The earthquake around the Mexican land tongue – Lower California – had caused a wide range of disturbances.
This time it had extended to St. Quintin Bay and the border areas – the
port of Eusenada, which we have talked about before.
Not far from it is Coronado Beach in California. And there
Arizona Bert had called Bob by e-mail.
The fact that this had not been on the same train as Bert himself and the prisoners could be explained by the fact that he had presumably encountered some kind of obstruction in Mr Stamper’s “salon.” It was part of everyday events. – But not coming on the evening train gave rise to less reassuring contemplations. – Bert just couldn’t think that Bob simply slept too much, as familiar as the giant’s need for sleep was for him. – Rather, he thought of a trap set for Bob that he could not have avoided.
Mexican adventurers were imaginative people. Harder was hardly found. Among other things, they had now managed to deceive him himself. The three Colton prisoners had slipped without the prison guard in the prison wagon, or he himself still had the slightest idea how it had gone. The prison guard was drugged alone in the wagon when the train arrived in San Diego. So far, there was nothing to do, so the trip was directed immediately closer to the Mexican border, to Coronado Beach, which was known for its spa and wonderful sea voyages to the picturesque island of San Clemente, far from the sea. When Arizona Bert came there, the evening train was all moving farther south because of the earthquake that had been reported here. Favorable fate had spared the localities north of the border — but a large crowd of half-minded Mexicans had flocked here out of fear, defying everything called the border closure ban, but at the same time making life in the local population precarious. – For good people had been accompanied by bad ones, those who did not care so carefully between their own and someone else’s property, – nor did they keep a large number of human lives.
In short, clearly, at a small fun spa in Coronado Beach, conditions had become very precarious. Admittedly, there was no bathing season, but that is why there were a very limited number of law enforcement officers.
After Sheriff Bert Brand enrolled in the police station, he was greeted there with sincere joy. On the same day, a couple of major robberies had been reported and later in the evening a robbery during the day was reported in the villa of a millionaire outside the city.
Arizona Bert never refused to take up employment outside her own district. But he was angry that he didn’t even have Big Bob with him. In addition, there were well-founded suspicions that something had happened to Handsome Harry and Kid as well. But he would do what he could anyway.
The night was spent in a fruitless search.
The next morning, Bert was about to make an announcement and help himself with a couple more detectives when Big Bob suddenly appeared – not alone, but dragging with him two suspicious-looking robber-type “top hats” – the two he had captured at night in Colton’s station room.
This fact freed Big Bob from the feared reprimands. But when Bert heard what had happened in Fresh Water with the expensive boxes and how depressed Bartolo Felipe had robbed them again, he slapped his fists on the table so that the other high-ranking officials at the police station jumped. And then he said:
– This is a matter of the spirit of the spirit!
“Quality goes,” Big Bob said briefly and suppressed the yawn. –
As far as all the rubbish has not gone to the bottom.
– Bottom?… What do you mean?
– Earthquake, sir!
Bob said the truth. If Felipe has been at sea with his ships during this natural disaster, it is likely that all the skill and courage he has shown at other times has not been enough. And then there are also Handsome Harry, Kid and those five boxes of gold sand as well as Mexican diamonds forever gone.
Arizona Bert inch. – Suddenly he got up and said:
– Bob!… You stay here and help whatever you can with Mr. David’s robbery. – I’m stopping at Eusenada. – Maybe I’ll get some information from Schooner Felica. – And then we’ll sort things out.
Equipped with a good runner, Arizona Bert left for the other side of the border the same day. – And Big Bob went to the villa of David, a Jewish millionaire murdered with five not-so-willing constables, to do his best to expose the criminal.
With all of this happening, Handsome Harry and Kid had indeed managed to avoid “walking up the stairs,” which means taking them back from the ship to the stairway with their hands and eyes blindfolded, from which they are then suddenly plunged into the sea and left in terrible fate.
They had swam ashore in St. Quintin Bay while Bartolo Felipe waited in vain for the hold they brought.
They had had a good view of their place of disembarkation, from which they had noticed how a boat was unloaded from the ship in the morning, into which the five boxes mentioned many times were taken. – They were paddled ashore at St. Quintin, and that evening, after dark, Handsome Harry and Kid began their investigations, glad that fate had once again brought them so close to the California border, but with no idea at all that not only Big Bob, but their respected his chief, Arizona Bert himself, was also in the same locality, accompanied by a favorable coincidence.
At the same hour that Bert reported to the Mexican authorities in St. Quintin the murder of a Jewish millionaire in Coronado Beach and asked for a power of attorney to search the border, Big Bob made a striking discovery in the garden of a rich Jew.
He found in a large cactus shrub a fairly wide strip of light blue, thick silk cloth. It looked like it was torn from the cloak. And suddenly he heard him shout:
– Wah – kee – wow!… Hi – hoo! Maria Maria of California!… Now she ‘s up, damn me, catch me!
What the giant meant remained a mystery to others. But he was seen closely exploring the country while in his imagination he saw a Mexican in a cloak made of just the same fabric on the shores of Fresh Water. – And it was a matter of course for Big Bob that two such signs were not found in the world.
He had also noticed traces of Spanish cavalry boots. He followed them outside the park to a place where they were much confused with horse tracks. And now all you had to do was follow the horse tracks directly to the border.
– Hello, boys! he shouted to his assistants. – Now on the horse’s back, you’ll soon see Big Bob dancing on the heels of the devil. And I guess Arizona Berti publishes music.
There was an evening when they were riding to Eusenada – with all the Police Papers of the Powers. Traces of riders had led there.
The small cityscape of the dim streets was more difficult. But Bob was pretty sure this trip hadn’t been done in vain. For her men, she got an overnight stay in a tanner’s house near the city’s only hotel: “Il Posada provechoso”. And the first thing he saw through the lighted window was a man dressed in a light blue cloak along with many other “top hats.” There were ten men in all, and they were armed to the teeth.