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Title: Over There with the Canadians at Vimy Ridge
Author: Ralphson, George H.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Over There with the Canadians at Vimy Ridge" ***

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AT VIMY RIDGE ***



[Illustration: Cover art]



[Illustration: THE CANADIANS WERE MASTERFUL FIGHTERS
IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE WAR.
(The Canadians at Vimy Ridge)]



                               OVER THERE

                                  WITH
                             THE CANADIANS
                                   AT
                               VIMY RIDGE


                                  _By_

                        CAPT. GEORGE H. RALPHSON

                               Author of
             OVER THERE WITH PERSHING’S HEROES AT CANTIGNY,
              OVER THERE WITH THE DOUGHBOYS AT ST. MIHIEL,
             OVER THERE WITH THE MARINES AT CHATEAU THIERRY



                        M. A. DONOHUE & COMPANY
                            CHICAGO NEW YORK



                            Copyright, 1919
                          M. A. DONOHUE & CO.
                                CHICAGO



                               *CONTENTS*

CHAPTER

I  Shells and Minnenwerfer
II  Irving’s Idea
III  In No Man’s Land
IV  "Kamerad!"
V  The Turtle Is Wounded
VI  A Little History
VII  Tourtelle Apologizes
VIII  Cubist Art
IX  Bob’s Letter
X  Dots and Dashes
XI  Irving Tells the Sergeant
XII  Quizzing a Spy
XIII  Tourtelle Admits
XIV  Tourtelle’s Story
XV  Irving an Orderly
XVI  A Startling Announcement
XVII  Parachute Practice
XVIII  Studying to Be a Spy
XIX  Last Preparations
XX  "Second Looie Ellis"
XXI  The Blowing Up of Vimy Ridge
XXII  Behind the German Lines
XXIII  Off for Berlin
XXIV  In Berlin
XXV  The Reading of the Cryptogram
XXVI  Followed
XXVII  The Spy’s Decision
XXVIII  Making Progress with the Baron
XXIX  Orders for Money and Clothes
XXX  Before Breakfast
XXXI  At Work in the Spy Office
XXXII  A Startling Recognition
XXXIII  A Surprising Offer
XXXIV  Skin Grafting
XXXV  The Tapping on the Window
XXXVI  A Revelation
XXXVII  The Submarines
XXXVIII  "Kamerad!" Again
XXXIX  "Accidents Will Happen"



                     *Over There with the Canadians
                                   at
                              Vimy Ridge*



                              *CHAPTER I*

                       *SHELLS AND MINNENWERFER*


"Look out!  There she comes."

These words were whispered, for it would have been a serious military
offense if the speaker had lifted his voice to a resonant tone in
addressing his companion.  Both were in khaki uniform, and had helmets
on their heads.  They had been crouching in a camouflaged pit out in No
Man’s Land in the Vimy Ridge sector of the western battle front in
Prance.

It was dusk of evening, a mist-laden dusk, quite as serviceable for
secret movements as the darkness under a clear sky.  One could not see
an object as large as a man twenty yards away because of the fog.

All day it had been raining, just a slow drizzle, but nevertheless, a
good deal of water had fallen, and the chief characteristic of the
trenches was mud.  "Second Looie" George Tourtelle and Private Irving
Ellis had been sent out through the communication trench to the
listening post, in which they were crouched when Irving whispered the
words "Look out! There she comes!"

There was really no need of his offering any such warning to his
companion, for the latter could hear the whistle of the approaching
shell just as well as he, but there was also no call for the punishment
that the second lieutenant administered.  The shell passed harmlessly
over their heads and exploded behind the front line trenches of the
Canadian company, of which the occupants of the spy pit were members,
and almost simultaneously with the explosion, Lieut. Tourtelle struck
Irving a sharp blow in the face with the back of his hand.

"There!" he said viciously, with apparently no effort to subdue the tone
of his voice in accord with the strict precautionary rules of such
positions.  "See that you keep your thoughts to yourself hereafter or
I’ll send you back to report to the captain."

Irving was astonished, as well as angered at this treatment.  He was
sure there was no call even for a reprimand, whereas the officer had
spoken in tones quite loud enough for the enemy to hear fifty, or
possibly a hundred, yards away. In fact, he was sure that if the "second
looie" had any reflection in him at all, he must have experienced a
thrill of apprehension very soon afterward lest the sound of his voice
had been heard by some of his superior officers in the front trenches.
If so, an inquiry into its meaning most certainly would follow.

Of course,-Irving resented the uncalled-for exhibition of brutality just
exhibited by Lieut. Tourtelle, but he had too much military sense to
show his resentment by look or act.  Instead, he decided to take his
punishment and the accompanying rebuke as provocative of a little
self-discipline and to profit from the experience, in spite of the
injustice that went with it.

"I never did like that fellow from the first day I met him," Private
Ellis told himself, grinding his teeth with rage under the first impulse
of revenge.  "Now I know him to be the very sort I thought he was.
Nobody but a coward would do what he did.  He knows he’d never dare to
meet me on even terms.  I’d clean him up so thoroughly there wouldn’t be
anything for a minnenwerfer to smell if one came along and dropped onto
the spot where he ought to be.  Goodness! there’s one now."

The "minnie" referred to in Irving’s soliloquy lighted right in the
communication trench not more than 200 feet from the outlook pit in
which the officer and the private were stationed. The explosion threw up
a mass of earth, several bucketfuls of which came down into the pit as
if from a giant pepper-box.  One stone about the size of two fists
struck Irving on his left shoulder, and for several minutes the boy
feared some of the bones were broken or the joint dislocated.

But it proved to be only a bruiser and presently the young soldier was
using his arm confidently, although with considerable pain.  In the
excitement that followed almost immediately after the explosion of this
shell, he forgot the injury, although under ordinary circumstances,
every movement of his left arm must have been more or less painful.

There was no shriek of warning preceding the next explosion fifty feet
to the right, such as had called forth the whispered "look out" from
Private Ellis that was rebuked with a blow of the hand and an equally
unmilitary reprimand from the second lieutenant.  But it was much more
mighty in force and sound.  It tore up the ground almost, it seemed, to
the very edge of the pit in which the outpost was located.  Strange
enough, too, not nearly as much of the upheaved earth fell back into the
pit as had fallen there after the explosion of the first shell.  Irving
felt that he knew the reason.

"That was a minnie dead sure," he told himself with a shudder.  "I like
the others much better.  You know when they’re coming and maybe can
dodge ’em.  But a minnie never gives any warning.  They’ve spotted this
outpost and the next one’ll probably wipe us out. We’ll never know what
hit us."

Evidently something of this sort was going on in the mind of Lieut.
Tourtelle, for suddenly he darted back through the communication trench
toward the front line.

"That’s funny," Irving muttered under his breath.  "He’s ducked without
giving any order to me.  What’ll I do--stick?  I feel like sticking just
to show him that I’m made of different stuff.  But no, I guess I hadn’t
better. He’s just mean enough to report that he ordered me back, but I
disobeyed his order."



                              *CHAPTER II*

                            *IRVING’S IDEA*


Private Ellis had not been back in the front line trench long before he
had good cause to congratulate himself for resisting the temptation to
offer himself as an example of bravery in the face of the cowardly
actions of the second lieutenant.  A second minnenwerfer dropped
unannounced right into the pit they had just left and the size of the
bowl-shaped listening post was increased many times.

"Now, if I were an officer and in position to make suggestions, I’d
advise that that pit be remanned in about half an hour," Irving mused.
"The boches, no doubt, have a report of the success of their last shot,
and will naturally assume that the place has been put out of commission
as a lookout, and the occupants reduced to their original elements.  I
believe that hole in the ground is just as serviceable as it ever was to
play peek-a-boo at Heinie."

Lieut. Tourtelle was in the trench within a few feet of Irving and the
latter would have made an effort to get the proposition to him if it had
not been for the experience he had had with the insufferable nature of
the officer in the listening pit.

"I wish it weren’t against orders to whisper in the front trenches--that
is, when you have something of importance to communicate to the
higher-up," the boy continued to himself. "I’d really like to go out
there and try it again."

At this moment someone took hold of his arm--the sore one, as the pain
in his shoulder reminded him--and gave it a pull.  This was as much as
to say, "Follow me."  He obeyed, and soon reached the communication
trench that connected the first and second line trenches. His leader, a
first lieutenant named Osborne, led the way through this trench back to
the second line.  During the passage, Irving became conscious of the
fact that others were following along behind.  What was up, young Ellis
wondered.  It was not time for him to be relieved, for he had been in
the trenches only about fifteen hours.

He was not long kept in doubt.  Immediately on their arrival at the
second line, Lieut. Osborne gathered them together--one officer and five
privates--and gave the following instructions in low tones:

"I want you boys to go out beyond the barbed wire and see what you can
find out.  Remember your stock instructions.  Don’t get into any fights.
If you meet anybody, retreat.  We want to find the location of any
patrols of theirs out in No Man’s Land.  Look out for evidences of their
work laying mines, repairing barbed wire, sinking listening pits, or
anything of the sort.  Then get back as soon as possible, keeping your
bearings and the locations of your discoveries well in mind.  If any
’very lights’ go up, you must lie or stand still, or remain unwaveringly
in your positions and attitudes until they go out, unless the light is
directly between you and our trenches.  In that case, you must duck and
make the best of your way back under a hail of bullets, for you’ll be
seen.  You will be armed only with pistols, hand grenades, and trench
knives.  Use the bombs or pistols only to save yourselves from death or
capture. Remember it is information we want from you, not scalps.  You
will be under charge of Second Lieutenant Tourtelle."

Irving’s heart went "way down" in his hob-nailed shoes at this latter
announcement.  He had had no idea who his companions during this patrol
excursion were to be, for the night had fallen heavy and it was
difficult for those in the group to recognize identities in one
another’s dimly silhouetted forms.  The last information handed to them
was almost enough to cause Private Ellis to do something desperate. As a
substitute for the impulse he did the thing that had been uppermost in
his mind most of the time since he left the listening post out in No
Man’s Land.

"Lieutenant," he said; "may I offer a suggestion which, it seems to me,
would be of service to us right now?"

"Certainly, Ellis," the officer responded encouragingly.  "What is it?"

"It seems to me that that pit that was increased to the size of a small
volcano crater since Lieut. Tourtelle and I left it could be used with
almost perfect safety now," the boy said eagerly.  "The boches won’t be
expecting anybody to use it now.  They, no doubt, think they’ve settled
the question of its usefulness for all time to come.  Now, if you’d send
a couple of machine guns out there with some men to operate them, we
could report back at that point to them and they could do quick
execution. After they’d done their work, they could run back to our
front line and the boches ’u’d have a merry time dropping some more
minnies into an empty bowl."

Lieut. Osborne was quick to see the value of the suggestion.

"That’s a good idea, Ellis," he said in tone of hearty approval, "and
I’m going to do that very thing.  Lieut. Tourtelle, see that these men
are supplied with pistols, grenades and trench knives, or persuasion
sticks, as they prefer, while I get the machine gunners."



                             *CHAPTER III*

                           *IN NO MAN’S LAND*


Private Ellis felt fully compensated for the treatment he had received
from the second lieutenant by the recognition and adoption of his
suggestion to utilize the "minnenwerfered listening pit" for the purpose
for which it was originally intended.  Fully an hour had elapsed since
this pit had been converted into a miniature crater, and not another
explosion had taken place in the vicinity.  It seemed, indeed, that he
had not erred in his surmise that the enemy had checked up the results
of their firing and concluded that any more shells dropped at this point
would be a waste of ammunition.

But Irving was not without misgiving as the party started out through
the communication trench for their patrolling and machine gun battery
headquarters out in No Man’s Land. The fact that Lieut. Tourtelle had
been put in command of this expedition dampened his spirits and caused
him to fear disaster.  He fought hard against this apprehension.  It had
been too dark for him to discern from the "second looie’s" countenance
how that officer received the adoption of Private Ellis’ suggestion, but
he was certain it was not accepted with the best of grace.  He could
well picture in his mind a darkening of the countenance of "the turtle,"
a clenching of his hands, and a dogged sullenness of demeanor as the
ill-natured officer contemplated the favor shown the boy whom he
evidently hated for no good reason whatever.

Irving renamed the second lieutenant "the turtle" in a kind of
subconscious way.  It was not done with malice aforethought.  The term
just came to his mind, like a flash, and was inspired, no doubt, by the
contemptible conduct of the "shave-tail," as flippant military fancy has
dubbed the "second looie," and by the play of idea suggested in the
spelling of his name.

