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5R I, —Fishing, In Idle (uk
private dock, 0iok Van
recoKntEes ae the Beacon, hia fa¬
r's yacht before his death and nnan
l reverses forced him to part with It.
nan whom he hears a girl who ac
panies from him the address The aa Mr. girl Blake, drops
handbag in the stream, and gives Dick
overs it. Thanking him, she
her visiting of card. She Is Alioe
or, niece Stephen Cutler, suc
tul business rival of the elder Van
CHAPTER II, — Dick overhears a con¬
versation between Pelican Blake and Captain him
Brent of the which gives
the impression that the yacht Is bound
«p a voyage of adventure to an Island
ISM name of which he does not hear.
CHAPTER III—Acting on Impulse,
Dick, ft footloose and ready for any sort
adventure, remembers a hiding place
at the main cabin of the yacht and de¬
termines to conceal himself and sail—
a Cutler, stowaway— Invalid, with the party. Stephen
niece, and the ship comes aboard, with his
CHAPTER IV.—In his retreat Dick
overhears conversations between Blake
end Captain Brent which appear to de¬
note something sinister. Believing the
cabin empty, Dick emerges from hid¬
ing ler’s and encounters Marie, Alice Cut¬
French maid, (letting back quick¬
ly, unrecognised, the girl insists she
The M» yacht seen a "ghost,” and Is ridiculed.
reaches Its apparent destina¬
tion, an island. Dick swims ashore.
CHAPTER V.—On the Island next
(lay Van Ness witnesses an exchange
of mysterious signals which he realizes
are between Blake, at Cutler’s house,
and la Captain Brent, on the yacht. He
Marie present, unseen, while Blake and
speak In heated terms of things
which add to the mystery of the situa¬
tion. Sleeping In a boathouse near the
admits dock, Dick Is discovered by Alice. He
he was on the yacht, and she
reveals the fact that the servants who
should have been at the house are mys¬
phen teriously Cutler, absent, only her uncle, Ste¬
Dootor Alster, Blake and
herself being on the Island. Dick’s
presence is known only to Alice. The
Taolu saila, leavllg the party.
Walking unchallenged from the boat¬
house, leaving Alice Cutler white and
quiet behind, Dick made a complete
tour of the Island before any of the
others were up.
It was a larger Island than he had
been led to think. In all It comprised
at least several hundred acres, half of
It low and flat, and the rest rough and
rocky, with the south side ending In
a precipitous bluff. The rambling
house was built on the highest point,
commanding an unobstructed view of
the ocean in nil directions.
The west side was somewhat shel¬
tered, and a dock had been constructed
inside an artificial stone breakwater,
that formed a safe basin for boats.
It was In this basin that the Pelican
had landed Its passengers the night
In the early morning glow, the Island
was a shimmering jewel of rare beauty
rising abruptly from the sea, half trop¬
ical and half temperate In its climate
and vegetation. The air was neither
sultry nor chilly, but of just, the right
temperature to soothe Jangled nerves
without enervating the owner.
Part of the flat side was under culti¬
vation, showing considerable expendi¬
ture of time and labor in advanced ag¬
riculture. Gardens of fruits and vege¬
tables bloomed in the warm sunlight;
trees bearing flowers and buds of fu¬
ture crops—tulips, oranges and lemons
along with cypresses and oaks—were
planted In orderly array along the
slope of the hills and on the lower
levels; buildings and runs for poultry,
game lnclosures, pens for sheep and
cows, and low, rambling barns and
sheds took up considerable space on
the west and south sides.
But the north and east, which re¬
ceived the brunt of the storms and
pounding seas, were left almost un¬
touched by civilizing hands. Here was
a touch of primitive nature—wild,
nigged and untamed. The gray walls
of rocks beat back the wildest surges
of the sea, and the gnarled, twisted
trees that grew on their sides and
tops were mute testimony to their
long defiance of wind and waves.
Dick found this side of the island
more to his taste. It was possible
for one to seek shelter from the
storms at any time in the caves, fis¬
sures and depressions between the
rocka, and In an emergency one could
find a spare living there. Sea birds
had their rookeries in sheltered
places, screeching and squawking In¬
termittently the day long, and In the
pools below, left there by the receding
tide, whole schools of fish and crusta¬
ceans ware caught.
"With an occasional raid on a hen
coop and the dairy, 1 could live here
like a king,” Dick observed, whim¬
sically smiling. “A veritable paradise
flung down in the ocean."
Not exactly sure of his next move,
and unwilling to force matters, Dick
1 tally explored the rough side of the
island, hiding in the caves whenever
any suspicious noise alarmed him, and
otherwise enjoying himself to the ut
mosrt. In this way he spent the morn¬
ing and early afternoon.
