Boy's Cinema (1930-31)

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8 "It strikes me you're taking a lot of responsibility over Miss Bonnie, but I'm the owner of this ship, and you'll do as I tell you!" Harry Drake's jaw took on a stubborn thrust. "Yes!" he said. "Well, owner or not, we'll head for the port of Twam- balla. When wo get there you can hand me my discharge if you like. But until then I'm in coinniand, and you'll leave me to give the orders Head for the port of Tvvaniballa, Mr. Black." Bull Black hesitated, but, uncertain for the moment of his ground, he touched the peak of his cap sailor-fashion. ■'Ay, ay, sir!" he answered, none too civilly. - ' Harry passed on, and he had gone a few paces when Arnold tapped Bull on the arm. "Bu]l," he said through his teeth, "you've wanted command of this ship. Now's your chance. Let's see you take it!" ' Bull squared his shouldei-s. "You mean " "Yeah, that's just what I do mean," Arnold told him curtly, interpreting the sentence that Bull had left unfinished. The rascally mate nodded, and strode after Harry. At that moment Harry was running his keen eye over a group oi seamen, and he noticed that one of the hands was loafing. He was Demp- i;ter. Black's crony of the fo'c'sle, and Harry spoke to him sharply. He had marked among some of the crew, Black included, an air of subdued insolence, almost amounting to insubordination, and he did not intend to tolerate it. "What are you doing there, sailor?" he demanded. " Come on, clean this halyard !" The curt reprimand brought DemiKter to his feet, though it was with some sullenness that he proceeded to obey, and Harry was watching him sternly when Black came up. Captain and mate looked at each other, and Bomething about Black's easy self-assurance warned Harry of what .was afoot. "I've orders to take command of this ship," Bull announced. "From now on you'll con-sider yourself a passenger, Mr Drake." Harry's brow darkened. "Is that so?" he giound out, in a voice that must have carried to Arnold's cars. "Well, let me tell you this. You'll take orders from me, Mr. Black!" The men near by stopped their work. Briney and Burke were among them, and i5urke shot a glance at his ship- mate which seemed to express the sen- timent, "I told you so." There were three other members of the crew in the neighboiuhood—Demp- ster, Gavigan and Ba.xter—and thoy also seemed to regard the situation with sig- nificance. With every eye upon him, Bull Black took a step forward, his knuckles bunched ominously. "I'll take nothin' from you!" he barked, and with fho words swung his list for Harry Drake's jaw. Mutiny. HAD it connected, that blow mnst have hurled Harry to the deck, but ho acted with a rapidity that baflled Bull Black. Up came his arm, and as his elbow parried the swing Bull's fist glanced aside. Next pccond Harry had ripped his riglit to the mate's chin, and the burly ruffian went over like a ninepin. Heels flying, ho struck the boards with a resounding thump and rolled to the scupper. November 28th, 1931. BOY'S CINEMA He lay prone for a moment, while Harry stood over him, still in the atti- tude of delivering the blow. Then the mutinous rogue shook his great shaggy head as if to throw off the effects of the punch and with a full, round oath ho scrambled to his feet and lunged at the younger man. Harry was ready for him. His left tore into Bull's ribs with an impact that drew a sharp grunt from the mate. His right lashed him in the jaw again and dropped him to the deck for a second time. Standing at some distance, Bon Arnold could .scarcely refrain from shouting a word of impatient encouragement to his fallen henchman. There were others, however, who were prepared to go to Bull's assistance, for as the mate was laid low both Dempster and Gavigan started forward. "No, you don't," roared Briney, flinging his hefty bulk in front of them and holdmg them off with widespread arms. "Keep back, ye scum, an' give the skipper a chance." Bull reached his feet again, and made still another savage onslaught. This time he was more successful. He broke through Harry's guard and rocked the young captain with a buffet that drew blood from the mouth, and, though Harry was quick to recover, his assailant fell into a clinch with him and tried to throw, him. They staggered across the deck, grap- pling fiercely. Meanwhile, Briney was keeping Bull's underlings in check, and at the same time u-atching every phase of the struggle—and a delighted yell escaped him as Harry switched his foot behind Black's legs and brought him down with a trip-throw. There was a patter of feet on the deck, and Markham came running on to the scene. "Say, what's the matter