Like everything else, now and then it has its funny side. Once a lobsterman lost his watch, chain and all; for a day or two he was asking everybody he met if they'd seen it. A neighbor of his went out to pull his own traps.
And he told the man about the abandoned power-boat in the inlet. The harbor-master stood up straight and looked at Ken, at last. "Wal, ding!" said he. "That's Joe Pasquale's boat, sure's I'm a-standin' here!" "Who," said Ken, "is Joe Pasquale?" "He is or woz a Portugee fisherman lobsterman, ruther.
"Exactly," laughingly said Amy afterward, "as though I had announced that I was a militant suffragist, and intended burning his boats." "Pirate's treasure, miss?" repeated the old lobsterman. "I er I never found any." "But Mr. Nelson said there might be some." "Oh, there might yes.
And how they was all rescued by an old lobsterman who made two trips in a leaky tub of a motorboat out through a howlin' northeaster. And why, say, you don't mean to tell me you're Uncle Jimmy Isham, the hero?" "Sho!" says he. "Don't you begin all that nonsense again. I was pestered enough by the summer folks that next season.
"Glad ye come. Ye'll find everything all ready for ye! 'Mandy has a fire goin', an' th' chowder's hot." "Who is he?" asked Mrs. Nelson, in a whisper. "Old Tin-Back," replied her husband. "He's a lobsterman and a character. I engaged his wife to clean the cottage, and be here when you arrived." "Yes, I'm Old Tin-Back," replied the man with a gruff but not unpleasant laugh.
The motor of his boat was making such a noise that he could not make his voice heard, nor could he tell what Cousin Tom was saying. But he knew what was meant, for he saw the drifting boat. With another wave of his hand to show that he knew what was wanted of him, the lobsterman steered his boat toward Cousin Tom's wharf.
"He seems to be looking for something on the beach," commented Grace, "and unless he thinks we have slipped down one of those funny little holes the sand fleas make, I can't see how he could be searching for us." But the old lobsterman had a message for them, nevertheless, for when he came within hailing distance he called hoarsely: "Ahoy there, young ladies! Your folks want you to come back.
"But there's an old lobsterman Tin-Back, they call him near Edgemere in whom I think you girls will be interested," he went on. "He's quite a character." "Why do they call him Tin-Back?" asked Amy. "Has he really a " "A tin back? How funny that would be?" laughed Betty. "You must ask him," declared her father. "I didn't have time when I came down to see if everything was all right."
"I started out a bit early this morning, so I don't have to hurry. Besides, the tide is running pretty strong, and you'd have it a bit hard rowing back." "It's a good thing you came along," said Daddy Bunker, as he thanked the lobsterman. "The children might have been carried out to sea." "Oh, the life guard at the station on the beach would have seen them in time," returned Mr. Burnett.
She had tried to make off in the rowboat trailing at the schooner's stern, but had been caught by Tin-Back. "No, you don't!" he cried. "We want you!" and the old lobsterman held to her despite her struggles. There were more explanations, and then, as the storm showed signs of breaking, the rescued girls and their friends set out for Ocean View in the motor boat.