The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Campfire Girls on Station Island, by Margaret Penrose

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Title: The Campfire Girls on Station Island

or, The Wireless from the Steam Yacht

Author: Margaret Penrose

Release Date: May 16, 2011 [eBook #36130]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8



E-text prepared by Roger Frank, Juliet Sutherland,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



The Campfire Girls
on Station Island


The Wireless from the Steam Yacht

By Margaret Penrose

New York
The Goldsmith Publishing Co.

The Goldsmith Publishing Co.

Printed in U.S.A.


I.“O-Be-Joyful” Henrietta1
II.A Puzzling Question9
III.A Flare-Up17
V.Into Trouble and Out36
VI.Changed Plans47
VIII.Aboard the “Marigold”63
IX.Gossip Out of the Ether70
X.Island Adventures77
XII.A Double Race91
XIII.More Than One Adventure98
XIV.Something New in Radio107
XV.Henrietta in Disgrace114
XVI.“Radio Control”122
XVII.The Tempest132
XVIII.From One Thing to Another139
XIX.Bound Out147
XX.Something Serious156
XXI.Work for All166
XXII.A Radio Call That Failed172
XXIII.Only Hope180
XXIV.The Mysterious Message189
XXV.Saved by Radio196



Jessie Norwood, gaily excited, came bounding into her sitting room waving a slit envelope over her sunny head, her face alight. She wore a pretty silk slip-on, a sports skirt, and silk hose and oxfords that her chum, Amy Drew, pronounced “the very swellest of the swell.”

Beside Amy in the sitting room was Nell Stanley, busy with sewing in her lap. The two visitors looked up in some surprise at Jessie’s boisterous entrance, for usually she was the demurest of creatures.

“What’s happened to the family now, Jess?” asked Amy, tossing back her hair. “Who has written you a billet-doux?”

“Nobody has written to me,” confessed Jessie. “But just think, girls! Here is another five dollars by mail for the hospital fund.”

Jessie had been acting as her mother’s 2 secretary of late, and Mrs. Norwood was at the head of the committee that had in charge the raising of the foundation fund for the New Melford Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“That radio concert panned out wonderfully,” Amy said. “If I’d done it all myself it could have been no better,” and she grinned elfishly.

“We did a lot to help,” said Nell seriously. “And I think it was just wonderful, our singing into the broadcasting horns.”

“This five dollars,” said Jessie, soberly, “was contributed by girls who earned the money themselves for the hospital. That is why I am saving the envelope and letter. I am going to write them and congratulate them for mother, when I get time.”

“Never was such a success as that radio concert,” Amy said proudly. “I have received no public resolution of thanks for suggesting it——”

“I am not sure that you suggested it any more than the rest of us,” laughed Jessie.

“I like that!”

“I feel that I had a share in it. The Reverend says it was the most successful money-raising affair he ever had anything to do with,” laughed Nell. “And he, as a minister, has had a broad experience.” The motherless Nell Stanley, young as she was, was the very efficient head of the household in the parsonage. She always spoke 3 affectionately of her father as “the Reverend.”

“Yes. It is a week now, and the money continues to come in,” Jessie agreed. “But now that the excitement is over——”

“We should look for more excitement,” said Amy promptly. “Excitement is the breath of Life. Peace is stagnation. The world moves, and all that. If we get into a rut we are soon ready for the Old Lady’s Home over beyond Chester.”

“I’m sure,” returned Jessie, a little hotly, “we are always doing something, Amy. We do not stagnate.”

“Sure!” scoffed her chum, in continued vigor of speech. “We go swizzing along like a snail! ‘Fast’ is the name for us—tied fast to a post. Molasses running up hill in January is about our natural pace here in Roselawn.”

Nell burst into gay laughter. “Go on! Keep it up! Your metaphors are wonderfully apt, Miss Drew. Do tell us what we are to do to get into high and show a little speed?”

“Well, now, for instance,” said Amy promptly, her face glowing suddenly with excitement, “I have been waiting for somebody to suggest what we are going to do the rest of the summer. But thus far nobody has said a thing about it.”

“Well, Reverend has his vacation next month. You know that,” said Nell slowly and quite 4 seriously. “It is a problem how we can all go away. And I am not sure that it is right that we should all tag after him. He ought to have a rest from Fred and Bob and Sally and me.”

Jessie smiled at the minister’s daughter appreciatively. “I wonder if you ought not to have a rest away from the family, Nell?”

“Hear! Hear!” cried Amy Drew.

“Don’t be foolish,” laughed Nell Stanley. “I should worry my head off if I did not have Sally with me, anyway. I think we’d better go up to the farm where we went last year.”

“‘Farm’ doesn’t spell anything for me,” said Amy, tossing her head. “Cows and crickets, horses and grasshoppers, haystacks and hicks!”

“But we could have our radio along,” Jessie said quietly. “I could disconnect this one”—pointing to her receiving set by the window—“and we might carry it along. It is easy enough to string the antenna.”

“O-oh!” groaned her chum. “She calls it easy! And I pretty nearly strained my back in two distinct places helping fix those wires after Mark Stratford’s old aeroplane tore them down.”

“Well, you want some excitement, you say,” said Jessie composedly. She went to the radio instrument, sat down before it, adjusted a set of the earphones, and opened the switch. “I wonder what is going on at this time,” she murmured. 5

Amy suddenly cocked her head to listen, although it could not be that she heard what came through the ether.

“Listen!” she cried.

“What under the sun is that?” demanded the clergyman’s daughter, in amazement.

Jessie murmured at the radio receiver:

“Don’t make so much noise, girls. I can’t hear myself think, let alone what might come over the air-waves.”

“Hear that!” shrieked Amy, jumping up. “That is no radio message, believe me! It comes from no broadcasting station. Listen, girls!”

She raised the screen at a window and leaned out. Jessie, removing the tabs from her ears, likewise gained some understanding of what was going on outside. A shrill voice was shrieking:

“Miss Jessie! Miss Jessie! I got the most wonderful thing to tell you. Oh, Miss Jessie!”

“For pity’s sake!” murmured Jessie.

“Isn’t that little Hen from Dogtown?” asked Nell Stanley.

“That is exactly who it is,” agreed Amy, starting for the door. “Little Hen is one live wire. ‘O-Be-Joyful’ Henrietta is never lukewarm. There is always something doing with that child.”

“Do you suppose she can be in trouble?” asked Jessie, worriedly.

“If she is, I guarantee it will be something 6 funny,” replied Amy, whisking out of the room.

“Miss Jessie! Miss Jessie! I want to tell you!” repeated the shrill voice from the front of the Norwood house.

“Come on, Jessie,” said Nell, dropping her work and starting, too. “The child evidently wants you.”

The others followed Amy Drew down to the porch. The Norwood house where Jessie, an only child, lived with her mother and her father, a lawyer who had his office in New York, was a large dwelling even for Roselawn, which was a district of fine houses forming a part of the town of New Melford. The house was set in the middle of large grounds. Roses were everywhere—beds and beds of them. At one side was the boathouse and landing at the head of Lake Mononset. At the foot of the front lawn was Bonwit Boulevard, across which stood the house where Amy Drew lived with her father, Wilbur Drew, also a New York lawyer, and her mother and her brother Darrington.

But it was that which stood directly before the gateway of the Norwood place which attracted the gaze of the three girls. A little old basket phaeton, drawn by a fat and sleepy looking brown-and-white pony, and driven by a grinning boy in overalls and with bare feet, made an object quite odd enough to stare at. The little girl sitting so 7 very straight in the phaeton, and holding a green parasol over her head, was bound to attract the amused attention of any on-looker.

“Oh, look at little Hen!” gasped Amy, who was ahead.

“And Montmorency Shannon,” agreed Jessie. “Don’t laugh, girls! You’ll hurt their feelings.”

“Then I’ll have to shut my eyes,” declared Amy. “That parasol! And those freckles! They look green under it. Dear me, Nell, did you ever see such funny children in your life as those Dogtown kids?”

Jessie ran down the steps and the path to the street. When the freckled child saw her coming she stood up and waved the parasol at the Roselawn girl.

Henrietta Haney was a child in whom the two Roselawn girls had become much interested while she had lived in the Dogtown district of New Melford with Mrs. Foley and her family. Montmorency Shannon was a red-haired urchin from the same poor quarters, and he and Henrietta were the best of friends.

“Oh, Miss Jessie! Miss Jessie! What d’you think? I’m rich!”

“She certainly is rich,” choked Amy, following her chum with Nell Stanley. “She’s a scream.”

“What do you mean—that you are rich, Henrietta?” Jessie asked, smiling at her little protégé. 8

“I tell you, I am rich. Or, I am goin’ to be. I own an island and everything. And there’s bungleloos on it, and fishing, and a golf course, and everything. I am rich.”

“What can the child mean?” asked Jessie Norwood, looking back at her friends. “She sounds as though she believed it was actually so.”


Little Henrietta Haney, with her green parasol and her freckles, came stumbling out of the low phaeton, so eager to tell Jessie the news that excited her that she could scarcely make herself understood at all. She fairly stuttered.

“I’m rich! I got an island and everything!” she crowed, over and over again. Then she saw Amy Drew’s delighted countenance and she added: “Don’t you laugh, Miss Amy, or I won’t let you go to my island at all. And there’s radio there.”

“For pity’s sake, Henrietta!” cried Jessie. “Where is this island?”

“Where would it be? Out in the water, of course. There’s water all around it,” declared the freckle-faced child in vigorous language. “Don’t you s’pose I know where an island ought to be?”

At that Amy Drew burst into laughter. In fact, Jessie Norwood’s chum found it very 10 difficult on most occasions to be sober when there was any possibility of seeing an occasion for laughter. She found amusement in almost everything that happened.

But that made her no less helpful to Jessie when the latter had gained her first interest in radio telephony. Whatever these two Roselawn girls did, they did together. If Jessie planned to establish a radio set, Amy Drew was bound to assist in the actual stringing of the antenna and in the other work connected therewith. They always worked hand in hand.

In the first volume of this series, entitled “The Radio Girls of Roselawn,” the chums and their friends fell in with a wealth of adventures, and one of the most interesting of those adventures was connected with little Henrietta Haney, whom Amy had just now called “O-Be-Joyful” Henrietta.

The more fortunate girls had been able to assist Henrietta, and finally had found her cousin, Bertha Blair, with whom little Henrietta now lived. By the aid of radio telephony, too, Jessie and Amy and their friends were able to help in several charitable causes, including that of the building of the new hospital.

In the second volume, “The Radio Girls on the Program,” the friends had the chance to speak and sing at the Stratfordtown broadcasting 11 station. It was an opportunity toward which they had long looked forward, and that exciting day they were not likely soon to forget.

A week had passed, and during that time Jessie knew that little Henrietta had been taken to Stratfordtown by her Cousin Bertha, where they were to live with Bertha’s uncle, who was the superintendent of the Stratford Electric Company’s sending station. The appearance of the wildly excited little girl here in Roselawn on this occasion was, therefore, a surprise.

Jessie Norwood seized hold of Henrietta by the shoulders and halted her wild career of dancing. She looked at Montmorency Shannon accusingly and asked:

“Do you know what she is talking about?”

“Sure, I do.”

“Well, what does she mean?”

“She’s been talking like that ever since I picked her up. This is Cabbage-head Tony’s pony. You know, he sells vegetables down on the edge of town. Spotted Snake——”

“Don’t call Henrietta that!” cried Jessie, reprovingly.

“Well, she gave the name to herself when she played being a witch,” declared the Shannon boy defensively. “Anyway, Hen came down to Dogtown last evening and hired me to drive her over here this morning.” 12

“And when I get some of my money that’s coming to me with that island,” broke in Henrietta, “I’ll buy Montmorency an automobile to drive me around in. This old pony is too slow—a lot too slow!”

“Listen to that!” crowed Amy, in delight.

“But do tell us about the island, child,” urged Nell Stanley, likewise interested.

“A man came to Cousin Bertha’s house, where we live with her uncle. His name is Blair, too; it isn’t Haney. Well, this man said: ‘Are you Padriac Haney’s little girl?’ And I told him yes, that I wasn’t grown up yet like Bertha. And so he asked a lot of questions of Mr. Blair. They was questions about my father and where he was married to my mother, and where I was born, and all that.”

“But where does the island come in?” demanded Amy.

“Now, don’t you fuss me all up, Miss Amy,” admonished the child. “Where was I at!”

“You was at the Norwood place. I brought you,” said young Shannon.

“Don’t you think I know that?” demanded the little girl scornfully. “Well, it’s about Padriac Haney’s great uncle,” she hastened to say. “Padriac was my father’s name and his great uncle—I suppose that means that he was awful big—p’r’aps like that fat man in the circus we 13 saw. But his name was Padriac too, and he left all his money and islands and golf courses to my father. So it is coming to me.”

“Goodness!” exclaimed Nell Stanley. “Did you ever hear such a jumbled-up affair?”

But Montmorency Shannon nodded solemnly. “Guess it’s so. Mrs. Foley was telling my mother something about it. And Spot—I mean, Hen, must have fallen heiress to money, for she give me a whole half dollar to drive her over here,” and his grin appeared again.

“What I want to know is the name of the island, child?” demanded Amy, recovering from her laughter.

“Well, it’s got a name all right,” said Henrietta. “It is Station Island. And there’s a hotel on it. But that hotel don’t belong to me. And the radio station don’t belong to me.”

“O-oh! A radio station!” repeated Jessie. “That sounds awfully interesting. I wonder where it is!”

“But the golf course belongs to me, and some bungleloos,” added the child, mispronouncing the word with her usual emphasis. “And we are going out to this island to spend the summer—Bertha and me. Mrs. Blair says we can. And she will go, too. The man that knows about it has told the Blairs how to get there and—and—I invite you, Miss Jessie, and you, Miss Amy, to 14 come out on Station Island and visit us. Oh, we’ll have fun!”

“That sounds better than any old farm,” cried Amy, gaily. “I accept, Hen, on the spot. You can count on me.”

“If it is all right so that we can go, I will promise to visit you, dear,” Jessie agreed. “But, you know, we really will have to learn more about it.”

“Cousin Bertha will tell you,” said the freckle-faced child, eagerly. “I run away to come down here to the Foleys, so as to tell you first. You are the very first folks I have ever invited to come to live on my island.”

“Ain’t you going to let me come, Spot—I mean, Hen?” asked Monty Shannon, who sat sidewise on the seat and was paying very little attention to the pony.

As a matter of fact, the pony belonging to the vegetable vender was so old and sedate that one would scarcely think it necessary to watch him. But at this very moment a red car, traveling at a pace much over the legal speed on a public highway, came dashing around the turn just below the Norwood house. It took the turn on two wheels, and as it swerved dangerously toward the curb where the pony stood, its rear wheels skidded. 15 “Look out!” shrieked Amy. “That car is out of control! Look, Jess!”

Her chum, by looking at it, nor the observation of any other bystander, could scarcely avert the disaster that Amy Drew feared. But she was so excited that she scarcely knew what she shouted. And her mad gestures and actions utterly amazed Jessie.

“Have you got Saint Vitus’s dance, Amy Drew?” Jessie demanded.

The red, low-hung car wabbled several times back and forth across the oiled driveway. They saw a hatless young fellow in front behind the wheel. In the narrow tonneau were two girls, and if they were not exactly frightened they did not look happy.

Nell Stanley cried: “It’s Bill Brewster’s racing car; and he’s got Belle and Sally with him.”

“Belle and Sally!” shrieked Amy.

Belle Ringold and her follower, Sally Moon, were not much older than Amy and Jessie, but they were overbearing and insolent and had made themselves obnoxious to many of their schoolmates. Wishing to appear grown up, and wishing, above all things, to attract Amy’s brother Darry and Darry’s chum, Burd Alling, and feeling that in some way the two Roselawn chums interfered in this design, they were especially unpleasant in their behavior toward them. 16 Sometimes Belle and Sally had been able to make the Roselawn girls feel unhappy by their haughty speech and what Amy called their “snippy ways.” Just now, however, circumstances forbade the two unpleasant girls annoying anybody.

The others had identified the reckless driver and his passengers. At least, all had recognized the party save Montmorency Shannon. He just managed to jump out of the phaeton in time. The pony was still asleep when the rear of the skidding red car crashed against the phaeton and crushed it into a wreck across the curbstone.


The red car stopped before it completely overturned. Then, when the exhaust was shut off, the screams of the two girls in the back seat could be heard. But nobody shouted any louder than Montmorency Shannon.

The red-haired boy had leaped from the phaeton and had seized the pony by the bit. Otherwise the surprised animal might have set off for home, Amy said, “on a perfectly apoplectic run.”

The little animal stood shaking and pawing, nothing but the shafts and whiffle-tree remaining attached to it by the harness. The rear wheels of the racing car were entangled in the phaeton and it was slewed across the road.

“Now see what you’ve done! Now see what you’ve done!” one of the girls in the car was saying, over and over.

“Well, I couldn’t help it, Belle,” whined the reckless young Brewster. “You and Sally Moon aren’t hurt. And you asked to ride with me, anyway.”

“Oh, I don’t mean you, Bill!” exclaimed the 18 girl behind him. “But that horrid boy with his pony carriage! What business had he to get in the way?”

“Hey! ’Tain’t my carriage, you Ringold girl,” declared Monty Shannon. “It’s Cabbage-head Tony’s. He’ll sue your father for this, Bill Brewster. And you come near killing me and the pony.”

“I don’t see how you came to be standing just there,” complained the driver of the red car. “You might have been on the other side of the drive.”

“He ought to have been!” declared Belle Ringold promptly. “He was headed the wrong way. I’ll testify for you, Bill. Of course he was headed wrong.”

“Why, you’re another!” cried Monty. “If I’d been headed the wrong way you’d have smashed the pony instead of the carriage.”

“Never mind what they say, Monty,” Jessie Norwood put in quietly. “There are three of us here who saw the collision, and we can testify to the truth.”

“And me. I seen it,” added Henrietta eagerly. “Don’t forget that Spotted Snake, the Witch, seen it all. If you big girls tell stories about Monty and that pony, you’ll wish you hadn’t—now you see!” and she began making funny gestures with her hands and writhing her features into perfectly frightful contortions.

“Henrietta!” commanded Jessie Norwood, yet 19 having hard work, like Nell and Amy, to keep from laughing at the freckle-faced child. “Henrietta, stop that! Don’t you know that is not a polite way—nor a nice way—to act?”

“Why, Miss Jessie, they won’t know that,” complained little Henrietta. “They are never nice or polite.”

At this statement Monty Shannon burst out laughing, too. The red-haired boy could not be long of serious mind.

“Never you mind, Brewster,” he said to the unfortunate driver of the red car, who was notorious for getting into trouble. “Never mind; we ain’t killed. And your father can pay Cabbage-head Tony all right. It won’t break him.”

“You impudent thing!” exclaimed Belle Ringold, who was a very proud and unpleasant girl. “You are always making trouble for people, Montmorency Shannon. It was you who would not finish stringing our radio antenna at the Carter place and so helped spoil our picnic.”

“He didn’t! He didn’t!” ejaculated Henrietta, dancing up and down in her excitement. “It was me—Spotted Snake! I brought down the curse of bad weather on your old picnic—the witch’s curse. I’m the one that brought thunder and lightning and rain to spoil your fun. And I’ll do it again.”

She was so excited that Jessie could not silence her. Sally Moon burst into a scornful laugh, but 20 her chum, Belle, said, fanning herself as she sat in the stalled car:

“Don’t give them any attention. These Roselawn girls are just as low as the Dogtown kids. Thank goodness, Sally, we will get away from them all for the rest of the summer.”

“Your satisfaction will only be equaled by ours,” laughed Amy Drew.

“I don’t know whether you will get rid of me or not, Belle,” said Nell Stanley composedly. “If you mean to go to Hackle Island—”

“Father has engaged the handsomest suite at the hotel there,” Belle broke in. “I fancy Doctor Stanley will not feel like taking you all there, Nellie. It is very expensive.”

“Oh, no, if we go we sha’n’t be able to live at the hotel,” confessed the clergyman’s daughter. “But the children will get the benefit of the sea air.”

“Oh!” murmured Amy. “Hackle Island is a nice place.”

“But it ain’t as nice as mine!” Henrietta suddenly broke in. “My island is the best. And I wouldn’t let those girls on it—not on my part of it.”

“What is that ridiculous child talking about?” demanded Belle scornfully, while Bill Brewster continued to crawl about under his car to discover if possible what had happened to it. “What does she mean?” 21

“I got an island, and everything,” announced Henrietta. “I’m going to be just as rich as you are, but I won’t be so mean.”

“Then you would better begin by not talking meanly,” advised Jessie, admonishingly.

“Well,” sniffed Henrietta, “I haven’t got to let ’em on my island if I don’t want to, have I?”

“You needn’t fret,” laughed Sally Moon. “Your island is like your witch’s curse. All in your mind.”

“Is that so?” flared out little Henrietta. “Your old picnic was just spoiled by my bad weather, wasn’t it? Well, then, wait till you try to get on my island,” and she shook a threatening head, and even her green parasol, in her earnestness.

Sally laughed again scornfully. But Belle flounced out of the automobile.

“Come on!” she exclaimed. “Bill will never get this car fixed.”

“Oh, yes, I will, Belle,” came Bill’s muffled voice from under the car. “I always do.”

“Well, who wants to wait all day for you to repair it, and then ride home with a fellow all smeared up with oil and soot? Come on, Sally.”

Sally Moon meekly followed. That was how she kept in Belle Ringold’s good graces. You had to do everything Belle said, and do just as she did, or you could not be friends with her.

“Well,” Monty Shannon drawled, “as far as I think, you both can go. I won’t weep none. But 22 Bill’s going to weep when he tells his father about this busted carriage.”

“All Bill has to do is to deny it,” snapped Belle Ringold. “Nobody would believe you against our testimony.”

“Nobody but the judge,” laughed Amy. “Don’t be such a goose, Belle. We will all testify for Mr. Cabbage-head Tony.”

Bill crawled out from under his automobile as the two girls who had been passengers walked away. He was just as much smutted as Belle said he would be. But he looked after her and her friend without betraying any dissatisfaction.

“It’s all right,” he said to Monty. “I guess you couldn’t help being in the way. This car does go wrong once in a while. You can jump in the car and I’ll take you home and tell the chap that owns the pony how it happened. He can come to my father and get paid.”

“Not much,” said the Dogtown boy. “I’ll have to lead the pony. But you can take Hen back to Dogtown.”

“Is it safe?” asked Jessie, for Henrietta had started for the red car at once. She was crazy about automobiles.

“If it goes bad again I can get out,” said the child importantly. “I won’t wait for it to turn topsy-turvy.”

“She will be all right,” said Bill Brewster 23 gloomily. “Father will make me pay for this carriage out of my own money. I’m rather glad we are going where I can’t use the machine for the rest of the summer. It eats up all my pocket money.”

“Where are your folks going, Billy?” asked Jessie politely.

“Oh, we always go to Hackle Island.”

“Everybody is going to an island,” laughed Amy. “I guess we’ll have to accept Hen’s invitation and go to her island, Jess.”

“It’s a lot better island than that one those girls are going to,” repeated Henrietta, with confidence, climbing into the red car.

When the latter was gone, and Monty Shannon was out of sight, leading the brown and white pony, the three Roselawn girls discussed little Henrietta’s story of her sudden wealth, and particularly of her possession of Station Island, wherever that was.

“Of course, we won’t understand the rights of the matter till we see Bertha,” said Jessie. “She must know all about it.”

“I wonder where Station Island is situated?” Amy observed. “Let’s hunt an atlas—— Oh, no, we won’t! Here is something better.”

“Something better than an atlas?” laughed Nell. “A walking geography?”

“You said it,” rejoined Amy. “Papa knows all 24 about such things. I can’t even remember how New Melford is bounded; but you’d think he had been all around the world, and walked every step of the way.”

“And you never will know, Amy Drew, if you ask somebody every time you want to know anything and never stop to work the thing out yourself,” admonished Jessie.

“Oh, piffle!” exclaimed the careless Amy. “What’s the use?”

Mr. Drew was just coming out of his own grounds across the boulevard, and his daughter hailed him.