The communication trench was partly a tunnel. From the front line as far
as the barbed-wire entanglements it was just a plain trench, seven or
eight feet deep.  Then it became a subterranean passage with about two
feet of earth overhead, continuing thus until beyond the wire belt, when
it opened overhead again.  When the patrol reached the spot where the
first "minnie" exploded, they found it necessary to proceed with special
caution, for the passage was blocked there on both sides of the crater
with heaps of earth.  However, they managed to pass this place safely,
and presently were in the listening pit that had recently been very much
increased in capacity with minnenwerfer aid.

A period of waiting and listening followed the arrival at this "crater."
Not a word was uttered, not even a whisper.  Everybody gave the keenest
attention of which his senses were capable to everything that offered
stimulation to eye or ear.  However, their careful looking and listening
was unrewarded with aught save what appeared to be the most unwarlike
silence and inactivity in the immediate vicinity.  Now and then in the
distance could be heard the thunder of heavy cannon or the nasty
spit-snap of machine guns.

Conditions appearing to be satisfactory, Lieut. Tourtelle gave the
agreed signal, which consisted of placing one hand on the left shoulder
of each of the scouts, and the latter climbed up over the sloping
embankment at several points in the big cup and crept cautiously out
over No Man’s Land.

By this time the fog had lifted, and stars were beginning to peep out
through rifts in the cloud-swept sky.  Added to the muddiness of the
ground, the chill of the atmosphere rendered life in this sector
exceedingly uncomfortable.

Each member of this patrol went alone out over the rising slope of land
that lay between the front line trenches of the Canadians and the common
enemy of the Allies.  They either crouched low or crawled on all fours.
Each scout was assigned to a section of the territory as clearly defined
as possible in order that there might be no crossing of paths or
mistaking one another for members of a boche patrol.

Irving took a course to the right, advancing with a cautious, low
crouch.  His instructions were to proceed about 100 yards along a line
parallel to the trenches and then advance toward the enemy line to see
what he could discover.

He proceeded the distance stipulated southward as nearly as he could
estimate over a half-mud and half-sod surface and then found himself
close to a thicket of low bushes, the extent of which he knew to be not
very great, for he had observed this feature of the terrain in the
daylight.  He decided that he ought to examine these bushes carefully,
but realized that he must not take much time for the investigation, as
each member of the patrol had been limited to half an hour in which to
gather material for his report.

Private Ellis, therefore, decided to make a detour around the bushes,
listening meanwhile for any sound of moving bodies among the leaves and
twigs.  The detection of such sounds would be ample reason for sweeping
the patch with machine gun bullets.

He made almost the entire circuit without detecting the faintest noise
that could command the respect of his suspicion, and was about to turn
around and creep back toward the enemy lines, when a bunch of "very
lights," fired from boche pistols, threw their brilliance over the
scene.  The unwelcome illumination was prolonged in a manner that Irving
had not witnessed before.  The lights floated down slowly, being
suspended in the air by small parachute arrangements that opened out
with the increasing resistance of the air.

But something else startled the boy even more than these lights.
Instinctively he remained stock still in the crouching position in which
the illumination caught him.  But right in front of him, not more than
twenty feet away were the figures of two soldiers.  They were standing
erect and facing each other.  One of the faces was turned well toward
Private Ellis, who could hardly smother an exclamation of astonishment
as he recognized him.

It was Lieut. Tourtelle!

"What in the world does he think he’s doing?" Irving questioned to
himself.  "He doesn’t seem to be very anxious to protect himself.  He
hasn’t a pistol, knife or bomb in his hand."

The lights went out, and presently a new cause for wonder came to the
ears of the crouching boy.

"Kamerad!"

Could he believe his senses?  No, he wouldn’t. It came to him very
clearly, that utterance, from the spot where Lieut. Tourtelle stood. And
yet, this was impossible.  It must surely have been the enemy soldier
who uttered the word of friendly greeting.



                              *CHAPTER IV*

                              *"KAMERAD!"*


"That’s a piece of boche treachery as sure as I’m a Yank fighting with
the Canadians," was Irving’s speedy conclusion after witnessing the
scene exposed by the lights and hearing the salute which he decided must
have come from the enemy scout.  "That’s the way they work it!  They’re
noted for treachery of that very sort."

"Kamerad!"

The salute was repeated, scarcely above a whisper, but clear enough for
Irving to hear it distinctly.  And with the utterance of that word
another thrill of apprehension, doubt, confusion, electrified the mind
and body of the listening scout, who had not been discovered by
Tourtelle and the boches when the lights illuminated the field,
undoubtedly, because he happened to be crouching close to a bush large
enough to cast a shadow about him.

"My!" exclaimed the boy under his breath; "I’d ’ave sworn that word came
from the very spot where Tourtelle was standing.  They can’t ’ave
changed positions so quickly.  And yet, I must be mistaken.  Common
sense tells me it must ’ave been the boche who gave that salute. I
wonder what’s the matter with my hearing.

"But I’ll have to go to that miserable ’shave-tail’s’ rescue if the
other fellow plays a trick on him.  I think I’ll get close and see
what’s going on."

Irving crept cautiously toward the spot where he had seen the second
lieutenant when the lights blazed forth.  The distance was so short that
he fancied he ought to have been able to see both the officer and the
enemy scout from his position near the bush.  The boche, unless he had
moved since the lights went out, was a similar distance away from the
watcher and about twenty-five feet to Private Ellis’ right.

In a few seconds Irving reached approximately the spot where he had seen
Lieut. Tourtelle, when the "very lights" illuminated the vicinity, and
was surprised and just a little worried on failing to find him still
there.  Then he began to look around him to see if his eyes could not
pierce the surrounding darkness far enough to discover the form of the
officer.  His search was interrupted by another startling incident.

Something struck the calf of his right leg a rather severe blow, and the
boy gripped his trench-knife in one hand and his pistol in the other,
ready to defend himself if attacked. Nothing further of disturbing
nature followed immediately, and Irving stooped down to examine the
object that had struck him.  It was a short, stout club of the kind
known in No Man’s Land as a "persuader stick," which can be used
effectively, like a policeman’s billy, in the dark.

"Who in the world threw that?--not the boche, surely," the boy muttered.
"It’s like the one I’ve seen in ’the turtle’s’ possession; but what
could he want to throw it back here for?"

"Kamerad!"

"There it goes again," buzzed through Irving’s head.  "I don’t believe
it’s a trap set for me, but maybe it is for the ’looie,’ and he may be
just fool enough to fall for it.  I owe it to--to--Uncle Sam to save
him, if I can, though I’m afraid Uncle Sam ’u’d be better off without
’im."

Private Ellis put his knife and pistol away, gripped his club, and
advanced toward the spot whence the last "kamerad" seemed to have come.
As he moved ahead slowly he became conscious gradually that a dark
object stood before him a few yards away.  Would he be able to determine
whether it was friend or foe? He was in doubt on this question and
determined to exercise the greatest care and caution.

He moved around in a semi-circular path to the other side of the object
that had attracted his attention.  But he had scarcely done this when
the presence of another and similar obstruction to his vision caused him
to stop and remain motionless.

This object was moving slowly and with seeming caution toward the other
one.  His attitude and manner were not clear because of the darkness, so
that Irving could not interpret his purpose from any such indication.

"Kamerad!"

This time there could be no mistake from whom of the two scouts the
salute came.  It was from the one who apparently had thrown his
"persuader stick" away, the one who was nearer the spot where he had
seen Lieut. Tourtelle during the illumination.

"What’s he doing--surrendering?"

Irving might have suspected that the officer in charge of this patrol
was working a "boche trick" on a boche if it had not been for the fact
that he had thrown his stick away.  But this act made it appear that a
panic had seized him and he was signaling his desire to surrender
because he feared to enter into mortal combat with the enemy scout.

"Why doesn’t he retreat if he’s afraid to fight?" Irving wondered.  "He
could do that with perfect grace, for he’s under orders not to fight
unless he has to.  But he seems to be advancing right toward Heinie
without any reason for doing it.  Maybe he’s going to shove a pistol in
that fellow’s face, but it looks to me more as if he’s lost ’is senses
from fright. Anyway, I’m goin’ to help ’im just for the sake of Uncle
Sam.  I’ll hit that boche a tap on the head that’ll make ’im see the
Star Spangled Banner."

The boy with the club quickened his steps silently, for he was skilled
with the "moccasin tread" even on hobnails.  Moreover, the softness of
the wet earth was in his favor.  In about a minute he had stolen around
behind the boche, who was advancing cautiously toward the "kamerad
saluter."

He was morally certain that the soldier now within ten feet of him was
an enemy, but he resolved to be very careful lest he attack one of his
own comrades.  So he continued to approach with the utmost caution,
hoping to identify the fellow by an inspection of his uniform. In the
darkness this was an exceedingly difficult thing to do, for there is a
general similarity in the make of the uniforms of soldiers of most
nations, so that when silhouetted they differ very little to any but a
keenly observing expert.

But Irving was not forced to depend alone upon his vision in the
darkness of the night to verify his identification of the two patrol
scouts.  There was another salute in low tone, and this time an answer
was given.

"Kamerad!"

"Was willst du, hund?"

Crack!

The "persuader stick" in the hand of the Yank swung with sharp impact
against the head of the boche just under his helmet.  The
"Canadian-hund" hater dropped in his tracks.



                              *CHAPTER V*

                       *"THE TURTLE" IS WOUNDED*


The next instant Lieut. Tourtelle turned and scuttled away as fast as he
could scuttle.  Irving’s first impulse was to follow him, but he checked
it.

However, knowing well the pyramid fashion in which boche patrols work in
No Man’s Land, the boy governed his next actions with caution that took
this into consideration.  The man he had just put hors de combat may
have been the "apex" of such a "pyramid," which is a very treacherous
sort of trap.  It is the game of the "apex" to retreat and induce a lone
enemy scout to follow him if possible.  A short distance on toward the
boche trenches, perhaps twenty or thirty feet apart, the distance
depending upon the darkness of the night, are two more Heinies, who
close in behind like a pair of pincers as the intended victim passes the
line of their positions.  Still a little farther on are two other
soldiers, the "cornerstones" of the "pyramid," who also close in upon
the victim just as the attack is made.  His capture is inevitable.

Irving did not purpose to be caught in any such trap; so he moved away
twenty or thirty feet from the scene of his victorious exploit and
waited and watched for developments.

They were not long coming.  Apparently the Yank’s suspicion of a
"pyramid trick" was not in error.  Apparently also the other component
parts of the man-trap had heard the crack of Private Ellis’s club on the
head of the "apex" of the "pyramid," for they soon were gathered around
the unconscious form of their comrade and muttering a torrent of "hund
curses."

"Gee!  I must get back in a hustle and we’ll get those Huns," was
Irving’s next thought. "No doubt they’ll carry that fellow to their
trench, and necessarily they’ll go pretty slow."

He scuttled back to the listening pit even more rapidly, if possible,
than "the turtle" had scuttled, and soon was with his comrade scouts.

"Is everybody here?" he asked in a whisper.

"Yes, you’re the last one out," Lieut. Tourtelle replied in, Irving
fancied, a sneering tone.

"Then sweep that section right over there"--indicating with his right
hand.  "There are several boches 200 yards in that direction carrying in
a comrade that I cracked on the head."

The other scouts had returned with information of interest to the
machine gunners, and presently the "typewriters" were rattling away with
a hail of steel-jacketed messages. Cries and groans from several
quarters of the arc swept by the guns indicated the effectiveness of the
firing.  Irving was rewarded for his evening’s work by hearing several
evidences of hits from the neighborhood of the scene of his adventure.

After the firing, there was a quick retreat to the Canadian front line.
They got back before the Heinies were able to collect their wits and
concentrate an answering fire upon the pit which undoubtedly they
thought they had recently converted into a combined shambles and tomb.

This last statement is true, but misleading. The patrol did not get back
without some punishment.  One machine gun of the enemy got busy just
before the scouts leaped back into their trench.  Again we are
misleading.  One of the returning scouts did not leap into the
trench--he fell.  It was Lieut. Tourtelle.

Irving sprang to his aid, lifting the officer to his feet and supporting
him thus.  But his efforts were of little use.  The wounded man had
fainted.

Another soldier offered assistance, and together they carried him to a
lighted dugout. There speedy first-aid remedies brought the wounded
soldier back to consciousness, but it was evident that he was severely
injured.

A telephone call in the dugout soon brought a team of stretcher bearers,
and in a short time Lieut. Tourtelle was being conveyed to a Red Cross
ambulance.

Next day Irving’s left shoulder was so sore that he was unable to use
the arm.  He tried to conceal his embarrassment, but it was observed by
Sergt. MacDonald, who reported it to Lieut. Osborne.  Then followed an
examination, which proved that the young American’s shoulder was
discolored and swollen as a result of the wound he received following
the explosion of minnenwerfer No. 1 near the listening pit early in the
evening, and he was ordered behind the lines for treatment.



