UNDER THE LEE OF GARDINER’S ISLAND

The boat dipped herself half full of water as soon as the two burglars
ceased to pull, and this weight of movable fluid increased her capacity
for rolling. At the next wave she went over, and the four persons in her
were spilled into the lake. All of them hung on to the overturned
tender, though, in the commotion of the waves, it was not an easy thing
to do so.

Two of the party hung on at each side, and the water-logged boat was
steadied a little by their weight. Angy, in spite of the difficulties of
the situation, opened in a savage assault upon his companions, with his
flippant tongue, for their disobedience of orders, declaring that their
conduct had produced the disaster, which was quite true.

“We are no worse off than we were in the boat, and it isn’t any wetter
in the water than it was on board of her,” replied Mack, who had caused
the mischief. “I had rather be here than in the boat off that point,
where you were trying to take us.”

“I shall fine you both for disobedience of orders,” growled Angy.

“That will make two fines saddled on me; and I suppose you mean to rob
me wholly of my share,” added Chuck, as he emptied his mouth of the
lake-water, which had dashed in when he opened it.

“I don’t submit to any fine because I wouldn’t let you drown me,” added
Mack.

“I think it is more comfortable here than it was in the boat,” said
Chuck. “The wind is driving us to the shore, and we shall be on the land
in a few minutes.”

“How did that fellow get loose?” demanded Angy, when he discovered that
Dory was holding on at the boat, like the rest of them.

“I let him loose when I saw that the boat was sure to be upset. I
suppose that is another fine,” replied Chuck.

“We shall be in hot water instead of cold, now,” said Angy, who was
certainly realizing the full benefit of having a mutinous crew.

“I didn’t mean to let him drown, as he would when he couldn’t help
himself,” added Chuck. “I will tie him up again as soon as we get to the
shore.”

“It is no use to go on an expedition with such fellows as you are; and I
will never do it again,” said Angy bitterly.

The boat seemed to be making quite as much progress with the crew on the
outside of it, as she had when they were on the inside. A little later,
Chuck, who was at the bow of the boat, declared that he felt the bottom
with his feet. At that moment a big wave struck the boat, and drove them
on the beach.

“Hold on to the boat!” shouted Angy. “Pick it up, and carry it up on the
shore! It will be smashed on the gravel, if you don’t.”

The party took hold of the tender, and dragged it towards the land.
Before they could get it out of the water, the big waves knocked them
off their feet several times, and piled them up in a heap. The boat
pounded heavily on the gravel; and if it had not been well built, it
would have had some holes knocked in the bottom. But, after a desperate
struggle with the elements, they succeeded in getting out of the reach
of the waves.

The moment the party stood on the beach, Angy threw himself upon Dory,
and brought him down. As before, he had taken him behind. Several times
the chief had called upon him to assist in dragging the boat out of the
water, but the prisoner felt that it would be treason to society to
assist in saving the tender. He made no reply, and Angy swore at him as
a pirate would have done. All the party were panting from the violence
of their exertion, and Dory had not expected an attack before they
recovered their breath.

The leader was stimulated by wrath more than by a desire to secure the
safe retreat of his party, and he handled his prisoner very roughly.
Hardly able to breathe, he kicked his victim, and pounded him with his
fist. Dory was not in a situation to resist, and his arms were soon
bound behind him.

Bluff Point, on which they had been driven by the fury of the storm, was
not more than an eighth of a mile across at the place where they were.
Angy, as soon as he had fastened his prisoner to a small tree, started
to walk over to the water on the other side. He was gone but a few
minutes.

“We haven’t any time to lose, fellows,” said he. “We must carry the boat
across this point to the water.”

“Carry the boat!” exclaimed Mack. “It weighs half a ton!”

“Do you prefer to go around that point?” asked Angy, with a sneer, which
it was not light enough to see.

“Of course we can’t go around the point, for the sea is awful there,”
replied Mack, in a more subdued tone. “Why can’t we stay where we are
till the storm subsides a little?”

“And let old Squalipop send a squad here to capture us! Is that your
idea?” asked the chief.

“Not exactly. They will not be likely to come here to look for us. This
fellow did not go back to tell him that we had come this way. How heavy
is the boat?”

“It is not very heavy, and three of us can carry it well enough,”
answered Angy. “If that fellow would take hold and help us, it would be
a light load for four of us.”

“Perhaps he will,” added Mack. “Will you, my lad?”

“I will not,” replied Dory firmly.

“Why not?”

“I will not assist in your escape after you have committed a crime,” the
prisoner explained.

“What is your name, my boy?” asked Chuck.

“Dory Dornwood.”

“Dory Dornwood!” exclaimed Angy, with no little astonishment. “I heard
Matt tell all about you last summer, and I don’t need any introduction
to you. He said you could whip your weight in wild-cats, and would die
of thirst before you would drink a glass of beer.”

“I am not a fighting character,” added Dory.




“I should say not! I have handled you twice; and I don’t know that I
should have dared to touch you if I had known who and what you were,”
chuckled the leader. “But let us take hold of the boat, and see what we
can do with it.”

“Won’t you give us a lift, Dory?” asked Chuck. “I did you a good turn in
the boat.”

“I cannot do any thing to assist in your escape, though I should be glad
to reciprocate your kind act,” replied the prisoner.

“It’s no use to waste words with him,” interposed Angy. “He is the
paragon of that school, and goes to the Sunday school.”

They raised the boat from the beach, and Mack declared that it was not
half as heavy as he had supposed. They rested several times, and carried
it to the water on the other side of the point without any great
difficulty. Angy returned for the prisoner as soon as they had put the
boat into the lake, and conducted him to it. He was put in the bow,
where he had been before.

The water was sheltered by the point; and though it was rough anywhere
on the lake, it was smooth compared with its condition outside of the
bluff. It was just a mile from Bluff Point to Gardiner’s Island, beyond
which Dory discovered the two masts of a vessel anchored there. He had
already heard enough to assure him that the burglars had composed the
crew of the schooner which had anchored in Beaver River. A portion of
them had visited the school, and in this way had obtained some knowledge
of the premises.

“This storm won’t last much longer,” said Angy, as he looked out on the
stormy lake. “The wind is hauling more to the westward.”

“What’s the reason we can’t stay here a while, then, and wait till the
sea isn’t quite so rough?” asked Mack, who evidently did not like the
looks of the water between the point and the island, smooth as it was
compared with the open lake.

“How long do you suppose it will be before the men you heard in the road
will be down this way?” demanded Angy, with his chronic sneer.

“They may not be here at all. They will take it for granted that we
don’t go out on the lake in this weather; and it is a sensible view to
take of it,” added Mack.

“But they were coming this way when you heard them; and you forget the
plan I laid down to you yesterday afternoon,” continued the chief, in a
more persuasive tone. “We don’t want any one to know that the party who
did this job belong to the schooner. That would spoil all our plans, and
expose us; and this is the last of the jobs we had on our hands.”

“All right, Angy,” replied Mack, who seemed to be convinced by the
argument. “But if we all get drowned in this scrape, we shall not make
much headway in the fun you have laid out for us.”

[Illustration: “I TOLD YOU TO GO ON BOARD THE SCHOONER,” ADDED
ANGY.–PAGE 108.]

“The sea isn’t very rough off here; and as the wind has hauled more to
the westward, we shall go before it, and keep out of the trough of it,”
Angy explained: and he seemed to be the authority in all nautical
matters.

“Just as you say, Angy. If the boat upsets, as it did before, we shall
be just as comfortable in the water; and the wind will take us just
where we want to go.”

The experience of the party in the water seemed to increase rather than
diminish their confidence, for they had learned that the disaster of
swamping the boat was not necessarily fatal. Near the shore the water
was quite smooth, and the leader shoved the tender off. The two rowers
gave way, and the boat moved away from the point. In a few moments it
was in a rough sea; but the chief kept the craft exactly before it
without regard to his destination, and it went along very well.

It was not smooth sailing, and the boat jumped like a galloping horse.
But the rowers were used to pulling in a heavy sea, though they had
never been in one like that of the lake. Dory was sitting with his back
to the course of the boat, and he watched the shore with the most
intense interest. He was sure his uncle would send a party to find him;
though the pursuers might follow the road for many miles, if they did
not resort to the Indian craft which had been of so much assistance to
him.

Before the boat had made a fourth part of the distance it had to
accomplish, it began to rain. It came down in torrents, though it could
not make the party any wetter than they were already. It had rained all
the first part of the night, and now it seemed like a smart shower which
would soon be over.

“This is just the thing we want,” said Angy, in cheerful tones, and in
much better humor than he had been at any time before.

“Why is it just the thing? Do you think it will lay the dust?” asked
Mack.

“Not exactly: it will throw the dust into the eyes of the men who are
trying to follow us. The heavy rain is making a thick cloud on the
water, so that they can’t see us. You can hardly make out the shore
now,” replied Angy.

But the wind blew the rain in the faces of the rowers with so much force
that they could not keep their eyes open much of the time. Assisted by
the gale, the boat drove furiously ahead. Occasionally a sea came in
over the stern, and the skipper had to use the bucket. She soon reached
the island; and when the boat came under its lee, their troubles for the
present were over. The La Motte was pitching violently at her anchor
when they boarded her.