“Want to ask you an important question, papa,” cried Amy, running to meet him and hanging to his arm.

“Ahem! If you expect advice, I expect a retainer,” said the lawyer soberly.

“Nothing like that! I know you lawyers. I am going to wait to see if your advice is worth anything,” declared his gay daughter. “Now, listen! Did you ever hear of Station Island?”

“I have just heard of it,” responded the gentleman promptly.

“Oh! Don’t be so dreadfully smart,” said Amy. “I know I am telling you——”

“Wrong. I had just heard of it to-day—before you mentioned it,” returned her father. “But I 25 have known of it for a good many years, under another name.”

“Then you do know where Station Island is, Mr. Drew?” cried Jessie, eagerly. “We do so want to know.”

“That is the new name they have given the place since the big radio station was established there. It is really Hackle Island, girls, and has been known by that name since our great-grandparents’ days.”


“It is lucky Henrietta went away before papa came,” observed Amy, after they had discussed the strange matter at some length. “She certainly would have been mad to learn that Belle and Sally were likely to visit what she calls her island, without any invitation from her.”

“What do you suppose it all means?” asked Jessie.

“She must have heard some mixed-up account of an island that belonged to her family,” Nell said, “and got it twisted. I can’t see it any other way. But I must go home now, girls. The Reverend and the children need looking after by this time. Good-bye.”

Mr. Drew did not explain until evening about his previous knowledge of the island in question. Then he came over to smoke his after-dinner cigar on the Norwood’s porch, and he and Jessie’s father discussed the matter within the hearing of their two very much interested daughters. When their fathers did not object, Jessie and Amy often 27 “listened in” on business conversations, and this one was certainly important to the minds of the two chums.

“Did Blair telephone you to-day again about that matter?” Mr. Norwood asked his neighbor.

“No. It was Mr. Stratford himself. Takes an interest in Blair’s affairs, you know.”

“It really concerns that Bertha Blair who was of so much value to me in the Ellison will case. You remember?” observed Mr. Norwood.

“And it concerns this little freckle-faced child the girls have had around here so much. Actually, if the thing pans out the way it looks, Norwood, that child has got something coming to her.”

“She has a good deal coming to her if she can prove she is the daughter of Padriac Haney,” said Jessie’s father, with vigor.

“You are inclined to take the matter up?”

“I am. I’ll do all I can. Blair has no money to risk——”

“He won’t need any,” said Mr. Drew, quite as decisively. “If you can spend your time on it, so can I. It won’t break us, Norwood, to help the child.”

“Not at all,” agreed Mr. Norwood, generously.

“But is it really true, Daddy, that Hackle Island belongs to little Henrietta and Bertha?” asked Jessie.

“A good part of it, apparently. All of the 28 middle of the island,” he returned. “The Government owns Sable Point where the old lighthouse stands and where the radio station is now established. That has been a government reservation for years. At the other end is the Hackle Island Hotel, always popular with a certain class of moneyed people.”

“I have been there,” said Mr. Drew, nodding. “But there is a bunch of bungalows in between——”

“By the way,” interposed Mr. Norwood, “my wife said something about taking one of those for a month or two. I have the tentative offer of one.”

“O-oh!” gasped Amy, clasping her hands.

Her father laughed outright. “See,” he said to the other lawyer. “You are going to have a guest, if you go there. I can see that.”

“The bungalow is big enough for the girls and their friends,” admitted Jessie’s father.

“That beats the farm!” cried Amy to Jessie.

“It will be nice. And we can take Henrietta and Bertha along.”

“They are going in any case, I hear from Blair,” said Mr. Norwood briskly. “His wife will take them. There is an old farmhouse that belongs to the Haney estate. You see, a part of the bungalow colony and the Club golf course are included in the old Haney place. The real estate men who 29 exploited the island a few years ago did not trouble themselves to get clear title to the land. They made their bit and got out. Now there are two parties laying claim to the middle of the island.”

“Oh, dear!” cried Jessie. “Then it isn’t sure that little Henrietta will get her island? Too bad!”

“Personally I am pretty sure that she will,” said Mr. Norwood, with conviction. “But it will cause a court fight. There is another claimant, as I say.”

“You are right,” agreed Mr. Drew. “And he is a fighter. Ringold never gives up a thing until he has to.”

“Goodness!” breathed Amy. “Not Belle’s father?”

“It is the New Melford Ringold,” said Mr. Drew. “His claim is based upon an old note that the original Padriac Haney gave some money-lender. Ringold bought the paper along with a lot of other fishy documents. You know, he has always been a note shaver.”

“I know something about that,” said Mr. Norwood, grimly. “Don’t worry too much about it. Ringold may have a lot of money, but he won’t spend too much to try to make good a bad claim. He doesn’t throw a sprat to catch a herring; he would only risk a sprat for whale bait,” and he laughed. 30

However, the two girls had heard quite enough to yield food for chatter for some time to come. Jessie had kept close watch of the time by her wrist-watch. She now beckoned her chum, and they ran indoors and up the stairs to Jessie’s sitting-room.

“It is almost time for the concert from Stratfordtown,” Jessie said. “And Bertha telephoned me yesterday that she hoped to sing to-night.”

“Lucky girl!” said Amy, sighing. “It’s nice to have an uncle who bosses a broadcasting station. But, never mind, Jess, we had fun the time we were on the program. Say! the boys will be home to-morrow.”

“No! Do you mean it?”

“Papa got a wireless. The Marigold now has a real radio telegraph sending and receiving set. Darry says it is great. But, of course, you and I can’t get anything from them because we do not know Morse.”

“Let’s learn!” exclaimed Jessie, excitedly.

“Sometimes when you get your set tuned wrong you hear some of the code. But the telegraph wave-length is much, much longer than the phone lengths. Guess you’d have a job listening in for anything Darry and Burd Ailing would send from that old yacht.”

“We can learn the Morse alphabet, just the same, can’t we?” demanded her chum. 31

“Now, there you go again!” complained Amy. “Always suggesting something that is work. I don’t want to have to learn a single thing until we go back to school in the fall. Believe me!”

Her emphasis only made Jessie laugh. She adjusted the crystal detector, or cat’s whisker, as the girls called it, and then began to tune the coil until, with the tabs at her ears, she could hear a voice rising out of the void, nearer and nearer, until it seemed speaking directly in her ear:

“With which announcement we begin our evening’s entertainment from the Stratfordtown Station. The first number on the program being——”

“Do you hear that? It is Mr. Blair himself,” whispered Amy eagerly. “And he says——”

Jessie held up her hand for silence as the superintendent of the broadcasting station at Stratfordtown went on to announce, “Miss Bertha Blair, who will sing ‘Will o’ the Wisp,’ Mr. Angler being at the piano. I thank you.”

The piano prelude came to the ears of the Roselawn girls almost instantly. Jessie and Amy smiled at each other. They were proud to think that they had something to do with Bertha’s becoming a favorite on the Stratfordtown programs, and likewise that their interest in the girl first served to call the superintendent’s attention to her. In “The Roselawn Girls on the Program” 32 is told of Bertha’s first meeting with her uncle who had never before seen her.

They listened to the hour’s program and then tuned the receiver to get what was being broadcasted from a city station—a talk on economics that interested to a degree even the two high-school girls. For frivolous as Amy usually appeared to be, she was a good scholar and, like Jessie, stood well in her classes.

There was not much but a desire for fun in Amy’s mind the next morning, however, when she ran across the boulevard to the Norwood place. It was right after breakfast, and she wore her middy blouse and short skirt, with canvas ties on her feet. She trilled for Jessie under the radio-room windows:

“You-oo! You-oo! ‘Mary Ann! My Mary Ann! I’ll meet you on the corner!’ Come-on-out!”

Jessie appeared from the breakfast room, and Momsy, as Jessie always called her mother, looked out, too.

“What have you girls on your minds for this morning?” she asked.

“Our new canoe, Mrs. Norwood. You know, we gave the old one to those Dogtown youngsters, and our new one has never been christened yet.”

“Shall I bring a hat?” asked Jessie, hesitatingly.

“What for? To bail out the canoe? Bill says it is perfectly sound and safe,” laughed Amy. 33

“You are getting wee freckles on your nose, Jessie,” said Mrs. Norwood.

“Why worry?” demanded Amy. “You can never get as many as Hen wears—and her nose isn’t as big as yours.”

“It is by good luck, not good management, that you do not freckle, Amy Drew,” declared her chum. “I’ll take the shade hat.”

“Why not a sunbonnet?” scoffed Amy.

But Jessie laughed and ran out with her hat. It floated behind her, held by the two strings, as she raced her chum down to the boat landing. The Norwood boathouse sheltered several different craft, among others a motor-boat that Amy’s brother, Darrington Drew, owned. But Darry and his chum, Burd Alling, had lost their interest in the Water Thrush since they had been allowed to put into commission, and navigate themselves, the steam-yacht Marigold, which was a legacy to Darry from an uncle now deceased.

The girls got the new canoe out without assistance from the gardener or his helper. They were thoroughly capable out-of-door girls. They had erected the antenna for Jessie’s radio set without any help. Both were good boatmen—“if a girl can be a man,” to quote Amy—and they could handle the Water Thrush as well as the canoe.

They launched and paddled out from the shore in perfect form. The sun was scorching, but there 34 was a tempering breeze. It was therefore cooler out toward the middle of the lake than inshore. The glare of the sun on the water troubled even the thoughtless Amy.

“Oh, aren’t you the wise little owl, Jess Norwood!” she cried. “To think of wearing a sun-hat! And here am I with nothing to shelter me from the torrid rays. I am going to burn and peel and look horrid—I know I shall! I’ll not be fit to go to Hackle Island—if we go.”

“Oh, we’re going, all right!”

“You’re mighty certain, from the way you talk. Has it been really settled? ‘There’s many a slip’ and all that, you know.”

“Father asked Momsy about it at breakfast before he went to town, and she said she had quite made up her mind,” Jessie said. “He will make the arrangements with the owner of the house.”

“Oh, goody! A bungalow?” cried Amy.


“How big, dear? Can the boys come?”

“Of course. There are fourteen rooms. It is a big place. We will shut up the house here and send down most of the serving people ahead. We shall have at least one good month of salt air.”

“Hooray!” cried Amy, swinging her paddle recklessly. “And I’ve got just the most scrumptious idea, Jess. I’ll tell you——”

But something unexpected happened just then 35 that quite drove out of Amy Drew’s mind the idea she had to impart to her chum. She brought the paddle she had waved down with an awful smack on the water. The spray spattered all about. Jessie flung herself back to escape some of the inwash, and by so doing her gaze struck upon something on the surface of the lake, far ahead.

“Oh! Oh!” she shrieked. “What is that, Amy? Somebody is drowning!”


Amy Drew sat up in the canoe as high as she could and stared ahead. Jessie’s observation suggested trouble; but Amy almost immediately burst out laughing.

“‘Drowning!’” she repeated. “Why, Jess Norwood, you know that you couldn’t drown those Dogtown kids. And if that isn’t some of them—Monty Shannon, and the Costello twins, and the rest of them—I’m much mistaken.”

“But see those barrels and tubs and what-all!” gasped her more serious friend. “Look there! It’s Henrietta!”

The fleet of strange barges that Jessie had first spied included, it seemed, almost every sort of craft that could be improvised. A rainwater barrel led the procession of “boats,” and Montmorency Shannon was in that, paddling with some kind of paddle that he wielded with no little skill.

There were two wooden washtubs in which the Costello twins voyaged. One was much lower in the water than the other, giving evidence of having shipped more water than its mate. In a water-trough that had been filched from somebody’s barnyard was little Henrietta and Charlie Foley. 37

“They will be overboard!” exclaimed Jessie, anxiously. “Drive ahead, Amy—do!”

The wind was blowing directly in their faces and from the direction of the Dogtown landing, where the flotilla had evidently embarked. The tubs spun around and around, the half-barrel in which Monty Shannon sat tried to perform the same gyrations, but Henrietta and the Foley boy blundered ahead. It was plain to Jessie’s mind that the reckless children could not have sailed in the other direction had they wished to do so.

“What do you come out here for?” she shrieked when the canoe drew near.

“Oh, Miss Jessie, we are going to the Carter place,” sang out Henrietta.

“But the Carter place is down the lake, not up!” exclaimed the exasperated Jessie.

“Yes. But the wind shifted,” said Henrietta.

“Where is your big canoe?” demanded Amy, who could scarcely paddle from laughter, in spite of the evident danger the children were in.

“That is what we started after,” said Montmorency Shannon, his red head sticking out of the barrel like a full-blown hollyhock. “It got away in the night, or somebody let it go, and we saw it away down by the Carter place. So—so we thought we’d go after it.”

“And I warrant your mothers don’t know what you are doing,” Jessie said sternly. 38

“Oh, they will!” cried Henrietta, virtuously.

“When they miss the washtubs,” put in Amy, with laughter.

“When we tell ’em,” corrected little Henrietta. “And we always tell ’em everything we do.”

“I see. After it is all over,” Jessie commented.

“We-ell,” said Henrietta, pouting, “we can’t tell ’em what we have done before we do it, can we? For we never know ourselves.”

“You certainly cannot beat that for logic,” declared Amy. She drove the head of the canoe to the tub of the nearest Costello twin. “Get in here carefully, Micky. You are going down.”

“That’s ’cause Aloysius always gets the best tub. He ain’t sinking none,” said Michael Costello, scowling at his twin.

“Quick!” commanded Amy, and the disgruntled Costello swarmed over the side of the canoe. “We can take in one more. Who is the nearest drowned?”

“I’m sitting in half a foot of water,” confessed the red-haired Shannon, grinning.

“A little soaking will do you good. I can guess who suggested this crazy venture,” Jessie said. “Come, Henrietta.”

“I need her to trim ship!” cried Charlie Foley.

“What do you want to trim your ship with—red, white and blue?” demanded Amy. “If that trough sinks I know you can swim, Charlie.” 39

The crowd would have had some difficulty in getting back to shore with the wind blowing as freshly as it did if the girls had not come along and, in relays, helped them all back.

“What Mrs. Shannon will say when she sees her two washtubs floating off like that, I don’t know,” sighed Henrietta, after they were all ashore.

“One of ’em’s sunk, so she can’t see it,” Micky Costello said calmly. “Maybe the other will go down. Don’t you big girls say anything and maybe she won’t find it out.”

Jessie and Amy had headed for Dogtown in the first place without any expectation of playing a life-saving part. Jessie thought they ought to see Mrs. Foley, who was fleshy and easy of disposition, and ask her about Henrietta’s visit. So they accompanied the freckle-faced little girl to the Foley house.

“I ain’t telling ’em all they can come to visit my island, Miss Jessie,” said the little girl. “But of course, the Foleys could come. Mrs. Blair and Bertha wouldn’t mind just them, of course. There’s only Mrs. Foley and Charlie and Billy and the baby and three more boys and—and—well, that’s all, only Mr. Foley. He wouldn’t want to come.”

“You would better be sure of your island, and just how much you own of it, Hen,” advised Amy 40 Drew. “It may not be big enough to hold everybody you want to invite.”

“Why, Miss Amy, it’s a awful big island,” declared little Henrietta. “It’s got a whole golf link on it. I heard Mr. Blair say so.”

The “bulgy” Mrs. Foley welcomed the Roselawn girls with her usual copiousness. Of course, she had the youngest Foley in her lap, and the housework was “at sixes and sevens,” since little Henrietta had been at Stratfordtown for a week.

“How I’m going to git used, young ladies, to havin’ that child away is more than I can say. ’Tis a great mistake I have all boys for childers. There is nothing like a smart girl around the house.”

Jessie, very curious, asked the woman what she knew about Henrietta’s wonderful story of wealth.

“Sure, I’ve always expected it would come to her some day,” declared Mrs. Foley. “Her mother, who was a good neighbor of mine before we moved out here to the lake, said Hen’s father come of rich folks. They used to drive their own carriage. That was before automobiles come in so plenteous.”

“Did Bertha ever say anything about it, Mrs. Foley?”

“Not much. ’Tis Hen will be the rich wan. Oh, yes. And glad I am if the child is about to come into her own. She’s no business to be 41 running down here every chance she gets. I had himself telephone to Bertha when he went to town this morning, and it is likely she will be here after the child. Hen’s as wild as a hawk.”

Bertha Blair, in fact, appeared in a hired car before Jessie and Amy were ready to return in their canoe to Roselawn. She was quite as excited as Henrietta had been about the strange fortune that promised to come into their lives. Bertha could tell the chums from Roselawn many more particulars of the Padriac Haney property.

“If little Henrietta will only be good and not be so wild and learn her lessons and mind what she’s told,” Bertha said seriously, “maybe she will have money and an island—or part of one, anyway. But she does not behave very well. She is as wild as a March hare.”

Little Henrietta looked serious for her; but Mrs. Foley took her part at once.

“Sure don’t be expectin’ too much of the child at wance, Bertha. She’s run as wild as the wind itself here. She’s fought and played with these Dogtown kids since she was able to toddle around. What would ye expect?”

“But she must learn,” declared the older girl. “Mrs. Blair won’t take us to the island this summer if she is not good.”

“Then I’ll go myself,” announced Henrietta. 42 “It’s my island, ain’t it? Who has a better right there?”

Jessie took a hand at this point, shaking her head gravely at the freckled little girl.

“Do you suppose, Henrietta Haney, that your friends—like Mrs. Foley or Mrs. Blair, or even Amy and I—will want to come to your island to see you if you are not a good girl?”

“Say, if I get rich can’t I do like I want to—like other rich folks?”

“You most certainly cannot. Rich people, if they are to be loved, must be even more careful in their conduct than poor folks.”

“We-ell,” confessed the freckled little girl frankly, “I’d rather be rich than be loved. If I can’t be both easy, I’ll be rich.”

“Such amazing worldliness!” sighed Amy, raising her hands in mock horror.

But Jessie Norwood truly wished the little girl to be nice. Poor little Henrietta, however, had much to unlearn. She chattered continually about the island she owned and the riches she was to enjoy. The smaller children of Dogtown followed her—and the green parasol—about as though they were enchanted.

“’Tis a witch she certainly is,” declared Mrs. Foley. “She’s bewitched them all, so she has. But I’m lost widout her, meself. When a woman 43 has six—and them all boys—and a man that drinks——”

This statement of her personal affairs had been so often heard by the three girls that they all tried to sidetrack Mrs. Foley’s complaint. It was Jessie, however, who advanced a really good reason for getting out of the Foley house.

“I promised Monty Shannon I would look at his radio set,” she said, jumping up. “You will excuse us for a little, Mrs. Foley? You are not going back to Stratfordtown at once, Bertha?”

“Before long. I have only hired the car for the forenoon. The man has another job this afternoon. And I must find that Henrietta again,” for the freckle-faced little girl was as lively, so Amy said, as a water-bug—“one of those skimmery things with long legs that dart along the surface of the water.”

The trio went out and across the cinder-covered yard to the Shannon house. The immediate surroundings of Dogtown were squalid, although its site upon the edge of Lake Mononset might have been made very pleasant indeed.

“If these boys like Monty Shannon and some of the girls stay at home when they grow up they surely will improve the looks of the village,” Jessie had said. “For Monty and his kind are altogether too smart not to want to live as other people do.”

“You’ve said it,” agreed Amy, with enthusiasm. 44 “He is smart. He has a better radio receiver than you have. Wait till you see.”

“How do you know?” asked the surprised Jessie.

“He was telling me about it. You know how often some ‘squeak box,’ or other amateur operator, breaks in on our concerts.”

“We-ell, not so often now,” Jessie said. “I have learned more about tuning and wave-lengths. But, of course, I have only a single circuit crystal receiving set. I have been talking to Dad about getting a better one.”

“Monty will show you,” Amy said with confidence, as they knocked at the Shannon door.

The little cottage was small. Downstairs there were but two rooms. The door gave access to the kitchen, and beyond was the “sitting-room,” of which Monty’s mother was inordinately proud. She was a widow, and helped herself and her children by doing fine laundry work for the wealthy people of New Melford.

From the front room when the girls entered came sounds that they recognized—radio sounds which held their instant attention, although they were merely market reports at that hour in the forenoon.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” Bertha Blair said, clasping her hands. “I never can get over the wonder of it.” 45

“Same here,” Amy declared. “When Jess and I listened to you singing the ‘Will o’ the Wisp’ last night it seemed almost shivery that we should recognize the very tones of your voice out of the air.”

“Huh!” exclaimed Montmorency, grinning. “I got so I know the announcers, too. When that Mr. Blair speaks I know him. Of course, I know Mr. Mark Stratford’s voice, for I’ve talked with him. I wouldn’t have such a fine machine here, only he advised me.”

“Tell me,” Jessie said, “what is the difference between my receiving set and yours, Monty?”

“If you want to hear clearly and keep outside radio out of your machine, use a regenerative radio set with an audion detector. The whole business, Miss Jessie, is in the detector, after all. A regenerative set of this kind is selective enough—that’s the expression Mr. Mark used—to enable any one to tune out all but a few commercial stations. And they don’t often butt in to annoy you. For sure, you’ll kill all the amateur squeak-boxes and other transmission stations of that class.

“Now, I’m going to tune in for Stratfordtown. They are sending the Government weather reports and mother wants to know should she water her tomatoes or depend on a thunderstorm,” and he grinned at Mrs. Shannon, who stood, an awkward 46 but smiling figure, in the doorway between the two rooms.

“’Tis too wonderful a thing for me to understand, at all, at all,” admitted the widow. “However can they tell you out of that machine there is a thunderstorm coming?”

“Listen!” exclaimed the boy eagerly. There was a horn on the set and no need for earphones. He had tuned the market reports out. From the horn came a different voice. But the words the visitors heard had nothing to do with the report on the weather. “What’s the matter?” demanded Monty Shannon. “Listen to this, will you?”

“... she will come home at once. This is serious—a serious call for Bertha Blair.”

“Do you hear that?” almost shrieked Amy Drew. “Why, it must mean you, Bertha!”


“How ridiculous!” Jessie cried. “That surely cannot mean you, Bertha.”

“Hush!” begged Amy. “It’s uncanny.”

Again the slow voice enunciated: “Bertha Blair will come home at once. This is serious—a serious call for Bertha Blair.”

“Criminy!” shouted Monty Shannon. “I know who that is. It’s Mr. Mark Stratford.”

“He is calling for you, Bertha,” said Jessie. “Can it be possible?”

“Something has happened!” gasped Bertha, starting for the door of the cottage. “Where is that child?”

“Never mind Henrietta. We will take care of her,” Jessie called after the worried girl, wishing to relieve her anxiety.

Bertha ran out of the house, and the next moment the Roselawn girls heard the car start. Bertha was being whisked away to Stratfordtown. The voice of Mark Stratford continued to repeat the call several times. Then he read the weather report, as expected. 48

“I can tell you one thing,” Jessie said eagerly to her chum and the Shannons. “Mark Stratford does not usually give out the announcements from that station. Now, does he, Monty?”

“No, ma’am, Miss Jessie. Only once in a while.”

“Then something has happened at the Blair house, or to Mr. Blair himself. That is why they send out this call, hoping that somebody down here would get it and tell Bertha.”

“Think! How funny it must feel to hear your name called out of the air in that way,” Amy remarked.

“Why, we had that experience ourselves,” Jessie said. “Don’t you remember? Mark thanked us publicly for finding his watch.”

“But that was not just like this,” replied Amy. “Anyway, there is something unsatisfactory about radio—and always will be—until we can ‘talk back’ as well as receive. See! If Monty had a sending set as well as a receiving, he could have answered Mark Stratford, and told him Bertha had heard the call and was starting home without any delay.”

“I am afraid something really serious has happened,” Jessie said. “Let’s go back home and call up Stratfordtown on the telephone.”

“We’ll take Hen along with us,” agreed Amy. “You said we’d take care of her.” 49

This the Roselawn girls did. When they set out from Dogtown in their canoe, Henrietta sat amidships. She was delighted to visit the Norwoods. She had stayed over night with Jessie before.

They passed the flotilla of tubs and barrels that the Dogtown children had set afloat. Mrs. Shannon would never see her washtubs again. Meanwhile the Costello twins and Charlie Foley had set out to walk around the lake and recover the big canoe from the place where it had drifted ashore on the other side.

