FRANK MERRIWELL'S CRUISE
BY BURT L. STANDISH
"Frank Merriwell's Schooldays," "Frank Merriwell's Chums,"
"Frank Merriwell's Foes," "Frank Merriwell's
Trip West," etc.
DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER
604-8 South Washington Square
By STREET & SMITH
Frank Merriwell's Cruise
FRANK MERRIWELL'S CRUISE.
THE MEETING IN BOSTON.
"Mr. John Diamond, Lexington, Pa.: If you wish cruise in down East waters, join me Monday next at American Hotel, Boston. Have purchased yacht. Hodge and Browning will be in party. Great sport anticipated.
Jack Diamond was reclining in a hammock suspended in the shade of an artificial arbor when this message from Frank Merriwell was handed to him by a boy. He tore open the envelope and read it, his eyes beginning to sparkle and a flush coming to his handsome, aristocratic face.
"Just like him!" exclaimed Jack. "Before leaving Fardale he aroused our curiosity about that part of the country, and now he proposes taking us down there in his own yacht. Will I go? Will I? I wouldn't miss it for the world!"
It had not taken him a minute to decide.
A cab rattled up to the front of the American Hotel, on Hanover Street, Boston, and stopped. The door flew open, and out stepped a smartly dressed young man, wearing russet shoes, a light-colored box coat and a brown
Alpine hat. He carried a handsome alligator-skin traveling bag in his hand.
Paying cabbie without speaking a word, this youth turned and walked into the hotel. As he entered, a colored boy hastened forward and relieved him of his traveling bag. He stepped up to the clerk's desk and said:
"I am Jack Diamond, of Virginia, and I wish to see Mr. Frank Merriwell, who is stopping here."
"Yes, sir," said the clerk, politely. "Mr. Merriwell left orders that you be shown up immediately on your arrival. Twenty-three, show Mr. Diamond to Mr. Merriwell's rooms."
"Right this way, sah," said the colored boy.
Jack followed the uniformed bell boy, who paused at the elevator shaft and pressed a button. In a moment the elevator came gliding noiselessly down, the door slid open, a lady and a gentleman stepped out and Diamond stepped in.
"Third," said the bell boy, and then he turned and disappeared, while the elevator man closed the door and sent the car gliding upward. He stopped at the third floor, and, to Jack's surprise, the bell boy with the grip was there, calmly awaiting his arrival.
Jack followed him to the door of a room at the front of the house. As the boy lifted his hand to knock at the door, there was a burst of laughter within, plainly heard, as the transom was open, and Frank Merriwell's voice cried:
"Hans, if you could tell that story on the stage just as you told it then you would make your fortune."
"Vot vos der madder mit me?" exclaimed the voice of Hans Dunnerwust, Frank's German friend. "Dot nefer vos a funny stories! You don'd seen vot I larft ad! Dot peen a bathetic sdory. I oxbected you vould took mein handkersheft oudt und cried id indo, but you sed roundt
und laugh ad dot bathetic sdory like I vos a lot of monkeys. You don't like dot as vell as I might!"
Then there was another burst of laughter, and the knock of the bell boy was not heard.
"Never mind," said Diamond, taking his traveling bag and giving the boy a dime; "I'll go right in."
He opened the door and stepped into the room.
Hodge, Browning, Merriwell and Dunnerwust were there. Bart was tilted back in a chair, with his feet on the table, while lazy Bruce was half sitting and half reclining on a sofa. Frank sat astride a chair, looking over the back of it at Hans, who had stood in the middle of the room as he told his "bathetic sdory."
"Hello, fellows!" cried the lad from Virginia, heartily.
There was a shout of welcome. Frank sprang forward quickly and grasped Diamond's hand.
"Delighted, old man!" laughed Merry. "I was afraid you wouldn't come till I received your telegram stating that you would be on hand. Any trouble in persuading the mother?"
"Not much, though she said it did seem that I might remain at home a while longer, and she told me to tell you that she is beginning to get jealous of you, as I spend so much of my time during vacations with you."
"How you vos, Shack?" said Hans, getting hold of Diamond's free hand, the latter having dropped his traveling bag. "I vos a sight vor sore eyes, ain'd you! You don'd knew how dickled you vos to seen me."
Hodge came forward and shook hands, expressing his pleasure, and, with sundry grunts, Browning succeeded in getting upon his feet, saying as he rose:
"Suppose I'll have to stand to shake, or you'll challenge me. You Southerners are so confoundedly particular about courtesy and all that."
"I know you too well to resent it if you lay on your back and offered to shake hands with me. In fact, it surprises me to discover you hadn't rather fight a duel after you were obliged to get up than to get up when not absolutely forced to do so."
"What baggage did you bring?" asked Merry.
"A trunk. It will be brought to the hotel here."
"There is no room for trunks on board the White Wings," said Frank. "You'll have to store your trunk and such stuff as you do not absolutely need till we get back here."
"The White Wings? Is that the name of your yacht?"
"Good name. How did you happen to buy a yacht?"
"Got a bargain of her. I came on to Boston with Miss Burrage, whose aunt was waiting here for her. I met Jack Benjamin. You remember him?"
"I remember him. His sister is a stunningly handsome girl."
"Huah!" grunted Browning. "That explains how you happen to remember him."
"Well," Frank went on. "Benjamin turned out to be a fine fellow. Invited me over to his house, treated me beautifully. He knows a lot of sporty chaps. Among them was Walter Pringle, who owned this yacht. Pringle took a party of us out for a cruise down the bay, and we had a grand time. Went to Nantasket. Coming back Pringle said he had planned to cruise down to the eastward this summer with a party of friends, but something had come up that knocked out the arrangement. Then it was that I thought of a talk we once had while
at Fardale about making a cruise down along the Maine coast, and I spoke of it. Said I'd like to own his yacht. Saw Pringle looked a little queer. He stared at me a few moments, and then asked what I would give for the White Wings. I questioned him some about her, and then made an offer. He didn't take me up, but the next day he came and told me the yacht was mine. I was astonished, for I didn't offer much more than one-half what she is really worth. But he said he must have the money without delay, as he was going to get out of Boston in a hurry. I dispatched Prof. Scotch, and he wired me the amount. I bought the boat, and now I hear Pringle has left for Seattle, on his way to Alaska. His father is hot over it, for he didn't want his son to go. Pringle had the fever, and he sold the yacht in a hurry to raise money to go