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- The Motor Boys on the Pacific - 31/31 -


"But this is too much," protested Jerry, when Mr. De Vere had given him and his comrades nearly half as much again as was originally promised.

"Not a bit of it," was the reply. "I can well afford it. Those papers were more valuable than you supposed, and I find I will be able to collect insurance on the cargo of the abandoned brig. I have heard from the captain of it, and he tells me, just as I supposed, that he and the crew left her because of the peculiar fumes, so that my theory was right, after all. They tried to take the dogs, which belonged to the first mate, but could not."

"Did you hear anything more of Blowitz?" asked Ned.

"Yes," replied Mr. De Vere, rather solemnly. "Blowitz was killed shortly after the tug gave up the chase."

"How?"

"The boiler blew up when the tug was trying to tow the derelict in, and he and several of the crew were burned to death. The survivors floated on the wreckage until they were picked up. So I have nothing more to fear from Blowitz. But I called to know if you boys, and the young ladies, Mr. Seabury and Professor Snodgrass, would not be my guests at a little dinner I am to give at the hotel. I want to show you that I appreciate what you did for me."

"I think you have already done so," said Jerry.

"Perhaps I have, but I would like you to come to my dinner. Will you?"

The boys promised. So did the girls and Mr. Seabury, whose health was much improved by the California climate. The professor, with a far away look in his eyes, said he would be there if he could.

"What's to prevent you?" asked Bob.

"Well, I haven't found that horned toad yet, and I'm still searching."

The dinner came off three nights later. It was a grand affair, served in the best of style of which the San Felicity hotel chef was capable. The girls and the boys were there, dressed in their best, and Ponto was taken along as a sort of chaperon, which gave him great delight. He did not once fall asleep.

"But where is Professor Snodgrass?" asked Mr. De Vere, when it was nearly time to sit down. "Isn't he coming?"

"He promised to be here," announced Mr. Seabury. "Probably he is on his way now."

At that moment a commotion was heard outside the private dining-room which Mr. De Vere had engaged. A voice was saying:

"I tell you I will go in! I'm invited! My clothes? What about my clothes? All mud? Of course they're all mud. I couldn't help it!"

Then the door flew open and a curious sight was presented. There stood the professor, his coat split up the back, his trousers torn, and his hat smashed. Splashes of mud were all over him.

"What is the matter?" cried Mr. Seabury, in alarm.

"Nothing," replied the professor calmly. "I have caught two horned toads, that's all. I saw them as I was on the way here, and I had to go into a mud puddle to get them. I fell down, but I got the toads," and he held up a small cage, in which were the ugly creatures.

"Ugh!" exclaimed Nellie.

"Good for you, Professor!" cried Jerry. "You got the toads and we got our prize money!"

"Yes, but I would rather have these toads than all your prize money," replied the professor. "They are beauties," he added, fondly.

The dinner was a joyous affair, and it is a question who was the happiest, the professor, over the capture of the horned toads, the boys over the successful outcome of their cruise on the Pacific, or Mr. De Vere, who had recovered his fortune. At any rate they all had a good time.

"Well," remarked Bob, when the supper was over, and they were on their way back to the bungalow, "I suppose we'll soon have to think of getting back east, and beginning school. They must have the pipes and boiler fixed by now."

"Don't think of it," begged Ned. "It's too awful. I'd like to go on another long cruise in the Ripper."

"Well, I don't know that we can do that," said Jerry, "but I certainly hope we have more adventures soon." How his wish was gratified will be told in another volume of this series, to be entitled, "The Motor Boys in the Clouds; Or, A Trip for Fame and Fortune." In that book we shall meet many of our old friends again, and learn something more of a venture in which the motor boys were already interested.

"Boys, this has been an interesting trip for me," said Professor Snodgrass. "I have the two horned toads, seven web-footed lizards, and over fifty other valuable specimens to take back with me. I would not have missed this trip for a great deal."

"So say we all of us!" cried Jerry.

"Let us go out for another trip in the motor boat to-morrow," said Ned. "I mean a short trip."

"Take us along!" pleaded the girls in concert.

"Sure thing!" answered the boys.

And they went out-- and had a glorious time-- and here we shall have to say farewell.

THE END _________________________________________________________________


The Motor Boys on the Pacific - 31/31

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