                              *CHAPTER VI*

                           *A LITTLE HISTORY*


Irving was not confined to an invalid’s couch at the hospital behind the
Canadian lines.  His left arm was put in a sling and his shoulder
bandaged in hot cloths, frequently changed.  It was found that the stone
that struck him had strained and bruised the muscles and ligaments
severely, so that the subsequent use of the arm had brought about a
condition resembling results of a bad sprain.

He was in the hospital a little over a week, and although he was not
subjected to any of the heroic treatment that is administered to many of
the wounded, yet the exciting thrills that had filled his short
experience in trench and No Man’s Land with "lots of pep and pepper" had
a very fitting sequel in his hospital sojourn, very much unlike the
usual wearisome wait of the wounded.

As we have intimated, Private Irving Ellis was an American of the United
States brand. His home was in Buffalo, N.Y.  His father was a ship
captain employed by a company that operated a line of passenger and
freight steamers on the Great Lakes.  As a result the boy grew up a
"fresh water tar."  He worked with his father on the latter’s boat most
of the time during the summer vacations after he reached his teens.

The steamer of which Mr. Ellis had charge touched at several Canadian as
well as United States ports.  In one of these lived an uncle of
Irving’s, John Douglas, and the latter’s family.

Mr. Ellis had married a Scotch Canadian bride, and as both families
lived near Lake Erie, there was frequent visiting between them back and
forth across the mid-water line.

As a result, Irving’s best chum of his schoolboy days was his cousin,
Bob Douglas.  They were about the same age, and both were fond of life
on the lake.  Bob also was given work under Mr. Ellis’s command in the
summer when he became old enough to be of service on board.

Soon after England declared war against Germany, Canada began the
organization of an army to aid her mother country in the great fight,
and Bob was one of the first to enlist. On the day of his enlistment he
wrote a long letter full of fiery patriotism to his cousin over in the
United States, and perhaps you can imagine the sensation this
communication created in the family of the steamboat captain.

But no, you can’t, for the big sensation was not immediate.  Of course,
there was a good deal of excitement among Irving’s brothers and
sisters--two boys and two girls, all younger than he.  Cousin Bob was a
real hero in their minds, and Irving envied him.  The violation of the
Belgian treaty, the storming of Liege and the invasion of France across
the Belgian frontier were still fresh in the minds of the people
everywhere.  The "scrap of paper" was still waving like a red flag in
the face of popular demand for the inviolability of international honor.

Well, two days later, Irving electrified the family circle at the
breakfast table with the announcement that he wished to enlist. Nobody
protested; nobody approved.  In fact, Mr. Ellis had paved the way for
his oldest son’s wish by expressing the opinion that the United States
would be drawn into the war before it was over.  Even the younger
children were so imbued with a sense of the seriousness of the great
struggle as a result of things they had heard father, mother, and older
brother say, that they just looked awed when Irving’s announcement came.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellis had too good sense of the logic of things to start an
argument to dissuade their son from his unexpected desire.  They rather
decided upon a plan of silence, which put an end to discussion of the
war in their household.  The radical change that suddenly transformed
the family conversations was almost grewsome in its emptiness; the
substitution of silence for talk frequently became embarrassing.  But
there was one thing that did not stop; that was the arrival of letters
from Bob.  They came almost with every mail, and Irving devoured them
eagerly.

At last the boy was able to stand the embarrassing silence no longer,
for the desire to take part in the great struggle against the hosts of a
hated military power was growing every day. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis saw the
inevitable coming. They knew that they would not forbid their son to
enlist when once they were convinced of his deep-seated desire to do so.
They could sacrifice their son for a great cause just as well as for
country.

"Father, mother, I want to go," the boy said one day.

It was an isolated statement, that would have been Greek to one not
intimately familiar with the campaign of silence that had preceded.  The
consent was given in silence and the subject was not discussed again
until Irving began to make preparations for his departure.

He went to Canada and enlisted.  Partly through a deliberately planned
purpose and partly by good fortune, he was able to get into the regiment
with which his cousin was training and a few months later was aboard a
transport on a zig-zag, submarine-dodging course for England.  After
their arrival in France, Irving because of his training in certain
technical lines was put in the engineering service, but shortly before
the occurrence of the events already related herein, he succeeded in
getting a transfer back to his regiment on the plea that he wished to do
some real fighting.

Then for the first time he learned that his cousin had been severely
wounded and sent back to Canada incapacitated for further service
several months before.  This information came in a letter from Bob
written at home. Two weeks later, while Irving was in the hospital
recovering from the injury he received in the listening pit in No Man’s
Land, another letter came from his cousin, communicating a seemingly
innocent but strange bit of news which was destined to have an important
bearing on Private Ellis’s future experiences as a soldier.



                             *CHAPTER VII*

                         *TOURTELLE APOLOGIZES*


But something remarkable and of great importance, affecting Irving’s
soldier career, took place between the time when he entered the hospital
and the time when he received the second letter from his cousin at home.
The deep significance of the event did not develop at once, but the
novelty of the thing kept the attention of interest upon it until the
real meaning was uncovered.  From that time on the young American
soldier’s war experiences were a succession of thrills, surprises, and
dangerously interesting work.

The field hospital to which he was taken consisted in part of a group of
farm buildings that might have served as the nucleus of a village a
short distance behind the rear battle line. Everything was slow and
uninteresting to him during his first two days at this place.  Then came
the first incident in the chain of events that was to mean so much to
Private Ellis as an American fighter in France.

He received a message from one of the guards patrolling the grounds that
a wounded officer in one of the buildings wished to see him.  No
explanation as to why he had been sent for was given by the bearer of
the message.  The head nurse of the building would direct him to the man
who wished to see him, he was informed.

Wondering a little who the officer could be and what was the nature of
his interest in him, Irving hastened to answer the call.  He was
conducted by a nurse upstairs in a former rural residence and into a
small room, little larger than a closet and occupied by a single patient
on an army cot.

On the way he ran over, in his mind, the list of officers with whom he
could claim anything in the nature of a personal acquaintance and found
it very small.  Moreover, he had not known that any of these had been
wounded. In this review of acquaintances of both commissioned and
non-commissioned rank, however, he missed one who should not have been
disregarded, although their intimacy had been of anything but friendly
nature.  This officer he found lying on the cot in the little room which
he now entered.  It was Second Lieut. Tourtelle.

The surprise became almost startling when Irving saw the face of the
"shavetail" brighten up with a look of apparent eagerness as he
recognized the caller.  The nurse withdrew immediately and the American
soldier was left alone with his strange "comrade enemy" of No Man’s
Land.

"Hello, Ellis," the "second looie" greeted, extending his right hand to
his visitor and making an effort to smile pleasantly.  "I sent for you
because I wanted to have a talk with you.  Sit down on the edge of the
cot.  Sorry there’s no chair here, but I’m not the housekeeper."

This latter "breath of levity" didn’t sound bad at all, and Irving began
to have a vague suspicion that there might be an intelligent side to the
nature of this young officer who had behaved so brutally toward him.
However, he indicated that he preferred to stand and waited patiently
for Tourtelle to continue.

"I called you to ask you to do me a favor," the wounded officer
continued; "but first I want to apologize for the way I treated you.  I
won’t attempt to explain why I did it because I don’t know.  But I acted
like a bum scoundrel and ought to have been reported for it.  The fact
that you made no complaint against me shows that you’re a real man and
makes me feel ashamed of myself."

Irving was rather embarrassed by this unexpected speech on the part of
his supposed "comrade-enemy."  He could not well reject the profession
of humility, and yet he was uncertain just how to take it.  Lieut.
Tourtelle apparently desired to convey the impression that he was
suffering from pangs of deep regret, but although the "pangs" twisted
the muscles of his countenance the visitor was unable to convince
himself as to the depth of the patient’s mental suffering.

"I hope you will forgive me, Ellis," the injured soldier said after a
few moments’ silence.  "I had a spell of very bad temper that night and
have regretted nay actions ever since. If there’s anything I can do to
make it right, I’ll do it."

This seemed to be as much as any reasonable person could ask under the
circumstances; so Irving replied:

"I’m sure I don’t bear you any ill will under the circumstances,
lieutenant.  I admit I was pretty much offended by what you did, but I’m
sure, after what you’ve just said, I can let bygones be bygones.  We
must remember that we are fighting a common enemy and it is ridiculous
for us to be fighting one another.  We ought rather to be helping one
another."

"That’s an excellent idea," Tourtelle declared. "Now what would you say
if I should ask you to do something for me?  Would you resent it?"

"I couldn’t very well, after the principle I just laid down," Irving
answered with the shadow of a smile; "provided it were reasonable," he
added.

"Oh, I don’t see how there’s anything unreasonable in it," the officer
replied quickly.  "The only thing is, you may think it a very odd
request, freakish perhaps.  But I think I can explain it satisfactorily.
First, let me enlist your sympathy a little by informing you that my
wound is more severe than was thought at first.  I’m going to lose my
left arm.  One of the doctors told me today that it would have to be
amputated between the elbow and the shoulder."

"That’s too bad," Irving said with evidence of fellow feeling for the
second lieutenant.  "If there were anything I could do to save your arm
for you I’d surely do it.  But what’s the matter?"

"A bad compound fracture and gangrene. The doctor said he’d have to cut
it off today or my whole system might be poisoned.  But here’s the favor
I want you to do for me:

"When the doctor told me my arm would have to be cut off, I asked him if
it would be possible to save the limb, so I could take it back home with
me."

Irving interrupted this statement with a start of surprise.

"That’s what the doctor did when I suggested the idea to him," Tourtelle
continued, noting the effect of his suggestion.  "He wanted to know why
I wished to save the arm, and I replied that it was for two reasons:
first, because I thought it would make an excellent souvenir; second,
because it was tattooed in a very artistic manner and I don’t want to
lose the art.  I’m of an artistic temperament, and it would break my
heart more to lose that bit of tattooing on my arm than to lose the arm
and keep the art."

"I think I get you," said Irving with a smile. "You want me to put the
arm in alcohol and preserve it, tattooing and all?"

"That’s a clever inference, but not quite to the point," Tourtelle
commented without much change of expression on his face.  "The doctor
offered a substitute suggestion, and that’s what I’m going to put to you
now."

The patient paused a moment or two, and Irving waited expectantly for
the next development in the strange narrative of novel events.



                             *CHAPTER VIII*

                              *CUBIST ART*


"Yes, I am of an artistic temperament," Lieut. Tourtelle continued in a
sort of dreamy way, which tended rather to give his audience-of-one "the
creeps" than to "soften his soul," as art is supposed to do.

"If he’s an artist, he ought to be painting kaisers, crown princes,
Hindenburgs, and Ludendorfs with horns on their heads and arrow-tipped
tails," he thought grimly.  "But maybe he means it all right.  Perhaps
he really believes he has artistic temperament, but hasn’t sized himself
up right.  A few years ago I thought I could write poetry, but found I
couldn’t even write an acceptable advertisement in verse for sentimental
candy or floating soap.  I’ll humor ’im a while and see what’s on ’is
mind."

Tourtelle’s mind was wandering now, either with a purpose in view or
because of a real genius delusion.  He rambled along thus:

"I made a study of art ever since I was old enough to daub with a little
box of colors and a paint brush.  When I was old enough to attempt
something better than a smear, I went to an art school and there made
quite a hit with the professors with some of my novel ideas. Then when
that craze of the cubists and the futurists swept the country a few
years ago, I took it up and made quite a hit with some of my paintings.
One painting in particular, a cubist production representing a basket of
eggs spilling down a stairway, was regarded as a student masterpiece.
The praise I received over that work intoxicated me, I guess, for I
caused a copy of it to be tattooed on my arm by a fellow student.

"Well, the original was lost and I had only the copy on my arm.  So, you
see, I became very fond of that copy, as the original was acknowledged
to be worthy of exhibition along with masterpieces of well known
painters.  By the way, you remember something of that cubist craze a few
years ago, don’t you?"

"Yes," Irving replied, "I remember something about it.  There was a good
deal about it in the magazines.  I suppose I recall it because it was so
perfectly crazy.  Those artists seemed to take great delight in making a
human being look as if he had gone through a threshing machine and
afterwards raided a hornet’s nest."

"You’ve got the idea exactly--I mean the layman’s idea," said the
self-styled cubist enthusiastically.  "And I don’t blame you, in a way.
But if you could only have got an artist’s view of the idea, you’d look
at life a good deal differently.  But that’s neither here nor there.
Oh, yes, it is, too--I forgot myself on the moment. It’s here--on my
arm--and I want to save it. Now, this is what the doctor told me to do.
He told me to peel off the skin where the tattooing is, as soon as the
arm is sawed off.  That is, he didn’t tell me to do it myself, for I’d
be in no condition to perform such an operation on my amputated limb.
He meant that’s the way it should be done.  But I don’t believe he’d
ever look after the job himself.  He’d cut the arm off while I’m under
the influence of ether, and that ’u’d be the last I’d ever see of it,
including the miniature copy of my painting.

