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Title: The Boy Allies with the Terror of the Seas - The Last Shot of Submarine D-16
Author: Hayes, Clair W. (Clair Wallace)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE SEAS***


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[Illustration: "WELL, SHE'S GONE," SAID JACK, QUIETLY.]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE TERROR OF THE SEAS

Or

The Last Shot of Submarine D-16

by

Ensign ROBERT L. DRAKE

Author of
"The Boy Allies on the North Sea Patrol"
"The Boy Allies Under Two Flags"
"The Boy Allies with the Flying Squadron"



A. L. Burt & Company
New York

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright, 1915
By A. L. Burt Company

THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE TERROR OF THE SEAS

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Contents


                      I. UNDER THE SEA.
                     II. THE D-16.
                    III. THE ENGAGEMENT.
                     IV. A DARING PLAN.
                      V. TROUBLE ON BOARD.
                     VI. THE SPY.
                    VII. DEATH OF THE SPY.
                   VIII. HELIGOLAND.
                     IX. A DESPERATE VENTURE.
                      X. IN THE KIEL CANAL.
                     XI. AT CLOSE QUARTERS.
                    XII. CAPTURED.
                   XIII. A SUBMARINE RAID.
                    XIV. THE ESCAPE.
                     XV. INTO THE BALTIC.
                    XVI. IN TROUBLE AGAIN.
                   XVII. PETROGRAD.
                  XVIII. A PLOT.
                    XIX. THE PLOTTERS FOILED.
                     XX. BOUND WESTWARD AGAIN.
                    XXI. A NEUTRALITY VIOLATION.
                   XXII. IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.
                  XXIII. THE CHASE.
                   XXIV. OFF FOR THE DARDANELLES.
                    XXV. IN THE DARDANELLES.
                   XXVI. SCOUTING.
                  XXVII. A DESPERATE UNDERTAKING.
                 XXVIII. A CAPTURE.
                   XXIX. THE LAST SHOT OF THE D-16.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

              THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE TERROR OF THE SEAS.



                               CHAPTER I.

                             UNDER THE SEA.


"One!"

The speaker was Jack Templeton, an English youth and first officer of
the British submarine D-16, Lord Hastings, commander.

Frank Chadwick, an American lad about the same age as Jack, the second
officer of the under-sea fighter, laid his hand upon his friend's arm.

"Let me take a look," he said.

Jack relinquished to his chum his place at the periscope, and the latter
peered into the instrument long and earnestly.

Into the periscope--which protruded slightly above the surface of the
water while the submarine was still submerged--came the vision of a
sinking warship, and the sight, enlarged by powerful binoculars, was
apparent to Frank's eyes.

"She's done for, all right," he said quietly, turning away at length.
"Pretty good shooting, I should say."

"One torpedo only," replied Jack briefly.

"You may give the signal to rise, Mr. Templeton," said a third voice,
and Lord Hastings, commander of the submarine, stood before them.

Jack turned away in response to this command.

Another moment and the pumps were at work, forcing the water from the
tanks. Gradually the submarine began to rise, and at last rode quietly
upon the surface of the North Sea.

Followed by Jack and Frank, Lord Hastings led the way up through the
little conning tower, opened now that the submarine was above water, and
from there to the bridge, only a few feet above the surface of the sea.
Here all turned their eyes toward the east, where, less than half a mile
away, a German ship of war was slowly sinking by the head.

"A good shot, Mr. Templeton," said Lord Hastings, turning to Jack.

"Pretty fair, sir," was the latter's modest reply, for he had launched
the torpedo with his own hand.

Aboard the sinking German vessel all was confusion. Men rushed hither
and thither in wild excitement. Officers shouted hoarse commands. Men
scrambled wildly about and jumped madly for the life boats as they were
launched. So great was the panic that two of the small boats were
overturned and the men thrown into the sea.

"They'll be drowned!" exclaimed Frank. He turned to Lord Hastings.
"Cannot we rescue them, sir?"

"It is impossible," was the quiet response. "We have no room for them.
We are carrying a full crew, as you know, and have no room for another
man."

"But it is terrible to let them drown," protested Frank.

"True," replied his commander, "and yet think how some of our merchant
vessels have been sent to the bottom without warning and their crews to
a watery grave, noncombatants though they were. It is retribution; no
less."

Frank was silent, but he stood watching the struggling German sailors
with an anxious eye.

Now the officers aboard the sinking vessel had succeeded in gaining some
semblance of order from the confusion that had reigned a few moments
before, and the enemy was going about the work of launching the boats
more coolly and successfully.

At last all the boats and the crew had left the ship--all but one man,
who still stood calmly upon the bridge. This was the commander, who,
rather than leave his ship, was preparing to go down with her. In vain
did his officers from the boats call upon him to jump. To all their
calls he turned a deaf ear, and stood calmly at his post, with folded
arms.

Now the sinking vessel began to settle more swiftly. Suddenly she seemed
to leap clear of the water, there came a thundering roar, and then,
seeming to despair of her efforts to keep afloat, she dived, in another
moment she disappeared and the waters of the North Sea closed with an
angry swirl over the mighty German warship and her gallant commander.

"Well, she's gone," said Jack quietly.

"Then we may as well go also," declared Lord Hastings. "Shape your
course due west, Mr. Templeton."

"Very good, sir," replied Jack, saluting, and he disappeared below.

Lord Hastings and Frank continued to peer at the flotilla of German
small boats, which, at a command from the officer in charge, had shipped
their oars and were pulling toward the east with lusty strokes.

"I hope they make land safely, or are picked up," said Frank.

"So do I," replied his commander. "Come, we shall go below."

The D-16 again on her way, Frank betook himself to his own quarters,
which he and Jack shared together. Here he was surprised to see the
latter cutting a notch on the side of the highly polished small table in
the center of the cabin.

"What are you doing there?" he asked in surprise. "What are you cutting
up that table for?"

"Well," said Jack, "in reading some of your American literature, I
learned that every time one of your wild westerners killed a man he cut
a notch on his gun. I'm following along the same lines, only I intend to
cut a notch on this table every time we sink one of the enemy."

"Quite an idea, that," said Frank. "But when you say you read that stuff
in American literature, you are wrong. I won't deny that you have read
it, but I'd call it American fiction, not literature."

"Never mind," said Jack, "it'll answer my purpose, whatever you call
it."

"Guess I'll turn in for a couple of hours," said Frank. "I'm feeling
rather tired."

"Help yourself," replied his friend. "I want a few words with Lord
Hastings."

He left the cabin, while Frank, kicking off his shoes and removing his
coat, threw himself down on his bed, and in a few moments was fast
asleep. As he is taking much needed repose, we will take the time to
introduce these two lads more fully.

Jack Templeton, the son of an Englishman, had spent the better part of
his life in a little village on the north coast of Africa. His father,
who owned a small store, had been his only instructor, but in spite of
this the lad had been given a first-class education. He was well read in
literature and history, could pass muster on almost any other subject
and was well posted on current events.

Jack's father had been taken suddenly ill and after a protracted
sickness died. Jack took charge of the store. One day a ship put into
the harbor and several sailors landed, went to the store and procured
provisions. In Jack's absence, they departed without making payment.

Jack returned a little while later, and when he learned what had
occurred, he put off in a small boat after the ship, which he reached
before she could get under way.

Now Jack, though young in years, was a stalwart lad. He stood above six
feet, and was built proportionately. The sailors laughed at him when he
demanded payment and a struggle followed. By exerting his powerful
strength and some resourcefulness, Jack succeeded in overcoming the
crew.

It was then that he learned there were two prisoners aboard the ship.
These he released. They proved to be Frank Chadwick and a British secret
diplomatic agent.

Frank, who had been in Germany when the great European war broke out,
had become separated from his father after getting over the border into
Italy. In Naples one night he had gone to the aid of a sailor on the
water front and saved him from injury at the hands of three others.

The sailor whom Frank had rescued showed a queer sense of gratitude by
having him shanghaied aboard a small schooner. Here, under the stern
rule of an American skipper, he had become one of the crew. The crew
mutinied, killed the captain, and, binding Frank securely, threw him
below with the other prisoner, the diplomatic agent.

Jack's unexpected appearance upon the scene was indeed a welcome sight
to both. Upon learning the nature of the work upon which the secret
agent was bound, the two lads had volunteered to help him out. This
offer was accepted, and thus both found themselves principal figures in
a diplomatic coup that broke up the Triple Alliance and took the support
of Italy away from Germany and Austria.

It was while with the secret agent that they had met Lord Hastings, and
it was through the good offices of the latter that they finally found
themselves attached to the British fleet as midshipmen. Lord Hastings
had taken an instant liking to the lads and had them attached to his
ship. Later they had been commissioned lieutenants.

Jack and Frank had seen considerable fighting. It was through their
strategy that the British had won their first sea victory, off the coast
of Heligoland, when four of Germany's most powerful sea fighters had
been sent to the bottom. They had saved the British fleet from possible
annihilation by being fortunate to discover a spy.

The two lads, since the war began, had seen service in many waters. They
had been on patrol duty off the west coast of Africa; they had served
under the French flag when, under the tricolor, they had delivered a
severe blow to the Austrian fleet in the Adriatic; they had trailed the
German cruiser _Emden_, nicknamed the "terror of the sea," through the
Indian ocean, and had been present when she was finally sunk by the
Australian cruiser _Sydney_; they had taken part in sinking the German
fleet in the South Atlantic, off the Falkland islands; they had been
aboard a British submarine that sank three Turkish cruisers in the
Persian Gulf; they had seen the capture of the German fortress of
Tsing-Tau, in China, by allied British and Japanese troops, and finally
they had been instrumental, while in London, of exposing a plot that
would have been a severe blow to Great Britain, and of capturing a
second German spy and a British traitor, who stood high in the regard of
Winston Spencer Churchill, first lord of the Admiralty.

Three times the ships to which they were attached had been sunk, and
they had had many narrow escapes. Once Lord Hastings had gone down with
their vessel, and the lads had believed him drowned, but he escaped and
they encountered him weeks later.

When their last craft had been sunk, upon the boys' suggestion, Lord
Hastings had requested command of a submarine, and when they had once
again set forth, it was in the D-16.

And as the D-16 was something absolutely new in the way of submarines, a
few words concerning it are necessary here.



                              CHAPTER II.

                               THE D-16.


The British submarine D-16 was, at this time at any rate, the only
under-the-water vessel that could remain under the sea indefinitely. The
one real weakness of beneath-the-sea fighters had always been their
inability to remain long under water, and for this reason they could
operate only within a certain radius of their base.

In discovering that there was a means by which a submarine could remain
indefinitely under water, Sir John H---- had overcome this difficulty.
The new invention had been tried on the D-16, and it had worked.

According to Sir John, a submarine in order to remain submerged
indefinitely, must be able to extract air from the water, as does a
fish, for it is air that is needed most under water. Up to the time of
Sir John H----'s discovery this had never been accomplished.

Reasoning that it must be a peculiarity about the gills of a fish that
permitted it to extract air from the water, Sir John had experimented
along this line, and his experiments finally terminated successfully.
When the D-16 had proved the practicability of Sir John's theory, the
vessel had immediately been put into commission, and the construction of
others begun.

The secret of the D-16 was known to only a trusted few besides the crew
of the vessel--the King, Winston Churchill, and David Lloyd George,
Chancellor of the Exchequer. Besides her ability to remain submerged,
D-16 was also many knots faster than any other submarine.

From a naval viewpoint, perhaps, the war up to this time had not
progressed as favorably as had been expected. While the allied forces on
the continent had been hemming in the Germans and their allies, driving
them back from beneath the very walls of Paris, back across the Marne
and across the Aisne, and while the legions of the Czar had been
attempting to force a passage of the Carpathian mountains for an
invasion of Hungary and Austria, and making determined assault within
the borders of East Prussia, the British, French and Russian fleets had
been practically inactive.

True, there had been several important naval battles, but none which
could be called decisive, although whatever advantage there was was with
the British.

The French, with the Austrian fleet cooped up in their base in the
Adriatic, had little to do but to see that the Austrians were not
allowed to escape. The Russian fleet had had one or two brushes with the
Turks, but these were unimportant.

In the North Sea England was having more difficulty. German submarines,
from their base at Ostend, had made several successful raids into Dover
harbor, on the British coast; three unfortified towns on the coast had
been razed by German shells and German aeroplanes had been seen flying
about in the vicinity of London.

Huge Zeppelin balloons, upon which, England believed, the German Emperor
planned to risk all should other means fail, had been seen over the
British Isles, but had been driven off. One had been sunk. After this,
England, ever fearful of an air raid, took heart, and agreed with the
nobleman who said that a raid by air was not feasible.

Besides the ships of war that had been sunk by the Germans, British
merchant vessels had also been sent to the bottom by the enemy's
submarines.

But the main German fleet was cooped up in Heligoland and in the Kiel
canal by the British blockade, which, in itself, was proof positive of
Great Britain's naval supremacy. The Kaiser had no mind to give open
battle to England on the sea.

This was the situation, then, when submarine D-16 set forth from London,
to do, with her new power, what damage she could to the enemy's fleet.

One day, while the lads had been looking over the vessel, as she lay in
drydock, they had seen a man run furtively from the place as they
approached; but they were unable to catch him. A second time they had
seen him, though not close enough to identify him.

Although both had thought considerably of the matter, neither had
mentioned it to the other, and it had been allowed to drop. Nor had they
come upon the man again before they put to sea.

The sinking of the German vessel related in the first chapter had been
the first venture of the D-16, and now the vessel was heading toward the
coast of England again, having gone as far toward the strong fortress of
Heligoland as Lord Hastings had deemed advisable at that time.

All day the little vessel continued on her way, traveling upon the
surface, for there was now no need to submerge. She went very slowly,
and night found her not many miles from the scene of her first
encounter.

A sharp lookout was kept for some sign of an enemy, but there was none.

With the coming of the first light of day, Jack and Frank ascended the
bridge together, and turned their eyes toward the west. A faint cloud of
smoke on the horizon gave evidence of a ship of some sort.

"Probably a British vessel," said Jack.

"Can't tell," returned Frank. "A German cruiser may have succeeded in
running the blockade and getting in behind."

"That's true, too," Jack agreed. "It's a mystery to me how they do it.
England is supposed to have them safely bottled up. It's beyond me how
they get out."

"It's beyond me, too. Of course, it's easy enough for the submarine; but
you'd think we'd be bound to spot a big cruiser."

"Something will have to be done, sooner or later. What's the use of a
blockade if it doesn't blockade?"

"Well," said Frank dryly, "I have no doubt that if you have a plan, the
admiralty would be glad to know it."

"I haven't any plan; but England will have to do something. That's
certain."

"There is no question about that. Hello!"

"What's up?" asked Jack, looking at his friend in some surprise.

For answer Frank pointed toward the east. Jack peered intently into the
distance and also uttered an exclamation of surprise.

"Germans?" he asked.

"Must be," replied Frank briefly.

He glanced ahead again. Then turned to his friend with an exclamation of
satisfaction.

"If they are," he said, "they'll get more than they bargained for this
time."

For what his eyes had made out, through his glass, was the outline of
five large battle cruisers, convoyed by a flotilla of torpedo boats.

"British?" asked Jack eagerly.

"Look like it," replied Frank, "but I can't tell for sure."

It was plain to both lads that neither fleet had made out the presence
of the other, and both--the one from the West and the one from the
East--were steaming directly toward the little submarine, which lay
squarely between them, though out of sight, because she sat so low in
the water.

"Call Lord Hastings," said Jack, and Frank hastened to obey.

A moment later the commander of the D-16 appeared on the bridge. He took
in the situation at a glance.

"The fleet to the east is German," he said, after a careful scrutiny
through his glass, "and the other must be the British fleet commanded by
Admiral Beatty."

"Then there will be a fight," said Frank.

"There will be unless the Germans perceive our ships soon enough to give
them a chance to escape," returned Lord Hastings. "Another hour
undiscovered, however, and we'll get them sure, for if I am not
mistaken, the leading British ships are the _Lion_ and the _Tiger_--the
fastest cruisers afloat today. Also their guns are greatly superior to
those of the enemy."

"But what are we going to do?" asked Frank, somewhat impatiently. "We
are not going to stand by and look on, are we?"

Lord Hastings smiled.

"Don't you worry," he said quietly. "We'll take our part, whatever it
may be. We'll go below now."

The three descended. The conning tower and bridge were closed behind
them, and soon the tanks were opened. The D-16 submerged until the top
of her periscope barely protruded above the edge of the water.

Lord Hastings, Frank and Jack took turns watching the approach of the
two fleets, now that they were in range of the periscope; and it was
while the latter was at the instrument that sudden signs of commotion
became noticeable on the German vessels. At the same instant Jack
perceived that the British ships had increased their stride, and were
making directly for the Germans.

"They have sighted each other, sir," he cried, turning to Lord Hastings
in great excitement.

Lord Hastings sprang to the periscope.

"And the Germans are turning to run," he said, after a quick glance.

It was true. The German commander, realizing that he was probably no
match for the powerful British squadron, had no mind to give battle when
the odds were as nearly even as they were now. Evidently he had more
confidence in the power of his enemy than he had in his own. Therefore,
immediately the British fleet was sighted, he gave the command to come
about and make for the protection of the mined area about Heligoland at
full speed.

But the time lost in coming about was to prove a severe blow to the
Germans. The British fleet, led by the _Tiger_, Admiral Beatty's
flagship, had sighted its prey, and was making after it at full speed.

"Guess we might as well take a hand in this," remarked Lord Hastings
coolly. "Submerge another five fathoms, Mr. Templeton."

More water was let into the tanks and the D-16 dropped rapidly lower
into the sea.

"Full speed ahead, Mr. Templeton," came the next command.

The D-16 seemed to leap forward like a live thing, as she dashed in
pursuit of the fleeing German fleet.

"More notches for the table, I guess," said Frank to Jack.

"We'll see," was the latter's reply. "I hope so."



                              CHAPTER III.

                            THE ENGAGEMENT.


Meanwhile the British fleet, consisting of five first-class battle
cruisers, together with a flotilla of perhaps twenty torpedo boat
destroyers, was steaming rapidly in pursuit of the fleeing enemy.

The German fleet, while not as powerful as the British, nevertheless
presented a formidable array of fighting ships. Three first-class battle
cruisers and one second-class battle cruiser and a torpedo boat flotilla
greater than that of the English were in line, and it seemed to Frank
and Jack that the odds were nearly enough equal for the German commander
to give battle.

However, such was not the enemy's plan; for, once having turned tail to
the British, the German ships put on full speed and made as fast as
possible for the protection of the German mine field which protected the
entrance to Heligoland. It became evident that the enemy would fight
only as a last resort.

The British fleet was in full chase. First came the _Tiger_, the
flagship of Admiral Beatty. Next in line was the _Lion_, a cruiser of
the same class, and behind these followed three other powerful English
cruisers.

At a command from the flagship, the British torpedo boats headed in the
direction of the German ships of the same class, which had borne off a
trifle to the north.

So far not a shot had been fired, for the British had not yet drawn
close enough to the flying enemy to be within range. Half an hour
passed, an hour, and then the great forward turret guns of the _Tiger_
opened upon the rear German ship, which proved to be the _Bluecher_, a
cruiser of the second class.

The first shot went wide, and the second. But with the third shot the
British gunners found the range, and a shell dropped squarely upon the
bridge of the _Bluecher_. A veritable cloud of steel and débris of all
sorts rose high in the air above the _Bluecher_, and, falling, showered
death among the crew.

A second and a third well-directed shell struck the _Bluecher_ amidships
and staggered her. She reeled like a drunken man, seemed about to roll
over on her side, then righted herself and steamed on, but slower than
before.

Now the _Tiger_, the first British ship, was upon her; but the _Tiger_
did not stop. She had no time to waste on the _Bluecher_, already
wounded unto death. As she steamed majestically past, however she poured
a broadside into the reeling ship; then sped on in pursuit of the other
enemies.

Now the _Lion_ also came abreast of the _Bluecher_, and she, too, as she
passed, poured in a broadside. It was more than the sinking _Bluecher_
could stand. One last shot she hurled toward the _Tiger_, and almost
before the British vessel had drawn away from her, she reeled once more
and disappeared beneath the sea. As she did so, her crew hurled
themselves into the water.

Now the _Lion_ and _Tiger_ had drawn within range of the other German
cruisers and their huge shells were raining death and ruin upon them.
Suddenly the rear German ship burst into flames, and her pace slackened.

Flushed with success, and with victory within their grasp, the British
sailors raised a loud cheer, and the British guns spoke oftener and with
greater effect than before.

But the Germans had not been idle. Outranged by the British as they
were, they had opened with their great guns the moment the British had
come within range. One shell raked the forward deck of the _Tiger_, and
carried away a part of the turret, killing several men. A second struck
the _Lion_, wounding several officers and a number of sailors, though
none was killed on the second ship.

Now, with victory almost in their hands, the British fleet, at a signal
from the flagship, gave up the chase and fell back. Only the _Bluecher_
had been sunk, though two of the enemy's remaining three cruisers were
in flames and the third had been badly damaged.

A cry of dismay went up from the British when the order to slow down was
given. For the moment the men were at a loss to account for this action,
and the officers of the various ships themselves were, for the moment,
disappointed.

But Admiral Beatty had acted wisely. Ten minutes' further steaming and
the Germans had entered the protection of the mine field, where it would
have been death for the British to have followed without a map of the
mined area. Admiral Beatty's action in calling off his fleet was given
at the right moment, for had the British followed the chase would have
ended disastrously.

When the German cruiser _Bluecher_ had disappeared beneath the waves,
the crew of one of the British cruisers had manned the boats and was
endeavoring to save the lives of the Germans who had leaped into the
water.

Almost two hundred of them had been picked up. Suddenly, right in the
spot where the British sailors were engaged in the work of rescue, a
torpedo flashed by with a sharp hiss. Had it struck one of the boats,
all near must have been killed. A second followed closely after the
first, and the British were forced to give up the work of rescue, for to
have remained in the spot would have been to invite certain death.

Thus, by firing at British sailors engaged in the task of saving
surviving German sailors, a German submarine had been the means of
losing several score of German lives.

Meanwhile what of the British submarine D-16, which, before the battle
commenced, was bearing Frank and Jack swiftly toward the German fleet?

Beneath the water, Lord Hastings had no way of determining what was
going on above. The D-16 had submerged until her periscope was of no
value, but Lord Hastings had deemed this advisable, because, had the
periscope been allowed to protrude above water, it might have been
carried away by a German shell.

Now the D-16, besides being able to remain under water indefinitely, had
as before stated an added superiority over other under-the-sea-fighters,
for she was able, when pushed to the limit, to make a speed of thirty
knots--a speed much greater even than that of any of the cruisers above
her.

Therefore, when the British fleet came within range of the enemy, the
D-16 was far in advance of her fellows, under the water.

"We'll leave the big fellows to settle with the German cruisers," said
Lord Hastings calmly. "We'll try our luck with the torpedo boats."

Jack and Frank nodded that they understood and approved of the plan.

"I guess the big fellows can take care of them all right," replied Frank
dryly.

"They always have been able to," agreed Jack.

When, finally, Lord Hastings judged that they must be in close proximity
to the German torpedo flotilla, he ordered that the D-16 rise until her
periscope showed them their surroundings. Then, as he viewed the scene
about him, he stepped quickly back and ordered:

"Submerge!"

Instantly the D-16 dived, and Lord Hastings turned to the two lads.

"I didn't calculate just right," he told them. "We went up right in the
midst of the enemy."

"Did they see us?" asked Jack anxiously.

"I don't know. However, I have the range. Have the men stand by the
torpedoes."

The men sprang quickly to their posts at Jack's command, and then Lord
Hastings gave the order to rise slowly.

Slowly the water was forced from the tanks once more, and gradually the
submarine arose, until her periscope once more protruded just above the
water.

"No. 2 torpedo!" ordered Lord Hastings. "Ready?"

"Aye, aye, sir," came the reply of the man, who stood almost at his
commander's elbow, and therefore could plainly hear the command.

For the others, further away, it would be necessary to use the signal
board.

"Fire!" cried Lord Hastings.

A sharp metallic click was the only answer, and all on board stood
quiet. Lord Hastings kept his eye glued to the periscope.

Then those on board saw him throw up his hand with a gesture of
satisfaction, and none needed to be told that the torpedo had gone true.

Now the attention of all was given to the signal board, at Lord
Hastings' side. The men stood at their posts, as did Frank and Jack,
awaiting the signal that would mean the firing of another torpedo.

There was not a sound to break the stillness other than the purr of the
engine. But the stillness could only be termed such because there were
no regular noises. In spite of this a voice could be heard but a few
feet away, because of the heavy pressure of the water above.

Suddenly the signal board flashed red. The men read:

"No. 3 torpedo! No. 4 torpedo!"

Lord Hastings had decided upon a bold stroke. He had determined to
deliver a double blow to the enemy before he was forced to submerge, to
escape the fire of the enemy.

He gauged the range for each torpedo, and this was flashed upon the
signal board. Then came the next command:

"Attention!"

Eagerly, though quietly, the men awaited the next command. There was not
a nervous hand aboard. All bore themselves with the easy nonchalance
that has been the character of the British sailor through all the ages;
but their fingers twitched with impatience.

And then the signal board again glowed in burning letters:

"Fire!"

"Click! Click!"

Not another sound, and even these only audible to the men who had
launched the torpedoes, and two powerful engines of destruction, aimed
true, sped on the errand of death and disaster.

At the same moment the signal board flashed:

"Submerge!"



                              CHAPTER IV.

                             A DARING PLAN.


Jack stepped to Lord Hastings' side and shouted:

"Did we get 'em?"

Lord Hastings shook his head.

"I don't know," he replied. "We'll go up again directly."

He ordered the submarine to proceed ahead half a mile, and then rise.

This was done, and as the periscope once more took in the sight about,
Lord Hastings, who gazed through it, stepped quickly aside and motioned
to Jack to peer in. The lad did so, and stepped back with an exclamation
of delight.

Frank also peered into the periscope, and uttered an exclamation of
pleasure as his eyes took in the scene about.

Speeding forward in the wake of the German cruisers, which the periscope
made plain, were all the German torpedo boats, except three. These lay
helpless upon the surface of the sea, and it was plainly evident that
they were settling rapidly.

Their crews were hurriedly getting out the small boats, and jumping
overboard. The D-16 had done her work well.

Frank turned away from the periscope.

"Three notches in the table," he said to Jack, who stood at his side.

"Right," replied the latter briefly.

Feeling perfectly secure now, Lord Hastings ordered that the submarine
be brought to the surface, and followed by Frank and Jack, he stepped
out on the bridge.

They stepped out just in time to see the sinking of the _Bluecher_ by
the British cruiser _Lion_, and from their posts they watched the chase
of the others. Frank and Jack were greatly surprised when the British
admiral signalled for his ships to draw off.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank. "He had them right in his hands. Why
didn't he follow 'em up?"

"It's too deep for me," said Jack, in some disgust.

"Come, come," said Lord Hastings. "You must give the Admiral credit for
having some sense, you know."

"Then why did he do it?" questioned Frank.

"Why," said Lord Hastings, "because, had he followed another mile, the
entire British fleet might have been sent to the bottom."

"What do you mean?" asked Jack.

"Mines," replied Lord Hastings. "The enemy has reached the protection of
his mine field."

"I see," said Frank, somewhat taken aback. "Of course. I should have
known that the Admiral had some good reason for not following up his
advantage."

"You let your feelings get away with you sometimes," said Lord Hastings.

"Well, I'll promise not to do so any more," said Frank.

"I wouldn't make any rash promises, if I were you," said Jack, with a
smile.

"Well, I mean it," said Frank.

"Oh, well, if you mean it, all right. Only you are liable to forget
yourself if you are not careful."

Jack turned to Lord Hastings.

"Which way now, sir?" he asked.

Lord Hastings was silent for some moments, but said finally:

"I guess we might as well cruise about here. Some of these other fellows
are likely to come sneaking out, and we may nab them."

"If you please, sir," said Frank, "I believe I have a better plan than
that."

"Let's have it," said his commander briefly.

"Well," said Frank, "these German submarines have been making raids on
the coast of England. What's the matter with our doing a little of that
kind of work?"

"By Jove!" said Jack. "A good idea. What do you say, sir?" turning to
Lord Hastings.

Lord Hastings was plainly undecided. It was evident that he looked with
some favor upon the plan, but he hesitated, not because of fear, but
rather because he was not entirely certain that it could be accomplished
successfully.

"Where would you plan to make an attack?" he asked of Frank.

"Why, right in Heligoland, sir."

"But the mines?"

Frank shrugged his shoulders.

"The Germans don't pay much attention to our mines," he said.

"Well, no, they don't, that's true," agreed Lord Hastings.

"Besides," said Jack, "we can go beneath the mines."

"I guess we could do that," agreed Lord Hastings. "While we cannot tell
just where the mines lay, we have, nevertheless, a first-class map of
Heligoland and the sea surrounding, and by paying careful attention we
may be able to get through safely."

"Then we shall make the attempt, sir?" asked Frank eagerly.

Lord Hastings smiled.

"Yes," he said quietly.

"Good!" cried Jack and Frank in a single voice.

"It has always seemed strange to me," said Frank, "why such an attempt
has not been made before. The Germans do it. Why haven't we?"

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "I suppose the main reason is that
Heligoland is too far away."

"But the Germans have done it," said Jack.

"True; but you must remember they have established a naval base at
Ostend; and the distance from Ostend to Dover, and other British coast
towns, is not as great as from the British coast to Heligoland."

"I hadn't thought of that," said Frank. "However, I know this much. In
every war in which the United States has engaged, some such desperate
attempt has resulted successfully. Take Dewey at Manila, or Farragut at
Mobile Bay. Both went right in, regardless of mines and forts."

"That is true," said Lord Hastings. "No one can dispute the bravery and
daring of the American sailor. Nevertheless, it has always seemed to me
to be foolhardy. Had it been absolutely necessary, it would have been
different. But a blockade would have been just as effective."

"I don't know about that," replied Frank. "Ever since the beginning of
this war I have wondered why a British fleet didn't try to get at the
Germans."

