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Title: The Boy Allies on the North Sea Patrol - Striking the First Blow at the German Fleet
Author: Hayes, Clair W. (Clair Wallace)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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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[Illustration: "Great Scott!" ejaculated Frank, "It's a girl!"]

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

                             The Boy Allies
                        On the North Sea Patrol


              Striking the First Blow at the German Fleet

                       By Ensign ROBERT L. DRAKE

                               AUTHOR OF

                    "The Boy Allies Under Two Flags"
              "The Boy Allies With the Terror of the Seas"
               "The Boy Allies With the Flying Squadron"

                           A. L. BURT COMPANY
                                NEW YORK

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

                            Copyright, 1915
                         BY A. L. BURT COMPANY

                 THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL

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

                 THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL



                               CHAPTER I.

                              SHANGHAIED.


"Help! Help!"

Frank Chadwick, strolling along the water-front in Naples, stopped
suddenly in his tracks and gazed in the direction from whence had come
the cry of distress.

"Help! Help!" came the cry again, in English.

Frank dashed forward toward a dirty-looking sailors' boarding house,
from the inside of which he could distinguish the sounds of a struggle.

As he sprang through the door, at the far end of the room he saw a
little man in a red sweater, unmistakably an American, apparently
battling for his life with two swarthy Italians, both armed with
gleaming knives.

Frank jumped forward with a cry, and as he did so, the Italians turned
and fled. The little American wiped his face on his sleeve, and then
turned to Frank with outstretched hand.

"You came just in time," he declared. "I thought it was all up with me."

"I'm glad I did," replied the lad, grasping the other's hand.

"Yes, sir," continued the little man. "If you hadn't-a-come, them dagos
would-a-done for me sure."

He led the way to an adjoining room, Frank following him. He sat down at
a table and rapped loudly upon it.

"Let's have a drink," he said, as a greasy-looking Italian in an even
more greasy apron entered the room.

"Thanks," replied Frank; "but I don't drink."

"Oh, come on now," urged the other; "take something."

"No," said Frank with finality. "I must go," he continued, turning
toward the door. "I am glad to have been of some assistance to you."

But even as he turned the American in the red sweater stamped twice upon
the floor and a trap door fell away beneath Frank's feet. The lad caught
a glimpse of water below.

His elbow struck the floor as he went down, and he fell head-first into
a small rowboat. His head struck the bottom of the boat with sickening
force, stunning him.

It was almost an hour later when his wits began to return to him. He
took in the scene around him. He stood on the deck of a small schooner,
and a great hulk of a man with an evil face stood near him, arguing with
his friend of the red sweater.

"What is this thing you've brought me?" shouted the big man. "If we
don't look out we'll step on it and break it. It hadn't ought to be
around without its ma."

"Oh, he'll do all right, captain," replied the red sweater. "But I've
got to skip or I'll have the patrol boat after me. Do you sign or not?"

"Well, I'll tackle this one, but if he ain't up to snuff he'll come back
by freight, and don't you forget it."

The red sweater pocketed a note the captain handed him, went over the
side of the schooner and rowed off.

Frank gazed about the schooner. Several dirty sailors, fully as evil
looking as the captain, were working about the deck. Apparently they
were foreigners. The captain appeared to be an American.

The captain, Harwood by name, turned to Frank.

"Get forward," he commanded.

Frank drew himself up.

"What's the meaning of this?" he exclaimed. "I demand to be put ashore."

"Is that so," sneered the big captain; "and why do you suppose I went to
all this trouble to get you here, huh? Now you listen to me. I'm captain
of this here tub, and what I say goes. Get forward!"

Still Frank stood still.

"Look here," he began, "I----"

The captain knocked him down with a single blow of his great fist, and
kicked his prostrate form. Then he picked him up, caught him by the neck
and the slack of his coat and ran him forward to the hatchway, and flung
him below.

As Frank picked himself up there descended upon him a deluge of clothes,
followed by the captain's voice.

"There's your outfit, Willie, and it won't cost you a cent. You've got
two minutes to get into them, and I hope you won't force me to give you
any assistance."

Frank Chadwick was a lad of discretion. Therefore he made haste to
change, and in less than the allotted time he again emerged on deck.

Frank had just passed his sixteenth birthday. Always athletically
inclined, he was extremely large for his age; and his muscles, hardened
by much outdoor exercise, made him a match for many a man twice his age,
as he had proven more than once when forced to do so.

His father was a well-to-do physician in a small New England town. For a
lad of his years, Frank was an expert in the art of self-defense. Also
he could ride, shoot and fence.

While the lad was by no means an expert with sailing vessels, he
nevertheless had had some experience in that line. At home he had a
small sailboat and in the summer months spent many hours upon the water.
Consequently he was well versed in nautical terms.

This summer Frank and his father had been touring Europe. The war clouds
which had hovered over the continent for weeks had finally burst while
father and son were in Germany. In getting out of the country the two
had been separated, and for two days now the lad had been unable to find
Dr. Chadwick.

Frank was well up on his history, and this, together with the fact that
his mother was of English descent, turned his sympathies with the
allies. Also he was a student of literature and languages, and could
converse fluently in French, German and Italian.

As has been said, Frank was a lad of discretion; which is the reason he
appeared upon deck again within the two minutes allowed him by the
captain.

He emerged from below with blood upon his face and the grime of an
unclean ship upon his hands. As he came on deck he saw the crew of the
schooner hurrying forward, six of them, Italians every one. On the
quarterdeck stood the captain.

"Look at Willie," shouted the captain in great glee. "Clap on to the
starboard windlass brake, son."

Frank saw the Italians ranged about what he supposed was the windlass in
the bow. He took his place among them, grasping one of the bars.

"Break down!" came the next order, and Frank and the Italians obeyed,
bearing up and down on the bars till the slack of the anchor chain came
home and stretched taut and dripping from the hawse-holes.

"'Vast heavin'!"

Frank released his hold on the brake. Orders came thick and fast now,
and Frank's experience with his own sailboat stood him in good stead,
and soon the schooner was beating out to sea.

The wind blew violent and cold, and the spray was flying like icy
small-shot. The schooner rolled and plunged and heaved and sank and rose
again. Frank was drenched to the skin and sore in every joint.

The captain at length ordered the cook to give the men their food.

"Get forward, son," he commanded, fixing Frank with his eye.

Frank descended below. The Italians were already there, sitting on the
edges of their bunks. The cook brought in supper, stewed beef and pork.
A liquor that bore a slight resemblance to coffee was served. This was
Black Jack.

"Well," muttered Frank, looking at the mess of which the Italians were
eating hungrily, "I've got to come to it some time."

He took his knife from his pocket, opened the big blade and cut off a
piece of pork. This he forced himself to eat. Then he once more went on
deck.

Half an hour later the captain emerged from his cabin. Then he and an
Italian he called Charlie, who, in the absence of a mate, appeared to be
the second in command, began to choose the men for their watches. Frank
found himself in the captain's watch.

"I may as well tell you," he said to the captain, "that I'm no sailor."

"Well, you will be, son," came the reply. "You'll either be a sailor or
shark bait."

The watches divided, the captain said to Frank:

"Son, I'm going to do you a real favor. You can berth aft in the cabin
with Charlie and me, and you can make free of my quarterdeck. Maybe you
ain't used to the way of sailormen, but you can take it from me those
are two real concessions."

"Will you tell me where we are bound, captain?" asked Frank.

"I'll tell you it's none of your business," came the sharp reply. "You
do as I say and ask no questions."

About an hour later Frank turned in. The captain showed him his bunk. It
was under the companionway that led down into the cabin. The captain
bunked on one side and Charlie on the other.

As Frank made his way to his bunk, he saw a sight that caused him to
catch his breath in surprise.

In a fourth bunk, above the one in which the captain slept, was the
figure of another man. Approaching closer, Frank saw that the man was
bound and gagged, and apparently unconscious.

"Hmmm," he muttered. "Wonder what this means?"

And at his words the occupant of the bunk moved slightly and moaned.



                              CHAPTER II.

                                MUTINY.


Frank went over to the bunk and peered in. At that moment Captain
Harwood's voice broke upon his ear.

"Looking at my little long lost chum, are you, son?" he said in a low,
gentle voice. "Well," and his voice grew suddenly harsh, "don't do it!
You keep away from there! You hear me? You keep away or I'll feed you to
the little fishes!"

He aimed a vicious blow at Frank, which the lad avoided only by a quick
backward leap. The captain took a step forward as though to continue his
attack; then changed his mind and said:

"I don't want to hurt you, son, but you'll have to keep away from my
property."

The captain turned on his heel and went on deck.

In spite of the captain's warning, Frank once more approached the man in
the bunk; but he kept a wary eye on the door. Putting his foot on the
edge of the captain's bunk, he pulled himself up.

The bound man was still moaning feebly. Frank removed the gag from his
mouth.

"Thanks," said the man in a low voice in English. "I didn't think I
could stand that thing in my mouth another instant."

"What's the matter, anyhow," demanded Frank. "Why are you kept a
prisoner here?"

"It's a long story," was the reply, "and I haven't time to tell you now.
But I can say this much, for I don't believe you will repeat it. I'm in
the English diplomatic corps and am on an important mission. My capture
must be the work of treachery. I suppose I am to be turned over to the
Germans."

"I thought diplomacy was a thing of the past," said Frank. "Of what use
is diplomacy now that practically the whole of Europe is at war?"

"That's just it," was the reply. "The whole of Europe is not at war.
Italy is still neutral, but unless something happens she is likely to
throw in her fortunes with Germany."

"But what have you got to do with that?"

The man in the bunk was silent for a few moments.

"All I can say," he replied finally, "is that I am supposed to see that
something happens; or rather, I should say, I am to help."

"But how did you get here?"

"I was trapped. There is a traitor somewhere. It looks as though I am
done for. The Germans know me. They will show me no mercy."

"Surely, it's not as bad as all that!" exclaimed Frank.

"Worse, if possible," was the reply.

"But I can't believe Captain Harwood, an American, would be engaged in
work of that sort."

"Harwood!" exclaimed, the man in the bunk. "A more villainous pirate
never lived. I know him of old. I don't know how he happened to be
sailing at this exact time. He certainly is not making this trip on my
account alone. He's up to some other game."

Frank was struck with an idea.

"But the crew," he exclaimed. "Can't we get some help from them?"

"Don't you bank on that," was the reply.

"But----" began Frank.

The man in the bunk interrupted.

"Sh-h-h!" he cautioned. "Footsteps!"

Frank listened a moment; then with a quick spring jumped into his own
bunk just as Captain Harwood again appeared. The captain approached him.
To all appearances Frank was sleeping soundly. The captain grunted and
then approached the man in the bunk.

"So!" he exclaimed. "I've got you again, eh! Well, this time you won't
get away. You don't think I've forgotten I spent two years behind the
bars on your account, do you? I haven't. You hear me!"

He struck the helpless man a blow with his fist.

"Why don't you answer me?" he demanded; then smiled to himself. "Oh, I
forgot. Guess I'll remove that gag and let you say something."

He climbed up and leaned over the occupant of the upper bunk, then
started back with a cry.

"How did you remove that gag?" he demanded; then continued, "O-ho I see.
Little Willie boy, eh! Well----"

He turned toward Frank and at the same moment the man in the bunk let
out a cry of warning.

But Frank was not to be caught napping. As the captain turned toward him
he sprang to his feet and placed himself in an attitude of defense. He
knew that he was no match for the giant captain, but he determined to
give a good account of himself.

"Well, well," cried the captain advancing, "little Willie is going to
fight! What d'ye think o' that?"

He doubled his huge fists and took another step forward; but at that
instant there came a fearful cry from on deck.

The captain paused, and Charlie's voice came down the hatchway in a loud
wail:

"Help!"

Captain Harwood sprang toward the door, and as he went through it he
hurled back over his shoulder:

"I'll 'tend to your case when I come back, son!"

A moment later there came cries from above and the sound of a furious
struggle. Frank rushed up the hatchway to the deck, where a terrible
sight met his eyes.

Surrounded by all six of the crew. Captain Harwood was battling
desperately for his life. Time after time he struck out with his great
fists, but his blows failed to land. The nimble Italians skipped back,
then closed in again. By the wheel, Frank saw the unconscious form of
Charlie.

Long, wicked-looking knives gleamed in the hands of the Italians.
Bleeding from half a dozen wounds, the giant captain continued to fight
off his enemies.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank. "I can't stand here and see him killed!"

He sprang forward and, before his presence was noted, struck down one of
the Italians with a blow of his fist.

The captain noted with a nod this aid from such an unexpected source.

"Good work, son!" he exclaimed.

Frank turned to another of the Italians, but as he did so the man he had
knocked down arose, stooped and picked up a belaying pin that lay
nearby, and struck Frank a heavy blow on the head.

The lad dropped to the deck unconscious. At the same moment the other
Italians sprang upon the captain with even greater ferocity. In vain he
tried to fight them off. Two he knocked down with hammer-like blows of
his great fists. Then, seizing a descending arm, he twisted sharply and
a knife fell clattering to the deck.

At the same moment another Italian sprang upon his unprotected back, and
buried his knife to the hilt. Three times the captain spun around on his
heel, then fell to the deck on his face. Instantly half a dozen knives
were buried in his back. The captain gave a great sob, shuddered, and
lay still.

Roughly the Italians picked up the great body, carried it to the rail
and threw it into the sea. The body of Charlie was treated in a similar
manner. Then the Italians approached Frank.

As they picked him up he groaned. Consciousness was returning.

"He's still alive," came a voice. "What shall we do with him?"

"Overboard with him anyhow," came the reply.

"No," said another voice. "Let him live. Tie him up and put him below
with the other prisoner. There is a good price on the head of one,
according to what the captain said. The other may be worth something."

It was now dark; but suddenly the little schooner was the center of a
dazzling light and a shot rang out over the water. Dimly, could be made
out the outlines of a battle cruiser. A second shot rang out--a command
to heave-to.

"Quick!" cried one of the mutineers, apparently the leader of the gang.
"We must make a run for it. Tie this dog up and throw him below!"

Swiftly Frank was bound hand and foot and tumbled down the hatchway. In
falling the knot that bound his feet became unloosened and he freed his
legs with little difficulty. But try as he would he could not release
his hands. He made his way to his bunk and lay down.

"What's the matter?" came the voice of the man in the bunk.

Frank explained matters to him.

"Good!" was the reply. "They can't get away from the cruiser. It is
undoubtedly a British ship."

But both were doomed to disappointment. A heavy wind had sprung up and
now was blowing a gale. With all sails set, the little schooner soon
lost itself in the darkness, and when morning dawned there was not the
sign of a sail as far as the eye could see.



                              CHAPTER III.

                            JACK TEMPLETON.


Jack Templeton stood in a shady grove in a little hamlet on the north
coast of Africa. A lad of seventeen, he was the only white person in the
village, or in fact for many miles around. He had come there with his
father five years before.

His father's reasons for thus practically burying himself alive, Jack
did not know. He had started up a little store and had made a bare
living selling goods to the natives. Twice a year a ship brought him
stock enough for the ensuing six months, but except at these rare
intervals, a white man was seldom seen in the village.

A year before Jack's father had died, and Jack had inherited the little
store. Now he was following in his father's footsteps. Of his father's
past life he knew next to nothing, beyond the fact that his father, by
birth, was an Englishman, and, before coming to the little African
village, had lived for some years in the United States.

In spite of his youth, Jack was of huge stature. Always tall for his
age, he had filled out so rapidly that now at seventeen he was well over
six feet and big all through. His strength was immense, and there were
no three natives in the village that could stand up against him.

His father had been a scholar, and Jack was a keen student. He spoke
several languages besides English and one or two native dialects.

As Jack stood in the little grove this warm afternoon he kept an
attentive eye on a shabby looking schooner that was creeping up from the
south. At a distance of about a mile from the shore the schooner luffed
up, hoisted a dirty red ensign and dropped her anchor; a fishing canoe,
which had paddled out to meet her, ran alongside and presently returned
shoreward with a couple of strangers.

Jack made no move, in spite of the fact that he was well aware that the
strangers, probably, were headed direct for his store. To-day he was in
no mood to meet a white man, for he was not quite ready to take his
departure from the village.

The canoe landed, the strangers stepped ashore and disappeared.
Presently a file of natives appeared moving toward the shore, each
carrying a large basket of provisions. Then suddenly two white men
appeared, running.

They jumped in the canoe, the men pushed off and the little craft began
to wriggle its way through the surf. At the same moment another figure
appeared on the beach, and made unmistakable signs of hostility to the
receding canoe.

Jack recognized this figure. It was his assistant. As Jack crossed the
sand toward the village, the black assistant came running toward him.

"Dem sailors am tiefs, sar!" he gasped, when he had come within earshot.

Jack comprehended in a moment. "Do you mean they didn't pay you?" he
demanded.

"Yes, sar! No, sar!" exclaimed the assistant excitedly. "Dey no pay
nuttin'."

"All right," said Jack calmly. "We'll go aboard and collect for it
then."

"All canoes out fishin' 'cept dat one," exclaimed the negro, pointing to
the one carrying the sailors back to the schooner.

"We'll wait for that one, then," replied Jack.

The two sat down on the beach to wait. The negro said nothing. He knew
Jack too well to try and dissuade him from his purpose, so he kept his
own counsel.

The canoe ran alongside the schooner, and having discharged its
passengers and freight, put off for its return to shore. Then the
schooner's sails began to slide up the stays; the canvas aloft began to
flatten out to the pull of the sheets. The schooner was preparing to get
under way.

The canoe had now reached the beach and Jack and the black assistant
climbed in. Then they put off toward the schooner.

As the canoe bounded forward, Jack suddenly caught the sound of the
schooner's windlass pawl. The anchor was being hove up.

The natives in the canoe bent to the work. The canoe swept alongside the
schooner and Jack, grasping a chain, swung himself up into the channel,
whence he climbed to the bulwark rail and dropped down on the deck.

The windlass was manned by five men, plainly Italians. A sixth was
seated on the deck nearby.

"Good afternoon," said Jack. "You forgot to pay for those provisions."

The seated man looked up with a start, first at Jack, then at the
assistant, who now sat astride the rail, ready either to advance or
retreat. The clink of the windlass ceased and the other five men came
aft grinning.

"What are you doing aboard this ship?" demanded the seated sailor in
halting and very poor English.

"I've come to collect my dues," replied Jack. "I'm the owner of these
provisions."

"You are mistaken," said the sailor. "I am the owner."

"Then you have got to pay me."

"Look here," remarked the sailor, rising. "You get overboard quick!"

"I want my pay," declared Jack.

"Pitch him overboard," spoke up another sailor.

The first sailor, evidently the commander, advanced.

Jack stood motionless with his long legs wide apart, his hands clasped
behind him, his shoulders hunched up and his chin thrust forward. He
presented an uninviting aspect.

The sailor evidently appreciated this, and for a moment hesitated. Then
he came forward again. But he picked a bad moment for his attack, for he
rushed just as the deck rose.

There was a resounding "smack, smack," the sailor staggered backward,
upsetting two men behind him, staggered down the deck closely followed
by Jack, and finally fell sprawling in the scuppers with his head jammed
against the stanchion.

The two other men scrambled to their feet and, with their three
companions, closed in on Jack; but the latter did not wait to be
attacked.

He charged the group, hammering right and left, regardless of the thumps
he got in return, and gradually drove them, bewildered by his quickness
and heavy blows, through the space between the foremast and the bulwark.

Slowly they backed away before his battering, hampered by their numbers
as they struck at him, until one man, who had the bad luck to catch two
uppercuts in succession, whipped out his sheath knife.

Jack's quick eye caught the glint of the steel just as he was passing
the fife rail. He whipped out an iron belaying pin and brought it down
on the man's head. The man dropped, and as the belaying pin rose and
fell, the other men drew back.

Suddenly a shot rang out. A little cloud of splinters flew from the mast
near Jack's head. Glancing forward. Jack beheld the leader emerge from
the forecastle hatch and aim at him with a revolver. At that moment Jack
was abreast of the uncovered main hatch. He had perceived a tier of
grain bags covering the floor of the hold. He stooped, and with his
hands on the coaming, vaulted over, dropped on the bags, picked himself
up and scrambled forward under the shelter of the deck.

The hold of the ship was a single cavity. The forward part contained a
portion of the outward cargo, while the homeward lading was stowed abaft
the main hatch. There was plenty of room to move about.

For a moment after Jack dropped to this place of temporary refuge the
air was thick with imprecations and the sound of angry stamping came to
Jack's ears. Hardly had he squeezed himself behind the stack of bales
when a succession of shots rang out.

Then there was a pause, and soon the leader commanded one of his men to
follow Jack. The man demurred. None of the others would go after him.

"He's too handy with that belaying pin," observed one.

One man was struck with a brilliant idea.

"Bottle him up," he cried. "Clap on the hatch covers and batten down.
Then we have him and can sleep in our bunks in peace."

"Good," exclaimed the leader.

This plan seemed to satisfy all parties, and a general movement warned
Jack that his incarceration was imminent. For a moment he was disposed
to make a last desperate sortie, but the certainty that he would be
killed before he reached the deck decided him to lie low.

The hatch covers dropped into their beds. Then Jack heard the tarpaulin
dragged over the hatch, shutting out the last gleams of light that had
filtered through joints of the covers; the battens were dropped into the
catches, the wedges driven home.

Jack sat in a darkness like that of the tomb.



                              CHAPTER IV.

                         FRANK MAKES A FRIEND.


It was clear to Jack that this was no place to stay if he could help it.
From the first it had been evident to him that there was something wrong
about the ship. Apart from the lawless behavior of the crew, there was
the fact that since he had come on board he had seen no vestige of an
officer.

The sailor who had first attacked him seemed to have some sort of
authority. Jack naturally came to the conclusion that he was in command
of the vessel. There was only one reasonable answer, which was confirmed
by a certain brown stain Jack had noticed on the deck. There had been a
mutiny on the ship.

Jack struck a match. The flame lighted up the corner into which he had
crept and he saw several objects that he had not noticed before, a
shipwright's auger, a calking mallet and probably a dozen wooden pegs,
tapering at one end.

The purpose of these was unmistakable. The sailors intended to scuttle
the ship. Holes were to be bored in the bottom and the plugs driven into
them. Then, when the mutineers were ready to leave, the ship would be
abandoned with the water pouring into her hold.

The tools suggested an idea to Jack. He picked up the auger and mallet
and groped his way aft. He climbed up on the pile of sacks and crawled
along until he came to the bulkhead that separated the cabin from the
hold. He set the point of the auger against the bulkhead, and grasping
the cross lever, set to work vigorously. He was soon rewarded by feeling
the tool give with a jerk, and when he withdrew it there was a circular
hole, through which daylight streamed faintly.

Jack put one eye to the hole and peered through. He could make out
several objects in the cabin beyond. Having made this brief survey, he
returned to his task. Above the hole he had already bored, he bored
another slightly intersecting it, above this another, and so on, tracing
a continuous row of holes, each encroaching on the next, in a wide
circle.

By the time he had drilled the thirtieth hole, the weakening light
filtering through told him the sun was setting. The fortieth hole was
within an inch of the first one bored. Jack gave a vigorous kick on the
space inclosed by the line of holes, and sent the oval piece of plank
flying into the cabin.

He slipped easily through the opening and groped about the cabin. He
felt his way to the companion ladder, where he bumped against a bunk. He
sprawled headlong, and beneath his fingers felt a human form. He sprang
back and struck a match.

Before him he saw the face of a boy, and he again approached the bunk.
The lad's hands were bound and he was sleeping. Jack shook him, and the
boy looked up.

"Hello," he said. "What are you doing here?"

"Rather, what are you doing here?" was Jack's reply.

"I'm Frank Chadwick, an American," was the answer. "Untie my hands and
I'll tell you all about it."

Jack did as he was requested, and then Frank motioned toward the upper
bunk just across from him.

"We'll perform the same operation there, and then we'll have a talk," he
said.

Jack approached the bunk indicated, and perceived a second bound form.
Quickly the two lads untied him, and the man slid to the floor and
stretched himself.

"Thanks," he said, rubbing his hands. "I'm glad to get out of that."

"What's this all about, anyhow?" demanded Jack, in great surprise.

Frank gave an account of his adventures after meeting the little
American with the red sweater in Naples. Then the man who had been tied
in the bunk repeated the story he had told Frank when the lad had first
entered the cabin, adding that his name was Albert Hetherington.

"But how do you come to be here?" he demanded of Jack.

Jack explained.

"Well," exclaimed Hetherington, "you have put your head into a hornet's
nest, young man."

"Yes," replied Jack, "and I'm going to keep it there until I'm paid to
take it out. I want two pounds four and I'm going to get it before I
leave this ship."

Jack climbed up on a small table, and wrapping his hand in his
handkerchief, crashed his fist through the skylight. The skylight had a
fixed top, and, instead of the usual guard bars, had loose wooden
shutters for use in bad weather. Jack picked away the remainder of the
glass. Placing a small box on top of the table, he climbed upon it and
peered out.

He could just catch a glimpse of the man at the wheel. The fellow was
not taking his duties very seriously, for he was sitting on the grating
filling his pipe and letting the ship steer itself. Jack considered,
looked out again, then descended from the table with a distinctly
purposeful air.

"I'm looking for a piece of rubber plaster," he told Frank and
Hetherington.

He opened the medicine chest, and cut off several strips. Then he picked
up a piece of rope that hung upon a peg on the cabin wall.

"I want to try a little experiment," he told the others. "I'll tell you
about it later."

He cut off a couple of lengths of rope, and having pocketed one, and
having made a small fixed loop in the end of the other, climbed up on
the box again and looked out on deck.

All was quiet without. Jack heard the helmsman yawn sleepily; he had
left the wheel with a rope hitched around one of the spokes, and was now
leaning over the rail looking at the water.

Grasping the frame of the skylight, Jack gave a light spring and came
stealthily through the opening. Then, creeping along the deck in the
shelter of the small boat and the companion hood, he stole toward the
sailor.

As the man threw back his head and yawned, Jack slipped his left hand
around, holding the strip of plaster spread out on it, and clapped the
plaster over the man's mouth, and instantly pinioned his hands by
clasping him tightly round the chest.

The man struggled furiously and would have shouted, but was only able to
grunt and snort, so well had the plaster done its work. The struggle
went on with little noise. Jack contrived to pass the end of the line
through the loop and draw it until it was ready for a final pull. Then
he hurled the man to the deck, jerked the line tight and sat on the
prisoner's legs. He bound him tightly and then sat quiet a moment,
listening.

Finally he arose and slid his helpless prisoner through the skylight
into the cabin and then lowered himself by the way he had emerged.

Here he seized the captive, dragged him across the cabin, and thrust him
through the bulkhead, followed him through and removed the plaster from
the man's mouth.

"Now," he said to his prisoner, "if you know what is good for you, you
will keep quiet."

Evidently the man knew. He signified his intention of keeping quiet, and
Jack returned to the cabin.

"Well, that's one of them out of the way," he told his new friends.

"Yes," replied Hetherington, "but there are five or six more up there."

"Five," said Frank.

"We'll see what can be done," remarked Jack, and again climbed on the
table and peered forth from the skylight.

But now there was no one to capture. The wheel jerked to and fro in its
lashings. Suddenly the vessel heeled over crazily. At the same time a
voice called:

"What's the matter, Pedro? You'll have the masts overboard if you don't
look out."

A moment later the leader of the mutineers came staggering aft, followed
by several of his men. He gazed at the wheel in surprise.

"Where has he gone?" he demanded.

"Down in the cabin, I guess," said one of the men.

"No," was the reply, "the companion is fastened up."

"He's gone overboard, that's where he's gone," said another voice.

"I guess you're right," replied the leader. "Here, Antonio, you mind the
helm, and don't you go overboard, too."

Muttering sleepily, another man took his place at the wheel, and the
others moved off. Jack bent down from the table and whispered to the
others.

"Now is the time to get the next one. You two stand by and take care of
him when I pass him along to you."

"Better be careful," said Frank. "They are all liable to jump you."

Jack did not reply. He pulled himself up and dropped to the deck.



                               CHAPTER V.

                                 FREE.


From the direction of the wheel there came a loud snore. The sailor had
deliberately seated himself upon the deck in a comfortable position.

Jack stole up to the sleeping seaman and softly encircled his arms with
the noose. Then he passed the lashing around his ankles and tied them
firmly. This aroused the sleeper, who began to mumble protests.
Instantly Jack slapped the plaster over his mouth. Then he dragged the
man to the skylight and tumbled him down unceremoniously, and followed
him into the cabin.

Frank and Hetherington held him while Jack removed the plaster and
thrust him through the hole in the bulkhead. Just as Jack once more put
his head through the skylight, there was the sound of a voice and Jack
drew inside.

"Something queer on this ship, I tell you," declared the leader. "First
Pedro goes overboard and then Antonio follows him. Sebastian, you take
the wheel."

"Not me," came the reply. "I'm not going overboard if I can help it.
Take the wheel yourself."

"Neither am I," declared another voice.

A wrangle followed, with the result that the leader was forced to take
the wheel. Looking out again, Jack saw that the man was peering out over
the water. Softly he again dropped to the deck, and stole upon the
unsuspecting leader.

A fierce struggle ensued. The Italian was a big man, and in spite of
Jack's strength and size, he put up a furious battle. The two rolled
against the rail, there was a sharp crack and with a loud cry the leader
suddenly went overboard. Jack jumped back to the skylight and crouched
down; and it was not a moment too soon.

The other three men approached.

"He's gone all right," said one, gazing at the spot where the leader had
stood a moment before.

"Yes, he's gone," said another. "I guess it will be our turn next."

Suddenly a cry from the water drew their attention.

"It's Ferdinand," said one of the sailors, "and he is swimming."

"What's to be done?" demanded another. "We can't let him drown like
that."