“They certainly are the worst young ones,” commented Amy Drew. “Always in mischief of some kind.”

“There ain’t much else to get into at Dogtown,” said little Henrietta soberly. “We don’t have any boy scouts or girl scouts or anything like that. They have them at Stratfordtown. Mrs. Blair told me about ’em. I guess I’ll join the girl scouts and take ’em all out on my island.”

Little Henrietta was still intensely excited about “her island.” What the Roselawn girls heard over the telephone when they got home again was not encouraging. It seemed at first that Henrietta must be disappointed.

Jessie ran in to the telephone as soon as they arrived. She did not know the number of Mr. Blair’s private telephone—if he had one. But she 50 knew how to get in touch with Mark Stratford whether he was at his home or at the offices of the Stratford Electric Company. She was able to speak with the young man almost at once, and questioned him excitedly.

“Yes. I know that Bertha has got home. I took a chance to reach her at Dogtown when I heard where she had gone,” Mark Stratford said. “You know Monty Shannon is a protégé of mine, and I have an idea he is listening in most of the time at that set he has built.”

“But what is the matter? Has Mr. Blair been hurt?”

“It is Mrs. Blair. She fell downstairs and has hurt herself severely. Did it not ten minutes after Bertha went out. Broke her leg. She will be in bed for weeks. I understand that they were planning to go away for the summer,” said Mark, sympathetically. “But that cannot be now. At least, I suppose Bertha will have to remain to take care of her aunt.”

“Sh! Don’t tell little Hen,” begged Amy Drew, when she heard this. “The child will be heartbroken. Without Bertha and Mrs. Blair Hennie can’t go to her island.”

Jessie made no audible reply to this. And she certainly had no intention of telling Henrietta the very worst. She discussed the situation with Momsy, and before Daddy Norwood returned 51 from town that afternoon mother and daughter had just about perfected a very nice plan for little Henrietta.

“Well, you are to go to Hackle Island, Momsy,” Mr. Norwood said, when he first came in. “I have signed the agreement. You can send the people down to make the house ready to-morrow, if you like. I understand there will not be much to do about the place. We can all go by the end of the week.”

“You take my breath away—as usual,” laughed Jessie’s mother. “You are always so prompt, Robert.”

“And you will have a house full of company, I suppose?” he rejoined, but looking at Jessie with a smile.

“We are going to have one guest you didn’t expect, Daddy,” rejoined his daughter. She told him swiftly of what had happened at the Blair home in Stratfordtown. “So that spoils it all for little Henrietta, you see, Daddy, if we don’t take her. And you know she is crazy to see what she calls her island.”

“Sure that she won’t make you and Momsy crazy, Jess?” he asked, his eyes twinkling. “That child is as lively as an eel and as noisy as a steam-roller.”

“How can you say such things, Daddy?” cried Jessie, shaking a reproving head. “We have 52 agreed to take her if you and the Blairs are willing. And Momsy and I will try to teach her the things she’ll need to know.”

“M-mm. Well, perhaps you will have success. You have done pretty well with me,” laughed Mr. Norwood, who made believe that his wife and daughter had “brought him up by hand.” “Being guided in any way will be a novel experience for little Hen, that is sure.”

He agreed so well with his wife’s and Jessie’s plans, however, that he called Mr. Blair up that evening and proposed to keep little Henrietta and take her to Hackle, or Station, Island, while Mrs. Blair was confined to her house. As Jessie’s father, along with Mr. Drew, had taken legal charge of Henrietta’s affairs for the time being, it was right that the orphan child should be in Mrs. Norwood’s care.

“There is an almost certain chance the child is going to be very wealthy,” Mr. Norwood said seriously, to Jessie’s mother. “Her education and improvement cannot begin too soon. She is as wild as a hawk and she needs encouragement and government both.”

Henrietta took quite as a matter of course every change that came to her. She had no particular affection for Mrs. Blair, for she had not known her long enough. She was delighted to go to “her island” with Jessie and her parents. As long as 53 she got there and could survey her domain, little Henrietta was bound to be satisfied. But Jessie knew she would have to restrain the child in her desire to invite everybody she knew and liked to come to the island while she was there.

The Norwood family had not even discussed how they were to travel to the island—by what route—when Amy Drew bounded in. Jessie and Henrietta were upstairs in Jessie’s room listening to the bedtime story. A little girl not much older than Henrietta was telling the story, and Henrietta thought that was quite wonderful.

“I know that Bertha and you other big girls sing into the radio,” the freckle-faced child said, when it was over. “Do you suppose Mr. Blair would let me recite into it like that?”

“What would you say?” asked Amy, laughing as her chum and the smaller girl removed their earphones.

“Why—why,” said Henrietta eagerly, “I would tell stories, too. Spotted Snake, the Witch, used to tell stories to Billy Foley and the other Dogtown kids to keep them quiet. And they liked ’em.”

“We’ll see about that when we come back from your island, Henrietta,” said Jessie, smiling.

“And listen!” exclaimed Amy. “You remember I said I had a great idea about our going to Hackle Island. I didn’t finish telling you, Jess.” 54

“That is right,” her chum rejoined. “And no wonder, when we spied that crew of crazy ones venturing to sea in tubs!” and Jessie laughed.

“Listen here,” Amy said more seriously. “The boys have come home. I told you they were due. The Marigold is all right now. Her engines and everything are working fine. So, why don’t we take this opportunity to see what she is like. Darry has promised us long enough.”

“Oh, but we are going to Hackle Island!” cried Jessie.

“Station Island,” put in Henrietta. “My island.”

“Of course. That is what I mean,” Amy hastened to say. “Instead of taking the train and then the regular boat, why not get the boys to take us all the way from the yacht club moorings to Station Island, or whatever it is called?”

“Why, Amy, that would be fine!” cried Jessie. “Will Darry do it?”

“He will or I shall disown him as a brother,” declared her chum, with vigor.

“Let’s run and see what Momsy says!” exclaimed the eager Jessie.

“We’d better go and hear what she says,” laughed the irrepressible Amy. “Come on, Hen! You want to be in it. Wouldn’t you like a boat ride to your island?”

“Why, how do you suppose I was going to get 55 there?” demanded the little maid. “Automobiles don’t run to islands—nor yet steam trains. But I hope the boat won’t leak as bad as that trough me and Charlie Foley sailed in this morning,” she added thoughtfully.


The plan Amy had originated for going to Station Island on her brother’s yacht was approved by Jessie’s mother and father, and in the end the Drew family agreed to make the voyage, too. Mrs. Norwood sent down her housekeeper and a staff of servants in advance so that everything would be in readiness for the yachting party.

A few articles of clothing had been bought for Henrietta when she had gone to the Blairs. But, besides being few, they were hardly suitable for an outing on Station Island. So Jessie and Amy were allowed to use their own taste in selecting the child’s outfit for the island adventure. And how they did revel in this novel undertaking!

Being down town on these errands so much during the following two days, the Roselawn girls were bound to fall in with Belle Ringold and Sally Moon, as well as with other members of their class in the high school. Jessie, at least, would never have noticed Belle and her chum could she have avoided it. 57

Amy had an overpowering fondness for a concoction called a George Washington sundae which was to be found only at the New Melford Dainties Shop. So, of course, each shopping “spree” must end with a visit to the confectionary shop in question.

“Come on,” Amy said, on the second day. “I told Darry and Burd we’d wait for them, and we might as well ride home as walk. They have our second car. Cyprian is driving mamma to a round of afternoon teas and other junkets. But the boys won’t forget us. Come on.”

“‘Come on’ means only one place to come to,” laughed Jessie. “I know you. What shall we do on that island, Amy, without any George Washington sundaes?”

“Say not so!” begged the other girl. “There is a fancy hotel there, they say, and perhaps it has a soda fountain.”

“Hi! Amy Drew!” called a voice behind them, as they descended the two steps into the Dainties Shop.

“Well, would you ever?” demanded Amy, looking around with no eagerness. “If it isn’t Sally Moon and, of course, Belle.”

“Hi, Amy!” repeated Sally. “Let me ask you something.”

“Go ahead,” returned Amy, but in no encouraging tone. “It’s free to ask.” 58

Sally, however, was not easily discouraged. Evidently Belle had put her up to ask whatever the question was, and to keep friendly with Belle Ringold Sally had to perform a good many unpleasant tasks.

“Your brother and Burd Alling have got back with that yacht, haven’t they?” she demanded.

“You are correctly informed,” answered Amy lightly.

“We want to see them. I suppose the boat is all right? That is, it is safe, isn’t it?”

“So far it hasn’t sunk with them,” returned Amy scornfully.

“You needn’t be so snippy, Amy Drew,” broke in Belle. “We want to see your brother about the use of the Marigold. I suppose he will let it to a party—for a price?”

“I don’t know,” said Amy, staring.

“Why, that’s absurd!” Jessie declared, without thinking. “It is a pleasure boat, not a cargo boat.”

Amy began to laugh when she saw Belle’s face.

“They don’t even take passengers for hire,” she said. “Is that what you want to know?”

“We want to hire a yacht to take us to Station Island,” Sally hastened to say. “And Belle remembered Darrington’s boat——”

“I don’t suppose it is fit to take such a party as ours will be,” interposed Belle. 59

“I guess Darry won’t want to let it,” said Amy, seeing that the two girls were in earnest. “Besides, we are going down ourselves this week.”

“Who are going where?” demanded Belle, sharply.

“It’s the Norwoods’ party, you know,” Amy said, for Jessie had “shut up as tight as a clam.” “Mrs. Norwood has taken a bungalow there.”

“On Station Island—Hackle Island it used to be called?” Sally cried.

“That is the place. And Darry will take us all on the Marigold. So, I guess——”

“We might have known it!” exclaimed Belle, angrily. “The Norwoods or some of that Roselawn crowd would tag along if we planned something exclusive.”

But Amy only laughed at this. “You don’t own that island, do you? Remember what little Hen Haney said about owning an island? Well, Hackle, or Station Island, is the one she meant. She owns a big slice of it.”

“I don’t believe it!” cried Belle.

“She does. My father says so. And he and Mr. Norwood are going to get it for her.”

“They will have a fine time doing that,” sneered Belle. “Why, my father has a claim upon all the middle of the island, and he is going to make his claim good. That nasty little freckle-faced young 60 one from Dogtown will never get a foot of Hackle Island—you’ll see!”

Amy shrugged her shoulders as she and Jessie took seats at a table. She knew how to aggravate Belle Ringold, and she sometimes rather impishly enjoyed bothering the proud girl.

“And there’s one thing,” went on Belle, with emphasis, so exasperated that she did not see Nick, the clerk, who was waiting for her order, “I wouldn’t go away for the summer unless we went to a really fashionable hotel. No, indeed! Cottagers at seaside places are always of such a common sort!”

Amy only laughed. Jessie remained silent. It really did trouble her to have these controversies with Belle. It was not nice and she did not feel right after they were over.

“There is something wrong with us, as well as with Belle,” Jessie said once to Amy, on this topic.

“I’d like to know what’s wrong with us?” her chum demanded. “I like that!”

“When we squabble with Belle and Sally we make ourselves just as common as they are.”

“Tut, tut! Likewise ‘go to,’ whatever that means,” laughed Amy Drew. “Why, child, if we did not keep up our end of any controversy that those girls start they would walk all over us.”

However, on this occasion, and at Jessie’s earnest desire, Amy hastened the eating of her George 61 Washington sundae and the two friends got out of the shop before Darry and Burd Alling appeared in the car.

“What’s the matter?” asked Amy’s brother, when the car stopped before the Dainties Shop and he saw his sister and Jessie waiting. “Spent all your money and waiting for us to take you in and treat you?”

“We had ours,” Jessie replied promptly, getting into the tonneau.

“Yes, indeed. ‘Home, James!’” Amy added, following her chum.

“And so we are to be deprived of our needed nourishment because you piggy-wiggies have had enough?” demanded Burd Alling, with serious objection. “I—guess—not! Come along, Darry,” and he hopped out of the car.

“You’d better look ahead before you leap,” giggled Amy.

“What’s that?” asked Darry, hesitating and looking at his sister curiously.

“What’s up her sleeve?” demanded Burd, with suspicion.

“You can treat Belle and Sally instead of Jessie and me, if you go in,” said Amy.

“Oh, my aunt!” exclaimed Burd, and sprang into the automobile again. “Drive on, Darrington! If you love me take me away before those girls get their hooks in me.” 62

“Don’t mind about you,” growled Darrington, starting the car. “I will look out for myself, if you please. I hope I never meet up with those two girls again.”

At that his sister went off into uncontrollable laughter.

“To think!” she cried. “And Belle and Sally are going to be all summer on Station Island!”

“That settles it,” announced Darry. “Burd and I will spend our time aboard the Marigold. How about it, Burd?”

“Surest thing you know. At least we can escape those two on the yacht.”

And this amused Amy immensely, too. For was not Belle desirous of chartering the Marigold?


Before she was ready to go to Station Island Jessie Norwood had a few purchases to make that had nothing to do with little Henrietta Haney. She had decided to disconnect her radio set and send the instrument down with the rest of the baggage. In addition, she was determined to take Monty Shannon’s advice and buy the additional parts which made the Dogtown boy’s set so much more successful than her own.

“We’ll buy wire for the antenna, of course,” Jessie said to Amy. “Let our old aerial stand till we return. All we shall have to do will be to hook it up again when we set up the set in my room.”

So they bought the wire, the lightning switch, and the other small parts in New Melford and sent them all on the truck with the trunks to the dock where the Marigold waited. The next day the two families, the Norwoods and the Drews, as well as Burd Alling and little Henrietta, were whisked to the yacht club dock in several automobiles. 64

The girls had heard from Bertha over the telephone. And considering the state of mind and body that Mrs. Blair was in, the poor woman was probably very well content that Henrietta should be in Mrs. Norwood’s care for a while.

The freckle-faced little girl was wild with excitement when she got aboard Darry’s yacht. She had never been on such a craft before.

“I declare,” said Amy, “we’ll have to put a ball and chain on this kid, or she will be overboard.”

Henrietta stared at her. “Is that one of those locket and chain things you wear around your neck? I’m going to buy me one when I get my island. I never did own any joolry.”

This set Amy off into a breeze of laughter, but Jessie realized that Henrietta was perfectly fearless and would need watching while they were on the yacht.

The Marigold was by no means a new vessel, but it was roomy and seaworthy. That it was a coal-burner rather than a modern oil-burner, or with gasoline engines, did not at all decrease its value in the eyes of its young owner. Darry Drew was inordinately proud of the yacht.

He ran it with a small crew, and he and Burd, or whoever of his boy friends he had aboard, did a share of the work.

“I declare!” sniffed Amy, “I suppose you will expect Jess and me to go down and stoke the 65 furnaces for you if you get short handed. Why not? You expect Mrs. Norwood and mamma to do the cooking.”

“Oh, that’s only for this voyage. When we have only fellows aboard we all take turns cooking and get along all right.”

“Does Burd cook?” demanded Amy, in mock horror.

“Well, he is pretty bad,” admitted Darry, with a grin. “But we let him cook only on days when the sea is rough.”

“And why?” demanded his sister, with wide-open eyes.

“We never feel much like eating on rough days,” explained Darry. “You see, the Marigold kicks up quite a shindy when the sea is choppy.”

“Let us hope it will be calm all the way to Station Island,” Jessie cried.

She had her wish. At least, the wind was fair, the sea “kicked up no combobberation,” to quote her chum, and every one enjoyed the sail. If the Marigold was not a racing boat, her speed was sufficient. They had no desire to get to the island until the following day.

Darry’s sailing master was a seasoned old mariner named Pandrick. They called him Skipper. At noon the yacht crossed one of the many “banks” to which New York fishing boats sail and 66 the skipper pronounced the time opportune for fishing.

“There’s blackfish and flounders on the bottom and yellow-fin and maybe bass higher up. You won’t find a better chance, Mr. Darry,” observed the sailing master.

Every one grew excited over this prospect, and the boys got out the tackle and bait. Even Henrietta must fish. Jessie had been about to suggest a cushioned seat in the cabin for the little girl, with a pillow and a rug, for she had seen Henrietta nodding after lunch. The child would not hear of anything like that.

The anchor was dropped quietly and the Marigold swung at that mooring while the fishermen took their stations. Darry gave his personal attention to Henrietta’s bait and showed her how to cast her line. The little girl had been fishing many times, if only for fresh water fish, and she was not awkward.

“Don’t you bother ‘bout me, Miss Jessie,” she said to her mentor impatiently. “I bet I get a fish before you do. I ain’t so slow.”

Amy had fixed a station for her chum beside her own in the shade of the awning. Mr. Norwood and Mr. Drew had brought their rods. Everybody was soon engaged in an occupation which really calls for the undivided attention of the 67 fisherman. The boys ordered all of them to keep quiet.

“You know,” observed Burd sternly, “although these fish out here may be dumb, they are not deaf. You chatterboxes keep quiet.”

Jessie was greatly excited. She had a nibble on her hook, then a positive strike.

“Oh! O-oh” she squealed under her breath. “There’s—there’s something!”

“Is it a wolf or a bear?” demanded Amy, giggling.

“Can you get it aboard, Jess?” asked Darry, from the other side of the deck.

Jessie was not awkward. She had pulled in a good-sized fish before. This one splashed about a great deal and, when she raised it to the surface, it looked so much like a big rubber boot that Jessie squealed and almost dropped it.

“Hey! What did I say about that stuff?” called out Burd. “You’ll give all the fish nervous prostration. My goodness! What is that?”

He hurried to give Jessie a hand in hauling up the heavy, slowly flapping fish. It was half as broad as a dining table, with one side grayish-white and the other slate color. The skipper gave it a glance and laughed.

“Virgin,” he said. “We don’t eat that kind o’ fish.” 68

“Oh, dear! isn’t it a flounder?” wailed Jessie, disconsolately.

“No, no. ’Tain’t worth anything,” said the skipper, unhooking the heavy and ugly-looking fish.

They joked Jessie about the worthless flat-fish, but she laughed, too. Baiting again, she threw in, and just at that moment there was a heavy splash from the other side of the yacht.

“Somebody else has got a strike,” cried Amy. “Who is it?”

Nobody answered. There seemed to be nobody excited over a bite. The two lawyers were forward. Darry and Burd were aft. Jessie suddenly dropped her line and shot across the deck to the other rail.

“Oh, Amy!” she shrieked. “Where is little Hen?”

“You don’t mean she’s gone overboard?” gasped her chum, excitedly, and she came running in the wake of Jessie.

Henrietta’s fish line was attached to a cleat on the yacht’s rail. She had been standing on a coil of rope so as to be high enough to look over into the sea. The fear that clamped itself upon Jessie Norwood’s mind was that the little girl had dived headlong over the rail.

“Oh, Henrietta!” she cried. “She—she’s gone! She’s gone overboard, Amy.” 69

Her chum was quite as fearful as Jessie was, but she tried to soothe her chum.

“It can’t be, Jess! She—she wouldn’t do that! She just wouldn’t!”

“But you heard that big splash, didn’t you?” cried the frightened Jessie. Then she began to shout as loud as she could: “Help! Help! Henrietta’s overboard! She’s gone overboard, I am sure!”


Jessie’s cry startled everybody on deck and Darry and Burd came running from the stern.

“Where is she? Do you see her? Throw out a buoy!” exclaimed the young owner of the yacht. “Hey, Skipper Pandrick! Lower the boat.”

“Man overboard!” shouted Burd Alling.

“Get out!” exclaimed Darry. “It’s not a man at all. It’s little Hen. Is that right, Jessie? Did you see her fall?”

“No-o,” replied Jessie. “But she’s not here. Where else could she have gone?”

Burd stared up and all about. Amy said promptly:

“You needn’t look into the air, Burd. Hen certainly didn’t fly away.”

The skipper arrived, but he was not excited. “Who did you say had gone overboard, Mr. Darry?” he asked.

“What does it matter? Can’t we save her without so much red tape?” snapped Darry. “Come on, Skipper! Get out the boat.”

“You mean the little girl who stood right 71 here?” asked the man. “Well, now, I saw how she was playing her line. She didn’t have it fastened to a cleat. And she sure didn’t just now fasten it when she went overboard. No, I guess not.”

“Oh! Maybe he is right,” cried Jessie, with much relief.

“Well, I declare!” grumbled Darry. “It takes you girls to stir up excitement.”

“But where is little Hen?” Amy asked, whirling around to face her brother.

They all stared at one another. The skipper wagged his head.

“You’d better look around, alow and aloft, and see if she ain’t to be found. If she did go down, she ain’t come up again, that’s sure.”

“But that splash!” cried Jessie, anxiously.

“Wasn’t any splash except when I threw that big flatfish overboard,” said the skipper. “And the little girl didn’t scream. I guess she’s inboard rather than overboard—yes, ma’am!”

The four young people separated and scoured the yacht, both on deck and below. At least, the girls looked through the cabin and the staterooms and the boys went into the tiny forecastle. They met again in five minutes or so and stared wonderingly at each other. Little Henrietta had as utterly disappeared as though she had melted into thin air. 72

“What can have happened to the poor little thing?” cried Amy, now almost in tears.

“Of course, she must be on the boat if she hasn’t fallen overboard,” Jessie replied hesitatingly.

“That is wisdom,” remarked Burd Alling, dryly. “She hasn’t flown away, that’s sure.”

The two mothers were on the afterdeck in comfortable chairs; Jessie hated to disturb them, for Mrs. Norwood and Mrs. Drew had not heard the first outcry regarding Henrietta. Mr. Norwood and Mr. Drew were busy with their fishing-lines. Neither of the four adult passengers had seen the child.

“I’ll be hanged, but that is the greatest kid I ever saw!” exclaimed Darry Drew with vigor. “She’s always in some mischief or other.”

“I am so afraid she is in trouble,” confessed Jessie. “You know, we are responsible to her cousin Bertha Blair for her safety.”

“If the kid wants to dive overboard, are we to be held responsible?” demanded Burd, somewhat crossly.

“You hard-hearted boy!” exclaimed Amy. “Of course it is your fault if anything happens to Hennie.”

“I told you, Drew, that you were making a big mistake to let this crowd of girls aboard the Marigold,” complained the stocky youth, sighing 73 deeply. “While this was strictly a bachelor barque we were all right.”

Jessie, however, was really too much worried to enter into any repartee of this character. She ran off again to the cabin to have a second look for Henrietta. She found no trace of her except the doll she had brought aboard and the green parasol.

She went back on deck. The fishermen were beginning to haul in weakfish and an occasional tautog, or blackfish. Amy, with a shout, hauled in Henrietta’s line and got inboard a fine flounder.

“Anyway, we’ll have a big fish-fry for supper. The men will clean the fish and Darry and Burd will fry them. Your mother and mine, Jess, say that they have got through with the galley for the day.”

“Oh!” ejaculated Jessie and, whirling suddenly around, started for the galley slide.

“Where are you going?” cried Amy. “Do help me with this flopping fish. I can’t get the hook out.”

Her chum did not halt. She knew that nobody had thought to look into the cook’s galley that had been shut up after lunch. She forced back the slide and peered in.

There on the deck of the little compartment, with her back against the wall, or bulkhead, was Henrietta. On one side was a jar of strawberry 74 jam only half full. Much of the sticky sweet was smeared upon the cracker clutched in the child’s hand and upon her face and the front of her frock. Henrietta was asleep!

“What is it?” demanded Amy, who had followed her more excited chum. “What’s happened to her?”

“Look at that!” exclaimed Jessie, dramatically.

Darry and Burd drew near. Amy burst into stifled laughter.

“What do you know about that kid? She asked me if she could have a bite between meals and I told her of course she could. But I never thought she would take me so at my word.” Amy’s laughter was no longer stifled.

“Fishing in the jam jar is more to Hen’s taste than fishing in the ocean,” observed Darry.

“Nervy kid!” exclaimed Burd. “I’d like some of that jam myself.”

“Bring him away,” commanded Jessie, pushing to the slide. “She might as well sleep. We will know where she is, anyway.”