Toward sunset, he was watching the
shimmer of the ocean on the north
when a tiny speck, bobbing up and
down on the waves, attracted his at¬
tention. He watched it indifferently
at first, and then with more concern.
He shaded his eyes with both hands,
and came to his feet with an exclama¬
tion of surprise.
“It's somebody clinging to a life
raft!” he said.
He watched It a few moments long¬
er, and then added, “He’s nearly all
In, and trying to reach the Island.”
Hurrying down the rocks, he
reached the edge of the water. The
shipwrecked man on the raft was
swimming freely now, and with pow¬
erful strokes propelling his frail sup¬
port toward the island. Dick waved
his hands, and shouted:
"This way! I’ll help you!”
There seemed to be a moment of In¬
decision on the part of the swimmer,
and then as if Dick's words hud been
the signal he threw up both hands,
and called faintly:
Dick lost no time in throwing off
his superfluous garments and plung¬
ing Into the sea. The surf was not
heavy, and be had no great difficulty
in reaching the exhausted swimmer.
He caught the frail raft with a hand
anfl began towing It in.
"Can you hang on It?” he called.
The swimmer nodded, and across
the raft eyed Dick rather curiously.
He seemed far from being exhausted,
and as Dick recalled his recent pow¬
erful strokes he wondered.
He was a seaman, with a round,
bullet-like head, a scar across one
cheek, and a squint in one eye. As
most of hlg body was under water,
Dick could only judge of Its size and
strength by the breadth of the shoul¬
ders, bull-llke neck and great hairy
arms and hands.
"Shipwrecked?" he asked, between
The scsinion nodded. “What »h*p?”
Dick added a moment later.
“The yacht Pelican!”
Dick almost lost the poweF of his
arms in Ills surprise, and a big roller
tossed him hack a few yards before
he could recover from the shock.
They were in the worst of the break¬
ers after that, and It took all their
combined strength and skill to battle
their way .through them to the beach.
When they were finally tumbled ashore
beyond the reach of the sucking wa¬
ter, Dick dragged himself to his feet’
and looked at the seaman.
“You say you’re from the yacht
Pelican?” he said. "What happened?
Were you knocked overboard?"
“No, sir, I come to get help. I’ve
been in the wuter for ten hours.
Reckon I’d never made land If you
hadn’t seen me, sir. I was nearly in.
What part of the coast Is this?”
“The const? This is an island—
The man groaned and threw up his
arms in despair. "G—d, then I ain’t
done no good 1” he said. “That swim’s
all fur nothing. I thought I was swlm
min’ fur the mainland."
He appeared so genuinely grieved
and disappointed that Dick said sym¬
pathetically, “It’s too bad! But tell
me about the Pelican. Where Is she?
And what’s happened to her?”
"The usual thing, sir. She ran on
the shoals in the storm last night, an’
she’s goln’ to pieces. Can’t last twen¬
ty-four hours—doomed, sir. It’s a
pity, sir, she being such a fine boat,
“Where was this?” Dick interrupted.
"Don’t know, sir. The captain he
said he’d lost Ills reckonin’, an’
couldn’t get it until sunup. That’s
now. But a lot of good it will do
him now that I’ve failed him!”
He let out another groan, and strug¬
gled to an upright sitting position,
“You say this is an Island?” he added.
“You sure It ain’t the mainland?"
"I’d hardly make a mistake like
that.” replied Dick. Then, “If the
Pelican’s on the rocks why doesn’t she
summon aid from the shore? She’s
equipped with wireless.”
“Tes, sir, but It ain’t working no
more. The storm ripped the wires to
pieces an’ flooded the dynamos. No,
sir, the capt’n can’t send a message
ashore. That’s why I volunteered to
swim It. I thought I could do it with
this raft, but the tide and wind must
have drifted me out of my course.”
Dick nodded and said nothing. He
was thinking hard. Was this a part
of the mysterious plot? Or had the
yacht been wrecked and the seaman
risked his life in an attempt to get
help before she went to pieces?
He eyed the man furtively. He
recalled his extraordinary strength in
battling the waves until he saw Dick,
and then his subsequent collapse. The
man, in spite of appearance, did not
seem so terribly exhausted. He was
breathing almost normally.
“Can you walk?” Dick asked sud
denlv. “If so you’d better get up to
fSe Bouse and make a repeat to see.
Cutler. It’s his yacht—”
He stopped In the middle of his sen
; tenee, and stared up at the rocks that
rose abruptly from the beach a few
yards back from the water’s edge.