"So I decided to get somebody else to look after the matter, and that’s
what I called you here for.  It isn’t much of a job.  All you have to do
is to cut the skin around the tattooing and peel it off, then pack it in
salt to preserve it. The doctor said it would peel off easily and that
salt packing would keep the skin and the tattooed colors in good
condition.  The nurse got me a little box and some salt, so everything
is ready as soon as the doctor comes along with his saw."

"When is he coming?" Irving inquired.

"Sometimes this afternoon, he said," Tourtelle replied.  "What do you
think about it, Ellis?  Will you do me the favor?"

"Sure," the private answered with a smile. "I’m sorry you’re going to
lose your arm, but I’ll take care of your cubist art for you with
pleasure.  I’m really very curious to see what it looks like."

"I’d roll up my sleeve and show you, but I’m afraid I’d hurt my arm,"
the "second looie" said in response.

"Oh, no," Irving returned hurriedly, "I wouldn’t have you do that for
anything.  But I’ll kind o’ hang around until the surgeon comes.  If I’m
not here right on the dot, the nurse’ll be able to find me without much
trouble."



                              *CHAPTER IX*

                             *BOB’S LETTER*


Irving almost forgot that there had ever been any difficulty between him
and Lieut. Tourtelle in contemplation of the novel service he had
promised to perform.  Perhaps his remembrance of that trouble had been
smothered by his curiosity as to the character of this tattooed copy of
a "Basket of Eggs Spilling Down Stairs."

The surgeon came at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and got busy at once.
However, before administering the ether, he acknowledged an introduction
to Private Ellis and promised to "skin the tattoo off the arm" after the
amputation and turn it over to its delegated caretaker.

Irving was permitted to be present during the operation.  He watched
with a good deal of curiosity for a first vision of the cubist art on
the patient’s arm, and was not at all disappointed.  It surely was a
clever piece of work, from the point of view of a votary of this sort of
art.  This was the conclusion of all who saw the operation, and it was
the general subject of conversation until the arm was removed.

The surgeon took more interest in the subject now than he had taken at
any time previously.  This doubtless was due to the special preparations
made by the patient for the preservation of the tattooed skin.  While
the ether was being administered by a nurse, he bared the wounded arm
and examined the "copy of quaint art" with interest.

"What does he call this picture?" the "military sawbones" asked as he
gazed at the seemingly unmethodical arrangement of distorted "cubes" of
all sorts of shapes and angles.

The patient was not yet unconscious, although the nurse was dropping
ether into the mask covering his mouth and nose.  In a low dreamy voice
he answered the question thus:

"It’s ’The Basket of Eggs Spilling Down Stairs.’"

The surgeon and the two attending nurses laughed at this answer.

"His mind is wandering under the anæsthetic," said the surgeon.

"No, it isn’t," Irving interposed.  "He told you the same thing he told
me.  You see, he’s a cubist.  That’s his idea of art.  That tattooing on
his arm is a copy of a picture painted by him when he was a student in
an art school. That’s the story he told me this morning."

The expression on the surgeon’s face went through a motion-picture
metamorphosis while the boy onlooker was making his statement. First it
indicated a kind of professional resentment at the contradiction; then
followed a wave of incredulity, succeeded by an enigmatical smirk.  As
he cast a glance of still-smirking amusement at young Ellis, the latter
interpreted it to mean that he questioned the sanity of the patient.

"If I were to perform this operation in the manner that cubists execute
their art, he’d probably want to sue me for malpractice," said the
scientific man as he finished preparation for the use of the knife.

The operation was quickly performed, and the surgeon obligingly peeled
off the portion of skin containing the cubist tattooing and handed it to
Irving.  The latter proceeded at once to pack it in the box of salt
provided for the purpose, and said to the nurse in charge:

"I’ll lay it here on the bed beside his pillow, so that he’ll find it
when he wakes up.  Will you please call his attention to it?"

The nurse promised to do as requested, and Irving left the building and
heard nothing more of the incident for several days.  At last his
shoulder recovered from its lameness and he was ordered back to the
front.

Before returning to the trenches, however, he received a letter from his
cousin, Bob, that stirred in him a thrill of excitement that no
sensational activities of battle could have aroused.  The affair thus
revealed over a distance of thousands of miles confronted Irving with
what seemed at first a most remarkable coincidence.  But the boy was
unable to accept it as such without first making an inquiry about
certain suspicious circumstances.  He suspected at once that something
was doing that ought to be laid before army officials for investigation.

"I’m getting along first rate, Irving," Bob wrote.  "My wounds have all
healed.  I was pretty badly shot to pieces.  One of the bones of my left
leg was pretty much shattered.  They thought, at first they’d have to
amputate the limb, but it was saved, thank goodness, although the knee
will always be stiff.  I had half a dozen shell and machine gun wounds
in my body, too, though fortunately all of them were well removed from
vital spots.  But, although these injuries were as bad as one would care
to receive, all of them together were not nearly as dangerous or
uncomfortable as the dose of gas I got.  Believe me, Irving, I don’t
want any more of that.  If you want my opinion of it, I’ll tell you I
think it’s more cruel than submarine warfare where they sink passenger
ships without warning.  The doctors thought for a while that I was going
to have the ’con,’ but I’m about over the effects of my dose now."

"Well, while I was convalescing, I had to have some amusement--I mean
after I was able to be up and around, but hardly strong enough to shovel
snow.  Say, we’ve had some awful heavy snow storms this winter.  Regular
blizzards, with snow over your shoetops when you’re standing on your
head.  That’s snowing some, isn’t it?

"Well, about the time I was able to get around without doing myself any
harm--the gas effects kept me pretty weak quite a while,--I went up to
Toronto to visit some friends.  I was invited up there by one of the
boys who was gassed at the same time I was.  He and others had organized
a ’Gas club,’ consisting of fellows who had been gassed in the war.
Grewsome idea, wasn’t it?  But it took famously.  They wanted me to
join, and I went up there and was initiated.

"Well, while I was up there, I saw considerable outdoor life.  Several
of us went hunting on snowshoes one day, and that capped the climax of
my physical exertions.  I ought to have been more careful, for I was not
strong enough yet for such life.  Well, I became ill on the way, and the
boys got me to a hospital in the outskirts of the city and a physician
examined me.  The doctor said there was nothing serious the matter with
me, only over-exertion in my weakened condition, so I did not notify
father and mother.

"Two days later the doctor said I was in good enough condition to leave
the hospital, but advised me to go straight home and not try any more
such vigorous exercise until I was in condition to return to the
trenches.  This was in the evening, and I decided to remain in the
hospital until morning.  I was sitting up when the doctor called, and
after he left I went out into the hall to find a telephone to call up my
friend and tell him of my plan to return home next day.

"The building is an old brick structure that undoubtedly would have been
condemned for hospital purposes if the interior woodwork had not been of
the best material and well put together.  However, the layout was
decidedly old-fashioned and confusing to one accustomed to modern
architecture.  Anyway, I got lost, so to speak, in the hall while trying
to find my way to the stairway.

"I found a stairway, but soon realized that it was not the one I wanted,
and was about to turn back, when something caught my attention and held
it for several minutes.  I was on a kind of half-floor landing before an
entrance into a low rear addition, and from that position found myself
gazing into a laboratory in which something very strange was going on.
Three men were in the room, one of them little more than a boy and in
the khaki uniform of a soldier; the other two in civilian clothes.  In
the upper half of the door were two glass panels, through which I could
see very clearly, and the transom over the door was swung partly open.

"There was something peculiar about the two older men which almost
fascinated me. Both had a decidedly foreign look.  One was
smooth-shaven, except for a heavy kaiser mustache; the other, the older
of these two, wore a full beard.

"The young fellow in khaki was seated on a chair, with his left arm
bared above the elbow, resting on a table.  The other two men were
working over the arm in a most studious manner.  Over them was a
brilliant calcium light which illuminated their work.  I could see the
arm very plainly and it took me only a minute or two to determine what
the two older men were doing to it.

"They were tattooing the arm, and a most remarkable kind of tattooing it
was.  They were extremely careful with their work and progressed slowly.
Judging from the care they took and the slowness with which they
progressed, they must have worked on that arm several days.  Also,
spread out before them, was a small sheet of white paper, to which they
referred frequently.

"It is hard to describe to you the appearance of the result of their
work, but I’ll send you a copy of the original they were working from
and explain how I got it.  I think you’ll agree with me that it looks
more like a piece of kindergarten patchwork than anything else
imaginable.

"While I was gazing in a kind of fascination at the strange scene, the
man with the kaiser mustache turned suddenly and saw me.  His next
movement was just as sudden and much more astonishing.  He sprang to the
door, flung it open, and before I could realize what was taking place he
had seized me by the arm and was dragging me into the laboratory.  I
struggled to prevent him from getting me inside, but, because of my
weakened condition, was unsuccessful.  My next impulse was to cry out
for help, but the situation seemed to me so ridiculous that I decided I
would only make myself look foolish by so doing.  This hospital was
surely a highly respectable institution, I reasoned, and the
misunderstanding of which I was a victim would soon be cleared up.
Perhaps these men thought I was a spying meddler bent on some malicious
mischief.

"After they got me inside--for the other men sprang to my captor’s
assistance--they closed and locked the door, also the transom, and began
to quiz me as to what I was doing out in the hall.  I was too sore at
their treatment of me to give an explanation and demanded what they
meant by their actions.  I saw that they were very uneasy about
something and that made me bolder.  It soon dawned upon me that they had
been doing something that they wanted to keep secret. That resolved me
to get back at them with interest, and while they were busy with their
excited demands, I got my wits together to devise some sort of trick
that would show them it wasn’t quite so easy to browbeat me as they
seemed to imagine.

"All three of them huddled together right in front of me and rained
questions at me excitedly.  This suited me first rate as soon as I had
decided what to do.  I wasn’t afraid of any desperate violence on their
part; the place was too public for that.  I retreated slowly to the
table at which they had been working and leaned back resting my hands on
it.  They never caught on to what I was up to, but pressed close to me
with their excited questions.  I met these with noncommittal replies,
and at the same time got one hand closer and closer to the mysterious
slip of paper on the table.  It was not more than six inches long and
three wide, and I figured that if I could get one hand on it I might
crumple it in my fist without their observing what I was doing.  After I
had been dragged into the room, I saw the young fellow hurriedly draw
down the sleeve of his shirt over the tattooed portion of his forearm.
He seemed so nervous while doing this that my suspicion of something
wrong became very acute; and yet, the mystery could hardly have been
more baffling.

"Well, I got my hand on the paper and crumpled it in my fist, and they
never got onto my trick, at least, not until I got out of that room and
away from them.  I was now ready to answer their questions.  I told them
I was a patient in the hospital and was just trying to find my way to
the office and started down the wrong stairway--that was all there was
to it. I then demanded that they release me at once or I would make
serious trouble for them. They asked me my name, and I told them.  Then
the bearded man left the laboratory, and I presume he went to the office
to make inquiry about me, for he came back in a few minutes and reported
that he guessed I was all right.  But they held a whispered conversation
in German--I caught enough of their words to be sure of that--and then
told me I might go.  But before the door was unlocked, the bearded man
apologized, as nearly as I can remember, in the following words:

"I hope you will forgive our rough conduct, but we are engaged in very
important government work, and when we saw you looking through the glass
at us and apparently listening to our conversation, we presumed you were
a German spy.  You have satisfied us that you are all right, and we
recommend that, as you love your country and wish to aid us to win the
war, you keep this affair strictly to yourself."

"I was astonished and more confused than ever.  That statement convicted
them of something on the face of it, but of what I could not conjecture.
The idea that a responsible secret agent of the government should make
such a speech as that under any circumstances was simply ridiculous.  I
was mighty sure they were not doing work for the government.  They were
trying to cover something up, but what I could make no rational guess.

"I decided not to remain in the hospital any longer than it would take
to get my few belongings together and pay my bill.  I was afraid they
would discover the loss of the paper I had stolen.  Well, I got out of
that place so rapidly that I had everybody staring at me who beheld my
movements.

"I went to a hotel, but I am dead sure I was followed.  In the morning
when I went down to breakfast I was conscious of being watched. I
telephoned to my friend, but while in the booth I glanced about with
apparent unconcern and caught one of my shadowers looking in my
direction over the top of a newspaper from a seat in the hotel lobby.  I
met my friend, but said nothing to him about my adventure. I wanted to
get back home as soon as possible. I wasn’t in condition physically to
undergo any great strain.