This little scare rather broke up the fishing for the Roselawn girls and the college boys. They went to the wireless room which had been built on deck behind the wheelhouse, and Darry put on the head harness and opened the key by which he took the messages he was able to obtain out of the air. 75

The girls were particularly interested in this form of radio telegraphy at this time. Darry had bought and was establishing a regular radio telephone receiving set, too. He could give Jessie and Amy a deal of information about the Morse alphabet as used in the commercial wireless service.

“Practice makes perfect,” he told them. “You can buy an ordinary key and sounder and practice until you can send fast. While you are learning that you automatically learn to read Morse. But I’ll have the radio set all right shortly and then we can get the station concerts.”

“How near we’ll be to that station on the island!” Amy cried. “It ought to sound as though it were right in our ears.”

“Not through your radiophone,” said her brother. “That station is a great brute of a commercial and signal station. It sends clear to the European shore. No concerts broadcasted from there. Now, let’s see if we can get some gossip out of the air.”

The girls took turns listening in, even though they could not understand more than a letter or two of Morse. Darry translated for their benefit certain general messages he caught. They learned that operators on the trans-Atlantic liners and on the cargo boats often talked back and forth, swapping yarns, news, and personal information. 76 Occasionally a navy operator “crashed in” with a few words.

Calls came for vessels all up and down the North Atlantic. Information as to weather indications were broadcasted from Arlington. The air seemed full of voices, each to be caught at a certain wave-length.

“It is wonderful!” Jessie exclaimed. “‘Gossip out of the air’ is the right name for it. Just think of it, Amy! When we were born there was very little known about all this wonderful wireless.”

“Sh!” commanded her chum. “Don’t remind folks how frightfully young we are.”


The Marigold loafed along within sight of the beaches that evening and the girls and their friends reclined in the deck-chairs and watched the parti-colored electric lights that wreathed the shore-front. Jessie was careful to keep Henrietta near by. She began to realize that looking after the freckle-faced little girl was going to be something of a trial.

Henrietta finally grew sleepy and Jessie and Amy took her below, helped her undress, and tucked her into a berth. The Roselawn girls’ mothers were much amused by this. Their daughters had taken a task upon themselves that would, as Mrs. Norwood said, teach them something.

“And it will not hurt them,” Mrs. Drew agreed, with an answering smile. “Amy, especially, needs to know what ‘duty’ means.”

“Anyway, we’ll know where she is while she is asleep,” Jessie said to her chum, as they left the little girl.

“If she isn’t a somnambulist,” chuckled Amy. “We forgot to ask Mrs. Foley or Bertha that.” 78

The ground swell lulled the girls to sleep that night, and even Henrietta did not awake until the first breakfast call in the morning. Through the port-light Jessie and Amy saw Burd Alling “bursting his cheeks with sound” as he essayed the changes on the key-bugle.

The Marigold was slipping along the coast easily, with the northern end of Station Island already in sight. The castle-like hotel sprawled all over the headland, but the widest bathing beach was just below it. Next were the premises of the Hackle Island Gold Club, with its pastures, shrubberies, and several water-holes. It was to a part of these enclosed premises that Mr. Norwood said little Henrietta Haney was laying claim.

“And I believe she will get it in time. Most of the land on which those summer houses beyond the golf course stand is also within the lines of the Padriac Haney place.”

He explained this to them while they all paced the deck after breakfast. The yacht was headed in toward the dock near the bungalows, some of which were very cheaply built and stood upon stilts near the shore.

The tall gray staff of the abandoned lighthouse was the landmark at the extreme southern end of the island. The sending and receiving station of the commercial wireless company was at the 79 lighthouse, and the party aboard the Marigold could see the very tall antenna connected therewith.

The yacht landed the party and their baggage about ten o’clock. Mrs. Norwood’s servants were at hand to help, and a decrepit express wagon belonging to a “native” aided in the transportation of the goods to the big bungalow which was some rods back from the shore. There were no automobiles on the island.

“Is this my house?” Henrietta demanded the moment she learned which dwelling the party of vacationists would occupy.

“It may prove to be your house in the end,” Jessie told her.

“When’s the end?” was the blunt query. “How long do I have to wait?”

“We can’t tell that. My mother has the house for the summer. She has hired it for us all to live in.”

“Who does she pay? Do I get any of the money?” continued the little girl. “If this island is going to be mine some time, why not now? Why wait for something that is mine?”

It was very difficult for Jessie and Amy to make her understand the situation. In fact, she began to feel and express doubts about the attempt that was being made to discover and settle the legal phases of the Padriac Haney estate. 80

“If I don’t get my money and my island pretty soon somebody else will get it instead,” was the little girl’s confident statement.

“Oh, Jess!” exclaimed Amy under her breath, “suppose that should be so. You know Belle Ringold’s father is trying to prove his title to the same property.”

“Hush!” said Jessie. “Don’t let little Hen hear about that. She is getting hard to manage as it is. Henrietta! Where are you going now?” she called after the little girl.

“I’m going out to take a look at some of my island,” declared the child, as she banged the screen door.

“She’s sure to get into trouble,” Jessie observed, sighing.

“Oh, let her go,” Amy declared. “Why worry? You can’t watch her every minute we are here. She can’t very well fall overboard from this island.”

“I don’t know. She manages to do the most unexpected things,” said Jessie.

But there was so much to do in helping settle things and make the sparsely furnished bungalow comfortable that Jessie did not think for a while about Henrietta. Besides, she was desirous of setting up the radio instruments at once and stringing the antenna.

Darry and Burd helped the girls do this last. 81 They worked hard, for they had first of all to plant in the sands some distance from the house an old mast that Mr. Norwood bought so as to erect the wires at least thirty feet above the ground.

The antenna were not completed at nightfall. Then, of a sudden, everybody began to wonder about Henrietta. Where was she? It was remembered that she had not been seen during most of the afternoon.

“Oh, dear!” worried Jessie. “It is my fault. I should not have let her go out alone that time, Amy.”

“She said she wanted to see her island, I remember,” admitted her chum, with some gravity. “And this island is a pretty big place, and it is growing dark.”

“She could not get into any trouble if she stayed on Hackle Island,” declared Darry. “What a kid!”

“And she certainly couldn’t have got off it,” suggested Burd.

“We must look around for her,” said Jessie, with conviction. “Don’t tell Momsy. She will worry. She thinks I have had my eye on the child all the time.”

“You certainly would have what they call a roving eye if you managed to keep it on 82 Henrietta,” giggled Burd Alling. “She darts about like a swallow.”

Jessie felt it to be no joking matter. The four young people separated and went in different directions to hunt for the missing child. Station, or Hackle, Island at this end was mostly sand dunes or open flats. A little sparse grass grew in bunches, and there were clumps of beach plum bushes. Towards the golf course the land was higher and there real lawn and trees of some size were growing.

The low sand dunes stretched in gray windrows right across the island. Jessie tried to think what might have first attracted Henrietta at this end of the island. She did not believe that she would go far from the bungalow, although Amy wanted to start at once for the hotel. That was the object that attracted her first of all.

Jessie ran toward the far side of the island. It was growing dark and everything on both sea and shore looked gray and misty. The seabirds swept overhead and whistled mournfully. Jessie shouted Henrietta’s name as she ran.

But she began to labor up and down the sand dunes with difficulty. It frightened Jessie Norwood very much whenever Henrietta got into mischief or into danger. No knowing what harm might come to her on this lonely part of Station Island. 83

Nor was this fear in Jessie’s mind bred entirely by the feeling that it was her duty to look out for Henrietta. The child was an appealing little creature, though she had had little chance in the world thus far to develop her better and worthier qualities. The pity that Jessie Norwood had felt for the untamed girl at first was now blossoming into love.

“What would I ever say to Bertha and Mrs. Foley if anything happened to the child!” Jessie murmured.


Jessie was beginning to learn that to guard the welfare of a lively youngster like Henrietta was no small task. The worst of it was, she was so fond of the little girl that she worried about her much of the time. And Henrietta seemed to have a penchant for getting into trouble.

Jessie called, and she called again and again, as she ploughed through the sand, and heard in reply only the shrieks of the gulls and peewees. Gray clouds had rolled up from the Western horizon and covered completely the glow of sunset. It was going to be a drab evening, and all the hollows were already filled with shadow.

Jessie toiled up the slope of one sand-hill after another, calling and listening, calling and listening, but all to no avail. What could have become of Henrietta Haney?

Suddenly Jessie fairly tumbled into an excavation in the sand. Although she could not see the place, her hands told her that the hole was deep and the sand somewhat moist. The hole had been dug recently, for the surface of the dunes was still warm from the rays of the sun. 85

She stumbled down the slope of the sand dune and found another hole, then another. Dark as it was in the hollow, when she kicked something that rattled, she knew what it was.

“Henrietta’s pail and shovel!” Jessie exclaimed aloud. “She has been here.”

She picked up the articles. Before leaving New Melford she had herself bought the pail and shovel for the freckle-faced little girl.

Where had the child gone from here? Already Jessie was some distance from the group of bungalows. As Henrietta insisted upon believing that most of the island belonged to her “by good rights,” there was no telling what part of it she might have aimed for after playing in the sand.

Jessie shouted again, her voice wailing over the sands almost as mournfully as the cries of the sea-fowl. Again and again she shouted, but without hearing a human sound in reply. She labored on, and it grew so dark that she began to wish one of the others had come with her. Even Amy’s presence would have been a comfort.

She came to the brink of a yawning sand-pit, the bottom of which was so dark she could not see it. She began skirting this hollow, crying out as she went, and almost in tears.

Suddenly Darry’s voice answered her. She was fond of Darry—thought him a most wonderful 86 fellow, in fact. But there was just one thing Jessie wanted of him now.

“Have you seen her?” she cried.

“Not a bit. I have been away down to the lighthouse. Nobody has seen her there.”

“Oh! Who you lookin’ for?” suddenly asked a voice out of the darkness.

“Henrietta!” shrieked Jessie, and plunged down into the dark sand-pit.

“Who’s lost?” asked the little girl again. “Ow-ow! I—I guess I been asleep, Miss Jessie.”

“Has that kid shown up at last?” grumbled Darry, climbing to the sand ridge.

“Is it night?” demanded Henrietta, as Jessie clasped her with an energy that betrayed her relief. “Why, it wasn’t dark when I came down here.”

“How did you get down there?” demanded Darry from above.

“I rolled down. I guess I was tired. I dug so much sand——”

“Did you dig all those holes I found, Henrietta?” demanded the relieved Jessie.

“Why, no, Miss Jessie. I didn’t dig holes. I dug sand and let the holes be,” declared the freckle-faced little girl scornfully.

Darry sat down and laughed, but while he laughed Jessie toiled up the yielding sand hill with her hand clasping Henrietta’s. “Ow-ow!” yawned 87 the child again. “When do we eat, Miss Jessie? Or is eating all over?”

“Listen to the kid!” ejaculated Darry. “Here! Give her to me. I’ll carry her. Want to go pickaback, Hen?”

“Well, it’s dark and nobody can see us. I don’t mind,” said Henrietta soberly. “But I guess I’m too big to be lugged around that way in common. ’Specially now that I own this island—or, most of it—and am going to have money of my own.”

“She’s harping on that idea too much,” observed Darry to Jessie, in a low tone.

The latter thought so too. Funny as little Henrietta was, the stressing of her expected fortune was going to do her no good. Jessie began to see that this fault had to be corrected.

“Goodness!” she thought, stumbling along after the young collegian and his burden, “I might as well have a younger sister to take care of. Children, as Mrs. Foley says, are a sight of trouble.”

They heard Amy and Burd shouting back of the bungalow, and they responded to their cries.

“Did you find that young Indian?” cried Burd.

“You’ve hit it. This little squaw should be named ‘Plenty Trouble’ rather than ‘Spotted Snake, the Witch.’”

“Why,” said Henrietta, sleepily, “I never have any trouble—of course I don’t.” 88

It was about as Jessie said, however: They were never confident that the freckled little girl was all right save when she was asleep. She had bread and milk and went right to bed when they got home with her. Then the evening was a busy one for the quartette of older young folks.

The radio set was put into place in the library of the bungalow. They had brought the two-step amplifier and proposed to use that for most of their listening in, rather than the headphones. Although Darry and Burd helped in this preliminary work, the girls really knew more about the adjustment of the various parts than the college youths.

But in the morning Darry and Burd strung the wires and completed the antenna. The house connection was made and the ground connection. By noon all was complete and after lunch Jessie opened the switch and they got the wave-length of a New York broadcasting station and heard a brief concert and a lecture on advertising methods that did not, in truth, greatly interest the girls.

After that they tuned in and caught the Stratfordtown broadcasting. They recognized Mr. Blair’s voice announcing the numbers of the afternoon concert program.

But radio did not hold the attention of these young people all the time, although they had all become enthusiasts. They were at the seashore, 89 and there were a hundred things to do that they could not do at home in Roselawn. The sands were smooth, the surf rolled in white ruffles, and the cool green and blue of the sea was most attractive. One of the safest bathing beaches bordering Station Island was directly in front of the bungalow colony.

At four o’clock they were all in their bathing suits and joined the company already in the surf or along the sands. In any summer colony acquaintanceships are formed rapidly. Jessie and Amy had already seen some girls of about their own age whom they liked the looks of, and they were glad to see them again at the bathing hour.

“Is it a perfectly safe beach?” Mrs. Norwood asked, and was assured by her husband that so it was rated. There were no strong currents or undertows along this shore. And, in any case, there was a lifeguard in a boat just off shore and another patrolling the sands.

“I ain’t afraid!” proclaimed Henrietta, dashing into the water immediately. “Come on, Miss Jessie! Come on, Miss Amy, you won’t get drowned at my island.”

“What a funny little thing she is,” said one of the friendly girls who overheard Henrietta. “Does she think she owns Station Island?”

“That is exactly what she does think,” said Amy, grimly. 90

“I never!” drawled the girl. “And there is a girl up at the hotel who talks the same way. At least, when she was down here yesterday she said her father owns all this part of Station Island and is going to have the bungalows torn down.”

Jessie and Amy looked at each other with understanding.

“I guess I know who that girl is,” said Amy quickly. “It’s Belle Ringold.”

“Yes. Her name is Ringold,” said their new acquaintance. “Do you suppose it is so—that her father can drive us all out of the cottages? You know, we have already paid rent for the season.”


Amy Drew scoffed at the thought of Belle Ringold’s tale of trouble for the “bungalowites” being true.

“She is always hatching up something unpleasant,” she told the neighbor who had spoken of Mr. Ringold’s claim to a part of Station Island. “We know her. She comes from our town.”

But little Henrietta continued to tell anybody who would listen that she owned a part of the island and expected to take possession of the golf links almost any day. The funny little thing, however, was very generous in inviting people to remain on “her island,” no matter what happened.

“Something has got to be done about that child,” said Jessie, sighing. “I can’t control her. She does say the most awful things. She has no manners at all!”

“He, he,” chuckled Amy. “Hen was built without any controller. I wouldn’t worry about her, Jess. She’ll come out all right.”

“I hope she comes out of the water all right,” murmured her chum, starting again after the very 92 lively little girl who occasionally made dashes for the surf as though she proposed to go right out to sea.

But for one person Henrietta had some concern. That was Mrs. Norwood. She thought Jessie’s mother was a most wonderful person. And when Mrs. Norwood had a chair and umbrella brought to the sands and sat down within sight of Henrietta, the older girls had some opportunity of having a little amusement with the college boys.

“Come on,” Darry Drew said. “This staying inshore is no fun. Beat you to the raft, girls, and give you ten yards start.”

“O-oh! You can’t!” cried his sister, dashing at once for the sea.

“Hold on! Hold on!” commanded Darry. “I don’t believe you even know how long ten yards is. Both you girls go in and stand even with that pile yonder. You are headed for the raft. You see the life saver beyond it, I hope?”

Amy made a face at him, settled her bathing cap more firmly, and looked at Jessie.

“Ready, Jess?” she asked.

“We’ll just beat them good,” declared her chum. “They always think they can do things so much better than us girls.”

“‘We’ girls,” corrected Amy, giggling.

“‘We’ or ‘us’—it doesn’t so much matter, as long as we win the race,” said Jessie. 93

“All ready out there?” demanded Darry.

“They’re edging out farther,” observed Burd Alling. “It wouldn’t matter if you gave them a mile start; they’d take more if they could. Give ’em an inch and they’ll take an ell,” he quoted.

“You don’t know what an ell is,” scoffed his friend.

“It’s something you put on a house after you think you’ve got all the rooms you’ll ever need. I know,” declared Burd, grinning.

“Come on out!” retorted Darry. “Cut the repartee. You have got to swim your little best, for those two girls are no slow-pokes.”

“You’ve said something,” agreed Burd. “Shoot! I am ready, Gridley.”

“Huh!” exclaimed his chum. “You have even forgotten your Spanish War history.”

“Shucks! They change history so fast now you don’t more than learn one phase than you have to forget it and learn some other fellow’s ‘hindsight’ of important events. The only way to get history straight,” declared the philosophical Burd, “is to be Johnny-on-the-spot and see things happen.”

“Now!” shouted Darry to the girls.

The four splashed in, the girls starting with a breast stroke and the boys having to run for some distance until the sea was deep enough to enable them to swim. The water beyond the ruffle of 94 surf was almost calm. At least, the waves did not break, but heaved in, in smooth rollers. As Amy had said: The sea was taking deep-breathing exercises.

Just now, however, she was not making jokes. The two girls were doing their best to win the race. Darry was a long, rangy fellow, and his over-hand stroke was wonderful. Burd Alling—“tubby” as he was—was an excellent swimmer. The girls started with a dash, however, and they kept up their speed for some rods before either felt any fatigue.

The diving raft was a long distance out from the beach, because the sandy bottom here sloped very gradually. This part of the island was ideal for swimming and bathing. If it was finally proved that the old Padriac Haney estate belonged to little Henrietta, she would control the longest strip of beach on the island.

Amy flashed a glance over her shoulder to see how close they were pursued, and almost lost stroke.

“Come on!” panted Jessie. “Don’t let them beat you.”

“Ain’t—go-ing—to,” gasped her chum, in four short breaths.

They were more than half way to the raft, and it really seemed as though the stronger—and longer—arms of the two college boys were not 95 aiding them to overtake the Roselawn girls. The latter began to congratulate each other upon this—with glances. They did not waste any more breath in speech.

Rising high to change stroke, Jessie turned on her side and did the over-hand. It heaved her ahead of her chum for a yard or so; and it likewise enabled her to see over the raft. The raft chanced to be deserted, nor were there any swimmers between her and the boat of the lifeguard beyond the raft.

The man in the boat suddenly stood up. He began waving his arms and shouting. As he was looking shoreward Jessie thought he must be cheering her and her chum on. She forged still farther ahead of Amy, and the lifeguard became more energetic in his motions.

Suddenly he dropped upon the seat of his boat, grabbed the oars, and pulled the bow of the craft around, heading it seemed, for the raft. He did act peculiarly.

From behind her Jessie heard faintly a cry from her chum:

“Oh, Jess! What’s that? What is it?”

“Why, it is the lifeguard,” rejoined Jessie Norwood, flashing another glance over her shoulder, but continuing to thrash forward at her very best speed.

“No, no! That thing! In the water!” At 96 first Jessie saw nothing ahead but the raft. She thought the lifeguard was hurrying to the raft to meet Amy and herself if they won the race. Another glance that she flashed back swept the smooth, rolling sea as far as Darry and Burd, endeavoring to overcome the handicap they had given the two girl chums.

It was only then that Jessie realized that something must be happening—some threatening thing that she did not understand. From the rear Darry’s hail reached Jessie’s ear:

“Turn back! Come back, Jess!”

“Why! what does he think?” considered Jessie, amazed. “That I am going to stop and let him and Burd beat us? I—guess—not!”

Then she heard the voice of the lifeguard. He was driving his boat inshore with mighty strokes; but he sat facing shoreward, too, using his oars back-handed. He shouted:

“Shark! Shark! Look out for the shark!”

And behind Jessie Norwood her chum took up the cry:

“Shark! Oh, Jess! Shark!”

The word, which had never meant much to Jessie Norwood in her life before, being merely the name of a quite unknown fish, suddenly became the most important of words! She whirled over and took up the breast stroke. She rose high in the water again to look. 97

Off at one side and seemingly swimming toward them from a tangent, came a gray, sail-like thing, the like of which the Roselawn girl had never seen before. She accepted as true however the identification of the lifeguard. He should know.

The race to the raft became suddenly a double race. More than ever did Jessie Norwood wish to win it! She desired to outswim the dangerous fish of which she had heard such terrible stories.


Jessie was badly frightened, but she was not too scared to swim as hard as she could for the diving raft. The lifeguard drove his boat around the end of the raft toward the gray, sail-like object which had so startled them all. Jessie remembered of reading that the dorsal fin of a shark shows above water when it swims at the surface. This odd looking thing must be it—it must be!

She measured the distance between it and herself with some calculation. It came on in a halting, undecided way. Perhaps the shark had not yet caught sight of any of the swimmers. Jessie flung up her arm and shouted at the top of her voice to her chum:

“Come on! Come on! Don’t let him get you!”

Amy was struggling so hard to reach the raft now that she had no breath left for speech. Jessie saw her splashing on in her wake. Behind, the boys were making a great splashing too, and Jessie realized that it was for an object. The shark 99 might be frightened away if they made disturbance enough in the water.

Jessie was now very near the raft and the other three were bunching up not far behind her. The lifeguard shot by in his boat, yelling like mad. Darry shouted:

“Get aboard the raft, girls! Burd and I will beat him off till you are landed!”

“You come right on here, Darrington Drew!” sputtered his sister. “What good will you ever be if you get your leg bit off?”

Jessie reached the raft and seized a loop of rope hanging from it. If it had not been for this assistance she doubted if she could have hauled herself out of the water. When Amy arrived, her chum was lying over the edge of the refuge, and reached one arm out for her.

“Quick! Quick!” cried Jessie.

“Do—don’t scare me so!” gasped Amy. “I—I feel just as though he was nibbling at my toes right now!”

But it seemed no laughing matter to Jessie Norwood. Her chum, however, would find a joke in even the most serious circumstance. And the moment she lay on the raft beside Jessie she began to laugh, gaspingly.

“This is no laughing matter!” Jessie declared. “How can you, Amy? Darry and Burd——”

At that instant a wild shout rose from the two 100 collegians and from the lifeguard who had rowed so energetically to their rescue. Amy broke off suddenly in her nervous laughter.

“He’s got ’em!” she shrieked. “Oh! Oh!”

But, strange though it seemed to her, Jessie realized that Darry and Burd were laughing. And the astonished expletives that the guard emitted did not seem to show fear.

“What is the matter?” Jessie demanded, standing up.

“And where is the shark?” asked Amy, likewise scrambling to her feet.

The boys were hanging to the side of the guard’s boat. He was fishing for something in the water with an oar. He finally got the object and raised it aloft.

“What is it?” repeated Jessie.

“The shark!” shrieked her chum.

It actually was all the shark there was—a pair of partly deflated swimming wings which, carried here and there by the wind, had looked like a shark’s dorsal fin at a distance.

“Good thing you girls saw it,” declared Darry, when the boys lumbered along to the raft. “If you hadn’t been so scared you never would have beat us. Would they, Burd?”

“Of course not,” agreed his friend. “And how Jess can swim—when there is a man-eating shark after her!” 101

“Don’t make fun,” Jessie said, somewhat exasperated. “It might have been a shark. Then where would you have been?”

“Either here or inside the shark,” said Darry. “One thing sure, he never could have caught you girls.”

“Well,” Amy sighed, “we had all the excitement of racing with a shark, even if the shark was only in our minds. I’ll never be so scared by one again.”

“Goodness!” exclaimed Jessie. “I know I shall always be nervous in the water here after this. I’ll always be looking for one. What an awful feeling it is to try to swim when one is being pursued by——”

“By a pair of swimming wings,” chuckled Burd. “Some imagination you’ve got, my dear Jess.”

There was a serious side to the matter, however. Although the shark scare had proved to be groundless, the quartette decided to say nothing about it to those ashore.

“Especially to Momsy,” Jessie Norwood said. “I don’t want to make her nervous. Little things annoy her.”