"Well, as nearly as I can make out," said Lord Hastings, "it is because
it has been believed unnecessary to take such a chance."

"Of course," said Frank, "we, in this submarine, will have a better
chance of performing such a raid successfully than any other vessel,
because we can go beneath the water, and stay there until we get ready
to come up."

"Right you are," agreed Jack. "All we have to do is to figure the
distance from here to a point where, being sure it is not mined, we wish
to rise. Then, calculating our speed, we shall know just when to come up
safely."

"Perfectly simple," said Lord Hastings with a smile, "if we don't hit a
mine before we get there."

"Don't you think, sir, that by going beneath the mines we will be
successful?"

"If I didn't I wouldn't make the attempt," said Lord Hastings dryly. "I
remember how you did it when you sank that Turkish cruiser in the
Dardanelles."

"And had we had this vessel at our disposal," said Jack, "we could have
done considerable more damage. As it was we had to get back before we
exhausted our air supply."

"We have an advantage in that respect. There can be no question about
that," said Lord Hastings.

"Well, when shall we start, sir?" asked Frank.

"Immediately," was the reply.

The three turned their eyes over the sea to where the British fleet,
retiring, could be seen moving toward the west. One of the large
cruisers, the _Tiger_, was being towed by a torpedo boat.

"Hope she is not badly damaged," said Jack, noticing how the British
cruiser staggered.

"She looks fit enough," said Frank.

"The trouble is you can never tell by the looks," said Lord Hastings.
"However, I guess she is in no danger of sinking."

"Let us hope her death list is small," said Jack fervently.

"Let us hope so," agreed Lord Hastings. "Come, we may as well go below."

The commander of the D-16 descended from the bridge and the lads
followed him.

"We may as well submerge here," said Lord Hastings, "for every foot we
advance on the surface of the water is putting us in the way of hitting
a German mine. We can't be too careful."

"But it is hardly likely there would be any about here, sir," said
Frank.

"Have you forgotten what it was that caused Admiral Beatty to give up
the pursuit of the enemy?" asked Lord Hastings.

"That's so, sir," said Frank. "I had forgotten."

"Besides," said Jack, "the Germans may have dropped more mines to cover
their retreat."

"Exactly," said Lord Hastings.

"Well, let's dive then," said Frank.

"The sooner the better it will suit me," said Jack.

"So be it then," from Lord Hastings. "You may give the order, Mr.
Templeton."

Jack obeyed, and slowly, as the water was let into her tanks, the D-16
sank and sank, until, certain that she was beneath the enemy's mines,
Lord Hastings gave the command: "Full speed ahead!"



                               CHAPTER V.

                           TROUBLE ON BOARD.


"It's as well to go quickly," Lord Hastings said, giving his reason for
ordering full speed ahead. "I hardly anticipate they have mined very
deep here. We'll slow down further along."

"If we bump a mine," said Frank, "I can't see that it will make any
difference whether we are going fast or slowly."

"It won't make much," agreed Jack dryly.

According to Lord Hastings' calculations, which proved to be correct,
they were now off the coast of Holland.

Several hours passed, and then, at Lord Hastings' command, the solid
glass front of the submarine was plunged into utter darkness and the
powerful searchlight brought to bear on the water ahead, while, at the
same time, the speed was reduced to seven knots.

In spite of its powerfulness, the searchlight lighted up the water for
only a short distance ahead, and, as Lord Hastings said, should a mine
be seen ahead prompt action would be necessary to save them from
disaster.

Frank took his place just behind the searchlight, while the compartment
behind was closed that no light might enter from without, thus adding a
little to the effect of the searchlight.

His watch was set for two hours, and he had sat most of that time with
eyes straight ahead, when he became conscious that the door behind him
was being pushed slowly open.

Certain in his own mind that his watch was not up, and mindful of Lord
Hastings' order that the door be not opened unless absolutely necessary,
Frank nevertheless did not take his eyes off the sea ahead, but called
out:

"Who's there? What is it?"

There was no answer.

"Something wrong," muttered the lad to himself, and acted upon the
instant.

Through the little tube at his elbow he shouted a command:

"Stop her!"

At the same moment, even as he felt the sudden shock as the submarine
paused abruptly in her pace, he sprang from his seat and turned toward
the door, ready for anything with one hand on his automatic, for he felt
sure that he was in danger.

In the darkness behind he could see nothing, but the slight squeaking of
a board gave evidence of another presence. Frank, with the searchlight
behind, was in full view of the other, and the lad realized it.

With a quick backward leap he snapped off the searchlight, and then
dropped quickly to the floor, even as a figure rushed toward him in the
darkness.

Frank's ruse undoubtedly stood him to good advantage. A foot struck his
prostrate body, and the figure of a man pitched over him, muttering a
fierce imprecation as he fell to the floor.

Before the latter could rise, Frank grappled with him. Quickly reversing
his revolver, he brought the butt of the weapon down in the direction in
which he judged the man's head to be. It struck something soft, and a
guttural howl of pain went up.

"A spy!" Frank found time to think to himself.

But he had not struck the man's head, only a hand which had been
outstretched, and before he could draw his pocket searchlight to
ascertain what damage he had done, the lad felt a pair of arms about his
neck, and a hand seeking to entwine itself in his throat.

His revolver he found now to be of no use, so he dropped it and struck
out blindly with his bare fists. Once, twice, his fists found their
mark, and each time a blow went home the lad was rewarded by hearing
cries of pain from his opponent.

As the two struggled, there flashed before the lad a vision of a man
running from where the D-16 lay in drydock some days before.

"I guess we have got him at last," the lad muttered between his teeth,
and putting all his force behind one more blow, he struck out savagely.

The arms about his neck relaxed their pressure and the man sank to the
floor while Frank felt the form grow limp beneath him.

The lad stood up and walked across the little room to snap on the
searchlight.

As he did so the man on the floor came quickly to his feet, and before
Frank could stop him, had darted from the room and disappeared. Through
the door he left open streamed a faint light.

Frank sprang after the retreating figure with a cry of anger. Dashing
out of the door he bumped squarely into the figure of another man
advancing toward him. Without pausing to see who the newcomer might be,
Frank grappled with him.

"Here, here, what's the meaning of this?" asked a well-known voice, and
Frank released his hold and stepped back.

The newcomer was Lord Hastings.

"What's the matter with you?" asked the commander of the vessel. "Have
you gone crazy? I stopped the ship in response to your command and when
I asked you, through the tube, what was wrong I didn't get an answer.
And now you jump on me. What's the matter?"

"Spy aboard, sir," replied Frank briefly.

"What!" exclaimed Lord Hastings, starting back.

"Spy aboard, sir," repeated Frank.

"Impossible!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "Have you lost your senses? How
could a spy have got aboard?"

"As to that I don't know," replied the lad, "but nevertheless there is a
spy aboard. I'll stake my life on that."

Then he proceeded to relate what had occurred.

Lord Hastings grew very grave. He took Frank by the arm.

"Come with me," he said quietly.

He led the way to his own cabin, where he passed the word for Jack. The
latter arrived almost immediately, and the situation was explained to
him.

"I believe," said Frank, "that the man is the same I saw lurking about
the ship yard before the D-16 was put into commission.

"So you saw him, too?" exclaimed Jack.

"Yes, I saw him, but I didn't know you did," replied Frank.

"I didn't say anything because I thought I must be wrong," said Jack.
"It didn't seem possible a German spy could have gained admittance
there."

"Just what I thought," said Frank.

"Do you suppose the man who attacked you just now is one of the crew?"
asked Lord Hastings.

"Who else could he be, sir?"

"But I could have sworn by the members of my crew. They have all been in
the service for years and are British to the backbone."

"There must be one who isn't," said Frank, "for when I struck him he let
out a stream of German oaths."

"Would you recognize him?"

"I am afraid not. It was perfectly dark, and I didn't even get a glimpse
of his face. All that I could make out was that he was a big man."

"We have several big men in the crew," said Lord Hastings.

"But," said Frank suddenly, "I might be able to identify him if I got a
look at his hand."

"Why?"

"I hit him with my revolver butt. I thought it was his head but it must
have been his hand."

Lord Hastings, who had been seated, stood up.

"We'll see," he said.

He walked to the door and summoned the chief gunner's mate.

"Johnson," he said, "take a brace of automatics and summon every man of
the crew here, coon, engineer and all. Don't let a single one get the
drop on you."

Johnson looked blankly at his commander.

"Why--why----" he stammered.

"There is a spy aboard, Johnson," said Lord Hastings calmly. "Hurry."

The old man drew himself up and touched his cap.

"Aye, aye, sir," he said quietly. "I'll bring 'em."

He turned and marched rapidly away.

"I happen to know he's not your man," said Lord Hastings with a slight
smile, "for I was standing right beside him when I got your command to
stop."

"We had better let Johnson line them all up outside the door, and
question each man separately, sir," said Frank.

"A good suggestion," said Lord Hastings.

They sat quiet for perhaps five minutes, and then Johnson's voice came
from outside.

"I've got 'em all here, sir."

Frank arose and walked out the door. There stood the full crew of the
ship with arms in the air, under the muzzles of Johnson's two
automatics.

"Send them in one at a time, Johnson," Frank ordered.

"Aye, aye, sir," replied the old man, and waving his revolver at one he
commanded: "You first."

The first sailor was white of face and evidently badly frightened. He
entered the room slowly and came to attention before Lord Hastings.

"Your name?" demanded the commander.

"Brice, sir."

"Any other name?"

"Yes, sir, Harvey, sir."

"No; I mean were you ever known by another name; an alias?"

"Well, sir," replied the sailor plainly confused, "no, sir, yes, sir.
Before I enlisted I was known as Ryan, sir."

"That's hardly German," said Lord Hastings. "And why did you change your
name?"

"A little trouble with the police, sir, if you must know."

At this moment Frank, who had approached closely, suddenly spoke in
German.

"Your name?" he commanded.

The sailor stared at him blankly.

"He's not the one," said Jack. "His surprise is genuine enough. Call the
next."

"Stand over there in the corner," said Frank to the sailor. "Jack, you
keep them covered as I line them up. We must be careful."

"Send in another, Johnson," called Lord Hastings.

A second sailor appeared in the door. His right hand was wrapped in a
handkerchief!



                              CHAPTER VI.

                                THE SPY.


Frank's hand dropped quickly to his revolver.

"Stand over there," he commanded in a harsh voice.

The man obeyed, and Frank approached and looked at him carefully.

"He is about the same build, sir," he said, turning to Lord Hastings.

Lord Hastings confronted the sailor.

"Your name?" he demanded.

"Thompson, sir," was the reply, and the man let fall his arms, which he
had kept above his head when he entered.

Immediately Frank's revolver flashed forth.

"Hands up there, Thompson," he said quietly.

Plainly frightened, Thompson obeyed.

"How long have you been in the service?" demanded Lord Hastings.

"Ten years, sir."

"Ever known by any other name?"

"No, sir."

"Are you of German descent?"

"There is not a drop of German blood in me, so far as I know, sir."

"Do you speak German?"

"A little, sir."

Lord Hastings looked at the man closely, and demanded suddenly:

"What is the matter with your hand?"

"I was helping Smith in the engine room, sir, and a heavy block fell on
it, sir."

"Let me see it."

Slowly the sailor unwrapped the bandage and exposed his hand. It was
very red across the top, and Frank, glancing at it, believed that the
mark could have well been caused by the blow of a revolver butt.

"I should say he is the man, sir," he said quietly to Lord Hastings.

"It would seem so," was his commander's reply, "still we must be
positive." He turned again to the sailor. "Is it not true," he asked,
"that only a few moments ago you attacked Mr. Chadwick, and that your
wounded hand is the result of a blow from his revolver?"

The sailor looked at his commander in surprise, that seemed genuine
enough.

"No, sir," he replied quietly.

"Then you deny you are a German spy?" asked Lord Hastings.

The sailor started back, and his face turned red.

"A spy, sir!" he cried. "Me a spy? Why if there is one country under the
sun for which I would not turn a hand, it is Germany."

"Circumstances are much against you, in spite of your protestations of
innocence," said Lord Hastings gravely.

"But Smith, the engineer, can vouch for me, sir, and so can Black, who
was in the engine room when I injured my hand. Call them, sir."

"Well, I'll call them," said Lord Hastings, "but I doubt if it will do
any good."

At a command from Lord Hastings the engineer and a sailor named Black
were sent into the room.

Lord Hastings turned to the engineer.

"Were you in the engine room when Thompson injured his hand?" he asked.

Smith shifted uneasily from one foot to the other.

"Yes, sir," he replied at length.

"He says that a block fell on his hand. Is that true?"

"Well, sir, I--I----" stammered Smith.

"Come, sir, this is a serious matter," said Lord Hastings sternly.

"No, sir, it isn't true," said Smith. "He----"

"That is enough," said Lord Hastings. He turned to Black. "Thompson says
you were there. Is it true that a block fell on his hand?"

"No, sir," said Black. "He----"

"That's enough," said Lord Hastings again. "It looks to me as if you
were guilty."

"If you please, sir," said Thompson quietly, "will you allow me to ask
Smith and Black one question?"

Lord Hastings nodded his head in assent.

"Smith," said Thompson, "how did I injure my hand?"

"Why," said Smith, "you miscalculated, and instead of putting it against
Black's head, you put it against the door."

Thompson turned to Black.

"Is that true?" he asked.

"Yes," replied Black.

Thompson turned to Lord Hastings.

"That should be enough, sir," he said quietly.

"What is the meaning of this?" demanded Lord Hastings, looking from one
to the other of the three men.

"It's plain enough," said Jack stepping forward. "Thompson and Black
were settling an argument of some sort by the use of the fists. And
Smith, I take it, was the referee. Am I right?"

"Right you are, sir," replied Smith. "But we didn't----"

"Never mind, never mind," said Jack with a wave of his hand. "All of you
line up there alongside Brice." He turned to Frank and Lord Hastings.
"We are on the wrong track," he said.

"So it seems," replied Lord Hastings, "but appearances were against him.
We'll have to look further."

One after another the members of the crew were examined, but in spite of
the best efforts put forward by Lord Hastings, Jack and Frank, not one
of them could be tripped up.

"But it must have been one of them," said Frank, after all had been
examined and given satisfactory accounts of themselves. "It must be one
of them. I certainly didn't dream I was attacked. But who was it?"

"Can there be a stowaway aboard?" asked Jack.

"I never thought of that," exclaimed Frank. "Shall I have the ship
searched, sir?"

"Immediately," ordered Lord Hastings. "We'll leave Johnson here to guard
these men, while we make a thorough search."

From stem to stem they searched the little submarine. Not a single
movable obstacle but what they moved. It was as systematic a search as
it was possible to conduct, but there was no sign of a stowaway.

"Well, there is no one here," said Frank, when the search had been
concluded. "Therefore, it must have been a member of the crew."

They went back to Lord Hastings' quarters, where Johnson still stood on
guard. Lord Hastings looked them over carefully, then spoke.

"Men," he said, and his voice was very grave. "Some place on this vessel
there is a traitor. We have searched high and low for some sign of a
stranger, but we could find no one. Therefore, the spy must be among
you. Will he step forward and save his companions from the finger of
suspicion?"

Not a man stirred.

"Then----" began Lord Hastings, but he was interrupted by a sudden
motion of the vessel, which seemed to be flying up through the water.

Up to this time it had been perfectly stationary.

"What's the meaning of that?" cried Lord Hastings when he had recovered
his balance.

"I should say someone was forcing the water out of the tanks, sir,"
replied Jack calmly.

"But every man is in this room," replied the commander.

"You forget the stowaway, sir," said Frank.

"But there is no stowaway."

"There must be a stowaway! How else do you account for this? The vessel
could not do it by itself."

There was still a perceptible motion of the vessel.

"We're rising," cried Jack in alarm. "Someone has tampered with the
tanks. We are likely to hit a mine."

Lord Hastings turned to the sailors.

"Men," he said quickly, "until this matter has been finally settled, I
must let you all go. But, each of you keep an eye on your companion, and
at the first sign of treachery, shoot him. Search the ship."

He followed Frank, who had dashed toward the compartments in which were
located the water tanks, by means of which the vessel rose and
submerged. As he dashed forward there came to his ears the sound of a
shot.

The commander of the D-16 redoubled his stride and the men, also having
heard the shot, piled after him. As he passed the door to the engine
room, the figure of a large man, rushing forth at that moment, struck
him squarely and knocked him down.

Lord Hastings was up in a moment and had his opponent beneath him. The
latter was a powerful customer, however, and had it not been for the
crew, who rushed to their commander's aid at that moment, it would have
fared badly with him.

But the crew, angry that they had been under suspicion, now that they
believed they had found the man who was responsible for their
predicament, leaped upon the man and soon had him bound securely. At
that moment Frank and Jack came upon them.

"Well, I see you have him," said Frank quietly.

"Yes," replied Lord Hastings, "but what was the shot I heard?"

"Oh that," said Frank. "He took a shot at me when I came upon him as he
was fooling about the tanks."

"Did he hit you."

"No; just knocked my gun out of my hands. But you see, there was a
stowaway on board."

"But where on earth was he hiding?"

"I found the hiding place," said Frank quietly. "It is in the engine
room, right where he could do the most damage should occasion require.
He had built himself a little stage beneath the floor, where he could
lie, only coming out when it was safe."

"But why hasn't he sunk us long ago? That's what I would like to know."

"I think I can answer that," said Jack. "I should say that his work was
to find out the specifications of the D-16--how she attains her great
speed, and how she can remain indefinitely under water. In some way word
of her building must have reached the enemy. Am I right?" he asked of
the prisoner.

The latter shrugged his shoulders.

"Think as you please," he said. "Whatever my work, I have failed."

"Yes, you have failed," said Lord Hastings. "And you know the penalty?"

"Yes," said the prisoner quietly, "it is death."

"Yes," repeated Lord Hastings slowly, "it is death!" Then to the men:
"Guard him as you value your lives."

Motioning to Jack and Frank to follow him, Lord Hastings led the way to
his cabin.



                              CHAPTER VII.

                           DEATH OF THE SPY.


"What will you do with the spy, Lord Hastings?" asked Frank.

"Shoot him," was the brief reply.

Frank was silent for some moments.

"It's terrible to think of it," he said at last. "Still, I suppose it
must be done."

"It must," returned Lord Hastings.

"Will there be need of a trial first, sir?"

"A trial, of course, is only a formality. Nevertheless, he must have
one."

"When, sir?"

"The court martial will sit in half an hour."

"And will be composed of how many, sir?"

"Six. Mr. Templeton, yourself, Johnson, Smith, one of the sailors and
myself. It will sit here in my cabin."

"Very good, sir. I shall be here."

Half an hour later the prisoner faced his judges. Lord Hastings
addressed him.

"Prisoner," he said, "what have you to say in extenuation of your
actions?"

"Nothing," was the brief response.

"Have you anything to plead why sentence of death should not be
pronounced on you?" continued Lord Hastings.

"I have nothing whatever to say," was the firm response.

The six judges consulted together for some moments. Then Lord Hastings
turned again to the prisoner.

"As president of this court martial," he said slowly, "I sentence you to
be shot at six o'clock."

He drew a watch from his pocket and glanced at it.

"It is now five," he said. "You have one hour in which to prepare
yourself to meet your maker."

The prisoner bowed his head in assent. Then, at a signal, he arose and
was conducted from the room.

Six o'clock came all too swiftly for Frank and Jack, who could but look
with horror upon this cold blooded way of disposing of a man, simply
because he was a spy.

The D-16, feeling her way carefully, had come to the surface, and now
the prisoner was conducted to the bridge. He took his stand at one end
and waving aside a proffered bandage, faced his executioners
unflinchingly.

A firing squad of six men took their positions opposite him. Much to his
chagrin, Jack had been put in command of the squad, and it was his duty
to give the word that would snuff out the life of a fellow being.

But Jack was not the lad to refuse to obey orders, and now he stood
behind the squad.

"Ready," he said calmly.

"Take aim!"

But before he could give the word to fire, the prisoner, who up to this
moment had been standing with folded arms, suddenly flung himself into
the sea.

"Fire!" cried Jack, and the sailors poured a volley after him. Then all
rushed to the rail and watched for him to reappear.

A few minutes later a head appeared a short distance away. It became at
once apparent that the spy had not been touched.

Immediately Jack rushed to the side of the vessel and also flung himself
into the sea. The erstwhile prisoner saw his action and struck out
vigorously toward the south, where, in the gathering darkness, he could
make out dimly a strip of land.

But Jack was a powerful swimmer and gained rapidly on the spy.

Perceiving that he could not out-swim his pursuer, the spy slackened his
stroke, and just as Jack came up to him, dived. As he went down, he
caught Jack by the legs and pulled him under also.

Taken at a disadvantage Jack struggled in vain to free himself. He was
at a further disadvantage also, for the spy, before going under, had
caught a long breath; whereas Jack had gone under sputtering and
gasping.

But help came to Jack from a source he did not expect. When he had
jumped into the sea in pursuit of the spy, Frank had done likewise, for
he divined that Jack might have trouble recapturing the prisoner. While
he was not such a powerful swimmer as Jack, he was nevertheless close at
hand when the spy pulled his chum under.

Frank acted without an instant's hesitation. Drawing his revolver and
grasping it by the barrel, he also dived. Down and down he went, and
then close beside him he became aware of the struggling figures.

The water was very dark, but the lad could dimly distinguish the form of
his friend from that of the spy. Going close, he raised his revolver and
brought it down on the spy's head with all his force. At the same time
he stretched forth his other hand, and seized the spy by the shoulder.

Freed of the hold on his legs, Jack immediately shot to the surface,
where he filled his lungs with fresh invigorating air. A moment later
Frank, still grasping the spy by the shoulder, appeared by his side.

"Lend a hand," he called, "and we'll get him back aboard."

Jack, now greatly refreshed, did as his chum ordered and the two lads,
supporting the body of the spy between them, swam back to the submarine,
where willing hands helped them over the side.

Lord Hastings immediately took charge of the spy.

"Stretch him out there till he recovers consciousness, and then proceed
with the execution," he ordered.

The body of the spy was stretched out on the deck, and two sailors bent
over him. Then one started back, and took off his cap.

"The execution will not take place," he said.

"What do you mean?" said Lord Hastings. "Is he----"

"Yes," interrupted the sailor, "he is dead."

"By George!" muttered Frank, "that blow over the head."

"No," said the sailor, "it is the water that did for him."

"I'm glad of that," said Frank simply.

"Prepare the body for burial immediately," ordered Lord Hastings. "We'll
remain on the surface until after he has been buried, then we'll
submerge and continue our course."

The work of preparing the spy's body for burial was only a question of
minutes, and when it had been turned over to the mercies of the sea,
Lord Hastings gave the command:

"Submerge immediately, Mr. Templeton."

All descended from the bridge, the little vessel was made snug and
comfortable, and disappeared from the surface of the sea.

"Shape your course due east, Mr. Templeton, and steam at 7 knots,"
ordered Lord Hastings. "Mr. Chadwick, you will take your post and watch
for mines."

"Very good, sir," replied both lads, and departed on their respective
duties.

In the darkened room in the bow of the vessel, with the powerful
searchlight lighting up the murky water ahead, Frank kept careful vigil.
Hour after hour he sat there in silence, hardly moving from his first
position.

The D-16 forged ahead but slowly, for there was no need of undue haste
and Lord Hastings was not minded to take unnecessary chances.

Frank glanced at his watch.

"Midnight," he muttered to himself. "Only one more hour and then I can
turn in for the night."

Still the minutes passed without incident. Finally, at a few minutes to
one, Frank, after a second glance at his watch, arose and stretched
himself.

"Guess nothing will turn up in my watch," he told himself.

But the lad was mistaken.

For one moment he had taken his eyes from the water ahead, and now,
glancing forth once more, he beheld a sight that moved him to instant
action. His eyes fell upon a large object directly ahead, a scant
hundred yards.

Quickly the lad jumped to the bell that signalled the engine room. And
almost as quickly the speed of the vessel was checked. But the nose of
the submarine was now but inches from the dark looking object ahead.

Lord Hastings' face appeared in the room.

"What's the matter?" he demanded.

"Looks like a mine, sir," replied Frank quietly.

Lord Hastings advanced until he could get a good look at the object. He
peered at it long and carefully, then turned to the lad.

"You are right," he said. "It is a mine. Had you perceived it an instant
later we undoubtedly would be in the land of the missing by this time."

Frank flushed at this, for he realized perfectly that had he been paying
strict attention to his duties, the submarine would not have come this
close to danger of destruction. But he said nothing.

The mine extended well up toward the surface of the water, but the
bottom of it was in plain sight.

"I suppose the best thing to do is to dive under it," said Lord
Hastings.

"My idea, too, sir," agreed Frank.

Lord Hastings turned on his heel and left the compartment, and a moment
later the vessel began to sink lower and lower into the sea. Frank still
stood on watch, and when he was certain that the D-16 would pass beneath
the mine without danger of striking it, he gave the signal and the
vessel headed forward once more.

Lord Hastings entered the compartment again.

"The chances are there are more of them," he said, "so we shall have to
be very careful. I'll have Mr. Templeton take the next watch, for we
cannot keep too sharp a lookout."

Frank nodded his head in assent. Lord Hastings left.

Five minutes later Jack appeared at Frank's side and the latter turned
to go. Suddenly he whirled about and spoke to his chum.

"You must be more careful than I was," he said quietly. "I was almost
the means of sending us all to the bottom for good."

"What do you mean?" asked Jack in surprise.

Frank explained.

"Well," said his chum consolingly, "a miss is as good as a mile, you
know."

"Nevertheless," replied Frank, "the second might not be a miss. Keep
your eyes open."

"I'll keep them open, never fear," said Jack. "Now, you go to bed."

"All right," said Frank, and left his friend alone.



                             CHAPTER VIII.

                              HELIGOLAND.


"Off there," said Lord Hastings, pointing over his shoulder, "lies
Heligoland, one of the strongest harbors in the world, and regarded by
the Kaiser and his subjects as impregnable. A raid by an enemy has been
deemed as impossible by strategists."

"Nevertheless," said Frank drily, "it is not impossible, as the Kaiser
and his subjects will find out."

"As I understand it," said Jack, "Heligoland is a natural stronghold."

"To a certain extent, yes," replied Lord Hastings. "Heligoland, as you
know, is an island, and nature has done her best to make it immune from
attack. To nature's work has been added the brains and brawn of the best
German strategists and workers. An attack by a hostile battle fleet
could have but one result--failure. But, so far as I have been able to
determine, there as yet has been nothing devised that will ward off the
attack of a submarine."

"Except mines," said Frank.

"True. But it is certain there can be no mines in the harbor proper, for
they would be an eternal menace to the German fleet. Of course the
entrance is strongly guarded by mines and the powerful guns of the
forts. But it is our business to get beneath these and torpedo a few of
the enemy's vessels before we are discovered."

"And then?" asked Jack.

"Why, then," said Lord Hastings, "we shall make off as fast as possible
to return at some future date, perhaps, and pay our respects once more.
As I see it, there is but one thing that is likely to cause us any
trouble."

"And that, sir?" asked Frank.

"The enemy's submarines," replied his commander.

"But we have the heels of them, sir," said Jack.

"True," replied Lord Hastings, "but the trouble is we are liable to run
into a net of them, and in that event we would have to fight. To my
knowledge, there has never been a battle of under the sea vessels, and
what the result might be it is impossible to determine."

"Well," said Frank, "we shall have to take a chance. That's all."

"That's all," agreed Lord Hastings.

Lord Hastings turned to the chart of the harbor of Heligoland and bent
over it eagerly. The lads peered over his shoulder.

"We are down as deep as it is safe to go," said the commander of the
submarine. "The chart shows that the water is not so very deep here, and
as it is all the guide we have, we must be careful." He turned to Jack.
"Proceed at five knots," he commanded.

Jack gave the necessary command, and the D-16 slowed down perceptibly.

For many minutes there was intense silence, broken at last by Lord
Hastings.

"I should say," he said, "that we must now be in the harbor. I am
positive we have passed under the mines safely."

"Then shall we go up, sir?" asked Frank eagerly.

Lord Hastings hesitated for a moment, and then replied:

"Yes, we may as well."

Jack took this as a command, and gave the necessary order.

Slowly the D-16 began to rise.

Lord Hastings glanced at his watch.

"Seven o'clock," he said quietly, "and there should be no moon. A good
night for our work."

With the periscope barely reaching above the surface, the work of
forcing water from the tanks was stopped. Lord Hastings stood quietly
viewing the scene about him, and to his eyes was exposed an awesome
sight.

Right in the midst of the giant German battle fleet he peered, and as he
did so he could but wonder to himself that so powerful and so
magnificent a fighting machine apparently had been afraid to venture
forth and give battle to the fleet of England, powerful as the latter
was.

The D-16, before ascending, had penetrated to the very middle of the
harbor, and now that she was close to the surface, the powerful
binoculars at the bottom of the periscope made clear the many vessels of
the German fleet in all their majesty.

Clouds of smoke floated from their smokestacks, and this suggested
something to Lord Hastings.

"Ready to set forth at any time," he muttered to himself. "Just afraid,
that's all."

He stepped away from the periscope, and Jack took a turn.

"Great Scott!" he exclaimed, turning away at last. "To think that a
fleet the size of that should be afraid to give battle."

"It does seem strange," said Lord Hastings.

Frank now peered into the periscope, and as he looked one of the German
dreadnoughts began to move from her moorings.

"One of 'em's coming out," cried Frank. "She's headed for the open sea."

"I thought they might have determined to try a little raid when I saw
all that smoke," said Lord Hastings. "We'll stop her, at any rate."

He took Frank's place at the periscope and then commanded:

"Ten knots ahead, Mr. Templeton, and prepare for action!"

Jack jumped to obey this order, and a moment later the D-16 was in
fighting trim. The engines throbbed and fussed, the water parted before
the sharp prow of the vessel with an angry hiss, and the men stood at
their posts.

The signal board flashed its first command, in letters of fire.

"No. 1 torpedo!"

