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HOME > Children's Novel > The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast > CHAPTER XIV ATTACKED BY A SWORDFISH
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 “Don’t do it!” cried Mr. Ringold. “Let that fire burn!”  
But there were now so many fishermen rushing about here and there that they paid no attention to the excited man, who issued orders right and left.
“What shall we do?” demanded C. C., who had gotten off to one side with the girl he was supposed to have “rescued” from the burning cabin.
“I don’t know!” cried Mr. Ringold. “The whole play is spoiled by those fellows in. Hi, there!” he called to Blake and Joe, as he saw them operating the cameras. “Stop the reel! We don’t want any of this!”
The clicking machines grew silent, and then the boys knew that something was wrong.
Meanwhile, the hand engine was placed in position. It was learned, later, that the fish concern kept it for use in cases of emergency. There had been some small blazes, in which the old engine had proved its worth.
The fishermen knew how to operate it to advantage, too, and soon a double line of them, extending from the surf to the tank, began passing the filled buckets up one side and the empty ones down the other. As the tank filled, other men worked the handles and a stream of water was soon on the fire.
“Quit it! Oh, quit it!” begged Mr. Ringold. “I want that to burn!”
“He’s crazy—don’t mind him!” shouted the self-appointed chief. “We’ll soon have it out now.”
“I’ll see if I can stop them,” said C. C., for the water had about the blaze, and it was useless to try to go on with the play. “They’ll listen to me,” the declared.
He rushed forward, but at that moment the hose got from the control of the two men holding it. The nozzle swung around, and the stream came full force over Christopher Cutler Piper, him in an instant.
“I say there—hold on—shut that water off! I—I’m being drowned!” he spluttered. And then, as the men again got the nozzle under control, the comedian, dripping water at every point, walked away, saying:
113“There, I told you something would happen!”
“I should say it has!” declared Mr. Ringold, for once agreeing with the gloomy actor.
A few more strokes of the pump handles, a few more gallons of water, and the fire, which had quickly attacked all parts of the cottage at once, died out.
“There!” cried Abe Haskill, the old fisherman-chief. “We saved your building for ye, Mr. Ringold. Ain’t no use in buyin’ a shack an’ then havin’ it burn down—no matter if it ain’t wuth much. We saved her for you, though at one time it looked pretty . This is the first fire we’ve had in some time, an’ I reckon we got a bit .
“I might add,” he went on, “that it’s customary, in cases where a volunteer department saves a buildin’ from destruction—it’s customary, I say, for the owner to donate a leetle suthin’ to the department. In this case, seein’ as how Jim Belton sold his shack to you—why, you’re the owner. And, as I say, we saved her for you!” he concluded, proudly.
“Yes, I see you did,” remarked Mr. Ringold, . “Now I’ve got to buy another, and burn that down, for this play is spoiled.”
“What! Did you want her to burn?” asked 114Mr. Haskill, in accents of horror. “Did you want the devourin’ element to consume that buildin’?”
“I did,” replied the theatrical man.
“Well—I vum!” declared the volunteer chief. “Boys, we made a mistake.”
“The next time I’ll tell the inhabitants here what my plans are,” went on Mr. Ringold, grimly. “I told you I wanted it to burn.”
“I know you did,” admitted the chief; “but I thought you was so excited you didn’t know what you was sayin’.”
“So did I,” admitted several of the volunteer fire-fighters. “It’s too bad!”
“Well, you meant all right, anyhow,” went on Mr. Ringold, with cheerful philosophy; “and I’ll make the department a donation. But next time, please don’t . I’ll set another shack on fire as soon as I can arrange to buy one,” he said to his company. “Meanwhile we’ll go on with another drama. Save whatever you can of the films,” he added to Blake and Joe. “Up to the time the firemen broke in they’ll be all right. Next time I’ll be more .”
“I knew something would happen,” declared C. C., gloomily, as he tried to some of the water from his clothes. “I didn’t burn, but I nearly drowned.”
There was nothing to do but return to their 115boarding place and arrange for anoth............
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