“Look at the men on the rocks!”
“Where?” asked Jerry.
“Over there,” and Bob pointed. Ned steered the boat nearer to where two black figures, sharply outlined in the moonlight, could be seen in bold relief on the cliff.
“They are men, sure enough,” replied Jerry, “but you needn’t get excited over it.”
“I’m not,” went on Bob. “Only one of them is Mr. Blowitz, that’s all.”
“Mr. Blowitz?” queried Jerry sharply.
“Hush! He’ll hear you,” cautioned Rose. “Sounds carry very easily over water.”
“It is Mr. Blowitz,” admitted Jerry. “I wonder what he’s doing out here.”
“Probably getting some more information about the brig Rockhaven,” suggested Ned. “Maybe that’s a seaman who has some news of her.”
By this time the motor boat was quite close to the two men, who, however, did not seem to notice the Ripper. There was no question about the identity of Mr. Blowitz. The other man was a stranger to the boys and girls. The two were apparently talking earnestly, and, occasionally Mr. Blowitz could be seen to be gesticulating violently.
“He’s mad about something,” declared Ned.
“It does look so,” agreed Rose.
All at once the boys saw Blowitz take a step toward the other man, who retreated, as if afraid. Blowitz raised his hand as though to give a blow.
“Look out!” cried Ned involuntarily, as if the man could hear him. “You’ll go over the cliff!”
With a quick motion he turned the boat, steering toward the foot of the rock, above which the men stood.
At that instant a black cloud came over the moon and the scene was plunged in darkness. It was just as if it had been blotted out, and a murmur of surprise, at the suddenness of it, came from those in the Ripper.
At the same instant a cry rang out— a man’s cry— and it seemed to be one for help.
Blowitz is angry
“Quick!” called Jerry. “Put us over there, Ned!”
“I will! Something has happened. I wonder—”
“Oh, why doesn’t the moon come out from
behind that cloud,” exclaimed
Rose, for she and the other girls were nervously afraid.
“Maybe they have both toppled over the cliff,” suggested Nellie.
“More likely only one of them did,” said Bob. “I only heard one cry. What’s the matter, Ned?”
“Something’s gone wrong with the engine.”
“Here, let me have a look,” called Jerry, and he went to the cockpit.
There was a lantern aboard, and, by the light of it, Jerry saw that one of the battery wires, leading to a spark plug, had become loosened, breaking the circuit, and preventing the gas from exploding in the cylinders. He soon had it fixed and the engine started, sending the boat toward shore.
By this time the moon was out again, flooding the scene with radiance. Eagerly the boys and girls looked toward the spot on the cliffs, where the odd scene had taken place. To their surprise they saw Mr. Blowitz standing there, and they were close enough to note that he was smoking a cigar.