The gunner was ready, and the second command--"attention"--was scarcely
necessary.

Now, through the periscope, Lord Hastings gauged the range, and the
signal board showed:

"Submerge!"

Almost at the same moment a second command showed plainly.

"Fire!"

"Click!"

The first torpedo sped on its way, and at the same moment Lord Hastings
shouted in Jack's ear:

"Due north, Mr. Templeton. Fifteen knots!"

The D-16 leaped ahead, and at the distance of half a mile, rose slowly
to the surface.

Lord Hastings and his two officers ascended to the bridge, where they
took in the scene about them with their night glasses.

In the very center of the German fleet, a huge battleship was sinking.
The glare of the searchlights of the others showed her plainly to the
eyes of the British. Terrified cries carried over the water. The
confusion aboard the sinking vessel was terrible to behold.

Men ran hither and thither about the decks, yelling and fighting, so
great was their fear. From other vessels of the fleet small boats put
into the sea, to pick up those who had jumped from the wounded warship.

Suddenly there was a terrific explosion, and the German warship sprang
into flames, lighting up the sky for miles around. But the D-16, in the
very edge of the fiery glare, so far had been unnoticed.

"They evidently think it was an internal explosion," said Lord Hastings
quietly to the two lads.

"Looks like it," replied Jack, "or they would certainly be using their
searchlights to make out the presence of an enemy."

"They haven't the slightest idea an enemy could have penetrated the
mined area safely," replied the commander of the submarine. "But look,
she is about to go."

He pointed toward the wounded German warship. His words were true.
Amidst the flashing searchlights of her sister ships, the dreadnought
reared high in the air. There she poised herself for a moment; then,
slowly, midst a broad circle of brilliancy, she sank, the cries of those
of her crew still aboard mingling with the shouts and commands from the
other ships making the night hideous.

A fierce red flame, from the top of her to the very water's edge, where
it hissed loud and long, enveloped the sinking ship, as the smoke arose
in a dense cloud. Came another dull explosion, and the ship split in
twain. For a moment there were two distinct sheets of flame, and then
the fore and aft parts of the vessel disappeared beneath the water
simultaneously.

"Well, she's gone," said Lord Hastings. "Now for the next one."

"We are safe enough here, sir," said Jack, "and we are close enough to
hit her. Why not fire without submerging?"

"All right," replied his commander quietly. "Order No. 2 torpedo
launched immediately," and he gave the range.

Jack hastened below, only to hurry back upon the bridge again, which he
reached just in time to see the second ship in the German line stagger,
and sway drunkenly.

Again loud cries of fear carried across the water, and the searchlights
of the still unhit German ships played upon the second wounded vessel.

"No. 3 and No. 4 torpedoes right into the midst of them!" cried Lord
Hastings, and Jack jumped below to give the command.

"Click! Click!"

Two more terrible engines of destruction sped on their way.

Jack sprang back to the bridge to watch the effect of these shots.

And the effects were terrible, as the watchers could plainly make out.

Confusion reigned throughout the German fleet. Not a ship but on which
there was panic, and the officers were having serious trouble with the
crews.

For there could no longer be any doubt in the minds of the Germans as to
the cause of the three terrific explosions that now shattered the
stillness of the night.

"Boom! Boom! Boom!" they came, and showers of steel, iron, wood and
débris rose high in the air, to be scattered far across the surface of
the sea.

Now the searchlights of the uninjured German ships left their sinking
sister ships and flashed swiftly across the water. Suddenly the D-16 was
lighted up by a circle of light as bright as day.

"We are discovered!" cried Frank, and at the same moment Lord Hastings
gave a command:

"Down, quick!"

He led the way through the conning tower with rapid strides, and the
lads hurried after him.

"Submerge!"

A moment more and the D-16 was again beneath the sea, safe from chance
German shells, and steaming toward the east.



                              CHAPTER IX.

                          A DESPERATE VENTURE.


"Which way now, sir?" asked Jack.

Lord Hastings hesitated.

"They will probably be laying for us toward the west with their
submarines," he said, "and while we may be able to get by, it will be
desperate work."

"Then why not go due east, sir?" asked Frank.

"The Kiel canal is due east," replied Lord Hastings.

"What of that, sir?"

"What of it? Surely, you would not suggest forcing a passage of the Kiel
canal?"

"I don't see why not, sir."

Lord Hastings looked at the lad with surprise written all over his face.

"By Jove!" he said at last. "When it comes to finding ways of getting
into trouble, you are the limit, as the Americans say."

"But don't you think it could be done, sir?" asked Frank.

"Well, I don't know," replied his commander. "It might be done, yes. And
then again it might not. But what would be our object in getting into
the Baltic?"

"Well, I understand that the Russians are having considerable trouble
there," replied Frank, "and we might be able to lend them a hand."

"That's true, too," replied Lord Hastings. "I hadn't thought of that."

"Then what do you say, sir?" asked Frank.

Jack now added his voice to that of his chum, but for some moments Lord
Hastings remained undecided. Frank, however, clinched the matter when he
said:

"Well, there probably is no more danger that way than there is in trying
to get out of here to the west, where every German submarine available
is on the lookout for us."

"Besides," urged Jack, "they will watch the entrance to the Kiel canal
less closely, because they would not dream of an attempt to force its
passage."

"There is some truth in that, too," said Lord Hastings. "Well, the Kiel
canal be it then."

Both lads were jubilant, and they could not contain themselves, but
expressed their delight with loud "hurrahs" and by tossing their caps in
the air.

So it came to pass that the D-16 laid herself out on a course for the
Kiel canal, the waterway which the Germans had constructed at such great
expense, that her fleet in the North Sea and her fleet in the Baltic
might ever be in touch with one another.

An attempted passage of the Kiel canal by a hostile ship or ships had
been considered out of the question by all naval authorities. Such an
attempt, it was claimed, would be too foolhardy and would be bound to
end in destruction.

Nevertheless, Lord Hastings, while realizing all this, was not the man
to turn from a purpose once he had made up his mind. He realized the
full danger of the situation much more than did Frank or Jack, who,
carried away by the opportunity of participating in what would be one of
the greatest naval ventures of history, had at once lost sight of all
possible danger.

Deep, deep down in the sea the D-16 made her way from the harbor of
Heligoland, diving far beneath the mines that protected the German
fortifications. And in her wake she left three sunken German ships of
war and another so badly damaged that she would be out of commission for
many months.

"I am willing to bet," said Frank, "that the Germans either lay the raid
to internal troubles or else claim that a British submarine flotilla of
at least 20 vessels participated."

"Right you are," agreed Jack, "and they will probably add that the enemy
was driven off with great loss, more than half their number being placed
hors du combat."

"At the same time," interrupted Lord Hastings, "saying that 'our losses
were insignificant.'"

"Well," said Frank, "I don't suppose the government can afford to let
the people know just how serious their predicament is."

"That's about the size of it," agreed Lord Hastings.

The speed of the D-16, once she was beyond the German mine field, was
increased to 20 knots, and she headed directly for the entrance to the
Kiel canal. Frank and Jack both turned in.

With the coming of morning the D-16 was but a few miles from her goal,
and Lord Hastings accordingly ordered the speed slackened that a close
watch might be kept for mines.

At eight o'clock Lord Hastings checked the speed of the vessel and
ordered that it be brought to the surface.

"But surely we are not through the canal yet?" protested Jack.

"No," was the reply, "but we are almost at the entrance, and I want to
take a look about."

Jack did not protest further, and when the submarine again floated on
the surface of the sea he followed his commander to the bridge.

There a startling sight met their gaze, for not a hundred yards away,
riding gently with the even swell of the sea, lay a second submarine and
she flew the Red, White and Black of Germany.

"Below quick!" cried Jack.

But Lord Hastings laid a hand on the lad's arm as he darted for the
hatchway.

"Wait a minute," he said. "There doesn't seem to be any one on guard, or
we should have perceived some sign of life."

The two peered long and earnestly at the German vessel, but not a sign
of life could they make out.

"Must all be dead," said Jack.

"Or asleep," replied Lord Hastings.

"And that's about what's the matter," agreed Jack. "What shall we do
with the boat, sink her?"

"I suppose so," replied Lord Hastings, "but I have another idea."

"What is that, sir?"

"Well, forcing a passage of the Kiel canal is bound to prove ticklish
work. Now if we could lay our hands on the officer of that vessel, we
might persuade him to pilot us through."

"A good idea," said Jack, "if we could only get him."

"We shall make a try at it," said his commander.

"How?" asked Jack.

For answer Lord Hastings turned and went below, and in another moment
the D-16 began creeping toward the German submarine.

At a distance of only a few yards she stopped and Lord Hastings motioned
to Jack to follow him, as he dropped over the side into the little
launch which had been lowered into the water. To Frank he called:

"If we do not reappear on deck within ten minutes, sink her."

Frank indicated that he understood, and Lord Hastings and Jack put off
for the enemy.

They clambered quietly aboard, and descended below without so much as
being challenged. Just at the bottom of the companionway they came upon
the figure of a man who emerged from one of the compartments. At sight
of the British uniforms the man staggered back and his hand went to his
side, but before he could draw a weapon, Jack had him covered with his
own automatic and spoke quietly.

"One move and you are a dead man," he said quietly.

"Who are you?" asked the man in a low voice.

"British officers," said Lord Hastings. "And you?"

"Captain Bretog, commander of this vessel," came the reply.

"Very good, captain," said Lord Hastings. "You are our prisoner, and I
must ask you to step upon the bridge."

"How did you get here?" asked the German in surprise.

"In a little submarine of our own," said Lord Hastings with a smile.
"Come, now, captain."

The captain moved toward the companionway, but just as he was about to
go through the door, he turned and struck out at Lord Hastings. The
latter dodged the blow and leaped quickly back, at the same time drawing
his revolver.

"No more of that," he said sternly. "Now move."

But at that instant a German sailor appeared in sight. Perceiving the
British uniforms, he cried out in surprise. An instant more and there
came the sound of tramping feet, and half a dozen men tumbled into sight
after him.

Lord Hastings put the German commander in front of him, and Jack stepped
quickly to his commander's side, their four automatics covering the
superior numbers of the enemy.

"One move from any of you and you are all dead men," said Lord Hastings
calmly. "We'll shoot you where you stand, and my vessel will blow you to
atoms within half a minute." He turned to the German commander.

"Captain," he said, "order these men on deck ahead of you."

The German made a move as though to refuse, but Jack's revolver covered
him and he did as commanded. The men, unarmed, filed up to the bridge.

"You next, captain," said Lord Hastings, politely, stepping aside.

The German made a move as though to draw a revolver, and Jack was at his
side in an instant.

"I'll relieve you of your weapons," he said quietly.

The German commander was forced to submit while the lad searched him and
took his guns. Then, at another command from Lord Hastings, he followed
his men on deck.

"Now," said Lord Hastings, "you will instruct your men to lower that
small boat and put off. Is this all your crew, sir?"

"Yes," replied the German shortly.

"Good. For their sakes I hope you are telling the truth. For as soon as
we are all safe, I intend to sink this vessel. Now order your men over
the side."

The German commander did as commanded, and soon the crew of the Teuton
vessel were pulling away in the launch.

"Now, captain," said Lord Hastings, "you will accompany me aboard my own
ship."

The German stepped into the D-16's launch without a word, and the trio
were soon aboard.

"Now," said Lord Hastings, "if you wish, you shall have the pleasure of
seeing me sink your vessel; or you may, if you would spare yourself that
sight, go below."

"I will go below if you please," said the German.

Lord Hastings nodded his assent and Captain Bretog disappeared below as
Lord Hastings turned to Jack.

"You may sink this German submarine immediately, Mr. Templeton," he said
quietly.

"Very good, sir," replied Jack.

He saluted, turned on his heel and went below.



                               CHAPTER X.

                           IN THE KIEL CANAL.


Five minutes later and the D-16 was once more on her way, while behind
her the ruins of a German submarine strewed the sea.

Immediately the D-16 had again submerged, Lord Hastings summoned Jack,
Frank and the captured German officer to his quarters. Here, after
motioning all to seats, he addressed the German commander.

"Captain," he said quietly, "you are now aboard a British submarine that
is about to attempt a passage of the Kiel canal."

"What!" exclaimed the German officer, jumping to his feet. "It is
impossible!"

"You are mistaken, sir," replied Lord Hastings calmly. "With your help,
I should say that it would be a matter of little moment."

"With my help?" inquired the German officer.

"Exactly. You shall give us your assistance."

"But, sir----" began the German.

Lord Hastings interrupted him with a wave of his hand.

"Protests will do no good," he said quietly. "I take it that you are
familiar with the locations of the mines and other danger points in and
guarding the entrance to the canal. Am I right?"

The German officer bowed his head in assent.

"Then," said Lord Hastings, "I fail to see why we should have much
difficulty getting through."

"You mean," said the German slowly, "that you expect me to pilot your
vessel through the canal?"

Lord Hastings bowed courteously.

"Exactly," he replied.

The German officer drew himself up indignantly.

"That, sir," he said, "is hardly a fair thing to ask of a prisoner."

"Perhaps not, you being the prisoner," replied the commander of the
D-16. "Still, you may have heard that 'All's fair in love and war.'"

"And if I refuse?" said the German.

"Well, it's hard to say," replied Lord Hastings quietly. "But I can say
this much: We cannot be burdened with any human excess."

"You mean you will kill me?"

"Oh, no; nothing like that. Rather, I should suggest setting you adrift
in a small boat."

The German was silent for some moments, musing.

"And I might say," continued Lord Hastings, "that you would be given no
water or provisions."

"You might just as well shoot me outright," said the German.

Lord Hastings shrugged his shoulders.

"I couldn't quite do that," he replied.

"Well," said the German officer, "if I must, I must, and that's all
there is about it."

"I am glad you are so sensible," said Lord Hastings. "Now, I shall turn
the vessel over to you at once; but remember, at the first sign of
treachery, there will always be a bullet waiting for you."

The German bowed, but made no reply. Lord Hastings summoned a sailor,
and instructed him to put the German officer in charge of the helm, but
to keep close watch over him. The sailor and the German commander then
left Lord Hastings' quarters.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank when they had gone. "Do you mean to tell
me that you would have carried out your threat?"

"Well, hardly," replied his commander with a laugh. "However, as you
see, a threat in the proper place often works out advantageously."

"Still," said Jack, "I am not exactly satisfied that he means to play
straight with us. He gave in too easily to suit me."

"The same thought struck me," declared Frank.

"Oh, I guess he'll put us through," said Lord Hastings.

"I'm not so sure," from Frank skeptically.

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "we'll watch him carefully, and his first
false step will be his last. We can't afford to take chances now. One of
us must be near him all the time."

Thus it was arranged and Jack volunteered to take the first watch. Frank
elected to take the second and Lord Hastings announced that he would
take the third. This watch, it was agreed, would be maintained until
they had passed through the canal.

Jack made his way at once to the helm, where he took up his station,
while Frank and Lord Hastings turned in. Here the lad sat for four
straight hours, not once relaxing his vigilance. Then Frank relieved
him.

All went well in this second watch until there was but an hour of it
left. Then the German commander turned to Frank.

"I'll have to ask you to rise three fathoms," he said.

"Rise?" said Frank. "What for?"

"Because," was the reply, "the water is very shallow just ahead, and we
shall run aground. We are now approaching the entrance to the canal."

Frank looked at his captive long and searchingly. There was still a
doubt of the German's honesty of purpose in his mind, and for a moment
he was undecided.

"We must rise at once," said the German.

Frank made his decision quickly. "Very well," he said quietly.

He stepped to the signal tube and gave the necessary order. A moment
later the rising of the vessel became perceptible, as the water was
slowly forced from her tanks.

Frank, not perfectly satisfied, however, stood facing the German
officer, his hand on his revolver, determined to use it at the first
sign of treachery.

But his uneasiness was without cause. When the submarine had risen the
required distance, at a word from the German, her speed was increased
and she moved forward again.

"Is there not danger of striking a mine up here?" asked Frank.

"There are a few about," was the reply, "but I can guarantee that we
shall not strike one. When the depth of the water permits, we shall go
lower again."

With this Frank was forced to be satisfied.

His four hours up, Frank was relieved by Lord Hastings, to whom he
related what had occurred.

Lord Hastings listened quietly.

"I'm sure he will try no tricks," he said. "However, I'll keep an eye on
him."

"Still," said Frank, "I have a premonition that all is not right."

Lord Hastings laughed, and Frank retired.

Now the Kiel canal is not very long, sixty-one miles of water connecting
the North and Baltic seas. It extends across the narrowest portion of
Germany close to the boundary between Germany and Denmark, thus making a
passage for German vessels from one sea to the other.

Lord Hastings had kept his own reckoning and believed, while he was not
familiar with these waters, that he could determine when the Baltic end
of the canal had been reached.

And, indeed, it seemed that he was right.

It was just after his watch, when Jack had relieved him and while he
lingered in the compartment, that the German turned to Lord Hastings and
said:

"You may rise now. You have done what it has been believed impossible
for any hostile ship to do. You have passed through the Kiel canal."

At that moment Frank, refreshed by a few hours' sleep, entered.

As Lord Hastings was about to give the signal to rise, Frank stepped
forward.

"One moment, sir," he exclaimed. "Something tells me that all is not
right. We had best be careful, sir."

The German drew himself up.

"Do you mean to insinuate----" he began.

Jack silenced him with a word. Then he, too, turned to Lord Hastings.

"I can't explain why, sir," he said, "but I believe Frank is right.
Also, you may remember, sir, how he has been right on more than one
occasion and that you said hereafter you would place unusual confidence
in his premonitions."

"Bosh," said Lord Hastings scornfully. "It is true I did say that, but
this time there can be no mistake. I have kept the reckoning myself, and
the German is right. By this time we should have reached the Baltic end
of the canal."

"But, sir," protested Frank, "could he not have steered us the same
distance, but in another direction? Is it not possible that when we come
up we may be right in a nest of the enemy's ships, or under the guns of
their fortifications?"

"It is possible, yes," replied Lord Hastings, "but you are wrong. You
are both letting your imaginations run away with you. No; I am sure the
man is up to no trick."

"At least, sir," protested Frank, "do not rise clear to the surface
without looking about through the periscope."

"That is good advice, and it shall be heeded," said Lord Hastings. "Mr.
Templeton, you may give the command to rise."

Jack saluted and did as commanded, and with the periscope just above the
water, the D-16 became stationary. Frank put his eye to the periscope
and started back with an exclamation of dismay.

At the same moment the German officer sprang to the signal tube, and, in
perfect English, gave the command to rise to the surface.

Jack took in the situation upon the instant and sprang toward the German
even as he leaped toward the tube. But he was too late, and before he
could countermand the order, the D-16 floated upon the surface of the
water.

Jack, in the meantime, was grappling with the German officer, who had
drawn a concealed revolver and was attempting to bring it to bear upon
Lord Hastings. Frank sprang to his assistance, and Lord Hastings,
unmindful of the struggle, and thinking only of the mistake he had made,
stepped quickly from the compartment, and opening the conning tower,
made his way to the bridge.

And there, he, too, started back in dismay, and no wonder. For what his
eyes beheld was this:

Dead ahead rose the sheer walls of a massive fortress, the powerful guns
of which swept the narrow canal for miles. And at either side, with the
D-16 squarely between them, four battle cruisers rode gently on the
waves.

Lord Hastings took one quick look at the flags that floated above the
big battle cruisers, then dived hurriedly below.

For the flags that fluttered in the breeze were the flags of Germany!



                              CHAPTER XI.

                           AT CLOSE QUARTERS.


Below, Jack and Frank were still struggling with the German officer, but
Lord Hastings had no time to lend them a hand. He raised his voice in a
shout, and the crew came running at his command.

"Submerge instantly!" he cried.

But already sharp eyes aboard the German cruisers had caught sight of
the submarine, and even as she sank suddenly from sight a single gun
roared. The aim of this particular gunner was excellent; for the
periscope of the D-16 was carried away as clean as a whistle.

Lord Hastings, who had been peering through it from below, was instantly
aware of what had happened, and he immediately rushed to the compartment
where the searchlight was placed and turned it on. This was now the only
eye the submarine had with which to look for danger ahead.

Lord Hastings again raised his voice and a sailor came running to him.
The commander of the vessel turned the lookout over to him and rushed to
where he had left Frank and Jack.

When Frank had gone to his friend's assistance, he had thought that
together they would have little trouble overcoming the German officer.
But the latter, in spite of Jack's strength and all that Frank could do,
was giving a good account of himself.

Blow after blow he landed upon each of the lads, but none had the power
behind it to put them down. Time after time the two lads had closed in
on him, only to be shaken off for the German was as slippery as an eel.

But finally Jack succeeded in gaining a strangle hold on the German, and
putting forth his greatest strength, bore him to the floor, where both
lads piled on top of him, pinioning his arms and legs. It was at this
moment that Lord Hastings appeared upon the scene and rushed forward to
lend a helping hand.

In falling the German's head had come in violent contact with the floor,
and he now lay still.

"Tie him up quickly," commanded Lord Hastings. "We haven't any time to
waste on him."

Jack and Frank hastened to obey, and soon the captive was securely
bound.

The two lads noticed the signs of anxiety on their commander's face and
Frank asked:

"What's the matter, sir?"

"Matter is that we are in a veritable nest of the enemy," replied Lord
Hastings. "Also our periscope has been shot away."

"But we can rig up the other in no time," said Jack.

"So we can," said his commander, "but in the meantime they are likely to
send a flotilla of submarines below to look for us."

"Then we shall have to hustle," said Frank.

"Hustle is the proper word," agreed Lord Hastings. "Come with me."

He led the way to the foot of the broken periscope, and quickly summoned
several members of the crew. With all possible haste the second
periscope, carried for just such an emergency, was brought out and run
up.

"The only way we can tell whether it is adjusted properly," said Lord
Hastings, "is to rise, and that is exceedingly dangerous."

"Well, we shall have to take a chance," said Frank.

"So we shall," was the reply. "You may give the order, Mr. Templeton."

Jack did as commanded, and slowly the submarine began to rise. Lord
Hastings stood at the foot of the second periscope, peering intently
into it. At last he raised his hand in a sudden signal, and immediately
the vessel began to sink again.

"It's all right," said the commander, turning to the lads. "I caught a
glimpse of the surface."

"Then we are all fixed again," said Frank thankfully.

"Yes."

"Then," said Jack, "I should say the thing to do is to put as great
distance as possible between us and the enemy."

"The only draw back to that," said Lord Hastings, "is that I do not know
just where we are and to move in any direction is decidedly dangerous."

"Weren't you able to recognize the surroundings?" asked Frank.

"No; the canal is fortified all along, and all the fortifications look
alike to me."

"Well," said Jack, "how about the prisoner? Don't you think he can be
made to pilot us out of danger?"

"No," was the reply, "I don't. I am absolutely positive he would refuse,
no matter what the result. I am convinced that the only reason he agreed
before was because he figured he could put us in the power of his
friends. I don't believe he scared worth a cent."

"Nor I," agreed Frank.

"Well, then what is to be done?" asked Jack.

"We shall just have to feel our way along carefully," replied Lord
Hastings. "But we must get away from this spot immediately. There is no
telling what they may dump over on us. Straight ahead, Mr. Templeton, at
seven knots."

"Very good, sir," replied the lad, and repeated the command to the
engine room.

Lord Hastings himself took the helm, and Frank again stood watch in the
forward compartment. For an hour they proceeded without incident, and
then Lord Hastings decided to rise and take a look about.

Accordingly the pumps were set to work, and as the water was forced from
the submersion tanks, the D-16 rose toward the surface. Lord Hastings,
Frank and Jack ascended to the bridge.

"Well," said the former, "we seem to have given them the slip."

"It looks that way, sir," replied Frank, after a quick glance over the
water.

In the distance they could make out the forms of the battle cruisers,
but evidently those aboard the German vessels did not perceive the
submarine, lying low in the water.

Suddenly as the three stood talking, a figure bounded upon the bridge
from below, and before any of the three could raise a hand to stop him,
crossed the deck and hurled himself into the sea.

"Great Scott!" cried Frank. "It's the German!"

"Impossible!" exclaimed Jack. "He was too securely bound to free
himself."

"But I am positive that is who it was," said Frank.

All rushed to the side of the bridge, and peered intently into the
water, waiting for the figure of the man to reappear upon the surface.
Perhaps a minute later, they made out his form, quite a distance from
the vessel, and swimming toward the distant German vessels with powerful
strokes.

"Now I wonder how he managed to get----" began Jack, and paused
suddenly.

For Frank, throwing off his coat, had hurled himself into the water and
set out in pursuit of the fugitive.

"Here! Come back here!" called Jack to his friend.

Lord Hastings added his voice to Jack's.

"Come back," he cried. "Let him go."

Frank waved one arm in the air and called back over his shoulder:

"I'll get him. You wait right here for me if I am gone a year!"

Jack turned to Lord Hastings.

"Shall I jump over and bring him back?" he asked.

Lord Hastings shook his head.

"No," he replied. "Let him go. If he can catch the German, all right;
but I doubt it. However, when he finds that the chase is hopeless and
that he is likely to fall into the hands of the enemy, he will turn
back."

"I'm not so sure about that," said Jack. "Frank is rather hot headed at
times, you know, and he is likely to chase him clear aboard a German
warship."

"I give him credit for more sense than that," said Lord Hastings.

"So do I," said Jack, "at times. At other times he loses his head
altogether."

"Well, the best thing we can do is to wait and see what happens," said
Lord Hastings. "The only thing that worries me is that the German may
prove more than a match for him should he overtake him."

"I'll leave it to Frank to get himself out of any trouble like that,"
said Jack. "The only thing that I am afraid of is his hot-headedness."

In the meantime, exert himself as he would, Frank realized that he was
not lessening the distance between himself and the fugitive; but the lad
was not one to give up the chase so easily. He gritted his teeth and
muttered to himself:

"I'll get him if I have to chase him all around the world."

After a time Frank's hopes arose, for a quick look ahead showed him that
he had gained a trifle. This encouraging sign lent strength to his arms.
He struck out more vigorously than before, as he realized that it was
only a question of time until he overtook his quarry.

But what the lad did not know was that at that very instant the lookout
on the nearest German warship had caught sight of the two swimmers. A
shouted command aboard the German vessel, and a launch put off over the
side and dashed rapidly toward the German officer in the water.

This Frank did not see, and so swam on in ignorance of the danger that
threatened. Raising his eyes, a couple of minutes later he saw the
German officer as he was picked up by the boat, and for the first time
realized that he was in a ticklish situation.

"Great Scott!" he muttered to himself. "Why didn't I keep my eyes open?
I hope they are satisfied with saving him and let me alone."

He turned quickly, and made for the D-16 as fast as he could swim.

But his hopes were to prove fruitless, as a quick glance over his
shoulder told him. In the launch he perceived the German commander
gesticulating violently and pointing in his direction.

"I guess it's up to me to hustle," he told himself.

Now the German launch started after him, gaining at every stroke the lad
made.

Lord Hastings and Jack perceived the turn of affairs, and Jack cried
out:

"Get the launch over quick and man it. Unless we can lick these fellows,
Frank is a goner."

The crew acted with promptness, and in a twinkling the launch of the
D-16 also was racing toward the swimming lad.



                              CHAPTER XII.

                               CAPTURED.


Frank, literally the bone of contention between the two forces in the
launches, swam as swiftly as possible in the direction of safety; but
the furtive glances he cast over his shoulder showed him that the
Germans were nearer than his friends, and that in spite of the fact that
he was swimming toward the latter, the former would come up with him
first.

The men in both boats were now on their feet, and their revolvers spoke
across the water. As yet, however, they were too far away to make
accurate shooting possible, and no one was even touched.

But soon the German boat drew so close to Frank, that the men in the
D-16's launch were afraid to fire at the Germans for fear a chance shot
might hit the lad. The Germans, however, were not thus handicapped, and
continued pouring lead in the direction of Lord Hastings and his men.

As the German boat came alongside Frank, a man reached out to grab him.
Frank took a long breath and dived, the fingers of his foe just touching
his shoulder.

When he came to the surface for a fresh breath, the German boat was
several yards away and Frank breathed easier.

"If I can keep that up," he told himself, "I may get away yet."

Again the boat drew near and again Frank dived.

The German officer in command had had enough of this game of hide and
seek, however, and he immediately ordered two of his men overboard after
the lad.

Frank, of course, knew nothing of this move and when he came to the
surface once more, he was surprised to find rough hands laid upon him
from both sides. In vain did he strike out with both feet and hands.
Struggle as he would he could not shake off his foes; and all three sank
together.

The German boat came closer, and the sailors leaned over the side, ready
to pull in the struggling trio when they came to the surface again.

Sputtering and gasping for breath, the three heads finally showed above
the water. There was not much fight left in any of them, and therefore
Frank was drawn over the side without much trouble. Then the German
officer ordered the launch brought about, and put off for the German
cruiser at full speed.

As they fled, a running battle with the men in the D-16's launch ensued.
One German toppled over into the water, but the boat was not stopped to
pick him up. One British sailor was struck in the arm by a German
bullet; but outside of these two no one was wounded.

The German launch had the heels of the D-16's small boat, and soon
outdistanced her. Convinced at last that pursuit was useless, Lord
Hastings ordered that the chase be abandoned. The launch was brought
about and headed slowly back toward the submarine.

"Poor Frank," said Jack. "I always knew his rashness would get him in
trouble some day. I am afraid his days of fighting are over."

"While there is life there is hope," said Lord Hastings calmly. "Perhaps
we may be able to figure out some means of rescue."

"A great chance," said Jack sarcastically. "Right in the heart of the
enemy's country? I don't think so. What do you suppose they will do with
him?"

"Hold him as a prisoner of war."

"Then there is no danger of his being shot?"

"I should say not."

"Well, that's not so bad. Still, it is pretty tough for him to be cooped
up for the next few years."

Aboard the D-16 once more, all went below immediately and Lord Hastings
gave the command to submerge.

"They know we are here now," he said, "and they'll be after us.
Therefore we had better get down. We'll stay around for a while and see
if we cannot be of some help to Frank. We may be able to maneuver so as
to avoid detection."

