Clear moonlight, he thought. We shall have pleasant weather tomorrow. Halloo! What's that?
He saw the moving thing, or rather something black crouching upon the floor, for it had halted as Peter stirred.
Soon it moved again, nearer and nearer. It was a man crawling upon hands and feet!
The captain's first impulse was to call out, but he took an instant to consider matters.
The creeper had a shining knife in one hand. This was ugly, but Peter was naturally self-possessed. When the head turned, Peter's eyes were closed as if in sleep, but at other times, nothing could be keener, sharper than the captain's gaze.
Closer, closer crept the robber. His back was very near Peter now. The knife was laid softly upon the floor. One careful arm reached forth stealthily to drag the clothes from the chair by the captain's bed--the robbery was commenced.
Now was Peter's time! Holding his breath, he sprang up and leaped with all his strength upon the robber's back, stunning the rascal with the force of the blow. To seize the knife was but a second's work. The robber began to struggle, but Peter sat like a giant astride the prostrate form.
"If you stir," said the brave boy in as terrible a voice as he could command, "stir but one inch, I will plunge this knife into your neck. Boys! Boys! Wake up!" he shouted, still pressing down the black head and holding the knife at pricking distance. "Give us a hand! I've got him!"