Fred Fearnot's Day, or The Great Reunion at Avon

Two Boys From Nowhere
OR,
DRIFTING IN UNKNOWN SEAS
By F. A. HARDY
(A SERIAL STORY)

CHAPTER V (Continues).

Now, the boys learned more about the ship, which seemed likely to be their home for the present, for Ella took them down into the ice house where great sides of meat were hanging and then after the tiger and the leopard had been fed with big pieces of raw meat, and the orong-outang with cornmeal mush, and the birds and Monkeys had been given their share, they all sat down to their own dinner, prepared by Ella in the gallery, and put upon the table in as good shape as a first-class cook could have done it.

The meal passed pleasantly, Ella telling of her life in the show business and Bruce relating the details of his own simple story, while Tom said little but ate a great deal.

Before the dinner was over these three young folks felt as though they had known each other all their lives.

"Have you any idea where we are, Bruce?" asked Ella, after dinner was over. "Supposing we could managed to get a sail up, where would we go?"

"I haven't the faintest notion," replied Bruce. "I am no sailor, and Captain Wakeman never told us much."

"It was the same with Captain Brown of the Dean," replied Ella. "He was a very disagreeable person and half drunk most of the time. It was just like him to serve me the way he did."

"I think we ought to make a try for it, anyway," said Bruce, "but what do you say to lying quiet here for a day or two? Some ship may come along and take us off."

"That's for you to say, Bruce," replied Ella, "but I think it depends somewhat upon how badly the ship leaks."

"Why, she doesn't seem to leak at all," replied Bruce.

"I've examined the pumps three times now, and I can't make out that much water is coming in."

"Then I don't see any reason why we shouldn't rig up our mast as soon as possible: we can't stay here for any length of time, that is certain. I think we had better move on."

This was quite apparent, for no water had been found on the atoll, and Bruce fully realized, that they would be in greater danger where they were than out at sea in case of another simoon.

But Bruce was determined not to move away from the atoll until one thing had been accomplished.

"I'm going to dive down that steamer," he declared. "My curiosity is aroused and I want to see what there is on board."

"Can you do it?" asked Ella.

"Certainly I can," replied Bruce.

"But the sharks?"

"I'll take care of the sharks, don't you worry."

"You're the sort I like," laughed Ella. "If we ever get to Australia I think I shall hire you to run the show."

"I'm open to an engagement," replied Bruce; "but we are not there yet. Now, Ella, I suppose you are going to let us do the dishwashing and cleaning up here."

"Indeed I'm not; that's my work," said Ella. "If you are going to do your diving, do it now."

This was just what Bruce was coming at, so he and Tom took the boat and pulled out over the sunken steamer.

"That's a nice girl, Bruce," remarked Tom. "I like her. By gracious, I'd rather be here than on the Jones."

"It's all right while it lasts, Tom. but I'm afraid there's trouble ahead of us. I don't like the idea of being shut up with leopards and tigers and orang-outangs. Suppose one of them should get out in the night and pay us a visit? Phew! It makes a fellow's hair stand on end to think of it; but here we are. I'm going to know more about that steamer if it takes a leg."

"Gosh! Don't say that! A shark may take your leg before you get through with it, Bruce," replied Tom. "Say, You don't expect me to go down, I hope?"

"Well, not much. You keep things all right up here--that's all I ask."

While talking, Bruce had been pulling off his clothes, and he was now stripped and ready for business. As he stood in the stern of the boat he could distinctly see the deck of the steamer before him, and he watched long and earnestly, but he could see no sign of sharks.

"I reckon it's all right, Tom, and I'm ready now," he said at last. With his sailor's knife in his teeth, Bruce made his dive and Tom, leaning over the side watched his legs as they shot downward toward the wreck.


CHAPTER VI. A GOLDEN DISCOVERY.

Bruce Campbell was a splendid swimmer, but he was a still better diver. When he was quite a little boy he used to swim a great deal, and it happened that a professional diver took a fancy to the bright lad and taught him some of the secrets of his art.

Bruce could throw himself down into the water to a great depth, and stay there three full minutes without the least exertion. He could also walk about on the bottom, and do many other remarkable things, and Tom watched him in silent amazement as he walked about on the deck of the sunken steamer. He saw him stoop down and examine the skeleton, and look into the window of the deck staterooms. Then, to his horror, Bruce vanished down the companionway, and was gone.

