Page:Yule Logs.djvu/46

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30
A FIGHTING MERMAID

few minutes later, were exploring every inch of the dock in which she had lain.

The lads had made a second narrow escape, and that they had made it at all was not due to any lack of precaution on the part of the Spanish spy, who, fully convinced that they were in some way connected with the mysterious tow in the harbour, had taken every means to intercept them in case they should attempt to regain it from the water-front of the city.

Daylight was tinting the eastern sky when the Mermaid again cautiously showed her eyes above the surface in close proximity to her tow, and, in obedience to a safety signal from the captain of the tug, who had long been watching for her, quickly regained her old position within the capacious pocket of the dumping scow. In the meantime the lads had recounted their adventures and told of their joyful meeting with General Moranza, together with what Carlos had promised should be done on the following night.

To all of this the Professor gladly agreed; for would it not afford him the longed-for opportunity of testing the powers of his beloved boat to the utmost? Thus, even before regaining her berth in the scow, the Mermaid paid a submarine visit to the Spanish transport that was to have borne many a heart-broken exile away from Cuba that day, and so tampered with propeller and steeringgear that her date of sailing was certain to be indefinitely postponed. A few hours later our adventurers watched with intense interest the consternation and bewilderment manifest on board the transport, and, when it became evident that she could not be moved, began to make active preparations for the coming night.

On the part of the Professor these consisted in mixing certain chemicals that required the utmost delicacy and skill in handling. Carl Baldwin devoted himself to so arranging a number of giant dynamite crackers, that they