was not difficult. A number of the passengers glanced at them curiously.
"Goin' ter Alaska?" asked one brawny fellow whose face was almost entirely concealed by his tangled beard. "Well, well! Ain't yer most afraid ye'll git done up?"
"We'll try to keep on top," answered Earl. The fellow wished to continue the conversation, but both Earl and Randy were too impatient just then to listen to him, and moved off to another part of the boat.
Five minutes more had passed and an officer was going around shouting: "All ashore that's going! We sail in five minutes!" Those to be left behind began to pass over the gang-plank—it was a hasty handshake and a last good-by on every side. The boys looked at each other doubtfully.
"If he doesn't come—" began Earl, when his quick eye caught sight in the crowd of a hat that he recognized. "Uncle Foster! Uncle Foster Portney! Come on board!" he yelled, at the top of his sturdy lungs.
Mr. Portney, in the jam of people below, heard and looked up. In a moment he had caught sight of his nephews and he shook his hand at them. Soon he was mounting the gang-plank, the last of the passengers to come on board. He was out of breath and gave the boys an odd smile.
"I suppose I gave you a scare," he said. "I didn't