The Young Engineers on the Gulf

H. Irving Hancock
Young Engineers on the Gulf, by
H. Irving Hancock

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Title: The Young Engineers on the Gulf The Dread Mystery of the
Million Dollar Breakwater
Author: H. Irving Hancock
Release Date: December 16, 2004 [EBook #14369]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Jim Ludwig

The Young Engineers on the Gulf or The Dread Mystery of the Million
Dollar Breakwater
By H. Irving Hancock

I. The Mystery of a Black Night II. The Call of One in Trouble III.
Vanishing into Thin Air IV. Some One Calls Again V.
Wanted---Daylight and Divers VI. Mr. Bascomb is Peevish VII. Tom
Isn't as Easy as He Looks VIII. Mr. Prenter Investigates IX. Invited To
Leave Camp X. The Night is Not Over XI. A Message from a Coward
XII. An Engineer's Fighting Blood XIII. Wishing It on Mr. Sambo XIV.
The Black Man's Turn XV. A David for a Goliath XVI. A Test of Real
Nerve XVII. Tom Makes an Unexpected Capture XVIII. The Army
"On the Job" XIX. A New Mystery Peeps In XX. A Secret in Sight
XXI. Evarts Hears a Noise XXII. Mr. Bascomb Hears Bad News XXIII.
Ebony Says "Thumbs Up" XXIV. Conclusion
"I wish I had brought my electric flash out here with me," muttered
Harry Hazelton uneasily.
"I told you that you'd better do it," chuckled Tom Reade.
"But how could I know that the night would be pitch dark?" Harry
demanded. "I don't know this gulf weather yet, and fifteen minutes ago
the stars were out in full force. Now look at them!"
"How can I look at them?" demanded Tom, halting. "My flashlight
won't pierce the clouds."
Reade halted on his dark, dangerous footway, and Harry, just behind
him, uttered a sigh of relief and halted also.
"I never was in such a place as this before."

"You've been in many a worse place, though," rejoined Tom. "I never
heard you make half as much fuss, either."
"I think something must be wrong with my head," ventured Harry.
"Undoubtedly," Tom Reade agreed cheerily.
"Hear that water," Harry went on, in a voice scarcely less disconsolate
than before.
"Of course," nodded Tom. "But the water can hardly be termed a
surprise. We both knew that the Gulf of Mexico is here. We saw it
several times to-day."
The two young men stood on a narrow ledge of stone that jutted out of
the water. This wall of stone was the first, outer or retaining wall of
masonry---the first work of constructing a great breakwater. At high
tide, this ledge was just fourteen inches above the level surface of the
Gulf of Mexico, and at the time of the above conversation it was within
twenty minutes of high tide. The top of this wall of masonry was thirty
inches wide, which made but a narrow footway for the two youths who,
on a pitch black night, were more than half a mile out from shore.
On a pleasant night, for a young man with a steady head, the top of this
breakwater wall did not offer a troublesome footpath. In broad daylight
hundreds of laborers and masons swarmed over it, working side by side,
or on scows and dredges alongside.
"Wait, and I'll show a light," volunteered Tom raising his foot-long
Some seventy-five yards behind them a crawling snake-like figure
flattened itself out on the top of the rock wall.
"Don't show the light just yet," pleaded Harry. "It might only make me
more dizzy."
The flattened figure behind them wriggled noiselessly along.

"Just listen to the water," continued Hazelton. "Tom, I'm half-inclined
to think that the water is roughening."
"I believe it is," agreed Tom.
"Fine time we'll have getting back, if a gale springs up from the
southward," muttered Harry.
"See here, old fellow," interposed Tom vigorously, "you're not up to
concert pitch to-night. Now, I'll tell you what I'll do---first of all, what
you'll do. You sit right down flat on the top of the wall. Then I'll move
on up forward and see what has been happening out there that should
boom shoreward with such a racket. You stay right here, and I'll be
back as soon as I've looked into the face of the mystery."
"What do you take me for?" Harry asked almost fiercely. "A baby? Or
a cold-foot?"
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