"No," replied another. "Francisco and I will get out the boat and pull
him in. You stay here," turning to the third man.

"What!" came the reply. "Stay here by myself?"

"You do as I say. We have got to get Ferdinand."

Suddenly Jack was struck with an idea. He was well aware of the
superstitious nature of sailors, and he planned to play upon it. He
descended to the cabin and from the wall took a suit of the captain's
oilskins. Then he went back on deck.

Two of the men had gone over the side in the small boat, and the
remaining sailor was now engaged in hanging a lamp from the stern. Jack
silently approached him.

Having secured the lamp, the sailor took a long look out over the sea
and then turned toward the deck; and as his eyes fell on the tall,
oil-skinned figure, he uttered a gasp of horror, and began to shuffle
backward.

"The captain's ghost!" he exclaimed in an awed voice.

Suddenly the sailor's heels caught on a ringbolt and he staggered and
fell on the deck with a howl of terror; but in another instant he had
scrambled to his feet and rushed away forward, whence the slam of the
forecastle scuttle announced his retirement to a place of safety.

More than half an hour elapsed before a hoarse hail from the sea
heralded the return of the boat.

"Is all well?" came the cry. "Ferdinand is gone. We couldn't find him."

Jack stepped back into the shadow of the mainsail. Soon the heads of the
two men appeared over the rail, and they swung themselves to the deck.

For one instant they stood as if petrified; then, with one accord, they
stampeded forward, and once more the forecastle scuttle slammed. Jack
followed, and, quietly thrusting a belaying pin through the staple of
the scuttle, secured them in their retreat.

The mutiny was a thing of the past.

Then Jack made his way to the cabin, where he informed his two
newly-made friends of the success of his endeavors, and the three went
on deck.

"You're all right," Frank told Jack in great admiration, as the three
gazed out over the water. "I had given up all hope of getting away
alive. I don't see how you ever managed it."

"Nor I," said Hetherington. "I know Frank and I couldn't have done it
together."

Jack laughed modestly.

"A little thinking is all that's necessary," he replied.

"Well, you are quite a thinker," said Frank; "but it strikes me you are
something of a fighter besides."

"What shall we do now?" broke in Hetherington.

"I suppose I had better get home," replied Jack. "Besides, we are not
far from there. You had both better come with me."

"I want to get back to Naples," declared Frank.

"And I must get to Nalut, Tripoli, at the earliest possible moment,"
declared Hetherington.

"Nalut!" exclaimed Jack. "Why, we can't be far from there now. It's
close to my home. I have been there several times."

"You don't mean it," cried Hetherington. "Then I can get there from your
place?"

"Easily, by camel. It is about a day's journey."

Hetherington turned to Frank.

"Why can't you come with me?" he asked. "I'll look after you. I expect
to be back in England in a couple of weeks, and you can go with me. Then
you can return to the United States."

"But I wanted to get back to Naples and try and find my father."

"You probably wouldn't be able to find him now. The chances are he has
returned home himself, hoping to find you there, as he has been unable
to find you in more than a week."

"I guess you are right," replied Frank. "I'll go with you."

It was late the next afternoon when the schooner once more drew near the
little African town in which Jack lived, and dropped anchor.

Jack called the prisoners from below.

"I don't know why I should bother with you," he said. "I know you are
mutineers and should be dealt with severely, but I am not an
executioner. Pay me my two pounds four," he continued, turning to one of
the men, "and we shall leave the ship. It's not my ship and neither is
it yours; but you can have it as far as I am concerned."

"Yes," said Frank. "We don't need it any longer."

One of the Italians ran hurriedly below. Returning he placed two bags of
gold in Jack's hand.

"Take this, _signor_," he exclaimed. "We will have no luck unless we
give you this gold."

"No," replied Jack, "all I want is what is due me."

"Yes, yes; you must take it, _signor_," cried all the Italians.

Jack thrust his hand into one of the canvas bags and brought out a
handful of coins, from which he selected two. The others he returned to
the bag, adding to them a couple of coins from his own pocket.

"Two shillings change," he remarked.

He threw the bags down on deck and dropped himself into the small boat
now lying alongside. The other two followed him.

But he had hardly taken his seat when two heavy thumps on the floor of
the boat, followed by a jingling impact, announced the arrival of the
two bags of gold.

"You must take the gold, _signor_. You must take it, else we shall have
no luck."

Jack stood up in the boat. Frank and Hetherington pulled on the oars.

"Pull," Jack commanded, and the boat started away.

Aiming skillfully at the open gangway, Jack sent the heavy bags, one
after the other, skimming along the deck.

One of the Italians grabbed them up and rushed to the gangway. But he
was too late. The boat was twenty yards away, and leaping forward
beneath the strokes of Frank and Hetherington.



                              CHAPTER VI.

                           THE SECRET AGENT.


Upon landing the three made their way at once to Jack's small home, a
rudely constructed native hut.

"Sorry I haven't a better place to offer you," said Jack, "but I guess
you can put up with it for one day."

"No apology is needed," said Hetherington. "This is plenty good enough
for me."

"And for me," declared Frank.

"Well, just make yourselves at home, then," said Jack. "I'll see if I
can't scare up something to eat."

Their appetites appeased, Frank bethought himself of Hetherington's
promise to tell him his story, and reminded him of it.

Hetherington hesitated a moment, and then said:

"I don't know as there is any reason I shouldn't tell you, particularly
as I undoubtedly owe my life to you both. In the first place, I am what
is known as a secret agent of the British government."

"A what?" demanded Jack.

"A secret agent; in other words, a diplomatic agent, though I am not
officially recognized as such. Which means, that in the event of
anything happening to me, England could not be held responsible for my
actions, nor could I look to my government for aid."

"I see what you mean," said Frank, and Jack nodded his head in assent.

"You mean that what you do, although under instructions, you do at your
own risk?" he questioned.

"Yes. For instance, if, in some diplomatic undertaking, I should be
apprehended upon the order of a foreign government, say as a spy, or for
some overt political act, my government would not countenance my action,
even though I am acting under direct orders."

"It must be dangerous work," declared Frank.

"You take your life in your hands every time you are sent upon a
mission," said Jack.

Hetherington smiled grimly.

"Practically that," he admitted. "It's dangerous work, no doubt; but
there is a spice of excitement to it that makes it worth while."

"Besides which, someone has to do the work, I suppose," suggested Frank.

"Precisely. Every one of the great powers has its set of secret agents.
The peace of Europe has been saved more than once by these men. The game
goes on daily, and our safety depends entirely upon our keeping our
identity secret. More than one man has disappeared, never to be heard of
again."

"You don't mean that they were assassinated?" demanded Jack.

"Exactly; nine times out of ten, when a secret agent is caught, his life
pays the forfeit. Sounds barbarous, doesn't it?" and Hetherington
smiled.

"It certainly does," replied Frank. "I thought the days of barbarism had
passed."

"Well, to tell the truth, England and France have given up such
practice. Germany, Austria, and even Russia, in some cases, continue the
old custom. So you may see why the life of a secret agent is not all
roses."

"I should say no roses at all," declared Jack. "But go on with your
story."

"Well," said Hetherington, "the situation is this, but," and the speaker
paused, "in case you haven't political conditions in Europe at your
finger-tips, I guess I had better explain how the great European powers
are lined up.

"Germany, Austria and Italy, some years ago, formed what is now known as
the Triple Alliance. This alliance sets forth that in case either
country that signed the agreement is attacked by a hostile power, the
other two members of the alliance are bound to support it. Although a
natural enemy of Austria, Italy nevertheless was in some manner
inveigled into the agreement, practically against her will. There is no
doubt that in the days since the alliance was formed, she has been used
as a cat'spaw by Germany. Now Italy is beginning to realize it.

"To offset the Triple Alliance and maintain the balance of power in
Europe, England, France and Russia, a few years later, entered into a
pact and the alignment of these three countries is known as the Triple
Entente. While not bound to support each other in case of war, there
never was any doubt that each would do so should the other be attacked.
It was this knowledge that held the Kaiser's warlike spirit in check
until a few days ago.

"Now, in spite of the fact that Italy has begun to realize she is being
used as a cat'spaw by Germany, and also in spite of the natural Italian
antagonism toward Austria, Germany's other ally, it will take more than
this to keep Italy from joining her allies in the war. She is in honor
bound to support the alliance, and she will, unless she can be made to
believe that Germany, in secret conjunction with Austria, is plotting
her downfall. And it is this that Italy must be made to believe."

"But is that exactly fair?" Frank wanted to know.

"'All's fair in love and war,'" quoted Hetherington. "Besides, we have
learned enough through secret channels to know that it is true. Now we
must make Italy see it without suspecting that we have had a hand in
it."

"Looks like quite a sizable job," remarked Jack dryly.

"And so it is," was the reply; "which is the reason I must be in Nalut
as soon as possible."

"Surely you don't expect to accomplish all this by yourself?" exclaimed
Frank.

"No, indeed," replied Hetherington. "But I must do my part. The plans
have all been laid, and day after to-morrow is the one set upon which to
act."

"But the thing I can't see," Jack broke in, "is why it is necessary to
come to Africa to carry out the plans."

"Well, it's like this," said the secret agent. "Suppose it became quite
plain to Italy that Germany was aiding the Arabs in Tripoli to get up
another serious insurrection against the Italian army----"

"But she's not," broke in Frank. "She has her hands too full elsewhere."

"Who said she was?" demanded Hetherington. "But suppose old Francisco
Dellaya, the great Italian diplomat, recognized as the foremost of all
the diplomats in Europe, should come upon Abu ben Sedar, who has led
more than one uprising against Italy, in Nalut, hobnobbing with a
bearded man who presumably is in the Austrian or German army? Suppose he
sees them about together once or twice? What do you suppose he'd think?"

"I see what you mean," declared Frank. "But surely that would not be
enough to satisfy him."

"No; the plot goes deeper than that. But suppose, again, that he learned
that Abu ben Sedar had been furnished with several thousand rifles of
unmistakable German make, and that they had been delivered by a German
vessel straight from Hamburg. Also a few machine guns. And suppose a
hundred thousand freshly minted German and Austrian silver marks should
be distributed to every hostile Arab in Tripoli? And suppose old Dellaya
got wind of this? Do you see what I mean?"

Frank and Jack nodded affirmatively.

"This together with the fact that Dellaya had seen what he supposed was
a German or Austrian officer pretty thick with Abu ben Sedar, would
convince Dellaya that Germany and Austria were putting up some kind of a
game on Italy," continued the secret agent. "He would, without doubt,
have the sheik followed, and we would see that he got plenty of
evidence. Then would came a hurry call to his home government. And the
next step would be that Italy, already only lukewarm toward the Triple
Alliance, would withdraw its support, leaving Germany and Austria in the
lurch. Do I make myself clear?"

"Perfectly," replied Jack.

"But is the Italian diplomat in Tripoli?" asked Frank.

"No," replied the secret agent, "but he will be day after to-morrow.
Once a year he takes a cruise as the guest of Lord Hastings, apparently
a wealthy English gentleman, but in reality a member of the British
secret service. He has made many trips to Tripoli, and knows probably
every Arab sheik within a hundred miles. All this was counted upon when
we laid our plans. Oh, he will be there, all right, and he will see just
what we have planned for him to see."

"But how does it come that you were captured in Naples by Captain
Harwood?" Frank demanded.

"I was just making my way to the ship on which I had engaged passage
when I was set upon by three men, apparently Germans. I was overcome and
carried aboard the ship, where you found me. That's all I know about
it."

"Do you think your mission was suspected?"

"I am afraid so. I fear we have been harboring a traitor."

"Well," said Jack, "it's getting late. I guess we would better turn in.
We must get an early start in the morning."



                              CHAPTER VII.

                            ON THE JOURNEY.


The sun had not yet risen in the east when the three friends arose. Jack
prepared a hasty breakfast, after which he fared forth to see about
obtaining camels for the journey. He was successful in his quest, and
the edge of the sun creeping over the horizon could just be seen when
they prepared to mount.

Frank climbed upon the kneeling camel with no little trepidation.

"I don't know anything about camel riding," he called to the others.

"Just hold tight when he gets up and you will be all right," replied
Jack.

Frank took a firm hold in accordance with instructions, and it was well
that he did so, for otherwise he would have been sent tumbling over the
animal's head.

The camel rose on its hind feet first, and Frank was hurled forward on
his back. Just as he succeeded in grasping the camel about the neck, the
animal lifted his front feet and Frank went hurling back again. Only his
tight hold saved him from being thrown.

"Great Scott!" he ejaculated. "This is worse than a sea voyage."

"You are all right now," called Hetherington from the back of his own
camel.

"You will soon get used to it," declared Jack. "Come, follow me," and he
headed his camel toward the west.

All morning they rode along without interruption. Several times they
passed riders going in the opposite direction, but they did not halt. At
noon they stopped in a little grove of trees, where they ate of the
provisions Jack had packed on the camels and quenched their thirst from
a tiny and sparkling stream. Then they continued their journey.

Darkness had fallen when they made out in the distance the little town
of Nalut. The camels now quickened their pace and the little cavalcade
was soon within the city.

"The first thing to do," said Hetherington, "is to find a place to put
up for the night."

"I know of a place I believe we can find shelter," said Jack, leading
the way.

Presently they came upon a fairly large house near the center of the
town. Jack went up to the door and knocked loudly. An old man, with
snowy white hair, answered the knock.

"Jack," he cried in English, when he caught sight of the lad in the
doorway. "What are you doing here?"

"I came with a couple of friends," Jack replied, "and we are looking for
a place to spend the night. Can you accommodate us?"

"Certainly," was the reply. "Come right in."

The three entered the house and followed the old man to what appeared a
small dining-room. There their host left them, saying that he would have
something to eat brought them.

"He's about the only white man in the town," Jack explained. "He has
lived here for many years. As you see, his house is unlike the native
dwellings. He keeps up European customs as well as he can."

Soon the old man returned, followed by a native servant, bearing food.
The three ate hungrily, and immediately their appetites were satisfied
followed the old man upstairs, where he showed them a couple of cots.
They turned in immediately and soon were fast asleep.

"Where are you to meet your companions?" Frank asked the secret agent,
when they had breakfasted the next morning.

"No particular spot was designated," was the reply. "I was told to meet
them in this town, that's all. I suppose I shall run into them in the
street some place."

The three walked about the streets all morning, and were just about to
return to the house where they had spent the night, when a white man in
yachting costume approached.

Hetherington rushed up to him with outstretched hand. Frank and Jack
stood back.

Hetherington and the stranger remained in conversation for some moments,
and then approached the two lads.

"This is Lieutenant Edwards," introduced Hetherington. "Lieutenant,
Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton."

"Pleased to meet you, I'm sure," greeted the lieutenant, extending a
hand, which both boys grasped in turn. "Hetherington has told me of what
assistance you have been to him. Let me add my thanks to his."

"Where are Lord Hastings and the rest of the party?" demanded
Hetherington of the lieutenant.

The lieutenant glanced at the boys quickly, a question in his eyes.
Hetherington noted the look.

"Oh, they are all right," he said.

"Well," said the lieutenant. "Lord Hastings and Dellaya will be along
to-morrow. The others were delayed in some unaccountable manner, so we
shall have to work without them; and quickly, too," he added.

"But the arms and ammunition?" cried Hetherington in alarm.

"Oh, that part is all right. The ship will land the arms and ammunition
at a point already selected in the Gulf of Sidra day after to-morrow.
Also the money is ready. We must do our part in the meantime."

"But if Dellaya sees me with the sheik he will know me in a minute,"
protested Hetherington.

"I know it; therefore I shall have to play the part of the German
officer."

"But he knows you also."

"True; but I shall be disguised. I have such a disguise as I am sure he
will never penetrate. But I fear that he will know you the moment he
lays eyes on you."

"There is no doubt about that. What shall I do?"

"I guess you will have to remain behind."

At this moment Jack broke into the conversation.

"Can't I take his place?" he asked. "He won't know me, that's sure."

"By Jove!" declared Hetherington. "I believe you can. What do you say,
Edwards?"

The lieutenant hesitated.

Jack noted his uncertainty.

"I can give a good account of myself if it comes to a fight," he
declared. "Besides, I'm English and should be allowed to do something
for my country."

"Do you speak German?" asked the lieutenant.

"Yes," replied Jack; "also a few native dialects."

"I guess I can use you, then," was the response. "I certainly need
someone with me. I have a disguise that will do for you, too, I
believe."

"But how about me?" Frank demanded suddenly. "Don't I get a part in this
thing? It seems to me I should be allowed to take a hand."

"Well, I won't need you in this first trick," declared the lieutenant,
"but if I do need you, you can take my word that I shall call on you."

And with this Frank was forced to be content.

Frank and Jack accompanied the two Englishmen to a place where the
lieutenant had stowed a small suitcase. From this the Englishman drew
out two suits of clothes, which he and Jack donned hurriedly.

Wearing heavy black beards and spectacles, shoes, hats and clothes of
unmistakable German appearance, there was no question that the two would
pass for Teutons anywhere.

"Now to find Abu ben Sedar. And in the meantime," he continued, turning
to Frank and Hetherington, "you two make your way to Lord Hastings'
yacht and wait there until I arrive. It would not do for us to be seen
together."

He gave them the directions and the two departed.

"Now for Abu ben Sedar," said the lieutenant. "We must learn where he
can be found."

Upon inquiry they learned that the Sheik was encamped with many of his
followers a few miles from the outskirts of the town.

"Well," said the lieutenant, "we'll have to hunt him up. The sooner we
find him the better. Now, listen," turning to Jack, "you say nothing
unless I ask a question, and, whatever I say, agree with me. Do you
understand?"

Jack nodded his head in the affirmative.

"Good. Now how are we to find the place where the Sheik is encamped, I
wonder?"

"I have been here before," answered Jack. "I know the place well."

"Come, then; let us go," said the lieutenant.

The two turned their faces toward the desert and set off at a brisk
pace.



                             CHAPTER VIII.

                           SETTING THE TRAP.


Several hours later Jack and Lieutenant Edwards were taking coffee with
the Sheik on a priceless rug before his tent in the desert. The
lieutenant was too familiar with Arab customs to come to the object of
his visit at once, so it was late in the afternoon when he finally
brought up the subject.

"Sheik, what is the present attitude of your people toward the Italian
aggressors?" he asked at length.

Abu ben Sedar was wary.

"Why do you ask that?" he demanded.

"Why," explained the lieutenant, "I know that you have led more than one
uprising, and I know the Arab nature too well to think they will kiss
the hand that strikes them down. The spirit of the desert will rise
again. Even now I have heard rumors----"

"'Tis as you say," exclaimed the Sheik excitedly, springing to his feet.
"We shall never submit to Italian rule. They have treated us like dogs.
But we are biding our time. We need rifles, ammunition, money."

"And that is why I have sought you out," declared the lieutenant.

"You mean you have come to help us shake off the yoke of the oppressor?"

"Exactly. I am authorized to offer you arms for fifteen thousand men and
silver enough to keep them all in the field for several months; in
return for which, when victorious, you are to sign over eight hundred
square miles of coast territory to the German government.

"But," the Sheik protested, "I own no such land, nor do I know anyone
who does. Even if the Italians were driven out I could not justly claim
it."

"But, Sheik," said the lieutenant gravely, "when the Italians are driven
out, you, the acknowledged leader of all the dissatisfied Arabs in the
vicinity--the man who would be Sultan or Bey if successful--will have as
good a title to the land as another, and the German government will
accept it. Am I not right?" he asked, turning to Jack.

"You are," Jack agreed.

The explanation was plausible, and the Sheik was flattered.

"They have heard of me in Germany, then?" he asked.

"Indeed they have," said Jack, who from previous visits to Nalut knew
something of the Sheik's ancestry and fortunes. "They know that your
genealogy runs back in an unbroken line far beyond the days of Carthage,
and you are looked upon as the man of the hour in Tripoli."

Greatly pleased to hear that his name was so well known in the land
beyond the sea, the Sheik lost whatever suspicions he might have had and
accepted the attractive proposition thus offered him.

"When will the arms be ready, and where will they be landed?" he asked.

"They will be landed in the Gulf of Sidra day after to-morrow," was the
lieutenant's reply.

"Good!" exclaimed the Sheik. "I shall have them removed to a secret
place in the desert, not to be used until we are fully prepared to
strike. Now, about the money?"

"The silver will be turned over to you in Nalut to-morrow morning, if
you will meet me there. Is that satisfactory?"

"Perfectly," returned the Sheik, and he named a place and hour for the
meeting the next day.

The Arab told off two of his men as an escort, and Jack and Lieutenant
Edwards returned to the village, where they made their way to the house
in which Jack had spent the previous night. There they turned in,
satisfied that their end of the work had been satisfactorily
accomplished.

While they were at breakfast in the morning, Hetherington burst into the
room.

"Dellaya and Lord Hastings are in the village," he exclaimed. "Is
everything all right?"

"Everything is serene," declared the lieutenant. "Is the money here?"

"Yes; it has been taken to the house of a man named Effidi. You are to
take the Sheik there and turn it over to him. We will see that Dellaya
is a witness of the transaction."

"Good," said the lieutenant, and he and Jack left the house to keep
their appointment with Abu ben Sedar.

The Sheik was awaiting them, and the three made their way to the home of
Effidi, where the money was formally turned over to the Arab.

Just as the transfer was being completed, the Sheik paused suddenly to
listen. His keen ear had detected a sound in the next room. He
approached the wall and peered through a crack.

"Dellaya," he exclaimed in some alarm.

"What!" ejaculated Lieutenant Edwards, in well-feigned surprise.

"Dellaya," repeated the Arab, "my good friend. If all Italians were like
him, the Arabs would never resent the presence of Italian troops in
Tripoli. But they are not, so we must make haste."

Swiftly the three finished their business and Jack and the lieutenant
left the house, leaving the Sheik in possession of the silver.

"Are you sure the arms will be landed to-morrow?" asked the Sheik, as
they left.

"Sure," replied the lieutenant. "They will be ready for you."

"Good," said the Arab. "I shall be there to get them."

Hardly had Jack and the lieutenant disappeared when the great Italian
diplomat, followed by Lord Hastings, made his way excitedly from the
house.

"Did you catch the significance of what we have just overheard?"
demanded Dellaya, of Lord Hastings, as they hurried away.

"I did," replied Lord Hastings briefly. "It is fortunate we were here."

"It is, indeed," was the reply. "Italy has been the cat'spaw of the
German emperor too long. Strive as she will, Italy cannot stand by her
partners in the Triple Alliance in the face of such treachery. But I
must make sure. This ammunition they spoke of--I must see it landed with
my own eyes. I must find this rendezvous. Will you help me, Lord
Hastings?"

"I shall be glad to," was the reply. "My yacht is at your service."

The two hurried on their way.

Returning to the house in which they had spent the night, Jack and the
lieutenant removed their disguises, and the lieutenant made ready to
take his departure.

"Well," he said to Jack, "I want to thank you for your aid, and I guess
it is good-by, now."

"Why," demanded Jack, "can't you take me with you? I haven't done much,
but I might be of more use later on. I would like to go to England with
you, so that I may offer my services to my country."

The lieutenant hesitated.

"I guess it can be done," he replied finally. "You are certainly
entitled to go if you wish. Come along, then."

Several hours later the two stood on the deck of Lord Hastings' yacht
_Sylph_. Lord Hastings and Dellaya were already there, and the lad was
introduced as a young Englishman who wished to return to his home land.
Frank already had been introduced as an American who was desirous of
getting home. Lord Hastings declared that he was glad to be able to help
them.

All that night and early the next morning the yacht cruised about,
Dellaya always on the lookout for the sign of a ship bearing the arms
and ammunition for the Arabs. It was almost noon before they sighted it,
Dellaya still ignorant of the fact that he had been brought there
purposely.

Small boats were rapidly landing arms from the ship, unmistakably a
German vessel and flying a German flag, as the yacht bore down on it.
Upon Dellaya's request, the yacht sailed close enough for the Italian to
see that the ship's crew were apparently Germans.

Then the great Italian diplomat signified that he had seen enough. He
turned to Lord Hastings.

"Would it be too great an inconvenience for you to cut short your cruise
and take me back to Naples?" he asked.

"Certainly not," was the reply. "But what is it you plan to do,
_signor_?"

"I must report this strange proceeding to the Italian Foreign Office,"
declared the Italian excitedly, "too long has Italy been a tool of
Germany and Austria."

"A tool!" exclaimed Lord Hastings in surprise.

"Yes; we have been suspicious, and now our suspicions have been
confirmed. Beset by three countries as she is, Germany still has time to
plot trouble for Italy!

"But I have seen enough to thwart this outrage. No longer will Italy be
Germany's cat'spaw. Probably we should have gone to the Kaiser's aid if
necessary. But now--no! So far as Italy is concerned, the Triple
Alliance is dead!"

One week later, having just arrived in London, Frank and Jack learned of
the success of the apparently trifling adventure in which they had taken
a hand.

Despite repeated demands of the Kaiser that Italy live up to her
obligations under the alliance, the Italian government had refused to
support the German cause and take up arms against the Allies!



                              CHAPTER IX.

                          A DESPERATE PLIGHT.


"I believe that man is following us!"

It was Jack who spoke. He and Frank had now been in the English
metropolis two days, and to-day were walking along the Strand, watching
with the greatest interest the preparations for war.

Upon all sides troops were being moved through the streets, on their way
to the front. They marched along singing and cheering, while from the
walks great crowds cheered them as they passed. The boys had just
resumed their walk after watching one body of troops pass, when Jack
made the remark that begins this chapter.

"Followed!" exclaimed Frank in surprise. "Why should anyone follow us?"

"I am sure I don't know," was Jack's reply; "but just the same I am sure
that man is following us."

"Well," said Frank, "we'll try and see if we can't give him the slip.
Come on!"

The lads quickened their pace and turned quickly into the first side
street. As they rounded the next corner they glanced back and saw that
the man Jack believed was on their trail hurrying after them.

"Quick!" said Frank, catching Jack by the arm, "into this store!"

The lads dodged into an open doorway, and a moment later saw their
pursuer hurry by. The lads immediately slipped from the store and
retreated in the direction from which they had come.

"Well, I guess we got rid of him, all right," declared Jack.

"Have you ever seen him before?" asked Frank.

"His face seemed familiar, but I cannot place him," was Jack's reply.
"Hold on, though," he exclaimed suddenly, "I know now who he is!"

"Who?" demanded Frank.

"He was one of the sailors aboard Lord Hastings' yacht. I remember that
long, sharp nose. Now what do you suppose he is following us for?"

"You've got me. However, I guess he is not following us any longer!"

But Frank was wrong.

The man who had been following the two boys had not been thrown off the
trail by their ruse. He was too old a hand at the game to be shaken off
so easily; but he had recognized the fact that the boys knew they were
being shadowed. Now he kept farther in the background, well out of
sight. As a result the lads, upon returning to the American hotel, where
they had taken rooms, were not aware that their pursuer had followed
them to its doors.

After dinner the boys sat down in the lobby of the hotel, awaiting the
arrival of Hetherington, who had promised to meet them there at 8
o'clock. A taxi driver entered, approached the desk, and a moment later
a page started through the lobby, calling:

"Mr. Templeton! Mr. Templeton!"

"Here," said Jack, rising.

The page handed Jack a letter.

"It's from Hetherington," Jack told Frank, after a hasty perusal. "Says
he is unable to meet us here, but for us to come to his place in the
taxi he has sent for us."

"All right," replied Frank. "But I must go upstairs a moment first," and
he started hurriedly for the elevator.

"I'll wait in the taxi," called Jack, and he followed the chauffeur to
the street, where the taxi stood in the shadow of the hotel.

The chauffeur opened the door and the lad climbed in. As he did so, two
strong hands reached out from the darkness of the cab and took him by
the throat, while a third hand was clapped over his mouth to prevent his
making an outcry. At the same moment the door was slammed shut, and the
taxi rolled swiftly away.

Jack struggled desperately, but in vain. The sudden attack had been well
timed and, struggle as he would, Jack could not shake off the hold on
his throat, but soon sank back unconscious.

Then the hand upon his throat relaxed and a voice exclaimed in German:

"He's as strong as an ox. It's a good thing both of them didn't come."

"Well, we have got him, all right," came a second voice, "and this is
the one the chief wants, I am sure."

When Jack regained consciousness the taxi was still rushing swiftly
along, and the lad found that his hands were securely bound behind his
back.

"What's the meaning of this?" he demanded of the darkness of the cab.

There was no reply, and Jack repeated:

"I say, what's the meaning of this?"

"You will know soon enough," replied a voice in a harsh tone. "In the
meantime, if you don't keep quiet, we shall gag you!"

Under this threat, Jack held his peace.

For almost an hour the taxi bowled along swiftly, then finally came to a
stop. One of Jack's captors alighted, and the other pushed Jack from the
cab. They dragged him up a short gravel path to a rather pretentious
looking house and into the door.

In the house the lad was taken to the third floor, where he was led into
a nicely furnished room. Then his hands were untied, and his captors
backed out of the room, locking the door behind them.

"I wonder what on earth this is all about," Jack asked himself when he
was left alone. "I'll bet they have me mixed up with someone else. Well,
I'll have to wait and see!"

For an hour Jack sat silently awaiting the arrival of someone; but no
one came.

"Guess I might as well lie down and get a little rest," he told himself
finally; "I'm likely to need it."

He lay down on a couch at one end of the room and was soon asleep.

Two hours later he opened his eyes again. A drop lamp was lighted upon
the table, which also contained a tray with a most appetizing supper of
broiled squab, salad, ices and coffee. The boy arose, and for the first
time explored the room.

The door was of oak, two inches thick, and was bolted upon the outside.
Deciding that no personal violence was intended for the present, Jack
thought he might as well fortify himself with a good meal.

