waiting for the tide to rise. Besides, you’ll heel over quite a bit, I should judge by the way you’re listing now.”
There was no doubt of this, as the Ripper was, even now, far from being on an even keel. The boys did not relish having this man, whom they disliked, take off the girls, but there was no help for it.
“Say, we ought to go to some kindergarten and learn to run a motor boat,” grumbled Ned in a low voice, as the girls were getting into Mr. Blowitz’s craft. “We’re peaches, we are!”
“It was my fault,” admitted Jerry, rather embarrassed over the accident.
“Not in particular,” remarked Bob. “Any one of us would have done the same thing. Lucky the boat isn’t damaged any, but I hate to be under obligations to him,” and he nodded toward Mr. Blowitz, who was helping Nellie into his boat. “I don’t like him,” he went on in a low voice. “There’s something queer about him.”