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HOME > Children's Novel > The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast > CHAPTER XIX ON THE TRAIL
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 There was no doubt about it, the wreckers were not there, and the indications were that they had betaken themselves to some other location.  
When the men flashed the pocket electric lamps they had brought with them, the little opening at the top of the cliff was well .
“Nothing doing!” exclaimed Joe, regretfully.
“They must have skipped out right after they chased us,” Blake.
“And they went in a hurry, too,” declared Tom Cardiff.
“What makes you think so?” asked one of the government officers.
“Look at how this stone pile, which they intended to use as a base for their lantern, is disturbed, and pulled apart,” went on the assistant lighthouse keeper, as he flashed his torch on it. “I’ll , boys, that when you saw it, with that contrivance atop by which they hoped to fool some , this stone pile was well built up; wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” said Blake, “it was.”
“Because,” went on Tom Cardiff, “it would have to be so to make their light steady, to give the impression that it was one of the regular government lights. They were going to work a , you boys say, to give the impression of a light, and that would make it necessary to have a firm foundation.
“And yet now the whole top of this stone pile is torn apart, showing that they must have ripped out whatever they had here to hold the lantern. They got away in a hurry, is my opinion.”
“And I guess we’ll all have to agree,” put in the life saver. “The question is—where did they go?”
“And that’s a question we’ve got to answer,” added Tom Cardiff. “We’ve got to get on the trail.”
“Why so?” asked the life saver. “If you’ve driven ’em off, so they can’t try any of their dastardly tricks to vessels , isn’t that all you want? You’ve spoiled their game.”
“Yes!” cried Tom Cardiff, “we’ve spoiled it for this one place, but they’ll be at it somewhere else.”
“What do you mean?” asked Joe.
“I mean that they’ve gone somewhere else!” exclaimed the assistant keeper. “They’ve made tracks away from here, but they’ve gone to some other place to set up their light, and try the same thing they were going to try here. It’s our duty to keep after ’em, and break up the gang!”
“That’s right!” cried Mr. Wilton. “There’s no telling what damage they might do, if left alone. Why, they might even get to some place where large passenger steamers pass, and one of them, though mostly they aim to pick out a spot where small boats would be on the rocks. We’ve got to keep after ’em!”
“Then come on!” cried Joe. He was fired with enthusiasm, not only to capture the wreckers for the purpose of protecting human life and property, but he was also eager to have the scoundrels safe in so that he might question them, and learn the source of the suspicion against his father.
“On the trail!” cried Blake. “Maybe we can easily find the wreckers.”
“No, not to-night,” advised Mr. Boundley. “It wouldn’t be practical, in the first place; and if it was, it wouldn’t be safe. We don’t know this locality very well. There may be hidden dangers and that would injure some of us. Then, too, we don’t want to stumble on a nest of wreckers without knowing something of the lay of the ground.”
“What’s best to be done?” asked Tom Cardiff.
“Do nothing to-night,” advised the government man. “To-morrow we can take up the trail, and by daylight we may be able to pick up something that will give us a clue. I think they won’t try any of their tricks to-night, so it will be safe for us to go back.”
The others agreed with this view, and, after looking about the place a little more, and trying, but unsuccessfully, to find clues in the darkness, partly illuminated by the electric torches, they gave it up and started back to the lighthouse.
“Well, what do you think?” asked Blake of Joe, as the two lads reached their boarding house in the little <............
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