"When it comes to that," said Jack, "we might as well be here as any
place else. I should say that there is considerable work we could do
hereabouts, and if we can avoid the enemy we can make it pretty warm for
them."

"You are right," replied Lord Hastings, "but we shall have to be very
careful, for, knowing we are here, they will undoubtedly have every ship
in these waters looking for us."

"Well," said Jack, "why should we wait for them to act? Why can't we
strike the first blow?"

Lord Hastings looked at him quizzically.

"Just what do you mean by that?" he asked.

"Why," said Jack, "torpedo one of them right now."

"I am afraid you are a little hot headed yourself," said his commander
with a faint smile. "I should say that that is just what they expect us
to do, and for that reason I am opposed to such action. Never do the
expected, is my motto. It is the unexpected that counts."

"Perhaps you are right," agreed Jack; "still I would like to get at a
few of them."

"Don't fret," said Lord Hastings, "you shall have your chance."

Meanwhile, what of Frank?

Immediately the launch had returned to the German cruiser, the lad was
hurried over the side and taken to the commander's cabin. The latter
received him courteously and motioned him to a seat.

"And how, if I may ask," he inquired, "do you happen to be in the middle
of the Kiel canal?"

Frank smiled slightly.

"I came in a submarine," he replied.

"So I have perceived," said the commander.

"But I was unaware England had established a submarine base anywhere
near German territory."

"Neither has she, to my knowledge," said Frank.

"Then how did you get here? Surely you must have a base."

"Our base," said Frank, "was London."

"What?" exclaimed the German, jumping to his feet. "You sit here and
tell me a thing like that? Surely you can't think I don't know that a
submarine cannot operate that distance from her base."

"Nevertheless, it is true," replied Frank quietly.

"But your air supply, your torpedoes, your provisions," exclaimed the
German commander.

"Those we carry with us," said Frank.

"Then," said the German sarcastically, "yours must be a very remarkable
submarine."

"So it is," replied Frank.

"Well, it will be impossible for her to get away," said the German. "We
have her bottled up, and all we need do is wait until she comes to the
surface to replenish her air tanks; then we can sink her."

"You'll have a long wait," said Frank. "She doesn't have to come up for
that purpose."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Just what I say. The submarine to which I am attached carries no air
tanks except those to be used in case of an emergency."

"No air tanks! Then how do you get air?"

"Well," said Frank, "I can't see that it will do any harm to tell you.
We extract air from the water."

The German commander leaned back in his chair and looked at the lad in
amazement.

"Extract air from the water, eh?" he said slowly. "Do you mean to tell
me that England has solved that problem?"

"She has, sir," replied Frank quietly.

The German was silent for a long time before he said: "Then I must say
that Germany has a hard job on her hands."

Frank was silent and the captain continued:

"And how many such vessels have you in operation?"

Frank hesitated.

"Well, only a few right now," he said at last. "But many more are in the
process of construction."

"And are you familiar with the operations of such a vessel, and of the
method used?"

"To a certain extent, yes."

"But I do not suppose you could be prevailed upon to divulge the
secret?"

"I could not," replied Frank quietly.

"Good! I thought not. Well, it's too bad that we were not the first to
discover the secret; but you will find that we do not whine, nor will we
seek to obtain the secret by unfair means."

"I am sure of it, sir," replied Frank.

"Now," said the German commander, "I must decide what I am going to do
with you. I suppose that you know you will be held until the end of the
war?"

Frank nodded as he replied: "I should suppose so."

"I shall have you sent ashore in the morning and turned over to the
military authorities. The chances are that you will be taken to Berlin.
Of that I am not sure, however."

"One place will do as well as another, I suppose."

"I'm glad you are cheerful about it," laughed the captain, "and as mess
hour is approaching I shall be glad to have you dine with me."

"I shall be pleased to do so, sir."

"By the way," said the German, "what is the speed of this remarkable
submarine of yours?"

"I wouldn't like to say," replied Frank, "but I can say that it is fully
as great as that of your fastest battleship."

The German puckered his lips in a long expressive whistle.

"Well," he said, "it's too bad for us. Now, if you care to wash up I
shall have you shown to your temporary quarters."

It was a pleasant meal to which the lad sat down that evening, and he
enjoyed himself immensely. He found the German officers a likeable lot
and was treated more as a guest than as a prisoner.

It was while at table that he learned that German submarines had been
sent down in search of the British vessel, and that each battleship was
being guarded by an under-the-sea fighter so that no surprise attack by
the D-16 might be made.

At a late hour the lad retired and slept the sleep of the exhausted.

He was up bright and early the following morning, and after breakfast
took his place in the ship's launch, which immediately headed toward the
shore. The captain bade him a pleasant good-bye, and added:

"If I get to Berlin I shall look you up."

"I'm not there yet," said Frank, but in his heart he was pretty sure
that it was only a question of hours until he would be.



                             CHAPTER XIII.

                           A SUBMARINE RAID.


Creeping stealthily forward beneath the water, the D-16 was advancing to
the attack. Lord Hastings stood at the periscope and Jack was at his
elbow. The vessel was prepared for action, and the crew stood at
attention.

Lord Hastings touched Jack on the shoulder.

"Tell the watch to keep a sharp lookout for submarines," he said. "The
chances are that they have been thrown out in front of the battleships."

Jack departed and gave the necessary order, after which he returned to
his position.

It was just after dusk on the evening following the day on which Frank
had been captured. All day and all during the previous night the D-16
had kept near the bottom, maneuvering first this way and then that, and
not once had they caught sight of an enemy's submarine, nor had they
risen to the surface for a look about.

But now Lord Hastings had decided upon action. He had idled long enough.
Therefore, after preparing for action, the D-16 had risen sufficiently
to give her periscope free play, and the commander now gazed over the
water.

"German battleship ahead," he called to Jack. "Slow to five knots."

The speed of the submarine slackened.

"Take the lookout yourself, Mr. Templeton," was the next command.

Jack did as commanded, and peered intently ahead. In the dark murky
water he could see but a few feet, for it had not been deemed advisable
to turn on the searchlight and thus make a target for the enemy's
submarines.

However, the D-16 was progressing at a snail's pace and could be halted
upon the instant. Therefore, there was not much danger of encountering
any obstacle, providing the man on lookout attended to his duties
properly.

Suddenly a dark object loomed up ahead. Quick as a flash Jack signalled
the engine room and the D-16 came to an abrupt stop. Jack reported to
Lord Hastings.

"Dark object right ahead that looks like a submarine submerged," he said
calmly.

"Give the order to back away a hundred yards, then fire a torpedo into
her," was Lord Hastings' command.

Slowly the D-16 backed away from the dark object ahead, and an instant
later a sharp "click" gave evidence that a torpedo had been launched.
Immediately Jack flashed on the searchlight.

While his eyes could not follow the flight of the torpedo, the huge and
powerful searchlight showed him the result. Struck squarely amidships
the German submarine, for such the object ahead proved to be, seemed to
split wide open. The water poured in in a dense volume, and suddenly the
enemy sank.

Jack shuddered.

"Must be a terrible death," he muttered to himself. "However, if we had
not sunk her she would probably have sunk us."

Once more he reported to Lord Hastings.

"Way clear now, sir," he said.

"Good," was the reply. "Make your speed five knots and continue your
course."

Perhaps ten minutes more and then Lord Hastings gave the command to
heave to. For, through the periscope, less than a quarter of a mile
away, he could make out the form of a giant German battle cruiser, a
trifle to starboard.

The electric signal board flashed its message of death:

"No. 5 torpedo!"

"Ready!"

"Fire!"

"Click!"

Just this little sound and then Lord Hastings gave the command to rise,
for he wished to witness the effect of the torpedo on the German
cruiser.

The D-16 rose swiftly, but not as swiftly as the torpedo had sped on its
way. For when the submarine reached the surface the torpedo had already
done its work, and the German cruiser was helpless. Men were jumping
into the sea on all sides and swimming away.

Jack was struck with a sudden idea. He turned to Lord Hastings.

"If we could pick up one of those fellows," he said, pointing, "perhaps
we could find out what has happened to Frank."

"Good," replied Lord Hastings, "it shall be done."

Upon his command the submarine forged ahead slowly directly toward the
doomed German cruiser. Heads of men swimming began to bob up and down on
both sides. Jack, leaning over the side, which was almost level with the
water, suddenly stretched forth a hand and dragged a German petty
officer aboard.

Frightened almost out of his wits, for he had not perceived the dark
outline of the submarine, the German struggled fiercely; but he was no
match for Jack, who soon subdued him.

The man was dragged below, and upon Jack's request, the submarine was
again submerged.

When the prisoner learned that he was aboard the British submarine he
braced up, and when he found that he was not to be harmed, he proved
willing to talk.

"Where is the English prisoner whom you captured yesterday?" Lord
Hastings asked him.

"He has been sent ashore," was the reply. "He was to have been taken to
Berlin today, to be held as a prisoner of war; but I understand that for
some reason it was put off till tomorrow."

"I see," said Lord Hastings, and as he did not wish to put the prisoner
on his guard, he talked for some minutes of other matters.

"By the way," he said finally, "how is our friend guarded? Is he locked
in a cell, or what?"

"Yes," was the reply. "He refused to give his parole, so naturally he
had to be confined. However, he is perfectly comfortable and is being
well cared for."

"So he is locked up in the fort," said Lord Hastings. "Then there is no
chance of his being so foolish as to attempt to escape."

"It certainly would be foolish," said the prisoner, "although once
outside the cell, he might lose himself for a while; but of course there
would be no chance of his getting out of the country. You see, we are
perfectly safe here, or were until you came along, so it is unnecessary
to keep such a close watch."

"And where is the fort where he is confined?" asked Lord Hastings.

"Only a short distance from the edge of the canal. It is called Fort
Kaiserin."

"Well," said Lord Hastings as he turned away, having learned all that he
desired to know, "I guess we had better get away from this spot or one
of your submarines is liable to find us. Mr. Templeton, you may escort
the prisoner to your own quarters and place a sailor on guard."

Jack led the prisoner to his own cabin and, after stationing a sailor at
the door, returned to Lord Hastings.

"What have you on your mind, sir?" he asked.

"What do you mean?" asked his commander.

"Why," said Jack, "I know you were not asking all those questions for
nothing."

"That is true," was the reply. "I was thinking that by donning German
uniforms and going ashore, we might possibly rescue Frank."

"I had thought of that myself, sir; and I believe it might be done."

"So do I."

"Then shall we make the attempt, sir?"

"Yes," replied Lord Hastings, "we shall."

"Good. When?"

"At once. We have no time to lose."

"But the submarine. How shall we know where to find her?"

"I'll fix that. Send Brennan to me."

Jack departed and returned a moment later with Brennan, the chief
engineer.

"Brennan," said Lord Hastings, "Mr. Templeton and I are going to take
the launch and go ashore. As soon as we have gone I want you to submerge
just to the edge of the periscope and remain there until you see us
returning. Then rise immediately to take us aboard, for we may come in a
hurry."

"But if an enemy should approach in the meantime, sir?" asked Brennan.

"In that case you will, of course, submerge at once, and then, making a
detour, return to approximately the same spot. It may be necessary to
take chances, but you will have to do that."

"Very good, sir," said Brennan, saluting.

Lord Hastings turned to Jack.

"We'll go to the surface now," he said. "We may as well start at once."

Five minutes later, in the little launch, they were skimming over the
water toward the shore, which they could just see in the darkness. They
felt sure that they had quitted the submarine unobserved.

As soon as they were over the side, Brennan, in accordance with
instructions, had immediately submerged.

Before leaving they had both attired themselves in German uniforms, and
felt comparatively safe.

The run to shore took perhaps fifteen minutes.

When they at last set foot on land their first thought was for a hiding
place for the launch. Several trees overhanging the canal at the point
where they had landed afforded a slight shelter and into their shadow
the launch was pulled.

"It's the best we can do, and I guess she won't be seen," said Jack.

"At any rate we'll have to take a chance," replied Lord Hastings. "Now
let's go."

They turned their faces westward, where, in the distance, they could
make out the outlines of the German fortifications.

"How are we going to know which is Fort Kaiserin?" asked Jack.

"We'll have to ask," was the reply.

"Won't that give us away?"

"I don't think so. We can say we just came here."

This plan was followed and a soldier directed them to the fort. They
were just about to enter it and trust to luck, when their attention was
attracted by the sound of a scuffle a short distance down the street.

"Let's see what it is about," said Jack. "It may help us in some way."

Lord Hastings nodded his assent, and they dashed toward a struggling
knot of men only a few yards away.



                              CHAPTER XIV.

                              THE ESCAPE.


When Frank reached shore after being taken from the German cruiser, he
was received courteously by the officer in command of Fort Kaiserin--one
of the German fortifications along the Kiel canal. The latter questioned
him at length regarding the D-16, and the lad gave what information he
believed could be of no value to the enemy.

At first it was announced that the lad would be taken to Berlin that
day, but later as the reader has already learned this was deferred till
the next.

"If you will give me your parole," said the German commander, "I shall
be glad to allow you the freedom of the fort."

"I appreciate your kindness," replied Frank, "and I am sorry that I do
not feel myself at liberty to accept."

The officer shrugged his shoulders.

"There is little danger of your getting away," he said. "However, I find
it my duty, in view of your refusal, to order you confined."

Frank bowed but said nothing.

Half an hour later he was conducted to a cell at the end of the fort
nearest the outer wall. Here he sat all day, being well treated and well
fed, but allowed no liberty.

"By George!" said Frank to himself right after noon, "I have a notion to
try to get out of here. I don't know whether I can get away or not, but
I believe I shall take a chance at it. I don't want to be cooped up in
Berlin for the next few years if I can help it."

Accordingly he mapped out a plan, which he decided to put into execution
when the jailer brought his evening meal.

The afternoon passed slowly, but at length the time to act came.

A key grated in the cell door and the jailer entered, carrying a tray of
food.

"How is the weather outside?" asked Frank.

The jailer was a jovial sort.

"Fine," he replied. "Too bad you cannot be out to enjoy it."

"It is too bad," Frank agreed. "Well, what do I get for supper?" and he
bent over as though to examine the tray.

"Soup----" began the jailer, but he said no more.

Straightening up suddenly, Frank caught the man by the throat with a
vise-like grip, while he clapped his other hand over his mouth, stifling
an outcry. Then, suddenly, he drew back his right fist, and before the
German could free himself, struck him full on the point of the jaw.

The German toppled over like a log.

Frank picked him up gently and laid him on the bed, where he gagged him
with his handkerchief.

"Now to get out," he said.

He approached the door and peered about. There was no one in sight. He
picked up the jailer's keys and, stepping into the corridor, closed the
door behind him and locked it.

"Now if I can just avoid detection till I get out of here," he told
himself.

Quietly he walked along the corridor, to where he knew the door to be.
In a room just beyond he heard voices. He approached carefully and
peered in.

In a far corner, half a dozen German soldiers were busily engaged with a
pack of cards. They were so engrossed in their game that they paid no
attention to Frank as he stepped quietly into the room, walked boldly
across it and disappeared through the door on the opposite side.

Outside Frank drew a long breath.

"So far so good," he muttered.

Getting into the open was now a simple matter. Frank knew full well that
a careful watch was not being kept, so now he walked boldly on.

Turning eastward and feeling that he was free at last, he broke into a
quick trot.

This almost proved his undoing, for suddenly a voice out of the darkness
challenged him.

"Who goes there?"

"Friend," replied Frank.

The challenger approached. One glance at his British naval uniform was
enough. The man attempted to bring his gun to bear, but Frank was too
quick for him. Jumping suddenly forward, he knocked up the weapon, and
then, with two terrific punches, laid the man low.

But the sound of this scuffle had attracted half a dozen other figures
and now Frank found himself surrounded.

"They will have to fight to take me back there," he said through
clenched teeth, and not waiting for his foes to come to the attack, he
plunged into the midst of them.

When Jack and Lord Hastings advanced toward the struggling knot of men
they had no idea what was going on; but Frank, over the shoulders of his
foes, saw them.

"Jack! Lord Hastings!" he cried.

His two friends were taken aback, but Jack was the first to recover
himself.

"It's Frank!" he cried, and dashed forward.

Lord Hastings was not a moment behind him, and these reinforcements,
seeming to be two German officers, disconcerted Frank's adversaries, who
drew off.

But the sound of Jack's voice speaking in English convinced them that
something was wrong, and they sprang forward again.

"Crack!"

With a single movement Jack had drawn his revolver and fired.

One man fell.

"Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!"

The firing became general, but the Germans were taken at a disadvantage
as their opponents had been the first to draw.

Three Germans only now remained on their feet, and as Lord Hastings,
Jack and Frank advanced upon them they turned and fled.

"Quick!" cried Lord Hastings. "Follow me! We'll have the whole garrison
upon us in a moment!"

He turned and dashed back along the dark road, Frank and Jack following.

From behind came the sounds of a terrible commotion. The garrison was
aroused, and the fugitives realized that speed was the only thing that
would save their lives.

Without a word they sped along as fast as their legs would carry them.
In the darkness Lord Hastings would have passed the spot where they had
hidden the launch had not Jack's keen eyes recognized it as he flashed
by.

"Wait!" he called, stopping so suddenly that Frank, who was directly
behind him, bumped him and almost knocked him off his feet.

Lord Hastings also stopped.

"What's the matter?" he demanded.

"You have gone too far," cried Jack. "Here!"

He stepped in under the trees and laid a hand upon the launch. Frank and
Lord Hastings lent a helping hand, and soon the little boat was floating
upon the water.

"Quick! In with you!" cried Jack, as he fairly pushed his two companions
into the boat.

Then he gave it a hard shove and scrambled in himself.

At that moment, from behind, came the sound of running footsteps and a
hoarse voice of command:

"Fire!"

There was a deafening crash and a hail of bullets sped over the little
boat, for at the command fire Jack had cried out:

"Down!"

All three lay flat in the bottom of the boat, Jack, with one hand behind
him, doing the steering from that position.

A second and a third hail of bullets from behind passed without harming
them, and then no more came.

The three sat up in the boat.

"Pretty close, if you ask me," said Jack.

"I should say so," replied Frank. "We---- Hello!"

"Now what's the matter?" demanded Lord Hastings.

"Listen!" whispered Frank.

All three listened intently.

From astern came a choking "Chug chug."

"We are followed!" exclaimed Frank. "We shall have to hurry. Is this as
fast as this thing can move?"

Jack was tinkering with the motor.

"I guess it is," he said at last. "However, we have quite a start, and
with luck should be able to reach our vessel before they can overtake
us."

As swiftly as she could go the launch made for the spot where the
submarine, still submerged, awaited them.

Brennan, whom Lord Hastings had left in command, was fully alive to his
responsibility. Steadfastly he remained at his post, peering intently
through the periscope. For hours he had been there, and now his patience
was rewarded.

In the distance he could make out a small boat dashing madly toward him.
Quickly he gave the signal to rise, and when the submarine again floated
upon the surface of the water, he ascended to the bridge.

As the boat drew nearer he recognized its occupants; and then, for the
first time, he realized that they were followed. Prompt action would be
required when they were on board and he knew it.

With a hoarse bellow he called the crew to their places, and advanced to
the side of the vessel to lend a hand to the officers when they should
arrive.

At last they reached the side, under a volley from the pursuing German
launch. Lord Hastings clambered aboard and Frank and Jack followed in
rapid succession. As they set foot on deck the latter shouted:

"Below! Quick!"

All made a mad dash and in a moment the entrance through the conning
tower was hermetically sealed behind them.

"Submerge!" cried Lord Hastings; and as the D-16 once more sank from
view, her commander wiped the beads of perspiration from his forehead
with his sleeve.

"Whew!" he exclaimed. "Pretty close! Pretty close! But we are all safe,
and that's enough!"

"Right, sir," said Jack. "And enough's a plenty!"



                              CHAPTER XV.

                            INTO THE BALTIC.


Lord Hastings called Frank and Jack into consultation to decide upon
what should be done.

"We are likely to have all the German submarines in these parts on our
trail," he said, "and while we might hope to dispose of some of them, we
can hardly hope to beat them all. My advice is that we get out of the
Kiel canal at the earliest possible moment."

"I agree with you, sir," said Jack.

"And I, too, sir," declared Frank.

"Good," from Lord Hastings. "Then we shall do so. As long as we are
headed for the Baltic, we may as well go in that direction."

So it came about that the British submarine, D-16, plunging swiftly on,
struck out boldly for Russian waters.

From the prisoner Lord Hastings was able to get his bearings, and this
fact, together with his charts, permitted him to lay a course that
would, he believed, bring the submarine into the Baltic Sea in safety.

"Don't you think it would be advisable," asked Frank, "to attempt to
sink a couple or more Germans?"

"I hardly think so," was his commander's reply. "We already have done
considerable damage and the next venture might not have the same
success. No, I believe that we had best be content with what we have
done, and get away now."

Jack agreed with Lord Hastings, and Frank, finding that the sentiment
was against him, was convinced that he was wrong, and said so.

As the submarine made her way along, Lord Hastings decided that, as they
had been so long without news of what was going on at other points in
the great war zone, it would be advisable to question their prisoner
along this line.

"We'll have him up and learn what's what," he told the two lads.

Accordingly Frank went to fetch him, and a few minutes later all were
comfortably seated in the commander's cabin.

Lord Hastings informed the prisoner what they desired of him, and the
latter was nothing loath to enlighten them.

"Possibly the matter of greatest moment at this time," said the prisoner
with some show of pride, "is the German blockade of Great Britain and
the coast of Northern France."

Lord Hastings was on his feet in an instant.

"Blockade of Great Britain!" he ejaculated. "Why, it's impossible. The
German fleet itself is bottled up by our ships. How, then, can they
blockade England?"

The German smiled.

"It is a blockade, nevertheless," he replied, "if it is only maintained
by submarines. No ships of war, nor merchant ships flying the flags of
any of our enemies are immune. The blockade went into effect yesterday,
and already two merchantmen have been sent to the bottom."

"And their crews?" asked Lord Hastings.

Again the German smiled.

"Who knows?" he replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

"Do you mean to say that they were left to their fate?"

"What else could be done?" asked the prisoner. "The submarines could not
provide for them."

"But such action is against all the rules of civilized warfare,"
exclaimed His Lordship.

"Perhaps so," was the reply. "But as England has not hesitated to take
whatever steps she considered necessary, neither will Germany, in the
future."

"But the vessels of neutral nations," said Lord Hastings, "are they not
in danger because of this blockade?"

"They are--yes," was the reply, "and for this reason: Several British
ships already have made their escape by hoisting the Red, White and
Blue. However, Germany has defined a well established line of passage
for neutral ships, and any found outside of these channels are subject
to the same fate as ships of England and France."

"But great Scott, man," exclaimed Lord Hastings, "the sinking of an
American ship would more than likely bring the United States into the
war against Germany. Surely, you do not desire that."

The German shrugged his shoulders.

"If it cannot be helped," he said quietly, "we are ready to engage the
United States also."

"But surely," cried Frank, "you do not believe you can whip the whole
world."

"Perhaps not," was the reply, "but neither do we believe the whole world
can whip us."

Frank threw up his hands with a gesture of dismay.

"You Germans are about the limit," he said. "It seems to me that you
already have bitten off a bigger portion than you can chew, and here you
are trying to bring the rest of the civilized world against you."

"We might just as well be whipped by the whole world as a portion of
it," said the prisoner.

"And that is my idea of what the Kaiser himself believes," said Jack,
who up to this time had taken no part in the conversation. "My opinion
is that the German emperor, realizing already that he is fighting a
losing fight, is seeking to embroil the whole world."

"But we are not fighting a losing fight," protested the prisoner.

This time it was Lord Hastings who shrugged his shoulders.

"That's a matter of sentiment, of course," he said. "But we didn't call
you here to argue with you. What other events of importance are taking
place?"

"Well," said the prisoner, "in the eastern theater of war we have been
successful. Field Marshal Von Hindenburg has defeated the Czar's troops
with terrible losses, practically annihilating an entire army corps.
Also in the Carpathians and in Northern Poland the Russians have been
forced back. In the western war area, reports are conflicting. French
and British reports claim some slight successes and the German reports
tell of material advances. Of course, we believe the German report to be
truthful, while you probably will put more faith in the others.

"But the news that will be the most pleasing to you is the fact that the
combined French and British fleets are even now attempting to force a
passage of the Dardanelles. Even German reports show that they have met
with some success. The first lines of defenses have been shattered, the
forts being dismantled and razed. The allied fleets have penetrated
twelve miles into the straits."

"By George, that is good news," exclaimed Jack.

"You bet," agreed Frank.

Even Lord Hastings lost his habitual calm and smiled.

"The attempt to force the passage of the Dardanelles," continued the
prisoner, "is being led by the monster dreadnought _Queen Elizabeth_,
and it is due to the heavy caliber of her guns that so much success has
been attained."

"She is a powerful ship," said Lord Hastings quietly.

"She must be," replied the prisoner. "The others of the fleet follow in
her wake, and when she has practically put a fort out of commission they
come up and finish the work. She fires her terrible projectiles, and
with accuracy, too, a distance of almost twenty miles."

"Twenty miles!" exclaimed Frank.

"Exactly," replied Lord Hastings. "The _Queen Elizabeth_ is probably the
most powerful ship of war afloat today."

"Of course," continued the prisoner, "reports received through German
sources would indicate that the damage being inflicted by the allied
fleet is insignificant. However, reports from other sources lead us to
believe that the damage may be greater than even England claims."

"In other words," said Lord Hastings, "it would seem that the forcing of
the Dardanelles is only a question of weeks."

"Or even of days," agreed the German.

"Which will clear the road to Constantinople for the Allies."

"Exactly; and Constantinople, according to an agreement between England,
France and Russia, is to be turned over to the Czar as a war prize, in
case Germany is defeated," said the prisoner.

"Quite a piece of diplomacy," said Lord Hastings. "It will bind the
nations of the Triple Entente closer together."

"There is no doubt about that," replied the prisoner. "But that is about
all the news I can tell you."

"We are grateful for what you have told us," replied Lord Hastings, "and
hope we have not bored you."

"You have not," said the German simply. "But I would like to ask what
you intend to do with me?"

Lord Hastings hesitated.

"Well," he said at length, "it is probably plain to you that we cannot
afford to be burdened with prisoners. For that reason, if given an
opportunity, I had intended to set you adrift in one of the small boats
when we were able to come to the surface and are close enough to shore
for you to reach if safely."

"You are kind captors, sir," said the German with a bow. "Until such a
time, then, I shall return to the quarters you have assigned me. Also, I
give my word that I shall make no attempt to escape, nor to interfere
with your plans."

"Your parole is accepted, sir," replied Lord Hastings. "The freedom of
the ship is yours."

The German bowed low and left the room.

"Do you not fear to trust him?" asked Jack. "Remember the trouble we had
with the other officer."

"I am not afraid to trust this one," replied his commander.

"Nor I," agreed Frank. "He is as different from the other as day from
night."

Lord Hastings rose and glanced at his watch.

"If I have calculated correctly," he said, "we should by now be beyond
the confines of the Kiel canal."

"But," said Frank, "there are still German war vessels and mines in the
bays at this end of the Baltic."

"True," replied his commander, "but once out of the canal we will be
safe enough, for we can submerge to a greater depth and continue under
water until we are safe."

He gave the command to bring the submarine to the surface, and when it
floated upon the water, made his way to the bridge. The lads followed
him.

"As I thought," said the commander, looking about. "We have reached the
Baltic--not the Baltic proper, perhaps, but still Baltic waters."

It was true. Behind could be seen the narrow entrance to the Kiel canal,
and ahead the broader expanse of the western arm of the Baltic Sea.
There was not a vessel of any kind in sight.

"Well," said Jack. "Looks like we were safe enough here."

"Looks that way," agreed Frank, "but you never can tell, you know."



                              CHAPTER XVI.

                           IN TROUBLE AGAIN.


"What's that?" asked Frank, as he gazed across the water.

"Smoke," replied Jack. "It's plain enough."

"I know that," replied the former, "but what I meant is, do you suppose
it is a battleship?"

"Looks like it might be," replied Jack briefly.

"Russian or German?" asked Frank.

"Can't tell," said Lord Hastings, who had been peering at the cloud of
smoke through his glass. "I can make out that it is a battleship, but
that's all. However, we shall know soon enough."

Slowly the cloud of smoke came nearer and nearer, until at last the dim
outline of a large battle cruiser of the second class was plainly
visible to the naked eye. But still those aboard the D-16 were unable to
make out her nationality, for she flew no flag.

"We'd better get ready to dive in case she proves to be a German," said
Lord Hastings.

"Right you are, sir," replied Jack, and turning, went below.

Frank and Lord Hastings remained upon the bridge.

Now, of a sudden, there came a faint "boom" across the water.

"Can she have sighted us, sir?" asked Frank anxiously. "Had we not
better dive at once?"

"No, I don't think she has sighted us," replied Lord Hastings.

"Then what is she shooting at?"

"You've got me. But that is what we shall have to find out."

Lord Hastings went below, where he ordered the course of the D-16
altered slightly, so as to bring her closer to the far side of the
distant cruiser. Then he returned on deck.

Time after time the boom of the big guns could be heard, and those
aboard the D-16 were at a loss to make out what the cruiser was firing
at. Not another speck was visible on the broad expanse of the Baltic
Sea.

"There must be something wrong," said Lord Hastings. "But I can't
imagine what----Hello, she's hoisting her flag."

"Can you make it out, sir?" asked Frank.

Lord Hastings looked long and carefully through his glass.

"Russian," he said at last.

"Good," exclaimed Frank. "We are among friends at any rate."

"I wouldn't be too sure," said his commander. "It may be a German ship
that has hoisted the Russian flag for a purpose."

"Well, we'll soon see now," said Frank.

Now the submarine had approached so close that Lord Hastings deemed it
advisable to submerge, so that the vessel might not be seen. This was
done, and standing at the bottom of the periscope below, the commander
of the D-16 took in the scene about him.

Occasional clouds of smoke issued from the cruiser, indicating that her
guns were still in action, but for the life of him Lord Hastings could
not make out the object of her shots. Also, the cruiser was maneuvering
in a strange way, and Lord Hastings could not account for this either.