As to his whereabouts he hadn't the slightest idea. He had scarcely
finished the squab, when the door was unlocked and a burly man with a
blonde beard and the general appearance of a savant came in.

Carefully securing the door behind him, the visitor drew a chair up to
the table and comfortably seated himself.

"I trust the supper is to your liking, Mr. Templeton? You have
everything you wish?"

"Yes," replied Jack, as he pushed back his chair; "and now, would an
explanation of why I was brought here be in order?"

"Why, yes, I guess so," was the reply.

"I'll be glad to hear it," said Jack.

"Well, I have been led to believe that, through the activity of England,
the life of the Triple Alliance was snuffed out. I think that admission
will do no harm; and while, of course, I might have snared a greater
bird than you--a man higher up--I decided that you would not be so
quickly missed."

"But what have I to do with the death of the Triple Alliance?" demanded
Jack.

The German, for such Jack knew him to be, shrugged his shoulders and
smiled.

"You see, we have discovered the part you played in Tripoli," he said.
"Knowing enough to be allowed to take part in such a coup, you must know
a great deal more. I know that the Triple Alliance was put to death
through English aid; and I know that you know it. Also I know that you
know how it was done, and the names of all connected with the coup. That
is what I expect you to tell me."

"Well," said Jack quietly, "I won't!"

"Come now," was the reply. "I know you know these things."

"Admit for the sake of argument, then," said Jack, "that I have certain
information. How do you intend to extract it--against my will?"

"It does appear difficult to you, doesn't it?" was the rejoinder. "But
we have learned to manage all that with little trouble."

"You'll not manage me!" declared the lad.

The visitor smiled.

"Are you familiar with the weed that produces what is called the
Sleeping Sickness?" he asked.

"Yes," replied Jack, becoming interested, for he had seen many animals
unconscious for hours after eating the weed.

"Very well," continued the visitor. "Now, I will tell you that we have
extracted the juice of the weed, and that the liquid can easily be mixed
with any sort of food or drink. Do you follow me?"

Jack nodded his head.

"Whoever eats food or drinks anything containing a quantity of this
shortly becomes delirious, and while in that condition will talk of the
things that have been most impressed upon his mind. In the food you have
just eaten a sufficient amount of this tincture has been placed to put
you in such a condition."

Jack was conscious of a cold chill running through his back at the
possibilities so coolly suggested, and his jaw set with a great
determination.

"But suppose I should not talk?" he asked.

"There is not one chance in a million of failure," was the reply; "but,
if it does fail, I shall probably consider it necessary to do something
worse."

Again the cold chill ran through Jack's body. He opened his mouth to
speak, but before he could do so the visitor rose from his seat,
remarking:

"Perhaps you will tell me what I desire to know without all this
unpleasantness, eh?"

"No," replied Jack.

"Very good, then. I have talked enough," and he approached Jack. "It is
time to act!"



                               CHAPTER X.

                          FRANK TO THE RESCUE.


Jack jumped to his feet, prepared to fight. But before he could strike a
blow he reeled and fell to the floor. The German picked him up and laid
him on the couch. Then, unlocking the door, he called softly. There was
the sound of footsteps ascending the stairs, and a moment later two
other men entered the room. One carried a physician's case. He opened it
and administered a drug to the unconscious boy.

Soon Jack's lips moved slightly, a few muttered words became audible and
the three men leaned nearer to catch them. The voice became stronger:

"I want my pay! Two pounds four! Oh, you would, would you! Then take
that! I'll go through the skylight! Well, I've got one of them, anyhow!
Now for the next! Safe at last! I don't want the gold! I want two pounds
four!"

For an hour the Germans listened to monotonous repetitions of the same
thing--then the effect of the drug wore off and the lips became silent.
Again the drug was administered, but the effect did not vary by so much
as a word.

During the experiment three shadows had crept silently upstairs. For
just a moment they listened, and then the heavy oak door was pushed
open, and, with Frank in the lead, the three entered the room.

Frank leaped forward, and with a heavy blow sent the man who was bending
over Jack reeling. The latter drew a revolver and fired point blank at
the lad.

But Frank had seen the move, and ducked, closing in as he did so, and
the bullet sped harmlessly over his head, imbedding itself in the door.
Frank grabbed the barrel of the revolver before the man could fire
again, and twisted--striking out with his free hand as he did so.

Struck upon the point of the jaw, the German reeled back again, leaving
his weapon in Frank's hand. The lad followed up his advantage and struck
his opponent another stinging blow. The man fell to the floor.

In the meantime, the other rescuers, who turned out to be Hetherington
and Lord Hastings, had taken care of the other Germans. Lord Hastings,
leaping across the room at Frank's heels, had placed one _hors du
combat_ with a single blow, and Hetherington, after a brief struggle,
had succeeded in overcoming his adversary.

Frank bent over Jack and shook him, but the latter did not open his
eyes. Again and again Frank shook him, with the same result. Lord
Hastings approached the couch, reached over and lifted Jack's eyelids
with his finger.

"The sleeping sickness!" he ejaculated. "I recognize the symptoms. He
must have a physician at once. We must put him in the car and get him to
my place quick."

The unconscious lad was hastily carried to a waiting automobile, and was
soon laid on a comfortable bed in Lord Hastings' home.

"Is he going to die?" asked Frank of Lord Hastings.

"Not necessarily. The sleeping sickness is not always fatal, but his
condition is dangerous."

The physician arrived a few moments later, and after a careful
examination, announced that with perfect quiet Jack would live. A little
delay, he said, would probably have proven fatal.

For two days Jack hovered between life and death, but upon the third day
the physician pronounced him out of danger. Then, for the first time,
Frank, who had removed his belongings from the hotel to Lord Hastings'
home to be near, was allowed to see his friend.

"Well, old man," he said, "you have had a narrow escape."

"So the doctor told me," replied Jack.

"Yes," declared Frank, "and you have proved yourself quite a hero."

"Hero!" exclaimed Jack. "I haven't done anything."

"You haven't, eh! Why, anyone who would go through what you did, when
you could have prevented it by a few words, is a hero, all right."

"Oh, that was nothing. I was sure they wouldn't learn anything through
me. Besides, you wouldn't have had me tell my country's secrets, would
you?"

"There are a good many who would have done so rather than to go through
what you did."

"Would you have told?"

"Well," said Frank, "I don't know. I don't believe I would."

"Of course you wouldn't. But now, tell me how you happened to arrive
just in the nick of time. I know I owe my life to you."

"When I came downstairs and went to the street to join you in the taxi,"
Frank explained, "there wasn't any taxi in sight. I was sure you
wouldn't have gone on without me. Recalling the fact that we had been
followed that afternoon, I became suspicious. I put two and two
together, and events proved that I added them up right.

"I got Hetherington on the telephone. He said he had sent you no letter,
and that he was just leaving to meet us. He hurried to the hotel, and
after I explained the situation, we rushed to Lord Hastings'.

"It took us four hours to find the place where you had been taken. I
certainly could never have found it by myself. Lord Hastings had every
policeman in London interrogated, I guess, and we finally received word
that one had seen two men, apparently carrying another, enter the house
where we found you. Lord Hastings immediately recognized the house
described as the home of a well-known and prominent Austrian.

"We rushed to the house, and it took us about half an hour to find a way
to get in, so heavily were the windows and doors barred. Also we knew we
had to be very quiet, for, if our presence had become known, your
captors would undoubtedly have killed you before making their escape.

"We finally effected an entrance through the front door, Lord Hastings
succeeding in picking the lock after some difficulty. Then we hurried
upstairs. We found the room you were in by the sounds of the voices of
your captors. Lord Hastings realized immediately what the Germans were
trying to do, and we broke in the door. They put up a fight, but we soon
had them safe. That is all there is to the story."

"Where are they now?" demanded Jack.

"Oh, they are safe enough. They are being held as prisoners of war,
although it was first planned to have them shot as spies."

The two boys were silent for some time, and finally Frank said:

"Jack, I have an idea and I want to know how it strikes you!"

"All right. Let's hear it."

"What is the matter with us enlisting and seeing a little real
fighting?"

"Why, I have been figuring on that all the time. That is why I came to
England. But you are an American. I don't see why you should want to
fight."

"Maybe I am, but my ancestors were English. Besides, I want to see
something of this war, and I can't see it in London. I want to be where
the fighting is."

"Well, I'm glad. I guess Lord Hastings can arrange it so we can be
together."

"I guess so, too. We'll speak to him as soon as he comes in."



                              CHAPTER XI.

                            OFF TO THE WAR.


"So you want to go to war, eh?"

It was Lord Hastings who spoke. Frank and Jack had lost no time in
putting their plans before him when he returned home the evening on
which the two lads had talked over their future.

"Yes!" replied both lads, in the same breath.

Lord Hastings stroked his mustache.

"Well," he said, "if you have set your minds on going, I know there is
no use of my trying to stop you. Now, I have a plan that I believe will
meet with your approval."

The boys listened eagerly as Lord Hastings continued:

"As you know, the British home fleet is in the North Sea, bottling the
Germans up in Kiel and Helgoland. There is likely to be a battle there
almost any time. My yacht, the _Sylph_, has been converted into a scout
cruiser, and has been heavily armed.

"Although the _Sylph_ is listed as being able to make a speed of only
twenty knots, nevertheless it is swifter than any of our war vessels.
This unknown speed has been useful more than once. My naval rank is that
of captain, and I have been ordered to the North Sea with the _Sylph_!"

"What!" exclaimed the two lads, and Frank continued:

"Why cannot you take us with you?"

"Just what I was about to propose," declared Lord Hastings. "Would you
like to go with me, or would you prefer to join the army?"

"The sea for me!" exclaimed Jack.

"For me, too!" declared Frank.

"Good!" replied Lord Hastings. "Then that part is settled."

"But what will be our duties?" asked Jack.

"Well, while you will be only unofficial members of the crew, in view of
the service you have done for England, I believe my influence is great
enough to have you rated as midshipmen."

"But we know nothing of naval warfare," declared Frank.

"The chances are that we won't have to do a great deal of fighting,"
explained Lord Hastings. "But I guess you will both be able to give a
good account of yourselves if we do."

"We shall do the best we can," declared Frank.

"You won't find us shirking our duties," Jack agreed.

"I'm sure of that," replied Lord Hastings, rising. "I must go now, and I
shall try and get your appointments to-night. I shall let you know what
success I have in the morning. Good-night."

Lord Hastings left the room, and Frank and Jack immediately fell into a
discussion of the times that were to come. So interested did they become
in their talk that it was well after midnight when they finally went to
bed.

They were up bright and early the next morning, however, so eager were
they to learn the result of Lord Hastings' mission, and were already
there when that gentleman entered the breakfast room with a smile on his
face.

"Well," demanded Frank, so anxious that he was unable to wait for Lord
Hastings to speak, "is it all right?"

"Did you fix it?" asked Jack.

Lord Hastings nodded.

"Yes; it's all right," he replied. He drew from his pocket two official
and important looking papers. "Here are your appointments as midshipmen
in his majesty's navy. You have been assigned to the _Sylph_, under my
command."

"Hurrah!" cried Frank.

"Hurrah!" shouted Jack.

Lord Hastings smiled quietly at their enthusiasm.

"I am glad you are pleased," he said.

"You bet we are pleased," said Jack. "We can never thank you enough."

"We certainly can't," declared Frank. "But when do we go?"

"Now, don't get excited," laughed Lord Hastings. "There is plenty of
time. We shall go on board the _Sylph_ to-night and sail about midnight.
Now come with me, and we'll see about getting your uniforms."

Their uniforms obtained and their other needs having been supplied, the
boys spent the rest of the day strolling about the city. So great was
their impatience to be off that the hours dragged by slowly and time
hung heavily on their hands as they wandered about, waiting for six
o'clock, when they were to meet Lord Hastings at his home.

As with everything, however, the time came and passed, and Frank and
Jack at last stood again upon the deck of the _Sylph_. It was almost
midnight when the little scout cruiser finally slipped her cable and
steamed proudly down the Thames.

"Well," said Jack, "we are off at last. I wonder where we shall be next
month at this time?"

Frank shrugged his shoulders.

"Who knows?" he replied.

For several hours the two lads stood upon the deck, gazing over the rail
into the dark waters of the river; but at length they turned in.

The _Sylph_ was manned with a crew of 100 men, besides her officers. A
small cruiser, she nevertheless had been an extremely large-sized yacht.
All told she mounted ten eight-inch guns and several smaller pieces.

Used frequently as she had been by Lord Hastings on diplomatic and
political missions, the _Sylph_ had always been prepared to resist an
attack, so that her present armament was only twice what it had been.

While the _Sylph_ would stand little chance against one of the great
German dreadnoughts or battle cruisers, Lord Hastings had little doubt
that she could give a good account of herself in an encounter with some
of the enemy's smaller vessels. If he encountered one of the enemy's
bigger vessels, it was Lord Hastings' plan to run, and he was positive
that he could not be overhauled; for the _Sylph_ had the heels of
practically anything afloat.

Officers and crew were trained to the minute. Picked from among the
flower of Britain's sailors, drilled so that they went about their work
like well-oiled cogs in a great machine, they were all eager to get into
action.

Although rated as midshipmen, Frank and Jack were not assigned to fixed
stations. They had been given a cabin just off the one occupied by Lord
Hastings. The _Sylph_, ostensibly a pleasure yacht, had been fitted up
with roomy and beautiful cabins, and this space, although the yacht now
was a war cruiser, necessarily had to be utilized.

Under Lord Hastings, Lieutenant Edwards was the second in command. The
next two ranking officers were Second Lieutenant Taylor and Third
Lieutenant Harvey.

Bright sunlight streamed into the cabin occupied by the two boys when
they awoke the morning following their departure from London. They
jumped up, dressed hurriedly, and went on deck. There was no land in
sight, nor was there even a sail in the distance; nothing but water as
far as the eye could see.

The little cruiser steamed swiftly along, rising and falling gently with
the swell of the sea. For a long time the boys stood gazing out over the
water, and they were still there when Lord Hastings approached.

"Good morning," he greeted them. "How do you think you will like life on
the ocean wave?"

"It's glorious," replied both lads in a single voice. "Where are we?"

"We are headed straight for the North Sea," was the reply.

"Is there any danger of our meeting a German warship?"

"Very little. Of course, there may be a cruiser prowling about, but I
doubt it. I did hear, however, that there was a German cruiser in these
waters several days ago. Nothing has been heard of her since, in spite
of a keen search. She has probably put into some neutral port. In that
event she must either leave in twenty-four hours or disarm until the end
of the war."

"Are we to join the fleet immediately?"

"No, not immediately. We shall do some scouting for several days off the
Scandinavian coast, trying to pick up some of the Germans who, under
neutral colors, have been laying mines in the North Sea."

"But isn't there some danger of our striking a mine?"

"Not around here. Farther along, of course, we shall have to be
extremely careful."

For two days the _Sylph_ continued on her way without incident.

Frank and Jack quickly fell into the routine life aboard the cruiser,
and performed such duties as were from time to time assigned to them in
such manner as to draw forth the praise of Lord Hastings and his
officers.

It was on the third evening after leaving London that Frank and Jack,
who were standing on deck, were startled by a cry from the lookout:

"Cruiser off the port bow, sir!"

The word was passed and Lord Hastings quickly appeared on deck.

"A German, as sure as I am a foot high!" he declared, after a long and
careful scrutiny through his glass.

"She's a German, sir," agreed Lieutenant Edwards, "and she is headed
directly for us."

"We'll go a little closer, and try to make out her identity," was Lord
Hastings' order. "Slow down to fifteen knots!"

Soon the ship, at first but a speck in the distance, was close enough
for Lord Hastings to make out her colors.

"American!" he said; then turning to Lieutenant Edwards, added:

"Try her on the wireless!"

"No reply," came the answer from the wireless room a few moments later.

Still the ships continued to draw nearer to each other.

Suddenly the American flag at the masthead of the stranger fluttered
down, and a moment later the German colors were run up in its stead.

At the same moment a loud boom sounded from across the water, and there
was a great splash in the water behind the _Sylph_.

The wireless operator approached Lord Hastings:

"A message from the German, sir!" he said.

Lord Hastings took the slip of paper extended to him, and read aloud:

"Surrender, or we shall blow you out of the water!"



                              CHAPTER XII.

                        A BRUSH WITH THE ENEMY.


Lord Hastings turned to the operator with a smile.

"Tell him to blow away!" he said, and the operator departed, grinning
broadly.

The first shades of darkness were now beginning to encircle the little
vessel.

"The enemy has the range of us," said Lord Hastings to Lieutenant
Edwards, as a second shell whistled over the bow of the vessel, kicking
up a great splash in the water.

"Yes, sir," was the reply; "our guns are ineffective at this distance."

Under Lord Hastings' command, the _Sylph_ came about, and headed back in
the way she had come.

"What would you say she is making?" asked Lord Hastings of Lieutenant
Edwards, indicating the approaching German cruiser.

"About twenty-one knots, sir."

"Good. Set our speed at twenty-four, then."

"Very good, sir."

The _Sylph_ seemed to leap forward. Then Lord Hastings took the time to
explain his plans.

"We don't want to run entirely away from her," he explained. "We want to
keep just enough ahead of her so she will continue the chase. Darkness
will be upon us in an hour. I should like to capture that cruiser
single-handed, and some method may present itself. But in the meantime
we must keep out of range of her big guns."

The _Sylph_ gradually drew away from her pursuer. When the distance
between the two vessels was such that Lord Hastings deemed accurate
shooting by the German impossible, the speed of the _Sylph_ was reduced
to twenty-one knots.

These relative positions the two vessels maintained until darkness fell;
then the glare of a searchlight aboard the German fell upon the _Sylph_
and lighted her up like day. So the chase continued for another hour.

Suddenly the wireless operator came on deck, and rushed breathlessly up
to Lord Hastings.

"I have just picked up the British cruiser _Lancaster_," he cried. "I
told her we were being chased by a German cruiser, and she is coming to
our aid. She gave her position as twenty miles west of us, sir."

"Good," replied Lord Hastings. "Keep in touch with the _Lancaster_."

The operator departed.

"How is she headed?" demanded Lord Hastings of Lieutenant Edwards.

"Due west, sir," was the reply.

"Make it west by south," ordered Lord Hastings.

"Very good, sir!"

Gradually the _Sylph_ bore off toward the south, the German cruiser
still in pursuit.

For more than an hour the chase continued, the _Sylph_ still keeping the
same distance ahead of the German. Then from the northwest came the
distant flash of another searchlight.

"Ship off the starboard bow, sir!" came the cry of the lookout.

"Slow to fifteen knots!" came Lord Hastings' order, and there was a
perceptible diminishing in the speed of the _Sylph_.

Still the German cruiser came on, quickly reducing the distance between
the two vessels. Then, suddenly, the light that illumined the _Sylph_
disappeared; the searchlight on the German had been turned in another
direction.

"She has sighted the _Lancaster_, sir," said Lieutenant Edwards.

"So she has," replied Lord Hastings. "Bring the _Sylph_ about, and make
your course north by east, Lieutenant Edwards."

"Very good, sir," was the lieutenant's reply, and the _Sylph_ came about
quickly.

Hardly had the little vessel laid herself out on her new course, when
Lord Hastings' voice rang out:

"Full speed ahead!"

The _Sylph_ jumped forward like some live thing, and headed in the
direction of the German cruiser, still bearing somewhat to the south.

Frank and Jack watched all these maneuvers with the greatest of
interest. When the word was passed that the vessel approaching was a
German cruiser, the boys had been greatly excited; and, when the _Sylph_
had turned and fled from the enemy, their disappointment knew no bounds.

"Great Scott!" Frank exclaimed. "We are running away!"

"I don't believe Lord Hastings is the man to run very far," Jack
replied. "Besides, you can see as well as I can that the _Sylph_ is no
match for the German. She would shoot us out of the water before she
approached within range of our guns."

"Perhaps so," returned Frank, "but just the same I would rather fight
than run away from that cruiser, big as she is."

"I feel the same way. But 'discretion is the better part of valor,' you
know. Besides, I believe Lord Hastings has some scheme in his mind."

"Well, I hope so," declared Frank.

The boys had spied the distant light of the approaching _Lancaster_
practically at the same moment as had the lookout; and, when the _Sylph_
once more came about and headed toward the German cruiser, Jack
exclaimed:

"What did I tell you? I said Lord Hastings wasn't the man to run far, no
matter how great the odds against him."

"You are right," was Frank's reply. "It looks as though we were to see a
little action."

"Yes, and it's likely to be a pretty sizable fight, or I miss my guess,"
returned Jack.

For fear of giving notice of their approach to the enemy, who now
apparently had forgotten the existence of the _Sylph_ in the approach of
the _Lancaster_, the call to quarters was not sounded on the _Sylph_.
Upon orders of Lord Hastings, Frank and Jack went quietly about the
ship, summoning the men to their posts.

There was not a light upon the _Sylph_ as the little vessel bore down
upon the enemy. The searchlight of the _Lancaster_ now enveloped the
German, and the searchlight of the latter now played upon the swiftly
oncoming British cruiser.

On the _Sylph_ everything was ready for the struggle. The perfectly
drilled crew had cleared for action in no time. Lord Hastings and
Lieutenant Edwards made a round of inspection, and spoke inspiring words
to the members of the crew.

"Remember the words of Lord Nelson," cried the former, "'England expects
every man to do his duty!'"

A cheer was quickly silenced when Lord Hastings raised his hand for
quiet.

"Our chance of coming out of this engagement alive," Lord Hastings said
to the gun crews, "is that you make every shot count. A vital spot must
be hit at the first fire. The enemy's great guns would tear us to
pieces. If we can take them by surprise, we have more than an even
chance of success."

Lord Hastings returned to his place on deck.

Nearer and still nearer the _Sylph_ crept toward her foe; and now the
speed was reduced to fifteen knots.

"Another ten minutes and we shall be near enough to strike," declared
Lord Hastings to the group of officers about him. He turned to Jack and
Frank. "Take your posts," he said, "and keep me informed if we are
struck and what damage is done by the enemy's fire."

Frank and Jack descended to the lower deck--now converted into the gun
deck. Both lads were trembling with eagerness and excitement.

"How do you feel, Jack," asked Frank, "scared?"

"No, not exactly," was the reply. "I feel rather funny, though."

"Same here," said Frank, "but I guess we'll get over that as soon as
things break loose."

"Yes; and they're about due to break," declared Jack.

Members of the gun crews joked each other good-naturedly, as they waited
for the command to fire.

And still there was a death-like silence on the _Sylph_.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank at last. "This is the longest ten minutes
I ever saw!"

"Don't you worry," replied Jack, "they'll be over----"

Then suddenly it came. Even from where they stood, the boys could hear
the clear, quiet voice of Lord Hastings:

"Lieutenant Edwards, you may fire at will!"



                             CHAPTER XIII.

                              THE BATTLE!


There was an instant of awful silence; then came the command:

"Fire!"

There was a horrible noise, louder by far than the loudest clap of
thunder; the _Sylph_ quivered, then seemed to leap back. The big guns on
the starboard side of the little vessel had poured forth their volley.

So close had the _Sylph_ approached to the enemy without being
discovered that a miss was impossible; and the suddenness of this
unexpected attack took the Germans completely off their guard. There
came a voice from above:

"A hit! A hit!"

The _Sylph_ now shook and trembled continuously, as broadside after
broadside was poured into the enemy, first from one side and then from
the other, as the little vessel maneuvered, presenting first one side
and then the other to the enemy.

Although taken practically unprepared, the Germans had no mind to give
up without a fight. One of the shells from the _Sylph_ had passed
through the cabin of the commander, leaving death and ruin in its wake;
a second tore a great hole through the smokestack, and she had been
pierced in other vulnerable spots.

The marksmanship of the British gunners was superb!

But now the Germans had brought their big guns to bear on the little
vessel. There was a gigantic boom, followed immediately by the sound of
a great crash. The shell had struck one of the guns of the _Sylph_,
blowing it to pieces.

There was a shower of iron, and men fell on all sides as it rained upon
the deck. At Gun No. 2 the gunner crumpled up and fell to the deck just
as he was about to fire.

"Report this to Lord Hastings!" cried Jack to Frank, and the latter
rushed upon deck.

Jack leaped to the gun and touched it off with his own hand. His action
was rewarded by a great shout from on deck, followed by a terrific
explosion.

Another German shell struck the gun deck of the _Sylph_, and again
several men went to the deck. But as they fell others jumped to take
their places, Jack among them.

For another few minutes the battle raged without cessation. Jack
continued to work like a Trojan; Frank, returning from above, where he
had reported to Lord Hastings, saw his friend running, shouting,
fighting with the others, stripped to the waist.

With a shout, Frank rushed to his side, arriving just in time to touch
off a gun as the gunner fell beside it.

Then, suddenly, there came from above the command:

"Cease firing!"

As if by magic the night became still. After the great noise and
confusion of the battle the sudden stillness was so intense that the
boys' ears hurt. Then they made their way to the deck.

And what a sight met their eyes!

Before them the sea was covered with a mass of wreckage. The stately
German cruiser of a few minutes before was like so much floating débris.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Jack. "Did we do all that?"

"I guess we did," replied Frank.

"Mr. Chadwick! Mr. Templeton!" came the voice of Lord Hastings. "You
will man two of the boats at once and pick up as many as possible of
those poor fellows in the sea!"

The lads rushed to obey this order, and soon were busily engaged in
rescuing the German sailors clinging to the débris and swimming about in
the water.

For almost an hour they rowed about, picking up the unfortunate Germans.

Although a mass of wreckage, the German cruiser had not yet sunk, but it
was plainly apparent that it was settling rapidly. On the bridge Jack
made out the form of a man in uniform. It was undoubtedly the commander.

"By George," declared Jack, "we must get him off!"

"It's no use," spoke up one of the German officers who had been picked
up. "He refused to leave the ship. We tried to prevail upon him to jump,
but he said he would stick to his post."

"Even so," replied Jack, "we must make an effort to save him."

"It's useless," repeated the German.

The little boat was rowed closer in spite of the German's words, and
Jack called to the German commander:

"Jump, sir, and we will save you."

The German looked at the lad, but made no reply, and Jack repeated:

"Jump. We will get you all right."

Slowly the German commander drew a revolver, and, pointing it at the
boat, exclaimed:

"Keep away, or I shall fire!"

As Jack did not immediately order his men to move away, the German
officer in the boat exclaimed:

"You would better do as he says. Besides, the ship will sink in a
moment, and the suction will draw us under if we do not move from here."

At the same moment Frank, returning to the _Sylph_ with his boat filled
with survivors, called:

"Get back quick, Jack, or you will be drawn under!"

Jack looked once more at the German commander, who still stood with
leveled revolver, and then turned to his men:

"Give way!" he commanded, and the little boat headed once more for the
_Sylph_.

The small boat withdrew from the danger zone none too soon.

When still a few yards from the _Sylph_, Jack turned his face toward the
sinking cruiser. As he did so, the sinking craft gave a convulsive
shudder, then the sea closed over it. The last thing that Jack saw was
the commander, standing calmly on the bridge, awaiting the end. He went
to his death with bared head, standing at attention. Jack will remember
the sight till his dying day.

"A brave man!" was all he said, lifting his cap from his head.

Back on the _Sylph_, Frank and Jack learned that the casualties in the
battle had been comparatively slight. Ten men had been killed and
twenty-two wounded. Two of the latter were not expected to live. The
German shells had done considerable damage to the _Sylph_, particularly
upon the gun deck. Lord Hastings declared, however, that this could be
patched up with very little difficulty.

It was during a talk with Lord Hastings, while the commander of the
_Sylph_ and the two boys watched the approach of the British cruiser
_Lancaster_, that Jack learned just what an important part he had played
in the engagement.

"It was a single shot that put the German out of business," declared
Lord Hastings. "It was just after the first fire from the German hit us,
killing some of the gun crew."

Jack looked surprised, but said nothing.

"A second later," continued Lord Hastings, "there was a single shot from
the _Sylph_. The shell penetrated to the magazine on the cruiser, and it
exploded. Although the Germans fought for some time thereafter, that was
the shot that decided the battle; it was the shot that sunk the ship."

He turned to Jack. "You were in the gun room at the time," he said; "do
you know who fired that shot?"

"Yes, sir," replied Jack, in some confusion.

"Who was it, then?"

"I fired it, sir!"

"What!" exclaimed Lord Hastings and Frank in the same breath.

"Yes, sir, I fired it; but it was just luck that I hit anything."

"A shot like that can hardly be called luck," replied Lord Hastings.

"Well, it was luck as far as I am concerned," said Jack. "The gun had
already been sighted. I just touched it off when Mitchel fell to the
deck."

"The hand of Providence has surely been with us this night," declared
Lord Hastings.

A sailor approached with a message.

"A message from the wireless room, sir," he said.

Lord Hastings took the paper he extended. He read aloud:

    "Your report received. Congratulations on your gallant victory.
    We are proud of you all, and are sorry we could not be in at the
    death. Stand by, I am coming on board. Will relieve you of your
    prisoners.

                                      (Signed) "CAPT. T. T. MAYFAIR,
                                      "Commanding H. M. S. _Lancaster_."

Lieutenant Edwards approached at this juncture and saluted.

"A boat from the _Lancaster_ is coming alongside, sir," he reported.



                              CHAPTER XIV.

                          SAVED FROM THE SEA.


A few moments later a man, whose uniform proclaimed him a captain in the
British navy, clambered over the rail to the deck of the _Sylph_. Lord
Hastings advanced to meet him.

"A great piece of work, sir!" exclaimed Captain Mayfair, as he grasped
Lord Hastings' hand. "Allow me to congratulate you again!"

The two men disappeared in the direction of Lord Hastings' cabin.

The wounded on the _Sylph_ by this time had been cared for and the dead
prepared for burial. Jack and Frank had lent what assistance they could
in this work, and now had returned upon deck.