with you fellei-s?" he squealed, as he saw the mate sprawled near the bulwark. "Come on. let's give Bull a hand!" He dashed forward, but Briney caught him and wrenched him back. "Just a minute, you!" he stormed. "Fair play! The first guy that makes a move, I'll break him in two!" "Yeah?" came the voice of Dempster, and next second he had wrapped his arms around Briney's neck, assailing him from the rear. Briney was instantly engaged in a fierce .scuffle, and Baxter, Gavigan and Markham leapt towards Harry. Burke took Markham on the run and brought liim down in a heap, and Connor, ap- pearing at that moment, tackled Baxter manfully. Gavigan was left to go to Bidl Black's aid, for Collins, the only other reliable member of the crew, was in the wheel-house, and did not dare to leave his post. But Briney threw Dempster to the deck and pounced on Gavigan like a lion. ye hit Gavigan with a force that sent him staggering, and the man blundered against Harry. The young captain almost lost his balance, and only saved himself from falling by clutching at the bulwark. By the time he was fairly on his feet, however. Bull Black was up again, and rushing at him like a mad- man. Bull's fist drove into Harry's face before he could lift his guard and block the punch. The shock swung him back- ward, and in a twinkling he was almost over the side—within an ace of plung- ing into a shark-infested sea. He lurched back at • the mate and caught the rogue with a right-hand jolt at the same time. Bull reeled away, and, following him up swiftly, the Every Tuesday Englishman rained blows at liis impas- sioned face. For the next sixty seconds the mate was the victim of a relentless hammering that drove him along the deck towards the stern. Ill the meantime Briney and his com- panions were battling whole-heartedly against Bull's underlings of the fo'c'sle, and above the noise of the strife Briney's strident voice w\'is bellowing powerfully. "Give 'em beans, boys!" he roared. "A scarlet runner every time ye hit 'em on the nose!" Briney was handling both Gavigan and Dempster now, his big, tousled head rearing above them and jerking this way and (hat as he battered them with his calloiL-ed fists. Burke was piling into Markham, and changing the con- tour of that rascally seaman's features with a series of well-timed blows. Connor was up against a tough proposi- tion in Baxter, a man of Bull Black's build, but was managing to hold his own. Ben Arnold was watching the fight eagerly, particularly the grim conflict between Harry Drake and Bull Black, and it was with feelings of chagrin and dismay that he saw the burly mate stumbling back in full retreat before the Englishman's attack. But an exclama- tion of satisfaction broke from Arnold as Bull rallied with an effort and rammed home a heavy body-blow. Harry was pulled up by it, and .sud- denly Bull launched a terrific onslaught that was well-nigh irresistible. He used all his weight, and his bulk was a big advantage to liim, for he must have turned the scales at fifteen stone, fully twenty pounds more than the younger man. But HaiT3''s clean-cut frame had re- sources of strength and stamina that were jet to bewilder Bull Black, and with his compact build the Englishman was singularly well-equipped for a "rough-house." The mate landed a full swing that floored Harry. It should have smashed the wits out of him, too, but the young captain had scarcely fallen before he was starting to pull himself to his feet again. Bull flung himself forward and dis- covered to his cost that Harry had plenty of fight left in him. For he planted his boot in the mate's stomach, hurled him back with a powerful thrust and then dragged himself up by the bulwark. The Plunge. DR. ANTHONY ADAMS had re- mained with his niece in her state- room, where he did his utmost to console her over the passing of her father. "You must be brave, Bonnie!" he told her. "All the weeping in the world wouldn't bring him back. And re- member—he has left us with a mission to perform, a mission that is going to save thousands of lives. We've got to keep a stiff upper lip, my dear " It was at this juncture that the doctor first became aware of the commotion on the deck, and as the sounds of the melee reached his ears he took his arm from around Bonnie's shoulders. "Why, what's going on?" he stam- mered. "It sounds like a battle royal." He stepped to the door and pulled it open, and the noiso of strife immediately became a hundred times more distmct. With an exclamation the doctor hurried out of the cabin, and, forcing back her sobs, Bonnie moved after him. Ben Arnold was standing a few paccj away, and Bonnie and her uncle joined (Continued on vaee 27.)