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Percy F. (Percy Francis) Westerman.

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his waist, Tassh was hauled out of the hole, carried across the inner
cave and out into the open air.

"We've found the rest of the silver, sir," announced Simpson.

"That's good business," replied Mr Buckley. "It's time we had a rest.
Put those lights out, Green, it must be close on dawn. Why, where is
the yacht?"

In the pale grey light, the sea showed an unbroken expanse of
rippling water. The yacht with Phillips and Mayne had vanished.

* * * *

"I trust that rascal on board hasn't got the better of Phillips and
Mayne," said Mr Buckley.

"So do I, sir," added Atherton. "He must be very smart to get the
better of those two fellows."

"Criminals are usually smart," remarked Green.

"Not necessarily," replied the Scoutmaster. "They are frequently only
clever in comparison with their dupes. But there is Hayes standing on
the cliff."

Hayes and Coventry, having accomplished their task of signalling to
the coastguard, had returned to their post of observation, and had
dutifully remained there during the whole of the night, since the
Scoutmaster had given no further instructions as to what they were to
do.

"Seen anything of the yacht?" shouted Atherton.

"Yes," replied Hayes, "the coastguards towed her away."

"Then Phillips and Mayne are all right," said the Scoutmaster,
thankfully. "Now, lads, let's get our prisoners to the top of the
cliff. The sooner we hand them over to the proper authorities the
better."

In very little time the police arrived from Polkerwyck, and Bill and
the madman, Tassh, were conveyed to the mainland. The Scouts, after a
well-earned meal, were one and all soon sound asleep, never waking
till close upon five in the afternoon, when Sir Silas Gwinnear
crossed over to Seal Island to personally compliment the Scouts on
their success.

"I am afraid, sir," said Mr Buckley, "we have been acting contrary to
Headquarter instructions. Particular emphasis is laid upon the fact
that no Scouts' night operations should go on after eleven-thirty. I
only hope that the exigencies of the case are sufficient excuse for
turning day into night."

"All the same, I do not know how to express my gratitude to the
Scouts," said Sir Silas. "That raises an awkward topic, Mr Buckley.
You know that there is a reward out for the recovery of the silver?"

"Scouts, Sir Silas, do not accept rewards for services rendered: good
turns, we call them."

"So I previously learned," said the baronet, smiling at Atherton.
"All the same, if there is anything I can do . . . I suppose there is
a limit of age for Scouts, Mr Buckley?"

"Once a Scout, always a Scout, sir."

"H'm. Well, perhaps I may be able to have a bit of my own way in the
matter of showing my practical gratitude, Mr Buckley. Meanwhile,
Scouts, I hope for the rest of your stay in Seal Island you will be
able to conform to regular habits and enjoy yourselves far more than
you have up to the present."

"We've had a rattling good time, sir," replied the "Wolves" and the
"Otters" in a chorus that carried conviction.

"I'm glad to hear it," returned Sir Silas. "And, believe me, you have
made me envious of the Scouts of Seal Island."

* * * *

Little more remains to be said. The "Otters" and the "Wolves"
prolonged their stay on Seal Island for three whole weeks beyond the
fortnight originally intended, the extension being due to the fact
that the Scouts had to give evidence at Bodmin Assizes against the
rascal known as Bill.

The fellow was proved to be one of the assailants of Sir Silas
Gwinnear on Hungerford Bridge; and not only was he found guilty of
being concerned in the robbery of the baronet's silver, but an
additional charge, that of stealing a yacht from Avonmouth - the one
the Scouts captured with a quantity of the booty on board - was proved
against him.

His companion got off with six months' hard labour against Bill's
seven years' penal servitude. Tassh, hopelessly insane, was taken to
the county asylum.

Thus the rogues of this story are accounted for.

Collingwood College runs a larger, and equally efficient, troop than
of yore. Mr Trematon, now second master of the school, is still in
command; but we will look in vain for Dick Atherton, Phillips,
Simpson, Neale and others of the young heroes of Seal Island amongst
the crowd of uniformed Scouts.

Atherton is now fourth officer of the Empire Line - a steamship
company largely under Sir Silas Gwinnear's control. Fred Simpson is
likewise in the merchant service, thanks to the Cornish baronet's
patronage. Phillips, Neale and Fraser have accepted good appointments
in Canada, in connection with the wealthy firm of Gwinnear Ltd.;
while every other original member of the "Otters" and "Wolves'"
patrols has to thank Sir Silas for a good start in life.

At all important Headquarter functions, Sir Silas will generally be
found. He is never tired of expressing his high appreciation of the
movement, and seems to take a delight in relating the circumstances
under which his opinion changed, and how he had reason to be proud of
certain members of his firm - the former Scouts of Seal Island.



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Transcriber's Notes:

This book contains a number of misprints.
The following misprints have been corrected:

[anything unforeseen occur] ->
[anything unforeseen occurs]
[the dust-grimmed members] ->
[the dust-grimed members]
[ordered Mr. Bulkley] ->
[ordered Mr. Buckley] (this error occurs twice)
[embarassing] ->
[embarrassing]
[chosing] ->
[choosing]

A few cases of punctuation errors were corrected, but are
not mentioned here.







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Online LibraryPercy F. (Percy Francis) WestermanThe Scouts of Seal Island → online text (page 12 of 12)