"Well, that was a pretty lively little scrap," said the latter, as they
leaned against the rail and looked out over the water.

"I should say it was," replied Jack. "I was scared, too, for a few
minutes."

"Maybe you were, but you didn't show it. The way you went about your
work on the gun deck, with men dropping on all sides, didn't look much
like you were afraid."

"Well, I was, just the same."

"And to think that you fired the shot that decided the battle!"

"That was nothing but an accident, as I told Lord Hastings."

"Perhaps so; but it was a fortunate accident for us."

Further conversation was interrupted by the approach of Lord Hastings
and Captain Mayfair. Lord Hastings introduced the two lads to the
British commander, and the latter, laying his hand on Jack's shoulder,
exclaimed:

"So this is the lad who won the battle! It was a great piece of work,
and England will not forget your action!"

Jack blushed in his confusion.

"I have told Lord Hastings, sir, that it was only an accident," he
replied.

"Nevertheless, your actions at such a time showed bravery and quickness
of wit," returned Captain Mayfair. Then, turning to Lord Hastings: "But
I must go now. I shall send boats to relieve you of your prisoners."

He shook hands all around, disappeared over the side and was rowed back
to the _Lancaster_. A short time later the German prisoners captured by
the _Sylph_ were lowered into small boats, sent by the _Lancaster_, and,
when the last had been disposed of, the _Sylph_ continued on her journey
toward the east.

Late in the afternoon of the following day, Frank, who stood upon the
bridge, made out a distant speck upon the horizon. Save for this one
little dot on the water, there was nothing in sight but the sea.

Frank reported his discovery to Lord Hastings, who ordered the _Sylph's_
head turned in that direction. He finally picked up the object with his
glass.

"Looks like a bit of driftwood," he declared, after a long scrutiny. "I
guess there is no need of going further," and he turned with an order to
alter the _Sylph's_ course on his lips.

But at that moment Frank, who also had been gazing through a glass,
cried:

"There is someone on it, sir!"

Lord Hastings stayed his command, and again leveled his glass.

"So there is," he said finally, and ordered the _Sylph_ forward with
even greater speed. Presently the vessel drew close enough for the naked
eye to discern a figure lying upon what appeared to be a small raft.

"Mr. Chadwick, take the launch and bring that man aboard," ordered Lord
Hastings.

Frank leaped to obey, and under his direction the launch was soon
alongside the raft. As it drew close, the figure on the raft stirred,
and then sat up.

"Great Scott!" ejaculated Frank. "It's a girl!"

As suddenly as she had sat up, the girl dropped back again. Frank stood
up in the launch, and, as the little boat drew up against the raft, he
leaned over and picked up the girl and drew her into the launch. Then he
ordered his men to return to the _Sylph_.

Aboard the little scout cruiser the girl was taken below, and finally
was revived by the use of stimulants. Then, without uttering a word, she
fell back again, and soon her deep, regular breathing proclaimed that
she was asleep.

Frank returned on deck, where Jack was waiting for him.

"I wonder who she is, and what she was doing out there?" asked Frank.

"She is probably a survivor of some wreck," replied Jack. "Did she say
anything?"

"No; she did not recover consciousness until a moment ago. Then she
immediately fell asleep. She is plainly exhausted after the peril she
has undergone."

"Well, I guess we shall find out all about her when she wakes up," said
Jack.

Lord Hastings, Lieutenant Edwards, Second Lieutenant Taylor, Frank and
Jack sat at supper when word was brought that the girl was awake and
desired to speak to the commander of the vessel.

"Escort her here," commanded Lord Hastings, and he ordered a place set
for her at the table.

A few moments later the girl appeared in the doorway. Frank, Jack and
the officers rose, and Lord Hastings advanced to meet her, with extended
hand.

"We are glad to have been of assistance to you," he said, "and welcome
you to supper, Miss----"

He paused.

"Beulow," said the girl; "Alice Beulow."

"Miss Beulow," repeated Lord Hastings, "won't you be seated?"

After an introduction all around, the girl took the seat indicated,
between Frank and Second Lieutenant Taylor.

Frank gave her one swift glance as she sat down. Apparently about
seventeen years of age, her face was unmistakably Teutonic, but she
spoke English clearly and without an accent. She was tall and slender,
and, Frank noted, very pretty.

"You have Mr. Chadwick to thank for our timely arrival," Lord Hastings
told her. "But for his keen eyes we should probably have passed without
seeing you."

The girl smiled brightly at Frank, and he blushed.

"I know I can never repay you," she said, "and thanks are unnecessary
for such a deed. I hope some day to show my appreciation, as will my
father, when he learns how his daughter's life has been saved."

"I am sure I am glad to have been of service to you, Miss Beulow,"
replied Frank. "But now won't you tell us how you came to be in such a
serious predicament?"

"It's not a long story," said the girl, "although it seems ages that I
have passed through. In the first place," turning from one to another
with a smile, "I suppose you know that I am German?"

Lord Hastings nodded.

"I surmised as much," he replied, "although I was unable to account for
your excellent English."

"Well, you see, while my father is a German, my mother is an American. I
have been going to school in Massachusetts. When school was over this
summer, mother and I went to California, and after returning east, went
to visit my aunt in Copenhagen. Mother decided to stay several weeks
longer, but I was anxious to see father, and so sailed without waiting
for her.

"Regular traffic across the North Sea has been suspended, but I found,
upon inquiry, a German vessel that was ready to make a dash for Kiel. I
was anxious to get home, so I took passage, although I had to do an
awful lot of talking before the captain would consent to taking me.

"We were hardly out of sight of land when a British cruiser came after
us. The captain would not surrender, and fled. The British ship gave
chase. In the darkness we succeeded in eluding our pursuer and in the
morning had drawn out of sight.

"Just as the captain was congratulating himself upon his successful
flight, there was a sudden terrific explosion, and we seemed to shoot
high in the air."

"A hidden mine, I suppose," interrupted Lord Hastings.

"Yes," replied the girl. "I heard the captain make that remark as I
seemed to sail high in the air. A moment later I found myself in the
water struggling. All around me I heard cries and shouts. My hand came
in contact with something and I grasped it. It appeared to be a raft,
and, after a hard struggle, I pulled myself upon it, almost exhausted.

"Then I think I must have fainted, for, when again I looked about me, I
could see nothing but water. I had no food and no water to drink, and
when I realized this I broke down and cried."

"And no wonder!" exclaimed Frank.

"All that day and night, and late into the following night I watched for
some sign of a vessel, but I saw none. After that I remember nothing
until I awoke upon this ship."

"You certainly have had a strenuous time," declared Lord Hastings,
"almost three days alone in the middle of the sea without food or drink
is enough to shatter the nerves of the most hardy. I can only wonder
that you bear up so bravely now."

"Miss Beulow is certainly a remarkable young lady," agreed Lieutenant
Taylor, glancing at her admiringly. "I hope that we shall not soon lose
her company," and he smiled at her.

The girl ignored this piece of gallantry, and turned to Frank, and the
two were soon engaged in a little conversation of their own.

"What am I to do with you, Miss Beulow?" asked Lord Hastings at length.
"I had not planned to put into port for days."

"That is not necessary," replied the girl. "I would not put you to such
inconvenience, although I suppose I should look upon you as an enemy."

"I hope you may never do that," said Lord Hastings gallantly.

"I am sure I never shall," replied the girl. "I suppose the proper thing
is for me to remain here until you put into some port. Father probably
is with the army, and will not know of my disappearance, and mother will
think I have arrived home safely. Yes, I guess that is the best thing to
do."

"Whatever you say. Miss Beulow," replied Lord Hastings.

"When you land you may give me my liberty," continued the young girl.
"In the meantime, I am a prisoner of war; and, in that case, I must give
my parole, mustn't I?" she asked, with a bright smile.

Lord Hastings humored her.

"If you will," he agreed.

"Well, then, I give my word that I shall make no attempt to escape," and
with that she arose, took the arm Frank offered her, and the two went on
deck.



                              CHAPTER XV.

                           A PLOT OVERHEARD.


"Great Scott, Jack! Look!"

It was Frank who spoke. The two boys were standing in the shadow in the
bow of the _Sylph_. Jack looked in the direction his companion pointed.
A solitary figure was skulking along the deck.

"I see a man," replied Jack. "What about it?"

"Didn't you recognize him?"

"No; who is he?"

"The same man who followed us in the streets of London!"

"By George! You don't mean it. Why haven't we seen him before?"

"He is wearing a thick mustache. I don't suppose I would have recognized
him now if I hadn't caught a side glimpse of his face."

"Are you sure he is the man?"

"There is no question about it."

"But what do you suppose he is doing here, skulking about the deck?"

"I don't know, but he is up to no good, I'll warrant."

"You are right. Let's follow him and see where he goes."

"Good! Come on!"

Stealthily the lads followed in the steps of the sailor, keeping well in
the shadow and far enough behind to prevent discovery.

Unaware that he was being followed, the sailor made his way straight to
the cabin of Second Lieutenant Taylor. There he gave a sharp, peculiar
knock, and the door was immediately opened. The man disappeared inside.

"Something up," whispered Frank to Jack. "Guess we had better find out
what is going on in there."

The second lieutenant's cabin was in the after part of the vessel, and a
window overlooked the deck. The window was lowered a trifle, permitting
a gleam of light to stream across the deck.

The two boys approached and cautiously peered into the cabin. They saw
Lieutenant Taylor and the sailor seated at a small table, on which were
a bottle and glasses, and they could plainly overhear the conversation
that passed between them.

"I don't like this eavesdropping business, but it is up to us to learn
what is going on," whispered Jack.

"Right you are," replied Frank. "This looks suspicious to me. What
business do you suppose Lieutenant Taylor can have with a man we are
bound to believe is a German spy?"

"It's too much for me," said Jack; "but if we listen we may overhear
something worth while."

The two boys became silent, and, with their eyes to the small open space
at the top of the window, listened breathlessly.

"How is everything going?" they heard the sailor ask Lieutenant Taylor.

"As well as could be expected," was the reply. "I haven't been able to
do anything yet, however, for Lord Hastings has received no definite
information or instructions."

"But he will? Are you sure of that?"

"Perfectly. There are only a few men acquainted with Hastings'
connection with the British Admiralty. A captain of a scout ship, eh!
Why, I know that if he chose he could, with the instructions he now
holds, take command of the entire British fleet in the North Sea."

"Is that so? Then you are positive we made no mistake when we selected
the _Sylph_ as the best place to learn England's naval plans?"

"Absolutely positive. Not a move will be made of which Hastings has not
had previous information. In spite of the wireless, this vessel is the
real connecting link between the British Home Office and the North Sea
fleet. I have it on good authority that, until further notice, Hastings
will receive all messages from both directions. The reason for this, I
understand, is that the government puts the utmost faith in his ability
and loyalty."

"Good," replied the sailor. "Now what are your plans?"

"Well, a whole lot will depend upon circumstances; but the first thing I
want you to do is to put yourself into the confidence of the wireless
operator. In some manner I must have a copy of every message received
and sent. Of course, all messages will be in code, but I have the key to
that. You are an operator, are you not?"

"Yes."

"All right. I must be kept posted, so that at the proper moment I can
act. At that moment, your duty will be to transmit a message I shall
give you. Before doing so, however, you will have to dispose of the
operator."

"I'll attend to him," broke in the sailor.

"Good. If there is no slip up in our plans, it will mean the destruction
of the British fleet. Our work completed, we shall make our escape at
night in the launch."

"And our reward?" asked the sailor, as he rose to his feet.

"Oh, yes, our reward," repeated Lieutenant Taylor, with a harsh laugh.
"We are doing this for a reward, aren't we? Well, promises will be kept.
The Kaiser will reward us handsomely."

"There is no reason to believe that we are suspected?" asked the sailor,
as he moved toward the door.

"Not the slightest; and if we are careful, we can put this thing through
without arousing suspicion. Good night. I want to turn in early as I
must be about at daylight. I want to show the young lady we picked up
to-day about the vessel. I understand her father is a high officer in
the German army, and with the success of our venture--well, who knows?"

"You take my advice and let the girl alone," growled the sailor. "A
woman has spoiled more than one well-laid scheme."

"Keep your advice to yourself, Hardy," replied the lieutenant angrily.
"Now, good night."

Jack and Frank straightened up from their cramped position, slipped
quickly down the deck and disappeared before the sailor emerged from the
lieutenant's cabin.

"Well, what do you think of that?" demanded Jack, as the two boys sat
down in their own cabin.

"I don't know what to think," replied Frank. "Great Scott! Suppose no
one had learned of their plans! What would have happened then?"

"I don't know what might have happened," returned Jack. "It certainly is
a good thing you spotted that sailor, Hardy. We might not have had
another chance of overhearing their plans."

"I suppose the thing to do now is to inform Lord Hastings at once."

"I suppose so. Or no, I believe it would do just as well to wait until
morning. He has retired and there is no use arousing him. The plotters
can do nothing to-night."

"I guess you are right. By the way, what do you think of Taylor's
remarks about Miss Beulow?"

"I believe you are more interested in remarks concerning Miss Beulow
than I am," replied Jack, with a smile.

Frank blushed.

"Well, maybe so," he said. "But she is a nice girl, and I don't believe
she would have much use for a traitor, even though he is plotting to
deliver England into the hands of her own country. Do you?"

"I don't know anything about it," was the reply. "You can ask her in the
morning if you like. In the meantime, let's get some sleep."



                              CHAPTER XVI.

                             A TRAP IS SET.


It was late the following morning when Frank and Jack succeeded in
gaining a private hearing with Lord Hastings.

"Now what is it you have on your mind?" he asked, when they were finally
seated in his cabin.

"There are traitors on board, sir," said Frank quietly.

Lord Hastings bounded to his feet.

"What is that you say?" he exclaimed. "Traitors? It is impossible. You
should be more careful of your language."

"It is true, sir," said Jack. "We overheard them plotting last night."

Lord Hastings slowly resumed his seat.

"I know you must have good reason for your words," he replied; "but I
can scarcely credit them. Who are these traitors?"

"Well," said Frank, "one of them is the man who followed Jack and me in
London. He is a sailor on board, but, owing to a false mustache, I did
not recognize him until last night."

"And the other?" queried Lord Hastings.

"The other," said Frank, "you will find it very hard to believe is
plotting against England. He is an officer on board, sir."

"His name?" demanded Lord Hastings.

"Second Lieutenant Taylor, sir!"

"What!" exclaimed Lord Hastings, jumping to his feet in great
excitement. "Lieutenant Taylor?"

"Yes, sir," said Jack. "We overheard the two of them plotting last
night."

Lord Hastings paced back and forth for several moments. Then he sat down
again.

"Tell me what you heard," he commanded at length.

Frank related, almost word for word, the conversation the boys had
overheard between Lieutenant Taylor and the sailor, Hardy, the night
before.

For a long time after Frank had finished Lord Hastings sat wrapped in
thought.

"It seems incredible," he muttered at length; "but I am forced to
believe that your words are true." Then suddenly to Jack: "Mr.
Templeton!"

"Sir!" and the midshipman's hand came to a salute.

"Summon Lieutenant Edwards and Lieutenant Taylor. Then have the word
passed for Hardy.

"Yes, sir," and Jack moved toward the door.

"May I make so bold as to offer a suggestion, sir?" Frank asked, before
Jack could leave the cabin.

"You may," was the reply, and Lord Hastings motioned Jack to resume his
seat.

"I would suggest, then, sir," said Frank, "that, for the time being,
matters be allowed to stand as they are. Now that we know their plans,
they can do no damage. In fact, by a little judicious juggling of the
wireless we might even be able to turn the presence of the plotters here
to our advantage."

"In what way?" demanded Lord Hastings.

"Why, sir," explained Frank, "suppose they are furnished with wrong
information? Not knowing that they are discovered, they will continue
with their plans. Lieutenant Taylor said that the success of their plan
would mean the destruction of the British North Sea fleet. Evidently
they intend, through the 'fake' message he spoke of, to lead the fleet
into a trap when they believe the time is ripe."

"My idea exactly," interrupted Lord Hastings; "but go on."

"Well, they must be allowed to gain a certain amount of authentic
information, so as not to arouse their suspicions. But, at the proper
time, we must see that they get such false information as will lead them
to believe it is time for them to act. In some manner, probably by
wireless, Lieutenant Taylor plans to communicate with the German fleet
at Helgoland. That is why our operator must be disposed of. They must be
allowed to do this."

"Why?" asked Lord Hastings.

"So that false plans of the British fleet having been sent to the
Germans--false plans that we must prepare carefully--we shall trap the
German fleet, or a portion of it, instead of being trapped ourselves. In
this manner we may be able to strike the first naval blow of the war."

"You mean that we may succeed in drawing the German fleet into the
open?"

"Yes, sir. Of course Admiral Jellicoe must be informed of how matters
stand and how they progress, so that he may act in conjunction with us."

For fully half an hour Lord Hastings sat twirling his thumbs, turning
this scheme over in his mind. Neither Frank nor Jack interrupted his
meditations, both awaiting his decision anxiously.

"The only difficulty I can see in your plan," said Lord Hastings
finally, "is how we shall get word to Admiral Jellicoe without the
plotters overhearing. You say Hardy is an operator?"

"Yes," replied Frank, "but whenever we are ready to send a communication
to Admiral Jellicoe that we do not wish overheard, or to any other
place, it will be very simple for Lieutenant Taylor, and Hardy also, to
be ordered to some duty at the far end of the vessel at that moment."

"So it will," said Lord Hastings, slapping his knee. "Your plan is a
splendid one; and, if it works out, as I believe it will, you will have
rendered England a tremendous service--one that shall never be
forgotten."

"Then you will act upon my suggestion, sir?" exclaimed Frank with great
delight.

"I shall; and I want to say that I am proud to have two such youngsters
with me. Why, you both have been of greater value to me than I ever
believed it possible for anyone to be."

"Thank you, sir," said both lads in a single voice.

"You may go now," Lord Hastings continued, "while I remain and work out
the details of the plan. And remember, not a word of this to a soul.
Send Lieutenant Edwards to me!"

The boys saluted and left the commander's cabin.

Emerging upon deck, they saw Lieutenant Edwards and Miss Beulow
strolling about. They approached the couple.

"Lord Hastings requests that you report to him at once," said Frank,
coming to a salute.

The lieutenant departed, and the two boys and the young German girl
continued their promenade.

"Well, well, how is our little enemy this morning?" came a voice
suddenly.

Turning, they beheld the smiling countenance of Lieutenant Taylor.

"Very well, thank you," replied Miss Beulow coldly, then ignoring the
lieutenant, turned to the two boys and resumed her conversation.

"Come, come," continued the lieutenant, "don't be so standoffish. I like
you, even if you are a German."

The girl made no answer to this remark, and the lieutenant, after gazing
resentfully at her a moment, took himself off.

"Do you know," the girl confided to the two boys, "I do not like your
Lieutenant Taylor. He seems out of place among the rest of you, and it
seems to me I have seen him some place before, though I cannot remember
where."

This remark pleased Frank hugely, although, for some reason he was
unable to explain why, even to himself. Aloud he only said:

"I guess it's just his way, Miss Beulow."

"Perhaps," was the reply; "but I don't like his way."



                             CHAPTER XVII.

                         FRANK MAKES AN ENEMY.


"You little whipper snapper! What do you mean by making remarks about
me?"

A hand was laid on Frank's shoulder and he was jerked roughly around, to
find the angry face of Lieutenant Taylor confronting him.

Frank shook himself loose.

"I have been making no remarks about you," he said quietly.

"Yes, you have," was the angry reply. "Trying to shine up to the little
German girl, are you?" and the lieutenant laughed sneeringly.

"Look here," said Frank, his face turning red, "you leave Miss Beulow
out of this. If you have anything to say to me, say it and get out of my
way."

"You dare to talk like that to your superior officer?"

"Yes, I dare; and I'll say a whole lot more if you don't get away from
me."

"You will, eh? Do you know what I have a mind to do?"

"No; and I don't care."

"Well, you will care. I have a mind to give you a good trimming," and
the lieutenant advanced threateningly.

"I wouldn't try it if I were you," said Frank quietly. "You might get
more than you bargained for."

"What! Do you think you are any match for me?"

"I don't think anything about it."

"I guess not. But let me tell you something: You keep away from Miss
Beulow, or I'll hand you the worst thrashing you ever heard of."

"You attend to your business, and I'll attend to mine," was Frank's
reply. "I'll walk with whom I choose," and he turned and started away.

"Oh, you will, will you," shouted the now enraged lieutenant. "Well,
I'll show you!"

He sprang forward, and with his open palm struck Frank a stinging blow
on the side of the face.

Frank in turn leaped forward, and the lieutenant stepped back and placed
himself in an attitude of defense.

"You'll have to pay for that blow," exclaimed Frank, "I don't care if
you are my superior officer."

"Don't let that stand in the way," said the lieutenant with a sneer. "I
won't hide behind that."

Frank sprang forward to deliver a blow at his persecutor, when his arm
was seized suddenly from behind. In vain he struggled to free himself.
He was lifted from his feet as though he had been a child, and a voice
exclaimed:

"Here! here! what are you fellows fighting about?"

The newcomer was Jack.

"Let me alone!" shouted Frank, now thoroughly aroused. "He struck me!"

"And what if I did," sneered the lieutenant, "what are you doing to do
about it?"

"I'll show you what I am going to do!" cried Frank. "Let me go, Jack!"

"Not much I won't. What chance have you with this big bully? If he wants
a row let him pitch into me."

"This is my affair," cried Frank, still struggling to free himself. "Let
me go."

"Well," said Jack, "if you must fight, all right. But not here. Lord
Hastings or Lieutenant Edwards is liable to see you and you would both
be put under arrest." He turned to Lieutenant Taylor. "Are you willing
to fight?" he asked.

"Any place and any time," was the reply.

"All right. I'll take charge of this fight and see that it is pulled off
ship-shape. Both of you be forward on the gun deck in half an hour."

The lieutenant bowed ironically and departed.

"What's the meaning of this, anyhow?" demanded Jack, when the two lads
were alone.

Frank explained his encounter with the lieutenant.

"And you are determined to fight him?" asked Jack.

"Yes," replied Frank. "No man can hit me and get away without my hitting
back."

"But he is a great deal larger and stronger than you are; and he is
probably more proficient in the use of his fists."

"He may be and he may not," replied Frank. "I have taken boxing lessons
and am not a novice."

"Well," said Jack, "it's your funeral. But I would rather take him on
myself."

"You may have a chance at some other date," said Frank, and the two made
their way to the spot designated for the fight.

Word that there was going to be a fistic battle spread quickly among the
crew, and there was a stampede forward on the gun deck. The British
sailor loves nothing better than a fist fight, and the news that the
encounter was to be between officers added to the enthusiasm.

Since coming aboard Frank and Jack had come to be great favorites with
the men, while Lieutenant Taylor, because of his arrogant attitude, was
cordially disliked.

Less than twenty minutes later, Lieutenant Taylor, still with a sneer on
his face, arrived.

"Now, listen! I am going to run this show," declared Jack. "And what I
say goes. Is that right, men?"

Cries of "Right you are," and "You bet," came from all sides.

"This thing has got to be pulled off without noise," Jack continued; "so
I must ask you to refrain from applauding. Is that satisfactory?"

"O. K. Jack," came the reply from some. "You're the boy!" and "Run it to
suit yourself" from others.

"All right, then," said Jack.

With a piece of chalk he drew a square on the deck, twenty feet each
way.

"Fighting must be done in this ring," he declared, "Marquis of
Queensbury rules, and no hitting in the clinches. Ten three-minute
rounds, with a minute's rest between rounds. This is going to be a
square fight, because I am going to referee it. The first man to break
one of these rules will have me to contend with, and he will have a big
job on his hands."

A subdued laugh ran along the line of sailor spectators.

"Good for you, Jack," came the cries. "You're the boy! Tell 'em what's
what!"

"Now for seconds," continued Jack. "Thomas, you will go to Chadwick's
corner. I don't like to impose upon anyone, so I shall call for
volunteers. Who will second the lieutenant?"

There was a moment's silence, then an old sailor in the rear of the
crowd pushed his way forward.

"I don't think much of the job," he said, "but somebody has got to do
it. I guess I'm the victim."

"All right," said Jack. "Now get your men to their corners."

As the two combatants divested themselves of their coats and vests, and
turned up their shirt sleeves to the elbow, it seemed to the spectators
that the battle was bound to be one-sided.

Lieutenant Taylor, tall and broad, topped his opponent by several
inches. His hands were big and his arms muscular. Beside him Frank
looked frail indeed.

However, Frank's light weight gave him some advantage over the
lieutenant, for the latter's size greatly impeded his activity, while
Frank was as quick on his feet as a cat.

At length the combatants stood ready in their corners. Jack advanced to
the center of the ring, and called the two to him. Standing between
them, he repeated his instructions; then, not asking them to shake
hands, he skipped nimbly from between them, and shouted:

"Time!"



                             CHAPTER XVIII.

                               THE FIGHT.


The lieutenant came forward with a leap, and aimed a smashing blow at
Frank's head. Retreating swiftly, the lad jerked back his head with a
quick move, and the blow fell short by an eyelash. It was a pretty move,
and the crowd of spectators acknowledged it with subdued exclamations of
delight.

The lieutenant was thrown off his balance by the force of his blow, but
Frank did not take advantage of the opening, contenting himself with
remaining on guard. He knew that if one of those sledge-hammer blows
should land, it would probably end the contest once and for all.

"Dumb luck!" exclaimed the crestfallen lieutenant, as he pressed forward
again, "but I'll get you next time!"

Frank smiled quietly. This seemed to enrage the lieutenant, and he made
a sudden rush forward, casting science to the winds. He aimed a vicious
blow at Frank, but the lad side-stepped neatly, and as the lieutenant,
carried forward by the force of the blow, passed him, there was a sharp
"spat" as Frank's right fist found its mark behind the lieutenant's ear.

The blow was a light one and did no damage save to make Lieutenant
Taylor's wrath greater. Turning, he charged again, and this time Frank
did not retreat. He warded off a series of terrific blows with a perfect
guard, but so swiftly did they rain in on him that he had no opportunity
to counter. Again the lieutenant bored in. Suddenly Frank stepped inside
the other's guard, left open because of his wild swings, and delivered a
stinging blow to the point of the chin. The lieutenant staggered back,
and, as he did so, time was called for the first round.

"Pretty work, my boy," exclaimed Frank's second, as the lad returned to
his corner. "You had him going that time. But he'll cool off between
rounds, so you want to be careful. Better stay on the defensive for a
few rounds and tire him a bit. One of those wild swings is liable to
land, and, if it did, it would be good night for you."

"Thanks," replied Frank. "That is good advice, and I shall heed it."

The two advanced to the center of the ring for the second round.

"Good work, get him this time, boy; watch out for his swings," came the
advice from the crowd.

But this time the lieutenant was more careful. He had learned that this
opponent, whom he had held so lightly, was no novice, and that he had
power behind his blows. Therefore he gave up his whirlwind attack, and
for two minutes the combatants stood face to face and sparred. Gradually
the lieutenant moved forward and Frank retreated slowly. He had adopted
a waiting policy. He was trying to tire his opponent out. The round
ended without a severe blow being struck.

The third and fourth rounds were a repetition of the second. But the
lieutenant, tiring of this, began the fifth with a rush. As before,
Frank retreated before him, and, after backing twice around the ring,
the lieutenant suddenly launched a terrific blow at him.

In leaping back, Frank tripped, and, in trying to regain his balance,
left his guard open. Quick to take advantage of this misfortune,
Lieutenant Taylor sprang forward and aimed another vicious blow. At this
moment Frank regained his balance, but he was unable to avoid the blow,
which caught him with stunning force on the jaw.

The lad reeled, staggered back, and fell to the floor.

"One--two--three--four--five," counted Jack.

At the count of six, Frank raised himself to his knees, and at nine
staggered to his feet. By a great effort he avoided the lieutenant's
blow and staggered into a clinch. A moment later time was called.

Frank's second was in the ring in an instant and dragged the lad quickly
to his corner, where he did all in his power to revive him before time
was again called.

"He thinks he's got you now," he whispered. "If you can stall through
this round, you will be all right. Clinch, and hang on tight."

In the opposite corner Lieutenant Taylor sat with a sneering smile on
his face.

"I'll end it this round," he told himself.

When time was called for the sixth round Frank rushed desperately into a
clinch. Each moment his head became clearer, and he grew stronger. He
clinched time after time and succeeded in going through the round
without punishment.

Through the seventh and eighth round Frank continued to fight off his
opponent, not attempting to strike a blow himself. The opening of the
ninth round found the lad himself again.

"He has had it all his own way too long," he told himself. "It's time
for me to get busy."

Once more the lieutenant came forward with a rush. But this time,
instead of stepping backward, Frank, warding off the lieutenant's right,
stepped inside the other's guard, and delivered a sharp, short-arm jab
to his opponent's jaw. The lieutenant hesitated a moment, and the lad,
following up his advantage, sent his left to his opponent's stomach.

Then he stepped back and the lieutenant came in again. Feinting with his
left, Frank sent his right fist crashing into the lieutenant's sore jaw,
and the latter gave ground.

Frank followed him closely, delivering a series of right- and
left-handed hooks at close range. The lieutenant, apparently bewildered
at this whirlwind attack, after having had it all his own way so long,
continued to retreat around the ring.

Then, suddenly, he lowered his head, and rushed like an enraged bull
straight at the lad. Frank stepped quickly to one side, and struck out
straight from the shoulder. The blow landed flush upon the lieutenant's
chin, and he fell sprawling clear across the ring.

"Hooray, hooray!" came the cries of the sailors. "You got him that
time!"

But, as Jack counted four, time was called again, and the lieutenant was
saved.