"Oh! Oh! He'll never be able to get up again! Never in the world!" gasped Tom. "Great gosh! He'll have to fight for it even if he does!"

A huge white shark came suddenly into view. It turned on its back and seemed to look upward at Tom, who pulled out his revolver-we neglected to mention that two had been discovered in the captain's stateroom on board the Dean.

Without an instant's hesitation Tom fired and the water was as dyed red with the blood of the shark; but the monster sailed on out of sight, and to Tom's immense relief there was Bruce on deck again holding something in his hand.

He looked up, his eyes seeming to follow the movement of the shark, and then all at once he began to rise.

"Good for you, Tom!" he shouted when he came to the surface. "Perhaps you saved my life then-I don't know. But look here, old man! Look here!"

And Bruce held up a small canvas bag in his left hand, while his right grasped the knife ready for the shark in case it took a notion to return.

"What is it?" cried Tom. "Better get in the boat, Bruce!"

"Here, take it! I'm coming!" cried Bruce, and he tossed the bag into the boat. Instantly it burst, and a great number of little yellow lumps fell about Tom's feet.

"Gosh! What's all this stuff, Bruce?" cried Tom, with his mouth wide open.

"What is it? Why, it's gold," answered Bruce, climbing in. "Tom, there's a dozen skeletons in the cabin, and near one is a box. and it's just filled with bags like this."

"Hooray! Then we are rich, Bruce!" cried Tom, his eyes popping forward in their usual way.

"Rich-yes. I suppose so. There will be no trouble about getting it, but what good is gold going to do us, situated the way we are?"

Here was another mystery of the deep. Who were these dead men? What had happened to the steamer? Bruce declared that her name was the J. T. Runcie and her port Melbourne, but beyond that he had learned nothing, and it was doubtful if the information would ever come

"But I'm going for that gold, Tom, shark or no shark," he added. "There must be many thousand dollar's worth, and if we ever do succeed in getting to civilized parts again it will be mighty handy stuff to have about the house."

"You bet will, Bruce. Say, we can buy a hotel of our own, can't we?"

"Two, perhaps, if they are not very big ones, Tom; but here goes again. If you see any more sharks let them have another shot."

Thus saving Bruce made his second dive and after that he made six more.

Each time he came up with another bag of gold.

"There's twelve altogether," he said, when he came up for the sixth time, "but I'm played out. We shall have to give it up now."

"Gosh, Bruce, I should think you might be. I don't see how you do it anyhow. Say, how much do you think this gold is worth?"

"I reckon it at about two pounds to the bag, Tom."

"Well, and how much does that make?"

"For what there is here about three thousand dollars, but remember the are still five bags more."

"About five thousand altogether, Bruce?"

"Something like that."

"Gosh, Bruce, but it's a lot of money."

"No fortune. Tom, but it will be a great help to us if we ever get where we call use it," replied Bruce, as he proceeded to dress.

"You didn't see anything more of the shark?" asked Tom.

"No; I don't think there are many sharks here, but of course they are more or less everywhere in these tropical waters. It's always a risk diving without a knife."

"What's that?"

"Look! Look" cried Tom, suddenly. low down in the water away over there?"

"Smoke!" cried Bruce. "It's a steamer!"

"Gosh, no! It can't be, Bruce. Why don't we see her if we can gee the smoke?"

"Because she's too far off."

"But we see the smoke. I don't see why we can't see the steamer too."

"Why, you stupid fellow, don't you know that the earth is round, and out at sea any vessel beyond a certain distance is below the horizon."

"Horizon-what's that, Bruce"

"The lowest point in The sky that you can see, of course."

"How can the steamer be below the lowest point?"

The case seemed hopeless, and Bruce gave it up, for they were pretty near to the ship now, and Ella came to the rail and called out to know what luck they had been having.

"Great!" cried Bruce. "We've made a find."

"A find! What do you mean?" exclaimed Ella, looking down at them.

"Gold!" answered Bruce, holding up one of the bags. "There's more of it, too, and-"

"Look, look!" yelled Tom. "The oran-outang!"

Across the deck came Jocko with great bounds, making straight for the place where Ella stood.

It was a critical moment.

The orang-outang is an untamable beast and cannot be controlled by the power of the human eye look the tiger, but Ella tried it just the same.

"Down, Jocko! Down!" she cried, holding up both hands, and motioning the big monkey away.

(To be continued)


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