He stepped aside and Jack took a look through the periscope. Peering
long and carefully, he stepped back suddenly with a cry.

"What's the matter?" asked Lord Hastings.

"I've made out the cause of the trouble, sir," said Jack.

"What is it?" demanded his commander.

"Why, sir," replied the lad, "the cruiser is being followed by a
submarine--I can just make out her periscope in the distance. That's
what the cruiser is firing at. And her strange maneuvering is caused by
the fact that she is trying to escape torpedoes. So far she must have
been successful."

"In that event," said Lord Hastings, "it is up to us to lend the cruiser
a hand. Signal full speed, Mr. Templeton."

Jack obeyed, and the swift British submarine dashed madly through the
water.

Suddenly Jack, who was at the periscope, perceived a puff of smoke issue
from the forward turret of the cruiser, and a moment later a shell
plowed up the water near the D-16.

"We'll have to submerge at once, sir," he said. "The cruiser has sighted
us and takes us for an enemy. One of those shells may hit us."

"All right," said Lord Hastings. "First let me have a look."

He stepped to the periscope, which Jack relinquished to him, and peered
ahead. Beyond the cruiser he could make out the periscope of another
submarine. Calculating the distance. Lord Hastings gave the order to
submerge four fathoms.

Then the D-16 dashed in the direction of the submarine that was seeking
to destroy the Russian.

Running at 30 knots, the D-16 soon came upon its prey. A dim bulk
suddenly loomed up ahead, some distance higher in the water.

"It's the enemy," said Frank, after a careful scrutiny.

"All right," said Lord Hastings. "Give her a shot before she discovers
our presence. We can't miss at this distance."

Through the heavy glass in the bow of the submarine Frank watched the
effect of the shot. The German submarine staggered suddenly in her
stride, then, without a sound, disappeared from sight.

Frank returned to Lord Hastings' side.

"She's gone, sir," he said quietly.

Lord Hastings turned to Jack.

"We'll go to the surface at once," he said.

Hardly had the D-16 bobbed up from beneath the water, when there was a
loud boom from the Russian ship now but a short distance away, and a
shell screamed overhead.

"Run up the British flag, quick, Mr. Templeton," ordered Lord Hastings.

A moment later the Union Jack fluttered aloft.

Came another shot from the Russian, and a second shell screamed near.

"The fools," cried Lord Hastings angrily. "What do they mean by that?"

"They think we are trying a ruse to get near them, I suppose," replied
Frank. "They are unable to tell we are not the same submarine that
followed them."

"True," said his commander, "I hadn't thought of that. But how are we to
let them know who we are?"

"Well, my idea would be to run up a flag of truce," said Frank. "Then we
can explain."

"Good," exclaimed Lord Hastings. "Run up a flag of truce at once."

It was the work of but a few seconds to raise a white flag, and when it
had straightened out before the brisk breeze, there was no further shot
from the Russian cruiser.

Soon a boat put over the cruiser's side, and manned by a well armed
crew, came toward the D-16. Within hailing distance an officer arose and
cried out something in a tongue unintelligible to any on board.

"Speak English!" Lord Hastings called back. "I can't understand you."

The next words came in halting English.

"Who are you?"

"British submarine, D-16!" Lord Hastings called back.

"Then why did you fire at us?"

"We didn't. You were fired upon by a German submarine, which we have
just sunk. Will you come aboard?"

"Yes," was the reply, and the little boat drew closer.

A moment later a man in the uniform of the Russian navy stepped over the
side and advanced toward Lord Hastings.

"Are you the commander of this vessel?" he asked.

Lord Hastings bowed.

"I am," he replied.

"Then I demand to know, as you claim, and appear, to be English, why you
fired upon us?"

"I told you," said Lord Hastings quietly, "that we did not fire upon
you. You were attacked by a German submarine, which we have just had the
pleasure of sending to the bottom."

The Russian officer looked skeptical.

"May I ask to see your papers?" he asked.

"You may," replied Lord Hastings, now somewhat nettled, "but you won't."

"In that event," replied the officer, "I must place you under arrest."

Lord Hastings smiled sardonically.

"Which would be quite a task," he said. "Remember, you are aboard my
ship now, and if I choose, I can have you thrown into the sea. However,
as there seems to be some misunderstanding, I am ready to accompany you
aboard your ship, where I shall explain matters to your commander."

The officer could but be satisfied with this.

"Very well," he said.

Lord Hastings turned to Jack.

"You shall go with me," he said. "Frank, you remain here."

He stepped into the boat and Jack and the Russian officer followed him.
The boat put off toward the Russian cruiser.

Aboard the cruiser Lord Hastings was at once ushered into the presence
of the Russian commander, Captain Bergoff. To him he told the same story
he had related to his officer.

"Then how did you get in the Baltic Sea?" asked the Russian officer.

"Through the Kiel canal," replied Lord Hastings.

The Russian commander smiled.

"And you expect me to believe that?" he said. "Impossible."

"Nevertheless," said Lord Hastings, drawing himself up, "it is true."

"I won't dispute you," was the reply. "Have your own way. However, I
fear that I must place you under arrest."

"Under arrest!"

"Yes. I have no doubt that you are English, but I believe you are
traitors to your country. Your speech proves you are English, but it
would be impossible for a British vessel to force a passage of the Kiel
canal. I suppose you will tell me, however, that you sank several German
vessels there."

"We did," replied Jack, breaking into the conversation for the first
time.

Again the Russian smiled.

"And here seem to be two full grown men asking me to believe a thing
like that," he said. "It's too much. Lieutenant!"

The officer who had escorted the two aboard approached.

"Have them confined in irons," was the command.

"But," protested Lord Hastings, "regardless of our nationality, we came
here under a flag of truce."

"Spies in British uniforms," said the Russian sternly. "You will leave
here under the Russian flag and in irons."



                             CHAPTER XVII.

                               PETROGRAD.


Lord Hastings stepped close to the Russian commander.

"You will interfere with us at your peril," he said quietly. "We are all
that we represent ourselves to be, as you could plainly see if you were
not so thick headed."

"What!" exclaimed the Russian. "You insult me? Take them away."

"One moment," said Lord Hastings, raising a hand. "First it would be
well if you were to allow me to inform the officer in command of my
submarine what has happened, for when we fail to go back, he is likely
to believe that you are a German and sink you."

"We escaped your torpedoes before, we can do it again," said the
Russian.

"I have told you," said Lord Hastings calmly, "that we are not the same
submarine that pursued you. You don't believe it. Very well. However,
you will learn that you cannot run away from us as you did the other."

"We shall see," said the Russian.

"Oh, you'll see, all right," said Lord Hastings. "However, we are here
and that's all there is about it. Now, if you will not have us confined,
we promise to make no attempt to escape."

The Russian considered this proposal for some minutes.

"Very well," he said at last. "I shall accept your paroles. See that you
do not attempt to break them."

He turned and went on deck.

Five minutes later and the Russian cruiser had come about and was
heading east once more. Gradually she gathered headway, until she was
traveling at full speed.

The Russian kept close watch on the D-16, which now lay to the rear. And
as the cruiser began to draw away, the D-16, which had been lying idle,
also came to life, and started in pursuit.

Frank, aboard the submarine, was greatly puzzled when the cruiser came
about and started off toward the east.

"Wonder what on earth the reason is?" he muttered to himself. "Well, I
suppose we had better go along also."

He gave the signal and the D-16 started in pursuit.

Frank held a consultation with the German prisoner.

"I believe," said the latter, "that the Russian has refused to accept
your commander's explanation and has had him and his first officer
placed under arrest."

"By Jove!" said Frank. "I hadn't thought of that. I wouldn't be
surprised if you are right."

He gave the order for full speed ahead, and gradually the submarine
began to overhaul the Russian cruiser. As he came nearer, Frank
perceived signs of action aboard the larger vessel, and then he was
hailed across the water.

"Sheer off, or we shall fire into you."

"Don't you try it," cried Frank, angrily. "Where is my commander?"

"He is a prisoner," came back the reply, "and has given his parole not
to escape."

"Let me speak to him," demanded Frank.

When this command was taken to the Russian commander, he hesitated. But
at length he decided to allow Lord Hastings to hail the D-16.

"What's the matter, sir?" asked Frank, when his commander's voice
reached him across the water.

Lord Hastings explained.

"But what shall I do, sir?" asked Frank.

"Just follow us. That's the best thing that can be done under the
circumstances," replied Lord Hastings.

"All right," said Frank, and the conversation ended.

The Russian commander, who had listened to this conversation, still was
unconvinced, and he said to Lord Hastings:

"I would advise that you have the submarine keep away, for if she comes
too close we shall sink her."

Lord Hastings made no reply.

All the afternoon the Russian cruiser continued her eastward journey,
the D-16 trailing behind at a considerable distance.

It was five o'clock.

Came a cry from the lookout aboard the Russian cruiser.

"Cruiser off the port bow!"

Instantly all was haste and bustle aboard the war vessel.

"German cruiser!" came the next cry, and it was followed immediately by
the cry of the Russian commander:

"Clear for action!"

"Now," said Jack to Lord Hastings, "we shall see how the Russians
fight."

In spite of the fact that the ship bearing down on them appeared to be
much larger, the Russian commander determined to give battle, and this,
too, in face of his belief that one of the enemy's submarines was
trailing him.

At last the vessels came within range. A shell from the German struck
the Russian squarely in the bow, cutting a deep hole and sending up a
cloud of splinters, which, falling, laid three men low.

The first three Russian shells went wild.

"Rotten," said Lord Hastings.

"I should say so," agreed Jack. "Now----"

He broke off suddenly, for at that moment, chancing to glance back, he
saw the D-16, half a mile to stern, disappear from sight.

"The fight won't last long now," he said to his commander.

"Why?" demanded the latter.

"Because the D-16 is going into action."

"By Jove!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "If Frank just acts quickly enough."

"He will, never fear," said Jack quietly.

Still the battle raged. Shells fell aboard the Russian cruiser with
great regularity now. Men lay wounded and bleeding upon the deck, in the
turrets, and in the engine room, where one German shell had penetrated.

But the Germans had not escaped. The Russians, once they had found the
range, poured a veritable hail of shells aboard the enemy. The forward
turret guns of the German were silenced by a shell that struck the
revolving structure squarely and destroyed it.

For half an hour the battle raged, and then, suddenly, there came
terrible cries from aboard the German, carrying plainly over the water
to the ears of the Russians.

"Submarine!" came the cry. "We have been torpedoed!"

The fight was over. German sailors, those of them who were able, sprang
into the sea by the dozens. Others attempted to launch the life boats.
And while this was going on, there came a terrific explosion from aboard
the enemy, and she sprang into flame, lighting up the semi-darkness for
miles around.

Lord Hastings turned to the Russian commander, who passed him at that
moment.

"You have my submarine to thank for this victory," he said quietly.

The Russian bowed gravely, and replied:

"I know it. I have treated you badly. I am sorry. However, I am willing
to answer for my actions, for I had the good of my country at heart."

Lord Hastings stretched forth a hand.

"I am sure of it," he said simply. "I bear no ill will."

The Russian shook his hand heartily; then turned to the work of looking
after the dead and wounded. Lord Hastings and Jack turned their eyes
toward the German cruiser, which was slowly sinking.

Hundreds of German sailors were in the sea, clinging to such pieces of
débris as came to hand. Immediately the Russians launched life boats and
set about the work of rescue; and all who were in the water were saved,
the German commander among them.

Then the German cruiser sank; and as she disappeared from sight, at a
point not half a mile distant, another form appeared upon the surface.
It was the D-16.

The Russian commander, who stood near at that moment, turned to Lord
Hastings.

"I shall be pleased," he said, "to have you sent back aboard your ship
immediately. Or I shall be still better pleased to have you accompany
me, as my guests, to Petrograd, for which port I am bound."

Lord Hastings turned to Jack.

"What do you say?" he said. "Would you like to see Petrograd--or St.
Petersburg, as it was called before the outbreak of the war?"

"Very much, sir," replied the lad, "if Frank can come along."

"I guess that can be managed," was the reply.

Lord Hastings turned to the Russian commander.

"Is there a safe place where I may leave my submarine?" he asked.

"It shall follow us, and be one of us," was the reply.

"In that case," said Lord Hastings, "we shall be glad to accompany you."

The Russian bowed.

"Then," said Lord Hastings, "if we may trouble you to set us aboard our
own vessel, we shall follow you at a respectable distance. Besides, I
should be pleased to have you come aboard, for I can promise to show you
such a submarine as it has never been your pleasure to see before."

"I shall accept that offer with pleasure," replied the Russian.

Calling his first officer, he ordered that a boat be lowered, into which
they all stepped and were soon upon the bridge of the D-16.

Frank received his commander and his chum with unfeigned delight, for he
had been greatly worried about them.

"It was all my fault," the Russian commander said. "As your commander
told me, I was thick-headed. I am sorry."

"Say no more about it," declared Lord Hastings. "Mistakes will happen."

All descended below, and, the Russian commander expressing a desire to
go beneath the sea, the D-16 submerged.

Then Lord Hastings conducted the Russian on a tour of inspection of the
vessel, and explained its mysteries to him. The Russian was charmed, and
all sat and talked long into the night.

It was almost noon of the second day when the D-16, still following in
the wake of the Russian cruiser, anchored in the harbor of Petrograd.

"I shall be pleased," said Lord Hastings, "to pay my respects to Czar
Nicholas."

"I fear," said the Russian, "it may be impossible, for he is very busy
these days with affairs of state."

"Nevertheless," said Lord Hastings, "I have his command to always
present myself when in Russia."

"In that case," said the Russian, "it is, of course, different."

"And this time," said Lord Hastings, "I shall present to his majesty my
first officer, Mr. Templeton, and my second officer, Mr. Chadwick."



                             CHAPTER XVIII.

                                A PLOT.


"What do you suppose that fellow is sneaking along like that for?" asked
Jack.

Frank shrugged his shoulders.

"Search me," he replied.

The object of the lads' conversation was hurrying furtively along one of
the narrow streets of the Russian capital, casting occasional glances
about him.

It was the afternoon of the day following that upon which they had
reached Petrograd, and Frank and Jack, together with Lord Hastings, had
only just come from the palace, where they had been given an audience
with the Czar. Upon leaving the palace Lord Hastings had been for
returning aboard the D-16 immediately, but the lads had expressed a
desire to see something of the city, and had set out by themselves. The
only instructions Lord Hastings had given them was to be aboard before
dark.

"Well," said Jack, still eyeing the little man slinking along the
street, "I'm sure that fellow is up to something. I'd like to know
what."

"I suppose the easiest way to find out," said Frank, "is to follow him."

"That suits me," replied Jack. "Come on."

A hundred yards behind they set out in pursuit of the suspect.

"What's that thing he is carrying under his arm?" asked Frank.

"Looks like it might be a bomb."

Frank laughed.

"Not much danger of that," he said.

"Oh, I don't know," was the reply. "I have read enough about Russia and
St. Petersburg to believe that all the nihilists and anarchists are not
dead yet."

"Well, I think you have this one spotted wrong. Look at him. He wouldn't
have the nerve to carry a bomb, much less throw one."

"You can't judge a man's nerve by his looks," said Jack quietly.

"Perhaps not always," agreed Frank. "But I believe I am right in this
case, at least."

"All right, but we'll have to look sharp or he'll lose us. There he goes
around the corner. Hurry up."

The lads quickened their steps and rounded the corner just in time to
see the man they were pursuing disappear in a little shop. Approaching
closer they perceived the place to be a tobacconist's, and they also
entered.

The shop keeper eyed them keenly, and to avoid any suspicion Frank
bought a package of cigarettes. Then they went out.

"Did you see him?" asked Jack.

"I thought I caught a glimpse of him in the little room in the rear of
the shop," replied Frank.

"I am sure it was he," agreed Jack. "He poked his head out just as I
glanced in that direction."

"Well, what are we going to do about it?"

"I don't know that there is anything to do. In the first place we
probably are on a wild goose chase and I fail to see why we should
bother with him any longer."

"Nor I. Still I am curious."

"My curiosity is not entirely satisfied either. What do you say? Shall
we let him go or shall we try and get in and see what it's all about?"

"Well," said Frank, "we have followed him this far. We might as well
stay for the finish, whatever it may be."

"All right, then. Let's see if we can get in."

Two doors away from the tobacco shop a narrow alleyway led toward the
rear. Making certain that no one was watching them, the boys slunk into
this and made their way to the rear of the shop.

Here they looked around carefully. Not a soul was in sight. Near by
stood a barrel. Frank dragged it close to a little window in the room
behind the shop and while Jack stood on guard, Frank climbed up and
peered in.

The blind was drawn, but it did not reach the bottom by an inch. The
opening was just level with Frank's eyes when he stood upon the barrel.

He looked in, exercising the greatest care to avoid detection. His eyes
beheld a strange sight.

Gathered about a little table in the room were four men, their heads
close together, scrutinizing an object that lay between them. At first
Frank could not make out what it was, but as one of the men leaned back
in his chair, Frank, over his shoulder, recognized it.

Quickly he jumped from the barrel and whispered to Jack.

"You were right."

"Right? How?" asked Jack.

"Bomb," replied Frank briefly.

Jack stepped back in surprise.

"A bomb!" he exclaimed.

"Yes," Frank repeated, "a bomb. They are examining it, or something. I
can't tell just what."

"Couldn't you hear what they were saying?"

"No; the window is closed."

"What do you suppose they intend to do with it?"

"You know as much about it as I do."

"Well, then, what are we going to do about it?"

"That's the question. I suppose we might call the police, but if we did
the chances are they would find nothing when they entered the place; or
we might notify the military authorities, but the conspirators would be
gone before they arrived."

"Haven't you an idea?"

"Yes, I have an idea, but it involves considerable risk."

"Since when have you become so cautious? Risk didn't use to bother you."

"It wouldn't now, if I were sure we had a chance of success."

"What's your plan?"

"There is but one way I can think of by which we can overhear the
conversation in that room. It is impossible for us to get in this way
without being seen, and the only other entrance, so far as I know, is
through the tobacco shop. Therefore we shall have to go in that way."

"And I suppose the shopkeeper will stand right there and let us do it,"
said Jack with some sarcasm.

"We'll have to tie him up before he can give the alarm."

"Suits me," said Jack. "I am willing to take a chance if you are. Come
on."

Quickly the lads made their way back to the street, and once more
entered the store. The shopkeeper recognized them instantly by their
uniforms, and approached.

"These cigarettes you gave me," said Frank, "are no good. I want another
package."

"What's the matter with them?" demanded the storekeeper. "Let me see
them."

Frank laid the package in his hand, and as the latter turned his eyes
down to look at the package, Frank seized him about the throat with both
hands. Jack picked up a strong piece of cord from the floor, and bound
the man's hands securely, while Frank kept him from making an outcry.
Making a gag of his handkerchief, he stuffed it into the man's mouth in
such a way that it was impossible for him to utter a sound. Then they
laid him behind the counter on the floor.

"Now we shall see what we can hear," said Frank.

He approached the door to the next room noiselessly, Jack close at his
heels. For a few minutes they waited in silence, but there was no sound
from the adjoining room. At last Frank ventured to peer in. He stepped
back in astonishment.

"Gone!" he exclaimed.

"Gone," repeated Jack.

"Yes; and I would like to know where."

"Let's go in and see."

Their hands rested upon their revolvers as they advanced into the room
and looked about. From one end to the other they searched, when as they
were about to give up, Frank discovered a door behind some old barrels
in the far corner.

"Here is where they went," he whispered.

He tried the door, and it gave way before him, though not until he had
used considerable force. A pair of stairs, going down, confronted them.

"Shall we go down or not?" asked Frank, turning to Jack.

"Suit yourself," was the reply. "I'm with you either way."

Without another word Frank turned about and began to descend the stairs,
taking care to make no noise. Jack followed him.

At the bottom, where it was pitch dark, they brought up against a second
door, and making sure that his revolvers were ready for instant use,
Frank pushed it gently.

It swung open.

Seated about a table were the figures of four men. Fortunately for the
boys, perhaps, their backs were toward the door, and they did not see it
open.

Motioning to Jack to follow, Frank crept in quietly and as quietly sank
behind a pile of old boxes in the nearest corner. Jack did likewise, and
the two made themselves as comfortable as possible, without making a
sound, for there was no telling how long they might have to remain
there.

Kneeling, Jack poked up his head until he could just see over the top of
the barrel. One of the men made some remark, but it was in Russian, and
neither lad could understand what he said. No sooner had he spoken,
however, than a second man turned on him angrily.

"I thought we had agreed to speak English," he said. "Of course it makes
no difference here, but practice is good for you. Unless you get used to
speaking English you are likely to make a slip the first thing you know
in some place where it will spoil everything."

"You are right," said the first speaker. "I shall try to be more
careful."

"See that you do," growled the second speaker.

"Well," said a third voice, "this thing seems to be all right. Now about
the time."

"We have decided upon that," said the fourth man. "Czar Nicholas will
review his troops before the palace at five o'clock. Ivan and I can get
close enough for him to throw with accuracy."

"Good. Has it been decided that Ivan is to do the work?"

"Yes."

"All right. Then we may as well go. Remember, do not speak to Stephan as
you go out. It might spoil everything."

The men arose, and made their way from the room, without noticing the
lads.

The latter, being sure they were gone, arose to their feet and followed.

"Careful," whispered Frank, as they ascended the stairs.



                              CHAPTER XIX.

                          THE PLOTTERS FOILED.


When the conspirators passed through the tobacco shop they did not even
glance toward the counter, and therefore did not notice the absence of
the shopkeeper. Had they done so, there probably would have been a
different story to tell.

Frank and Jack, once outside the store, breathed easier, and followed
the conspirators at what they deemed a safe distance, nevertheless
keeping close enough upon their heels not to lose sight of them should
they turn into some place suddenly.

"Lucky for us they didn't see what we did to the proprietor of that
shop," said Jack.

"I should say so," replied Frank.

"Now if we can just keep close enough without being discovered," said
Frank, "we may be able to find some means of preventing this tragedy."

"If they don't stop some place, we are all right," agreed Frank.

Jack looked at his watch.

"By Jove!" he ejaculated.

"What's the matter?" asked Frank.

"Why, it's after four o'clock now. There is not much time. Evidently we
must be closer to the palace than I thought."

"Well, the sooner this is over the better I shall be pleased."

"Not losing your nerve, are you?"

"Not exactly; still I feel a little uncomfortable."

Turning off the narrow side street, the lads followed the men down a
much busier thoroughfare, where, at the far end, they could see a great
crowd gathered. The men made directly for it, and, approaching closer,
the lads recognized the Czar's palace.

Right through the large crowd gathered about, the four men pushed their
way; then, abruptly they separated into pairs.

Jack grasped Frank by the arm.

"Quick!" he exclaimed. "You follow those two," pointing, "and I'll take
the others. We don't know which one has the bomb."

Frank nodded and set out in pursuit of the two moving toward the left.

In the crowd there was little danger that the men would notice that they
were being followed, and Frank felt safe in crowding right on behind
them. Jack followed the same plan with the other pair.

The crowd was held back by long lines of troops on either side of the
street, spectators not being permitted closer than a hundred feet of the
line of march.

In the extreme front, where they forced their way by dint of much
pushing and shoving, the conspirators took their stand. Frank glanced
about. Perhaps a hundred yards down the line he thought he caught sight
of the large stature of his friend, but of this he could not be
positive.

Half an hour passed, then three quarters, then the sound of a distant
bugle and galloping hoofs gave notice that the troops were approaching.
Almost at the same moment a figure descended the palace steps and
mounted a large black charger. The figure was handsomely garbed, and
gold glittered over his uniform. Even from where he stood Frank could
make out that he wore a beard.

It was Nicholas Romanoff, Czar of all the Russias.

The Czar rode his horse slowly down the lane of spectators and Frank and
Jack, each in his respective place, became tense, expectant and ready
for instant action.

Suddenly one of the men near Frank made a move and the lad half drew his
revolver. The man simply produced a handkerchief, however, and wiped
beads of perspiration from his brow. Frank thrust his revolver back in
his pocket, but kept his hand upon it.

The Czar, riding slowly, drew near to where Jack and the other two
conspirators stood. Then it was that Jack recognized that he was the one
who held the Czar's life in his hands.

The conspirator to his left thrust his hand under his coat and drew
forth a round dark object, which he concealed from the crowd. Jack's
sharp eyes had seen the move, but he did not act yet.

Now the Czar was directly abreast them, not more than a hundred feet
away.

Slowly the conspirator drew back his hand, and in another instant would
have hurled the bomb upon the Czar; but at that moment Jack came to
life.

As the man drew back his arm, Jack stepped quickly forward, and, seizing
the upraised hand in both his, wrenched the arm violently. The man
staggered back with a cry of pain, and dropped the bomb.

But before it could touch the ground, where it would undoubtedly have
exploded, killing and maiming many, Jack slipped one hand beneath it and
caught it gently.

Then the two thwarted conspirators sprang upon him.

There seemed to be no one in the crowd who had perceived the cause of
Jack's struggle with the two men, and the latter, taking advantage of
this fact, struggled fiercely with Jack, uttering loud cries of
"Assassin!" "Kill him!" "He tried to assassinate the Czar!"

With his one free hand, Jack fought desperately, but the crowd,
attracted by the cries of the two conspirators, closed in on him
angrily. Some one wrenched the bomb from his hand, and other hands
clawed and struck at his face and body.

Jack fought back gamely, for he realized that if once knocked to the
ground he would probably be killed before the authorities could
intervene to save him. He struck out vigorously right and left and men
fell before his terrific blows.

But the odds were too great and were bound to tell at last. Jack went
down, and the crowd piled on top of him.

At that instant a troop of horsemen bore down upon the struggling heap,
striking right and left with their sabres and scattering the crowd in
all directions, and they arrived none too soon.

Jack was unconscious. Bleeding from knife wounds in half a dozen places,
and his face covered with blood from a wound in the forehead where a
missile of some kind had struck, he lay perfectly helpless.

Rough soldier hands lifted him rudely from the ground and flung him
across a horse, and then the troop galloped away.

While all this was going on, Frank had tried in vain to reach the side
of his friend, who he knew was in trouble of some kind, although he
could not make sure what. He did not realize the true state of affairs
until he had seen the troopers take his friend's body from beneath many
others.

"Great Scott!" he cried to himself then. "They believe Jack tried to
kill the Czar! What shall I do?"

The answer to this question came to him like a flash. Lord Hastings, a
personal friend of the Czar, was, perhaps, the only man who, under the
circumstances, would be given a hearing. Frank turned quickly and dashed
madly down the street.

Round corner after corner he ran at full speed, nor did he check his
stride until he reached the harbor and the spot near where the submarine
D-16 was anchored.

A man with a rowboat hustled up at Frank's bidding, and the lad ordered
him to pull for the submarine with all speed.

Jumping aboard and bidding the rower to wait for him, Frank dashed madly
for Lord Hastings' quarters.

The commander of the D-16 rose quickly to his feet as his door was
thrown violently open and Frank, gasping for breath and with pale face,
stood before him.

"What's the matter?" demanded Lord Hastings anxiously.

"Jack--Jack--arrested," panted Frank.

Lord Hastings drew close and took him by the shoulders.

"Take your time," he said quietly. "Nothing was ever gained by too great
haste. Get your breath and then tell me what the trouble is."

For another half a minute Frank gasped on, then finally was able to
speak more calmly.

"Jack has been arrested," he said.

"What for?" asked Lord Hastings calmly.

"He's accused of trying to assassinate the Czar."

"What!" cried Lord Hastings, staggering back and almost losing his
composure.

"It's true, sir," cried Frank.

"By George, this is serious!" said Lord Hastings. "Now tell me all about
it as quickly as you can."

Frank did so, and Lord Hastings listened quietly until he had concluded.
Then he quickly got his hat and coat, and motioning to Frank to follow,
made his way to the bridge. Both climbed into the boat that had brought
Frank aboard the submarine and the rower put off for shore with powerful
strokes.

"Is Jack in much danger, sir?" asked Frank.

"I don't know," said Lord Hastings. "In times of peace, of course, he
would be given a trial; but the anger of the people and the troopers now
will be so great that it is hard to say what will happen."

"Where are we going, sir?"

"First to the chief of police; then to the Czar himself."

Lord Hastings, who knew the Russian police chief well, had no difficulty
in gaining admittance, and Frank with him. To the chief Frank told his
story. The chief appeared somewhat incredulous.

"I have not the slightest doubt of your integrity, Lord Hastings," he
said, "but may you not be mistaken in your officers?"

"I am not mistaken," said Lord Hastings stiffly. "Now, I want to know at
once what action you will take to release my friend at once."

"There is nothing I can do," said the chief. "The prisoner has been
taken out of my hands by the military authorities. I am afraid you must
appeal to the Czar, and I am not at all sure that such an appeal will
result favorably to you."

"Then I have no time to lose here," said Lord Hastings abruptly, and
made for the door, Frank following him.

At the door of the palace Lord Hastings demanded an audience of the Czar
immediately.

"It is impossible, my lord," said the attendant. "His majesty is engaged
in the case of his attempted assassination and cannot be disturbed."

"But I must see his majesty at once," said Lord Hastings hotly, "and it
is of this very case I would consult him."

"I am very sorry----"

Lord Hastings suddenly produced his revolver.

"I am a friend of his majesty's," he said, very quietly, "and you will
either tell him this instant that I desire an audience in connection
with this case, or I shall push my way in over your dead body! This is a
matter of life and death and I am not to be trifled with!"



                              CHAPTER XX.

                         BOUND WESTWARD AGAIN.


Again the attendant started to protest, but Lord Hastings, taking a step
forward, pushed him violently backward with his right hand and walked
on. In vain did the attendant walk after him, trying to halt him. Lord
Hastings paid no heed to his words, and Frank followed close at his
heels.

Then, perceiving that words were of no value, the attendant suddenly
produced a revolver.

"My lord," he said quietly, "one more step and you are a dead man."

