The bell rang three times. Sven waited, but the fireman did not return. After several minutes Capt. Adams and Lt. Castner descended the gangway.
"No, I don't know", Capt. Adams said. "Maybe he's asleep".
The two men entered the furnace room.
"Rats! Not again!"
Sven heard the captain's loud exclamation.
"That no good fireman jumped ship. What do I do now?"
Angry, Capt. Adams stomped from the furnace room.
“Calm down, Captain,” Lt. Castner said. “I’ll assign my men to take turns as firemen.”
“They won’t know the bell signals.”
Sven stepped from the shadows under the gangway. “I know the signals.”
“Sven?” Lt. Castner gasped. “I thought you returned to Seattle.”
“I’m going to Circle City, Sir,” Sven said.
“How did you get back on board? I had soldiers watching the gangplank.”
Sven grinned. “I helped lead mules aboard. I’m good with animals.”
“We should send you ashore,” Lt. Castner said, but he did not sound angry. “What do you say, Captain?”
“We should,” Capt. Adams agreed, “but I need a fireman. Sven knows the signals. Fire up, Sven. You’re my fireman again.”
“Only until I leave for Circle City,” Sven muttered as he hurried to the furnace room.
Shoveling hard, he built the fire to raise steam pressure in the boiler. He smiled. The monotonous, tiring work gave him a reason for being on the Valencia. Hard work would not hurt him, and, best of all, he was helping to move the ship forward, closer to finding his father.

@настроение: nice