"At last I was on the train and speeding toward home, but hadn’t covered
more than half of the journey when I discovered that one of my shadowers
was making the journey with me.  He got off when I got off and for
several days had a room in one of our local hotels.  I talked the matter
over with father and we came to the conclusion that I had fallen into a
nest of the kaiser’s spies.  We examined the paper I had taken from the
table in the laboratory of the Toronto hospital and I made a copy of it.
Then we went to the chief of police and I told nay story to him.  He
said the matter ought to be taken up with government officials and asked
me to let him show the mysterious paper in my possession to them.  I had
expected this, and gave him the paper.

"A few days later I read in a newspaper that the hospital had been
raided by government agents.  Also, I saw nothing more of the fellow who
had followed me from Toronto after I made my report to the chief of
police.

"Now, what do you think of all this?  Isn’t it some adventure?  I’m
sending to you, just for your amusement, a copy of the drawing on the
paper that I stole from the hospital laboratory.  Can you make anything
out of it?  It may afford you some diversion during long, dreary watches
in camp, trench or dugout."



                              *CHAPTER X*

                           *DOTS AND DASHES*


Not more than a minute after reading this letter and examining the slip
of paper that accompanied it, Irving said to himself:

"This drawing is very similar to the cubist tattooing on the arm of
Lieut. Tourtelle."

He studied over the matter a little more and then added:

"I believe that both were made from the same copy, or original."

A little more puzzling over the problem caused him to supplement thus:

"It looks very much as if Tourtelle and the soldier who bared his arm
over the table in the hospital laboratory are one and the same person."

The suggestion startled the boy as a realization of the logical sequence
flashed in his mind.

"Gee whillikens!" he exclaimed.  "That means that his story about being
an art student and about the tattooing of that picture on his arm by one
of his fellow students is a fake.  But why should he have faked it?  Why
wouldn’t the truth have served his purpose just as well?"

Irving was at battalion headquarters, awaiting orders, which were
expected to come after sundown, to move forward into the trenches. While
reading the letter he was seated on the log of a tree that had been
literally uprooted by a concentrated shell fire at this point a week or
two before.  Nobody else was interested in what he was doing and he was
too much preoccupied to feel much interest in anybody right now except
the mysterious Lieut. Tourtelle and his equally mysterious "amputation
souvenir."

"Now," continued the boy, resuming his reasoning soliloquy, "if he told
me a fake story about being an art student and having one of his fellow
students copy one of his pictures on his arm, what was the motive?  He
wanted to deceive me, of course, but why?  I’ll have to leave that
question unanswered for the present, I’m afraid.  If I could get at his
real reason for wanting that picture tattooed on his arm, I might feel
some encouragement in trying to get at his motive in deceiving me.
There’s no doubt the picture on his arm is practically the same as the
copy on this paper.  I shouldn’t wonder if they were the same size,
drawn with precisely the same dimensions.  Supposed to represent a
basket of eggs spilling down stairs. What a ridiculous title.  I’m sure
I’d have hard work picking out the basket and the smashed eggs.  It
looks to me almost as if someone had pinned this paper up on a wall and
fired a lot of eggs at it--and hit it, too, every crack.  After all,
it’s the best title to a cubist art picture I ever heard of.  I remember
our teacher gave us a talk about that kind of art and showed us some
copies of cubist paintings in magazines at the time when everybody was
gossiping--yes, that’s the word--about cubist art.  And we surely had a
lot of fun over it.

"Tourtelle told me that another student tattooed that picture on his
arm.  Bob’s description of the scene in the hospital laboratory makes
that ’second looie’ look very much like a liar.  I take it from this
letter that both of those men were pretty well advanced in years. Art
students as a rule are younger people. Moreover, students wouldn’t act
so strangely just because they suspected somebody of secretly watching
them at their work.  Then, again, Bob says the government raided that
hospital.  What for?  Enemy agents, of course; there could be no other
reason.  And this raid followed Bob’s report of his experience to the
police.  Plain as daylight.  And yet, what possible connection can there
be between enemy spies and cubist art?  I give it up."

Irving would have liked to make a report of some kind concerning the web
of strange events that clung in confusing tangle to the mystery of the
ridiculous tattooing recently peeled from the amputated arm of Lieut.
Tourtelle, but the more he studied over the matter, the more probable it
appeared to him that such action on his part would be unwise.  His
conclusions must of necessity be exceedingly vague.  He could not figure
out a motive in any way explaining the apparently eccentric ideas and
actions of the "hobby ridden second lieutenant."  Yes, that phrase
characterized Tourtelle exactly when the spy suspicion contained in
Bob’s letter was dismissed, and undoubtedly the average officer, unless
he be of a very suspicious nature, would take that view of it.

"I’d be laughed at if I made a report of this affair without being able
to place my finger on anything more definite than I seem to be able to
single out now," he concluded.  "So I guess I’ll have to keep this thing
to myself or else whittle my wits to a sharper point than I have been
able to whittle them thus far."

About an hour after nightfall Irving returned to the front line trenches
together with seventy-five or a hundred other soldiers who constituted a
relief shift, to take the place of a like number of tried and
muscle-cramped boys whose capacity for efficient service was in need of
recuperation.  The sector was quiet on this occasion and the relief
exchange was effected without notable incident.  In fact, conditions
were such that it was considered safe to permit most of the soldiers to
sleep under ground of sentries here and there along the trenches and in
listening posts out in No Man’s Land.

But Irving did not "sleep a wink," although general conditions were
favorable for sleep in the dugout where he wrapped himself in a blanket
and attempted to follow the reposeful example of half a dozen comrades
with little on their minds save the ordinary routine of bloody battle in
the past and prospect of much more fight and blood in the future.  No
mystery racked their minds, and they rested peacefully enough.  With
Private Ellis, however, it was different, and in a very few minutes
after he lay down a plausible solution of the puzzle that had been
teasing him for several hours popped into his brain with startling
suddenness and rendered sleep about as impossible to him as peaceful
surrender was to outraged Belgium.

After the excitement of the first thrill was over, Irving was unable to
trace the process by which he arrived at his conclusion.  After all,
"process" is too slow a word to use in this relation.  "The first thing
he knew," his mind had jumped from the rough pen sketch of the cubist
art drawing in his pocket to the tattooed copy as he had seen it on
Tourtelle’s arm.  A moment later he found himself almost weirdly
interested in the recollection of a marked difference in these two
copies which had not impressed him before.

Then came a new thrill of eagerness, followed by incredulity, then
eagerness and incredulity battling for supremacy, over a suspicion that
would not be downed in spite of its almost laughable character.  Could
it be possible? Yes, no, yes, no--back and forth the contradictions
swung.  But one thing was certain; Irving recalled it distinctly: In the
maze of configurations of "distorted cubes" were myriads of dots and
dashes, dots and dashes.  What could they mean?  If the theory which
forced itself upon him was correct there was only one reasonable
solution of the whole mystery.

The boy in the dugout could scarcely contain his excitement as the
seemingly logical explanation of the mystery "dotted and dashed" itself
into a position of settled conviction in his mind.



                              *CHAPTER XI*

                      *IRVING TELLS THE SERGEANT*


"Dots and dashes, dots and dashes, dots and dashes," kept running
through Irving’s mind.

He took Bob’s letter from his pocket and drew from the envelope the
paper containing his cousin’s copy of "The Basket of Eggs Spilling Down
Stairs."

"Bob drew this in a hurry, or at least he had no appreciation of the
value of minute details which, I believe, are more important than a
thousand baskets of eggs," the young soldier mused as he gazed at the
cleverly drawn, but rather inaccurate, copy in the light of the trench
lamp. "He disregarded most of those clots and dashes, except in a few
places, thinking, I suppose, that continuous lines would do just as
well.  And he was right so far as the picture is concerned. In fact, I
believe those dots and dashes that were on Tourtelle’s arm detracted
from the art of the artist, if I may pose as an art critic; but for the
purpose intended they are absolutely essential.

"Now, I wish I could get hold of an officer who would listen to me and
maybe I could start an investigation that would result in something
worth while.  But Sergt. Wilson, who messes in here, is out with some
other men in a listening post and I’m sure it would be better to
approach the lieutenant through him.  That means I’ve got to wait here
probably until morning before I can get this great weight of
responsibility off my mind."

And that was exactly what he did.  He lay there thinking over and over
again the events of his own and his cousin’s adventures concerning
Lieut. Tourtelle.  There was no use of his attempting to slumber, and it
was not long before he gave up the idea entirely.  However, he was in no
great need of sleep, inasmuch as he had almost reveled in the luxury of
rest ever since he was ordered to the field hospital for treatment of
his shoulder.

Through all the rest of the night, Irving continued to review and
analyze the strange case of "freak art."  And perhaps it was fortunate
that he had ample opportunity to do this, for it is quite possible that
otherwise he would not have had certain important points sufficiently in
mind to make a strong and convincing case when at last he found
opportunity to make his report.

"It seems to me those dots and dashes explain Tourtelle’s anxiety to
keep that tattooing on his arm," the boy mused.  "Now, if he’s a spy, he
was putting over just a clever ’con game’ when he sent for me and begged
my forgiveness and then asked me to do him a favor. After all, I’ve got
to admit that that fellow is pretty smooth.  No, I don’t think he
overdid it at all.  I did think it a little strange when he followed his
plea for forgiveness with a request that I do him a favor.  But the
favor was so simple, although unusual enough, goodness knows, and there
appeared to be so little opportunity for him to trick me into something
I wouldn’t like to do, that it seemed foolish for me to hesitate.  It
looks now as if he tricked not only me, but the surgeon and nurses, too.
I wonder what that surgeon would say if he knew that a spy had made
clever use of him to prevent a very deep enemy plot from going to pieces
at a time when the bottom was about to drop out of it.  He’d be a lot
sorer, I bet, than he was when I contradicted him after he said
Tourtelle’s mind was wandering under the anæsthetic.

"’A Basket of Eggs Spilling Down Stairs’--that’s some name for a
painting.  I wonder what’s behind it.  Now, it’s just possible that that
name’s written somewhere in cipher in the picture, and maybe a key goes
with it and that key applied to the name will produce the message he’s
carrying to the enemy.  I suppose he’ll watch his opportunity and--

"My goodness!"

Irving uttered this exclamation aloud and the sound of his voice awoke
one of the sleepers in the dugout, who asked what was the matter. The
soliloquist replied "nothing," that he had merely startled himself with
a "bright idea," whereupon the awakened soldier grumbled, "You’re a
nut," and rolled over and went to sleep again.

"I wonder if the sergeant will call me a nut, too, when I tell him my
story," Irving reflected a little apprehensively.  "In spite of the way
everything fits into everything else as logically as can be, the whole
account is bound to sound a good deal like a fairy story.  Sometimes I
feel like giving it up and casting the whole affair out of my mind,
but--but--I can’t.  Now, that idea that made me burst out like a ’nut,’
as that soldier called me, fits in just as pat as can be with all he
rest.  It looks, it looks, yes, sir, it looks just as if Tourtelle was
trying to surrender out in No Man’s Land the other night when we were
scouting there together.  I don’t know how I can prove it, but it’s
plain enough to me, unless my whole theory falls down, and I don’t see
how it can."

At last, shortly before the break of day, reliefs were sent to the
various sentry posts, and Sergt. Wilson returned to the dugout with
several other men.  Irving seized the first available opportunity to
tell the "non com" that he had some important information that he wished
to "get off his mind," and they withdrew to one side of the underground
room to talk the matter over.

In a few minutes Private Ellis had Sergt. Wilson interested by his
simple, direct method of presenting his subject.  In fifteen minutes,
the boy had finished his narrative and turned over his cousin’s letter
to the officer to read. The latter pored with intense interest over not
only the epistle but the accompanying copy of the mysterious "Basket of
Eggs Spilling Down Stairs."  Presently he said:

"You’ve got something very important here, Ellis.  I’m going to see
Lieut. Osborne right away.  I think you had better come along. Unless
I’m badly mistaken this matter will get to the major in a very short
time and something important will be doing."

The sergeant climbed up out of the dugout into the trench, and Irving
followed, and soon they were making their way to another similar
excavation which was the headquarters of Lieut. Osborne.



                             *CHAPTER XII*

                            *QUIZZING A SPY*


Sergt. Wilson’s prediction that Private Ellis’s spy story would go to
the major of the battalion was more than realized.  Affairs moved
rapidly from the time when the non-commissioned officer got a clear idea
of the importance of the situation.  He and Irving made a rapid transit
from their trench cave to the dugout where Lieut. Osborne was stationed,
and there the story was repeated.  The lieutenant was interested at once
and took the matter up with the captain.  The latter instructed the
lieutenant to remain at the telephone until he could communicate with
his superior officers.