Before Lord Hastings could reply Frank had sprung upon the attendant and
wrested the revolver from his hand. The latter sent up a loud cry and
footsteps immediately could be heard hurrying toward them.

Half a dozen soldiers entered the room and surrounded the struggling
knot of men. An officer gave a command:

"Shoot them!"

Rifles were brought to bear, and just as it seemed that the two were
about to be shot down, another figure, attracted by the sounds of
confusion, entered the room.

"Hold!" he exclaimed to the officer, and the soldiers lowered their
rifles.

"What is the meaning of this confusion in my palace?" asked the Czar,
for it was he, angrily. "Why this unseemly noise?"

Suddenly his eyes fell upon Lord Hastings.

"Lord Hastings!" he exclaimed in surprise. "What brings you here, and
what is the meaning of this fighting? If my people have been
discourteous to you they shall answer for it," and the Czar gazed about
him angrily.

The eyes of all fell before him.

Czar Nicholas advanced and took Lord Hastings by the hand.

"Of what service can I be to you?" he asked. "And will you kindly tell
me the cause of this trouble? My own subjects seem to be tongue-tied."

"The cause of the trouble, your majesty," said Lord Hastings, "is that
one of your attendants refused to tell your majesty that I desired an
audience immediately, on a matter of life and death."

"So!" exclaimed the Czar. "They shall answer for it. But I have been
engaged already in some such matter. An attempt was made to assassinate
me not an hour ago."

"So I have been told," said Lord Hastings, "and it is concerning that
that I would speak."

"And what do you know about it?" asked the Czar in surprise.

"Only, your Majesty, that you have the wrong man."

The Czar took a step back.

"That is what the prisoner says," he replied drily. "But what do you
know of this matter?"

"Your prisoner," said Lord Hastings, "is one of the lads I presented to
you this morning, my own first officer."

"By Jove!" said the Czar in perfect English, "I thought his face looked
familiar. So it is he, eh? Well, if he did not try to kill me how does
it come that he was seen with the bomb in his hand?"

Frank stepped forward.

"I can explain that, if your majesty will give me permission," he said
quietly.

The Czar looked at him.

"And you," he said, "are Lord Hastings' second officer, are you not?"

"I am, your majesty."

"Then tell me what you know of this attempted assassination, if
anything."

As briefly as possible Frank reconstructed the scene for the Czar. As he
progressed with his tale, the Czar became more and more interested.

"And so," Frank concluded, "had it not been for my friend, who your
majesty is pleased to believe would have killed him, the real assassin
would have accomplished his work."

"You tell exactly the same story as the prisoner," said the Czar
thoughtfully. "There must be truth in it."

"I can vouch for both of them, your majesty," interposed Lord Hastings.
"Why, time after time they have been instrumental in dealing smashing
blows to the enemy. Do you believe, then, that one of them would attempt
to murder the ruler of one of England's allies?"

The Czar struck the table violently with his clenched fist.

"No!" he shouted. "I don't believe it. The lad is innocent, and he shall
be freed immediately, no matter what my counselors may have to say."

He called for his chief aide, and to that worthy gave the command:

"Have the prisoner brought before me at once."

"But, your majesty----" began the aide.

The Czar turned on him angrily.

"There are no buts!" he exclaimed. "Have him brought here
immediately--immediately, do you understand?"

The aide saluted and left the room hurriedly.

The Czar turned to Frank.

"And can you lead my men to the rendezvous where this plot was hatched?"
he asked.

"Yes, your majesty," replied Frank.

"Good. Then, perhaps as they are unaware that their rendezvous has been
discovered, they may be captured."

Frank bowed.

Perhaps five minutes later the Czar's chief aide returned, followed by
Jack, still looking very weak and shaky as the result of his experiences
of a few hours. Motioning to the others in the room to remain silent,
the Czar advanced and addressed Jack.

"So," he exclaimed in a harsh voice, "you are the man who tried to kill
me, eh?"

"No, your majesty," replied Jack, "I----"

The Czar silenced him with a gesture.

"Oh, I know your excuse," he said. "Your friends have interceded for
you, and I have every confidence in Lord Hastings. Of you, however, I
know nothing. A hundred people saw you with the bomb in your hand. The
case is perfectly plain."

"But," began Jack.

"Silence!" exclaimed the Czar, raising a hand.

He turned to his aide again.

"Bring me," he commanded, "the small velvet box on my writing desk."

He turned and addressed all in the room as the aide hurried away.

"You shall all see," he exclaimed, "how I dispose of a case like this."

There was silence until the aide returned, and put the little box in the
Czar's hand.

Concealing the contents from Jack, the Czar opened it and took out
something. Then he commanded:

"Approach!"

Jack did so, and with his left hand the Czar took him by the right
shoulder, while with his right he touched him over the heart; and when
Jack stepped back and his fingers touched the spot where the Czar's had
rested so lightly he felt something pinned thereon. Examining it he
found it to be The Cross of St. George.

He had been decorated by the Czar himself for personal gallantry.

"Your majesty----" stammered Jack, and fell upon his knee.

The Czar stretched forth his right hand, which Jack bent over and
touched with his lips.

"There, there," said the Czar, with the suspicion of huskiness in his
voice. "I shouldn't have fooled you so, but I simply could not resist.
Mr. Templeton, you are a brave lad, and I envy my friend Lord Hastings
the possession of so gallant an officer."

Lord Hastings and Frank both now approached Jack and shook hands with
him. Jack smiled faintly.

"I thought it was all over with me," he said as he turned to Frank. "Of
course," he added, "I knew you would do all you possibly could for me,
but I was afraid you couldn't do enough, and you, too. Lord Hastings."

                  *       *       *       *       *

"Now," said the Czar, "if you will lead my men to the spot where you
discovered the plot, I shall appreciate it."

The lads signified their willingness to obey this command, and some
minutes later, with a squad of mounted troops they drew rein at the
tobacco shop.

The door was closed, and a knock brought no response. One of the
soldiers burst in the door with the toe of his boot and all entered.
They ransacked the place from top to bottom, but could find no one.

"When they came back and found the storekeeper bound, they released him
and all moved," said Frank.

"That's about the size of it," Jack agreed. "They knew when they found
him that their rendezvous had been discovered."

"They have left no clue," said the Russian officer in command, "so there
is nothing to be done. Come, we shall go."

They returned to the palace, where the Czar insisted on having Lord
Hastings, Frank and Jack dine with him.

This they did, and at a late hour returned aboard the D-16.

"And which way shall we go now?" asked Frank.

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "I had thought of going back the way we
came."

"Suits me," said Jack. "Of course there is considerable action over
here, but I am not particularly fond of the brand. I would rather get
back on the other side."

"As long as we are practically free agents," said Frank, "I have a plan
to propose."

"And that is?" asked Lord Hastings.

"Well, it probably will be weeks before the allied ships are able to
force a passage of the Dardanelles, and with our speed, we can reach
there long before that. See what I mean?"

Lord Hastings smiled.

"I see," he replied briefly.

"And what do you think of the plan?"

"I am in favor of it," said Jack.

"And so am I," declared Lord Hastings. "But, remember, to get there
quickly we shall once more have to pass through the Kiel canal."

"We did it once. We can do it again," replied Frank quietly.



                              CHAPTER XXI.

                        A NEUTRALITY VIOLATION.


Through the Gulf of Finland into the Baltic the D-16 made her way
rapidly, remaining upon the surface of the water, for in these seas
there was no danger of encountering an enemy. Some miles from the mouth
of the Kiel canal, however, Lord Hastings gave the command to submerge,
and the little submarine, sinking gently, hurried on, at a somewhat
reduced speed, but making good time nevertheless.

On this second passage of the canal, Lord Hastings decided to make no
raid upon the enemy's fleet cooped up within it, and accordingly the
D-16, running close to the bottom, guided by Lord Hastings' own hand,
made the trip in safety, without encountering a single one of the
enemy's under-the-sea fighters. However, she did not rise immediately
when she was once more in the North Sea, for these waters were mined for
miles, and it was necessary for the D-16 to pass under the mined area
before coming again to the surface.

But, going more swiftly now, the British submarine soon reached a zone
of comparative safety and Lord Hastings gave the command to come to the
surface once more. Then, followed by Frank and Jack, he stepped on to
the bridge for a breath of the cool air.

"Well, I was sure we would get through safely, and we have," said Jack,
as he peered off across the water.

"And we have accomplished," said Lord Hastings, "such a feat as was
never before attempted, and one that has been rated as impossible. You
lads are both deserving of the greatest praise for your coolness and
bravery."

"No more than our commander, I am sure," replied Frank quietly. "Had it
not been for you, the trip never could have been made."

"But," said his commander, "had it not been for you lads, the trip would
never have been thought of."

"Well," said Frank with a laugh, "we'll call it square all around and
let it go at that."

"Suits me," declared Lord Hastings, also laughing.

"It seems to me," said Jack, "that the crew is just as deserving of
praise."

"So they are," said Lord Hastings, "and I shall see that their names are
given special mention in my report to the Admiralty."

"Which reminds me," said Frank, "that we still have the German prisoner
aboard."

"By Jove!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "Do you know I had forgotten all
about him?"

"What do you intend to do with him?" asked Frank.

"Well," said Lord Hastings slowly, "I had intended giving him his
liberty at the first opportunity. So far none has presented itself. If
something doesn't turn up soon, I fear I shall have to turn him over to
the Dover military authorities as a prisoner of war."

Jack gave vent to an expressive whistle.

"After what you have told him," he said, "that will make it rather
hard."

"So it will," admitted his commander, "but if half a chance turns up I
shall see that he is set free. For had it not been for him, Frank, you
would probably be imprisoned in Berlin right now."

"That is undoubtedly true," said Frank, "and I am properly grateful."

"We'll see," said Lord Hastings, and this put an end, for the time
being, to the subject.

Still running at full speed upon the surface, the D-16 was making rapid
headway toward the British coast.

"We had best be careful, sir," said Jack. "Remember what the prisoner
told us about the submarine blockade."

"Right," was the reply. "Of course there is a safety zone for the
protection of neutral ships, but as we do not know just where these
fellows are likely to be hanging about, we had better take a stitch in
time and go down a ways."

He turned to give the command, but before the words could leave his
lips, he turned suddenly again at a cry from Frank.

"What's up now?" he demanded.

For answer Frank pointed straight ahead toward the distant horizon.

"Looks like a ship in some kind of trouble, sir."

Lord Hastings raised his glass to his eyes and peered through it long
and intently.

"She's in distress, that's sure," he said, lowering the glass at last.
"But I can't make her out from this distance. She doesn't look like a
ship of war, though."

"Probably some merchantman victim of the German submarine blockade,"
said Jack.

"That's about the size of it," Frank agreed.

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "we'll go closer and see, although there is
nothing we can do for them."

The object of this conversation lay almost due west, a trifle north. The
head of the D-16 was consequently turned slightly, and she made for the
vessel at top speed. The three officers remained upon the bridge, barely
rising above the water, and at last they were able to make out the ship.

"Merchantman, all right!" said Jack.

"Yes!" exclaimed Frank, becoming suddenly excited, "and do you make out
her colors?"

Jack took another look.

"By Jove!" he exclaimed.

Lord Hastings also raised his glass to his eyes again, then started back
with an exclamation of surprise.

"They have gone too far this time," he said slowly. "This means
trouble."

For the colors flying at the masthead of the sinking merchant ship were
the Stars and Stripes!

"The United States will not let them get away with anything like that,"
declared Frank vehemently.

"Don't be too sure," replied Lord Hastings. "Remember the incident of
the firing of Turkish forts upon an American battleship launch at
Beirut. Nothing came of that."

"But," protested Frank, "it is inconceivable that the United States will
not take action if a German submarine has sent one of her merchant ships
to the bottom."

"Looks like an act of war to me," said Jack.

"Germany will probably claim," said Lord Hastings, "that the ship did
not stay within the established safety channel, or else deny that a
German submarine is responsible."

"She might do the latter," said Frank, "but I don't believe the United
States would accept the former explanation."

But the United States eventually did, as it developed later, although
she lodged a formal protest through her ambassador at Berlin.

"B-o-s-n-i-a," Frank spelled out the name of the sinking ship, as the
D-16 drew closer.

"I wonder if her crew is safe?" he asked anxiously.

Lord Hastings pointed across the water.

"You can see some of them in the small boats," he said. "I hope they all
get away. The submarine must have torpedoed them without warning."

"I haven't any doubt of that," said Frank, "although it is against all
rules of civilized warfare."

"I do not claim that the Germans are conducting a civilized war," said
Lord Hastings quietly. "The tales of cruelties coming out of Belgium
augur decidedly against that."

At this juncture a fourth figure ascended to the bridge. It was that of
the German prisoner.

He took in the situation at a glance, and turned to Lord Hastings with a
faint smile.

"A victim of the blockade, I suppose?" he questioned.

Lord Hastings nodded.

"Looks like it," he said briefly, "and an American ship at that."

The German muttered an imprecation under his breath.

"I was afraid something like that would happen," he said. "I never was
in favor with the policy of torpedoing neutral ships, whether in the
blockaded zone or not. To my way of thinking, no good can come of it."

"I have an idea that no good for Germany will come from this," said Lord
Hastings.

"Still," said the prisoner hopefully, "it may be all right. The United
States will endeavor to stay out of the war on any pretext. Besides, she
is woefully slow to act, as has been proved by her actions toward
Mexico. Therefore this may be overlooked."

"Don't you believe it," cried Frank hotly. "The United States will
protect her citizens and property the world over."

"Well," said the German with a scornful smile, "it's about time she
began to do it."

"What do you mean?" asked Frank taking a step toward the prisoner. "Do
you mean we are all cowards?"

"Well, hardly that," replied the German, with a faint smile, "but----"

"But nothing," cried Frank. "We don't raise such things as cowards in
the United States."

The German lifted his eyebrows skeptically, and Frank grew angrier.

"You'll try us too far some of these days," he said, "and we'll do you
like Dewey did some of your ships at Manila. He said: 'Get out of my way
and don't interfere with me or I shall send you all to the bottom.'"

The German's face flushed. Plainly he also was growing angry.

"If you try it," he said, "you'll wish you hadn't."

"Why?" demanded Frank. "Do you think you can lick us?"

"I don't think there is any question about it!" was the reply.

"Well, don't you ever fool yourselves!" exclaimed Frank angrily.
"We----"

"Here, here," exclaimed Lord Hastings at this juncture, laying a hand
upon Frank's arm. "No more of this. Remember, Frank, that this man is a
prisoner and should be treated courteously."

Frank drew away grumbling.

"Then he wants to let my country alone," he protested.

The German, also, would have continued the argument, but Lord Hastings
settled the matter.

"Not another word of this," he said sternly, and Frank and the prisoner
bowed to this command.

"There she goes," cried Lord Hastings suddenly, pointing to the sinking
ship.

All gazed toward the vessel. Slowly she rose high in the air, seemed to
hang in the very air for a few brief moments, then dived and the waters
closed over her. The American Steamship _Bosnia_, torpedoed by a German
submarine or shattered by a German mine, sank to the bottom of the North
Sea.



                             CHAPTER XXII.

                         IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.


"And I guess we might as well sink, also," said Lord Hastings.

"Wait a moment," protested the German prisoner. "What are you going to
do with me? You remember you promised me my liberty before we entered
the Baltic."

"That is true," replied Lord Hastings, "but so far no opportunity has
presented itself. There has been no chance to fulfill my promise."

"Well," said the prisoner, "I am willing to take a chance. Give me a
boat and enough provisions for a day, and set me adrift."

"But you may not make shore that way," protested Lord Hastings.

"That will be my funeral, not yours. I am willing to take the chance. I
know these waters pretty well, and if you can furnish me with a pair of
oars, I will guarantee that I will find a place of safety within
twenty-four hours."

Lord Hastings turned the matter over in his mind for some moments.

"So be it," he said at length. "When would you start?"

"At once."

"Mr. Templeton," said Lord Hastings, "you will have one of the small
boats stocked with provisions and water sufficient for twenty-four
hours. We shall not submerge until our prisoner has left us."

Jack saluted.

"Very well, sir," he said, and disappeared below.

It was but the work of minutes to water and provision the small boat,
and when at last all was in readiness, the boat was lowered into the
sea. The prisoner climbed in and took up the oars that had been
furnished him.

"Goodbye," he called to the three officers. "Thanks for your
hospitality. I hope to be able to return it some of these days."

"I hope you will never have to," Lord Hastings called back. "Goodbye."

The German waved his hand in reply, and the three aboard the bridge of
the D-16 waved back at him. Then he bent to his oars, and set out in a
direction that, barring accident, would take him to Heligoland.

"Good luck to him," said Jack, as the German rowed away.

"The same," said Frank.

"Now," said Lord Hastings, "for that long deferred dive."

All three went below and soon the D-16 sank from sight.

There was no further incident as the D-16 wended her way along. She
reached Dover Harbor without difficulty, where Lord Hastings put in to
replenish his supply of coal and food. Here he also filed his report to
the Admiralty. Upon the morning of the following day, the submarine
pointed her nose up the English Channel toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Once upon the broad expanse of the Atlantic the D-16 turned her prow
southward and ran down the coast of France at full speed, finally
emerging into the sunny waters of the Mediterranean.

"I believe," said Lord Hastings, "that, on our way to the Dardanelles,
we might run into the Adriatic and see what success the French fleet is
having with the Austrians."

"Good," said Frank. "Ever since we left there I have been anxious to get
back for a day or two."

"Suits me, too," declared Jack.

Accordingly the submarine, instead of going straight to the allied fleet
off the Dardanelles, swerved at the entrance of the Adriatic, and soon
was among the French fleet gathered there.

The blockade of the Austrian fleet in the Adriatic, up to this time, had
been maintained with all vigilance, and in spite of several attempts of
the enemy to run the blockade, they were still bottled up. What attempts
they had made had been defeated with heavy losses, and it seemed that
there would not be another.

There was no denying the fact that the French fleet was superior to that
of the Austrians, but it was still something of a mystery to naval
authorities why the Austrians did not venture forth to give battle.

True, they had done this once in the earlier stages of the war, assisted
by four Zeppelin dirigibles, but they had been driven back after several
of their most powerful ships had been sunk and the dirigibles hurled
into the sea. After that the Austrians made no more attacks in force,
but confined their operations to raids by single ships, one or two of
which had been successful enough to dispose of one or two French
battleships, or cruisers.

But, for weeks, now, there had been a dearth of active operations in the
Adriatic. This, then, was the situation there when the D-16 moved in to
spend a quiet day among the French men-of-war.

It soon proved that the day was not to be a quiet one. In fact, the D-16
had hardly time to let go her anchor, close under the lee of the French
flagship, before she was engaged.

Lord Hastings, once the D-16 had anchored, went aboard the French
flagship to pay his respects to the French admiral. The latter greeted
him warmly, for the two, before the war, had been close friends.

"Pretty quiet, eh, admiral?" was Lord Hastings' greeting.

"Well, it has been, Hastings," was the reply, "but my nose tells me
there is something in the wind. It is too all-fired quiet to suit me.
This stillness spells trouble, or I miss my guess."

"Where do you get that idea?" asked Lord Hastings. "It seems to me that
you have these fellows bottled up so tight that they won't make another
break."

"Well, it would look that way. I suppose I base my prediction on the
fact that in the Austrian admiral's place, I should take some sort of
action. I know I couldn't remain bottled up like that without chafing a
bit."

"Nor I," Lord Hastings admitted, "but you must remember that the
Austrians are of a different breed."

"Still they have been known to fight," mused the admiral.

"Oh, yes, they have been known to fight; but, to my knowledge, they have
never been known to beat anyone and I don't think they ever will."

"I have learned," said the admiral, "they have completed several
submarine vessels, and I fear that they may attempt a raid beneath the
water. Of course, I have my own submarines, but the enemy may get by."

"In which case," said Lord Hastings, "it is a good thing, perhaps, that
I arrived just when I did."

"I fail to see," said the admiral, "how your vessel can hope to discover
the enemy any easier than my own."

"Well, I'll tell you," and Lord Hastings went into a detailed account of
the capabilities of the D-16, laying particular emphasis upon her huge
searchlight compartment, separated from the water only by thick glass,
and upon her ability to remain indefinitely under the water.

The French admiral was greatly astonished, but when Lord Hastings told
him of his course and assured him that the D-16 was capable of all he
claimed for her, the admiral was delighted.

"Then you may really be of assistance to me," he said.

"I shall be glad to aid in any way possible," declared Lord Hastings.
"You have but to command me. Consider me under your orders for the next
twenty-four hours."

"In that event," said the French admiral, "I wish that you would try and
creep into the harbor and learn what is going on. 'Forewarned is
forearmed,' you know."

"I shall be glad to do so."

Lord Hastings bade the admiral goodbye and returned aboard the D-16
immediately.

When Frank and Jack learned that there was work ahead of them, both at
once became very enthusiastic and could hardly wait to be on their way.

"We may as well submerge right here and then advance," said Lord
Hastings.

The order was given and the D-16 disappeared from the sight of the other
ships. Then she moved forward slowly.

Frank, at his place in the lookout compartment, kept his eyes wide open
for the sign of an enemy, or of the enemy's mines.

Suddenly a dark object appeared directly ahead of him and, swerving
quickly, dashed by before he could give the alarm.

Immediately he informed Lord Hastings and the D-16 was brought about
quickly and headed after the object.

"I don't know whether it is an enemy or not," said Lord Hastings, "but
we can afford to take no chances. We'll have to go after it."

The D-16 dashed on, but after half an hour saw no sign of what all
believed to have been an Austrian submarine.

"Might as well go up and take a look about," said Lord Hastings. "We
should be among the French fleet again."

And among the French fleet they were, as they learned as soon as they
bobbed up on the surface.

But now the air of quiet that had been prevalent before the D-16
submerged was changed. The peaceful appearance of the French fleet,
which had been lying quietly in the water, was gone.

As the three officers stepped upon the bridge, hoarse cries of command
came to their ears. Battleships began to move from their moorings, and
all were cleared for action.

"Great Scott!" ejaculated Frank. "What do you suppose is the matter?"

"I don't know," said Lord Hastings, but Jack cried:

"Look!"

Lord Hastings and Frank gazed in the direction indicated, and both cried
out in alarm and amazement.

Not half a mile away a French cruiser of the first class was sinking by
the head. Members of her crew were throwing themselves into the sea, and
boats from other ships were standing by to pick them up.

"What do you suppose is the matter? Explosion?" asked Frank.

"Looks like it," answered his commander. "I----"

But Jack supplied the answer.

"The Austrian submarine that passed us!" he exclaimed. "She is
responsible for this."

"By Jove!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "You must be right."

At this moment the French Admiral signalled Lord Hastings.

"Torpedoed by Austrian submarine," read the signal flags.

Frank hastened to get out the D-16's flags, and in response to Lord
Hastings' command, signalled the flagship:

"She escaped us, but we'll get her."

The flagship signalled "good luck" and Lord Hastings gave the command to
submerge.

"Unless I am much mistaken," he said, "the Austrian will make for the
open sea. Probably she will make for the Mediterranean and attempt to
sink some of our merchant vessels. They may have established a base some
place."

"I wouldn't be surprised if you are right, sir," said Jack. "But we'll
get her."

"We will," said Lord Hastings. "We'll get her if I have to chase her
around the world."

The D-16, with her periscope protruding slightly above the water, dashed
on at full speed.



                             CHAPTER XXIII.

                               THE CHASE.


Lord Hastings stood at the periscope. Frank was on duty in the lookout
compartment. Every man was at his post and ready for instant action.
Torpedoes were in the tubes and every man stood at attention, for there
was no knowing at what moment they might come upon the enemy, and Lord
Hastings had no mind to allow the enemy to fire the first shot.

Suddenly, as Frank peered intently into the murky water, a blinding
light dazzled his eyes; then, as suddenly, it was gone and all was black
before him.

The lad immediately summoned Lord Hastings, to whom he related this
strange occurrence. The latter thought some time before replying:

"There is but one possible explanation. There can be no such light
beneath the sea except that furnished by the hand of man. The Austrian
submarine must have some device similar to ours."

"There can be no other explanation, sir."

"And the result is that we shall have to be doubly careful," said Lord
Hastings, as he returned to his post at the periscope.

Suddenly Jack, who stood near Lord Hastings, was startled to see his
commander leap back and utter a loud exclamation.

"There she goes!" he cried. "Push her to the limit, Mr. Templeton."

In response to Jack's order the D-16 leaped ahead faster than before.

"Has he sighted our periscope, sir?" asked Jack.

"No, I do not think so, but for a submarine, she is moving with great
speed."

"But not so fast as we are, sir?"

"I should say not quite. We appear to be gaining a trifle."

"She must be another surprise the enemy has been waiting to spring on
us," said Jack.

"Undoubtedly; and the only thing that gives us the advantage is that we
know about what she can do and she has no idea what we can do; in fact
not even that we are here."

"But she is bound to spot us unless we submerge," said Jack.

"True," said Lord Hastings, "but if we submerge she is likely to escape
us unless we use our searchlight. I would avoid letting her know we are
at least on anything like even terms, if possible."

"I see, sir," said Jack. "Then the idea is to get as close as possible
without being seen, and the moment we are discovered we are to dive?"

"Exactly; and if we are so fortunate as to get close enough before being
seen, we will launch a torpedo immediately. But we must make the first
one count, or we may get the worst of it."

Lord Hastings ceased talking and peered intently into the periscope.

"Ten minutes more undiscovered," he said, "and we will have him."

Five minutes passed, six, seven, and then Lord Hastings gave an
expression of deep disgust.

"We have been discovered," he said. "Submerge five fathoms."

Jack gave the command and the periscope of the D-16 disappeared from
view of that of the enemy.

"Sheer off to starboard," ordered Lord Hastings. "Should we maneuver
aright, we may bring up with her."

The D-16 sheered off and dashed forward some distance ere Lord Hastings
gave the command to rise that he might take another observation.

When the periscope was again above water. Lord Hastings looked quickly
around, but could see nothing of the enemy; but even as he looked, the
periscope of the enemy's vessel bobbed up less than half a mile away.

Quickly Lord Hastings gauged the range and shouted:

"Submerge! Quick!"

Down went the D-16, and at the same instant Lord Hastings ordered:

"No. 4 torpedo!" and giving the range as he had gauged it, commanded:

"Ready!"

"Fire!"

For a moment after the "click" which told that the torpedo had been
launched, there was silence. Then Lord Hastings signalled for a rise,
that he might ascertain, if possible, whether the shot had gone home.

Greatly to his chagrin, he perceived the periscope of the enemy suddenly
come up from below. Apparently it had submerged at almost the same
instant as had the D-16, and had maneuvered out of harm's way.

"Missed her," he informed Jack.

At that moment the enemy's submarine dived, and Lord Hastings divined
rightly that she was about to launch a torpedo at the D-16.

Quickly the course of the D-16 was changed, and she rolled violently as
she suddenly turned her nose due south and sped forward.

Lord Hastings waited in some anxiety lest his maneuver had not been
swift enough. Momentarily he expected to feel a shock that would tell
him the Austrian torpedo had struck.

But no shock came and Lord Hastings breathed easier.

Then he bethought himself of some other plan and consulted Jack, the
submarine, meanwhile, remaining far beneath the water.

"Other means having failed," said Jack, "I should say, use the
searchlight and seek him out."

"I guess that is what will have to be done," Lord Hastings agreed.

He approached Frank's compartment, and himself took charge of the
torpedo there, leaving Jack waiting at the periscope.

"We will run due west a quarter of a mile," said Lord Hastings to Frank,
"and when I give the word flash your searchlight in all directions. The
flash should blind the lookout on the enemy, and I will follow the sweep
of your light with the torpedo. The moment I catch sight of the enemy
I'll launch it, and we'll rise instantly."

Frank signified that he understood, and rapidly the submarine steamed
ahead.

"Now!" cried Lord Hastings suddenly.

Frank released the powerful rays of the searchlight, and swept the sea
to his right.

There was nothing to be seen.

Then he swept the sea to the left, and, less than a quarter of a mile
away, the Austrian submarine was bearing down on them.

Lord Hastings, who had followed the searchlight with the torpedo,
immediately launched it, and then, springing outside, gave the command
to rise.

The D-16 leaped to the surface like a thing of life.

Lord Hastings took Jack's place at the periscope.

"Guess we got him that time," he said.

"Hope so," replied Jack briefly.

"I don't see," began Lord Hastings, "how--down quick!"

The submarine dropped like a log, and Jack exclaimed:

"What's the matter?"

"Missed her again," said Lord Hastings grimly.

"Why didn't you launch another when she bobbed up?"

"Because I was afraid she might do so first."

"Well," said Jack, "I have an idea that I believe will end this hide and
seek business."

"Let's have it."

"Then let's go up. As soon as the enemy sight us, he will go down,
expecting us to do likewise. But we'll fool him. We'll just shift our
position a trifle--enough to be out of the way of a possible shot. Then
we'll wait for him to come up again. In the meantime we'll train all our
tubes along the water where he is likely to reappear. The moment he does
so, you call the number within range and we'll get him."

"We'll try it," said Lord Hastings briefly.

Once more the signal was given to rise, and as the D-16 came to the
surface, Lord Hastings, through the periscope, saw the periscope of the
enemy go down.

Quickly the course of the D-16 was changed just enough to avoid a
torpedo should one be fired by the enemy. Then Lord Hastings directed
the training of the different torpedo tubes aboard the D-16.

All in readiness, they waited.

Suddenly Lord Hastings saw something emerging from the water. No. 2
torpedo was aimed directly at this point.

Lord Hastings wasted no time.

"No. 2!" he called.

"Click!"

There was no waiting for the command to fire. There was no time for it.

It had been Lord Hastings' intention to submerge immediately the torpedo
had been launched, but so great was his confidence that this torpedo had
gone home, that he allowed the submarine to remain on the surface.

"Did we hit her, sir?" cried Jack.

"She's gone," was the reply, "but I can't tell yet. If she comes up
again we'll give her another."

Three minutes later and Lord Hastings gave vent to an exclamation of
satisfaction.

"We got her," he cried.

Jack stepped to the periscope and peered through.

