It had been a long winter. The mud banks up river had frozen up. When the spring came, the frozen mud would melt, and sink into the river, and could create tall sandbars. On this day, Ten Cents was taking Rackham and Frank up river to dredge the area. Ten Cents positioned Rackham next to the banks. "Oy, you big crane," he said. "We don't want any accidents." Rackham groaned, (though this was actually his arm; it was really rusty, and needed repairs), and began pulling humongous amounts of soil out of the river. He was just about to move on, when his arm flew out into the mud bank. A colossal amount of soil fell into the river. "Rackham!" snapped Ten Cents, moving closer to help clear up. Rackham's arm flew out again. It hit the bank, but clanged against something very hard. "Huh?" he mumbled. He scraped against the bank. Sure enough, something gray and metal was in the place the mud bank used to be. Ten Cents went up to the spot and sniffed. "It's metal, all right," he said. "Maybe we can contribute this to the bank." "I don't know," said Rackham. "This is awfully funny looking metal. I'll take some back to the port."
An hour later, Hercules came by the port. He saw Rackham holding something in his arm. "What's that, my dears?" he asked. "Something you found?" "Yeah," said Frank. "We found this piece a' metal in the melting mud bank." "I think it looks odd." said Rackham.Hercules came closer and looked in the arm. "Goodness gracious!" he cried out. "This isn't just metal; it's tin!" "Tin?" asked Ten Cents. "Like those tin cans of soup Gary is always taking into town?" Hercules laughed. "Close," he said. "Tin is a very valuable substance. It's hard to find around here. Those who do find it will become millionaires!" "You heard that, Ten Cents?" asked Rackham. "We're rich!"
Ten Cents and Rackham's finding of tin helped them give the Bigg City Port some financial support. Ten Cents and the tugs regularly took barges loaded with tin to the docks near Lucky's Yard. One day, Emily was doing the job of moving the tin barges when she noticed there was one less than the night before. "I must be forgetting something," she said, pulling a barge away.
A few days later, Ten Cents went over to the tin barges... to see a mysterious tug sailing away with one barge! "Hey, who are you?!" Ten Cents called. The mysterious tug panicked, and sailed away.
A few minutes later, the mysterious tug sailed into a small boathouse. It was rundown. "I've brought the tin barges," he said quietly. "But I haven't gotten enough to pay the amount." "HURRY UP!" boomed a loud voice. "Unless you can find enough money to pay for the amount we gambled on, I will personally send someone to sink you! Now pay the amount by tomorrow!" The tug gulped, and snuck out of the shed.
The next day, Ten Cents and Emily decided to catch the mysterious tug by leaving a trap. They gave Grampus a special barge disguise that made him look like a tin barge. They placed several rocks on the barge, and then loaded tin on top of them to make it look like the barge was full of tin. "It sure is heavy," said Grampus. "Relax," said Emily. "We're leaving towline in the canals. The tug will be able to go through them unnoticed, but you won't!" "I hope it works," said Grampus, diving into the water.
That night, the mysterious tug came back to the dock. He spotted a barge full of tin! "If I can steal that barge, all of my expenses will be paid!" he said. He placed a tow line onto the barge, and began to pull. It was surprisingly heavy for a barge. Ten Cents and Emily followed him quietly. Soon, the tug came to the canals. He went through a tow line with ease. This was when the tugs sprang the trap. Grampus was stuck on the line. The tug was baffled, and pulled harder and harder. His tow line snapped, and the tug went flying down the canal and hit the side of the bank! Ten Cents and Emily came up. "Who are you?" Emily asked. "Why are you taking our barges?" "I took a gamble," the tug said nervously. "I was in a bet while at the docks last week. Someone represented two tugs, and offered me to play a game of poker. The loser would have to pay the winner $20,000 in cash! I lost, and the two tugs want me to pay for the expense by tonight, or I'll be in serious trouble!" Ten Cents frowned. "That sounds awfully familiar," he said. "Not long ago, to green-eyed things forced a tug named Sea Rogue to pay them in coal, or they would sink his uncle." The tug raised an eyebrow. "Hmm, the mysterious tugs did have green eyes." Ten Cents turned on his wireless signal. "Coast Guard, what happened to the Pirates after we arrested them?" he asked. There was a buzz, before the Coast Guard replied. "They were released two weeks ago. Why do you ask?" Ten Cents gulped.
"Are you sure this is where they hid?" asked Ten Cents. "Positive," replied the tug. "Oh, pardon me, I didn't catch your name," said Emily. "Jasper," replied the tug. "With that finished," said Ten Cents. "Let's go in." He was about to head in when Jasper stopped him. "Don't," he said. "They'll recognize you. I'll go in first."
"Did you get the tin?" said the green eyed tugs. "What does it look like?" asked Jasper, moving up. The green eyed tugs gave the tin a look.