Standing on a projecting ledge within
earshot, as if she had jnst stepped
out of the mouth of a sea cave that
yawned back of her, was Alice Cutler.
Dick was satisfied that she had been
there for some time, and had listened
to the sailor’s story.
“There’s Miss Cutler now,” he added,
pointing. “You can repeat your story
to her, or”—slowly, smiling—“perhaps
she heard you."
“Yes, I heard,” the girl replied
gravely. “It won’t be necessary to
She began making her slippery de¬
scent from the rocks. Dick offered a
hand to help her, but she ignored it
“You were one of the sailors on the
Pelican,” she said, addressing the
man. “Yes, I remember your face
now. I didn’t up there. You’re a new
man, aren’t you? Not one of the old
crew that uncle had tinder Captain
“Yes, ma’am, this is my first cruise
in the yacht.” The man touched his
forehead automatically as he spoke,
but Dick thought he detected a bold
leer in the eyes. “An’ I’m afraid,
jna’in, it’s the last.”
“You have no Idea where the yacht
“If I had, ma’am, I’d tell you In¬
stantly. The eap’n didn’t know
either. Mebbe he does now. Pity I
hadn’t waited until daylight, an’ then
tried to reach land."
“Yes, It Is a pity,” replied Miss Cut¬
ler, with a peculiar drawl in her voice.
“All right,’* she added briskly. “Go
up to the house, and report to—to—
Mr. Blake. Uncle’s not up yet.”
He touched his head again with a
.hand, and then slowly ambled away.
Dick watched him in silence, expect¬
ing the girl to follow, but she re¬
mained standing until the sailor was
out of sight. Then she slowly turned
“1 saw him swimming in,” she said
significantly, "but he didn’t seem to
need any help until you called. Then
I noticed he lost his nerve. Rather
strange, wasn't it?”
“Yes, it struck me so,” replied Dick
seriously. "Even when I hauled him
In, I thought he had more strength
than I. But the poor fellow may have
been frightened. A night In the water
would unnerve any one.”
“Do you think he was In the water
all night?" she asked a little bit too
pointedly to suit Dick.
“Why—he said so. I couldn’t say.”
She gazed at him with a challeng¬
ing look In her eyes. Dick returned
It with a smile of admiration, for with
her windblown hair loose, and her
eyes flashing with strange emotion,
she made a picture of striking beau¬
ty. Suddenly she smiled.
"Perhaps I’m misjudging you," she
said, “and was harsh with you this
morning, but the day’s happenings are
getting on my nerves. Mr. Blake as¬
sumes all responsibility for the dis¬
appearance of the yacht lost night.”
“Yes, he sent it away,” Dick re¬
“How did you know that?” she
asked sharply. “Are you in his con¬
fidence? I didn’t suppose”—speaking
slowly—“you were particularly good
friends—not after what happened on
the dock the other day.”
Dick chuckled reminiscently. “You’re
quite right. We’re not good friends.”
“Then bow’d you know he ordered
the yacht away last night?"
“I happened to be strolling around
when he sent the signals to Captain
“What signals? I don’t understand."
He paused a moment In indecision.
Then he shrugged hts shoulders. “It
may have been a coincidence," he ad¬
mitted. "He, or some one else, flashed
three bright lights from the yacht
After that the Pelican got under way.
I took the lights as signals.”
The girl frowned and watched him
with grave, serious eyes. After a long
pause, she asked:
“What were you doing in front of
the house at that time of the night?"
“Oh, just hanging around,” he an¬
swered lightly. “You see I’d been
pretty cramped in my narrow berth
on the yacht, and needed a little ex¬
There was still doubt and suspicion
In her eyes when, drawing a deep
breath, she added, “Where were you
on the yacht, that nobody discovered
“In—in—” he hesitated.
“Go on, please,” she urged when he
"You wouldn’t believe me if I told
you,” he answered, smling. "It would
sound a bit too—too improbable.”
“Anything seems probable to me
now. Go on.”
"Well, it was In a secret compart¬
ment that only two persons in all the
world know of, if we except the archi¬
tects and builders.”
She looked incredulous, but nodded
her head. “Who were the two per¬
“One was the former owner of the
Pelican, and he’s dead now.”
"Mr. Van Ness, yon mean?”
"And the other?” she added inter¬
“I don’t think I’ll mention the oth¬
er’s name,” he replied, shrugging his
shoulders. “Of course, you know lt’»
I. That’s sufficient”
“Yes, that’s sufficient,” she mussd
thoughtfully. Then raising her eyes
to him, she added: “I wonder how
you came in possession of the Infor¬
mation, if what you tell me is true.
I don’t snppose you care to tell me.”
“No, Miss Cutler, I’d rather not”
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