Less than a quarter of a mile away floated a mass of débris, all that
was left of the Austrian submarine.

"You are sure that is part of her?" asked Jack.

"Positive," was the reply. "You can see part of her periscope among the
wreckage."

Jack took another long look.

"You are right, sir."

"We may as well rise to the surface," said Lord Hastings, and Jack gave
the command.

"Which way now, sir?" the lad asked.

"Back to the fleet to report," was the reply.

Jack descended below and gave the word.

Then he went to his own cabin, and drawing his pocket knife, set to work
cutting another notch in the table.

Frank entered while his chum was engaged in this operation, but he did
not interrupt until Jack had finished his task.

"Well?" he asked, as Jack leaned back with a sigh of satisfaction.

Jack looked up.

"Well what?" he demanded.

"How reads the score card?" asked Frank with a smile.

"Score card?"

"Yes, score card. What's the score; or, in the English of the British
Isles, how many notches have you carved on that table?"

"Oh," said Jack, "I see. Why didn't you ask that in the first place?"

"Because," was the reply, "I am giving you a course in plain American.
How many?"

"Seven," said Jack briefly.



                             CHAPTER XXIV.

                        OFF FOR THE DARDANELLES.


The chase of the Austrian submarine had been long and it was after
nightfall when the D-16 again drew up in the shelter of the French fleet
and Lord Hastings went aboard the flagship.

"Well, we got her," were Lord Hastings' first words to the French
admiral.

"Good!" was the reply. "Tell me about it."

Lord Hastings did so, and the admiral was loud in his praises of the
D-16 and her crew.

Then Lord Hastings bethought himself of the blowing up of the French
cruiser.

"Were all members of the crew saved?" he asked.

"All but ten," was the reply. "They went down with the ship."

"Poor fellows," said Lord Hastings; "still it might have been worse."

"Yes, it might have been worse," replied the admiral, "and there might
have been more sent to join them by the Austrian submarine had it not
been for the gallant Lord Hastings and his crew."

Lord Hastings waved aside this praise.

"Come, come," he said, "we are too old in the service for such words. We
do our duty as we see it, and that's all there is about it. Now if it
comes to praise, I can remember the time when you----"

"Enough!" cried the admiral, laughing. "As you say, we are too old in
the service, you and I, for such words. Take the young fellows, now, and
a word or two of praise, rightly spoken in the proper place, is an
impetus to added bravery."

"And ultimate death for their foolishness," said Lord Hastings slowly.

"True; but what would you? Young blood, you know."

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "I must be going. I shall leave you in the
morning."

"Headed which way?" asked the admiral.

"For the Dardanelles, to join the allied fleet."

"Mon Dieu! I envy you," said the old admiral. "Here I sit with nothing
to do while you have all the fun."

"And what was it you said about young blood?" asked Lord Hastings with a
laugh.

The admiral smiled.

"Oh, well," he said. "We sailors never grow old."

The two old friends shook hands affectionately, and Lord Hastings took
his leave.

All was quiet on the submarine when he went on board, and he turned in
at once. Not a man aboard the D-16 that night but slept a well-earned
sleep, for the chase of the Austrian submarine, while not so long in
itself, had, nevertheless, sapped the energy of all. The strain under
which they worked--never knowing when a torpedo would send them all to
their deaths--was tremendous.

All were up bright and early the following morning, however, and shortly
after 7 o'clock the D-16 got under way. As she swung round and pointed
her nose toward the Mediterranean there was a booming of guns from every
ship of the French fleet and a cheer from the crews, for word of what
the submarine had accomplished had spread rapidly, and officers and men
alike joined in a parting ovation.

Through the Adriatic and into the Mediterranean went the British
submarine D-16, speeding rapidly upon the surface of the water. Then she
turned her head toward the east and Lord Hastings laid a course that,
barring accidents, would quickly bring her to the entrance of the
Dardanelles, where the allied fleet was still shelling the Turkish
fortifications.

As they sped swiftly along, they talked of the war, of past adventures,
of what lay in store for each in the future, and of many other things.

"And so Russia is to be given Constantinople," said Frank.

"Why not?" asked Jack.

"Why, no reason," replied Frank, "except that England has, heretofore,
always opposed Russia's obtaining an outlet into the Mediterranean."

"War makes strange bedfellows," said Lord Hastings sententiously.

"It does," agreed Jack, "as is evidenced by the alliance of Germany and
Turkey."

"How about England and Japan?" asked Frank.

"Oh," said Jack, "that's different."

"In what way?"

"Well, the Japanese are civilized. You can't say so much for the Turk.
Besides, England's and Japan's interests in the far east are so closely
allied that an alliance is not to be wondered at."

"Well, here is something I want to know," said Frank. "If Japan were to
go to war with the United States, what would England do? Help her?"

"Why, no," said Jack. "Of course not."

"But the alliance?"

"In that event," said Lord Hastings slowly, "the alliance would be put
aside. It is as though a man, who had formed an alliance with another,
were asked to work against his own son or daughter. He wouldn't do it,
and America is a child of England, after all."

"Well," said Frank, "I have heard many theories advanced. I just wanted
to know yours."

No incident marred the peaceful progress of the D-16 as she made her way
through the sunny waters of the Mediterranean. The weather was beautiful
and Lord Hastings, Frank and Jack spent many pleasant hours upon the
little bridge.

"How long before we shall reach the entrance to the Dardanelles?" asked
Frank during one of these siestas.

"At the rate we are going," was the reply, "we should be there tomorrow
morning. Of course, we might even do better than that, but I am in no
particular hurry. There will not be much action before daylight."

"I suppose by this time," said Frank, "that progress in reducing the
Turkish fortifications is swifter than before."

"It's hard to say," was the reply. "The outer forts are, of course, not
so strong as the inner fortifications. As you know, having been there,
the strait is very narrow, less than a mile in some places, and it is
absolutely impossible for warships to force their way through without
first destroying all guns on either side."

"But you remember our prisoner told us the _Queen Elizabeth_ was
wreaking great havoc with these. What do you know of her, sir?"

"Not as much as I should. She is the newest of Great Britain's
dreadnoughts; and, without the shadow of a doubt, the most powerful
sea-fighter afloat today. She carries the heaviest guns and outranges
anything afloat. Shore batteries, powerful as they may be, are no match
for her, for she can stand off at a distance of twenty miles and pound
them with perfect safety to herself."

"She must indeed be a terrible engine of destruction," said Frank.

"She is," replied Lord Hastings calmly, "and eventually, mark me, she,
and ships of her class, will be the means of bringing the Germans to
terms, land victories of the most gigantic scale notwithstanding."

"Well, the sooner the better," said Frank.

"I agree with you," declared Jack.

"And I, too," remarked Lord Hastings.

It was just after daylight on the following morning that Frank, who was
on the bridge, made out in the distance huge clouds of smoke and heard
the faint sounds of booming guns.

"They are at it again," he told himself.

He went below and aroused Jack and Lord Hastings.

They were soon dressed and joined Frank on the bridge.

Every few seconds, above the sounds of the distant guns, one roared
louder than the rest.

"The _Queen Elizabeth_," Lord Hastings explained. "Her voice is one that
already must have carried terror to the heart of Constantinople and her
people."

The speed of the submarine was increased, for Lord Hastings wished to
arrive upon the scene as soon as possible. Gradually the forms of the
huge ships of the allied fleet could be distinguished.

"Eighteen, nineteen, twenty," counted Frank. "I thought there were more
than that. Where are the others?"

"Those you see now," said Lord Hastings, "have been left to guard the
entrance to the strait. The others, the outer fortifications having been
put out of commission, undoubtedly have progressed two or three miles
into the strait."

"More than that, sir," said Jack. "You remember the prisoner told us
they were reported to have progressed twelve miles."

"True, I had forgotten. I am willing to predict, then, that they have
progressed farther by this time."

Lord Hastings' prediction proved correct; for when the D-16 drew up
under the shelter of one of the largest of the battleships, and Lord
Hastings went aboard, he learned that the _Queen Elizabeth_, leading the
fleet, had progressed all of twenty miles and her great guns were now
busily engaged in hurling huge projectiles miles farther.

From the commander of the British vessel which he boarded, Lord Hastings
learned some of the details of the fighting up to date. He learned how,
when it had been decided to attempt a passage of the Dardanelles, the
_Queen Elizabeth_, fearless and powerful, had taken the lead, and had
made short work of the outer defenses.

Her terrible projectiles had wreaked havoc upon the fortifications, and,
when she had all but dismantled one, she moved on to another, leaving
the smaller vessels to complete the work of destruction. And so on along
the strait for twenty miles.

Word had just been received that the Turks were massing huge land
forces, with heavy artillery, along the banks of the Dardanelles to
attempt to check the onward movement of the allied fleet. Several of
these forces had already been put to rout by the powerful and accurate
fire of the warships, but now, it was said, a greater and more
powerfully armed force was advancing to give battle.

Other than the success attained in the Dardanelles itself, the attempted
passage had done two other things of benefit to the British cause. First
it had forced the Turks to give up their proposed invasion of Egypt,
and, second, it had caused the abandonment of the attempt to capture the
Suez canal from the British troops, although it is doubtful if either
would have terminated successfully for the Turks.

Lord Hastings returned aboard the D-16 and explained the situation to
the lads.

"And what shall we do now, sir?" asked Jack.

"Well," said Lord Hastings slowly, "I see no use waiting outside and
letting the other fellows do all the work. Guess we might as well go
along after them."

"Good!" cried both lads in a single voice.



                              CHAPTER XXV.

                          IN THE DARDANELLES.


From the bridge of the D-16, Lord Hastings and the two lads viewed the
terrible havoc wrought upon the Turkish fortifications by the guns of
the allied fleet. Huge holes had been cut in the walls in some places,
while at others the fortifications had been literally razed until there
remained hardly one stone upon another.

Broken cannon were among the débris, shattered and in tiny pieces. Even
now, after all this time, dead bodies, both of men and horses, lay here
and there. All this the three upon the bridge of the submarine could see
with their naked eyes as they made their way along the narrow strait.

"Terrible," said Frank.

"It is," replied Jack, "but it is also a stern necessity."

"Right," said Lord Hastings; "for once the Dardanelles is forced, and
Constantinople is at our mercy, we have nothing further to fear from the
Turks."

"And the Russians on the other side, in the Black Sea, what are they
doing?" asked Frank.

"The best they can, you may be sure," replied Lord Hastings, "but not
having the ships of our class they are at a disadvantage. Nevertheless,
they will be in at the finish, I am sure."

"Then we shall nail them from two sides at once," said Frank.

"Exactly."

As the D-16 made her way up the narrow strait, the sounds of cannonading
became louder, until, after half an hour's journey, it became a
veritable roar.

"Great Scott!" shouted Frank. "This is awful. A fellow can hardly hear
himself think."

Now the D-16 came within sight of the last of the allied vessels, and
she was pouring her shells along the shore as fast as she could shoot.
Other vessels ahead of her, now also in sight of the D-16 were doing
likewise.

"Where is the _Queen Elizabeth_?" asked Jack.

"Oh, she is way up ahead," said Lord Hastings.

"Then that is the place we are bound for, I suppose," asked Frank.

"That is the place," replied Lord Hastings.

By one, two, ten, fifteen, nineteen ships the D-16 went, and then, just
ahead, the form of the giantess of the sea loomed up. From her issued
dense clouds of smoke, and her voice spoke in a terrible tone as she
hurled her messages of death and destruction many miles farther than the
eye could see.

This monster was the British Super-dreadnought _Queen Elizabeth_.

The two lads looked at her spell bound as she continued to spit fire and
smoke, and in truth she looked like some monster of ancient fiction. In
action as she was, she was indeed a wonderful sight.

"That," said Frank calmly, "is what I call a ship."

"Some ship, as you Americans would say," laughed Lord Hastings.

Right under the stern of the _Queen Elizabeth_, the D-16 came to a stop.
The commander of the British dreadnought had noticed the arrival of the
little vessel, and took the time to hail her. Upon learning that Lord
Hastings was her commander, he invited him to come aboard at once.

"Would you like to go with me, boys?" asked the commander of the D-16.

"I should say we would, sir," replied Frank eagerly.

Jack also spoke in assent and five minutes later the three were aboard
the _Queen Elizabeth_.

Lord Hastings presented the lads to the commander of the dreadnought,
who spoke to them pleasantly. Then he and Lord Hastings retired for a
few moments to the cabin, where they talked over the progress of the
fighting.

"Well, boys," said Lord Hastings half an hour later, "we shall go back
now, and when we get there I have a piece of news for you that will
prove of interest."

Aboard the D-16 again. Lord Hastings did not give this piece of news at
once, and finally Frank, becoming impatient, was moved to ask:

"And what is this piece of news that will interest us, sir?"

Lord Hastings smiled.

"Can't hold your horses a minute, can you?" he laughed. "Well, I'll tell
you. The D-16 is going to take a little trip in advance of the fleet."

Frank's delight was so great that he hurled his cap into the air with a
shout, and in coming down the wind carried it overboard.

Jack laughed.

"You see what too much enthusiasm gets you," he remarked.

"Never mind," said Frank after one regretful look at his departing
headpiece, "I have another." He turned to Lord Hastings.

"What are we to do, sir?"

"Well, we are to try and establish the location of mines, draw maps of
the fortifications, which may have been changed somewhat since the maps
the admiral has were drawn, and learn anything else of value we can."

"I thought there would be fighting," said Frank, somewhat disappointed.

"Well, there is always liable to be fighting," said Lord Hastings. "In
fact, any time you are around I am positive there will be fighting of
some kind."

"And when do we start, sir?" asked Jack.

"As soon after nightfall as we are ready."

"But why wait for night?" asked Frank. "We are going under the water,
aren't we?"

"Yes," replied his commander, "but we are likely to have to come to the
surface at any time, and there is no need of taking unnecessary risks."

"That's true, too," said Frank. "But Great Scott! Night is a long ways
off."

"In the meantime," said Lord Hastings, "I don't know of anything better
than to watch the progress of the battle."

"We shall have to get closer than this if we expect to see anything,"
declared Lord Hastings.

He gave the command for fifteen knots, and gradually the D-16 forged
ahead of the _Queen Elizabeth_ and stood out before the whole fleet.

She made such a small speck as she floated gently upon the surface of
the water, that Lord Hastings had no fear for her safety, and there she
remained all during the day, while shells flew screaming past or cut up
the water before and on all sides of her.

Twice the firing became so heavy that Lord Hastings deemed it advisable
to submerge, and this was done. She reappeared in a new place each time,
and her officers again ascended the bridge to watch the progress of the
battle.

Along in the afternoon, the _Queen Elizabeth_, having almost dismantled
two of the Turkish forts, steamed on past, unheeding the fire of their
remaining guns and leaving them for her smaller sisters to dispose of.

Immediately their leader had made way for them, the other ships closed
in and the fighting began anew, the new arrivals keeping the forts so
busy that they had no time to pay further heed to the _Queen Elizabeth_,
now farther up the strait, pouring her terrible shells into
fortifications still farther along.

"At this rate," said Frank, "we shall be in Constantinople almost before
we know it."

"Don't fool yourself," declared Jack. "Remember that in spite of the
fact that the _Queen Elizabeth_ is having apparently an easy time with
these fellows, it will not all be smooth sailing. As Lord Hastings says,
the further we progress the stronger the forts."

"I know; but she can stand off and batter them also."

"The trouble is that she cannot approach so close, and will have to
depend more than ever upon the aviators to get her range; and it is more
dangerous for the aviators over the inner forts."

"I suppose you are right," said Frank. "I hadn't thought of it in that
way."

"How long do you suppose it would take us to get through the
Dardanelles, sir?" asked Frank of Lord Hastings.

"Not long; why?"

"And coming out the other end we are in the Sea of Marmora, are we not?"

"Yes."

"And Constantinople is just across that?"

"Yes; but why these questions?"

"I was just thinking. It wouldn't be such a terrible job, in a submarine
like ours, to run to Constantinople and sink a couple of ships. That
would frighten the authorities so much that it might prove a benefit to
the fleet here."

"True enough," said Lord Hastings. "But I don't believe we can afford to
take such chances. If we should be sent to the bottom, we could never
bring back the information we were after."

"Oh, I'm wrong again, as usual," said Frank.

"Don't think I am criticising," protested Lord Hastings. "The idea is
first rate, and I feel certain we could get through in spite of the
mines; but our first duty is to get the information we are sent out to
obtain."

"That is true, of course, sir," agreed Frank.

Lord Hastings was lost in thought for some moments. Finally he said:

"I'll tell you what I will do. If we are successful tonight in getting
what we go after, we will take a little jaunt on our own hook tomorrow
night."

"Do you mean it, sir?" asked Frank eagerly.

"I do," said Lord Hastings.

"And we shall go to Constantinople?"

"If it is humanly possible to get there, yes."

Frank waved his hands in delight.

"Hurrah!" he cried. "We'll show these Turks a few things."

Even Jack was pleased, though he did not express his satisfaction in
such a boisterous manner as did Frank.

"Yes, we shall show them a few things," he agreed.

"I wish this were tomorrow night," said Frank.

"There you go again," said Lord Hastings with a smile. "Just as
impatient as ever. You will never gain anything that way, and, besides,
it does no good."

"But I can't help it," protested Frank.

"You will have to get over it some day," said Lord Hastings severely.
"You might as well start now."

"I'll try," Frank promised soberly.

Jack and Lord Hastings looked at each other and smiled.

"I'm going to hold you to that promise," Lord Hastings declared grimly.



                             CHAPTER XXVI.

                               SCOUTING.


"We may as well go up now."

It was Lord Hastings who spoke. For two hours, starting at nightfall,
the D-16 had been creeping along under the waters in the Dardanelles.
Submerging before she started, the submarine had not yet come to the
surface once. But now, at Lord Hastings' words, Jack gave the command.

"Seems to me we should not be far from the opposite end," Lord Hastings
continued.

Slowly the D-16 rose toward the surface, Frank, in the lookout room,
meanwhile keeping a careful watch for obstacles ahead. There was little
fear of encountering a hostile under-the-water craft, and for this
reason the huge searchlight of the D-16 was allowed to play about the
water, lighting it up for some distance on all sides.

The submarine reached the surface without trouble, and followed by Jack
and Frank, Lord Hastings ascended to the bridge.

The water was very rough, and it was perfectly black outside.

"We could not have selected a better night," said Lord Hastings.

"But without a moon or light of some kind," asked Jack, "how are we
going to make out the lay of the land?"

"We'll run inshore and do a little scouting," was the reply.

Accordingly the submarine was headed shoreward.

"The water here is deep enough to permit us to go almost to the bank,"
said Lord Hastings. "After that we shall have to swim."

When the D-16 had approached the bank as near as Lord Hastings deemed
possible with safety, the commander turned the bridge over to Frank and
announced that he and Jack would go ashore.

"But is there not fear of your being discovered?" asked Frank.

"We shall have to take that chance," was Lord Hastings' reply. "Now you
stay right here with the submarine until daylight. If we have not
returned, you will know that we have fallen into some difficulty, and
you will return and report."

"Very well, sir," replied Frank.

Lord Hastings and Jack lowered themselves quietly into the cold water,
and struck out boldly for the shore. They had to swim no more than a
minute, when they felt the gradual rise of the land under their feet.
Stepping softly, they continued their way, and soon stood upon dry land.

"Which way now, sir?" asked Jack.

"It doesn't make much difference," was the reply. "We'll go to the
left."

They started out cautiously.

"Keep your eyes open," Lord Hastings instructed, "and your hand upon
your guns. I don't fancy falling into the hands of the Turks."

"Nor I," replied Jack, as he followed his commander's advice.

The two stepped forward cautiously. They walked for perhaps five
minutes, and then they brought up suddenly before a huge gray wall.

"Fort," said Lord Hastings briefly.

Jack said nothing, but followed his commander. Lord Hastings drew back a
few yards and glanced up carefully.

"I'll get this in my mind," he whispered, "and draw my map later."

Jack nodded.

Lord Hastings scrutinized the fort carefully, and then with a nod,
passed on. Jack followed.

For perhaps an hour they continued along the shore, Lord Hastings
stopping now and then to take in some detail of the ground.

"We have reached the point where the _Queen Elizabeth's_ shells have
been dropping," he finally said. "There is no use going farther. Let us
go back."

They turned and retraced their steps.

Arrived opposite the point where the submarine waited, they plunged into
the water and swam back.

"We'll try the other side now," said Lord Hastings.

The submarine was guided close to the opposite bank, and once more the
two plunged into the water and were soon ashore.

Again they proceeded for perhaps an hour, and again Lord Hastings
discovered the effects of the _Queen Elizabeth's_ shells. As he deemed
it unnecessary to go further, they turned and once more retraced their
steps.

They had almost reached the point off which the submarine waited when
several figures loomed suddenly up in the darkness ahead of them. They
were so close at this moment that it was impossible to avoid a
collision. Jack, realizing this, and also knowing that the figures ahead
must be enemies, did not wait for the latter to strike the first blow.

As he bumped into the man nearest him, he struck out heavily with his
right. There was a fierce muttered Oriental imprecation and the man went
to the ground.

Lord Hastings performed a similar operation upon the man nearest him,
and he also toppled over. The rest drew back, and sent up a cry of rage.
Realizing that their opponents would receive reinforcements in a minute,
Lord Hastings and Jack sprang into the midst of them.

Striking out right and left, Jack disposed of two more of the enemy, and
Lord Hastings a third; but at that moment Lord Hastings felt a sharp
pain in his side and fell to the ground.

Warding off the blows of the one remaining assailant, Jack stooped over
his commander.

"Hurt badly, sir?" he asked anxiously.

"Pretty badly, I fear," was the reply. "Caught me in the shoulder. Wait,
I'll try to get up."

He made a valiant effort, but fell back with a moan of pain.

At the same instant the sound of running footsteps could be heard
approaching.

Jack stooped over his commander and threw an arm about him.

With his feeble strength, the latter threw him off.

"Hurry!" he cried. "Save yourself! You can't get me away."

"You do as I say now," commanded Jack sternly.

He bent over.

"Put your arm around my neck."

Lord Hastings protested, but in vain. Jack raised his body and slipped
an arm beneath it.

"Put your arm around my neck," he commanded again.

This time Lord Hastings obeyed. Jack lifted him up as though he had been
a child, and turning, dashed for the spot off which he knew the
submarine lay.

He had almost reached it, when he found himself suddenly confronted by
two dark figures. Without a word he laid Lord Hastings gently upon the
ground and hurled himself upon the men before him.

With two smashing blows--a left and a right--he laid two of them low
before they could recover from their surprise, and as a third man, with
a cry of rage, dashed upon him with upraised arm, Jack caught him by the
wrist.

He gave a violent twist, there was a snap and a sharp cry of pain, and a
knife fell to the ground. Jack planted his other fist squarely in the
man's face, and even as the latter tumbled to the ground, the lad
stooped over Lord Hastings and in another moment was running along the
bank with him.

"You can't do it, Jack," gasped Lord Hastings, as the lad ran on.

"Keep still," ordered Jack. "I'll get you back aboard or break a leg."

Lord Hastings subsided.

Now Jack reached the point where the submarine lay only a few yards off
shore.

"Drop into the water," he commanded Lord Hastings.

"But I can't swim with this arm," the latter protested.

"You do as I say," ordered Jack. "I'll get you before you go down."

Without further words, Lord Hastings obeyed, and as he disappeared from
sight in the water Jack leaped lightly in after him. His hand touched
his commander's collar before the latter had struck bottom, and coming
to the surface, he supported Lord Hastings with one arm while with the
other he struck out for the submarine.

Frank, upon the bridge peering intently into the night, had heard the
sounds of confusion, but strain his eyes as he would, he did not make
out the two forms in the water until Jack's voice, sounding almost in
his ear, startled him.

"Lend a hand here, quick, Frank," came his friend's voice.

Quickly Frank leaped to obey.

Leaning over he held on to his commander while Jack scrambled aboard,
and then both assisted their commander over the side, as gently as
possible, so as to avoid straining his wound.

"Are you badly hurt, sir?" asked Frank, when Lord Hastings lay panting
on the bridge.

"I don't know," came the faint reply. "But I have a nasty stab in the
shoulder."

"We'll soon have that fixed up," said Jack cheerfully. "Help me carry
him down, Frank."

With Lord Hastings stretched out in his bed, Jack ordered Frank to see
about getting the submarine away from the dangerous location, while he
tended to Lord Hastings' wounds.

"You'll have to hurry," he exclaimed. "They know we are around here some
place, and they'll be after us like a pack of wolves."

Frank hurried back upon the bridge, to gain his bearings. As he emerged,
a hand clutched him by the throat. In vain did the lad attempt to cry
out. He struck blindly at his unseen opponent, who had grabbed him from
behind.

Frank threw himself to the deck, and the man who had swam aboard the
submarine fell on top of him. Taken at a disadvantage for a moment by
Frank's ruse, his hold upon the lad's throat loosened.

At the same moment the submarine was made as bright as day by the
powerful rays of a searchlight which fell upon it; but this glare was a
boon to Frank, for it gave him a chance to determine his opponent's
position, and he was not slow to take advantage of it.

With right and left he struck out swiftly time after time, and the Turk,
badly battered, at last tumbled from the bridge and into the sea with a
howl of pain.

At the same instant other figures began to clamber over the side of the
submarine, where they had been attracted by the sounds of confusion.

Frank acted quickly. Jumping to his feet, he dashed below, closing the
door to the bridge and conning tower after him.

"Submerge!" he cried as the doors came together with a clang.

In vain did the figures upon the top of the D-16 seek to retain a
foothold. Their foundation slipped gradually away from them, until they
were all left floundering in the sea.

Then the D-16 turned in the direction of the allied fleet.



                             CHAPTER XXVII.

                        A DESPERATE UNDERTAKING.


The D-16 made the return journey very slowly, for the master hand of
Lord Hastings was lacking and Frank, being no navigator and his
knowledge of the lay of the land very poor, was forced to proceed
cautiously. In Lord Hastings' cabin, Jack was still busy dressing his
commander's wound.

He found, after an examination, that it was not as serious as he had at
first feared. The long bladed knife had caught Lord Hastings on the left
side, halfway between the waist and the shoulder, and, turning up, had
opened a deep gash clear to the shoulder. Lord Hastings was very weak,
for the wound had bled profusely, but he was in no danger.

Jack performed a creditable operation upon the wound, and after he had
bandaged it carefully, Lord Hastings lay back and went quietly to sleep.
Then Jack took command of the vessel.

It was early morning when Jack gave the signal to rise, for he wanted to
be sure that he had passed all danger points before coming to the
surface. When they did bob up from beneath the water, he found that he
had gone too far by more than a mile. However, no harm was done, and the
D-16 was quickly brought about and soon lay under the lee of the _Queen
Elizabeth_.

Here she lay till midday when Jack went aboard to report. The commander
was very anxious when he learned that Lord Hastings was wounded, but he
accepted Jack's report instead and announced that he would visit Lord
Hastings some time during the day.

"Well," said Frank to his commander as he sat at his side, "I guess this
settles our Constantinople trip."

"Why so?" asked Lord Hastings.

Frank was surprised.

"Why we can't go with you in this condition," he replied.

Lord Hastings smiled faintly.

"A little thing like this is not going to stop me," he said. "True, I
can do no fighting, but I can still navigate the boat."

"But it is impossible," said Frank.

"No, it is not impossible," said Lord Hastings. "We shall go."

At this moment Jack came in, and when he learned what Lord Hastings
proposed to do, he attempted to dissuade him. So did the commander of
the _Queen Elizabeth_ when he came to visit Lord Hastings that
afternoon.

But the commander of the D-16 was not to be dissuaded.

"I am the commander of this vessel," he said grimly, "and when I give an
order I want it obeyed. Mr. Templeton, you will get under way an hour
after nightfall."

Jack saluted. He said nothing, for he knew that to say anything would be
useless. He had never seen his commander in just this frame of mind
before, but he was smart enough to realize that Lord Hastings meant what
he said.

Night fell. An hour later, in accordance with his orders, Jack gave the
signal, and the D-16 sank slowly from sight.

Lord Hastings called Frank.

"Help me to my place at the periscope," he said quietly.

"But, sir," protested Frank.

"There are no buts," said Lord Hastings. "Help me to my post."

Frank said nothing further, but obeyed.

Seated in a chair beside the periscope, Lord Hastings took a long
breath. Then he called to Jack.

"I'll do the watching here," he said. "You run the ship in response to
my signals."

Jack saluted.

Frank took the lookout, as usual, and once more the huge searchlight
lighted up the water under the Dardanelles.

The time wore on, still all stood at their posts. Morning came and Lord
Hastings said:

"According to my calculations we should now be in the Sea of Marmora. We
will go up for a look about, Mr. Templeton."

The D-16 rose until her periscope showed Lord Hastings the signs about
her.

"Very good," he said slowly. "You may go down to your previous depth."

The D-16 sank again.

"See anything, sir?" asked Frank.

"Enough to know that my calculations were correct and that we are in the
Sea of Marmora."

"Any vessels in sight, sir?"

"Couple of merchantmen, as nearly as I could make out."

"Did they see us, sir?"

"I think not. In fact I am sure of it."

"That's good, sir."

"So it is. You may proceed at twenty-five knots."

The D-16 gathered headway and soon was traveling along under the water
at a great rate.

"Won't we have to be careful of mines along here, sir?" asked Jack.

"I do not believe they have mined much as yet. They figure that there is
little danger of the Allies forcing an entrance for some time to come.
However, we may as well be careful. Take the lookout, Mr. Chadwick."

Frank saluted and returned to his post.

"The only place we shall have to be really careful," said Lord Hastings,
"is when we near Constantinople. No matter how safe the Turks may have
felt, it is hardly possible they have not taken all emergency
precautions."

"If not," said Jack, "the German officers who have been put in charge of
their forces will have done it for them."

"I guess there is no doubt about that," was the reply. "The Germans are
thorough in everything they do."

"Shall we land in Constantinople, sir?"

"I think not--unless it is necessary for some purpose that may arise
later. Right now I see no need of landing."

"There are sure to be Turkish warships there, sir?"