“She’ll be some annoyed by little Hen, then,” chuckled Amy. “Hen is worse than any shark you ever saw.” 102

“How terrible!” cried Jessie. “She is not a bad child at all, but she is wild enough.”

When they swam ashore later they found Henrietta on her good behavior with Momsy. Nobody on the sands had chanced to see the excitement out by the raft. Or, if they had, it was merely supposed that the four young people from Roselawn were playing in the water.

Jessie, however, felt rather serious about it. And she knew she would never go into the sea again at Station Island without thinking about sharks.

While they were playing hand-ball on the beach, still in their bathing suits, a low-wheeled pony carriage came along the drive from the upper end of the island, and Amy’s sharp eyes spied and recognized the two girls seated on the back seat of the vehicle.

“And that’s Bill Brewster driving!” cried Amy. “Some difference between the speed of that quadruped and his sports car.”

“One thing sure,” chuckled Burd. “He can’t do so much damage with that old Dobbin as he did with the car he drives about New Melford.”

“Belle and Sally have got a hen on,” said the slangy Amy to Jessie. “See them whispering together?”

“I can see what they are up to from right where I stand,” announced Darry, dropping the ball. 103 “Come on, Burd! Let’s beat it for the raft again. That’s one place those two girls can’t follow us without bathing suits.”

“He, he!” giggled his sister. “I hope they sit right down here and wait for you to come ashore.”

“Send out our supper by the lifeguard,” called Burd, as he followed his chum into the surf. “We fear sharks less than we do a certain brand of featherless biped.”

“I suppose it would be too pointed for us to run away,” said Amy to Jessie, as Bill Brewster drove the pony carriage out on to the beach.

“Belle has got her eye on us, that is a fact,” agreed Jessie.

She was curious, especially after what their new friend had told them an hour before about the story that Belle Ringold was circulating. Belle was eager to talk—as she always was.

“So your folks got one of these bungalows, did they, after all, Jess Norwood?” she began. “I suppose you know there is no surety that you can keep it a month?”

“I don’t know about that. I guess father attended to the lease. And he is a lawyer, you know,” said Jessie, quietly.

“Pooh! Yes,” said Belle, tossing her head. “But there are lawyers and lawyers! My father has the smartest lawyer in New York working 104 for him. And I suppose you know about the claim he has against all the middle of this island?”

“We have heard that you have a claim on the island—or think you have,” said Amy slyly. “But, then, Belle, you always did think you owned the earth.”

“Now, Miss Smartie, don’t be too funny! Father is going to prove his right to the golf course and all these bungalows. Don’t you fear— Why! There’s that terrible Henrietta Haney! How did she come here?”

“She is with us,” said Jessie shortly.

“Oh, indeed! One of your week-end guests, I suppose?” scoffed Belle. “We are entertaining General O’Bigger and Mrs. O’Bigger at the hotel. Of course, we would not live in one of these small bungalows—not even if we needed a vacation.”

“You wouldn’t,” said Henrietta promptly, “because I wouldn’t let you.”

“Oh! Oh! Hear that child!” cried Sally Moon.

“Nor you, neither,” declared Henrietta. “All them houses are mine—or they are going to be.”

“Hush, Henrietta,” commanded Jessie, in a low voice.

“Didn’t the funny little thing say something before about owning an island?” asked Belle, somewhat puzzled.

“And this is it,” said Henrietta. “You just try to come into any of them bungleloos! I’d get 105 a policeman and have him take you out. So now!”

Will you behave?” said Jessie, feeling like shaking the child, and in reality leading her away.

Amy came running after them in the midst of Jessie’s berating of the freckle-faced girl.

“Did you ever hear such nonsense?” Jessie’s chum demanded. “Belle declares the case is coming up in court next week and that her father is going to win. Did you ever?”

Mr. Norwood was sitting with his wife when they came near to that lady’s beach chair. Jessie was anxious enough to ask about Belle’s statement regarding the imminent court investigation of the controversy over Station Island.

“Why, yes, Ringold’s lawyers claim they have found new evidence entitling him to be heard as a claimant to the Padriac Haney estate,” the lawyer acknowledged. “But there may not be anything in it.”

“But is there a possibility, Robert?” Momsy asked, seeing how anxious both Jessie and the little girl looked.

“There is nothing sure in any case that comes into court,” declared her husband. “Besides, those attorneys of Ringold’s are sharp fellows. He may make his claim good.”

“Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” burst out Henrietta. “And then I won’t have nuthin’? No island, nor 106 golf link, nor—nor nuthin’? Oh, dear me!”

“Never mind, honey,” Jessie begged. “You have friends. You have me.” And she sat down on the sands and took the freckle-faced little girl in her arms.

“Ye-es, Miss Jessie. I know I got you,” sobbed Henrietta. “But—but you ain’t a golf link, nor you ain’t a bungleloo. And—and I want to turn that Ringold girl off my island, I do!”


The Stanleys arrived at Station Island the next day, the doctor having arranged for a substitute preacher at the Roselawn Church for two Sundays. The bungalow they had arranged to occupy was one of the colony not far from the big house the Norwoods and their party were staying in.

Darry and Burd began to spend a good deal of their time on the yacht after that first day. Amy accused her brother of being afraid of a flank attack by Belle Ringold and Sally Moon, and he admitted that he had hoped to escape those two “troublesome kids” when he came to the island.

“I came here as the guest of little Hen Haney,” he declared soberly. “And I don’t wish to be annoyed by any girls older than she is.”

But he did not say this within Henrietta’s hearing. The little girl went around with a very long face indeed. She seemed to think that she was going to lose her island. Even Nell Stanley, who was a general comforter at most times, could not alleviate little Henrietta’s woe.

With the coming of the Stanleys, however, 108 Henrietta became less of a trial to Jessie. For Sally Stanley was just about Henrietta’s age and the two children got along splendidly together.

Bob and Fred, those lively and ingenious youngsters, made their own friends among the boys of the bungalow colony. The three girls from Roselawn—Jessie, Amy, and Nell—found plenty to do and enjoyed themselves thoroughly during the next few days. Being all interested in radio they naturally spent some time at Jessie’s set. But unfortunately it did not work as well here as it had at home.

“And I do not know why,” Jessie ruminated. “I have been studying up about it and the more I read the less I seem to know. There are so many different opinions about how an amateur set should be built. Do you know, sometimes I feel as though I should have an entirely different kind of outfit. There is a new super-regenerative circuit that is being talked about.”

“But some people say it is not practicable for amateurs,” broke in Nell. “I’ve read so, anyway.”

“I should like to talk with some professional—some radio expert—about that,” Jessie confessed. “If I had thought before we left home I would have spoken to Mr. Blair.”

“You’ll have to wait until you get back, then,” said Amy promptly. 109

“Why?” cried Nell suddenly. “There must be experts over at that Government station.”

“That is so,” agreed Jessie, thoughtfully. “Do you suppose they would——”

“Let’s go and see,” urged Nell. “I’m crazy to see the inside of that station, anyway.”

“It’s wireless—like the little outfit aboard the Marigold,” Amy suggested.

“But so much bigger,” Jessie chimed in eagerly. “If they admit visitors, let’s go.”

Mr. Norwood found out about that particular point for the girls and reported that if they went over to the station in the late afternoon the operator on duty would be glad to show them “the works” and give them all the information in his power.

The three friends went alone, for the collegians were off fishing that day on the Marigold. They left the little girls in Mrs. Norwood’s care and slipped away about four o’clock and walked to the station, which was some distance from the bungalow colony. They had to climb the stairs in the old shaft of the lighthouse to the wireless room. The room was half darkened and they heard the snapping of the spark, and even saw the faint blue flash of it when they came to the door.

The operator, with his head harness on, was busy at his set. Jessie, at least, had spent some time trying to learn the Morse code since talking 110 the matter over with Darry on the yacht. But although the signals the operator received were in dots and dashes, she could not understand a single thing.

“I am afraid it will take us a long time to learn,” she said to Amy, sighing. “We shall have to buy a regular telegraph set and learn in that way.”

“I wish you wouldn’t talk about learning anything!” cried her chum. “Vacation is slipping right away from us.”

After a few moments the spark stopped snapping, the operator closed his switch and removed his harness. He wheeled around on the bench and welcomed them. He was really a very pleasant young man, and he explained many things about both the radio-telegraph and radio-telephone that the girls had not known before.

He was so friendly that Jessie ventured to ask him about the new super-regenerative circuit in which she was interested.

“Yes. I’m strong for that new thing,” said the wireless operator, enthusiastically. “In the first place, it was invented by the man who originated the ordinary regenerative circuit so much in use at present, and also of the super-heterodyne circuit. I understand this new circuit permits a current amplification up to a million times, and all with three tubes. You know, to reach such a high 111 mark with your ordinary regenerative circuit, many more tubes would be necessary.”

“I understand that,” said Jessie. “But can an amateur build and practically work this new circuit?”

“Why not? If you follow directions carefully. And with the new outfit a loop is just as effective an antenna as an outside aerial. They say, too, that to catch broadcasting for not more than twenty-five miles, not even a loop is needed, the circuits themselves acting as the absorbers of energy.”

“I’m going to try it,” declared Jessie, with more confidence. “But I feel that I understand so little about the various forms of radio, after all.”

“You have nothing on me there,” laughed the operator. “I am learning something new all the time. And sometimes I am astonished to find out how, after five years of work with it, I am really so ignorant.”

The girls had a very interesting visit at the station; and from the operator Jessie and Amy gained some particular instruction about sending and receiving messages in the telegraph code. He received several messages from ships at sea while the girls remained in the station, and likewise relayed other messages received from inland stations both up and down the coast and to vessels far out at sea. 112

“It is a wonderful thing,” said Nell, as the girls walked homeward. “I never realized before how great an influence wireless already was in commercial life. Why, how did the world ever get along without it before Marconi first thought of it?”

“How did the world ever get along without any other great invention?” demanded Amy. “The sewing machine, for instance. I’ve got to run up a seam in one of my sports skirts, for there is no tailor, they say, nearer than the hotel. I do wish a sewing machine had been included in the furnishings of your bungalow, Jess. I hate to sew by hand.”

The boys had come in before the Roselawn girls returned for dinner, and they were very enthusiastic over a plan for taking a part of the bungalow crowd on an extended sailing trip. They had met Dr. Stanley walking the beaches, and he had expressed a desire to go to sea for a day or two, and at once Darry and Burd had conceived a plan for the young folks to be included.

“The doctor is a good enough chaperon,” said Darry, with a laugh. “Nell shall come. Her Aunt Freda will be down to look after the children.”

“And Henrietta?” asked Jessie, hesitatingly.

“For pity’s sake!” cried Darry, in some impatience. “Don’t be tied down to that kid all the time. You’d think you were a grandmother.” 113

“Well, I like that!” exclaimed Jessie. “I’m not sure that I want to go on your old yacht, Darry Drew.”

“Aw, Jess——”

“Well, I’ll think about it,” murmured Jessie, relenting.


Darry and Burd seemed to have little time to spend ashore these days. They said that they had a lot to do to fix up the Marigold for the proposed trip seaward. But Amy accused them of being afraid of Belle Ringold and Sally Moon.

“Belle is determined that she shall get an invitation to sail aboard your yacht, Darry,” teased his sister. “Don’t forget that.”

“Not if we see her first,” responded Burd, promptly. “And don’t you ring her in on us, for if you do we’ll not let you aboard the Marigold either. How about it, Darry?”

“Good enough,” agreed Amy’s brother. “Oh, I promise not to ring Belle Ringold in on you,” giggled Amy.

“It is perfectly disgraceful how you boys teach these girls slang,” Mrs. Drew remarked with a sigh.

“Why, Mother!” cried Darry, his eyes twinkling, “they teach it to us. You accuse Burd and me wrongfully. We couldn’t tell these girls a single thing.” 115

This was at breakfast at the Norwood bungalow. After breakfast the young folks separated. But Jessie and Amy had no complaint to make about the boys. They had their own interests. This day they had agreed to explore the island with Nell Stanley as far as the hotel grounds.

They took Henrietta and Sally Stanley along, and carried a picnic lunch. The older girls were rather curious to see the extent of “Henrietta’s domain,” as Amy called it. The pastures included in the Hackle Island Golf Club grounds covered all the middle of the island, and consisted of hills and dells, all “up-and-down-dilly,” Amy observed, and from a distance, at least, seemed very attractive.

Of course, they could not go fast with the two smaller girls along, although Henrietta seemed tireless.

“But Sally ain’t a tough one, like me,” declared the little girl who thought she was going to own an island. She approved of Sally Stanley very much because the minister’s little girl was dainty, and kept her dresses clean, and was soft-spoken. “I got to run and holler once in a while or I thinks I’m choking,” confessed Henrietta. “But your mamma, Miss Jessie, says I’ll get over that after a while. She says I’ll go to school and learn a lot and that maybe I’ll be as nice as Sally some day.”

“I hope you will,” said Jessie warmly. 116 “That’s hardly to be expected,” Henrietta rejoined in her old-fashioned way. “Sally was born that way. But I always was a tough one.”

“There is a good deal in that,” sighed Jessie to the other Roselawn girls. “The poor little thing! She never did have a chance. But Momsy is already talking about sending her away to school to have her toned down and——” “Suppose the Blairs won’t hear to it?” suggested Amy. “Leave it to Momsy to work things out her way,” said Jessie, more gaily.

They soon left the sand dunes behind them and marched up over what the natives of the island called “the downs” to a scrubby pasture at the edge of the golf links. Crossing the links watchfully they only had to dodge a couple of times when the players called “Fore!” and so got safely past the various greens and reached the patch of wood between the club premises and the hotel grounds.

There was a spring here which they had been told about, and it was near enough noon for lunch to occupy an important place in their minds. They spent an hour here; but after that, much as she had eaten, Henrietta began to run around again. She could not keep still.

Her voice was suddenly stilled and she halted in the path and stood like a pointer flushing a 117 covey of birds. The older girls were surprised. Amy drawled:

“What’s the matter, Hen? You don’t feel sick, do you?”

“I hear something,” declared Henrietta, her freckled face clouding. “I hear somebody talk that I don’t like.”

“Who is that?” asked Nell.

“She makes me feel sick, all right,” grumbled the little girl. “Oh, yes! It’s her. And if she says again that she owns my island, I’ll—I’ll——”

“Belle Ringold!” exclaimed Amy, much amused. “Can’t we go anywhere without Belle and Sally showing up?”

The two girls whom they all considered so unpleasant appeared at the top of the small hill and came down the path. They were rather absurdly dressed for an outing. Certainly their frocks would have looked better at dinner or at a dance than in the woods. And they strutted along as though they quite well knew they had on their very best furbelows.

“Oh, dear me! there’s that awful child again,” drawled Belle, before she saw the older girls sitting at the spring.

“She must be lost away up here,” said Sally Moon, idly. “Say, kid, run get this folding cup filled at the spring.”

“What for?” demanded Henrietta. 118

“Why, so I can drink from it, foolish!”

“You bring me a drink first,” said the freckle-faced girl stoutly. “Nobody didn’t make me your servant to run your errands—so now!”

“Listen to her!” laughed Belle. “She waits on Jess Norwood and Amy Drew hand and foot. Of course she is a servant.”

“You ain’t a servant when you wait on folks for love,” declared Henrietta, quickly.

Amy clapped her hands together softly at this bit of philosophy. Jessie stood up so that the girls from the hotel could see her.

“Oh! Here’s Jess Norwood now,” cried Sally. “You might know!”

Little Henrietta was backing away from the two newcomers, but eyeing them with great disfavor. She suddenly demanded of Jessie:

“Is this spring on a part of my land, Miss Jessie?”

“It may be,” said Amy, quickly answering before Jessie could do so. “Like enough all this grove is yours, Hen.”

“Why,” gasped Belle Ringold, “my father is just about to take possession of this place. He is going to have surveyors come on the island and survey it.”

“This is my woods!” cried Henrietta. “It’s my spring! You sha’n’t even have a drink out of it—neither of you girls!” 119

“What nonsense!” drawled Belle. “Who will stop us, please?” and she came on down the path toward the spring.

The other girls had now got up. Jessie tried to reach out and seize Henrietta; but the latter was so angry that she jerked away. She stood before Belle and Sally with flashing eyes and her hands clenched tight.

“You go away! This is my woods and my spring! You sha’n’t have a drink!”

“The child is crazy,” said Belle, harshly. “Let me pass, you mean little thing!”

At that Henrietta stooped and caught up dirt in each grubby hand. It was a little damp where she stood, and the muck stuck to her palms. She shrieked hatred and defiance at Belle and, running forward, smeared the dirt all up and down the front of the rich girl’s fine dress.

Belle shrieked quite as loudly as the angry Henrietta and threatened all manner of punishment. But she could not catch the freckled girl, who was as wriggly as an eel.

“I’ll—I’ll have you whipped! You ought to be spanked hard!” panted Belle Ringold. “And it is your fault, Jess Norwood. You egged her on.”

“I did not,” said Jessie, angrily.

But she was vexed with Henrietta, too. She ran after and caught the panting, sobbing little thing. She really was tempted to shake her. 120

“What do you mean, Henrietta Haney, by acting this way and talking so? Do you want to disgrace us all? For shame!”

“I don’t talk no worse than the Ringold one,” declared Henrietta.

Jessie tried a new tack. She said more quietly: “But you know better, Henrietta.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And perhaps she doesn’t,” ventured Jessie.

“Well—er—she’s got money,” pouted Henrietta. “Why doesn’t she hire somebody to teach her better? You know I never did have any chance, Miss Jessie.”

She felt she was in disgrace, however, and the older girls let her feel this without compunction. Belle was frightfully angry about her frock. She sputtered and threatened and called names that were not polite. Finally Jessie said:

“If you feel that way about it, Belle, send the dress to the cleaner’s and then send the bill to my mother. That is all I can say about it. But I think you brought it on yourself by teasing Henrietta.”

In spite of this speech to Belle, Henrietta felt that she was in disgrace as Jessie marched her away from the spring. Little Sally Stanley came to her other side and squeezed Henrietta’s dirty hand in sympathy.

“Huh!” snuffled Henrietta. “It’s too bad you’ve 121 got the same name as that Moon girl, Sally. Why don’t you ask the minister to change it for you? He christens folks, doesn’t he?”

“Why, yes,” murmured Sally, uncertainly. “But I was christened, you know, oh, years and years ago.”

“That don’t cut no ice,” replied Henrietta, unconscious that her language was not all it ought to be. “You just have him do it over again. And don’t be no ‘Sally,’ nor no more ‘Belle.’”


Jessie Norwood had talked over the matter of the new super-regenerative circuit with her father and had got him interested in the idea of using one to improve their own radio receiving. It was not difficult to interest Mr. Norwood in it, for he had become a radio enthusiast like his daughter since the Roselawn girls had broken into the wireless game.

With the large party now in the Norwood’s bungalow in Station Island, it was not convenient to use only the head-phones when the radio concerts were to be received out of the ether. The two-step amplifier Mr. Norwood had formerly bought did not always work well, especially, for some unknown reason, since they had come to the seashore.

In addition, the sounds through the horn seemed to be scratchy and harsh, a good deal like the sounds from a poor talking machine. From what Jessie had read, she understood that these harsh noises would be obviated if the super-regenerative circuit was put in. Her father had telegraphed 123 for the material to build the super-regenerative and amplifier circuit, and the material came by express the morning after the picnic on which Henrietta had disgraced herself.

“We will try the thing here on the island,” Mr. Norwood said to Jessie. “If it works here it will surely work back at Roselawn, for the temperature, or humidity, or something, is different there from what it is here. At least, so it seems to me, and the state of the air surely influences radio.”

“Static,” said Jessie, briefly, reading the instructions in the book.

Amy, of course, was quite as interested in the new invention as her chum; and Nell, too. But they were not so clear in their minds as was Jessie about what should be done in building the new set. Jessie was glad to have her father show so much interest, for he was eminently practical, and when the girls were uncertain how to proceed it was nice to have somebody like the lawyer to turn to.

He even let Mr. Drew and the two mothers go off to the golf course that day without him, while he gave his aid to the girls. The boys were cleaning up the yacht in preparation for the voyage they expected to make in a short time.

Nell’s Aunt Freda had arrived that morning, so the minister’s daughter did not have to worry at all about Bob and Fred and Sally.

“And to help out,” Amy said, with a giggle, 124 “Henrietta is invited over to the Stanley bungalow to play with little Sally.”

“I guess Aunt Freda will get along all right with them,” observed Nell, with some amusement. “But Fred pretty nearly floored her at the start. She says it takes her several hours to get ‘acclimated’ when she comes to our house.”

“What did Fred say—or do?” asked Jessie, interested.

“There was something Aunt Freda advised him to do and he said he would—‘to-morrow.’

“‘Don’t you know,’ she asked him, ‘that “to-morrow never comes”?’

“‘Gee! and to-morrow’s my birthday,’ grumbled Fred. ‘Now I suppose I won’t have any.’”

“What kids they are!” gasped Amy, when she had recovered from her laughter. “I don’t know whether a younger brother is worse than an older brother or not. I’ve had my troubles with Darrington,” and she sighed with mock seriousness.

“Ha!” exclaimed Jessie. “I guess he’s had his troubles with you. Do you remember when you smeared your hands all up with chocolate cake and tried to wipe them clean on Darry’s new trousers?”

Nell shouted with laughter at this revelation, but it did not trouble Amy Drew in the least.

“Yes,” she admitted. “My taste in the art of dressing, you see, was well developed even at that 125 early age. Those trousers, I remember, were of an atrocious pattern.”

“Nonsense!” cried Jessie. “They were Darry’s first long pants, and you were mad to think he was so much older than you that he could put on men’s clothes.”

“Dear me!” sighed Amy. “You make me out an awful creature, Jess Norwood. But, never mind. Darry has paid me up and to spare for that unladylike trick. He has been a trial—and is so yet. He doesn’t know how to pick a decent necktie. His shirts—some of them—are so loud that you can see him coming clear across The Green. Why! they tell me that his shirts are as well known in New Haven, and almost as prominently mentioned by the natives, as the Hartley Memorial Hall; and almost nobody gets away from the City of Elms without being obliged to see that.”

“What a reckless talker you are, Amy!” Jessie said, smiling. “And I will not hear you run Darry down. I think too much of him myself.”

“Don’t let him guess it,” said the absent Darry’s sister, with a grin. “It will spoil him—make him proud and hard to hold.”

“That’s a good one!” laughed Nell. “You think Darry can be as easily spoiled by praise as the Chinese servant Reverend tells about that he had in California. This was before I was born. 126 Father and mother got a Coolie right at the dock. You could do that in those days. And John scarcely knew a word of English, not even the pidgin variety.

“But Reverend says that when John acquired a few English words he was so proud that there was no holding him. He asked the name of every new object he saw and mispronounced it usually in the most absurd manner. Once John found a sparrow’s nest in the grapevine and shuffled into Reverend’s study to tell him about it.

“‘Is there anything in the nest yet, John?’ Reverend asked him.

“‘Yes,’ the Chinaman declared, puffed up with his knowledge of the new language, ‘Spallow alle samme got pups.’”

While they chattered and laughed the three girls were as busy as bees with the new radio arrangement. Amy said that Jessie kept them so hard at work that it did not seem at all as though they were “vacationing.” It was good, healthy work for all.

“It does seem awfully quiet here without Hen,” went on Amy, hammering on a board with a heavy hammer and making the big room where the radio set was, ring. “She keeps the place almost as tomb-like as a boiler shop—what?”

“You can make a little noise yourself,” Jessie told her. “What’s all the hammering for?” 127

“So things won’t sound too tame. How are we getting on with the new circuit?”

“Why, Amy Drew! you just helped me place this vario-coupler. Didn’t you know what you were doing?”

“Not a bit,” confessed Amy. “You are away out of my depth, Jess. And don’t try to tell me what it all means, that’s a dear. I never can remember scientific terms.”

“Put up the hammer,” said Nell, laughing. “You are a confirmed knocker, anyway, Amy. But I admit I do not understand this tangle of wires.”

They did not seek to disconnect the old regenerative set that day, for there was much of interest expected out of the ether before the day was over. One particular thing Jessie looked for, but she had said nothing about it to anybody save her very dearest chum, Amy, and the clergyman’s daughter, Nell.

