“And you happened to strike the right one?” asked Jerry.
“I— that is— well, I had inquired among several before I met Captain Deckton of the smack Sea Girl. He saw the derelict. But I’d like to have a talk with you boys, when you are at liberty,” added Mr. Blowitz, quickly. “I have a proposition to make to you. I think you will be interested.”
“Please put us ashore first, before you talk business,” begged Olivia. “It is long past noon, and I’m afraid my father will be worried about us.”
“We’ll land at the dock in ten minutes,” said Mr. Blowitz. “I’ll talk to the boys later.”
“I wonder what he wants?” thought Jerry. “Something of a favor, I’ll bet. I know his kind.”
“Let me take the oars and relieve you,” proposed Ned, who saw that the man was having rather hard work with the boatload of young people.
“Thank you, there’s another pair in the stern, if you want to try them,” said Mr. Blowitz, and Ned got them out. They made better time after that, and were soon at the dock.
“We must hurry home,” said Rose.
“Perhaps you boys had rather talk with me later,” suggested Mr. Blowitz. “There is no special hurry. Some time this afternoon will do as well, and you might like to go home with the young ladies.”
“I guess it would be better,” decided Jerry. “Where shall we see you?”
“If you will call at the refreshment booth here about five o’clock this evening, I’ll be taking my usual afternoon drink of chocolate there, and I’ll be pleased to have you join me.”
“We will be here,” promised Jerry, as, with his chums, he followed the girls along the dock and toward the bungalow.
“Why didn’t you ask him what he wanted?” inquired Ned, when they were beyond hearing distance.
“Because, I want a chance to think some matters over,” replied Jerry. “I believe Mr. Blowitz is up to some game, and I want to see if I can’t discover what it is.”
“It seems a mean thing to say,” added Rose, “but I don’t like that man, in spite of the fact that he has been kind to us. I’m sure we ought to appreciate what he did for us to-day, in saving us a wetting, but I can’t feel that he is sincere.”
“I, either,” admitted Olivia and Nellie, while the latter added:
“I hope you boys don’t go into any business dealings with him. Perhaps you had better consult with my father, before you do.”
“I guess it would be a good plan,” said Jerry. “I hope Mr. Seabury will not be angry at us for taking you out and getting fog-bound, as well as involving you in a shipwreck.”
“Oh, no!” answered Rose with a laugh. “He knows we are all right, for we have been on the water, more or less, all our lives. He sometimes worries a little, but, when we get home safe, he’s so glad to see us that he never scolds.” Nor did he this time. He inquired about the trip, and expressed his regrets at the mishap to the Ripper.