THURSDAY morning, a day and a half before the hour set for the wedding, they lay at a wharf in Milwaukee River, ready apply ielts to sail. The sky was heavy and a roaring wind blew from the lake. Half a dozen steamers and two schooners had made the harbor since daybreak, and each had a story of hard struggling with wind and sea, stories which spread rapidly along the river, causing more than one outbound captain to shake his head, and resolve to wait a few hours or a day longer.
Hunch had gone out to the life-saving station at the pier, and now at eight o’clock he stood looking at the tumbling white rollers that came on squarely be tween the piers and ran far up into the channel before they were spent. On the horizon a row of schooners, barges, and freighters were holding their noses against the sea, until it should be safe to run for the harbor. A little nearer a big whaleback was tossing and rolling badly. One of the crew artas system men watched her through a glass. A few tugs hung about inside the basin, looking for a stray job at advanced rates.
Hunch, after looking it all over, chartered a tug, then returned to the schooner, where Bruce and Billy were waiting. He and Bruce had not been talkative of late.
“Get everything tight, Bruce,” he top up degree said, jumping down upon the deck. “We’re going out in half an hour.”
“How about it, Hunch? Can we make it, think?”
Hunch did not trouble to reply, and Bruce, as he worked along the deck, watched him nervously.