There followed a wait of rather nervous expectancy for Irving.  It
really was not more than half an hour, although it seemed much longer to
the young soldier who made the original complaint.  At last, however,
came a ring of the muffled telephone bell, and Lieut. Osborne lifted the
receiver to his ear.  He listened a minute or two, then hung up the
receiver and said:

"Ellis, you and I are ordered to proceed to the hospital and confront
this young spy of yours with the fact that we have the goods on him.
The captain communicated with the major, and the major with the colonel;
so, you see, your story has gone up to the head of the regiment.  Sergt.
Wilson, I am going to leave you here in my place while I’m gone.  I hope
to be back before nightfall.  If I’m delayed longer than I expect to be,
I’ll communicate with you by ’phone.  Ellis, we’ll start at once.  The
colonel has ordered an automobile to be ready to meet us at the nearest
relief station back of the lines.  Come on."

In a few minutes the officer and the private were racing through the
nearest communication trench, which was deep, sinuous and well
camouflaged, on past the second and third lines to the relief station
just beyond a small inn covered with a growth of trees and a thicket of
tall bushes.  The promised automobile was waiting for them, and they
were soon speeding away toward the field hospital which, in the last
hour, as a result of Private Ellis’s story, had become a center of very
serious interest in a strange admixture of an elaborate spy system and
"high art."

Lieut. Osborne and his companion were both apprehensive lest they find
the second lieutenant in condition so weakened that it would be
inadvisable to subject him to the strain of a "third degree."  They
discussed this possibility on the way, and the officer decided that he
would broach the subject gently in order to avoid the danger of
defeating their purpose through a physical and mental collapse of the
patient.

But Lieut. Tourtelle proved to have withstood the shock of the operation
much better than might have been expected.  They found him looking
really bright and vigorous. Apparently he had had the best of care and
had rested well.  Nevertheless, Lieut. Osborne called a nurse aside and
asked her to administer a stimulant to him, as he had important business
with the patient under instructions from the commander of the regiment.
The nurse did as requested without arousing any suspicion in the "cubist
art spy."

"This is quite a surprise to receive a visit from a superior officer
under such circumstances, and I’m sure it’s very much appreciated,"
Tourtelle remarked after he had answered several questions put by Lieut.
Osborne regarding his condition and the attention he was receiving.

"The occasion fully warrants our coming to see you," the superior
officer replied in a purposely peculiar tone of voice.  Tourtelle
noticed it and looked inquiringly at Lieut. Osborne.

"Private Ellis told me about that art souvenir that was peeled off your
arm and I have come to see it," continued the leader of the "visiting
expedition."

Tourtelle shot a furtive, searching glance at each of his callers.
These glances did not escape the observation of either the officer or
the private, for both were looking for evidence of this sort; but they
were well on their guard and did not betray, by the slightest
expression, any evidence of what was going on in their minds.

"Of course you have it here," Lieut. Osborne continued in tone of
assurance.  "Ellis tells me he laid it by the side of your pillow and
asked the nurse to call your attention to it after you came out from the
effects of the anæsthetic."

Plainly enough Tourtelle was struggling within himself over something,
and his visitors did not have much trouble convincing themselves what it
was.  But finally he settled the problem tentatively in favor of the
evident inevitable and replied:

"Yes, of course, I have it here, only I hate to unpack it; but if your
curiosity over a freak idea is uncontrollable, I must submit.  I’m very
jealous over that affair, because the average person is utterly
incapable of appreciating it and would only laugh at me."

"Oh, you needn’t be afraid of our doing anything of the kind," returned
the lieutenant reassuringly.  "We’re deeply interested, both of us."

"You must be profoundly interested if you can leave your places at the
battle front just to inspect a sample of what most people would call
freak art.  You didn’t call a truce and sign an armistice just for this,
did you?"

The lieutenant realized by this time, as Irving had realized before,
that he was dealing with a young fellow of no puny intelligence.
Tourtelle, although signifying willingness to do as requested, was
evidently fencing with weapons of jest and banter, intended to be
accepted as conversational pleasantry.  He made no motion as yet to
produce the box containing the tattooed section of skin packed in salt.

"No," the visiting officer replied quietly; "but I’m sure you won’t
disappoint me after I’ve gone to the trouble to get permission from the
colonel to come here and see that remarkable curiosity that Ellis says
you possess.  Where is it?--under your pillow?"

Lieut. Osborne made a move as if to reach under the pillow.  The patient
made no motion to object; he maintained a passiveness of manner which
the inspecting officer accepted as an admission as to the whereabouts of
the article of interest.  The next moment the box was produced from its
"hiding place," for Irving and the lieutenant were certain that when
Tourtelle put it under the pillow his purpose was primarily to conceal
it from inquisitive eyes.

The officer opened the box and poured the contents out on a paper lying
on the floor.  Then he picked out the "cubist parchment" and gazed at it
with deep interest.

"By the way, Lieut. Tourtelle," he said after an inspection lasting a
minute or two, "would you mind telling me what these dots and dashes
mean in this work of art?  They look to me like letters of the Morse
telegraph code."

As he spoke he looked sharply at the soldier on the cot, whose face in
an instant became an interesting study of struggling effort to appear
calm and curious and only superficially concerned.  Irving realized,
however, that Lieut. Osborne was getting down to business without any
preliminary foolishness.



                             *CHAPTER XIII*

                           *TOURTELLE ADMITS*


"Nonsense," replied Tourtelle, with remarkable calmness, after what must
have been a desperate effort at self-control. "Nothing of the kind.  I
drew the original picture and I don’t know the first thing about
telegraphy."

"But it’s here," Lieut. Osborne insisted. "I’ve had a course in wireless
and can read the code like a book.  Let me read some of it to
you--’h-e-f-c-k-a-w-r-t-m-c-a-a-b-l’--and so on, all around every one of
these cubes."

"Is that so?" exclaimed the patient, rising slightly on his remaining
elbow, but falling back.  "Let me see it.  I never noticed that. Bickett
must have put one over on me if you’re right.  Bickett was the student
who tattooed the picture on my arm."

"Where was that tattooing done?" asked Lieut. Osborne.

"In our room in Montreal," replied Tourtelle, without hesitation.  "He
and I roomed together and attended art school."

"You’re sure it wasn’t in a laboratory of a hospital in Toronto?" was
the inquisitor’s next query.

This was too much for the bedridden "second looie."  He opened his mouth
as if to speak, but his jaw dropped and remained in its lowered position
half a minute as if paralyzed. At last, however, he managed to find his
voice again, but it came with a succession of stammers.

"Wh--wh--why," he said, with a brave enough effort to transform
confusion into astonishment.  "Wh--wh--what do you mean?  I--I don’t
understand you.  You talk like a sphinx. I hope you’re not questioning
my word.  I can’t understand what your motive can be.  But maybe you’re
making sport of me.  If I told you that I was born in--in New Brunswick,
would you try to make out it was in Saskatchewan?"

"Not unless the fellow who was seized out in the hall and dragged into
the laboratory should appear suddenly and contradict your statement,"
the investigating officer answered. "By the way, did you know the
hospital was raided by government agents a few days after the tattooing
operation?"

By this time, Tourtelle, who must have realized the gravity of the
situation, had summoned all the nerve needed to provide him with a bold
front to meet the emergency.  He just sat and stared blankly at his
visitors.

"Why don’t you answer?" Lieut. Osborne demanded.

"Because I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re driving at," Tourtelle
replied, with well assumed mystification.  "But I’m sure of one thing,
or rather one of two things, and that is that either somebody has put
you on a very bum steer, or you have got things very badly twisted.
You’ll have to straighten matters out some way or else stop this line of
questioning, for I don’t know how to answer you except by denying
absolutely more than half you say."

"Now, see here, Tourtelle," returned the visiting officer severely;
"this camouflage of yours has gone far enough.  I came here to get from
you an admission of the main truth and some additional information.  I
already have all the proof needed to convict you of being a spy. Unless
you do what I ask you to do, undoubtedly you will be courtmartialed and
shot.  Now, the question is, do you want to save yourself from such a
fate?"

"That is a grave accusation," Tourtelle answered icily.  "At any rate,
I’ll listen to the evidence you have against me.  Suppose you tell me
what it is."

"It’s right here in this," Lieut. Osborne replied, unhesitatingly,
holding up the section of skin containing the tattooed outlines of
strange art.  "You have here a message of secret information for someone
on the other side of the Rhine.  I want to know whom it is for and the
substance of the message."

"But how do you figure that I could get it into the hands for whom it is
intended, admitting for the sake of argument that you are correct in
your inference?" the soldier on the bed inquired.

"By surrendering to our enemy at the first opportunity," was the answer.
"That’s what you tried to do out in No Man’s Land the night you were
wounded."

This was a new startler for the wounded spy, as was evident from the
expression on his countenance.  After a few moments of undoubtedly
painful meditation, he continued:

"Again, just for the sake of argument, how could I be certain that you
would keep your word after promising to save my life if I acted
according to your instruction?"

"All you have is my word for it and your own common sense.  If you give
us some valuable information that could not have been obtained
otherwise, it stands to reason--doesn’t it?--that we’d forget that you’d
been a spy, particularly so if the value of your information was greater
than your menace as a spy."

"All right, I’ll admit I’m a spy," said Tourtelle, a little doggedly;
"but I’m not going to tell you anything until I have more authoritative
assurance that I’ll not be courtmartialed."

"I don’t mean to assure you that you won’t be courtmartialed," Lieut.
Osborne answered, hastily.  "I mean that I will intercede for you.
Moreover, there is no evidence that can be produced against you except
through Private Ellis and me.  We have the information, and will either
produce it or keep it under cover as we see fit."

"But suppose I really have no information of great value; suppose I’m
merely a bearer of a cipher message, which I can’t read and don’t even
know the person to whom it is addressed--what then?"

"I don’t ask anything impossible," the inquisitor replied.  "All I want
is a straight-forward story from you, with all details.  If you keep
anything back or lie to me, I’m very likely to find it out, and then
you’ll fare worse than if you refused point blank to enter into an
agreement with me."

"All right," said Tourtelle, "I suppose I may as well give in, for you
seem to have some real information, although I can’t understand where or
how you got it.  Anyway, here’s my story:



                             *CHAPTER XIV*

                          *TOURTELLE’S STORY*


"I must first tell you who I am," Lieut. Tourtelle began, after some
moments’ deliberation.  Ordinarily his countenance was almost
expressionless, for he belonged to a certain type of pulseless-souled
humanity that talks little with the face, except through that orifice
where the tongue wig-wags the signals of the mind.  But on this
occasion, he looked not only serious, but seriously concerned over his
predicament.  Before he got farther with his introduction, however,
Lieut. Osborne interrupted him with this warning:

"I want to urge you, Tourtelle, to be very careful to tell the truth and
the whole truth, because you are surely going to get yourself into
trouble if you don’t.  We know a good deal more than I have told you,
and I promise you that I have some information on which I can catch you
if you tell me any lies."

"You needn’t be afraid of my lying to you," the spy returned quickly;
"for, to tell the truth, I’m sick of this whole business.  I wish I’d
never got into it, and if I succeed in getting out with a whole skin,
I’ll admit I’m glad you caught me.

"I’ve done a whole lot of thinking since I agreed to put this thing over
or try to put it over.  There’s a lot of difference between sitting
still and dreaming how you love your father’s fatherland before he
emigrated, and plotting in the midst of your fellow countrymen to help a
lot of tyrants whom you’ve never seen on the other side o’ the world.  I
didn’t think of that until I got up to my neck in this business and
found it almost impossible to get out.

"You see, my father was an Austrian, and my mother was from
Alsace-Lorraine.  Both of them died when I was five or six years old and
I was adopted by a brother of my father, also an Austrian, of course.
By the way, my name is not Tourtelle and never was.  That was just a bit
of camouflage, so that I might pass as being of French descent.  My real
name is Hessenburg.  My uncle was most bitterly anti-British in this
war, and is yet.  He was a man of considerable means and position in the
business world, was a member of the board of directors of that hospital
in Toronto where my arm was tattooed.  Yes, that hospital was a hotbed
of spies, and I’m glad they raided it.

"I wasn’t taken into the confidence of the high-ups in the spy
organization in Canada, but I know it was a big one.  I suppose they
thought I was too young to be trusted with any more information than was
necessary to make me useful.  And for that reason, you see, they did not
translate to me the message that was tattooed on my arm, and they didn’t
give me the key to work out the cipher.  Besides, I’m no telegrapher.
You’ll understand, therefore, that they didn’t pick much of an expert to
carry their message."

"Didn’t you know that there were telegraphic characters in that picture
on your arm?" asked Lieut. Osborne.