"Get him this time, Frank!" cried the spectators, as the two advanced to
the center of the ring for the last round. The lieutenant was very
shaky, but his second had worked over him hard, and he was in a position
to go on with the fight.

Frank gave him no time to rest. He bored in rapidly, keeping his guard
steady the while, that no chance blow might break through, and staggered
his opponent time after time with jabs, hooks and long-range blows.

The lieutenant gave back steadily before him and Frank followed up his
advantage swiftly.

Now the lieutenant seemed to recover himself, and stepped forward in a
final desperate effort to end the battle; and for a moment the two stood
toe to toe and exchanged blows. Frank emerged from this struggle at
close quarters second best, his face streaming with blood.

But the lieutenant's blows had lost their force, and though the lad's
face was a sight, he was not badly hurt.

Suddenly Frank stepped forward, and, brushing aside the other's guard,
struck him a hard left-handed blow over the heart. The lieutenant
reeled, and before he could recover his balance Frank crossed his right
to the lieutenant's face.

There was a resounding "smack," followed by a heavy fall, as Lieutenant
Taylor, struck flush upon the point of the chin, was lifted from his
feet, and measured his length upon the floor.

"----Eight--nine--ten--out!" counted Jack; and the sailors surged in and
lifted Frank to their shoulders.

A moment later Lieutenant Taylor stirred, then arose slowly to his feet.
Even as he did so, the sounds of hilarity on the gun deck were stilled
by a harsh voice:

"Lieutenant Taylor! Mr. Chadwick! To your quarters immediately! You may
consider yourselves under arrest. Such disgraceful proceedings will not
be tolerated on the _Sylph_ while I am in command!"

Turning, Jack and Frank beheld the stern countenance of Lord Hastings.



                              CHAPTER XIX.

                          THE GAME IS OPENED.


The crowd of sailors disappeared as if by magic, and Frank, Jack and
Lieutenant Taylor found themselves alone with Lord Hastings. The latter
said no further word, and, without attempting to speak, Frank and his
vanquished adversary made their way from the gun deck to their cabins.
Jack followed a moment later, after waiting in vain for some other word
from Lord Hastings.

Frank greeted his friend's arrival with a sickly smile.

"Looks like I was in for it, doesn't it?" he said.

"It does," was the reply. "Now, if you had taken my advice----"

"Don't preach," Frank broke in. "Anyhow, there is no use crying over
spilt milk. I shall have to take my medicine. What do you suppose Lord
Hastings will do with me?"

"I haven't the slightest idea. But say," and Jack grew enthusiastic,
"that was some scrap you put up. I didn't know you were a fighter. Why
didn't you tell me?"

"I only did my best," replied Frank modestly. "I thought he had me two
or three times."

"I was afraid so, too. But, if he had beaten you, I would have given him
a good licking myself."

"What? How about the advice you gave me?"

"Well, that's different," said Jack, in some confusion.

"I see it is. Now, under the same circumstances, you would have done
just as I did, wouldn't you?"

Jack smiled somewhat sheepishly.

"I guess I should," was his reply.

Further conversation was interrupted by the entrance of a sailor, who
announced that Lord Hastings desired their presence in his cabin
immediately.

"Well, here's where I learn my fate," said Frank, as he went on deck,
followed by Jack.

Lord Hastings was writing when the boys entered his cabin. He looked up,
motioned them to a seat with a nod, and resumed his work. A moment later
Lieutenant Taylor came in, and was also motioned to a seat. Finally,
Lord Hastings wheeled about in his chair and spoke.

"You," he said, indicating Frank and the lieutenant, "have broken one of
the most stringent rules of the naval manual. What have you to say in
justification of your actions?"

"Nothing, sir," replied the lieutenant.

Frank remained silent.

"The least punishment I should mete out," continued Lord Hastings, "is
to confine you both to your quarters indefinitely. But we are somewhat
short-handed now. If you will give me your words that there will be no
repetition of this disgraceful scene, I shall suspend punishment."

"For my part, I promise gladly," said Frank.

Lord Hastings turned toward Lieutenant Taylor.

"And you?" he questioned.

"The little whelp insulted me," exclaimed the lieutenant. "I shall make
no promises, unless he is kept out of my way."

"Very well, sir," replied Lord Hastings. "Remain in your cabin until you
receive further orders. You may go!"

"But, your lordship----" protested the lieutenant.

"Not a word, sir!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "Return to your cabin
immediately."

The lieutenant saluted and left the cabin. Hardly had he taken his
departure when there was a sudden change in Lord Hastings' manner. He
rose to his feet, advanced across the cabin and took Frank by the hand.

"That was a great fight!" he exclaimed with enthusiasm. "It did me good
to see you polish off that traitor. I would have liked to be in your
place!"

Frank was taken by surprise.

"But--but----" he stammered.

"I know, I know," cried Lord Hastings, raising a protesting hand. "It's
against the rules and regulations and should merit punishment. But there
are extenuating circumstances. It has worked out beautifully."

"What, sir?" demanded Jack, who had remained silent up to this time.

"Why, Taylor is disposed of for the time being. He will not dare to
leave his quarters, and in the meantime we can go about our plans
without fear of interruption. We can get rid of Hardy without arousing
his suspicions."

"Then I am not to be punished, sir?" asked Frank.

"Not this time," was the reply. "But don't let it happen again."

"I won't, sir," Frank promised.

"By the way," said Lord Hastings, as the lads turned to leave the cabin.
"It may interest you to know that to-morrow we shall join the fleet off
Helgoland. I have already been in communication with Admiral Jellicoe,
and he approves of our plan. It must be carried out to-day."

"Good!" exclaimed Frank and Jack.

"Yes," continued Lord Hastings. He extended a slip of paper to Frank.
"Give this to the wireless operator," and he added, with a smile: "Then
make sure there is no one near the wireless room--except Hardy. He must
overhear this message, you know."

The boys saluted and left the cabin. Frank glanced at the message.

"What does it say?" demanded Jack eagerly.

Frank read aloud:

    "Safe to send half of fleet to Baltic to-morrow night. Order
    submarine and several destroyers close into Helgoland at same
    time--this to make imminent attack apparent, so enemy may not
    learn of other move and attack in force.--HASTINGS."

The message placed in the hands of the operator, the boys returned to
their own cabin. As they made their way along the deck they saw Hardy
loitering near the wireless room.

"He'll hear it, all right," said Jack, with a grin.

"How do you construe that message?" asked Frank.

"Well," replied Jack, "let's see if we can't figure it out. Say the
Germans, having been furnished with the text of the message--fake though
it is--believe half the British fleet has started for the Baltic. They
will figure that their own strong fleet can easily destroy the remaining
half of our fleet. Therefore, when they believe it has been divided,
they will attack. Lured from beneath the protection of the heavy shore
guns, we shall make short work of them.

"I figure that the submarine and destroyers will approach nearer the
port to flash word of the German advance. Besides, their appearance will
further strengthen the belief of the Germans that half of the fleet has
sailed--particularly in view of the false message, for it would be the
natural thing to do if half the fleet really were going away, as it
would keep the Germans from attacking."

"I see what you mean," declared Frank. "And I guess that is the way Lord
Hastings has figured it out."

"I'm sure of it," was the reply. "But come on deck, and let's see if we
can see what use Hardy will make of the information he has obtained."

Moving stealthily along the deck, the lads saw the sailor making his way
toward Lieutenant Taylor's cabin. There he slipped a piece of paper
through the window. Then he loitered near.

There came a slight tapping on the window, and the sailor again
approached it. The boys heard the lieutenant's voice.

"It is time to act," he said. "It has come sooner than I expected.
Return in half an hour, and I will have prepared the message you must
send the Germans."

Hardy slunk away.

"We must report this to Lord Hastings at once," exclaimed Frank. "Come!"

The lads rushed to the commander's cabin, where they told him what they
had overheard.

"Good!" said Lord Hastings. "Now, listen to me carefully. We are in easy
communication with the British fleet, and also with the Germans, by
wireless. Watch Taylor's cabin, and, as soon as he passes the message to
Hardy, you order the wireless operator to report to me at once. Then
hide.

"I give this order for two reasons: First, I do not want the operator
hurt, and second, Hardy must be allowed to send the message to the
Germans without molestation."

The lads saluted and left the cabin. They took their stand close to the
wireless cabin, but still commanded a view of Lieutenant Taylor's
quarters. Here they waited.

Their patience was at length rewarded. Hardy again approached the
lieutenant's cabin, and received a slip of paper through the window.

"Now to get the operator away," exclaimed Frank, and moved toward the
wireless room.

The operator left the room at their orders, and the two boys disappeared
just as the sailor approached the wireless station. The lads saw him
enter the cabin. Then they went to make their report to Lord Hastings.

"Good!" exclaimed the latter. "Mr. Templeton, inform Lieutenant Taylor
that I have countermanded the order confining him to his cabin. Order
him to return to his duties!"



                              CHAPTER XX.

                             A CONFESSION.


All day the _Sylph_ continued on her course without interruption. Frank
spent several hours strolling about the deck with Miss Beulow, and he
experienced no further trouble with Lieutenant Taylor, although the
latter passed them twice, each time gazing at the boy threateningly.

While at supper the wireless operator entered the cabin and approached
Lord Hastings.

"I have picked up the cruiser _Alto_, sir," he said. "She will pass us
in the morning on her way to Copenhagen. Also I have a message from the
Admiralty ordering us to join the fleet at once."

The operator departed and Lord Hastings turned to Miss Beulow.

"Miss Beulow," he said, "I have decided to transfer you to the cruiser
to-morrow, so you may return to your mother in Copenhagen. We are likely
to go into action at any time, and this is no place for you."

The girl nodded in assent, although she declared that she was not afraid
of being in battle.

As she strolled about the deck alone, some hours later, she was accosted
by Lieutenant Taylor.

"I am sorry I seem to be objectionable to you," said the lieutenant;
"but now I would ask that you give me a few moments in private. I have
something important to say."

The girl hesitated a moment.

"Very well," she said at length, and the lieutenant led the way to a
secluded spot aft.

"Miss Beulow," began the lieutenant, "although you are half American,
your sympathies are with the German cause, are they not?"

"How can you ask that question, when you are aware that my father is a
German?" responded the girl.

"I just wanted to make sure. I am right, am I not?"

"You most certainly are," replied the girl emphatically.

"All right. Now you seem to dislike me. Would you look upon me with more
favor if I were to espouse the German cause?"

The girl looked at him in great surprise.

"What do you mean?" she demanded.

"Would you think less harshly of me if I were to strike a blow for
Germany?"

The girl stared at him, but said nothing.

"What would you say if I were to tell you it is in my power to destroy
the British fleet off Helgoland?"

The girl took a step backward.

"It is impossible!" she gasped.

"No!" cried the lieutenant, now carried away. "It is not impossible. It
is true! And, what is more, I shall do it!"

"You to say this to me! You, an Englishman!" exclaimed the girl.

The lieutenant shrugged his shoulders.

"What is Great Britain to me?" he said. "I am an American."

"But you are an officer in the English navy."

"True; but for a purpose. I hold a commission as captain in the German
regular army."

"I can hardly credit it," exclaimed Miss Beulow.

"Nevertheless it is true. Now, when I have succeeded in my strategy----"

"Strategy!" cried the girl. "It is treachery!"

"Call it what you will," replied the lieutenant. "When I have succeeded
in delivering the British fleet into the hands of the Germans, will you
then look with more favor upon me?"

The girl recoiled from him.

"No!" she cried. "No! I wish never to see you again."

"Do not decide hastily," said the lieutenant. He drew from his pocket a
slip of paper. "Here is the message I sent to the German admiral at
Helgoland, the message that means the destruction of half the British
fleet."

Wonderingly the girl took the slip of paper from him and read. It was
the message prepared by Lord Hastings, to which was added the postscript
that this was the message sent the commander of the British fleet. It
bore no signature, although addressed to the German admiral.

"I shall keep this," said Miss Beulow, and she folded it up and placed
it in a small purse she carried. Then she started to move away, but the
lieutenant detained her.

"Wait," he commanded. "You have not answered my question satisfactorily
as yet."

"And I never will!" cried the girl. "I wish nothing to do with
traitors."

She shook off his detaining hand and fled down the deck.

"What shall I do?" she asked herself. "I cannot betray my country's
plans--and yet Lord Hastings should be told of this treachery."

She paced up and down the deck for almost an hour; then she sought an
interview with the commander of the _Sylph_.

"Lord Hastings," she said, "suppose a person knew something that, if he
told, would defeat the plans of the country he calls his own--and
suppose also that in gaining such information he learned that treachery
would encompass the defeat of his enemy--should he tell or not?"

"It all depends," replied Lord Hastings, "upon the person's conscience.
Some would say yes, and some no. I cannot tell what I should do under
the circumstances. But why do you ask?"

The girl was silent for a long time.

"I have such information," she declared at length; "and I do not know
what to do."

Lord Hastings rose hastily from his seat, approached and laid his hand
upon her arm.

"Say no more," he said. "I know that which you have on your mind."

"What?" cried the girl in great surprise. "It is impossible that you
should know."

"Nevertheless I do know," replied Lord Hastings. "Let that suffice."

"But how can that be?" exclaimed the girl. "No, it is not possible that
you know."

"Say no more about it," said Lord Hastings gently. "It is not your duty
to tell me anything that would work to the disadvantage of your
country."

Miss Beulow bowed her head and left the cabin without another word.

Lord Hastings hastily summoned Frank, and to him related what had just
occurred.

"It is plain," he said, "that Taylor has told his plans to Miss Beulow.
If she should repeat to him what I have just said to her, it would put
him on his guard.

"He must not see her, then," said Frank.

"That is my idea exactly. Which is the reason I have summoned you. It is
your duty to see that they are not allowed to converse together."

"Very good, sir," replied Frank.

"I must contrive to have Taylor taken off my hands," mused Lord
Hastings. "I do not want to arrest him, or let him suspect that he has
been discovered, for he may be of more use to us farther on."

"Why not send him on board the cruiser with Miss Beulow to-morrow, then,
giving him dispatches for Copenhagen or some other point?"

"A good idea," exclaimed Lord Hastings. "All the instructions that I
need give the commander of the cruiser is to see that Taylor and the
girl are kept apart."

"Exactly, sir," replied Frank.

"I shall put the plan into execution. In the meantime, you keep your eye
on the traitor, and see that he has no chance to communicate with the
girl."

Frank saluted and left the cabin.



                              CHAPTER XXI.

                             AN ACCUSATION.


It was nearing noon the following day before those on the _Sylph_
sighted the oncoming British cruiser _Alto_, although they had been in
almost constant wireless communication. When the cruiser was but a short
distance away, Lord Hastings summoned Frank, Lieutenant Taylor and Alice
Beulow.

"Lieutenant Taylor," said Lord Hastings, "you and Mr. Chadwick will take
the launch and escort Miss Beulow aboard the cruiser. Give this," he
continued, handing the lieutenant a paper, "to Captain Johnson
personally."

Frank and Lieutenant Taylor saluted and departed to make the launch
ready, while both the _Sylph_ and the cruiser hove to, so that the girl
might be transferred from one vessel to the other.

After saying good-by all around, and thanking Lord Hastings for his
kindness, Miss Beulow took her place in the launch. Frank and Lieutenant
Taylor followed and they were soon on their way toward the cruiser.

As the three had made their way to the launch. Lord Hastings whispered
to Frank:

"Lieutenant Taylor will go aboard with Miss Beulow. Immediately he
leaves the launch you will return. The message he carries to Captain
Johnson will explain the situation to the latter."

"I am awfully sorry to see you leaving," said Frank to Miss Beulow, as
the launch approached the cruiser.

"And I am sorry to go," she replied. "However, I suppose it is
necessary. I hope that I shall see you again."

"I hope so, too," exclaimed Frank.

"You must look me up when the war is over, if you can," the girl
continued, and, taking a card from her purse she wrote an address upon
it and gave it to the lad.

Frank put the card carefully away.

"I certainly shall," he said.

Lieutenant Taylor had not spoken a word up to this time, but Frank had
caught several threatening looks upon his face.

"Just a word of warning," he said to Miss Beulow, as she at last said
good-by and made ready to leave the launch. "Beware of Taylor."

The girl smiled brightly at him, and with another word of farewell was
gone. Lieutenant Taylor, in accordance with his instructions, followed
her aboard the cruiser.

Hardly had the lieutenant set foot on the deck of the cruiser, when
Frank ordered his men to put back to the _Sylph_. As the little launch
got under way, Frank heard a shout, and, looking over his shoulder, saw
Lieutenant Taylor angrily beckoning him to come back.

"Wait for me," cried the lieutenant.

Frank paid no heed to this command and the launch continued on its way.
Aboard the _Sylph_ once more, Frank immediately made his way to Lord
Hastings to report. Almost at the same moment the wireless operator
rushed up and passed the commander a slip of paper.

Lord Hastings read the message and then turned to Lieutenant Edwards.

"Full speed ahead!" he commanded. "We are ordered to feel the way for
the advance of the British fleet against the Germans to-night. It means
we shall go into action."

"Hurrah!" shouted Frank, unable to restrain his enthusiasm.

"Hurrah!" cried Jack, who approached just in time to catch Lord
Hastings' words.

A few moments more and the _Sylph_ was again dashing madly through the
water. But hardly was the vessel under way when the wireless operator,
his face flushed and his manner manifesting the greatest excitement,
rushed up to Lord Hastings.

"Sir!" he cried to the commander of the vessel, "Miss Beulow has been
accused by Lieutenant Taylor and arrested on the _Alto_ as a German
spy!"

"What!" shouted Lord Hastings.

"Arrested!" cried Frank.

"Yes, sir," replied the operator. "I just this moment received the
message."

"Come with me," commanded Lord Hastings, and the three made a rush for
the wireless room.

Just as they neared the room, the form of a man emerged hastily from the
door, and, noting their approach, ran hurriedly along the deck. Paying
no heed to the disappearing man, the three ran into the room. Here Lord
Hastings dashed off a message, which he handed to the operator.

"Send this!" he commanded.

The message read:

"Release the girl. Arrest Lieutenant Taylor. He is the spy. Explanation
follows."

The operator took his place beside his instrument, but, after one touch
of the key, sprang to his feet.

"It is dead!" he cried. "Somebody has tampered with it in my absence!"

"What!" exclaimed Lord Hastings excitedly, then added more coolly. "What
is the matter with it?"

"I can't tell yet, sir. I shall have to look it over."

"Then do so at once!"

Frank and Lord Hastings remained quiet while the operator sought to
determine the cause of the trouble.

Finally the operator stood up and faced them.

"It's no use, sir," he said. "The whole apparatus is out of commission.
It can't be repaired in less than twenty-four hours."

"Impossible!" cried Lord Hastings. "It must be repaired. That message
must be sent!"

"I am sorry, sir," replied the operator, "but it is utterly impossible
to repair the damage in less than the time I have mentioned."

Lord Hastings was silent for some moments.

"Very well," he said at length. "Do the best you can."

He turned on his heel, and made his way to his cabin. Frank followed
him.

"But what will happen to Miss Beulow, sir?" he asked.

"I am afraid," was the reply, "that she is in great danger of being
shot!"

"Shot!" Frank stood aghast at the word.

"Yes," was the reply, "as she has been arrested, she will probably be
tried by an impromptu court-martial at once. If convicted, she will be
sentenced to die."

"But we can save her," cried Frank. "The _Sylph_ is fast; she can
overtake the cruiser. Shall I give the order at once, sir?"

"I am sorry," replied Lord Hastings slowly, "but it cannot be done."

"Cannot be done? Why?"

"We have been ordered into action. We must obey. One life cannot be
allowed to stand in the way."

"But--but----" Frank stammered.

Lord Hastings did not reply, but instead arose and summoned Lieutenant
Edwards.

"Arrest the sailor Hardy immediately and have him confined in irons!" he
commanded.

Lieutenant Edwards saluted and withdrew. Then Lord Hastings turned to
Frank.

"I am sorry, my boy," he said kindly, "but there is nothing we can do.
However, the case may not be as bad as we fear. The fact that I
instructed Captain Johnson to keep Taylor away from the girl may arouse
some suspicion in his mind and delay a court-martial."

"But there is nothing sure about it!" cried Frank. "To think of a girl
dying like that, when we are able to save her!"

Lord Hastings did not reply, but turned and went on deck. Frank followed
him, still imploring that the _Sylph_ be put about and return to the
cruiser.

Looking over the water Frank could see that, for some reason, the
cruiser was stationary. She had not continued on her course.

"See," he said to Lord Hastings, pointing, "we could reach her in almost
no time. It would not delay us long. Will you not put about, sir?"

"We have hardly time now to reach the fleet," was the reply.

"But----" Frank began.

Lord Hastings raised a hand.

"Further talk is useless," he said. "I have said it is impossible!"

Frank's eyes roved about the ship. Suddenly they fell upon the little
launch.

"I am going, anyhow!" he cried, and ran toward the launch.



                             CHAPTER XXII.

                             IN DIRE PERIL.


When Lieutenant Taylor saw the _Sylph's_ launch turn and head for the
little vessel without waiting for him, an expression of great surprise
came over his face, followed by one of anxiety. He raised a shout, and,
when he saw that Frank paid no heed to him, although he knew his shout
had been heard, his suspicions were aroused.

Quickly he drew from his pocket the message Lord Hastings had ordered
him to give to Captain Johnson, and tore it in little pieces. These he
dropped into the water, and then made his way toward the captain, who
stood awaiting his approach.

The captain greeted him pleasantly.

"You have a message for me, sir?" he asked.

"I have, sir; and it is a most disagreeable one."

"Disagreeable? Has some disaster occurred?"

"No, sir. It is even worse, if possible."

"Explain yourself."

"Very well, sir. I am commanded to charge the young lady who has just
come aboard with being a German spy!"

"A spy! Lord Hastings has not informed me of this, and I have been in
communication with him."

"Very true, sir, but with good reason. There are others aboard the
_Sylph_ whom he did not wish to overhear such a communication. She was
seen to steal a message relating to the movements of the fleet from the
wireless room. Also she is a German. Lord Hastings requests that she be
tried at once!"

"Very good, sir," replied Captain Johnson.

He called his first officer.

"Have Miss Beulow summoned here at once," he commanded.

A moment later, the young girl, smiling, stood before them.

"Miss Beulow," said the captain, "I have an unpleasant duty to perform.
You are accused of being a German spy!"

The girl staggered back.

"Who makes this absurd charge?" she demanded, after she had to some
degree regained her composure.

Lieutenant Taylor stepped forward.

"I do, at Lord Hastings' command," he replied.

The girl stared at him with the greatest contempt. Then she turned to
the captain.

"I am innocent of this charge," she said; "but this man," and she
pointed an accusing finger at the lieutenant, "I know to be a spy. He is
accusing me to save himself."

Lieutenant Taylor smiled sneeringly.

"A very natural reply," he said. "Captain, she was seen to put the
message I spoke of in her purse. Perhaps she still has it there. Will
you see for yourself?"

"Your purse, if you please," said Captain Johnson, extending his hand,
and speaking in a harsh voice, for he had no reason to doubt the truth
of Lieutenant Taylor's words.

The girl's face turned white. For the first time she realized the full
seriousness of her situation. For a moment she held her purse even
closer to her.

"But, captain," she began, "I----"

"Your purse, if you please," interrupted the captain.

Slowly the girl extended it to him. Quickly he opened it, and a moment
later withdrew a little piece of paper, which he opened and read. It was
the message containing the supposed plans of the British fleet.

After a hasty perusal, the captain turned to Lieutenant Berkeley, his
first officer.

"Arrest her," he said.

"But, captain," exclaimed the girl in terror, "a message to Lord
Hastings will confirm the truth of my story."

"I shall communicate with Lord Hastings at once," was the reply, "but I
am convinced that no answer he can make will exonerate you."

"The case is perfectly plain," agreed Lieutenant Taylor.

"Have this young woman confined to her cabin," commanded Captain Johnson
to Lieutenant Berkeley, "and have a court-martial summoned to sit at 8
o'clock in the morning. That is all. Take her away. Now you, sir," he
continued, turning to Lieutenant Taylor, "I suppose are to stay here to
make the charge?"

"Exactly, sir," replied the lieutenant; "such was Lord Hastings'
command."

"Very well. Lieutenant Berkeley will provide you with quarters."

The captain made his way to the wireless room, where he had the operator
pick up the _Sylph_. First he sent a message, simply saying that Miss
Beulow had been arrested on the charge of being a spy, the accusation
having been preferred by Lieutenant Taylor. Then he asked further
details. But there came no reply. In vain did the operator again try to
pick up the _Sylph_. At length he gave up the attempt.

"It is very plain," said the captain to himself. "It is just as
Lieutenant Taylor told me. Evidently they do not answer because they
fear someone will overhear the message."

But at that moment the wireless came to life, and the captain waited.

"From the _Sylph_?" he questioned.

"No,", was the reply, "from Admiral Jellicoe. Instead of continuing to
Copenhagen, we are ordered to cruise about in these waters, that in case
a German vessel succeeds in running the blockade, we may be able to
intercept her."

"All right," was the reply, and the commander made his way to his own
cabin.

For Alice Beulow, confined to her cabin, and in full realization of her
perilous situation, the day passed slowly. Food was brought to her, but
she was not allowed to go on deck.

All night she paced up and down in her cabin, and the first gleams of
sunlight, streaming through the window, found her pale and hollow-eyed.
Sleep had been impossible.

But eight o'clock came at last, and she was conducted to Captain
Johnson's cabin, where around a long table sat the men who were to try
her on the charge of being a spy--the court-martial--composed of Captain
Johnson, First Lieutenant Berkeley, Second Lieutenant Palmer, Third
Lieutenant Emery and Fourth Lieutenant Arthur. Lieutenant Taylor was
also present.

Captain Johnson arose as Miss Beulow entered the cabin.

"Miss Beulow," he said sternly, "you are accused of being a German spy.
Are you innocent or guilty?"

"I am innocent," replied the girl quietly.

Captain Johnson motioned her to a seat, then turned to Lieutenant
Taylor.

"You may state your case, sir," he said.

Lieutenant Taylor arose and bowed to the members of the court-martial.
Then he faced the young girl, a slight sneer on his face.

Now, lying was not the least of the lieutenant's accomplishments, and he
told a plausible story to the officers who sat as judges. He told of how
Lord Hastings had learned, through great good fortune, that there were
German spies on board the _Sylph_, and how, after being saved from a
watery grave, Miss Beulow had repaid her saviours by joining in the
conspiracy against them.

He related how Lord Hastings had set a trap for the plotters, and how
Miss Beulow had been caught red-handed stealing a message from the
wireless room. She had not been arrested then, he explained, because the
identity of the other conspirators had not been learned, and it was
feared that her arrest would make them more wary.

It was indeed a plausible story, and the judges were plainly impressed
with it. Not a doubt of the lieutenant's honesty and veracity had
entered the mind of a single member of the court-martial.

At length the lieutenant finished and resumed his seat; and the accused
girl arose to face her judges, whom, she was now certain, would also be
her executioners.

"Do you wish to make a statement?" she was asked.

"I do," was her reply, as she stood trembling and on the verge of tears,
and she continued: "I solemnly swear I am innocent of this grave charge.
It is true my father is a German, but that does not prove I am a spy. I
accuse that man there," and she pointed a trembling finger at Lieutenant
Taylor, "of conspiring to destroy the British fleet!"

Lieutenant Taylor sprang to his feet angrily.

"Absurd!" he cried, and sat down again.

"Is it not true?" continued the young girl, facing him steadily, "that
you are not an Englishman? Is it not true that you are an American?"

"And what of that?" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I am nevertheless an
officer in the British navy."

The girl turned from him and faced her judges again.

"Gentlemen," she said, "that man came to me two nights ago and declared
to me that he was a captain in the German army, and that he was plotting
the destruction of the English fleet off Helgoland. He thought that
because I am a German, and because I had ignored him, that he could gain
my sympathy by disclosing his reason for being with the English. He told
me his plans. He, not I, is the traitor!"

Captain Johnson rose to his feet.

"How," he asked, "do you account for the paper I found in your
possession?"

"Lieutenant Taylor showed it to me," replied the girl. "He said it was
the message that meant the destruction of the British fleet. He gave it
to me and I kept it. That is all."

"I deny it!" exclaimed Lieutenant Taylor, springing to his feet

Captain Johnson waved him aside.

"Have you anything else to say. Miss Beulow?" he asked.

"Nothing," replied the girl, "except that I am innocent."

"You may return to your cabin, Miss Beulow," said Captain Johnson. "You
shall know our verdict as soon as we have reached it."

Haltingly the girl was escorted back to her cabin. Here, at length, she
gave way to her feelings and burst into tears. When, finally, she was
again summoned before the court-martial, she had regained her composure,
and, dry-eyed, and standing firmly erect, she once more calmly faced her
judges, to learn from them whether she was to live or die.

The captain and all other members of the court-martial arose from their
seats.

"Miss Beulow," said Captain Johnson, in a gruff voice, "we have found
you, after due deliberation, to be guilty of the charge against you."

Alice Beulow staggered back, and the captain stopped speaking. The
British commander cleared his voice of a huskiness that had crept into
it, pulled himself together, and continued firmly:

"And the sentence of this court-martial is that you be shot to-morrow
morning at eight o'clock!"



                             CHAPTER XXIII.

                           "THE BOY ADMIRAL."


As Frank announced his intention of going alone to save Alice Beulow
from the death of a spy, he sprang across the deck in the direction of
the little launch.

Lord Hastings jumped quickly after him, and Jack, who had stood silently
nearby, during the conversation, also gave chase. Except for these
three, the deck in this part of the vessel was unoccupied.

As Frank reached the rail, Jack grabbed him by the arm.

"Don't be a fool!" he cried.

"Mr. Chadwick!" cried Lord Hastings, hurrying up, "return to your
quarters immediately!"