Two days before she had done some telephoning over the long-distance wire. Of course there was a cable to the mainland from Station Island, and Jessie had called up and interviewed Mark Stratford at Stratfordtown.

Mark was a college friend of Darry and Burd, but he was likewise a very good friend of the Roselawn girls—and he had reason for being. As related in a previous volume, “The Radio Girls on the Program,” Jessie and Amy had found a watch 128 Mark had lost, and as it was a valuable watch and had been given him by his grandmother, Mark was very grateful.

Through his influence—to a degree—Jessie and Amy had got on the program at the Stratfordtown broadcasting station. And now Jessie had talked with the young man and arranged for a surprise by radio that was to come off that very evening at “bedtime story hour.”

Henrietta and little Sally and Bob and Fred Stanley, as well as some of the other children of the bungalow colony, crowded into the house at that time to “listen in” on the Roselawn girls’ instrument.

The amplifier worked all right that evening, and Jessie was very glad. The little folks arranged themselves on the chairs and settees with some little confusion while Jessie tuned the set to the Stratfordtown length of wave. There was some static, but after a little that disappeared and they waited for the announcement from the faraway station.

By and by, as Henrietta whispered, the radio began to “buzz.” “Now we’ll get it!” cried the little Dogtown girl. “I hope it is about the little boy with the rabbit ears that he could wiggle.”

“S-sh!” commanded Jessie, making a gesture for silence. 129

And then out of the air came a deep voice:

“We have with us this evening, children, the Radio Man, who, just like Santa Claus, knows all our little shortcomings, as well as our virtues. Have you all been good boys and girls to-day? Don’t all say ‘Yes’ at once. Better stop and think about it before you speak.

“Before the bedtime story,” went on the voice out of the horn, “the Radio Man must tell some of you that you must take care, or you will get on the black list. Here is a little girl, for instance, who may be rich when she grows up. But she must have a care. People who grow up rich and own islands must be very nice.”

“Oh! Oh! That’s me!” gasped Henrietta. “How’d he know me?”

“So I have to warn Henrietta, the little girl I speak of, that there is a lot she must do if she wishes in time to enjoy the wealth which she expects.”

At that the other children began to exclaim. It was Henrietta. They almost drowned out the first of the bedtime story with their excited voices.

“Well,” exclaimed Henrietta, “I guess everybody knows about my owning this island, so that Ringold one needn’t talk! But Miss Jessie’s mother told me what I had got to do to deserve my island.” 130

“What have you got to do?” asked Amy, curiously. “The Radio Man says you must be good.”

“Miss Jessie’s mother says I’ve got to make folks love me or I won’t enjoy my island at all—so now. But,” she added confidentially, “I don’t believe I ever shall want that Ringold one and Sally Moon to love me. Do you s’pose that’s nec-sary?”

After the children had gone the older girls discussed a point that Amy brought up regarding the incident. Of course, Amy was in fun, for she said:

“Listen! Didn’t I read something about ‘radio control’ in one of our books, Jess? Well, there is an example of radio control—control of children. Henrietta is going to remember that she is on the Radio Man’s list. She’ll be good, all right!”

Mr. Norwood laughed. “How do we know what great developments may come within the next few years in the line of radio control? Already the control of an aeroplane has been tried, and proved successful. A submarine may be governed from the shore. The drive of a torpedo has already been successfully handled by wireless.

“In time, perhaps a farmer may sit before a keyboard in his office and manage tractors plowing and cultivating his fields. Ships of all descriptions will be managed by compass control. And automobiles——” 131

“I hope Bill Brewster learns to handle his red car by wireless,” chuckled Amy. “It will then be less dangerous to himself and to his friends, if not to pedestrians,” and this quaint idea amused all the Roselawn girls.


Jessie, Amy, and Nell had spied, on their hike and picnic, an inlet in the shore of the island facing the mainland, on the sands of which were several fish houses and several rowboats and small sailboats that the girls were sure might be had for hire.

“We might have shipped our new canoe down here and had some fun,” Amy said. “That bay is a wonderful place to sail in. Why, you can scarcely see the port on the other side of it. And the island defends it from the sea. It is as smooth as can be.”

Nell was very fond of rowing, and she expressed a wish that they might go out in one of the open boats. She would row. So the three chums escaped the younger children the next afternoon and slipped over to the other side of the island, across the sand dunes.

They found an old fisherman who was perfectly willing to hire them a boat, and, really, it was not a bad boat, either. At least, it had been washed out and the seats were clean. The oars were rather heavier than Nell Stanley was used to. 133

“You need heavy oars on this bay, young lady,” declared the boat-owner. “Nothing fancy does here. When a squall comes up——”

“Oh, but you don’t think it looks like a squall this afternoon, do you?” Jessie interrupted.

“Dunno. Can’t tell. Ain’t nothing sartain about it,” said the pessimistic old fellow. “Sometimes you get what you don’t most expect on this bay. I been here, man and boy, all my life, and I give you my word I don’t know nothing about the weather.”

“Oh, come on!” exclaimed Amy, under her breath. “What a Job’s comforter he is! Who ever heard of a fisherman before who didn’t know all about the weather?”

“Maybe we had better not go far,” Jessie, who was easily troubled, said hesitatingly.

“Come on,” said Nell. “He just wants to keep us from going out far. He is afraid for his old tub of a boat.”

She said this rather savagely, and Jessie thought it better to say nothing more of a doubtful nature, having two against her. Besides, the sky seemed quite clear and the bay was scarcely ruffled by the wind.

The old man sat and smoked and watched them push off from the landing without offering to help. He did not even offer to ship the rudder for them, although that was a clumsy operation. When 134 Jessie and Amy had managed to secure it in place, while Nell settled herself at the oars, the old man shouted:

“That other thing in the bow is a anchor. You don’t use that unless you want to stay hitched somewhere. Understand?”

“He must think we are very poor sailors,” said Jessie.

“I feel like making a face at him—as Henrietta does,” declared Amy. “I never saw such a cantankerous old man.”

Nell braced her feet and set to work. She was an athletic girl and she loved exercise of all kind. But rowing, she admitted, was more to her taste than sweeping and scrubbing.

Amy steered. At least, she lounged in the stern with the lines across her lap. Jessie had taken her place in the bow, to balance the boat. They moved out from shore at a fine pace, and even Amy soon forgot the grouchy old fisherman.

There were not many boats on the bay that afternoon—not small boats, at least. The steamer that plied between the port and the hotel landing at the north of the island at regular hours passed in the distance. A catboat swooped near the girls after a time, and a flaxen-haired boy in it—a boy of about Darry Drew’s age—shouted something to them.

“I suppose it is something saucy,” declared 135 Amy. “But I didn’t hear what he said and sha’n’t reply. I don’t feel just like fighting with strange boys to-day.”

Jessie was the first to see the voluminous clouds rising from the horizon; but she thought little of them. The descending sun began to wallow in them, and first the girls were in a patch of shadow, and then in the sunlight.

“Don’t you want me to row some, Nell?” Jessie asked.

“I’m doing fine,” declared the clergyman’s daughter. “But—but I guess I am getting a blister. These old oars are heavy.”

“We ought to have made him give us two pairs,” complained Amy. “Then the two of you could row.”

“Listen to her!” cried Jessie. “She would never think of taking a turn at them. Not Miss Drew!”

“Oh, I am the captain,” declared Amy. “And the captain never does anything but steer.”

They had rowed by this time well up toward the northerly end of the island. Hackle Island Hotel sprawled upon the bluff over their heads. It was a big place, and the grounds about it were attractive.

“I don’t see Belle or Sally anywhere,” drawled Amy. “And see! There aren’t many bathers down on this beach.”

“This is the still-water beach,” explained Jessie. 136 “I guess most of them like the surf bathing on the other side.”

There were winding steps leading up the bluff to the hotel. Not many people were on these steps, but the seabirds were flying wildly about the steps and over the brow of the bluff.

“Wonder what is going on over there?” drawled Amy, who faced the island just then.

Nell stopped rowing to look at the incipient blister on her left palm. Jessie bent near to see it, too. Nobody was looking across the bay toward the mainland.

“You’d better let me take the oars,” Jessie said. “You’ll have all the skin off your hand.”

“Why should you skin yours?” demanded Nell. “These old oars are heavy.”

“How dark it is getting!” drawled Amy. “Even the daylight saving time ought not to be blamed for this.”

Jessie looked up, startled. Over the mainland a black cloud billowed, and as she looked lightning whipped out of it and flashed for a moment like a searchlight.

“A thunderstorm is coming!” she cried. “We’d better turn back.”

But when Nell looked up and saw the coming tempest she knew she could never row back to the inlet before the wind, at least, reached them. 137

“We’ll go right ashore,” she said with confidence.

“What do you say, Amy?” Jessie asked.

“Far be it from me to interfere,” said the other Roselawn girl, carelessly, and without even turning around to look. “I’m in the boat and will go wherever the boat goes.”

Nell, settling to the oars again with vigor, remarked:

“One thing sure, we don’t want the boat overturned and have to follow it to the bottom. Oh! Hear that thunder, will you?”

Amy woke up at last. She twitched about in the stern and stared at the storm cloud. It was already raining over the port, and long streamers of rain were being driven by the rising wind out over the bay.

“Wonderful!” she murmured.

“Where are you going, Nell?” suddenly shrieked Jessie. “The boat is actually turning clear around!”

“Don’t blame me!” gasped Nell. “I am pulling straight on, but that girl has twisted the rudder lines. Do see what you are about, Amy, and please be careful!”

“My goodness!” gasped the girl in the stern. “It’s going to storm out here, too.”

She frantically tried to untangle the rudder lines; but while she had been lying idly there, she 138 had twisted them together in a rope, and she was unable to untwist them immediately. Meanwhile the thunder rolled nearer, the lightning flashed more sharply, and they heard the rain drumming on the surface of the water. Little froth-streaked waves leaped up about the boat and all three of the girls realized that they were in peril.


“Let ’em alone, Amy!” begged Jessie, from the bow. “You are only twisting the boat’s head around and making it harder for Nell to row.”

“I—could—do better—if the rudder was unshipped,” declared Nell, pantingly.

Immediately Amy jerked the heavy rudder out of its sockets. Fortunately she had got the lines over her head before doing this, or she might have been carried overboard.

For the rudder was too much for Amy. The rising waves tore it out of her hands the instant it was loose, and away it went on a voyage of its own.

“There!” exclaimed Jessie, with exasperation. “What do you suppose that grouchy old man will say when we bring him back his boat without the rudder?”

“He won’t say so much as he would if we didn’t bring him back his boat at all,” declared Amy. “I’ll pay for the rudder.”

Jessie felt that the situation was far too serious for Amy to speak so carelessly. She urged Nell to 140 let her help with the oars; and, in truth, the other found handling the two oars with the rising waves cuffing them to and fro rather more than she had bargained for.

Jessie shipped the starboard oar in the bow and together she and Nell did their very best. But the wind swooped down upon them, tearing the tops from the waves and saturating the three girls with spray.

“I guess I know what that white-haired boy tried to tell us,” gasped Amy, from the stern. “He must have seen this thunderstorm coming.”

“All the other boats got ashore,” panted Nell. “We were foolish not to see.”

“Nobody on lookout—that’s it!” groaned Amy. “Oh!”

A streak of lightning seemed to cross the sky, and the thunder followed almost instantly. Down came the rain—tempestuously. It drove over the water, flattening the waves for a little, then making the sea boil.

“Hurry up, girls!” wailed Amy. “Get ashore—do! I’m sopping wet.”

Jessie and Nell had no breath with which to reply to her. They were pulling at the top of their strength. The shore was not far away in reality. But it seemed a long way to pull with those heavy oars.

The rain swept landward and drove everybody, 141 even the few bathers, to cover. The shallow water was torn again into whitecaps and a lot of spray came inboard as Jessie and Nell tried their very best to reach the strand.

Amy could do nothing but encourage them. There was no way by which she might aid their escape from the tempest. One thing, she did nothing to hinder! Even she was in no mood for “making fun.”

In fact, this tempest was an experience such as none of the three girls had seen before. Jessie and Nell were well-nigh breathless and their arms and shoulders began to ache.

“Let me exchange with one of you, Nell! Jess!” cried Amy, her voice half drowned by the noise of wind and rain.

“Stay where you are!” commanded Jessie, from the bow, as her chum started to come forward. “You might tip us over!”

“Sit down!” sang the cheerful Nell. “Sit down, you’re rocking the boat!”

“But I want to help!” complained Amy.

“You did your helping when you got rid of that rudder,” returned Nell, comfortingly. “Do be still, Amy Drew!”

“How can one be still in such a jerky, pitching boat?” gasped the other girl. “Do—do you think you can reach land, Jessie Norwood?” 142

“I’ve hopes of it,” responded her chum. “It isn’t very far.”

“I wonder how far it is to—to land underneath the keel?” sputtered Amy.

“For pity’s sake stop that!” cried Nell Stanley. “Don’t suggest such gloomy and gruesome things.”

“Well,” grumbled Amy, “I believe it’s the nearest land.”

“I shouldn’t be surprised,” panted Jessie. “But don’t talk about it, Amy.”

The rain swept over and past the small boat in such heavy sheets that finally the girls could scarcely see the shore at all. Amy found something to do—and something of importance. Although not much water slopped into the boat over the sides, the rain itself began to fill the bottom. The water was soon ankle deep.

“Bail it! Bail it!” shouted Nell.

“Oh! is that what the tin dipper is for?” gasped Amy. “I—I thought it was to drink out of.”

Afterward “Amy’s drinking cup” made a joke, but just then nobody laughed at the girl’s mistake. She set to work with vigor to bail out the boat, and kept it up “for hours and hours” she declared, though the others insisted it was “minutes and minutes.”

At last they reached the strand.

One of the bathing house men ran out to help pull the bow of the boat up on the sands. 143

“Run along up to the hotel!” he cried. “There is no good shelter down here for you.”

The moment they could do so the three girls leaped ashore. Thus relieved of their weight, the boat was the more easily dragged out of the reach of the waves, which now began to roll in madly. The lightning increased in its intensity, the thunder reverberated from the bluff. The tempest was at its height when they hastened to mount the winding wooden stair.

“Oh, my blister! Oh, my blister!” moaned Nell, as she climbed upward.

“Everything I’ve got on sticks to me like a twin sister,” declared Amy Drew. “Oh, dear! How shall we ever get home in these soaked rags?”

“We must go to the hotel,” cried Jessie. “Come on.”

She was the first to reach the top of the stairs. There was a garden and lawn to cross to reach the veranda. As the rain was beating in from this direction none of the hotel guests was on this side of the house. The three wet girls ran as hard as they could for shelter.

Just as Jessie, leading the trio, came up the veranda steps, she heard a loud and harsh voice exclaim:

“Well, of all things! I’d like to know what you girls think you are doing here? You have no business at this hotel. Go away!” 144

Jessie almost stopped, and Amy and Nell ran into her.

“Oh, do go on!” cried Amy. “Let us get inside somewhere——”

“Well, I should say not!” broke out the harsh voice again, and the three Roselawn girls beheld Belle Ringold and Sally Moon confronting them on the piazza. “Just look at what wants to get into the hotel, Sally! Did you ever?”

“They look like beggars,” laughed Sally. “The manager would give them marching orders in a hurry, I guess.”

“Do let us in out of the rain,” Jessie said faintly. She did not know but perhaps the hotel people would object to strangers coming inside. But Amy demanded:

“What do you think you have to say about it, Belle Ringold? Is this something more that you or your folks own? Do go along, Belle, and let us pass.”

“Not much; you won’t come in here!” declared Belle, setting herself squarely in their way. “No, you don’t! That door’s locked, anyway. It belongs to Mrs. Olliver’s private suite—Mrs. Purdy Olliver, of New York. I am sure she won’t want you bedrabbled objects hanging around her windows.”

“Go around to the kitchen door,” said Sally 145 Moon, laughing. “That is where you look as though you belonged.”

“Oh, that’s good, Sally!” cried Belle. “Ex-act-ly! The kitchen door!”

At that moment another flash of lightning and burst of thunder made the two unpleasant girls from New Melford cringe and shriek aloud. They backed against the closed door Belle had mentioned as being the wealthy Mrs. Olliver’s private entrance.

Amy and Nell screamed, too, and the three wet girls clung together for a moment. The rain came with a rush into the open porch, and if they could be more saturated than they were, this blast of rain would have done it.

“We have got to get under shelter!” shouted Jessie, and dragged her two friends farther into the veranda. Belle and Sally might have been mean enough to try to drive them back, but at this point somebody interfered.

A long window, like a door, opened and a lady looked out, shielding herself from the wind by holding the glass door.

“Girls! Girls!” she cried. “You will be drowned out there. Come right in.”

“Fine!” gasped Amy, not at all under her breath. “Belle doesn’t own the hotel, after all!”

“It’s Mrs. Olliver!” exclaimed Sally Moon in a shrill voice, as she and Belle came out of 146 retirement and likewise approached the open window.

“Come right in here,” said the lady, cheerfully, as Jessie and her friends approached. “You are three very plucky girls. I saw you out in your boat when the storm struck you. Come in and I’ll have my maid find you something dry to put on.”

“Oh, fine!” sighed Amy again.

The trio of storm-beaten girls hastened in out of the wind and rain; but when Belle and Sally would have followed, Mrs. Olliver stopped them firmly.

“Don’t you belong in the hotel?” she asked. “Then go around to the main entrance if you wish to come in. You are at home.”

She actually closed the French window—but gently—in the faces of the bold duo. Amy, at least, was vastly amused. She winked wickedly at Jessie and Nell Stanley.

“This will break Belle’s heart,” she whispered.


Jessie thought that the very wealthy Mrs. Purdy Olliver was no different from Momsy or Mrs. Drew or Nell’s Aunt Freda. She was just polite and kind. Secretly the girls from Roselawn thought the lady was very different from Belle’s mother and Mrs. Moon. Perhaps that fact was one reason why the unpleasant Belle Ringold had spoken in some awe of the New York woman.

She had a really wonderful suite at the Hackle Island Hotel, for she had furnished it herself and came here every year, she told her young visitors. There was a lovely big bath room with both a tub and a Roman shower.

“Though, you can believe me,” said Amy, “I don’t have any idea that many of the old Romans had baths like this. It was ‘the great unwashed’ that supported Cæsar. ‘Roman bath’ is only a name.”

“Wrong! Not about Cæsar’s crowd, but about the Romans in general as bathers,” answered Jessie. “Read your Roman history, girl. Or if not 148 that—and you won’t—some historical novels.”

“Humph!” sniffed Amy, but made no further reply.

The girls laughingly disrobed and tried the shower, while the maid dried their outer clothing, furnishing each of the guests with kimono or negligee. Then they came out into Mrs. Olliver’s living room and took tea with her.

They did not get their own clothes back until nearly six o’clock, and saw nothing of Belle and Sally when they came out of the hotel. Perhaps that was because they left by Mrs. Olliver’s private door and ran right down the steps to the beach where they had left the boat.

The kind woman had asked them to come and see her again, and was especially cordial when she knew that Jessie was the daughter of the Mrs. Norwood who had been chairman of the foundation fund committee of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of New Melford.

“I think that idea of having a radio concert by which to raise funds for the hospital was unusually good,” the New York woman said. “It was the first thing that interested me in radio-telephony. I mean to have a set put in here soon. There is a big one in the hotel foyer, but it does not work perfectly at all times.”

“Dear me,” said Nell, as the girls descended to 149 the beach, “you run into radio fans everywhere, don’t you? How interesting!”

The boat was all right, only half filled with water. The bathhouse man came and turned the craft over for them and emptied it. Jessie thanked and tipped him and he pushed them off. Jessie and Amy each took an oar and made Nell sit in the stern and nurse her blister.

“It really is something of a blister,” Amy remarked, looking at it carefully.

“There’s water in it already, and it hurts!” wailed the clergyman’s daughter.

“I see the water,” declared Amy. “It may be an ever-living spring there. You know, people have water on the brain and water on the knee; but seems to me a spring in your hand must be lots worse.”

“You never will be serious,” said Nell, half laughing. “If the blister was on your hand——”

“Don’t say a word! I think I shall have one before we reach the landing,” declared Amy. “And, girls, what do you suppose that grouchy old fisherman will say when he sees we lost his rudder?”

“He won’t see that,” replied Jessie.

“What! Why, listen to her!” gasped Amy. “Is she going to try to get away before he misses the rudder?”

“Not at all,” returned her chum calmly, while 150 Nell began to laugh. “It was you who lost the rudder, Amy Drew. Nell and I had nothing to do with that crime.”

“Ouch!” cried Amy. “I wouldn’t have lost it if it hadn’t been for the thunderstorm coming down on us so suddenly. And that old fellow didn’t warn us of any squall.”

“He warned us that squalls were prevalent on the bay,” replied Nell. “He said he knew nothing about the weather. And I guess he told the truth.”

“There is a great lack of unaminity in this trio,” complained Amy. “If I lost the rudder, didn’t we all lose it?”

When they reached the inlet, however, the old fisherman was just as surprising as he had been in the first place.

“Don’t blame me,” he said when the girls came ashore. “I told you I didn’t know anything about the weather. I wouldn’t have been surprised if you’d lost the boat.”

“We only lost a part of it,” said Amy quickly. “The rudder.”

“Well, it wasn’t much good. I can find another around somewhere. Lucky to get the hull of the boat back, I am.”

“You didn’t get the whole of it back, I tell you,” said Amy, soberly. 151

He blinked at her, and without even a smile, said:

“Oh! You mean that for a joke, do you? Well, I don’t understand jokes any more than I do the weather. No, you needn’t pay me for the rudder. ’Tain’t nothing.”

The trio had a good deal to talk about when they got home, but Darry and Burd came in at dinner with the news that the Marigold was all ready for sea and that they would get under way right after breakfast the next morning.

Dr. Stanley and his daughter and Jessie and Amy were to be the boys’ guests on this trip, and the idea was to go along the coast as far as Boston and return. Mrs. Norwood had become used by this time to the boys going back and forth in the yacht and after her own voyage down to the island had forgotten her fears for the young folks.

“I am sure Darry will not expose the girls to danger,” she said to her husband. “But I am glad Dr. Stanley is going with them. He has such good sense.”

Henrietta wanted to go along. She did not see why she could not go on the yacht if “Miss Jessie and Miss Amy” were going. She might have whined a bit about it, if it had not been that she was reminded of the Radio Man.

“You want to look out,” Amy advised her. “You know the Radio Man is watching you and 152 like enough he’ll tell everybody just how bad you are.”

“Gee!” sighed Henrietta. “It’s awful to be responsible for owning an island, ain’t it?”

The girls were eager to be off in the morning, and they scurried around and packed their overnight bags and discussed what they should wear for two hours before breakfast. Burd was not to be hurried at his morning meal.

“No knowing what we may get aboard ship,” he grumbled. “If it comes up rough there may be no chance at all to eat properly.”

“Now, Burd Alling!” exclaimed Amy. “How can you?”

“How can I eat? Perfectly. Got teeth and a palate for that enjoyment.”

“But don’t suggest that we may have bad weather. After that tempest yesterday——”

“You’ll have no hotel to run to if we get squally weather,” laughed her brother. “I think, however, that after that shower we should have clear weather for some time. Don’t let the ‘Burd Alling Blues’ bother you.”

“Anyway,” said Jessie, scooping out her iced melon with some gusto, “we have a radio on board and we can send an S O S if we get into trouble, can’t we?”

“Come to think of it,” said Darry, “that old radio hasn’t been working any too well. You will 153 have to give it the once over, Jess, when you get aboard.”

This made Jessie all the more eager to embark on the yacht. She was so much interested in radio that she wanted, as Amy said, to be “fooling with it all of the time!”

But when they got under way and the Marigold steamed out to sea there were so many other things to see and to be interested in that the girls forgot all about the radio for the time being, in the mere joy of being alive.

Darry had shipped a cook; but the boys had to do a good deal of the deck work to relieve the forecastle hands. Stoking the furnace to keep up steam was no small job. The engines of the Marigold were old and, as Skipper Pandrick said, “were hogs for steam.” To tell the truth the boilers leaked and so did the cylinders. The boys had had trouble with the machinery ever since Darry had put the Marigold into commission. But the young owner did not want to go to the expense of getting new driving gear for the yacht. And, after all, the trouble did not seem to be serious.