"Yes, or rather I suspected it pretty strongly," was the reply.

"And you don’t know what the message is?"

"No, I don’t."

"Haven’t you any idea?"

"Well, yes, I have an idea, but it’s pretty vague.  I overheard a little
of a conversation not intended for my ears, and from that I got the
notion, or perhaps it’s only a suspicion, that the message contains the
British naval or aeronautical wireless code."

"At any rate, it’s of great importance," suggested Lieut. Osborne.

"Oh, there’s no doubt about that," Tourtelle, or Hessenburg, assured.

"Are you an artist?" was the inquisitor’s next question.

"Yes, I am; that is, I was an art student, and the story I told Ellis
about making a hit with a cubist painting is true.  That’s what started
the scheme of tattooing a picture message on my arm."

"Who suggested it?"

"One of the fellows who did the work.  He was something of an artist as
well as a chemist.

"The fellow with whiskers?"

"Yes," replied the spy.  "I see you have had a pretty thorough report of
that affair."

"We have.  Did you know that the boy who was seized in the hall and
dragged into the laboratory left with the pen-and-ink sketch of your
painting crumpled up in his hand?"

"No.  Is that what became of it?  One of the men suggested that he must
have stolen it, but I didn’t think he was right."

"Did you know they put detectives on his track?"

"No.  Did they?"

"That’s what they did.  And that is probably the reason why the hospital
was raided a few days later.  If they hadn’t followed him, the boy
probably would have passed the matter up and dismissed it from his mind.
But he became restlessly curious and reported the affair to the police."

"Hm!"  Tourtelle grunted at this elucidation.

"Do you mean for me to understand that you have no idea whom this
message is for?" asked Lieut. Osborne, indicating the section of skin
illuminated with cubist art.

"That’s exactly what I mean," the cubist spy replied.

"But what were you supposed to do after you got over into Germany?"

"Seek out an army officer and tell him my story.  Any officer, I was
told, would know at once what to do with me."

"Do you speak German?"

"Not much, nor Austrian, either.  I studied German at school and learned
enough to be able to make myself understood on the other side of the
Rhine."

"Come on, Ellis," said Lieut. Osborne, rising suddenly.  "We’ve got all
we want now.  I’ll report to the colonel and probably in a day or two
Tourtelle will hear from us again.  I’m going to take this cubist
souvenir with me."

In the course of the conversation he had repacked the section of
tattooed skin in the salt, and as he arose to leave he put the box in
one of his overcoat pockets.  Irving followed him out of the building,
and soon they were speeding back over the road by which they had reached
the field hospital.



                              *CHAPTER XV*

                          *IRVING AN ORDERLY*


"We will go direct to Col. Evans’ headquarters," Lieut. Osborne
announced shortly after the return trip had been begun. "He asked me to
report back to him as soon as possible."

The trip was soon made.  The colonel’s headquarters were less than a
mile behind the rear line trenches, and the road to this point was in
fairly good condition.

Irving felt a deep interest in this visit aside from the bearing it had
on the matter under investigation.  He had never seen a colonel’s
headquarters and was curious to know what appearance such a place might
present.

He was not greatly surprised to find it a dugout, although he had not
pictured it such in his mind.  The first suggestion that had offered
itself to him was that the head of the regiment probably had stationed
himself in the palatial residence or chateau of some wealthy fugitive
civilian.  However, when the truth appeared to him with the most
commonplace simplicity, he decided that it was the very thing that he
ought to have expected.

The dugout was a two-room affair in the side of a hill on the outskirts
of a small village. The hill was covered with fruit trees and berry
vines, affording an excellent camouflage.  One of the rooms was occupied
by the colonel and the other by his orderlies.  The walls and roof were
of concrete, thick enough to resist heavy bombing from the air.  Other
attaches of this headquarters were housed in several homes of the
otherwise deserted village.

The commander of the regiment received the visitors in his elaborately
furnished living room, bedroom and dining room.  Lieut. Osborne began at
once a rapid account of the interview he had had with Second Lieut.
Tourtelle, or Hessenburg.  The colonel listened attentively, every now
and then casting a sharp and sometimes lingering glance at Private
Ellis, who had all he could do to suppress the anxious eagerness he felt
relative to impending developments.  Naturally, as he had rather
dubiously offered the original information that led up to the partial
disclosure of extensive spy activities, he felt as if his whole future
depended upon the full success of the investigation.

Lieut. Osborne opened the box containing the tattooed message and took
it out of its salt packing.  Col. Evans examined it curiously while the
reporting officer explained all he knew about it, calling attention to
the telegraphic dots and dashes running around the numerous "cubes."

"We ought to get somebody who is skilled in cryptographic work busy on
this at once," said the colonel.  "I’ve been in communication with the
brigadier general’s headquarters and suggested that to them, and now
that I have this in my possession, I’m going to urge it stronger.  I’ll
get them on the wire again."

They were seated at a table at one side of the room, and as he spoke,
the regiment commander cranked the telephone box at his right and lifted
the receiver to his ear.  The conversation was short, for the
intelligence department at the brigade headquarters had been busy on the
colonel’s suggestion and already had found an expert qualified to probe
the mystery of the cubist cryptogram.  He would start at once for the
regimental headquarters.

"Just wait here till our cryptologist arrives," said the colonel, after
reporting the result of his conversation over the telephone; "and maybe
he’ll be able to clear up matters so that we may begin to see bottom."

The expert, Lieut. Gibbons, attached to the divisional commander’s
intelligence staff, arrived half an hour later, and the spy story had to
be told all over again for his benefit, while he examined curiously the
"freak-art camouflaged message."

"I may be able to work this out in a few hours, and then again, it may
take several days," he said.  "I’d better take it with me back to
headquarters and work on it there and report back results as soon as I
get them."

The colonel assented to this and the expert prepared to depart with the
cubist cryptogram in his possession.  Then the regimental commander
turned to the officer and the private and said:

"Lieutenant, you will return to your company.  I will call on you when I
wish to communicate with you again on this matter. Private Ellis, you
will remain here.  I can use another orderly, and, besides, I’d like to
have you close at hand in case of further developments in this spy
investigation.  By the way, can you operate a motorcycle?"

"Yes, sir," Irving replied.

"Good.  You can be useful at once.  I have some papers that I want
delivered to the brigadier general.  You may follow Lieut. Gibbons’
automobile and learn the way.  He goes past the brigadier general’s
headquarters."

A motorcycle was soon produced and Irving, after a hurried examination
of it, announced that he understood it thoroughly.  A minute later he
was in the saddle and "lickety-chugging" along after the intelligence
official’s automobile.

And meanwhile there was buzzing in his brain this new wonder with eager
expectation:

"What was the real purpose of Col. Evans in keeping him at
headquarters"?  Was that officer likely to have further army detective
work for him to do?

Already he was beginning to feel like a government secret service man,
and he longed to be of further service to his country and the cause of
world freedom in this romantic line.

He little dreamed how far beyond the scope of his saner imagination his
patriotic longing was to be realized.



                             *CHAPTER XVI*

                       *A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT*


Three days later Col. Evans summoned Irving into his dugout office and
said to him: "Well, the cubist cryptogram has been read."

The officer smiled with a kind of grim exultation as he spoke.  Then he
added:

"And it contained very important information."

"I’m glad of it," the boy answered simply, although he felt almost as if
he would burst with a "hurrah!" that threatened to explode within him.

"Of course you are," the commander concurred. "And I suppose you’d like
to know what’s in it."

"Naturally," Irving replied; "but I doubt very much if you are going to
tell me."

"Why?"

"Because, in the first place, it’s none of my business as a private;
and, secondly, I presume it is information of a character that the war
department wishes to keep secret."

"Right you are, Ellis.  That’s the main reason I put the matter up to
you.  I wanted to find out what you thought of it.  But there’s another
reason why you shouldn’t know the contents of that message, and I’ll
tell you that later.  Meanwhile, I have another important matter that I
want to quiz you on.  Do you want to go back to the trenches?"

"I’m perfectly willing to go back if that is the best thing I can do,"
Irving answered readily.  "But I’ll say this, that if there’s any other
place where I can be of greater service, I prefer to be sent there.
It’s a question of service pure and simple with me.  Naturally, I have
my selfish preferences, but I manage to suppress them."

"Have you any idea where you could be of greater service than in the
trenches?" asked the colonel.

"I’ll answer your question in this way: I’m sure that the time I spent
helping to run down a dangerous spy was put to much better purpose than
it would have been if spent in the trenches, although I think I did some
good work out in No Man’s Land in front of the trenches.  But, of
course, there’s no more of that kind of work left for me to do."

"Are you sure about that?"

Irving looked curiously at the putter of this question, considered a
moment or two, and then replied:

"No, I’m not; but I don’t know of anything more."

"Suppose some more of that kind of work should be found, would you like
to do it?"

"Surely."

"Irrespective of the size of the task or the danger?"

"I don’t know how I could find anything much more dangerous than that
skirmish in No Man’s Land," Irving replied slowly.  "The other part of
your question I don’t wish to answer rashly.  Tell me the task, and I’ll
tell you if it’s too big for me."

"That’s the very answer I wanted you to make," said the colonel, almost
eagerly.  "Now, suppose we should ask you to go over into Germany on an
important spy mission, how would that strike you?"

This was something Irving was not looking for, and he was so astonished
that he did not answer for several moments.  Then he said:

"It would strike me all right."

"Suppose you were given a credential that would effect admittance for
you into high official circles--would you go there and attempt to obtain
information that might be available, because of your credential?"

"Yes, sir," Irving replied firmly.

"What do you think of that stunt of tattooing a message in the form of a
freak art production on the arm of Lieut. Tourtelle?"

Irving smiled.

"Of course," he said, "it was clever and under ordinary circumstances
ought to have been successful; but I’d rather not go through life with a
thing like that on my arm.  It might brand me as a freak, if not
something worse."

"I don’t blame you," returned the colonel, but as he spoke a peculiar
shrewdness lighted his eyes, causing the boy to wonder a little. Then he
added: "Still, it might be possible for one to submit to such nonsense
if thereby he might advance a great and worthy cause."

"Sure, that’s quite possible," Irving agreed; "but I don’t see how
Tourtelle, or Hessenburg, can claim any such motive."

"No, but if he had done it for his own country, the British empire, to
advance the cause of human freedom, what then?"

"Well, in spite of the ridiculous appearance of the picture on his arm,
I’d say he ought to be proud to keep it there.  I would.  I think I’d be
proud to show it.  It would be something to show and tell about
to--to--my great-great-grandchildren when I got old, you see," Irving
finished with a really illuminating smile.

"I think I’ve quizzed you far enough on this subject," Col. Evans
announced at this point, throwing off the manner of vagueness that had
hitherto characterized a good deal of his conversation, and speaking
with unmistakable directness.  "I’m now going to ask you to consent to
have that cubist picture tattooed on your arm."

Irving looked in astonishment at the commanding officer of the regiment,
being scarcely able to believe his ears.  Surely the proposition was
nonsensical.  And, yet, this was no occasion for nonsense.  But the
boy’s wondering conjectures were interrupted by the officer, who was
adding to his last announcement.

"After the art work on your arm is finished," he said, "I’m going to
send you into Germany to find out some things we want to know."

"Yes?" Irving responded, with a rising inflection that carried with it a
suggestion of an interrogation.

"Yes," the officer continued; "I want you to take the place of the spy
whose tattooed arm had to be amputated."



                             *CHAPTER XVII*

                          *PARACHUTE PRACTICE*


Private Ellis looked hard into vacancy and thought just as hard for half
a minute; then he said:

"I get you, I think, Col. Evans, all except one point; and that, I
suppose, would come to me all right if I knew the contents of that
tattooed message."

"No, you wouldn’t," the colonel returned quickly.  "It wouldn’t do you a
bit of good."

"I’d know whether it’s important," Irving insisted.

"I can tell you that much," was the officer’s reassurance; "and then
you’re no better off. It’s of vast importance and would be of
incalculable value to our enemies if it fell into their hands."

"Then there’s only one explanation of your proposition," Irving
concluded.  "You will change the dots and dashes so that they will
convey information different from that originally intended."

"Good!" exclaimed the colonel.  "You’ll  do all right.  Are you willing
to undertake it?"

"I am," said Irving.

"Very well.  So far so good.  Now I’m going to test your nerve some
more.  Look out, for this is going to be a corker.  If you drop, you’ll
drop hard."

"I’m waiting," said the boy, with a kind of gritty grin.

"All right.  Would you dare make a descent with a parachute from an
altitude of several thousand feet?"

This was a tester, indeed.  Irving knew it the instant the last word of
the question left the colonel’s lips, but he did not flinch.