Frank shook off Jack's detaining hand.

"Let me alone!" he shouted. "Do you think I am going to stand idle while
an innocent girl is put to death!"

Again Jack took his friend by the arm.

"Stop! Think what you are about!" he commanded.

"I know what I'm about!" cried Frank angrily. "Let me go!"

"Not by a long shot!" exclaimed Jack, "If I have to hold you I will!"

"Mr. Chadwick!" commanded Lord Hastings, "I am commander of this vessel,
and I order you to go to your quarters at once!"

"And I refuse!" cried the lad.

"What! You disobey your commander!" exclaimed Jack.

"Yes," replied Frank, "when it means the death of an innocent girl. And
I am surprised to see you stand by idly!"

"I haven't lost my senses," said Jack.

"No," was Frank's answer, "but you seem to have lost your nerve!"

Jack released his hold on his friend and stepped back.

"What!" he exclaimed, "do you mean I am a coward?"

"I don't know what I mean!" cried the now furious lad, "but it looks
like it!"

"Enough of this!" spoke Lord Hastings. "Mr. Chadwick! For the last time
I order you to return to your quarters!"

"I won't do it!" cried Frank, and drew closer to the rail.

Lord Hastings drew a revolver.

"Do you know that I would be perfectly justified in shooting you?" he
demanded.

"Shoot, then!" cried Frank. "I am going anyhow!"

Lord Hastings drew back in surprise.

"Do you know what you are doing?" he asked. "Do you know that quitting
your ship in the face of action is worse than cowardice? That it is
desertion?"

Frank was taken aback.

"I--I----" he stammered.

Lord Hastings saw that he had made a point, and pressed it.

"Mr. Chadwick!" he exclaimed. "Frank! You are trying to desert!"

Frank took a step forward.

"Desert!" he muttered huskily. "No, I won't desert!"

He turned on his heel, and, without another word, rushed headlong to his
cabin, where he threw himself down on his bed.

As Frank made his way to his cabin, Jack wiped beads of perspiration
from his brow, as he muttered to Lord Hastings:

"I was afraid he would not come to his senses. I was afraid I should
have to use force, and Frank is not one to give up without a fight. I am
just as greatly alarmed at Miss Beulow's predicament as he is, but I
know my duty."

"And I am glad you do," replied Lord Hastings. "Fond as I am of the boy,
I should not have allowed him to go. I should even have shot him had it
been necessary. Discipline must be maintained at all hazards. I will
countenance no disobedience!"

Jack drew back in surprise. This was a new side of Lord Hastings.
Heretofore he had always been the best-natured fellow imaginable. But he
was plainly very angry now.

Jack saluted and turned to move away. Lord Hastings halted him.

"Tell Mr. Chadwick to report to me in half an hour," he commanded.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Jack, as he made his way to his cabin. "He can
get awfully mad. I can hardly believe it!"

Frank arose from his bed as Jack entered the cabin, and approached his
friend with outstretched hand.

"I guess I made an awful fool of myself," he exclaimed; "and I called
you a coward. I want to apologize. You know I didn't mean it, don't
you?"

"Of course," replied Jack, grasping his friend's hand. "You were angry;
that was all. Say no more about it By the way. Lord Hastings wants to
see you in half an hour."

"Why?" exclaimed Frank, in no little alarm. "Was he mad?"

"Was he mad! I should say he was! I don't know what he wants, though."

"Well," said Frank, "I guess I am big enough to take my medicine without
crying. But I wish something might be done for Miss Beulow."

"And I," replied Jack. "But cheer up. It may not be as bad as we think.
Besides, I suppose we shall go into action to-night. After the battle,
we can manage to get hold of the _Alto_ in some manner, and matters can
be explained then."

"If it's not too late," exclaimed Frank fearfully.

"It just can't be too late," replied Jack.

Half an hour later Frank stood before Lord Hastings.

"The first thing I want to impress upon you," said Lord Hastings, "is
the necessity of obedience and discipline. Those qualifications are
essential."

"I am sorry I acted as I did, sir," replied Frank, "but I was greatly
wrought up. I apologize, sir!"

Lord Hastings' manner underwent a sudden change.

"I know you were, my boy," he said, "and I forgive you. I don't know but
that I should have done the same when I was no older than you are. But I
have learned with age."

"Thank you, sir," replied the lad.

"I promise you," said Lord Hastings, "that immediately the battle is
over I shall look into Miss Beulow's case. I am sure no harm will come
to her before that time. Now, I have a little surprise for you!"

"A surprise, sir?"

"Yes; I am going aboard Admiral Jellicoe's flagship when we join the
fleet this evening. How would you and Jack like to go with me? We shall
dine with the admiral."

"Do you mean it, sir?" asked Frank.

"Of course. We shall probably outline our plans for the coming battle,
and I am sure you would like to be there."

"I am sure Jack and I shall both be pleased, sir."

"All right; you may go now."

Frank hurried back to his cabin, where he informed Jack of Lord
Hastings' plan.

"Great!" exclaimed the latter. "I have heard a great deal about Admiral
Jellicoe. And, if I mistake not, the whole world will have heard of him
before this war is over."

It was mid-afternoon when the first vessel of the great English fleet
was raised off Helgoland; and it was well after nightfall when the
_Sylph_, after making her way through the great armada, came to anchor
near the flagship, of Vice-Admiral Jellicoe.

Soon one of the _Sylph's_ small boats was lowered and manned, and Lord
Hastings, Frank and Jack jumped into it. Aboard the flagship, the
meeting of Admiral Jellicoe and Lord Hastings did not wait on ceremony.

They were too old friends for such formalities. As Lord Hastings reached
the deck of the flagship, Admiral Jellicoe rushed forward to meet him.
The greeting was affectionate, and, after some few words, Lord Hastings
motioned to Frank and Jack to approach.

"I wish to present to your excellency," said Lord Hastings, in
introducing the two lads to the British naval commander, "two of the
bravest and most resourceful young men it has ever been my fortune to
encounter. They both are midshipmen aboard my vessel."

Both lads bowed.

"I am pleased to meet you, sirs," acknowledged Admiral Jellicoe, and led
the way to his cabin, Lord Hastings, Jack, Frank and officers following.

And this was the boys' introduction to Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe,
Great Britain's "Boy Admiral," the youngest Briton holding such an
important command--the man to whom, soon after war with Germany was
declared, Winston Churchill, first lord of the Admiralty, sent this
laconic message:

"Capture or destroy the German fleet!"



                             CHAPTER XXIV.

                           THE BATTLE AT SEA.


It was shortly before dawn the following morning--August 28th, to be
exact--that two British submarines, taking care to keep clear of the
mines which had been planted outside the harbor of Helgoland, crept in
close to the island. A little farther out, screened by the darkness
which is always greatest just before dawn, the light cruiser,
_Fearless_, took her position to await results.

Alongside the _Fearless_, but hidden from view by the larger vessel, lay
the _Sylph_--to which our two boys had returned late that night--ready
at an instant's notice to act as scout or carry dispatches. All aboard
were on the alert, and, as Frank and Jack leaned over the rail, awaiting
anxiously the first glimmer of daylight, their excitement was intense.

Slowly the gray dawn approached and the first light disclosed the two
submarines well inland, but apparently in distress. One of them seemed
to have been disabled, and the other was standing by as though to give
aid.

Both boys watched eagerly for the development of the strategy, details
of which were known to every officer on the _Sylph_. They had not long
to wait, for the German lookouts had been quick to note the seemingly
crippled condition of the submarine.

It was also evident from the movement of the German torpedo craft that
they, too, had discovered the _Fearless_, for these swift destroyers
were speedily put in motion, some heading for the submarines, while
others started toward the _Fearless_.

Perceiving that the ruse was working, the _Fearless_ put on full speed
and turned to the northwest. The _Sylph_ followed her example, and the
two boats sped away with the Germans in full chase.

Meanwhile, the Germans were getting their first surprise. Having filled
their tanks, the submarines quickly disappeared beneath the waves.

Looking backward, the boys could see what had happened.

"I hope they don't suspect what we are doing," said Frank.

"I should think they would," replied Jack. "I should think anybody could
see it was a ruse."

"That is because you know all about it," laughed his companion. "If you
did not, you would do just exactly what the Germans are doing."

The words had scarcely left his lips when there was a flash from the
pursuing torpedo boats, quickly followed by others, and the shells began
to fly over and about the _Fearless_.

Then it was that the _Fearless_ replied, and that her fire was effective
was quickly discovered. But, while it could be seen that the pursuers
were repeatedly hit, they were not disabled, and seemed determined to
capture the little cruiser.

And now came a surprise. Out of the gray mist of morning there appeared
a flotilla of British destroyers--nearly two dozen in all--accompanied
by the new light armored cruiser _Arethusa_.

From the portholes of each vessel were flashes thick and fast, and the
shells and solid shot began to scream through the air. Almost before
they knew it, and certainly before they had time to realize how matters
stood, the German torpedo flotilla was hotly engaged by the fresh
arrivals.

It was very evident that the British reinforcements were greatly
superior in every way, and the Germans were getting the worst of it
when, from out the harbor, came swiftly several light German cruisers,
rushing to the support of their small craft.

Almost sooner than it can be told the two fleets were close enough
together to use every available gun; and for the next few minutes
pandemonium reigned.

The gun-laying of all the British ships was splendid, and soon the
Germans began to show by their rent funnels, splintered upper works and
damaged hulls the punishment they were receiving. Almost together, two
shells from 10-inch guns struck the _Arethusa_. One plowed its way
through the upper decks, doing great damage, while the other found its
way into the engine-room. There was a terrific explosion, and the steam
poured from the portholes and mingled with the smoke of battle.

But the _Arethusa_ never deviated from her course nor ceased her
terrible fire.

A minute later a solid shot entered the bow of the _Sylph_, tore its way
diagonally across the gun deck, and put one of the 6-inch rifles out of
commission. Another struck the bridge, smashed the funnel, and killed
the man at the wheel.

Unmindful of the shot and shell flying about, Jack sprang from his
station in the wheel house and grabbed the wheel in time to prevent the
_Sylph_ from colliding with the _Laertes_, one of the swiftest of the
torpedo boats, which had also been severely damaged, but was making a
fierce running fight.

After some ten minutes of running and fighting, the _Fearless_, which
was leading the flotilla, turned sharply to the west, followed by the
remainder of the smaller craft. As the flotilla came around, two of the
enemy's cruisers could be seen in a half-sinking condition, and two of
the destroyers were missing, having been sunk.

Up to this instant the battle had been fought at very close range, and
the dozen or more German cruisers seemed to be rapidly overhauling the
mosquito fleet; but, with the sudden turning of the little squadron to
the west, there came the single boom of a great gun from out the
northwest, heralding the approach of the British
battleships--magnificent vessels of the First Battle Squadron.

As the great British guns opened upon the enemy, the Germans turned to
flee; but it was too late. They had been lured too far into the open.
British strategy had proved too much for the Teutonic mind. Badly
battered by the terrific and accurate fire of the British, the Germans
turned, and, as fast as their numerous wounds would allow, ran for
Helgoland.

Above the sharp banging of the smaller guns, came the great booms from
the giant British battleships.

Suddenly one of the enemy's cruisers, the _Köln_, burst into a brilliant
sheet of flame. A shell had exploded in her boiler-room. There was a
terrible explosion, and the vessel seemed to leap into the air like a
live thing of fire, only to disappear beneath the water with a great
hiss a moment later.

A great British cheer rang out across the water; and the Germans, if
possible, fled faster than before. Evidently the Germans had expected
assistance from the remainder of the fleet, which had been so long
bottled up in Helgoland; but no help came.

In spite of the fact that the German vessels under the protection of the
great guns of the fort were undoubtedly ready for instant action, the
order for them to sally forth to the assistance of their comrades came
not.

Gradually the German ships drew off, pursued for a great distance by the
victorious British fleet, leaving four vessels at the bottom of the
North Sea, two others burning, and, with practically every vessel that
had been engaged in the action suffering serious damage. British
marksmanship had been too much for them, and they retired to the
protection of the great guns of Helgoland, till they presently should
once more summon sufficient courage to face the British.

The loss of the Germans was enormous--that of the English comparatively
light, only thirty-two lives lost, and less than sixty men wounded.

Several of the British ships had been struck by German shells, but all
were able to steam away, although for a short time the _Arethusa_
received some aid from the _Sylph_. The _Liberty_ also had been
seriously damaged.

While the smaller guns of the _Sylph_ had prevented her from working any
great damage on the heavily armored German vessels, the little scout
cruiser had, nevertheless, been right in the hottest of the fight. One
of her men was killed and three were wounded.

"A gallant fight!" declared Lord Hastings to his officers, as the
_Sylph_ drew off after the battle. "England may well be proud of her
sailors!"

"It was glorious!" replied Frank. "But I am sorry we did not have a more
important part to play."

"And so am I," declared Jack.

"Don't let that worry you," replied Lord Hastings. "You will see all the
fighting you want, and more too before the war is over, or I miss my
guess."

"Well," said Jack, "to-day's action has proved one thing, at least."

"And that?" questioned Lord Hastings.

"That" repeated Jack, "is that Britannia, as ever, rules the wave!"



                              CHAPTER XXV.

                         AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR.


Aboard H. M. S. battle cruiser _Alto_ subdued excitement prevailed. It
was six o'clock the morning after the first British naval victory off
Helgoland, and still, for some unaccountable reason, the commander of
the _Alto_ had received no information of the battle.

Alice Beulow, pale from loss of sleep and tired to the point of
exhaustion, paced to and fro in her little cabin. Several times she fell
upon her knees beside her bed and prayed, for, by the mandate of the
court-martial, she had less than two hours to live.

Now the forward lookout on the _Alto_ made out the first sign of a
swiftly approaching vessel. Rapidly it came on. Under instructions from
Captain Johnson, the wireless operator was attempting to "pick up" the
oncoming craft, but, after several futile attempts, finally gave it up.
The stranger vouchsafed no reply.

The cruiser's bell tolled the half hour.

"Half past seven!"

The words escaped the kneeling girl. She arose and, going to a little
mirror, straightened her hair. She was beyond tears, and was preparing
to meet her death bravely. She had given up all hope of rescue.

Came a knock at the door.

"Come!" she called, and Lieutenant Berkeley entered.

"Are you ready, Miss Beulow," he questioned.

"Yes," replied the girl calmly, and followed him on deck.

To the farthest point aft on the cruiser the lieutenant led the way,
Alice following with a firm step. As she reached the selected spot and
stopped, there came a cry from the lookout:

"Boat coming toward the _Alto_, sir!"

All eyes were turned in the direction indicated. Still some distance
away, it was discovered that the vessel seen approaching earlier in the
morning had come to anchor, and that a small boat had been lowered, and
was rapidly approaching the _Alto_.

The firing squad had been selected the night before, and now stood
ready. At this moment the first officer came up and took the rifles from
the hands of the six men.

"Three rifles will be loaded with blank cartridges," he informed the
men, "so that it will be impossible to say which man's bullet kills the
prisoner."

The sailors all breathed easier. It was something for each man to know
that there was a possibility that he would not be the one to snuff out
the life of the young girl.

"Lieutenant Taylor!"

It was Captain Johnson who spoke.

"Sir?"

Lieutenant Taylor, who stood nearby, approached the commander of the
_Alto_.

"You will relieve Lieutenant Berkeley and take command of the firing
squad."

The lieutenant's face turned a trifle pale, but he saluted the
commander, then turned on his heel and took Lieutenant Berkeley's place
at the head of the death squad.

"You will give the command to fire at eight o'clock precisely," Captain
Johnson instructed him.

"Yes, sir," was the lieutenant's reply.

Alice Beulow turned upon the traitor a scornful smile, but she uttered
no sound. She recognized the folly of a plea for life at this late hour.

With her back to the ship's rail she waved aside the man who approached
with a bandage for her eyes.

"I am innocent," she said quietly, "and am not afraid to die!"

The man stepped back, abashed. Lieutenant Taylor now was trembling
perceptibly.

"I wish that I could undo this," he muttered to himself, "but it is her
life or mine."

He pulled himself together, and faced the firing squad.

At this moment there came a shout from the sea. Captain Johnson looked
over the side of the _Alto_. The small launch was now almost alongside,
and the commander could see the form of a young man in the uniform of a
midshipman directing the approach of the craft.

The latter shouted something unintelligible as the launch scraped
alongside the cruiser.

A moment later Lieutenant Taylor, whose thoughts had been so wrapped up
in the black deed he was about to commit that he had not noticed the
approach of the launch, gave the command:

"Ready!"

Unflinchingly Alice Beulow, with a slight smile on her lips, faced the
firing squad.

The hands of each man trembled, and the face of each was pale.

Then, suddenly, before Lieutenant Taylor could give the next command,
Frank Chadwick bounded over the side of the _Alto_, nor did he hesitate
for a moment. In spite of all attempts to stop him, he rushed toward the
spot where Alice Beulow was facing death.

Captain Johnson barred the lad's progress. But Frank was not to be
stopped. He dashed ahead with such speed that the captain was thrust
violently aside.

Suddenly the commander clapped his hand to where a moment before his
sword had hung by his side. But, even as he did so, the blade leaped, as
though alive, from his scabbard, and an instant later Frank brandished
it aloft!

Then the lad sprang upon Lieutenant Taylor, who even at that second had
raised his hand to give his second command to the firing squad:

"Take aim!"

But before he could give the command to fire, Frank was upon him.
Startled, the lieutenant leaped back, forgetting the girl, the firing
squad, everything but that his nemesis had run him to earth.

He succeeded in drawing his sword just in time to parry a slashing blow
which Frank aimed at him with the commander's sword; but a second later
the lad had closed with him, and the lieutenant's sword was practically
useless.

The appearance of the apparition from over the side of the _Alto_, and
its sudden dash into the center of the firing squad, had taken the
cruiser's officers by surprise. But now Captain Johnson pulled himself
together, and his voice and Lieutenant Taylor's rang out at the same
time with an order to the firing squad:

"Shoot him!"

But one man was in a position to obey the command without fear of
accidentally shooting the lieutenant.

Quickly he brought his rifle to bear, and his finger tightened upon the
trigger. There was a sharp crack. But Frank did not fall. The cartridge
in the rifle had been a blank.

Now the struggling combatants scuffled and twisted so rapidly that it
was impossible for any of the sailors to shoot Frank without imminent
risk of hitting Lieutenant Taylor, while the latter, realizing for the
first time just how near death he was, put forth his utmost strength to
free himself, but in vain.

Suddenly the lad released his hold and threw both his arms around the
lieutenant, the sword still grasped in his right hand. Then his left
hand gripped the naked blade, and, with a quick snap, broke it off a
foot from the hilt.

Once more releasing the lieutenant from his close embrace, he took a
backward step, following instantly by a quick lunge forward again, which
sent his shortened sword straight and true into the traitor lieutenant's
breast.

Lieutenant Taylor slid gently to the deck, gave a single convulsive sob
and lay still.

Without one look at the girl whose life he had saved at the imminent
risk of his own, Frank stepped up to Captain Johnson, saluted, and
exclaimed:

"Sir! there lies the traitor. I arrived just in time to prevent you from
committing a terrible crime. Miss Beulow is innocent."

"Who are you, sir?" demanded Captain Johnson, waving back the sailors
who had again leveled their rifles at the lad. "Why should I not have
you shot at once?"

"I am Midshipman Chadwick, sir, of His Majesty's scout cruiser _Sylph_.
I am here at Lord Hastings' command to save an innocent girl! This was
the only way I could do it!"

"And where is Lord Hastings?" asked the commander.

"Aboard the _Sylph_ yonder, sir."

"Then why did he not come, instead of sending you? Or why did he not
order the execution stayed by wireless?"

"Our wireless is out of commission; and Lord Hastings is ill with a
fever, sir!"

Captain Johnson was silent for some moments.

"I must of necessity place you and Miss Beulow under arrest," he said at
length, "but the execution is stayed until I have inquired further into
the matter."

"Thank you, sir," replied Frank. "It is all I have fought for!"



                             CHAPTER XXVI.

                         BY ORDER OF THE KING.


Alice Beulow had been the first to see Frank as he jumped over the rail
of the _Alto_. As he rushed toward her captors she had sent up a fervent
prayer of thanks. Various emotions were depicted in her face as the lad
struggled with the traitor who had almost succeeded in lying her life
away.

When the sailor had brought his rifle to bear on the lad, and the girl
saw him pull the trigger, her strong will had finally given way, and she
fell fainting to the deck. She was revived at length and carried to her
cabin, still under arrest.

Frank also had been arrested by command of Captain Johnson, and
confined. Half an hour later, however, the commander ordered him brought
to his cabin, and had the lad relate the full story of Lieutenant
Taylor's treachery and the details of the first British naval victory
off Helgoland.

"I am inclined to believe your story," said the captain, when Frank had
concluded. "I am now going aboard the _Sylph_ to pay my respects to Lord
Hastings, and you and Miss Beulow shall accompany me. You will consider
yourself under arrest, however, until I have seen Lord Hastings."

Half an hour later the three were ushered into Lord Hastings' cabin
aboard the _Sylph_, where the little scout cruiser's commander lay
propped up in bed.

A few words sufficed to clear up the situation so far as Captain Johnson
was concerned, and then the latter took Frank by the hand.

"You are a gallant lad," he said, "and I am proud to know you. My
prophecy is that you will not long remain a midshipman."

Frank thanked the commander of the _Alto_, and, at a nod from Lord
Hastings, which indicated that the latter desired to be alone with
Captain Johnson, Frank and Alice Beulow made their way to the deck.

Outside the captain's cabin they ran into Jack, who had been eagerly
waiting to learn what all the trouble was about. Alice soon explained
the situation to him, and then Jack did a dance of enthusiasm about the
deck.

"So you killed the traitor, eh?" he said at last, coming to a stop in
his contortions. "Good for you! I should like to have done it myself.
You are a brave chum, old man, and I am glad to have you for one."

"No more glad than I am to have you for a chum," replied Frank. "I have
done nothing you wouldn't have done had you been in my place. It was
simply luck, that's all."

"It was a brave action," put in Alice Beulow, "and for the second time I
owe you my life. The debt, I fear, can never be repaid."

"It was nothing any other fellow would not have done," protested Frank
modestly.

"But tell me how you happened to arrive so opportunely," demanded Alice.

"Well," said Frank, "after the battle, our first thought was of you. We
had heard, just before our wireless apparatus was put out of commission,
of your arrest, but, until after the battle, we could do nothing.

"Since noon yesterday we have been scouring the sea for the _Alto_, and
we were beginning to fear that we should not locate you in time. The
loss of our wireless came near proving fatal. It was early this morning
when we finally made out what we felt sure was the _Alto_."

"He doesn't tell you, Miss Beulow," Jack broke in, "how he stood watch
all that time without a wink of sleep; and that but for the keenness of
his eye we should probably have missed you."

"Well," said Frank, "I could do nothing less. But that's all there is to
the story. Now, Miss Beulow, will you tell us your experiences aboard
the _Alto_?"

The girl complied, and the boys listened with the greatest of interest.

"The cowardly traitor!" exclaimed Jack, when she concluded. "I should
like to have got my hands on him!"

"He will bother no one else," said Frank simply.

A moment later Captain Johnson emerged from Lord Hastings' cabin. Before
leaving the _Sylph_ he again approached Frank and shook hands with him.

"If I can ever be of service to you," he said, on taking his departure,
"command me. I shall never forget that your bravery alone saved me from
putting an innocent girl to death!"

Frank thanked the gallant commander, and the latter disappeared over the
side with a backward wave of his hand.

Soon the _Sylph_ was under way again, speeding swiftly toward the far
distant western horizon. For a long time, Alice Beulow, Frank and Jack
leaned over the rail of the little cruiser, gazing at the swiftly
passing greenish water. Then the three were summoned to Lord Hastings'
cabin.

The commander of the _Sylph_, still propped up in bed, greeted Frank
with a smile, and, beckoning the lad to him, gave his hand a hearty
clasp, in spite of his apparent feebleness.

"Captain Johnson has told me of your gallant action aboard the _Alto_,"
he said; "and I add my praise to his. It was a brave deed."

Frank passed the compliment off modestly, and Lord Hastings continued:

"I shall see that your conduct does not go unrewarded. But what I
summoned you all here to say is that we are returning to London."

"To London!" exclaimed Jack, in surprise.

"Yes. There the _Sylph_ will undergo the necessary repairs, which
probably will take a week. At the end of that time I hope to have
recovered to such an extent that we shall be able to put to sea
immediately. I feel much stronger the last few hours."

"And then back to Helgoland," said Frank.

"No," replied Lord Hastings, "I think not. I believe that our next
cruise will be in the Mediterranean."

"The Mediterranean!" exclaimed Jack. "Why not the North Sea? Don't you
think there will be more fighting there, sir?"

"Not immediately," was the reply. "After the blow we have just inflicted
upon the German fleet I believe it will be some time before the enemy
will venture forth again."

"Then there is no likelihood of Admiral Jellicoe's forcing a battle by
going in after the Germans?" queried Frank.

"I fear that would be suicide. The guns of a fortress, you know, are of
much heavier caliber than it is possible to mount upon a war vessel.
Besides, the harbor is mined, and there would, I am afraid, be but
slight hope of success for British arms in such a venture."

"And yet," said Frank, with a smile, "there was a certain American
admiral in the Civil War who said something about paying no heed to the
torpedoes when he steamed into Mobile Bay."

"Yes," admitted Lord Hastings, "and there was another American admiral
who also disregarded the mines at Manila. But don't you fret," he
continued, "you will find that Admiral Jellicoe is of the same caliber,
should he deem such a venturesome exploit essential."

"I am sure of it," agreed Jack. "From what little I saw of him the other
night, I am willing to bet that he is not the man to shirk a necessary
task because of danger."

"I agree with you," said Frank.

"I didn't call you here to discuss warfare," said Lord Hastings, after
some further conversation along this line, "but rather to find out what
we shall do with Miss Beulow."

"I am perfectly willing to abide by whatever decision you may reach,"
said the girl, with a smile. "I am sure you will not find me hard to
please."

"What would you suggest, sir?" asked Frank.

"Well," said Lord Hastings, "as you boys know, I am a married man. I am
sure that my wife would be glad to have Miss Beulow make her home with
her until such time as she can get into Germany with safety."

"But I can impose no further upon your generosity," protested the girl.
"You have been too good to me now."

"Tut, tut," chided Lord Hastings, "it will be no imposition. Besides I
am sure it is only a question of a few weeks until some arrangement will
be made whereby German subjects in England and British subjects in
Germany will be furnished means of returning to their native lands. Now,
what do you say to my plan, Miss Beulow?"

"I am sure she will accept," said Frank eagerly.

For several moments the girl did not speak.

"Yes," she said at length; "I shall accept; and I thank you, Lord
Hastings, for your kindness."

This matter having been settled, Lord Hastings announced that he thought
a good nap would do him good, and the young folks went on deck to enjoy
the sunshine. Later in the day Lord Hastings was also able to be on
deck, and, while the _Sylph_ slipped rapidly along through the water,
entertained the others with accounts of his travels.

Toward sunset Frank made out what appeared to be land.

"What land is it?" he inquired of Lord Hastings.

The _Sylph's_ commander took his glasses and carefully observed the land
through the hazy atmosphere.

"It must be the coast of Denmark," he replied, after a moment's
hesitation, "although I did not realize that we were that far north. We
must have sailed considerably off our course."

Night came on and still the _Sylph_ continued her homeward journey
without interruption, although a watch for evidence of any German vessel
was being carefully kept.

It was while at supper that the peaceful calm on board was rudely
broken.

From on deck came the sound of scuffling feet, followed by shouts and at
length a shot. Then came the sound of running feet, a moment of silence,
followed again by a volley of pistol shots.

Lord Hastings arose slowly to his feet and made his way on deck, closely
followed by Frank and Jack.

"What's the trouble?" demanded Lord Hastings, approaching a group of
sailors, who stood at the rail, firing into the water.

One of the men stepped forward.

"It's that traitor. Hardy, sir," he replied.

"Hardy!" exclaimed Lord Hastings. "What about him?"

"He has escaped, sir."

"What!"

"Yes, sir."

"But I ordered him put in irons and carefully guarded."

"And he was, sir. I can vouch for that."

"Then how did he escape?"

"I don't know, sir; but he freed himself of his shackles in some manner.
There he goes now, sir, in the motor. You can just make him out."

"How is it that you did not recapture him before he could get away?"
demanded his lordship.

"Well, he came upon us all of a sudden like, sir. He knocked two men
down before we knew what had happened. Then he put the boat over the
side and jumped in. I took a shot at him, as he jumped, but missed. He
must have started the engine the moment he struck the boat, for he was
moving in a jiffy. We all ran to the rail, and fired several shots at
him, but it doesn't look like we hit him."

Here Jack broke into the conversation.

"Why can't I take the other boat and go after him?" he demanded. "I am
sure I can overhaul him before he has gone very far. And, when I
do--well, I'll bring him back, all right."

Lord Hastings hesitated for one moment.

"All right," he finally said. "Take five men with you, and hustle."

"I am going, too," Frank broke in.

"Not much," said Jack. "You have had all the glory. It's time for me to
get into this game."

In almost less time than it takes to tell it, the second launch had been
lowered and, with Jack at the steering wheel, was off in the darkness
after the traitor. The powerful searchlight on the little boat lighted
up the sea for a long distance ahead, and at least a mile away Jack
could make out the craft in which Hardy was heading for the Danish
coast.

"Well," said Jack to himself, "it's up to me to catch him, and I won't
come back till I do."

Lord Hastings had told him that the _Sylph_ would remain where she was
until he returned.

Under Jack's orders the launch was leaping ahead at full speed, and
after an hour it became apparent that the pursuers were gaining
slightly.

