“Yes,” said Montague. “I will come over. I suppose they will wait a few minutes.”

“I am half dying to know about the offer,” said Lucy.

Montague had a couple of callers, which delayed him somewhat; finally he jumped into a cab and drove to the Battery.

Here, in the neighbourhood of Castle Garden, was a sheltered place popularly known as the “Millionaires' Basin,” being the favourite anchorage of the private yachts of the “Wall Street flotilla.” At this time of the year most of the great men had already moved out to their country places, and those of them who lived on the Hudson or up the Sound would come to their offices in vessels of every size, from racing motor-boats to huge private steamships. They would have their breakfasts served on board, and would have their secretaries and their mail.

Many of these yachts were floating palaces of incredible magnificence; one, upon which Montague had been a guest, had a glass-domed library extending entirely around its upper deck. This one was the property of the Lester Todds, and the main purpose it served was to carry them upon their various hunting trips; its equipment included such luxuries as a French laundry, a model dairy and poultry-yard, an ice-machine and a shooting-gallery.

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And here lay the Brünnhilde, the wonderful new toy of old Waterman. Montague knew all about her, for she had just been completed that spring, and not a newspaper in the Metropolis but had had her picture, and full particulars about her cost. Waterman had purchased her from the King of Belgium, who had thought she was everything the soul of a monarch could desire. Great had been his consternation when he learned that the new owner had given orders to strip her down to the bare steel hull and refit and refurnish her. The saloon was now done with Louis Quinze decorations, said the newspapers. Its walls were panelled in satinwood and inlaid walnut, and under foot were velvet carpets twelve feet wide and woven without seam. Its closets were automatically lighted, and opened at the touch of a button; even the drawers of its bureaus were upon ball-bearings. The owner's private bedroom measured the entire width of the vessel, twenty-eight feet, and opened upon a Roman bath of white marble.

Such was the Brünnhilde, Montague looked about him for one of the yacht's launches, but he could not find any, so he hailed a boatman and had himself rowed out. A man in uniform met him at the steps. “Is Mrs. Taylor on board?” he asked.

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“She is,” the other answered. “Is this Mr. Montague? She left word for you.”

Montague had begun to ascend; but a half a second later he stopped short in consternation.

Through one of the portholes of the vessel he heard distinctly a muffled cry,—

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“Help! help!”

And he recognised the voice. It was Lucy's!

Montague hesitated only an instant. He sprang up to the deck. “Where is Mrs. Taylor?” he cried.