“You’ve made him mad,” said Bob.
“Can’t help it,” replied Jerry. “I’m glad we are not going to have anything to do with him. I believe he is a dangerous person. Certainly he had no right to talk about us as he did.”
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re not going!” exclaimed Nellie, as she and her sisters came out of the cabin. “I was afraid you would give in when he got so angry. But let’s get away from here. Somehow, I don’t like this place. Besides we should have been home some time ago. Papa may have returned, and we always try to be in before ten o’clock. We’ll hardly get home by that time now.”
“Yes, we will,” said Ned. “I’ll send the Ripper along at a good clip.”
He started the engine, and, as the boat swung out from beside the rock dock, the form of Blowitz could be seen going up the cliff in the moonlight. In less than an hour the boat was at San Felicity and the girls were put ashore. They found Ponto down at the dock to meet them.
“Massa Seabury done got worried after he got home,” said the colored man, “an’ he sent me to see if yo’ was heah.”
“Ponto,” asked Jerry, “do you think you can take the young ladies safely home, without falling asleep?”
“Suttinly I can,” Massa Jerry. “Fall asleep! I gess I doan’t fall asleep at night. I’se only sleepy when de sun shines, I is.”
“Then I guess you’ll do all right. See that they get home safe.”
“Why, aren’t you boys coming too?” asked Nellie, in some surprise.
“Not now,” replied Jerry.
“I think we’ll go back to the foot of the cliffs and see if we can’t find the man to whom Blowitz was talking. I don’t like the way he acted, for that certainly was a cry for help, and there may have been foul play!”
The man on the rocks
Jerry’s announcement was news to his chums, for he had given them no hint of his intentions as the Ripper was nearing the boathouse.
“Do you mean you are going to hunt for that man on the rocks?” asked Ned.
“Yes, I think he fell; or was pushed over by Blowitz. There was no mistaking that call for help. Blowitz says it was he who called to us, but I know better. That was a cry of fear.”
“Oh, don’t get into any danger,” cautioned Nellie. “Maybe you had better take Ponto with you. We’re not afraid to go home alone. It’s nice and bright, and there is no danger.”
“Deed an’ there be, Miss Nellie,” interrupted Ponto, who did not relish going off on a strange hunt with the boys. “Some ob dem horned toads might git after yo’, an’ if Ponto wasn’t along dey’d bite you. I shorely am gwine home wid yo’. Massa Seabury, he done ’specially stipulate it, an—”
“Yes, I guess Ponto had better go with you,” said Jerry. “We can do better alone. It won’t be the first time we’ve had a midnight hunt, though never before one just like this. We’ll come back as soon as we can, and tell you all about it. We can make quick time in the boat.”