"At this rate," said Jack to himself, "we won't overhaul him before
daylight. But we shall keep after him as fast as we can."

And keep after him they did; but their efforts to catch the traitor were
doomed to disappointment, the two launches were so nearly matched.

The night now grew blacker, as it always does just before dawn, and now
the headlight on the pursuing launch, besides showing Jack the escaping
fugitive, also showed him the outline of the coast less than half a mile
ahead of the fugitive.

With the first sight of the coast Jack uttered an exclamation of dismay,
although he did not slacken the speed of the launch, which continued to
creep closer and closer to the fugitive.

As the first, faint streak of dawn appeared in the sky, Hardy ran his
boat close to shore and, standing erect, jumped headlong into the water.
A moment later and he reappeared and struck out for land.

Now that his quarry was safe ashore, Jack approached more cautiously,
for he was not minded to run his little craft upon a rock. But when the
pursuers were finally able to land Hardy had disappeared in the
distance.

Jack turned to his men.

"You will stay here until I return," he informed them. "I may be gone a
long time--there is no telling. Wait for me an hour after nightfall, and
if I have not then returned you will go back to the _Sylph_. Do not come
ashore, for this is neutral ground," and the lad hurried in the
direction in which the fugitive had disappeared.

"If I can catch him before we are discovered," he told himself, "he'll
come back all right. If not, well, I don't know. If discovered I suppose
we shall both be disarmed and interned," for Jack was not unfamiliar
with neutrality laws, and he realized that if discovered he would
probably not be allowed to leave the country until the war had ended.

But if Jack had expected to overhaul the fugitive and take him back to
the _Sylph_ without trouble, he was doomed to disappointment. As he
hurried on through the little woods there was the sudden sound of a
shot, and a bullet whistled over his head.

The lad sprang behind a tree and quickly drew his revolver.

A moment later there was a second shot, and Jack saw a flash from behind
a tree scarcely a hundred feet away. He aimed quickly at an arm which
extended from behind the tree and fired. A howl of pain rewarded him;
but Jack was too wary to step from behind his shelter, although he
looked cautiously in the direction of his enemy.

As he surmised, it was the traitor Hardy who had shot at him. The
fugitive now lay sprawled on the ground, and even from where Jack stood
he could hear the man's moans. The bullet had struck him in the
elbow--on the "crazy bone."

Jack stepped quickly from behind his tree and rapidly crossed the
distance that separated him from his wounded enemy. As he came close,
Hardy suddenly sprang to his feet and, unable to bring his revolver to
bear quickly enough, struck a savage blow at the lad.

Jack dodged the blow and promptly sent his fist between the other's
eyes, knocking him to the ground in a sprawling heap.

"I guess that will teach you I am not to be fooled with," he said
angrily.

The lad stooped over and lifted his unconscious enemy to his own
shoulders.

"Now to get back to the launch before I am discovered," he said, and,
turning, he started off rapidly in the direction from which he had come.

But he was not to carry his task to a successful termination so easily;
for hardly had he gone fifty feet, when he was brought to an abrupt
pause by the sound of a harsh command:

"Halt!"

Turning, the lad dropped his burden to the ground and, after a moment's
hesitation, threw his hands above his head.

"This is what I call tough," he muttered.

For, not fifty yards behind him, and approaching at a run, came an
officer with leveled revolver, and behind him a squad of soldiers.



                             CHAPTER XXVII.

                          NEUTRAL HOSPITALITY.


The officer came up to the lad quickly, and held out his hand for the
boy's revolver, which Jack gave him without a word.

"What is the meaning of this?" he demanded in broken English.

Jack smiled slightly.

"Well, as you have got me, I don't mind telling," he replied. "I am a
midshipman on the British scout cruiser _Sylph_. This man is a traitor,
who would have delivered the British fleet into the hands of the
Germans. Fortunately, his treachery was discovered in time. Last night,
however, he succeeded in making his escape, and I was sent after him. I
had just persuaded him that he had better return when you arrived.
That's all there is to it."

The Danish officer permitted the semblance of a smile to cross his face.

"Your methods of persuasion are to be commended," he said dryly, "but,
while they may be permissible in times of war, there is no war in
Denmark. Denmark is absolutely neutral. I suppose you are aware of
that?"

Jack signified that he was.

"Then," said the officer, "you must realize that you have carried this
thing too far."

"Well," answered Jack, "I figured that if you didn't catch me it would
be all right. But I was afraid you or someone just like you might show
up. But, if I could have got away with this man, I would have been all
right, wouldn't I?"

Again the Danish officer smiled slightly.

"You are frank, at any rate," he said. "I am sorry, but it is my duty to
take you to Esbjerg and turn you over to my superiors. My sympathies in
the case have nothing to do with the matter. I may say, however, that I
am sorry you have fallen into my hands. Had I known what was going on I
would have become temporarily deaf."

"Thanks," said Jack dryly. "But are you sure it is too late to become
deaf now?"

"Perfectly sure," said the officer, smiling. "You see, my men might not
be afflicted at the same time. I am sorry, but I must ask you to come
with me peaceably, or I shall be compelled to use force."

"Oh, I'll come peaceably enough," said Jack. "But what will be done with
me?"

"You'll not be harmed, be sure of that; but the chances are that you
will not be allowed to leave the country until after the war. And it
seems to me that you should be glad of that."

"Well, I'm not," said Jack warmly.

"No," said the officer, "I don't suppose you are."

He turned to the wounded Hardy and stirred his prostrate form with his
foot.

"Ugh!" he ejaculated. "I have no use for a traitor, be he English or
German."

He turned to his men.

"Pick him up and bring him along," he commanded.

Two of the soldiers did as ordered, and the party started off, the
Danish officer and Jack in the lead.

"What's the name of this place you are taking me to?" demanded Jack, as
they walked along.

"Esbjerg," was the reply.

"What is it, a town or a conundrum?"

The officer drew himself up stiffly. Jack was contrite in a second.

"I beg your pardon," he hastened to say. "I didn't mean to offend you."

The officer became his good-natured self again in a moment.

"Say no more about it," he said. "I thought you were making fun of me."

"Oh, no," said Jack, "I wouldn't try to do that."

They continued their way, Jack and the Danish officer on the best of
terms. At length a few scattering houses came into view, and Jack saw
that they were approaching a little town.

Straight through the streets of the town they went, what few pedestrians
that were abroad at this early hour eying them askance. But no word was
spoken.

Finally Jack's captor stopped at the entrance of a building somewhat
larger than the rest, and turned to his men.

"Take him," indicating the wounded Hardy, "to the hospital, and see that
his wounds are attended to and that he is well guarded." To Jack he
added: "Come with me."

Together they ascended the steps and passed through the door of the
building. Into a large and handsomely appointed room the officer led his
captive. At a large desk at one end of the apartment sat a large,
ruddy-faced man in uniform, his straps, to Jack's educated eye,
proclaiming his rank as that of general.

The general arose to his feet as the officer and Jack approached him.

"And what have we here?" he demanded, in a loud, booming voice.

"I captured this young English officer in the act of carrying an enemy
from Danish soil," replied the officer, saluting. "It was a violation of
our neutrality, so I placed him under arrest."

"Good," said the general; "and the other man?"

"He is in the hospital, sir."

"Hospital? Do you mean to say that they were fighting on Danish soil?"

"As to that I couldn't say, sir," replied the officer. "I heard shots,
but I did not see them fired."

The general turned abruptly to Jack.

"Your name?" he demanded.

"Midshipman Jack Templeton, sir, of His Majesty's navy," replied the
lad, with a bow.

"Explain your presence in Denmark," came the next command.

Jack explained, and, after he had concluded his recital, the Danish
general was silent for some moments.

"Uh-m-m-m," he said finally, and his voice was not so harsh. "How old
are you?"

"Seventeen, sir," said Jack.

"You are indeed young to have seen so much service," mused the general.
"But this is a serious case. I am afraid I shall have to order you
interned."

"Is there no way out of that, sir?" asked Jack, now greatly alarmed.

"I am afraid not; but, have no fear, you shall be well treated while you
are our guest."

"Guest," repeated Jack bitterly, "say rather your prisoner."

"Not if you will give me your parole not to attempt to escape," said the
general kindly.

"I can't do that, sir," replied Jack, taken somewhat aback by the old
general's kindness.

"Then I fear that I must order you confined."

The general turned to the officer who had captured Jack; but before he
could open his mouth to speak, the abrupt entrance of another figure
into the room caused him to turn with his order left unspoken.

As the newcomer advanced into the room, both Danish officers saluted,
and then bowed low. Instinctively Jack felt that he was in the presence
of royalty, and he also bent his knee in homage.

Nor was he wrong, for the good-natured, kindly-faced smiling man, who
now approached them, was none other than Christian X, King of Denmark.
In his eye there was a twinkle, and there was a humorous quirk to his
mouth, only partly hidden by his mustache.

Nodding to the two officers, the king walked directly up to Jack, who,
being the subject of a king himself, fell upon his knee. The king
extended a hand and lifted the boy to his feet.

"I have overheard your conversation, sirs," he said quietly, and,
turning once more to Jack, "and I am indeed proud to have the pleasure
of meeting so valiant an English youth."

"I thank your majesty," said Jack in great confusion, and could say no
more.

"It is indeed unfortunate that you should have fallen into our hands,"
continued the king, "for it must be as you have been told. Denmark is
strictly neutral, and neutral she shall remain while I am king. You, I
regret to say, must stay with us. But you shall be well treated. I
myself shall see to that."

Jack bowed again as the king finished.

"No doubt you are hungry," the king continued, "for you could not have
eaten during your long chase. My own breakfast is now ready, and I hope
I may have the pleasure of your company?"

The king's last words were an interrogation and, overcome by this
hospitality, Jack could do naught but nod his head in assent.

"Come, then," said the king, and he turned toward the door.

Jack followed him from the room.



                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

                          A DASH FOR FREEDOM.


Despite the fact that he was sadly lacking in a knowledge of court
etiquette, Jack acquitted himself creditably in breakfasting with
royalty. He recounted his adventures preceding the time he joined the
British navy and gave the king an account of his early life. He spoke of
Frank several times, and finally the king was moved to ask:

"And your friend--this American youth--is he as great a fighter as you
are?"

"Well, Frank is a fighter," was Jack's reply. "I don't know as I come in
that class," modestly, "but Frank is a mighty good friend to have around
in time of need."

"No better than you, I'll warrant," the king made answer, as he arose
from the table. "But come, I have many affairs to attend to, which is
the reason I came here from Copenhagen yesterday, so I shall have to
turn you over to someone for safekeeping. It would not do to have you
get away; and besides, I have promised myself more of your company."

Jack followed the king back into the room where the general still sat at
his desk, and was turned over to the latter by the king with this
parting injunction:

"See that he has everything he wants, and see also that he is well
guarded until I have decided what final disposition to make of him."

"And the other prisoner?" questioned the general.

"Well, I haven't much sympathy for the other," said the king, "but he,
too, must be treated well."

The general bowed his head in assent, and the king left the room.

"I hardly know what to do with you," mused the general, tapping on his
desk with a lead pencil.

He was silent for some moments, meditating. Finally he struck a bell and
a moment later an orderly entered the room and came to a salute.

"Summon Lieutenant Erickson," commanded the general.

A few minutes later a young, pleasant-looking Danish officer entered the
room.

The general introduced the two young men to each other, and then said to
the lieutenant:

"Lieutenant, I turn Mr. Templeton over to you. You will treat him as a
guest rather than as a prisoner. But you will be responsible for him.
See that he does not escape." To Jack he added: "You see, we are trying
to make it as pleasant as possible for you. I hope that you will not
make it necessary for us to use more forcible means to induce you to
accept our hospitality."

Jack bowed, but made no reply. He did not intend to commit himself one
way or the other, but he had made up his mind to make a dash for liberty
if the slightest chance offered. He had another thought in his head
also: He did not intend to go back to the _Sylph_ without the object of
his chase--the traitor Hardy.

With Lieutenant Erickson, Jack wandered about the streets of the city
all morning viewing the sights of interest. It was after 12 o'clock when
they stopped into a little restaurant to get something to eat. Several
other officers were in the café when the two entered, and Lieutenant
Erickson introduced the lad to all of them.

Finally, when all the Danish officers were in the midst of a discussion
of the great European war, the chance for which Jack had been
impatiently waiting came. And the boy was not slow to take advantage of
it.

The table at which the party was seated was near the door. The heads of
all the officers were now close together, and so engrossed were they in
their discussion that they paid no heed to Jack, as he quietly rose from
the table and slipped toward the door.

But, just as Jack put his foot over the threshold, Lieutenant Erickson
noticed his absence and sprang to his feet with a shout. The others
followed his example and made a concerted rush for the door, through
which Jack was at that moment disappearing.

Dashing out the door the lad ran madly down the street, and turned the
first corner just before the officers emerged from the restaurant. For a
moment they stood in the doorway puzzled, not knowing in which way the
fugitive had fled.

But for a moment only. They hailed a passing pedestrian, and from him
learned which way the lad had gone. All immediately dashed away in
pursuit.

Now Jack was considerable of a sprinter, so when the officers rounded
the corner the lad was nowhere in sight. For perhaps fifteen minutes
Jack ran as fast as his legs could carry him, turning corner after
corner, until at last he was forced to slow down to regain his breath.
However, he now felt that he had given his pursuers the slip, so he
continued to walk along more slowly.

But the lad's utter ignorance of the city landed him in more trouble,
for, in winding about through the various streets, as he had, he
suddenly came right back to the starting point. Here, owing to the
confusion occasioned by his dash for liberty, a crowd had gathered, the
restaurant proprietor among them.

The latter recognized Jack the minute he came into sight, and yelled in
a loud voice:

"There he is! There he is!"

Jack immediately took to his heels again, with the crowd in full chase.
And, as he rounded the next comer, he came upon the party of officers,
who, unable to find him, were returning to the starting point to take up
the search anew.

Jack now was caught between two fires, so to speak. For a moment he
halted, as his pursuers bore down on him from two directions with shouts
and yells. But his inaction lasted only a moment. His roving eyes fell
upon a little alleyway across the street, and into this he dashed at
full speed, his pursuers hot on his trail.

Out of the alleyway and down the next street the lad ran, those behind
being left farther in the rear at almost every stride. Then, espying
another narrow alleyway, and thinking to give his pursuers the slip
entirely, the lad dashed into it.

Had he made his way into this narrow alleyway unseen, it is likely he
would have eluded his pursuers for good and all; but he didn't. One man
rounded the corner just in time to see the lad turn, and he made after
him with a shout.

Jack still had quite a lead, however, and was not disheartened; but, as
he rounded a little curve in his retreat, his heart almost stopped
beating, and he came to a sudden pause. For the passageway was a blind
one. The lad had run up against a solid wall.

And, at the same minute the lad stopped in his flight, the first pursuer
came into view again. As Jack was just about to turn and give himself
up--for he knew he could not hope to fight off his pursuers--a window
suddenly opened above his head, and a woman's head was poked out.

Jack glanced up. With outstretched hands he could easily grasp the
window sill. He considered a fraction of a second, then reached up,
grasped the sill, and pulled himself up into the open window.

The woman, startled at the sudden apparition, drew back, and attempted
to close the window; but Jack threw one leg over the sill. The window
came down on it with great force; but it did not close.

The woman grabbed the lad by the foot and attempted to force him out,
but he was not to be thrust into the hands of his pursuers thus easily,
and after several attempts the woman desisted and ran screaming through
the house.

Immediately Jack pushed up the window and dropped lightly into the room.
The window he closed and locked almost with a single move in the very
faces of his trailers. Then he turned and dashed across the room, making
for the front door.

But by the time he reached it he found this means of exit barred, for
some of the pursuers, the moment they had seen him spring into the
window, had rushed around to the front entrance.

Realizing that there was no hope of escape in that direction, the lad
turned and dashed up the stairs to the second floor. There, in a back
room, as his gaze roved about, he beheld a trap door in the ceiling.
Pulling a chair to the middle of the room, he mounted it, laid his hands
against the trap door and pushed.

The door fell off on the outside, and a moment later Jack was on the
roof. The trap door he put back in its place, and sat on it a moment to
regain his breath.

As he sat there looking around for some means of escape there came a
fierce thumping on the door upon which he sat. Jack smiled to himself
slightly.

"They can only come up one at a time," he muttered. "I guess I can take
care of them."

He arose. There came another resounding smash, and the trap door flew
off, splintered by a fierce blow.

Jack dropped to his knees beside the opening.



                             CHAPTER XXIX.

                           JACK TRIES A RUSE.


A head was poked cautiously through the opening, and a second later a
uniformed arm appeared. Jack leaned forward, put his hand on the man's
head, and gave a violent push. The head disappeared on the inside; there
was the sound of a heavy fall below, followed by a sound of great
confusion and muttered imprecations.

"Wonder what they'll try next?" muttered Jack to himself.

He had not long to wait. A second time a head was poked cautiously
through the opening, and a second time Jack's hand shot forth and there
was the sound of a heavy fall below. A third time this was tried, but,
when the third man had been hurled back, no fourth head appeared in the
opening.

"Well," mused Jack, "I guess they have had enough of that. Suppose they
have something else up their sleeves now. I shall have to be watchful."

At that moment the lad heard a footstep behind him, and turned quickly,
just in time to grapple with a man who sprang upon him. While Jack had
been busy watching the trap door, a ladder had been placed against the
side of the house, and the pursuers were climbing up.

With a quick wrench Jack hurled the man from him, dashed toward the
ladder and arrived just in time to deal the man who was just about to
set foot upon the roof a heavy blow. A quick glance showed him several
more forms swarming up the ladder.

With a quick kick he swept the ladder aside, hurling all upon it to the
ground with stunning force; then turned again just in time to meet the
assault of the one man already on the roof.

This assailant struck out vigorously, but, in spite of Jack's youth, the
man was no match for him when it came to close quarters. Jack picked the
man up in his arms bodily and ran to the trap door just as another head
appeared in the opening.

Standing over the opening Jack lifted up his human burden and let him
drop. He struck squarely upon the head of the other, and both went to
the floor below with a loud thud. Jack glanced quickly around, to see if
there were any other ladders being placed against the side of the house.

He could see none, so he mounted guard over the trap door. But not
another form appeared through this opening either. Jack stood there for
several moments, but no further attempts were made to reach him. Making
sure that there was no one below, the lad walked quickly around the
roof.

One man stood guard on each side of the house and a big crowd was packed
in front.

"Something up," Jack muttered to himself. "They evidently are convinced
they cannot reach me this way and are going to try something else. I
guess it's up to me to get out of here very suddenly. But how?"

That was the question, and the boy gave it some reflection. Then, as he
made another tour of the roof, a plan came to him. It was a desperate
chance, but he could think of no other way of escape.

Making sure that the crowd was all in front, the boy ran quickly to the
back of the house. There was a guard directly below him, but, as luck
would have it, the man at that very moment was engaged in the task of
lighting a pipe.

Jack acted without a pause. Swiftly and silently he lowered himself from
the roof, hanging by his hands directly over the guard's head. Then,
giving himself a little swing outward, he dropped.

It was a long drop, but the lad had gauged the distance correctly, and
the force of the fall was broken by the man below, upon whose shoulders
the lad dropped like a human thunderbolt.

The man went to the ground without so much as a groan, Jack on top of
him. Although somewhat shaken up by his fall, Jack did not lose his
presence of mind for a single moment, and his hand clutched the guard's
throat, throttling any outcry.

Now Jack's further resourcefulness became apparent. Glancing quickly
about to make sure that no one was in sight--the walls of the house
obstructing the view of those on the sides and in front--the lad lifted
the guard bodily in his arms and carried him to a little shed in the
rear.

Quickly he stripped the officer--for such his victim proved to be--of
his uniform, and hastily donned it himself. Hurriedly he bound and
gagged his captive, and then walked from the shed and took the guard's
place in the rear of the house.

And he arrived there not a moment too soon, for at that instant a band
of soldiers appeared, bearing many ladders. These they leaned against
the side of the house in different places, and one man mounted each,
cautiously, for fear of being hurled back by the fugitive they believed
to be on the roof.

Jack walked round to the front of the house, and, keeping his head
lowered, mingled with the crowd. At that moment there came a shout from
the roof:

"He's not here!"

Then there came another cry:

"The trap door! He must have gone back through the trap door!"

"No," came another voice, "he has not come down this way."

"About time for me to make myself scarce," Jack told himself.

He sauntered slowly away and was soon out of sight of the house.

It was now well along in the afternoon. Jack looked at his watch. It was
almost 4 o'clock.

"If I can find the hospital," he told himself, "I may manage to work
this thing out yet. I've got to take a chance, and that's all there is
about it. The worst of it is that I cannot afford to ask for directions.
A Danish officer surely should know where the hospital is located. Well,
here goes."

He continued slowly down the street, keeping a sharp lookout for
anything that looked like it might be a hospital. He walked with lowered
head, for, while his uniform gave him a certain amount of safety, he
wished to run no unnecessary risk of detection.

For almost an hour he strolled about the town, and at last his efforts
were rewarded. He stopped before a large and imposing building.

"This looks like a hospital to me," he said. "It is hardly likely they
have more than one in a town of this size, and Hardy probably was taken
here. Guess I better look around a bit, however, before I go in, though.
I might spot another one some place. It's too bad I can't read Danish.
It might be easier if I could."

Jack walked on, and a few blocks farther down, the street passed a body
of Danish cavalry moving at a rapid trot in the direction from which he
had come. Jack smiled grimly to himself.

"Going to help search for the fugitive, I guess. Well, I hope they don't
find him, or the guard, either, for it might make it a little awkward
for me."

He gazed after the cavalry as it disappeared around a corner.

"A likely looking crowd," he said in some admiration. "I'll bet they
could give a good account of themselves when it came to a fight. Hope I
don't have to line up against any of them."

He turned and retraced his steps toward the building in which he felt
sure he would find Hardy. He mounted the long flight of stone steps with
a firm tread and entered the door. A quick glance showed him that he had
not been mistaken. The place was a hospital and no mistake.

"Now to find out where my friend Hardy is," the lad muttered.

He walked slowly about the halls, looking for the office. His search was
at length rewarded. Glancing in an open door, he saw several clerks at
work, and at one end of the room, separated from the others by a
railing, an important-looking man, unmistakably a physician.

"The superintendent, I suppose, or whatever he is called in this
country," muttered Jack. "I guess I had better talk in German. English
wouldn't do at all. But, suppose they won't let me have Hardy without a
written order? Oh, well, I'll have to take a chance on that. Here we
go."

Jack drew a deep breath, straightened himself up, and with a firm step
entered the room.



                              CHAPTER XXX.

                          THE RUSE SUCCESSFUL.


Jack approached the man he took to be the superintendent. The latter
looked up.

"Well, sir?" he demanded in German.

"I'm in luck," said Jack to himself, but aloud he made reply:

"I am ordered to take the English prisoner, who was brought here this
morning, before the king."

"Your order," said the superintendent, extending a hand.

"This is a hurry case," said Jack quietly, "and His Majesty did not take
time to write an order."

"Well, you won't get him without it," said the superintendent.

"But I must have him at once," said Jack firmly. "Either you shall
deliver him to me, or I shall have to use force. My orders are to bring
him before the king immediately. Shall I call my men?" and the lad took
a step toward the door.

The physician looked at the lad keenly, and Jack returned his gaze
unflinchingly. Finally the physician arose.

"Come, then," he said; "but I would have you inform His Majesty that in
the future I must insist upon a written order."

Jack bowed coldly, and followed the physician from the room. Up two
flights of stairs they went, and from there into a private room, fitted
up luxuriously.

"You see," the superintendent explained, "the prisoner has the best that
we can offer. I hope that you will see fit to inform His Majesty that
his orders are being obeyed."

"I shall be glad to do so," replied Jack.

He followed the physician to the bedside of the traitor. Hardy was
sleeping, but the physician aroused him by shaking his arm.

"Your presence before the king is desired immediately," he said.

Jack kept his face averted, for he feared that Hardy would recognize him
in spite of his uniform.

"What does the king want?" questioned the traitor of the physician.

"I do not know, but this officer," indicating Jack, "has been sent to
conduct you to him."

"All right I shall be ready immediately," said Hardy.

He arose from the bed and slipped into his clothes, the physician
assisting him, for his wounded arm was wrapped in a sling and gave him
some difficulty. Then, without a word, he followed Jack from the room.

Now, as Jack had sought the hospital he had noted some of the localities
he had passed while being led along by his own captor, so that he had a
pretty fair idea of the direction in which he wanted to go. The one
thing that he feared was that Hardy would recognize him before they got
out of the city.

He kept his hand on the revolver he had taken from the Danish officer,
whose clothes he had appropriated, for he was determined that Hardy
would either be taken back to the _Sylph_ alive or stay in Denmark dead.

"He is too dangerous to be allowed to escape scot free," the lad told
himself. "Besides, Lord Hastings' last words were to bring him back dead
or alive. I don't think much of the job, but I'll do it if necessary."

As they walked along the street, Hardy tried to strike up a
conversation. Jack walked slightly ahead of him, to prevent him from
getting a good look at his face.

"What does the king want with me, do you suppose?" Hardy asked.

"I don't know," replied Jack gruffly.

"How about the other prisoner? Where is he?"

"Oh, he's safe enough," was Jack's answer.

"You are not very communicative, are you?" demanded Hardy, stopping
suddenly.

"Not very," replied Jack, stopping also. "But come along. The king
desires your presence immediately."

"Seems to me I have heard your voice before," said Hardy, resuming his
walk. "You are not the officer who took me to the hospital, are you?"

"No," said Jack.

"Then where have we met before?"

"Your imagination is running away with you," said Jack.

"No, I know your voice. Hold on, while I get a look at you," and he took
Jack by the arm.

The boy freed his arm with a wrench.

"None of that," he said, in his natural voice. "You come with me, or
I'll put a hole through you."

Hardy stopped suddenly.

"I know you now!" he gasped.

"Yes, and you'll know me a whole lot better if you don't do as I tell
you," said Jack quietly. "Come on, now, move."

Instead of obeying this command. Hardy suddenly let out a loud cry for
help.

Instantly Jack whipped his revolver out.

"One more like that," he said sternly, "and I'll shoot you where you
stand."

"You wouldn't have the nerve," was the sneering response.

"Don't try me," said Jack quietly. "You are too dangerous to be running
around loose. I would shoot you with as little compunction as I would a
dog."

Hardy was evidently impressed with Jack's tone, for he resumed his walk
slowly.

"What are you going to do with me?" he demanded.

"Take you back aboard the _Sylph_," replied the lad. "And now don't let
me hear another sound out of you."

But the one cry for help which Hardy had made was enough to cause
trouble. For now, from around the corner came a crowd of men, rushing up
to Jack and his prisoner.

"One word from you," Jack warned Hardy, "and I'll let you have it, no
matter what happens to me. Don't forget that."

By this time the vanguard of the crowd was upon them.

"What's the matter?" demanded a voice.

"Nothing," replied Jack calmly. "I thought for a moment this prisoner
was going to get away. He broke loose and ran down the street, but I
caught him. I called for help because I feared he would get away."

As he spoke he kept his revolver, which he grasped firmly in his pocket,
pointed through the cloth full at his prisoner. Hardy saw that he was
covered, and he realized that a miss at such close quarters was
practically impossible. So he said nothing.

Jack's explanation seemed to satisfy the crowd, for, after following for
some distance and asking a few questions, it gradually drew off.

"You'll never know how close you were to death," Jack informed his
prisoner. "I thought once you were going to speak, and my finger was on
the trigger."

"I saw it," replied Hardy quietly. "I am not entirely a fool."

"Remember it, then," was Jack's response.

For some moments they continued on their way in silence, and at last
Hardy said:

"Listen here, Templeton! Isn't there some way we can fix this thing up?
I know what will happen to me if I am taken back to the _Sylph_. If this
thing had gone through I would have been a rich man. I am sure I can
explain things satisfactorily to my superiors. Now you let me go and
I'll see that you are put in a position that will make you
independent--that you are made rich."

"Silence, you hound!" exclaimed Jack angrily. "One more remark like
that, and I shall be tempted to shoot you anyhow. I have half a mind to,
as it is."

"Oh, no, you won't," was Hardy's reply. "I know your kind too well for
that."

"Be careful," said Jack, in a low tone, "don't drive me too far."

The silence that followed was broken a few moments later by Hardy, who
uttered an exclamation. Jack followed the traitor's gaze, and broke into
a cold sweat.

From the rear came a body of infantry at a run. Jack drew his revolver
and shoved it up against Hardy's side.

"We'll do a little running ourselves," he said quietly. "Hustle, now,
and remember I am right behind you, and that I'll put a bullet through
you at the first false move."

Hardy, as he himself had said, was no fool. He realized that Jack meant
business, and, in spite of his wound, that must have pained him greatly,
he started off at top speed, Jack at his heels.

They were well beyond the town now, and from the condition of the road
Jack knew that they were going in the right direction. Also it was
growing dark, and Jack knew that it was necessary for him to reach the
place where he had left the _Sylph's_ boat by nightfall.

He was positive that his men would still be there, but he also knew
that, in accordance with his orders, they would not remain a moment
after the time he had set had passed. Consequently, he kept Hardy going
at top speed.

From time to time the lad glanced over his head at his pursuers. He knew
that he could outrun them, but he also knew that Hardy would soon
diminish his speed if possible. Therefore he kept his revolver ready in
his hand.

As he had expected, Hardy suddenly began to slow down.

"Run," commanded Jack, "no stopping now."

"But I can't run any farther," protested Hardy, panting.

"Can't you?" replied Jack grimly. "Then maybe this will help you."

His revolver spoke, and a bullet whistled by the traitor's ear.

Hardy leaped forward with renewed energy, and for a few moments Jack
found it hard to keep pace with him.