"I should think so, surely."

"When do you reckon we shall reach there?"

"I had planned to enter the harbor about midnight."

"Best time for such work, sir."

"We'll be aided by a moon tonight--or should be, at least."

And it was midnight when the D-16, with her deck barely awash, drew into
the harbor of Constantinople, slinking silently along, with every man at
his post, seeking out her prey.

"Warship dead ahead," called Lord Hastings, and gave the command to
stop. "We couldn't want a better place to launch a torpedo," he added.
"A miss at this distance is out of the question."

The crew stood at attention, and action came swift and fast.

"Fire!" came the command at last.

A torpedo sped on its way.

Immediately the D-16 darted away to a safe place, and then arose to the
surface to see the result of its work.

A half moon lighted up the scene about them, and Frank and Jack ascended
to the bridge. Lord Hastings remained below.

Of a sudden a terrible din broke the stillness of the night. Hideous
cries went up into the sky. Searchlights broke forth and swept the
harbor. Aboard the Turkish warship, the victim of the submarine's
torpedo, confusion reigned. Officers tried in vain to restore some
semblance of order among the crew until they could ascertain the extent
of the damage done.

It was impossible. Never the coolest sailors in the world, the Turks
lost whatever courage they may have possessed and a panic ensued aboard
the wounded warship, which soon spread to other vessels in the harbor.
There seemed to be no doubt in the mind of any as to the cause of the
explosion.

"We'll go down and try another one," said Jack calmly.

They descended below, and a few moments later the D-16 was moving toward
another victim. This ship and then a third were torpedoed with unerring
aim, and the panic which followed above was terrible to behold.

In the city itself word of the disaster spread, and the Sultan and his
cabinet, believing that the fall of the capital was imminent, hurriedly
got together what papers of state they could lay their hands upon, and
dashed in automobiles from the city.

"Well," said Jack to Lord Hastings, "I guess we might as well call it a
good night's work and let it go at that."

"I am of the same opinion," replied his commander. "We must have created
a terrible furore."

"There is not much question about that," said Frank with satisfaction.
"I would like to go ashore and see what is going on."

"I wouldn't object to that either," said Jack.

"It's impossible," declared Lord Hastings. "You would surely be
captured."

"I don't think so," said Jack. "In this confusion a boat could easily be
launched and no one would be the wiser. Then, if you remained right
here, we could return without trouble."

"Besides," interposed Frank, "we might be able to learn something of
advantage."

"What do you say, sir?" asked Jack.

Lord Hastings hesitated.

"I should say no, of course," he replied at last, "but I find it hard to
deny you boys anything. I suppose it could be done, if you exercised the
proper precautions."

"We will, sir," broke in Frank. "Have no fear of that."

"Nevertheless, it is just that that I am fearful of," said Lord Hastings
slowly. "You see, I know you of old."

"Then we can't go, sir?" asked Frank, greatly disappointed.

"I didn't say that," replied Lord Hastings.

"Then you mean we can, sir?"

"Well, yes, if you will give me your solemn promises to be very
careful."

"We will do that, sir, won't we, Jack?"

"We will," was his friend's reply.

"In that event," said Lord Hastings, "you have my permission to go. You
will also promise to return within three hours."

"We promise that also, sir," said Jack.

"Then you may go; but if I were you I would remove your uniforms and don
civilian clothes. Then you may pass muster anywhere, as there are many
foreigners in the city."

Jack and Frank heeded this advice, and hastened to their cabin to change
their clothes.



                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

                               A CAPTURE.


In the little boat, in dark civilian clothes, the lads put off from the
submarine, and soon were mingling with the hundreds of other little
craft darting shoreward as fast as strong arms could drive them.

"I guess we shall make it all right," Frank whispered to Jack.

"Of course we shall," was the reply. "It'll probably be harder getting
back."

"We'll come through some way," was the reply.

"Of course."

At that moment Frank's attention was directed to a struggling knot in
the water.

"What's that?" he asked drawing his friend's attention.

"Looks like a fight to me," said the latter.

"Let's go closer and have a look."

The lads steered the boat closer to the struggling heap, where they were
able to make out three men fighting desperately, while nearby was an
overturned boat.

"One of them looks like a white man," said Jack.

"In that case we shall have to give him a lift," said Frank.

"Remember what Lord Hastings said," Jack warned his chum.

"But we can't stand idly by while a couple of Turks drown a white man."

"No, we can't do that," Jack agreed.

With long powerful strokes they sent their boat closer. Then Jack was
able to distinguish the faces of the combatants.

"Two Turks and a German officer," he said. "I can't see why we should
interfere on his behalf."

"He is white," protested Frank.

"Right," said Jack. "That puts a different face on the matter, of
course."

The boat was right up to the struggling trio.

"No use wasting our energy," said Frank.

He stood up in the boat and brought his oar down upon the head of one of
the Turks. The latter disappeared beneath the water without a sound.
Frank turned upon the second one, but he had seen the fate of his
comrade and had no mind to share it. He released his hold upon the
German officer and made off.

"Let the German swim to his boat. We don't want to be bothered with
him," said Frank.

"Suits me," said Jack.

Frank sat down, and the lads would have rowed off; but at that moment
the German disappeared beneath the water.

"Tired out, I guess," said Jack. "Well, we can't stand by and see a man
we have just rescued drown without raising a hand. I'll have him in a
minute."

He dived overboard, and reappeared an instant later holding the German
by the arm.

"Help me get him in," he said.

Frank obeyed, and Jack climbed in after him. The German lay in the
bottom of the boat, exhausted.

"Talk German when he comes to," Jack warned. "There is no use letting
him suspect anything."

"All right," said Frank, and while Jack sent the boat shoreward with
long and powerful strokes, he attempted to revive the man they had
saved.

The shore was but a short distance away when the German showed signs of
returning consciousness. He moaned feebly and turned on his side. Frank
slapped his hands and rubbed them vigorously, and soon the German
attempted to rise.

Frank lent him a helping hand, and the German at last managed to sit up
with Frank's shoulder as a support. Then his eyes roved about and he
took in the situation around him.

"And so you saved me," he said to Frank.

"Well, my friend and I together," replied Frank, also in excellent
German.

"Those scoundrels would have killed me," said the German officer.

"So we noticed," replied Frank. "What was the matter?"

"Well, I was swimming in the water, and they refused to take me aboard.
You see, in spite of the fact that we are doing our best for this
benighted country, we Germans are not loved here."

"I know that," Frank agreed.

"When they refused to assist me into their boat, I became angry and
tried to pull myself aboard. They hacked at my hands with knives, and
the best I could do was to accidentally pull the boat over, throwing
them into the water. Then they attacked me."

"And no wonder, at that," said Frank drily.

"Well, that's true. Still they should have let me in their boat."

"I am not disputing that," said Frank. "Where do you wish us to put you
ashore?"

"Wherever you chance to land."

Frank nodded.

"But who are you?" continued the German.

"Just a couple of noncombatants," replied Frank briefly.

"But you are German?"

"Well, yes, partly so. Also we are Americans."

"Caught here at the outbreak of the war?"

"Yes."

"Well, I'll do what I can to get you out of it."

"Thanks."

"You see, I am not without influence. It happens that I am the new
military governor of the city."

"Is that so?" exclaimed Frank in surprise.

"Yes. I only arrived today, and was having a consultation with the
Turkish admiral when this disaster occurred."

"Have you any idea what caused this disaster?" asked Frank quietly.

"I guess there is no doubt what caused it. A British or a French
submarine."

At this moment Jack took a hand in the conversation.

"You say you are the new military governor of the city?"

"Yes."

"Then you know something of the plans of defense?"

"Well, rather. I have them in my pocket."

"Then," said Jack, "I should say that you are a very indiscreet sort of
a military governor."

"What do you mean by that?" asked the German, half rising.

Jack's reply was addressed to Frank.

"Cover him with your gun, quick!" he commanded. "Don't let him get
away."

Although taken by surprise, Frank acted quickly. His gun leaped from his
pocket and was levelled at the new German military governor of
Constantinople.

"What's the meaning of this?" demanded the latter angrily.

"The meaning is that you are our prisoner," replied Jack quietly. "Turn
her about, Frank," he added, "and we'll go back to the submarine."

"Submarine!" exclaimed the German. "Oh, I see, you are British."

"You bet we are," replied Frank.

The German grew silent, and Jack, who was watching him carefully even as
he rowed, noticed that he was fumbling in his breast pocket.

"Watch him, Frank," he cried. "Don't let him throw anything overboard."

Frank leaned forward and pressed the muzzle of his automatic against the
German's breast.

"No tricks," he said quietly, "or you are a dead man."

The German's hand dropped to his side.

The lads rowed back to the submarine quickly. Frank jumped aboard first
and Jack waited until the German had followed him before he climbed up
and drew the little boat up after him. Then all went below, Frank
keeping his weapon on the German as they descended.

Lord Hastings came bustling out.

"Back so----" he began, and stopped in surprise at the sight of the
third man. "What is this?" he demanded.

"This," said Jack, with a flourish of his hand, "is the new German
military governor of Constantinople."

"But," said Lord Hastings, "why do you bring him here? What do we want
with him?"

"He told me, confidentially," said Jack, "that he carries the Turkish
plan of campaign."

Lord Hastings understood in a moment.

"In that case," he said, "we want him badly. Mr. Military Governor, you
are indeed welcome."

"And the first thing to do," said Jack, "is to get the papers before he
can get rid of them."

"His Excellency will give them to us, I am sure," said Lord Hastings.

"I will not," growled the German.

"Then we shall have to take them," said Jack.

He stepped suddenly forward and seized the German in a firm embrace.

"You take them while I hold him," he called.

In vain did the German struggle. Jack held him firmly while Frank and
Lord Hastings explored his pockets and took therefrom every piece of
paper they could find. Lord Hastings glanced them over carefully.

"They are all here," he said. "You can let him go now."

Jack stepped back and the German shook himself angrily.

"You'll pay for this," he shouted angrily.

"Why, we expect to," said Lord Hastings smoothly, "we expect to pay for
it with our big guns, which, with the help you have extended to us by
giving us these plans, will make the task easier."

The German doubled his fists and took a step forward.

Jack smiled at him.

"I wouldn't even think of it if I were you," he said quietly.

The German drew back.

"And shall we let him go now?" asked Lord Hastings. "He is simply a
burden to us, you know."

The German's face lighted up.

"We can hardly do that, much as we would like to," said Jack. "You see,
he might tell them all ashore that we have their plans, and they would
naturally change them. As it is, believing that he has been drowned, the
Kaiser will simply appoint a new military governor and use the plan of
campaign already decided upon."

"True," said Lord Hastings. "Then we must keep this capture a secret."

"Yes, sir," said Jack, "and now we may as well get away from here."

"In the meantime," replied Lord Hastings, "his excellency shall be our
guest. You may give the word to submerge, preparatory to departure, Mr.
Templeton."

Jack turned away.



                             CHAPTER XXIX.

                       THE LAST SHOT OF THE D-16.


Running smoothly and swiftly the submarine passed from the Sea of
Marmora back into the Dardanelles, and set out on the last lap of her
journey. It was now after 7 o'clock in the morning, and a grey mist,
heralding the approach of a storm, was in the air above.

Gradually the swell of the waves increased as the wind grew in violence,
and the waters of the strait grew angry. But below, where the D-16 moved
swiftly along, all was smooth and tranquil, although the barometer
showed a heavy disturbance above.

The new military governor of Constantinople, desiring the freedom of the
vessel rather than to be confined, had given his parole, and, seeming to
take his plight with fortitude, was watching the workings of the vessel
with the greatest interest. Some of the intricate details Lord Hastings
took the trouble to explain to him.

Then, just as the D-16 seemed about to accomplish the last lap of her
return journey safely, the trouble occurred.

Lord Hastings had given it as his opinion that they must at that moment
be in the very heart of the Turkish fortifications in the strait, and
had turned away, when the prisoner, with a sudden leap, sprang to the
signal that controlled the air tanks. Before any one could stop him he
had given the signal that sent the D-16 soaring to the top of the water,
where she floated upon the surface not a hundred yards from the guns of
the nearest Turkish fort.

The wind had kicked the strait into an angry swirling mass of water,
with the waves running high. But the D-16 had hardly been tossed upon
the crest of the first wave when a Turkish sentry espied her.

He gave a hoarse cry, and in another moment a big gun spoke.

"Boom!"

The D-16 staggered. One more huge wave she climbed, and when she settled
into the trough of the sea with it, she went deeper.

She seemed to turn on her beam ends as she dived, but suddenly she
righted herself. Officers and crew picked themselves up from the
positions into which they had been flung, and rushed for their posts.

"Look at the tanks!" cried Lord Hastings, and Jack rushed to obey.

He came running back an instant later.

"A miracle," he cried. "The tanks are full. That is what brought us
down."

Lord Hastings stared at him in surprise.

"Impossible," he said. "How could the tanks be full?"

"I don't know, sir," replied Jack, "but they are."

Lord Hastings thought hard and fast.

"Where did the shell strike us?" he asked at length.

"Just forward of the tanks, sir."

"That may have had something to do with it," mused the commander,
"although I can't see how. Give the command to rise two fathoms, Mr.
Templeton."

Jack obeyed. Once, twice, thrice he gave it, with no result. Then the
man who had answered the signal came running into the cabin.

"Something wrong, sir," he said quietly. "I can't budge her, sir."

"You mean you cannot force out the water?" asked Lord Hastings quietly.

"Yes, sir."

"It is as I feared," said the commander. He turned to officers and crew
who had gathered about. "It is all over," he said quietly. "We are done
for. If we cannot force the water from the tanks, we cannot go to the
surface. It is impossible to fix the break beneath the water. That is
all, men."

As the men started slowly from his cabin, Lord Hastings raised a hand.

"One moment," he said quietly. "There is a chance for all but one of us.
As I am the commander of this vessel, and should be the last to leave,
that one shall be me."

"What do you mean, sir?" asked one of the men, stepping forward.

"The torpedo tubes," said Lord Hastings quietly. "All but one of us can
be shot to the surface by means of the torpedo tubes."

The face of every member of the crew lighted up with hope.

"Are we still moving ahead?" asked Lord Hastings.

"Yes, sir," replied Jack.

"Good, at what speed?"

"Fifteen knots, sir."

"All right. In another three quarters of an hour we will be beneath our
own fleet. There we shall stop. Then, one at a time, you men will climb
into the torpedo tubes and I will launch you safely. This has been done
more than once, and in spite of some slight pain and inconvenience,
there is no danger."

"But you, sir?" asked Frank. "How will you get out, if you remain to
send us?"

"Why," said Lord Hastings quietly, "being the last man, I shall not get
out."

Jack jumped to his feet.

"I'll not hear of it!" he exclaimed. "If you stay, I stay."

"And I, too!" declared Frank, taking his place by his friend's side.

Lord Hastings opened his lips to protest, but Jack took the words out of
his mouth.

"It's no use, sir, we mean it," he said firmly.

A sailor approached and took his stand alongside the two lads.

"Neither will I go," he said quietly.

A second sailor fell in line, the engineer, another sailor, the chief
gunner's mate, until finally the entire crew of the D-16 had expressed
their determination to die with their commander.

Now the German prisoner spoke.

"It is useless for us all to die," he said quietly. "Why not draw lots
and see who shall stay? That is fair to all. I myself shall draw with
you."

Each member of the crew looked at the other. Slowly all nodded their
heads.

"I protest," said Lord Hastings. "I am the commander of this ship, and
shall be obeyed."

"This is one time, sir," said one of the sailors, "when we shall refuse
to obey your orders. Let us draw lots."

"One moment, men, before we draw," said Jack. "I just want to say that
Frank here and myself have been close chums. If I should happen to have
to stay, I want his word, and that of Lord Hastings, that neither will
insist on staying with me."

Frank looked at Lord Hastings, and the latter looked back at Frank.

"I agree," said Lord Hastings finally, "with the proviso that the same
rule applies should I have to stay."

"And I agree under the same conditions," said Frank.

"Good!" said Jack briskly. "Now as to the method. How shall we draw?"

An old sailor stepped forward.

"If you please, sir," he said, "I have an old pack of cards in my
pocket."

"Very well," said Jack, "a pack of cards will serve as well as anything
else. Just how shall we decide?"

The sailor spoke again.

"There are twenty-six of us here," he said, "because I have counted us
all up. In the pack of cards are fifty-two--two to a man. Let the ace of
spades be the death card. Whoever draws the ace of spades stays."

"So be it," said Lord Hastings. "Give me the deck, Grigsby."

Grigsby produced a dirty and grimy pack of playing cards, and gave it to
Lord Hastings. Slowly the commander of the D-16 counted the cards to
make sure they were all there, then shuffled them gently. Next he placed
the deck in the center of the table in the middle of the room and turned
to Frank.

"Cut," he directed briefly.

Frank advanced to the table with steady tread, and with as steady a hand
cut the cards.

"Now," said Lord Hastings, "let us all stand around the table, and, each
in turn, draw a card. The man who draws the ace of spades stays. Is it
understood?"

There was a general nod of assent, and all gathered around the table.
Lord Hastings stood first, next was Jack, then Frank, then the German
prisoner and following him the sailors.

"I shall draw the first card," said Lord Hastings, "and then the draw
shall pass around to my left. Here goes!"

Midst a death-like silence he stretched forth a hand and drew a card,
which he exposed to the view of all. It was the ace of clubs.

Jack stretched forth a steady hand, and drew the two of spades. Frank
drew the five of clubs, and the German the ace of diamonds.

The draw came again to Lord Hastings and the ace of spades was still
hidden in the deck.

The silence was even more pronounced as Lord Hastings drew his second
card and slowly held it up so that all might see.

It was the king of spades.

"Pretty close," he said quietly.

"But not close enough," said Jack with a laugh. "I believe I can do
better myself."

Quickly he stretched forth a steady hand and drew a card, which he threw
down upon the table, face up.

A gasp went round the circle of faces.

The card was the ace of spades.

Jack turned to Lord Hastings with a faint smile.

"You see," he said steadily. "I was sure I could beat you."

When Jack drew the fatal card, Frank stared at it as though dumbfounded,
and for a moment was unable to speak. Then he rushed upon his friend,
and threw his arms about him.

"But I won't let you stay alone," he cried.

Jack pushed him gently away.

"Remember our agreement," he said quietly.

Lord Hastings approached and laid his hand on Frank's shoulder.

"Jack is right," he said. "An agreement between gentlemen is not to be
set aside for any reason. Be sure that I feel just as deeply as you, but
I am older and not so much given to showing my feelings."

He walked over to Jack, and held out a hand.

"I am sorry it was not me," he said quietly.

"And still," said Jack, taking the hand, "it won't be so awfully bad,
will it, to be the one who fires the last shot of the British Submarine
D-16?"

"We should now be directly beneath the British fleet," said Lord
Hastings, after a glance at his watch.

"Good," said Jack. "Then we may as well stop the engines."

This was the work of an instant.

"How deep are we?" asked Jack.

"Quarter of a mile," replied Lord Hastings briefly.

"Then the pressure will not be so bad for you fellows," said Jack.

He stepped to No. 1 torpedo tube and examined it.

"All right," he said. "The only trouble you may have is that you will
not be seen when you reach the surface. However, that is the chance you
will have to take. Just keep your senses, and when you reach the surface
swim until you are picked up. How does the barometer read?"

"Clearing," replied Frank, after a quick glance.

"Good! I was afraid it might be stormy above."

He paused and looked around. All was in readiness.

"Now," he said, "the longer you stay here the more danger. The sooner we
get it over with the better. You first, Lord Hastings."

"No," replied Lord Hastings. "I shall be the last to go."

Jack bowed.

"Very well," he said. He turned to Frank. "Come, Frank," he said. "You
first."

"Not me," Frank protested. "I'll wait until the rest have gone."

"Have your own way," said Jack. He turned to the German prisoner. "You
first, then, sir," he said calmly.

The German bowed.

"It might as well be me as another," he said.

He stepped to the torpedo tube and crawled in.

"Lucky I am not too big," he said cheerfully.

"Ready?" asked Jack.

"Ready," came the reply.

"Click!"

Just this faint metallic sound and the human torpedo sped on its upward
journey like a catapult.

Jack turned to Grigsby.

"You next," he said.

Grigsby crawled into the tube.

"Ready?" asked Jack.

"Ready, sir," came the reply.

Again the click and the second human torpedo sped on its way to safety.

And so on down the line, until there remained, besides Jack, only Frank,
his chum, and Lord Hastings, his commander.

Jack turned to Frank.

"It's your turn, Frank," he said.

Frank hung back.

"Let Lord Hastings go first," he protested.

Lord Hastings raised a hand.

"I am still your commander," he said severely. "You will crawl into the
tube, sir."

Frank looked long at him, and again started to protest. Lord Hastings'
face was inflexible.

Frank drew himself up to attention.

"Very well, sir," he said quietly.

He approached Jack and held out his hand, which the latter grasped with
vise-like fingers and squeezed.

"Goodbye, Frank," he said softly. "Remember that I am glad to do this
for you. I have no one in the world, while you still have a father and
friends at home. Take my advice and return to your own country. Our war
is none of your quarrel."

Tears came into Frank's eyes as he gripped his chum's hand. A lump came
into his throat.

"Goodbye, Jack," he said with an effort.

He staggered toward the tube, and Lord Hastings helped him in. "Get it
over quickly," he exclaimed.

"Ready?" asked Jack.

"Ready," replied Frank in a choking voice.

"Click!"

Frank went hurtling on his way to safety.

Jack turned to Lord Hastings.

"I am glad you stayed until last," he said very quietly. "I feared that
Frank would make a scene. Thank you."

"I did it for your sake," was the low response.

"Well, now it is your turn," said Jack. "Come, sir. Let's have it over
with."

"Cannot I prevail upon you to let me take your place?" asked Lord
Hastings earnestly. "You are so young, while I, well I am old, and it
will make no difference."

"You have Lady Hastings to think of," replied Jack, "and I have no one
at all."

"But----" began Lord Hastings.

"Come, sir," said Jack, "don't shake my resolution now. I lost. It is up
to me to pay. Remember our agreement."

"True," said Lord Hastings.

He held out his hand and Jack grasped it.

"I wish to say," said Lord Hastings, "that it has never been my pleasure
to know a braver and more courageous lad. I am proud to know you."

"And I," said Jack, "am proud of having had the chance to serve under
you, sir."

They gripped hands tenderly for the space of a few seconds; then,
without another word, Lord Hastings relaxed his pressure and stepped to
the tube. Jack assisted him, and then called out:

"Ready?"

"Ready," came the reply. "Goodbye, Jack."

The last words were lost in the click of the torpedo and Jack was left
alone.

He walked to his own cabin and sat down upon his bed. Then, rising, he
approached the table and ran his fingers over its edge, counting the
notches.

"Fifteen," he said to himself. "Well, that's not so bad. Now, I wonder
how long I shall have to wait."

He drew his revolver from his pocket and looked at it long and
earnestly.

"No," he said aloud, and thrust it back into his pocket.

Then he sat down to await the moment when the D-16 must split open as
the result of the death blow she had received.

When Jack released the catch that sent Frank flying into space, the
lad's breath was taken away by the force of his upward flight; but a
moment later he felt himself upon the surface of the sea and cooling
draughts filled his lungs. Sputtering and gasping he inhaled great
breaths, and then, mindful of Jack's injunction, he set about keeping
himself afloat.

Rescue was near at hand; for the first of the sailors had already been
picked up by the crew of a British warship, and had told his story.
Small boats now floated about looking for other arrivals from the deep.

A boat approached Frank and he was dragged over the side. Then he lost
consciousness. He was taken aboard the warship and put to bed
immediately, as was Lord Hastings when he was picked up a few moments
later.

To Jack, sitting below in the doomed submarine, came thoughts of the
past. In his mind he reviewed his meeting with Frank, and later, with
Lord Hastings. Memories of the earlier days of the war came back to him
vividly and he recounted to himself the dangers he and Frank had faced
together.

"Oh, well," he said at last, "it is all over now."

He arose and made his way toward Lord Hastings' cabin; but even as he
set foot over the threshold, the D-16 gave a sudden lurch.

"Guess this will finish it," said Jack aloud.

But, to his amazement, the submarine, instead of going deeper, seemed to
be rising. With a faint hope fluttering in his heart, Jack glanced at
the indicator.

It was true. The D-16 was going up--not down.

Jack stared at the indicator like one fascinated.

"Six fathoms, five fathoms, four fathoms," it read.

Jack was moved to action.

"There is still a chance," he told himself. "I know the submarine is
wounded unto death, but if she should happen to leap clear of the water,
I must be prepared."

He ascended the steps toward the bridge, and stood close to the door
that would give him life should the D-16 really come to the surface, if
only for a moment.

With his hand upon the lock, Jack waited, his eyes, meanwhile, still
fastened upon the indicator, which he could barely see from his present
position.

"Two fathoms," it read, "one fathom, half a fathom," and then Jack
suddenly threw open the door, and with a single jump, was upon the
bridge, even as the D-16 leaped clear of the water for a brief instant,
before she settled again, to rise no more.

That brief instant was enough, for in it Jack was able to hurl himself
clear of the vessel, into the sea, where he struck with a loud splash,
and a shock at the icy coldness of the water.

The lad did not even lose consciousness, but struck out vigorously for
what he saw was a British warship.

A sailor espied him, and a boat put off after him. Five minutes later he
was lifted aboard, where he promptly succumbed because of the reaction.

He was put to bed alongside Frank and Lord Hastings.

Frank was the first to open his eyes. He glanced about him. There, to
his left, lay Lord Hastings still unconscious.

In a flash it all came back to Frank and he buried his face in his arms.

"Poor old Jack," he said. "I wish I could have stayed in his place."

At that moment a figure on the other side of him moved. Faintly
interested in spite of his grief, Frank turned to see who it might be.
As his eyes fell upon the figure, which was now rising to a sitting
posture, they almost bulged from his head, and he cried out in a voice
of amazement:

"Jack!"

Jack looked around slowly.

At first he was unable to gain his bearings, but in a moment the past
came back to him.

He reached out and took Frank by the hand.

"Yes, it is I," he said quietly. "I had a most miraculous escape. I'll
tell you about it."

"Don't tell me now," said Frank, squeezing his chum's hand. "It's enough
for me to know that you are alive."

An officer entered.

"I thought you would be glad to know," he said, "that we are about to
get under way for home."

"I'm glad," said Frank simply.

Lord Hastings' joy, when he recovered consciousness and learned that
Jack had not perished beneath the water, was unbounded, and during the
long journey back to England they often talked of his miraculous escape.

And so, while they are enjoying the rest they deserve, as they are being
carried back to the shores of old England, we will take our leave of
them--Frank Chadwick, an American youth with all the courage of his
forebears, Jack Templeton, than whom no braver youth ever breathed, and
Lord Hastings, British nobleman--their commander and friend.


                                THE END.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             The Boy Allies
            (Registered in the United States Patent Office)
                             With the Navy

                       BY ENSIGN ROBERT L. DRAKE

                        For Boys 12 to 16 Years.

                    All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles
                          PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton, young American lads, meet each other
in an unusual way soon after the declaration of war. Circumstances place
them on board the British cruiser, "The Sylph," and from there on, they
share adventures with the sailors of the Allies. Ensign Robert L. Drake,
the author, is an experienced naval officer, and he describes admirably
the many exciting adventures of the two boys.

    THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL; or, Striking the First
      Blow at the German Fleet.

    THE BOY ALLIES UNDER TWO FLAGS; or, Sweeping the Enemy from the
      Sea.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE FLYING SQUADRON; or, The Naval Raiders
      of the Great War.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE TERROR OF THE SEA; or, The Last Shot of
      Submarine D-16.

    THE BOY ALLIES UNDER THE SEA; or, The Vanishing Submarine.

    THE BOY ALLIES IN THE BALTIC; or, Through Fields of Ice to Aid
      the Czar.

    THE BOY ALLIES AT JUTLAND; or, The Greatest Naval Battle of
      History.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH UNCLE SAM'S CRUISERS; or, Convoying the
      American Army Across the Atlantic.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE SUBMARINE D-32; or, The Fall of the
      Russian Empire.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE VICTORIOUS FLEETS; or, The Fall of the
      German Navy.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the Publishers

                           A. L. BURT COMPANY
                        114-120 EAST 23rd STREET
                                NEW YORK

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             The Boy Allies
            (Registered in the United States Patent Office)
                             With the Army

                           BY CLAIR W. HAYES

                        For Boys 12 to 16 Years.

                    All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles
                          PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

In this series we follow the fortunes of two American lads unable to
leave Europe after war is declared. They meet the soldiers of the
Allies, and decide to cast their lot with them. Their experiences and
escapes are many, and furnish plenty of good, healthy action that every
boy loves.

    THE BOY ALLIES AT LIEGE; or, Through Lines of Steel.

    THE BOY ALLIES ON THE FIRING LINE; or, Twelve Days Battle Along
      the Marne.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE COSSACKS; or, A Wild Dash Over the
      Carpathians.

    THE BOY ALLIES IN THE TRENCHES; or, Midst Shot and Shell Along
      the Aisne.

    THE BOY ALLIES IN GREAT PERIL; or, With the Italian Army in the
      Alps.

    THE BOY ALLIES IN THE BALKAN CAMPAIGN; or, The Struggle to Save
      a Nation.

    THE BOY ALLIES ON THE SOMME; or, Courage and Bravery Rewarded.

    THE BOY ALLIES AT VERDUN; or, Saving France from the Enemy.

    THE BOY ALLIES UNDER THE STARS AND STRIPES; or, Leading the
      American Troops to the Firing Line.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH HAIG IN FLANDERS; or, The Fighting
      Canadians of Vimy Ridge.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH PERSHING IN FRANCE; or, Over the Top at
      Chateau Thierry.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE GREAT ADVANCE; or, Driving the Enemy
      Through France and Belgium.

    THE BOY ALLIES WITH MARSHAL FOCH; or, The Closing Days of the
      Great World War.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the Publishers

                           A. L. BURT COMPANY
                        114-120 EAST 23rd STREET
                                NEW YORK





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