The speed of the boat, however, was all the girls and other guests expected. The sea was smooth and blue, the wind was fair, the sun shone warmly, and altogether it was a charming day. Nobody expected trouble when everything was so calm and blissful. 154

But some time before evening haze gathered along the sealine and hid the main shore and Hackle Island, too. Nobody expected a sea spell, however, from this mild warning—not even Skipper Pandrick.

“This is a time of light airs, if unsettled,” he said. “Thunderstorms ashore don’t often bother ships at sea. There’s lightning in them clouds without a doubt, but like enough we won’t know anything about it.”

It was true the Marigold’s company was not disturbed in the least during the evening. After dinner the heavy mist drove them below and they played games, turned on the talking machine, and sang songs until bedtime. Sometime in the night Jessie woke up enough to realize that there was an unfamiliar noise near.

“Do you hear it?” she demanded, poking Amy in the berth over her head.

“Hear what?” snapped Amy. “I do wish you would let me sleep. I was a thousand miles deep in it. What’s the noise?”

“Why,” explained Jessie, puzzled, “it sounds like a cow.”

“Cow? Huh! I hope it’s a contented cow, I do, or else the milk may not be good for your coffee.”

“She doesn’t sound contented,” murmured Jessie. “Listen!” 155

The silence outside the portlight was shattered by a mournful, stuttering sound. Nell Stanley sat up suddenly on the couch across the stateroom and blinked her eyes.

“Oh, mercy!” she gasped. “There must be a terrible fog.”

“Fog?” squealed Amy. “And Jessie was telling me there was a cow aboard. Is that the fog-horn? Well, make up your mind, Jess, you’ll get no milk from that animal.”


The three girls did not sleep much after that. The grumbling, stuttering notes of the foot-power horn seemed to fill all the air about the Marigold. Darry told them at breakfast that he used this old-fashioned horn on the yacht because it took too much steam if they used the regular horn.

“This is a great old tub,” complained Burd, who had spent the previous hour at the device. “She makes only steam enough to blow the horn when you stop the engines. Great! Great!”

“You’d kick if you were going to be hung,” observed his chum.

“Might as well be hung as sentenced to the treadmill. I suppose I have to go back and step on the tail of that horn after breakfast?”

“You’ll take your turn if the fog does not lift.”

“What could be sweeter!” grumbled Burd, and fell to on the viands before him with a just appreciation of the time vouchsafed him for the meal. Burd’s appetite never failed.

The fog, however, lifted. But it was a gray 157 day and the girls looked upon the vessels which appeared out of the mist about them with an interest which was half fearful.

“Suppose one of those had run into us?” suggested Jessie. “And there is a great liner off yonder. Why, if that had bumped us we must have been sunk——”

“Without trace,” finished Amy, briskly. “The old cow’s mooing did some good, I guess, Jess,” and she chuckled.

She had told the boys about her chum thinking there must be a cow aboard in the night, and of course they all teased Jessie a good deal about it. She laughed with them at herself, however. Jessie Norwood was no spoil-sport.

The Marigold steamed into the east all that afternoon. But the weather did not improve. The hopes of a fair trip were gradually dissipated, and even the skipper looked about the horizon and shook his head.

“Seems as though there was plenty of wind coming, Mr. Darrington,” he said to the owner of the yacht. “If these friends of yours are easily made sea-sick, we’d better get into shelter somewhere.”

“Where’ll we go?” demanded Darry. “Here we are off Montauk.”

“With the direction the wind is going to blow when she gets going, we’d better run for the New 158 Harbor at Block Island and get in through the breech there. It’ll be calm as a millpond, once we’re inside.”

When Darry asked the others, however, the consensus of opinion was that they keep on for Boston.

“Can’t we take the inside passage—go through the Cape Cod Canal?” asked Dr. Stanley. “That should eliminate all danger.”

“Oh, there’s no danger,” Darry said. “The yacht is as seaworthy as can be. But I don’t want any of you to be uncomfortable.”

“I’m a good sailor,” declared Nell.

“You know Jess and I are used to the water,” Amy hastened to say. “Let us go on, Darry.”

But the wind sprang up a little later and began to blow fitfully. The skipper considered it safer to keep well out to sea. Inshore waters are often dangerous even for a craft of as light draught as the Marigold.

The crowd sat on deck, keeping as much as possible in the shelter of the deckhouse, and were just as jolly as though there was no such thing on the whole ocean as a storm. Dr. Stanley told them several of his funny stories, and amused the young folks immensely.

In the midst of the general hilarity Nell went below for something. She was gone for some minutes and Jessie, at least, began to wonder 159 where she was when she saw Nell’s hand beckoning to her from an open stateroom window. Jessie got up and moved toward the place, wondering what the doctor’s daughter had discovered that so excited her.

“What is it, Nell?” Jess whispered.

“Come down here—do!” exclaimed the other girl, her tone half muffled.

“What is the matter?” Jessie exclaimed, in wonder.

But she slipped around to the other side of the cabin, faced the gale, and reached the companionway. She darted down, being careful to shut tight the slide behind her. Already the waves were buffeting the small yacht and spray was dashing in over the weather rail.

Jessie found some difficulty in keeping her feet in the close cabin. It was so dark outside that the interior of the yacht was gloomy. She groped her way to their stateroom, which was the biggest aboard.

“What is the matter, Nell?” demanded Jessie, pushing open the door and peering in.

Nell Stanley’s face was white. She stood by the open window. At Jessie’s appearance she began to sob and tremble.

“I—I’m so frightened, Jess!” she gasped.

“Why, you silly! I thought you said you were a good sailor?” 160

“It isn’t that,” Nell told her. “Don’t—don’t you smell it?”

“Don’t I smell what?”

“Come in and shut the door. Now smell—smell hard!”

Jessie began to giggle. “What do you mean? Why! I see a little haze of smoke by the window. Do I, or don’t I?”

“I opened the window to let it out. But—but it comes more and more, Jessie,” stammered the clergyman’s daughter. “I believe the yacht is on fire, Jessie!”

“Oh! Don’t say that!” murmured Jessie Norwood, suddenly frightened herself.

“When I came in the room was full of smoke and—don’t you smell it?”

“It doesn’t smell very nice,” admitted her friend. “Where does the smoke come from? Where can it come from?”

“It must come from below—from the hold under us.”

“But what can be burning? This is not a cargo boat,” said the puzzled Jessie. “We don’t want to frighten them all, especially if it amounts to nothing.”

“I know. That is why I called you first,” Nell declared, anxiously. “I—I wasn’t sure.”

“Well, I am sure of one thing,” said Jessie confidently. 161

“What is that?”

“This is a very serious thing if it is serious. We must tell Skipper Pandrick at once. Let him decide what is to be done.”

“You wouldn’t tell Darry?”

“The skipper is responsible. We won’t frighten the boys if we don’t need to,” and Jessie tried to open the door again. “Come on. Don’t stay here and get asphyxiated.”

“It is all right with the window open,” said Nell.

She turned to follow her chum and saw Jessie tugging at the door-knob and stopped, amazed. The other girl used both hands, but could not turn the knob. She tugged with all her strength.

“Why, Jessie Norwood! what is the matter with it?” whispered Nell, anxiously.

“The mean old thing won’t open! It’s a spring lock. How did it get locked this way, do you suppose?”

“You slammed it when you came in, Jess,” Nell said. “But I had no idea that it could be locked that way. Especially from the outside. Oh, dear! Shall I shout for one of the boys? Shall I?”

“Don’t!” gasped Jessie, still struggling with the door-knob. “Don’t you know if one of them comes here and sees this smoke, everybody will know it?”

“They’ll have to know it pretty soon,” said 162 Nell. “The smoke is coming in all the time, Jess.”

Jessie could see that well enough. She shrank from creating a panic aboard the yacht, realizing fully what a terrible thing a fire at sea can be. If this hovering fog of smoke meant nothing serious, their outcry for help at the stateroom window would create trouble—maybe serious trouble. Jessie had the right idea, if she could but carry it out—to tell the sailing master of the yacht, and only him.

The brass knob seemed as firmly fixed in place as though it had never been moved since it came from the shop. Jessie, at last, came away from it. She peered out of the small window. If she could only catch the skipper’s eye!

But she could not. At that moment there was not a soul in sight from the window. She saw sea and sky, and that was all.

“Oh dear, Jess!” murmured Nell Stanley, at last giving way to fear. “What shall we do? We’ll be burned up in here!”

“Don’t talk so, Nell!” commanded Jessie. “Do you want to scare me to death?”

“It’s enough to scare anybody to death,” proclaimed the minister’s daughter. “I’m going to scream for father.”

“You’ll do nothing of the kind!” her friend declared. “Shrieking about this will do no good, and may do harm. Can’t you see——” 163

“Not much, with all this smoke in my eyes,” grumbled Nell.

“Don’t be a goose! If we yell, everybody will come running, and will get excited when they see the smoke.”

“But, Jess,” Nell said very sensibly, “all the time we delay the fire is gathering headway.”

“If it is a fire.”

“Goodness me! Where there’s so much smoke there must be fire. How you talk!”

“I don’t want to be shown up as a ‘fraid cat and a killjoy,” cried Jessie. “The boys are always laughing at us, anyway, because we get scared at little things: mice, and falling overboard, and a puff of wind. I am deadly sick of hearing: ‘Isn’t that just like a girl?’ So there!”

“Well, for pity’s sake!” gasped the clergyman’s daughter. “That is just like a girl! Afraid of what boys will say of one! Not me!”

“Girls ought to be just as fearless as boys, and have as much initiative. Now, Nell Stanley, suppose Darry and Burd were shut up in this stateroom under these circumstances. What do you suppose they would do?”

Nell laughed aloud, serious as the situation was. “I guess Burd would put his head out of that window and bawl for help.”

“Darry wouldn’t,” declared Jessie, firmly. “He 164 would know what to do. He would realize that it would not do to start a panic.”

“But if the door has been locked on us?”

“Darry would know what to do with that old lock. He’d—he’d find a way. Find out what the matter with it was.”

Jessie sprang at the door again. She stooped down and looked at the under side of the brass lock. Then she uttered a shrill squeal of delight.

“What is it now?” gasped Nell.

“I’ve got it! There is a snap here that holds the knob so you can’t turn it! I must have snapped it when I came in!” She jerked the door open and ran. “Come on, Nell!”

“Well, of all things!” gasped her friend.

But she followed her friend out of the stateroom. They ran as well as they could through the cabin and got out upon the open deck. Skipper Pandrick, in glistening oilskins and sou’wester was far aft with his glasses to his eyes. He was watching a dark spot upon the stormy horizon that might have been steamer smoke, or a gathering storm cloud.

The girls ran up to him, but Jessie pulled Nell’s sleeve to admonish her to say nothing that might be overheard by the other passengers.

“What’s doing, young ladies?” asked the skipper, curiously, seeing their flushed and excited faces. 165

“Will—will you come below—to our stateroom—for a moment, Mr. Pandrick?” stammered Jessie. “There is something we want to show you. It is really something serious. Please come below at once.”


The skipper looked rather queerly at the two excited girls, but he went below with them without further objection. In fact, Skipper Pandrick was a man of very few words; he proved this when Nell opened the stateroom door and he saw the smoke swirling about the apartment.

“I reckon you girls ain’t been smoking in here,” he said grimly. “Then I reckon that smoke comes from below.”

“Is the ship really on fire?” gasped Jessie.

“Something’s afire, sure as you’re a foot high,” said the skipper vigorously, and stormed out of the stateroom and out of the cabin.

There was a hatch in the main deck amidships. He called two of the men and had it raised. The passengers as yet had no idea that anything was wrong, for Jessie and Nell kept away from them.

But they watched what the skipper did. He had brought an electric pocket torch from below and he flashed this before him as he descended the iron ladder into the hold. Almost at once, 167 however, a whiff of smoke rose through the open hatchway.

“Glory be, Tom!” said one sailor to his mate. “What do you make of that?”

“You can’t make nothing of smoke, but smoke,” returned the other man. “It’s just as useless as a pig’s squeal is to the butcher.”

But Jessie believed that the incident called for no humor. If there was a fire below——

“Hi, you boys!” came the muffled voice of Skipper Pandrick from below, “couple on the pump-line and send the nozzle end below. There’s something here, sure enough.”

As he said this another balloon of smoke floated up through the open hatch. It was seen from the station of the passengers. Darry jumped up and ran to the hatchway.

“What’s he doing? Smoking down there?” he demanded.

“It’s sure a bad cigar, boss, if he’s smoking it,” said one of the men, grinning.

“Oh, Darry!” gasped Jessie. “The yacht is on fire!”

“Nonsense!” exclaimed the young man, rather impolitely it must be confessed.

He started to descend into the hold. The skipper’s voice rose out of it:

“Get away from there! This ain’t any place for you, Mr. Darry. Hustle that pipe-line.” 168

“Is it serious, Skipper?” demanded the young collegian, anxiously.

“I don’t know how bad it is yet. Tell the helmsman to head nor’east. Maybe we’d better make for some anchorage, after all.”

Darry ran to the wheelhouse. The other passengers began to get excited. Nell ran to her father and told him what she had first discovered.

“Well, having discovered the fire in time, undoubtedly they will be able to put it out,” said Dr. Stanley, comfortingly.

But this did not prove to be easy. Skipper Pandrick had to come up after a while for a breath of cool air and to remove his oilskins. Darry and Burd got into overalls and helped in handling the hose. The steam needed to work the pump, however, brought the engines down to a very slow movement. The Marigold scarcely kept her headway.

The fire, which had undoubtedly been smouldering a long time, was obstinate. The water the skipper and his helpers poured upon it raised the level of water in the bilge until Darry declared he feared the yacht would be water-logged.

Meanwhile the wind grew in savageness. Instead of being gusty, it blew more and more violently out of the northeast. When the helmsman tried to head into it, under the skipper’s relayed instructions by Darry, the lack of steam 169 kept the old Marigold marking time instead of forging ahead.

“If we have to put the steam to the pump to clear the bilge after this,” grumbled the pessimistic Burd, “we’ll never reach any shelter. Might as well run for the Bermudas.”

“Won’t that be fine!” cried Amy. “I have always wanted to go to the Bermudas, and we’ve never gone.”

“Fine girl, you,” retorted Burd. “You don’t know when you are in danger.”

“Fire’s out!” announced Amy. “The skipper says so. And I am not afraid of a capful of wind.”

There was more danger, however, than the girls imagined. The water that had been poured into the yacht’s hold did not make her any more seaworthy. It was necessary to start the pump to try to clear the hold.

The clapperty-clap; clapperty-clap! of the pump and the water swishing across the deck to be vomited out of the hawse holes was nothing to add to the passengers’ feelings of confidence. Besides, the water came very clear, and at its appearance the skipper looked doleful.

“What’s the matter, Skipper?” asked Darry, seeing quickly that something was still troubling the old man. 170

“Why, Mr. Darry, that don’t look good to me, and that’s a fact,” the sailing master said.

“Why not? The pump is clearing her fast.”

“Is it?” grumbled Pandrick, shaking his head.

“Of course it is!” exclaimed Darry, with some exasperation. “Don’t be an Old Man of the Sea.”

“That’s exactly what I am, Mr. Darry,” said the skipper. “I’m so old a hand at sea that I’m always looking for trouble. I confess it. And I see trouble—and work for all hands—right here.”

“What do you mean?” asked Jessie, who chanced to be by. “The pump works all right just as Darry says, doesn’t it?”

“But, by gorry!” ejaculated the skipper, “it looks as though we were just pumping the whole Atlantic through her seams.”

“Goodness! What do you mean?” Jessie demanded.

“You think she is leaking?” asked Darry, in some trouble.

“Bilge ain’t clean water like that,” answered Pandrick. “That’s as clear as the sea itself. Mind you! I don’t say she leaks more’n enough to keep her sweet. But if those pumps don’t suck purt’ soon, I shall have my suspicions.”

“Darry!” ejaculated Jessie, “your yacht is falling apart. What are we going to do?”

“I don’t believe it,” muttered Darry. 171

He had, however, to admit it after a time. It seemed as though the Marigold were suffering one misfortune after another. The fire, which might have been very serious, was extinguished; but the yacht lay deep in the troubled sea, rolling heavily, and the water pumped through the pipe was plainly seeping in through the seams of her hull.

“Goodness me! shall we have to take to the boat and the life raft?” demanded Amy.

It was scarcely possible to joke much about the situation. Even Amy Drew’s “famous line of light conversation” could not keep up their spirits.

The wind continued to blow harder and harder. The yacht could no longer head into it. Dr. Stanley looked grave. Nell, first frightened by her discovery of the fire in the hold, was now in tears.

To add to the seriousness of the situation, there was not another vessel in sight.


“Of course,” Amy said composedly, “if worse comes to worst, we can send the news by radio that the yacht is sinking and bring to our rescue somebody—somebody——”

“Yes, we can!” exclaimed Burd Alling. “A revenue cutter, I suppose? Don’t you suppose the United States Government has anything better to do than to look out for people who don’t know enough to look out for themselves?”

“That seems to be the Government’s mission a good deal of the time,” replied Dr. Stanley, with a smile. “But you don’t think it will be necessary to call for help, do you, Darrington?” he asked the sober-looking owner of the yacht.

“Well, the fire’s out, that’s sure——”

“You bet it is!” growled Burd. “It had to be out, there’s so much water in the hold.”

“But we are not sinking!” cried Amy.

“Lucky we’re not,” said Burd. “The radio doesn’t work.”

“Why, how you talk,” Nell said admonishingly. 173 “You would scare us if we did not know you so well, Burd.”

“You don’t know the half of it!” exclaimed the young fellow. “Fuel is getting low, too. Skipper wants us to work the pump by hand. That means Darry and me to ‘man the pumps.’”

“And we can help,” said Jessie, cheerfully. “If the skipper thinks he needs to make more steam for the engines, why can’t we all take turns at the pump?”

“Sounds like a real shipwreck story,” her chum observed, but doubtfully.

“It will cause a mutiny,” declared Burd. “I didn’t ship on the Marigold to work like Old Bowser on the treadmill. And that is about how I feel.”

“You can get out and walk if you don’t like it,” Darry reminded him.

“And I suppose you think I wouldn’t. For two cents——”

Just then the yacht pitched sharply and Burd almost lost his footing. The waves were really boisterous and occasionally a squall of rain swooped down and, with the spray, wet the entire deck and those upon it.

Jessie was not greatly afraid of the elements or of what they could do to the yacht. But she was made anxious by the repetition of the statement that the radio was out of order. Originally 174 the Marigold had had a small wireless plant, with storage batteries. Signals by Morse could be exchanged with other ships and with stations ashore within a limited distance.

But when Darry had bought the radio receiving set he had disconnected the broadcasting machine and linked up the regenerative circuit with the stationary batteries. As he had explained to Jessie, both systems could not be used at once.

They had found that neither the receiving set nor the old wireless set worked well. It looked as though the boys had overlooked something in rigging the new set and the radio girls quite realized that in this emergency a general and perhaps a thorough overhauling of the wires and connections would be necessary to discover just where the fault lay.

Jessie called Amy, and they went up into the little wireless room behind the wheelhouse where everything about the plant but the batteries were in place. This was a very different outfit from that in the great station at the old lighthouse on Station Island, which they had visited several days before.

“If we only knew as much as that operator does about wireless,” sighed Jessie to her chum, “there might be some hope of our untangling all this and finding out the trouble.”

“He said he had been five years at it and didn’t 175 know so very much,” Amy reminded her dryly.

“Oh, there will always be something new to learn about radio, of course,” her chum agreed. “But if we had his training in the fundamentals of radio, we would be equipped to handle such a mess as this. To tell you the truth, Amy, I think these two boys have made a cat’s cradle of this thing.”

“And Darry spent more than a year aboard a destroyer and was trained to ‘listen in’ for submarines and all that!”

“An entirely different thing from knowing how to rig wireless,” commented Jessie, getting down on her knees to look under the shelf to which the posts were screwed. “Oh, dear!” she added, as she bumped her head. “I wish this boat wouldn’t pitch so.”

“So say we all of us. What can I do, Jess?”

“Not a thing—for a moment. Let me see: The general rules of radio are easily remembered. The incoming oscillations that have been intercepted by the antenna above the roof of the house are applied across the grid and filament of the detector tube——”

“That’s this jigger here,” put in Amy, as Jessie struggled up again.

“Yes. That is the tube. Through the relay action of the tube, an amplified current flows through the plate circuit—here. Now,” added 176 Jessie thoughtfully, “if we couple this plate circuit back—No! This is a simple circuit. It is like our old one, Amy. We can’t get much action out of this set. It is not like the new one we are putting in the bungalow.“

“Well, the thing is, can we use it?” Amy demanded. “Can you link the power, or whatever you call it, up with the sending paraphernalia and get an S O S over the water?”

“Goodness, Amy! Don’t talk as though you thought we were really in danger.”

“Humph! I see the Reverend, as Nell calls him, out there with his coat off, in his shirt-sleeves, taking a turn with Burd at the pumps. They have rigged it for man power and are saving steam for the engines.”

“Let me see!” cried Jessie, peering out of the clouded window too. “You’d never think he was a minister. Isn’t he nice?”

Amy began to laugh. “Are all ministers supposed to be such terrible people?”

“No-o,” admitted Jessie, going back to the radio set. “But good as they usually are, we have the very best minister at the Roselawn Church, of any.”

“Yep. So we must plan to save him if anything happens,” giggled Amy.

“Let’s open the switch and see if we can get 177 anything,” her chum said reflectively, picking up the head harness.

“You mean hear if we can get anything,” corrected Amy.

“Never mind splitting hairs, my dear. Is that the switch? Yes. Now!”

She put on the rigging, but all she got out of the air, as she sadly confessed, were sounds like an angry cat spitting at a puppydog.

“It isn’t just static,” she told Amy. “You try it. There is something absolutely wrong with this thing. See! We don’t get a spark.”

“If we did we couldn’t read the letters.”

“I believe I could read some Morse if it came slowly enough,” said Jessie, nodding. “But it is sending, not receiving, I am thinking of, Amy Drew.”

Amy began to look more serious. Jessie was harping on a possibility she did not wish to admit was probable. She went out and, hunting up Darry, demanded to know just how bad he thought they were off, anyway.

“Well, Sis, there is no use making a wry face about it,” the collegian said. “But you see how hard the Reverend and Burd are working, and they can’t keep ahead of the water. The poor old Marigold really is leaking.”

“Is she going to sink? Can’t we get to land—somewhere? Can’t we go back to the island?” 178

“Shucks, Sis! You know we are miles from Station Island. We are off Montauk—or we were this morning. But we are heading out to sea now—sou’-sou’east. Can’t head into this gale. She pitches too much.”

“And—and isn’t there any help for us, Darry Drew?”

“We don’t need any help yet, do we?” he demanded pluckily. “She is making good weather of it——”

Just then the yacht rolled so that he had to grab the rail with one hand and Amy with the other, and both of them were well shaken up.

“Woof!” gasped Darry, as they came out of the smother of spray.

“Oh!” exploded Amy. “I swallowed a pail of water that time. Ugh! How bitter the sea is. Now, Darry, I guess we’ll have to send out signals, sha’n’t we?”

“How can we? I’ve tried the old radio already. She is as dumb as the proverbial oyster with the lockjaw.”

“Jessie is going to fix it,” said Amy, with some confidence.

“Yes she is! She’s some smart girl, I admit,” her brother observed. “But I guess that is a job that will take an expert.”

“You just see!” cried Amy. “You think she can’t do anything because she’s a girl.” 179

“Bless you! Girls equal the men nowadays. I hold Jessie as little less than a wonder. But if a thing can’t be done——”

“That is what you think because you tried it and failed.”


“We radio girls will show you!” declared Amy, her head up and preparing to march back to her chum the next time the deck became steady.

But when she started so proudly the yacht rolled unexpectedly and Amy, screaming for help, went sliding along the deck to where Dr. Stanley and Burd were pumping away to clear the bilge. She was saturated—and much meeker in deportment—when Burd fished her out of the scuppers.