Now the two came in view of the shore, and Jack spurred his captive to
renewed speed. The Danish soldiers were still some distance behind, but
now a shot rang out.

"No stopping now!" yelled Jack, and, side by side, the two ran toward
the little boat that still lay in waiting, the crew of which was
advancing to meet them.

"Quick, men, into the boat," panted Jack, as they came together. "We are
pursued. We must get out of range quickly."

The men needed no further word. All ran for the boat at top speed, waded
out into the water, and climbed aboard. Jack, shoving Hardy ahead of
him, was the last over the side.

Quickly he stepped to the steering wheel, and a moment later there was a
muffled chug-chug, and the little craft began to slip through the water.

There was a cry of "Halt!" from the shore; but this went unheeded.

Came a volley of rifle shots.

"Duck, men," cried Jack, suiting the action to the word.

One man was a trifle too late, and his arm fell useless by his side.

"Hurt much?" queried Jack anxiously.

"Not much, sir," came the reply; "arm's broken, I guess. That's all,
sir."

Another volley came from the shore, but by this time the little craft
had put such distance between itself and the shore that accurate
shooting was impossible.

The speed of the little craft was increased, and it fairly skimmed over
the water.

"They will be worried on the _Sylph_," Jack explained. "They are sure to
wait for us till morning, but I want to get back at the earliest
possible moment."

Hardly were these words out of the lad's mouth when there was a new
commotion on the boat. Jack's troubles were not over yet.

"Prisoner overboard, sir!" came the cry from one of the sailors.

It was true. In the excitement of the moment Hardy had not been securely
bound, and, taking advantage of a moment when his captors' backs were
turned, he had slipped quietly over the side, and was swimming
desperately toward the shore.



                             CHAPTER XXXI.

                       ABOARD THE "SYLPH" AGAIN.


Jack sprang quickly to his feet and in a moment had divested himself of
his coat and shoes. Then he dived headlong into the dark water. The
searchlight of the little craft was playing upon the water, and Jack
could plainly see his prisoner a short distance ahead.

Jack was a strong swimmer. At his home in the little African village he
had spent many hours in the water; and now with great strokes he was
overhauling his quarry.

"I'll get him if I have to chase him all over Denmark," the lad told
himself grimly, as he swam along. "I should have watched him more
closely."

For at least ten minutes the chase continued. Then, finding that Jack
was bound to catch him, Hardy turned to face him.

Now, Hardy was no coward, and he was a big man. On even terms he figured
that the lad was no match for him. He was also an accomplished swimmer;
but he underrated the prowess of the lad who was pursuing him, and his
arm was also in bad shape.

Jack came up with his enemy and reached out a hand to take him by the
throat; but, as he did so, Hardy dove and disappeared from view. A
moment later he came up close to the spot where Jack had been, and
struck out fiercely, thinking to take the lad by surprise and stun him
before his presence was discovered.

But Jack was not to be caught in this manner. He was far too wary. The
moment Hardy sank from sight, Jack had surmised his ruse and had shifted
his position accordingly. As a result, when Hardy came up, Jack had him
at a disadvantage. In his haste, however, to get his prisoner back to
the launch, Jack failed to use his advantage and the blow he aimed at
his adversary went wide. Whereupon Hardy immediately dove again.

Spurred to greater mental activity by his failure, Jack determined upon
a bit of strategy. Believing that Hardy would remain under water this
time as long as possible, in the meantime swimming for shore, Jack
struck out for shore with all his might. Then, when he thought that
Hardy must come to the surface, the lad made a sudden dive.

That Jack's estimate was a good one was quickly proven. He had gauged
the distance Hardy could swim with such accuracy that he found himself
swimming directly under the fleeing man. This was his opportunity, and,
rising close to the surface, Jack seized Hardy by one of his feet.

Hardy kicked out angrily, but to no avail. With a quick jerk Jack drew
the traitor under the water. Then, rising, he struck out at his
adversary and, taking a deep breath, dived again, grabbing Hardy by the
throat as he went down.

Beneath the dark water of the ocean the fierce struggle went on. Jack
found his opponent a hard customer, but soon the lad's endurance began
to tell. The long breath he had taken just before diving for the last
time was what finally gave him the victory.

Hardy's struggles became weaker and weaker, and finally there beneath
the water he fell limp in the lad's arms. Quickly Jack rose to the
surface, bearing his prisoner with him. Taking a deep, refreshing
breath, he struck out for the little launch, which had approached to
within a short distance of him.

Willing hands lifted Hardy over the side and helped Jack aboard. The
prisoner was laid on a seat, and, after he had been worked over for some
minutes, regained consciousness. This time he was securely bound.

"Well, I guess you have got me at last," he said to Jack, when he had
observed his surroundings.

"Yes," was the lad's reply, "and you may be sure that you shall not
escape again."

The little launch was now headed at full speed for the spot where they
had left the _Sylph_ the night before, and after some hours the patience
of those on board was rewarded. In the distance could be made out the
faint gleam of a searchlight.

Rapidly the two vessels approached each other, until the launch at last
scraped the side of the scout cruiser. A moment later Jack and his
prisoner were safe on board.

Lord Hastings' first thought was for Jack.

"Are you all right?" he demanded anxiously.

"Fit as a fiddle, sir, except that I could go to sleep right here on the
deck."

Frank approached and grasped his friend's hand silently. The pressure of
his hand was more significant than words, and Jack returned the grip
with interest.

"You turn in immediately," was Lord Hastings' command to Jack. "I'll
look after the prisoner."

"I'd like to see him safely ironed first, sir," said Jack. "I had so
much trouble getting him, that I would like to feel sure there is no
chance of his escaping again."

"Have your own way," laughed Lord Hastings, and Jack went forward to see
the job done.

Hardy safely in irons, Jack and Frank returned to their own quarters.

"Now tell me all about it, old fellow," said Frank.

"I'll tell you in the morning," was Jack's reply, as, completely
exhausted, he fell over in his berth and into a deep sleep, while from
above Frank heard the signal:

"Full speed ahead."



                             CHAPTER XXXII.

                         THE REWARD OF BRAVERY.


Steadily the _Sylph_ continued her homeward journey. She passed several
vessels, all flying the British flag, and, in lieu of wireless, her
ensigns many times were dipped in passing salute.

At length the little scout cruiser docked in the exact spot where the
boys had gone aboard her the night they put forth for the North Sea.
Upon Lord Hastings' request, which was almost in the nature of a
command, Frank and Jack, as well as Alice Beulow, agreed to go with the
British nobleman to his beautiful and spacious dwelling.

"My home is yours," Lord Hastings told them. "You shall stay there
always when in London."

Arrived in London, Lord Hastings' large automobile was telephoned for,
and several hours later Frank and Jack found themselves once more
installed in the pretentious quarters where they had first talked over
their plans of going to war.

Lord Hastings, still somewhat feeble because of his illness, was
immediately ordered to bed by his physician, who prescribed rest and
plenty of it.

"You will be all right in a week," was his comforting verdict.

As Frank, Jack and Alice were dining with their hostess that evening, a
huge motor-car drove up to the house. A footman jumped to the car and
opened the door, and there stepped from within a tall man with a full
beard. The footman bowed low, and the visitor, alone, made his way up
the steps and into the house. A moment later he was escorted to Lord
Hastings' chamber.

This unceremonious entrance none of the diners saw, but the two boys
were made aware of it a short time later. A butler entered the
dining-room with word that Lord Hastings desired the presence of Frank
and Jack at once.

The two lads followed the servant to Lord Hastings' chamber, where the
visitor sat near the nobleman's bedside. Both lads stopped stock still
in the doorway, the utmost surprise manifested on their faces. They had
recognized Lord Hastings' visitor.

Lord Hastings raised himself upon one elbow.

"Your Majesty," he said, "allow me to present to you, Midshipman Frank
Chadwick and Midshipman John Templeton, to whom Your Majesty, upon my
request, was so good as to grant commissions only a short time ago. They
have proven that Your Majesty has no braver officers in his entire
navy!"

Both boys bowed very low, for Lord Hastings' visitor was none other than
George V., King of England.

The king smiled pleasantly.

"Lord Hastings, my cousin and good friend," he said, "has spoken of your
bravery in glowing terms. I know that he has not praised you too highly.
Come, sirs, tell me, what do you think of life on the sea under the Lion
of England?"

"There could be none better, Your Majesty," replied Jack.

"Indeed there could not, Your Majesty," said Frank.

"Well," said the king pleasantly, "I see that you are fond of the life
of midshipmen. What would you say to accepting, in exchange,
lieutenancies in the Royal Navy?"

Jack's surprise was so great that he was unable to utter a word. His
face turned red, and he hung his head as would a small boy caught in
some mischief.

Frank was equally as astonished.

"I--we--I----" he stammered.

The king laughed outright, and Lord Hastings smiled faintly.

"You may make sure, sirs," continued King George, "that you shall
receive your commissions as fourth lieutenants in the British navy
before another sun has set! You may go!"

Here is the fitting place to take leave, for the time being, of
Midshipman Frank Chadwick and Midshipman John Templeton, of the Royal
British Navy; here is the time to say a brief farewell to the two
gallant lads whose adventures we have followed through these pages, for
the final chapter in the lives of Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton, as
British midshipmen, has been written--though not the last chapter of
their adventures in the greatest war of all history. The King of England
kept his royal word and on the day following the boys' brief interview
with him they were duly commissioned Lieutenant Frank Chadwick and
Lieutenant John Templeton.

So their further adventures and achievements, in a different capacity,
but in the same cause, and under the same brave and gallant commander,
Lord Hastings, will be duly chronicled in a second volume, entitled:
"The Boy Allies Under Two Flags; or, Sweeping the Enemy from the Sea."


                                THE END.

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

                             The Boy Allies
            (Registered in the United States Patent Office)
                             With the Army

                                   BY

                           BY CLAIR W. HAYES

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

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 the good, healthy action that
every boy loves.

             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 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
            (Registered in the United States Patent Office)
                          With the Battleships

                                   BY

                       By ENSIGN ROBERT L. DRAKE

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

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 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 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 Seas.

          THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE FLYING SQUADRON;
              or, The Naval Raiders of the Great War.

          THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE TERROR OF THE SEAS;
              or, The Last Shot of Submarine D-16.

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

                         The Boy Scouts Series

                           By HERBERT CARTER

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

THE BOY SCOUTS ON WAR TRAILS IN BELGIUM; or, Caught Between the Hostile
Armies.

  In this volume we follow the thrilling adventures of the boys in the
  midst of the exciting struggle abroad.

THE BOY SCOUTS DOWN IN DIXIE; or, The Strange Secret of Alligator Swamp.

  Startling experiences awaited the comrades when they visited the
  Southland. But their knowledge of woodcraft enabled them to overcome
  all difficulties.

THE BOY SCOUTS AT THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA. A story of Burgoyne's defeat
in 1777.

THE BOY SCOUTS' FIRST CAMP FIRE; or, Scouting with the Silver Fox
Patrol.

  This book brims over with woods lore and the thrilling adventure that
  befell the Boy Scouts during their vacation in the wilderness.

THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE BLUE RIDGE; or, Marooned Among the Moonshiners.

  This story tells of the strange and mysterious adventures that
  happened to the Patrol in their trip among the moonshiners of North
  Carolina.

THE BOY SCOUTS ON THE TRAIL; or, Scouting through the Big Game Country.

  The story recites the adventures of the members of the Silver Fox
  Patrol with wild animals of the forest trails and the desperate men
  who had sought a refuge in this lonely country.

THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE MAINE WOODS; or, The New Test for the Silver Fox
Patrol.

  Thad and his chums have a wonderful experience when they are employed
  by the State of Maine to act as Fire Wardens.

THE BOY SCOUTS THROUGH THE BIG TIMBER; or, The Search for the Lost
Tenderfoot.

  A serious calamity threatens the Silver Fox Patrol. How apparent
  disaster is bravely met and overcome by Thad and his friends, forms
  the main theme of the story.

THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE ROCKIES; or, The Secret of the Hidden Silver Mine.

  The boys' tour takes them into the wildest region of the great Rocky
  Mountains and here they meet with many strange adventures.

THE BOY SCOUTS ON STURGEON ISLAND; or, Marooned Among the Game Fish
Poachers.

  Thad Brewster and his comrades find themselves in the predicament that
  confronted old Robinson Crusoe; only it is on the Great Lakes that
  they are wrecked instead of the salty sea.

THE BOY SCOUTS ALONG THE SUSQUEHANNA; or, The Silver Fox Patrol Caught
in a Flood.

  The boys of the Silver Fox Patrol, after successfully braving a
  terrific flood, become entangled in a mystery that carries them
  through many exciting adventures.

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

                          The Boy Chums Series

                            By WILMER M. ELY

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

In this series of remarkable stories are described the adventures of two
boys in the great swamps of interior Florida, among the cays off the
Florida coast, and through the Bahama Islands. These are real, live
boys, and their experiences are worth following.

   THE BOY CHUMS IN MYSTERY LAND;
       or, Charlie West and Walter Hazard among the Mexicans.

   THE BOY CHUMS ON INDIAN RIVER;
       or, The Boy Partners of the Schooner "Orphan."

   THE BOY CHUMS ON HAUNTED ISLAND;
       or, Hunting for Pearls in the Bahama Islands.

   THE BOY CHUMS IN THE FOREST;
       or, Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades.

   THE BOY CHUMS' PERILOUS CRUISE;
       or, Searching for Wreckage on the Florida Coast.

   THE BOY CHUMS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO;
       or, A Dangerous Cruise with the Greek Spongers.

   THE BOY CHUMS CRUISING IN FLORIDA WATERS;
       or, The Perils and Dangers of the Fishing Fleet.

   THE BOY CHUMS IN THE FLORIDA JUNGLE;
       or, Charlie West and Walter Hazard with the Seminole Indians.

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

                     The Broncho Rider Boys Series

                            By FRANK FOWLER

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

A series of stirring stories for boys, breathing the adventurous spirit
that lives in the wide plains and lofty mountain ranges of the great
West. These tales will delight every lad who loves to read of pleasing
adventure in the open; yet at the same time the most careful parent need
not hesitate to place them in the hands of the boy.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH FUNSTON AT VERA CRUZ; or, Upholding the
Honor of the Stars and Stripes.

  When trouble breaks out between this country and Mexico, the boys are
  eager to join the American troops under General Funston. Their
  attempts to reach Vera Cruz are fraught with danger, but after many
  difficulties, they manage to reach the trouble zone, where their real
  adventures begin.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS AT KEYSTONE RANCH; or, Three Chums of the Saddle
and Lariat.

  In this story the reader makes the acquaintance of three devoted
  chums. The book begins in rapid action, and there is "something doing"
  up to the very time you lay it down.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS DOWN IN ARIZONA; or, A Struggle for the Great
Copper Lode.

  The Broncho Rider Boys find themselves impelled to make a brave fight
  against heavy odds, in order to retain possession of a valuable mine
  that is claimed by some of their relatives. They meet with numerous
  strange and thrilling perils and every wideawake boy will be pleased
  to learn how the boys finally managed to outwit their enemies.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS ALONG THE BORDER; or, The Hidden Treasure of the
Zuni Medicine Man.

  Once more the tried and true comrades of camp and trail are in the
  saddle. In the strangest possible way they are drawn into a series of
  exciting happenings among the Zuni Indians. Certainly no lad will lay
  this book down, save with regret.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS ON THE WYOMING TRAIL; or, A Mystery of the
Prairie Stampede.

  The three prairie pards finally find a chance to visit the Wyoming
  ranch belonging to Adrian, but managed for him by an unscrupulous
  relative. Of course, they become entangled in a maze of adventurous
  doings while in the Northern cattle country. How the Broncho Rider
  Boys carried themselves through this nerve-testing period makes
  intensely interesting reading.

THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH THE TEXAS RANGERS; or, The Smugglers of the
Rio Grande.

  In this volume, the Broncho Rider Boys get mixed up in the Mexican
  troubles, and become acquainted with General Villa. In their efforts
  to prevent smuggling across the border, they naturally make many
  enemies, but finally succeed in their mission.

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

                  The Big Five Motorcycle Boys Series

                            By RALPH MARLOW

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

It is doubtful whether a more entertaining lot of boys ever before
appeared in a story than the "Big Five," who figure in the pages of
these volumes. From cover to cover the reader will be thrilled and
delighted with the accounts of their many adventures.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS ON THE BATTLE LINE; or,
             With the Allies in France.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS AT THE FRONT; or,
             Carrying Dispatches Through Belgium.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS UNDER FIRE; or,
             With the Allies in the War Zone.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS' SWIFT ROAD CHASE; or,
             Surprising the Bank Robbers.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS ON FLORIDA TRAILS; or,
             Adventures Among the Saw Palmetto Crackers.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS IN TENNESSEE WILDS; or,
             The Secret of Walnut Ridge.

         THE BIG FIVE MOTORCYCLE BOYS THROUGH BY WIRELESS; or,
             A Strange Message from the Air.

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

                   Our Young Aeroplane Scouts Series

            (Registered in the United States Patent Office)

                            By HORACE PORTER

                  Price, 40 Cents per Volume, Postpaid

A series of stories of two American boy aviators in the great European
war zone. The fascinating life in mid-air is thrillingly described. The
boys have many exciting adventures, and the narratives of their numerous
escapes make up a series of wonderfully interesting stories.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN ENGLAND; or,
             Twin Stars in the London Sky Patrol.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN ITALY; or,
             Flying with the War Eagles of the Alps.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM; or,
             Saving the Fortunes of the Trouvilles.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN GERMANY; or,
             Winning the Iron Cross.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN RUSSIA; or,
             Lost on the Frozen Steppes.

         OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN TURKEY; or,
             Bringing the Light to Yusef.

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

                        The Jack Lorimer Series

                       5 Volumes By WINN STANDISH

                       Handsomely Bound in Cloth

                        Full Library Size--Price
                     40 cents per Volume, postpaid

CAPTAIN JACK LORIMER; or, The Young Athlete of Millvale High.

  Jack Lorimer is a fine example of the all-around American high-school
  boy. His fondness for clean, honest sport of all kinds will strike a
  chord of sympathy among athletic youths.

JACK LORIMER'S CHAMPIONS; or, Sports on Land and Lake.

  There is a lively story woven in with the athletic achievements, which
  are all right, since the book has been O.K.'d by Chadwick, the Nestor
  of American sporting journalism.

JACK LORIMER'S HOLIDAYS; or, Millvale High in Camp.

  It would be well not to put this book into a boy's hands until the
  chores are finished, otherwise they might be neglected.

JACK LORIMER'S SUBSTITUTE; or, The Acting Captain of the Team.

  On the sporting side, the book takes up football, wrestling,
  tobogganing. There is a good deal of fun in this book and plenty of
  action.

JACK LORIMER, FRESHMAN; or, From Millvale High to Exmouth.

  Jack and some friends he makes crowd innumerable happenings into an
  exciting freshman year at one of the leading Eastern colleges. The
  book is typical of the American college boy's life, and there is a
  lively story, interwoven with feats on the gridiron, hockey,
  basketball and other clean, honest sports for which Jack Lorimer
  stands.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                          The Navy Boys Series

A series of excellent stories of adventure on sea and land, selected
from the works of popular writers; each volume designed for boys'
reading.

                        HANDSOME CLOTH BINDINGS
                       PRICE, 60 CENTS PER VOLUME

THE NAVY BOYS IN DEFENCE OF LIBERTY.

  A story of the burning of the British schooner Gaspee in 1772. By
  William P. Chipman.

THE NAVY BOYS ON LONG ISLAND SOUND.

  A story of the Whale Boat Navy of 1778. By James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS AT THE SIEGE OF HAVANA.

  Being the experience of three boys serving under Israel Putnam in
  1772. By James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS WITH GRANT AT VICKSBURG.

  A boy's story of the siege of Vicksburg. By James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE WITH PAUL JONES.

  A boy's story of a cruise with the Great Commodore in 1776. By James
  Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS ON LAKE ONTARIO.

  The story of two boys and their adventures in the War of 1812. By
  James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE ON THE PICKERING.

  A boy's story of privateering in 1780. By James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS IN NEW YORK BAY.

  A story of three boys who took command of the schooner "The Laughing
  Mary," the first vessel of the American Navy. By James Otis.

THE NAVY BOYS IN THE TRACK OF THE ENEMY.

  The story of a remarkable cruise with the Sloop of War "Providence"
  and the Frigate "Alfred." By William P. Chipman.

THE NAVY BOYS' DARING CAPTURE.

  The story of how the navy boys helped to capture the British Cutter
  "Margaretta," in 1775. By William P. Chipman.

THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS.

  The adventures of two Yankee Middies with the first cruise of an
  American Squadron in 1775. By William P. Chipman.

THE NAVY BOYS' CRUISE WITH COLUMBUS.

  The adventures of two boys who sailed with the great Admiral in his
  discovery of America. By Frederick A. Ober.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                          The Boy Spies Series

These stories are based on important historical events, scenes wherein
boys are prominent characters being selected. They are the romance of
history, vigorously told, with careful fidelity to picturing the home
life, and accurate in every particular.

                        HANDSOME CLOTH BINDINGS
                       PRICE, 60 CENTS PER VOLUME

THE BOY SPIES AT THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS.

  A story of the part they took in its defence. By William P. Chipman.

THE BOY SPIES AT THE DEFENCE OF FORT HENRY.

  A boy's story of Wheeling Creek in 1777. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES AT THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.

  A story of two boys at the siege of Boston. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES AT THE SIEGE OF DETROIT.

  A story of two Ohio boys in the War of 1812. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES WITH LAFAYETTE.

  The story of how two boys joined the Continental Army. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES ON CHESAPEAKE BAY.

  The story of two young spies under Commodore Barney. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES WITH THE REGULATORS.

  The story of how the boys assisted the Carolina Patriots to drive the
  British from that State. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES WITH THE SWAMP FOX.

  The story of General Marion and his young spies. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES AT YORKTOWN.

  The story of how the spies helped General Lafayette in the Siege of
  Yorktown. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES OF PHILADELPHIA.

  The story of how the young spies helped the Continental Army at Valley
  Forge. By James Otis.

THE BOY SPIES OF FORT GRISWOLD.

  The story of the part they took in its brave defence. By William P.
  Chipman.

THE BOY SPIES OF OLD NEW YORK.

  The story of how the young spies prevented the capture of General
  Washington. By James Otis.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                       The Girl Comrade's Series

                         ALL AMERICAN AUTHORS.
                         ALL COPYRIGHT STORIES.

A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and full
of interest. Their simplicity, tenderness, healthy, interesting motives,
vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl readers.

                        HANDSOME CLOTH BINDING.
                            PRICE, 60 CENTS.

    A BACHELOR MAID AND HER BROTHER. By I. T. Thurston.

    ALL ABOARD. A Story For Girls. By Fanny E. Newberry.

    ALMOST A GENIUS. A Story For Girls. By Adelaide L. Rouse.

    ANNICE WYNKOOP, Artist. Story of a Country Girl. By Adelaide L.
      Rouse.

    BUBBLES. A Girl's Story. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    COMRADES. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    DEANE GIRLS, THE. A Home Story. By Adelaide L. Rouse.

    HELEN BEATON, COLLEGE WOMAN. By Adelaide L. Rouse.

    JOYCE'S INVESTMENTS. A Story For Girls. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    MELLICENT RAYMOND. A Story For Girls. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    MISS ASHTON'S NEW PUPIL. A School Girl's Story. By Mrs. S. S.
      Robbins.

    NOT FOR PROFIT. A Story For Girls. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    ODD ONE, THE. A Story For Girls. By Fannie E. Newberry.

    SARA, A PRINCESS. A Story For Girls. By Fannie E. Newberry.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                         The Girl Chum's Series

                         ALL AMERICAN AUTHORS.
                         ALL COPYRIGHT STORIES.

A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and full
of interest. Their simplicity, tenderness, healthy, interesting motives,
vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl readers.

                        HANDSOME CLOTH BINDING.
                            PRICE, 60 CENTS.

    BENHURST, CLUB, THE. By Howe Benning.

    BERTHA'S SUMMER BOARDERS. By Linnie S. Harris.

    BILLOW PRAIRIE. A Story of Life in the Great West. By Joy
      Allison.

    DUXBERRY DOINGS. A New England Story. By Caroline B. Le Row.

    FUSSBUDGET'S FOLKS. A Story For Young Girls. By Anna F. Burnham.

    HAPPY DISCIPLINE, A. By Elizabeth Cummings.

    JOLLY TEN, THE; and Their Year of Stories. By Agnes Carr Sage.

    KATIE ROBERTSON. A Girl's Story of Factory Life. By M. E.
      Winslow.

    LONELY HILL. A Story For Girls. By M. L. Thornton-Wilder.

    MAJORIBANKS. A Girl's Story. By Elvirton Wright.

    MISS CHARITY'S HOUSE. By Howe Benning.

    MISS ELLIOT'S GIRLS. A Story For Young Girls. By Mary Spring
      Corning.

    MISS MALCOLM'S TEN. A Story For Girls. By Margaret E. Winslow.

    ONE GIRL'S WAY OUT. By Howe Benning.

    PEN'S VENTURE. By Elvirton Wright.

    RUTH PRENTICE. A Story For Girls. By Marion Thorne.

    THREE YEARS AT GLENWOOD. A Story of School Life. By M. E.
      Winslow.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                      The AMY E. BLANCHARD Series

MISS BLANCHARD has won an enviable reputation as a writer of short
stories for girls. Her books are thoroughly wholesome in every way and
her style is full of charm. The titles described below will be splendid
additions to every girl's library. Handsomely bound in cloth, full
library size. Illustrated by L. J. Bridgman. Price, 60 cents per volume,
postpaid.

The Glad Lady. A spirited account of a remarkably pleasant vacation
  spent in an unfrequented part of northern Spain. This summer, which
  promised at the outset to be very quiet, proved to be exactly the
  opposite. Event follows event in rapid succession and the story ends
  with the culmination of at least two happy romances. The story
  throughout is interwoven with vivid descriptions of real places and
  people of which the general public knows very little. These add
  greatly to the reader's interest.

Wit's End. Instilled with life, color and individuality, this story of
  true love cannot fail to attract and hold to its happy end the
  reader's eager attention. The word pictures are masterly; while the
  poise of narrative and description is marvellously preserved.

A Journey of Joy. A charming story of the travels and adventures of two
  young American girls, and an elderly companion in Europe. It is not
  only well told, but the amount of information contained will make it a
  very valuable addition to the library of any girl who anticipates
  making a similar trip. Their many pleasant experiences end in the
  culmination of two happy romances, all told in the happiest vein.

Talbot's Angles. A charming romance of Southern life. Talbot's Angles
  is a beautiful old estate located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
  The death of the owner and the ensuing legal troubles render it
  necessary for our heroine, the present owner, to leave the place which
  has been in her family for hundreds of years and endeavor to earn her
  own living. Another claimant for the property appearing on the scene
  complicates matters still more. The untangling of this mixed-up
  condition of affairs makes an extremely interesting story.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                  The Blue Grass Seminary Girls Series

                       By CAROLYN JUDSON BURNETT

                         Handsome Cloth Binding

                         Price, 40c. per Volume

                   Splendid Stories of the Adventures
                      of a Group of Charming Girls

    THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS' VACATION ADVENTURES; or, Shirley
      Willing to the Rescue.

    THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS' CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS; or, A Four
      Weeks' Tour with the Glee Club.

    THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS IN THE MOUNTAINS; or, Shirley
      Willing on a Mission of Peace.

    THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS ON THE WATER; or, Exciting
      Adventures on a Summer's Cruise Through the Panama Canal.

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

                           The Mildred Series

                            By MARTHA FINLEY

                         Handsome Cloth Binding

                         Price, 40c. per Volume

                    A Companion Series to the Famous
                    "Elsie" Books by the Same Author

                        MILDRED KEITH
                        MILDRED AT ROSELANDS
                        MILDRED AND ELSIE
                        MILDRED'S MARRIED LIFE
                        MILDRED AT HOME
                        MILDRED'S BOYS AND GIRLS
                        MILDRED'S NEW DAUGHTER

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.

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

                       The Camp Fire Girls Series

            By HILDEGARD G. FREY. The only series of stories
       for Camp Fire Girls endorsed by the officials of the Camp
          Fire Girls Organization. PRICE, 40 CENTS PER VOLUME

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS IN THE MAINE WOODS; or, The Winnebagos go Camping.

  This lively Camp Fire group and their Guardian go back to Nature in
  camp in the wilds of Maine and pile up more adventures in one summer
  than they have had in all their previous vacations put together.
  Before the summer is over they have transformed Gladys, the frivolous
  boarding school girl, into a genuine Winnebago.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT SCHOOL; or, The Wohelo Weavers.

  It is the custom of the Winnebagos to weave the events of their lives
  into symbolic bead bands, instead of keeping a diary. All commendatory
  doings are worked out in bright colors, but every time the Law of the
  Camp Fire is broken it must be recorded in black. How these seven live
  wire girls strive to infuse into their school life the spirit of Work,
  Health and Love and yet manage to get into more than their share of
  mischief, is told in this story.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT ONOWAY HOUSE; or, The Magic Garden.

  Migwan is determined to go to college, and not being strong enough to
  work indoors earns the money by raising fruits and vegetables. The
  Winnebagos all turn a hand to help the cause along and the "goings-on"
  at Onoway House that summer make the foundations shake with laughter.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS GO MOTORING; or, Along the Road That Leads the Way.

  The Winnebagos take a thousand mile auto trip. The "pinching" of
  Nyoda, the fire in the country inn, the runaway girl and the
  dead-earnest hare and hound chase combine to make these three weeks
  the most exciting the Winnebagos have ever experienced.

             For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid
                 on receipt of price by the publishers
         A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street, New York.





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