There was quite a swell on as they got further out, and the Ripper rolled some, but the boys and girls were too good sailors to mind that.
“I wonder if we’ll meet Mr. Blowitz again,” came from Nellie, after a period of silence. “He’s always turning up most unexpectedly.”
“I don’t believe we’ll see him to-night,” said Ned. “What do you think he wanted of us? Shall I tell ’em, Jerry?”
“Might as well, I’m going to tell Mr. Seabury as soon as I see him.”
Thereupon Ned related the interview with Carson Blowitz, and the latter’s desire to have the boys search for the derelict Rockhaven.
“I hope you don’t go,” spoke Nellie.
“Why not?” asked Bob.
“Because— well, because,” and she laughed a little uneasily.
“That’s just like a girl,” remarked Jerry, good-naturedly. “They don’t want you to do a thing, but they can’t tell you why.”
“Well, it’s just an uneasy feeling I have toward Mr. Blowitz, that’s all,” went on Nellie. “I can’t explain it, but I feel, whenever I am near him, that he is planning something mean, or that he is up to some trick.”
“Well, it’s just how I feel,” declared Rose, and Olivia admitted that she, too, did not trust the man.
“Well, we haven’t decided to go,” said Jerry, “and we’re going to have a talk with your father about it. I admit I’d like to make the trip and find the brig, but, as you say, I don’t quite trust Blowitz.”
“Oh!” suddenly exclaimed Rose, as a wave, larger than any that had preceded it, sent a shower of spray over the boat. “Don’t go out any farther, Jerry. It’s getting quite rough.”
“Yes, I guess it is,” admitted the steersman, as he put the boat about. “There’s quite a swell on. Wouldn’t wonder but we’d have a storm by morning, though it’s bright enough overhead. I don’t believe Ponto is a good prophet.”
There were only a few clouds in the sky, and the moon was shining down like a big silver disk, making objects unusually bright, for the southern moonlight is wonderful.
Jerry put the boat over near shore, and steered along the coast, which, at that point was quite rocky, cliffs rising here and there to a considerable height above the water.
“Look out you don’t run her on the rocks again,” cautioned Ned.
“I’ll be careful,” replied Jerry. “Maybe you want to run her a while. I don’t want to be the whole show.”
Ned was glad of the chance to take the wheel, and he and Jerry changed places. They were proceeding at slow speed, the girls occasionally humming the chorus of a song, and the boys joining in when they knew the air. The beauty of the night, the fine boat, and delight of moving along with scarcely a sound, had them all under a sort of magic spell, and they felt they could thus go on forever.
It was when they came opposite a range of low cliffs, close to the water’s edge, that Bob suddenly called out in a low voice: