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The Rushton Boys at Treasure Cove; Or, The Missing Chest of Gold

Spencer Davenport

  Produced by Roger Frank and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at






  Author of "The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall,""The Rushton Boys in the Saddle," etc.







  THE RUSHTON BOYS AT RALLY HALL _Or, Great Days in School and Out_

  THE RUSHTON BOYS IN THE SADDLE _Or, The Ghost of the Plains_

  THE RUSHTON BOYS AT TREASURE COVE _Or, The Missing Chest of Gold_



  Printed by


  Racine, Wisconsin

  Printed in U. S. A.




  "Say, boys, it looks like a storm and a heavy one, too."

  The jest and laughter ceased at once, and three pairs of eyes looked inthe direction pointed out by the speaker.

  "See that big bank of cloud climbing up the sky?" continued FredRushton. "There's more than a capful of wind in that, if I know anythingabout weather."

  "You're right, Fred," said Lester Lee, who was handling the tiller. "Andwe're a long way off from home! It's up to us to turn about and make arun for it."

  "Oh, I don't think it will amount to anything," said Teddy Rushton,Fred's younger brother, who was never averse to taking a chance. "We'rehaving such a grand time that I hate to make a break for land unless wehave to. Besides, I've never been out in a squall, and I'd like to havethe experience."

  "You'd have more experience than you cared for with this blow that iscoming," returned the helmsman, and there was a growing anxiety in histone. "I'm more familiar with this coast than you are, and I'd ratherlook at the storm from the shore than from the deck of this catboat. So,here's for a quick scoot for home," he concluded, as he brought the boataround and laid the course for the shore.

  It was a staunch little sailboat of twenty-two feet in length, and theway she minded her helm, as well as the ease with which she rode thewaves, spoke eloquently of her qualities.

  On this afternoon, off the coast of Maine, she held a jolly party offour boys. Lester Lee, who owned the boat and managed the tiller, wasthe host, and his guests were Bill Garwood and Fred and Teddy Rushton,all of them fellow schoolmates of Lester's at Rally Hall. It wasvacation time, and the boys were gloating over the fact that they weregoing to have several weeks more than usual before school opened in thefall. The news had come in a letter that Fred had received that morningfrom Melvin Granger, one of his last year's chums.

  "Good for old Mel!" exulted Teddy. "He knew how good we'd feel about it,and he couldn't get the news to us quickly enough."

  "That stroke of lightning knew its business when it struck the rightwing of the building," laughed Fred. "Mel says that several of the roomswere burned out, and it will be fully a month after the usual timebefore everything can be got in running order."

  "I'll bet old Hardtack is raving, because he can't get us under histhumb as soon as he expected," grinned Bill, referring in thisirreverent fashion to Dr. Hardach Rally, head of Rally Hall.

  "It's lucky the lightning didn't hit the gymnasium, anyway," commentedLester. "We'll have some tough teams to tackle this coming year andwe'll need all the practice we can get. Ease her off a little, Fred," headded, to the older Rushton boy, who was handling the sheet.

  Fred did so, just in time to avoid the full force of a big wave that wascoming on the port side. But enough of it came aboard to drenchthoroughly Teddy and Bill, who were lounging at the foot of the mast.

  "Wow!" yelled Teddy, as he scrambled to his feet. "That was a corker. Igot a gallon down my back that time."

  "Gallon?" echoed Bill. "It seemed to me more like a hogshead. I'm as wetas a drowned rat."

  "Don't you care, fellows," called out Lester. "We won't any of us have adry stitch on by the time we get to land."

  "You don't suppose there's any danger, do you?" asked Bill, who at hisfather's ranch would have been perfectly at home on the back of abucking broncho, but here on the sea felt out of his element.

  "Oh, no," replied Lester, carelessly. "That is," he hastened to add,"there's always more or less danger when one's out in an open boat in astorm. But this _Ariel_ of mine is a jim dandy, and I don't thinkwe'll have any trouble. Even if she should go over, we could hang on tothe bottom, and there are so many boats in these waters that we'd soonbe picked up."

  Despite his careless air and confident words, it was evident from theway he scanned the sky and the tumbling waste of waters that he wassecretly uneasy.

  The sky had by this time become completely overcast, and although it wasonly mid afternoon, it was as dark as though twilight were coming on.The wind came in stronger gusts, and the waves broke ever morethreateningly against the side of the boat. The land was blotted out,and only the tossing waters met the view in every direction.

  "I ought to have turned around sooner," Lester muttered to himself, "butI was so interested in the letter that Fred got from Mel I didn't noticethose storm clouds coming up."

  The conversation had ceased. Lester had all he could do to handle thetiller and shape his course, and Fred had to be on the alert in hismanagement of the sheet, which strained and tugged under the force ofthe wind. It was a time for action rather than speech, and Bill andTeddy, who just then could do nothing but serve as ballast, looked on insilence as the _Ariel_ tore through the waves.

  Suddenly an object that appeared on the starboard side excited Teddy somuch that a cry broke from his lips.

  "Look at that big fish over there!" he exclaimed. "It's a monster. Whatis it, a porpoise?"

  "Porpoise nothing," said Lester briefly, letting his eye wander a momentfrom the tiller. "That's a shark."

  "A shark!" was the cry that broke at the same time from Teddy and Bill,neither of whom had even seen that "pirate of the sea," and they felt ashivery thrill from the sudden discovery.

  "Yes," answered Lester, "and from the size of the fin, he must be awhopper. We seldom see them so large in these waters."

  "Is he a man-eater, do you think?" asked Bill in an awed whisper.

  "That depends," answered Lester. "If he's a blue shark or a hammerhead,he probably is. They pulled one out about fifty miles from here lastyear, and when they cut him up, they found a man's boot in his stomach.They're good things to keep away from."

  "I should say they were," agreed Bill. "I'd rather take my chance with arattlesnake."

  Again they lapsed into silence, but their eyes never left that ominousfin that showed just above the water, cutting it like a knife.

  There was a quick exclamation from Lester, and looking at him, they sawthat he was peering at an object perhaps half a mile away. It was largeand vague in the gathering darkness, but Bill's keen eyes, accustomed togaze over wide spaces in the West, made it out at once.

  "It's a motor boat!" he exclaimed. "And by jinks! it seems to be introuble. See how it tosses about. It looks as if it would upset anyminute."

  "Those motor boats are always unsafe," remarked Lester, with the scornthat the master of a sailboat usually feels for any craft driven bymachinery. "They're getting out of order all the time, and a fellowtakes his life in his hands every time he goes out in one. For
my partgive me a sailboat."

  "Can you see how many people are on board of her?" asked Fred anxiously.

  "I see only one," replied Bill, "and he seems to be tinkering with theengine. Wow! but she shipped a lot of water just then."

  "What are we going to do?" asked Teddy. "He may get upset, and if hedoesn't know how to swim, he'll drown. And even if he were a goodswimmer, he couldn't make the shore in a storm like this."

  "Here's the answer," said Lester briefly, as he gave the tiller a twistand gave Fred directions to pull in the sheet. In a moment the boat hadchanged its course and was bearing down swiftly toward the disabledcraft.

  "I'm mighty anxious to get to shore," Lester remarked, "but we've got tosee what we can do for this fellow first."

  The storm was now full upon them, and the _Ariel_ staggered as thewaves beat against her sides. She ploughed along gallantly, however,under the skilful guidance of Lester, riding most of the waves, althoughnow and then her nose would dive through a big one and enough waterwould come on board to keep Bill and Teddy busy bailing her out. Allwere thoroughly drenched, but no one thought of his discomfort, sointent were they all on reaching the motor boat, which by this time wasabsolutely out of control and tossing up and down like a chip in thesurging tumult of waters.

  The one occupant had given up as hopeless the attempt to fix themachinery. He had caught sight of the _Ariel_ and was waving hishands wildly.

  "He oughtn't to be standing up," muttered Lester. "He ought to crouchdown and hold tight."

  They were now not more than a hundred feet away, when suddenly a groanwent up from the boys.

  A huge wave, cresting over the side, had caught the man on the motorboat full in the chest and hurled him into the sea!