The condition of the Marigold was actually much more serious than the Roselawn girls at first supposed. Jessie and Amy were so busy in the radio house for a couple of hours and were so interested in what they were doing that they failed to observe that the hull of the yacht was slowly sinking.

Fortunately the wind decreased after a while; but by that time it was scarcely safe to head the yacht into the wind’s eye, as the skipper called it. She wallowed in the big seas in a most unpleasant way and it was fortunate indeed that all the passengers were good sailors.

Nell came and looked into the radio room once or twice; then she felt so bad that she went below to lie down. The doctor worked as hard as any man aboard. And his cheerfulness was always infectious.

The minister knew that they were in peril. He would have been glad to see a rescuing vessel heave into sight. But he gave no sign that he considered the situation at all uncertain or perilous in the least. 181

The afternoon was passing. Another night on the open sea without knowing if the yacht would weather the conditions, was a matter for grave consideration. The doctor and Darry conferred with Skipper Pandrick.

“’Tis hard to say,” the sailing master observed. “There is no knowing what may happen. If the yacht was not so water-logged we might get in under our own steam——”

“But we can’t make steam enough!” cried Darry.

“Well, no, we don’t seem to,” admitted the skipper.

“And to what port would you sail?” asked Dr. Stanley.

“Well, now, there’s not any handy just now, I admit. If we head back for the land we may be thrown on our beam-ends, I will say. The waves are big ones, as you see.”

“You are not very encouraging, Skipper,” said the minister.

“I wouldn’t be raising any false hopes in your mind, sir,” said Pandrick.

“You’re a jolly old wet blanket, you are,” declared Darry to the sailing master. “What shall we do?”

“We’ll have to take what comes to us,” declared the skipper.

“You are a fatalist, Mr. Pandrick,” said the 182 minister, and Darry was glad to hear him laugh cheerily.

“No, sir. I’m a Universalist,” declared the seaman. “And I’ve all the hope in the world that we’ll come out of this all right.”

“But can’t we do something to help ourselves?” demanded the exasperated Darry.

“Not much that I know of. Here’s hoping the wind goes down and we have calm weather and see the sun again.”

“Hope all you like,” growled the young fellow. “I am going to see if the girls aren’t able to bring something to pass with that radio.”

He found his sister and Jessie rearranging a part of the circuit on the set-board. They were very much in earnest. Thus far, however, they had been unable to get a clear signal out of the air, nor could they send one.

“If we could reach another vessel, or a shore station, and tell them where the yacht is and that she is leaking, we’d be all right, shouldn’t we, Darry?” Jessie asked earnestly.

“But I am not at all sure we need help,” he said, in doubt.

“We may need it!” exclaimed his sister.

“Why—yes, we may,” he admitted, though rather grudgingly.

“Then we want to get this fixed,” Jessie declared. “But there is something wrong here. Do 183 you see this Darry? It seems to me that there must be a part missing. When you and Burd set this up are you sure you followed the instructions of the book in every particular?”

“Of course we did,” Darry said.

“Of course we didn’t!” exclaimed Burd’s voice from the doorway.

“What are you saying?” demanded his friend, promptly.

“What I know. Don’t you remember that you lost the instruction book overboard sometime there, when we were getting the bothersome thing fixed?”

“So I did,” confessed Darry. “But, say! she was all right then.”

“She hasn’t ever been all right,” accused his chum, “and you know it.”

“We sent code signals by the old machine, all right.”

“But we’ve never been able to since we linked it up with this receiving set, and you know it,” said Burd.

“It sounds to me,” said Amy, “as though neither one of you boys knew so awfully much about it.”

“I know one thing,” said Jessie, with determination. “All the parts are not here. These connections are not like any I ever saw before. It is a mystery to me——” 184

“Hold on!” exclaimed Darry Drew suddenly. “What did we do with all those little cardboard boxes and paper tubes the parts came in? Couldn’t be we overlooked anything, Burd?”

“Don’t try to hang it on me!” exclaimed his chum. “I never claimed to know a thing about radio. You were the Big Noise when we put the contraption together.”

“Aw, you! Where did we put the things left over?”

“There he goes!” exclaimed the confirmed joker. “He’s like the fellow who took the automobile apart to fix it and had a bushel of parts left over when he was done. He doesn’t know——”

“Beat it out of here,” roared Darry, “and find that box we put the stuff into. You know.”

Dr. Stanley came up to the radio room while Burd was searching for the rubbish box. The clergyman spoke cheerfully, but he looked very grave.

“Is there any likelihood of our being able to send out a call for assistance, Jessie?” he asked, quietly.

“I don’t see how we can, Doctor Stanley, until we fix this radio set. We can’t get any spark. We have to be able to get a spark to send a message. The message will be stumbling enough, I am afraid, even if we fix the thing, for none of us 185 understands Morse very well. Unless Darry——”

“Don’t look to me for help,” declared the collegian. “I haven’t sent a message since we put the yacht in commission. We had a fellow aboard here until the other day who knew something about wireless and he was the operator. Not me.”

“Amy and I have a code book with the alphabet in it,” said Jessie slowly. “I think if somebody read the dots and dashes to me I could send a short message. But there is something wrong with this circuit.”

Just then Burd Alling came back. He brought with him a big corrugated cardboard container. In that the various parts of the radio outfit had been packed.

“What do you think about it?” he asked. “There is something here that I never saw before. See this jigamarig, Jess? Think it belongs on the contraption?”

“Oh!” cried Jessie, eagerly, pouncing on the small object that Burd held out to her. “I know what that is.”

“Then you beat me. I don’t,” declared Burd.

“Let’s see what else there is,” said Darry, diving into the box. “I left you to get out the parts, Burd; you know I did.”

“Oh, splash!” exclaimed his friend. “We might as well admit that we don’t know as much 186 about radio as these girls. They leave us lashed to the post.”

But Jessie and Amy did not even feel what at another time Amy would have called “augmented ego.” The occasion was too serious.

The day was passing into evening, and a very solemn evening it was. The wind whined through the strands of the wire rigging. The waves knocked the yacht about. The passengers all felt weary and forlorn.

The two girl chums felt the situation less acutely than anybody else, perhaps, because they were so busy. That radio had to be repaired. That is what Jessie told Amy, and Amy agreed. The safety of the whole yacht’s company seemed dependent upon what the two radio girls could do.

“And we must not fall down on it, Jess,” Amy said vigorously. “How goes it now?”

“This thing that Burd found goes right in here. We have got to reset a good part of the circuit to do it. I don’t see how the boys could have made such a mistake.”

“Proves what I have always maintained,” declared Amy Drew. “We girls are smarter than those boys, even if the said boys do go to college. Bah! What is college, anyway?”

“Just a prison,” said Burd sepulchrally from the doorway. 187

“Close that door!” exclaimed Jessie. “Don’t let that spray drift in here.”

“Yes. Do go away, Burd, and see if the yacht is sinking any more. Don’t bother us,” commanded Amy.

The men were keeping the pumps at work, but it was an anxious time. It was long dark and the lamps were lighted when Jessie pronounced the set complete. Darry and Burd came in again and asked what they could do?

“Root for us. Nothing more,” said Amy. “Jessie has fixed this thing and she is going to have the honor of sending the message—if a message can be sent.“

“Well,” remarked Burd Alling, “I guess it is up to you girls to save the situation. I have just found out that there isn’t as much provender as I was given reason to believe when we started. We ought to be in Boston right now. And see where we are!”

“That is exactly what we can’t see,” said Jessie. “But we must know. Did you get the latitude and longitude from the skipper, Darry?”

“Yes. Here it is, approximately. He got a chance to shoot the sun this noon.”

“The cruel thing!” gibed his sister. “But anyway, I hope he has got the situation near enough so some vessel can find us.”

“Let us see, first, if we can send a message 188 intelligibly,” said Jessie, putting on the head harness, and speaking seriously. “It will be awful, perhaps, if we can’t. I know that the yacht is almost unmanageable.”

“You’ve said something,” returned Burd. “The fuel is low, as well as the supplies in the galley. We haven’t got much left——”

“But hope,” said Jessie, softly.


Henrietta Haney was a very lonely little girl after the yacht sailed from Station Island. Not that she had nobody to play with, for she had. There were other children besides Sally Stanley of her own age, or thereabout, in the bungalow colony. And as she had been in Dogtown, Henrietta soon became the leading spirit of her crowd.

She even taught them some of her games, and once more became “Spotted Snake, the Witch,” and scared some of the children almost as much as she had scared the Dogtown youngsters with her supposed occult powers.

She was running and screaming and tearing her clothes most of the time when she was away from Mrs. Norwood, but in the company of Jessie’s mother she truly tried to “be a little lady.”

“Be it ever so painful, little Hen is going to learn to be worthy of you and Jessie, Mary,” laughed Mrs. Drew, who was like her daughter in being able always to see the fun in things. “What do you really expect will come of the child?” 190

“I think she will make quite a woman in time. And before that time arrives,” added Mrs. Norwood, “she has much to learn, as you say. In some ways Henrietta has had an unhappy childhood—although she doesn’t know it. I hope she will have better times from now on.”

“You are sure to make her have good times, Mary,” said Mrs. Drew. “I hope she will appreciate all that Jessie and you do for her.”

“She is rather young for one to expect appreciation from her,” Mrs. Norwood said, smiling. “But the little thing is grateful.”

Without Jessie and Amy, however, Henrietta confessed she was very lonely. Sometimes she listened to the radio all alone, sitting quietly and hearing even lectures and business talks out of the air that ordinarily could not have interested the child. But she said it reminded her of “Miss Jessie” just to sit with the ear-tabs on.

She had heard about the older girls going to the lighthouse station to interview the wireless operator there, and although Henrietta knew that the government reservation at that end of the island was no part of the old Padriac Haney estate, she wandered down there alone on the second day of the yacht’s absence and climbed up into the tower.

The storm had blown itself out on shore, and the sun was going down in golden glory. Out at 191 sea, although the waves still rolled high and the clouds were tumultuous in appearance, there was nothing to threaten a continuation of the unsettled weather.

Henrietta had no idea how long it would be before the yacht reached Boston, although she had heard a good deal of talk about it. She had watched the Marigold steam out of sight into the east, and it seemed to the little girl that her friends were just there, beyond the horizon line, where she had seen the last patch of the Marigold’s smoke disappear.

The wireless operator had seen Henrietta before, cavorting about the beach and leading the other children in their play, and he was prepared for some of her oddities. But she surprised him by her very first speech.

“You’re the man that can send words out over the ocean, aren’t you?”

“I can send signals,” he admitted, but rather puzzled.

“Can folks like Miss Jessie and Miss Amy hear ’em?” demanded Henrietta.

“Only if they are on a boat that has a wireless outfit.”

“They got it on that Marigold,” announced Henrietta.

“Oh! The yacht that sailed yesterday! Yes, she carried antenna.” 192

“And she carried Doctor Stanley and Miss Nell Stanley, too, besides the boys, Mr. Darry and Mr. Burd,” said Henrietta. “Then they can hear you?”

“If they know how to use the wireless they could catch a signal from this station.”

“Miss Jessie knows all about radio,” said Henrietta. “She made it.”

“Oh, she did?”

“Yes. She made it all up. She and Miss Amy built them one at Roselawn. That was before Montmorency Shannon built his. Well, Miss Jessie is out there on the Marigold.”

“So I understand,” said the much amused operator.

“I wish you would—please—send her word that I’d like to have her come back to my island.”

“Are you the little girl who owns this island? I’ve heard about you.”

“Yes. But there ain’t much fun on an island if your friends aren’t on it, too. And Miss Jessie is one of my very dearest friends.”

“I understand,” said the operator gravely, seeing the little girl’s lip trembling. “You would like to have me reach your friend, Miss Jessie——”

“Her name’s Norwood, too,” put in Henrietta, to make sure. 193

“Oh, indeed? She is the lawyer, Mr. Norwood’s daughter. I have met her.”

“Yes, sir. She came here once.”

“And you wish to send her a message if it is possible?”

“Yes, sir. I want you should ask her to get to Boston as quick as she can and come back again. We would all like to have her come,” said the little girl, gravely.

“I am going to be on duty myself this evening and I will try to get your message through,” said the operator kindly. “The Marigold, is it?” and he drew the code book toward him in which the signal for every vessel sailing from American ports, even pleasure craft, that carries wireless, is listed.

He turned around to his instrument right then and began to rap out the call for the yacht. He kept it up, off and on, between his other work, all the evening. But no answer was returned.

The operator began to be somewhat puzzled by this fact. Knowing how much interested in radio the girls were who had visited him, he could not understand why they would not be listening in at some time or other on the yacht.

He kept throwing into the ether the signal meant for the Marigold’s call until almost midnight, when he expected to be relieved by his partner. Towards ten o’clock there was some bothersome 194 signals in the ether that annoyed him whenever he took a message or relayed one in the course of the evening’s business.

“Some amateur op. is interfering,” was his expression. “But, I declare! it does sound something like this station call. Can it be——?”

He lengthened his spark and sent thundering out on the air-waves his usual reply: “I, I, OKW. I, I, OKW.”

Then he held his hand and waited for any return. The same mysterious, scraping sounds continued. A slow hand, he believed, was trying to spell out some message in Morse. But it was being done in a very fumbling manner.

Of course, half a dozen shore stations and perhaps half a hundred vessels might have caught the clumsy message, as well. But the operator at Station Island, interested by little Henrietta in the Marigold and her company, felt more than puzzlement over this strange communication out of the air.

“Listen in here, Sammy,” he said to his mate, when the latter came in. “Is it just somebody’s squeak-box making trouble to-night or am I hearing a sure-enough S O S? I wonder if there is a storm at sea?”

“There is,” said his mate, sitting down on the bench and taking up the secondary head harness. 195 “The evening papers are full of it. Northeast gale, and blowing like kildee right now.”

“Arlington gave no particulars at last announcement.”

“Don’t make any difference. The boats outside know it. Hullo! What’s this? ‘S-t-a-t-i-o-n I-s-l-a-n-d.’ What’s the joke? Somebody calling us without using the code letters?”

“Don’t know ’em, maybe,” said the chief operator. “Set down what you get and see if it is like mine.”

The other did so. They compared notes. That strange message set both operators actively to work. One began swiftly to distribute over the Eastern Atlantic the news that a craft needed help in such and such a latitude and longitude. The other operator, without his hat, ran all the way to the bungalows to give Mr. Norwood and Mr. Drew some very serious news.


Jessie Norwood was not tireless. It seemed to her as though her right arm would drop off, she pressed the key of the wireless instrument so frequently. They had written out a brief call of distress, and finally she got it by heart so that Amy did not have to read her the dots and dashes.

But it was a slow process and they had no way of learning if the message was caught and understood by any operator, either ashore or on board a vessel. Hour after hour went slowly by. The Marigold was sinking. The pumps could not keep up with the incoming water; the fuel was almost exhausted and the engines scarcely turned over; the buffeting seas threatened the craft every minute.

Dr. Stanley remained outwardly cheerful. Darry and the others took heart from the clergyman’s words.

“Tell you what,” said Burd. “If we are wrecked on a desert island I shall be glad to have the doctor along. He’d have cheered up old Robinson Crusoe.” 197

As the evening waned and the sea continued to pound the hull of the laboring yacht the older people aboard, at least, grew more anxious. The young folks in the radio room chattered briskly, although Jessie called them to account once in a while because they made so much noise she could not be sure that she was sending correctly.

Darry tried to relieve her at the key, but he confessed that he “made a mess of it.” The radio girls had spent more time and effort in learning to handle the wireless than the collegians—both Darry and Burd acknowledged it.

“These are some girls!” Darry said, admiringly.

“You spoil ’em,” complained Burd Ailing. “Want to be careful what you say to them.”

“Oh, if anybody can stand a little praise it is Jess and I,” declared Amy, sighing with weariness.

Nobody cared to turn in. The situation was too uncertain. The boys could be with the girls only occasionally, for they had to take their turn at the pumps. It had come to pass that nothing but steady pumping kept the yacht from sinking. They were all thankful that the wind decreased and the waves grew less boisterous.

Towards midnight it was quite calm, only the swells lifted the water-logged yacht in a rhythmic motion that finally became unpleasant. Nell was 198 ill, below; but the others remained on deck and managed to weather the nauseating effects of the heaving sea.

Meanwhile, as often as she could, Jessie Norwood sent out into the air the cry for assistance. She sent it addressed to “Station Island,” for she did not know that each wireless station had a code signal—a combination of letters. But she knew there was but one Station Island off the coast.

The clapperty-clap, clapperty-clap of the pumps rasped their nerves at last until, as Amy declared, they needed to scream! When the sound stopped for the minute while pump-crews were changed, it was a relief.

And finally the spark of the wireless began to skip and fall dead. Good reason! The storage batteries, although very good ones, were beginning to fail. Before daybreak it was impossible to use the sender any more.

Somehow this fact was more depressing than anything that had previously happened. They could only hope, in any event, that their message had been heard and understood; but now even this sad attempt was halted.

Jessie was really too tired to sleep. She and Amy did not go below for long. They changed their clothes and came on deck again and were very glad of the hot cup of coffee Dr. Stanley brought them from the galley. The cook had 199 been set to work on one of the pump crews.

The girls sat in the deck chairs and stared off across the rolling gray waters. There was no sign of any other vessel just then, but a dim rose color at the sea line showed where the sun would come up after a time.

“But a fog is blowing up from the south, too,” said Amy. “See that cloud, Jess? My dear! Did you ever expect that we would be sitting here on Darry’s yacht waiting for it to sink under us?”

“How can you!” exclaimed Jessie, aghast.

“Well, that is practically what we are doing,” replied her chum. “Thank goodness I have had this cup of coffee, anyway. It braces me——”

“Even for drowning?” asked Jessie. “Oh! What is that, Amy?”

“It’s a boat! It’s a boat! Ship ahoy!” shrieked Amy, jumping up and dancing about, dropping the cup and saucer to smash upon the deck.

“It’s a steamboat!” cried Darry Drew, from the deck above.

“Head for it if you can, Bob!” commanded Skipper Pandrick to the helmsman.

But before they could see what kind of craft the other was, the fog surrounded them. It wrapped the Marigold around in a thick mantle. They could not see ten yards from her rail.

“We don’t even know if she is looking for us!” 200 exclaimed Dr. Stanley. “That is too bad—too bad.”

“Whistle for it,” urged Amy. “Can’t we?”

“If we use the little steam left for the whistle, we will have to shut down the engines,” declared Darry.

“This is a fine yacht—I don’t think!” scoffed Burd Alling. “And none of you knows a thing about rescuing this boat and crew but me. Watch me save the yacht.”

He marched forward and began to work the foot-power foghorn vigorously. Its mournful note (not unlike a cow’s lowing, as Jessie had said) reverberated through the fog. The sound must have carried miles upon miles.

But it was nearly an hour before they heard any reply. Then the hoarse, brief blast of a tug whistle came to their ears.

Marigold, ahoy!” shouted a well-known voice across the heaving sea.

“Daddy!” screamed Jessie, springing up and dropping her cup and saucer, likewise to utter ruin. “It’s Daddy Norwood!”

The big tug wallowed nearer. She carried wireless, too, and the Marigold’s company believed, at once, that Jessie’s message had been received aboard the Pocahontas.

“But—then—how did Daddy Norwood come aboard of her?” Jessie demanded. 201

This was not explained until later when the six passengers were taken aboard the tug and hawsers were passed from the sinking yacht to the very efficient Pocahontas.

“And a pretty penny it will cost, so the skipper says, to get her towed to port,” Darry complained.

“Say!” ejaculated Burd, “suppose she didn’t find us at all and we were paddling around in that boat and on the life raft? That would take the permanent wave out of your hair, old grouch!”

The girls, however, and Dr. Stanley as well, begged Mr. Norwood to explain how he had come in search of the Marigold and had arrived so opportunely.

“Nothing easier,” said the lawyer. “When the operator at the lighthouse station got your message——”

“Oh, bully, Jess! You did it!” cried Amy, breaking in.

“Did you send that message, Jessie?” asked her father. “Well, I am proud of you. The operator came to the house and told me. Although his partner was sending the news of your predicament broadcast over the sea, he told me of the tug lying behind the island, and that it could be chartered.

“So,” explained Mr. Norwood, “I left Drew to fortify the women—and little Henrietta—and went right over and was rowed out to the 202 Pocahontas by an old fisherman who said he knew you girls. I believe he pronounced you ‘cleaners,’ if you know what that means,” laughed the lawyer.

“Henrietta, by the way, was doing incantations of some sort over the wind and weather when I left the bungalow. She said ‘Spotted Snake’ could bring you all safe home.”

“Bless her heart!” exclaimed Jessie.

That afternoon when the tug worked her way carefully into the dock near the bungalow colony on Station Island, Henrietta was the first person the returned wanderers saw on the shore to greet them. She was dancing up and down and screaming something that Jessie and Amy did not catch until they came off the gangplank. Then they made the incantation out to be:

“That Ringold one can’t have my island—so now! The court says so, and Mr. Drew says so, too. He just got it off the telephone and he told me. It’s my island—so there!”

“Why, how glad I am for you, dear!” cried Jessie, running to hug the excited little girl.

“Come ashore! Come ashore! All of you!” cried Henrietta, with a wide gesture. “I invite all of you. This is my island, not that Ringold’s. You can come on it and do anything you like!”

“Why, Henrietta!” murmured Jessie, as the other listeners broke into laughter. “You must not talk like that. I am glad the courts have given 203 you your father’s property. But remember, there are other people who have rights, too.”

“Say! That Ringold one—and that Moon one—haven’t any prop’ty on this island, have they?” Henrietta demanded.


“Then that’s all right,” said the little girl with satisfaction. “I’ll be good, Miss Jessie; oh, I’ll be good!” and she hugged her friend again.

“And don’t call them ‘that Ringold one’ and ‘that Moon one,’ Henrietta. That is not pretty nor polite,” admonished Jessie.

“All right, if you say so, Miss Jessie. What you say goes with me. See?”

It took some time, after they were at home, for everything to be talked over and all the mystery of the radio message to be cleared up. The interested operator from the lighthouse came over to congratulate Jessie on what she had done. After all, aside from the girl’s addressing the station by name, the message had not been hard to understand. And considering the faulty construction of the yacht’s wireless and the weakness of her batteries, Jessie had done very well indeed.

The young people, of course, would have much to talk about regarding the adventure for days to come. Especially Darry. When he learned what he would have to pay for the towing in of the yacht and what it would cost to put in proper engines 204 and calk and paint the hull, he was aghast and began to figure industriously.

“Learning something, aren’t you, Son?” chuckled Mr. Drew. “Your Uncle Will pretty near went broke keeping up the Marigold. But I will help you, for I am getting rather fond of the old craft, too.”

“We all ought to help,” said Mr. Norwood. “I sha’n’t want you to scrap the boat, Darry, my boy. I like to think that it was my Jessie saved her from sinking—and saved you all. To my mind radio is a great thing—something more than a toy even for these boys and girls.”

“Quite true,” Mr. Drew agreed. “When your Jessie and my Amy first strung those wires at Roselawn I thought they were well over it if they didn’t break their limbs before they got it finished. When we get back home I think Darry and I would better put up aerials and have a house-set, too. What say, Darry?”

“I’m with you, Father,” agreed the young collegian. “But I won’t agree to rival Jess and Amy as radio experts. For those two girls take the palm.”








Peggy Stewart at Home

Peggy Stewart at School

Peggy, Polly, Rosalie, Marjorie, Natalie, Isabel, Stella and Juno—girls all of high spirits make this Peggy Stewart series one of entrancing interest. Their friendship, formed in a fashionable eastern school, they spend happy years crowded with gay social affairs. The background for these delightful stories is furnished by Annapolis with its naval academy and an aristocratic southern estate.


The Goldsmith Publishing Co.






By Johanna Spyri


Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson


Hans Brinker

By Mary Mapes Dodge


Gulliver’s Travels

By Jonathan Swift


Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll

Boys and girls the world over worship these “Classics” of all times, and no youth is complete without their imagination-stirring influence. They are the time-tested favorites loved by generations of young people.


The Goldsmith Publishing Co.





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