"Of course, I ought to have some preparation for such a feat," he
replied.  "I’ve never been up in an aeroplane."

"To be sure," Col. Evans agreed, with a vigorous nod.  "You’ll  get all
the schooling necessary. You’ll start out on the venture well equipped.
I’m going to send you to the aviation field near brigade headquarters,
and there you’ll learn to do your umbrella stunt.  Then you’ll come back
here and go through some more preliminaries.  The work of a spy, you
see, is just as much of a science as the handling of an army."

That ended the interview, and an hour or two later Irving started in an
automobile for the aviation field with a note from the colonel to the
flying commander.  There he was placed under an expert, and his
schooling in the art of dropping from lofty heights began.

Private Ellis did not clearly understand just how all this program was
to be carried out, but he had no doubt that Col. Evans had a complete
plan in mind and that the missing details would fit in well with what
had already been revealed to him.  So he went about his new work
confident that the outlook for success was good.

His training at the aviation field lasted a week.  During that time he
made half a dozen descents by parachute from various altitudes. The last
descent was from a height of 3,000 feet.  By this time the experience
had become almost as commonplace a thriller as coasting on a long
toboggan slide or "dipping the dips" at an up-to-date amusement park.
He had never dreamed that descending with a parachute could become so
matter-of-course a performance.

"I understand now how circus people can look on their death-defying
stunts without being awe-struck with their own daring," he mused after
he had floated down the fourth time at the rate of three-and-a-half feet
a second.  "Just think of it: a good swift sprinter would run a hundred
yards in about one-third the time that I take to fall thirty-five feet.
This is quite a revelation of physical science to me."

Irving was by nature a very observing youth. His instructor was
something more than a mere bird-man, for he had studied aviation as a
mathematical, as well as a physical, science. He showed the boy how to
figure out the rate of falling after being given the diameter of a
standard-made parachute and the weight of the aeronaut.

The parachute with which the young spy-student got his experience as a
diver from the sky was one of several supplied for experimental work
following reports that the enemy had perfected a similar device which
had proved successful as a life saver in air battles. But the
experiments of Allied aviators had not proved sufficiently successful to
warrant providing all air fighters with "high-dive umbrellas."  Descents
could be made with reasonable assurance of safety from aeroplanes flying
in good order, but if a pilot lost control of his machine the chances
were small that he or his companion gunner or bomb dropper would be able
to leap free from the struts and other framework with a parachute.

Irving would have liked to learn to pilot an aeroplane, but there was
not time enough for him to take up that study.  Indeed, before half the
week had elapsed he decided he could like no occupation better than that
of an aviator. He saw several expeditions start out to meet the enemy at
the front, and also saw them return, followed by the announcement on two
occasions that several of the British and Canadian flyers who had gone
out to meet the foe, full of confidence in their own prowess, would
return no more.  They had been either shot down or forced to descend
within the enemy’s lines.

Nothing was said at the aviation field regarding the reason for the
training that was being given to Private Ellis.  No questions were asked
and Irving did not volunteer any information.  At last the instructor
stated to the boy that he had completed his course and had learned his
lessons well, and that he was now at liberty to seek further directions
from the colonel.  He accordingly returned to the latter’s dugout.

Col. Evans asked him a number of questions, and then said:

"I want you to return to the field hospital and get some more
information from that spy, Tourtelle, or Hessenburg.  And in getting
your information, remember that you are to impersonate him on the other
side of the Rhine.  Now, this is going to be a test of your
spy-intelligence. Let’s see how well equipped you can return here after
your next interview with him.  Do you get me, or must I give you some
tips?"

"Don’t give me any tips, but let me show you what I can do," Irving
replied.  "If I fall down on this mission, you’ll know I’m not the
fellow for the job."

"All right," said the colonel.  "I’ve telephoned for Lieut. Osborne to
come here and accompany you again.  But this time, remember, you are to
do the quizzing, and the lieutenant is to report to me how efficiently
you went at it."

"I’m glad to be put on my own responsibility, sir, before I drop down
from the clouds into the midst of the enemy," the boy said grimly.



                            *CHAPTER XVIII*

                         *STUDYING TO BE A SPY*


An hour later Lieut. Osborne arrived at the colonel’s headquarters, and
he and Private Ellis started at once for the field hospital. There they
found Hessenburg, alias Tourtelle, much improved physically, but not a
little nervous regarding his own rather precarious prospects.  Instead
of being an officer helping to direct, in his small way, the battle
against the autocratic presumption of a great military power, he was
something more than an ordinary prisoner of war--a trapped spy, who had
conspired with others for the downfall of his own country.  With
seemingly genuine repentance, he exhibited much eagerness to give all
the information possible in order to induce leniency for himself from a
court-martial.

"I am instructed by Col. Evans to make this statement to you as coming
from him," Irving announced early in the interview: "He desires all the
information you can give him regarding your program that was to have
been followed if you had succeeded in making your way beyond the enemy
lines.  He has certain plans in view, the success of which will depend
largely on the correctness of your information.  If you should misinform
him, through us, those plans undoubtedly would fail.  Moreover, if any
enemy spy should get a tip through you or anybody else, that the
information supplied by you was being used to attain important ends,
those ends probably would never be reached.

"What we must have from you, therefore, is the truth, and the whole
truth.  To insure his receiving this, Col. Evans has asked me to inform
you that the only thing that can save you is the success of his plan.
If the plan fails, he will assume that the blame is yours and you will
be shot."

Irving paused a moment, and Hessenburg seized the opportunity offered to
interpose thus:

"You mean to say that he will have me shot for something for which I’m
not the least responsible?"

"Not at all," Irving replied.  "You will be shot for being a spy, which
has already been proved against you.  But if you’re careful to tell us
the truth, even though I don’t cover some of it with my questions, your
chances to escape that penalty are good."

"I understand," said the spy.  "Fire away. I’ll do the best I can."

The three were seated about a small table in a small room selected for
the purpose.  The door was closed.  Irving drew a note-book and pencil
from his pockets and prepared to jot down reminders of the information
received by him.

"First," he said, "we’ll all talk in low tones to prevent, if possible,
anybody’s overhearing us.  Now, begin by telling me what was the extent
of your acquaintance with spies in Canada and their system of
operations."

"My acquaintance with those people and their affairs was very limited,"
Hessenburg replied.  "I can’t even say that my uncle was, or is, a spy,
although it would be natural to suspect him.  Government agents watched
him pretty closely, and it’s possible that he didn’t actually do
anything that would call for his arrest.  But I’m pretty certain he knew
a good deal more than I did.  I think he knew all about my affair and
approved of it.  To tell the truth, I believe that it was through him
that the spy organization learned that my sympathies were treasonable
and decided to approach me on the subject of making a spy agent out of
me.

"It was the man with whiskers at the hospital who first broached the
subject to me: You seem to have a pretty complete report of that affair.
That man was a physician, and I got acquainted with him while making
business trips to the hospital for my uncle.  He learned that I was an
art student, and one thing led to another, until he knew I wanted
England and France to be defeated and was willing to do anything I could
secretly to bring that about. After that it didn’t take him long to
persuade me to be the bearer of a tattooed message on my arm into
Germany.  The other fellow who helped tattoo the message was the artist,
an architectural draftsman with considerable skill at free-hand
drawing."

"What are their names?" asked Irving.

"Dr. Adolph Marks and Jacob L. Voltz."

"What is your uncle’s name?"

"Ferdinand J. Hessenburg."

"What does the ’J’ stand for?"

"Johan."

Irving put a long string of questions of this kind, and thus obtained
much detailed information regarding the spy and his family connections
and home surroundings, also concerning the art school he attended in
Toronto.  He made copious notes of the answers, so that the process of
questioning the confessed enemy agent was necessarily much slower than
it otherwise would have been.

"I’m up against one difficulty that I’d like to clear away," the
inquisitor mused in the course of his examination of the wounded "second
looie"; "and that is the fact that this fellow is an artist and I am
not.  Suppose when I get over in Berlin, some wise fellow, full of
information from Canada, should ask me to paint a cubist picture.  What
would I do?  I must find out if there’s any danger of my being asked to
do anything of that sort to test my identity."

He continued his questioning thus:

"Did those two men who tattooed that picture on your arm know that you
were an art student?"

"Oh, sure," Hessenburg replied.  "That’s how they happened to suggest
the art method of conveying the message."

"And how about your credentials, your identification when you got into
Germany?  How were the German officials to know who you were, that you
weren’t a fake?"

"By the message itself."

"You think your instructors believed that was enough?"

"Yes, they said so.  We had that question up for discussion.  I raised
it myself."

"How did you raise it?"

"I wanted them to get word to Berlin by another route to look out for
me, but they said that would involve a danger that they were trying to
avoid by the tattoo method.  If they tried to get a wireless code
message to Berlin, it might be intercepted and deciphered, and then a
thorough search would be made for me."

Irving was much relieved by this statement. There was no reason to
suspect Hessenburg of trying to deceive him in this regard.  The spy
could have no grounds to suspect that his inquisitor was planning to
take his place and carry an altered copy of the cubist message to the
war lords of the enemy.

"I guess I’m safe enough in that regard," he told himself.  Then he
added aloud:

"You think they have no information regarding you in Berlin?"

"Yes--I don’t see why they should.  I was informed that the contents of
the message would be all the credential I’d need, that it would make me
so popular among the high-ups that I could have anything I asked for."

"But they wouldn’t tell you what was in the message?"

"I didn’t ask.  I knew better.  The plan we were working on was directly
opposed to my knowing the information I was to carry."

The quizzing of Hessenburg continued half an hour longer, and Irving and
the lieutenant started back for the colonel’s headquarters.

"Did I omit any questions I should have asked?" the spy-student inquired
after they had ridden a short distance.

"You did fine," Lieut. Osborne replied.  "I couldn’t think of another
question that I would have asked."



                             *CHAPTER XIX*

                          *LAST PREPARATIONS*


The next move in Irving’s program of preparation for spy work in Germany
had to do with the tattooing of an altered copy of the cubist art
message on his arm.  The alterations were made by the cryptologist who
had deciphered the original message.  He made the changes after
consulting with intelligence officials, who prepared a system of dots
and dashes that ostensibly conveyed valuable information.  This
"information," however, was not only misleading, but it was of such
character that the deception could hardly be discovered before the lapse
of months and possibly a year or more.

By the time the spy-student had "completed his course of study" the
material, instruments, and artist were ready for the pictorial
operation.  The instruments had been supplied by a surgeon, the artist
had been discovered after a search by telephone communication with the
various official headquarters of the regiment, and the material, some
pure aniline dye, had been found in a moving laboratory, or automobile
chemical outfit, maintained for surgical, sanitation, pure food, and
pure water purposes for the army.

The artist, aided by a surgeon, and the dye and some sharp-pointed
needles, did the work. It was a long and tedious task, and many rests
were required for the users of the dye-dipped needles in order to keep
their nerves steady and their judgment sure in the delicate workmanship.
After it was finished, the boy compared it with the salt-preserved
original, and decided that the result could hardly have been more
satisfactory for the desired purpose.

Then Irving had another session with Col. Evans, who gave him his final
instructions.

"I haven’t given you much of an idea yet what we want you to find out
for us at Berlin, or wherever you can get the information," said the
commander of the regiment.  "We know, of course, that there is an
extensive enemy spy organization in both Canada and the United States,
and while we are able to get a few of those fellows now and then, still
they’re pretty smart as a rule, and we feel that we have only scratched
the surface.  We want their names, or the name of every leader of
consequence among them.  That’s what we’re sending you into Germany for.
You must realize, therefore, that the mission on which you are being
sent is one of no small consequence.  The highest officers in the army
have been acquainted with the plan and not only concurred in it, but
offered suggestions for its improvement and perfection.

"You have learned from Hessenburg what you are to do when you land on
German soil. You will probably be taken to Berlin or some important
German military point, and there your message will be read.  You will be
a hero in the minds of the highest commanders and will undoubtedly be
granted any favor you ask. My suggestion is that you ask to be assigned
for study to qualify you for the most confidential and important work in
the enemy secret service.  Tell them you wish to return to America as a
leader in the work and call their attention to the fact that, as you
have become pretty thoroughly Americanized, or Canadianized, and lost
most of the foreign appearance and accent of your father, you can pass
successfully as a loyal citizen of the dominion.  Then work your way
into the confidence of those who are directing the spy system of our
enemies and get at their records.  Get the names of all the leaders you
can find.  You may be able to do this openly, for your own information
when you return to take up more important work in Canada and the United
States.  Give special attention to the spy activities in the United
States, for we want to show that the pro-German agents in that country
are violating its policy of neutrality.

"Now, let me tell you frankly why we have selected you for this work in
spite of your youth.  Any man,--I won’t call you a boy, for from now on
you must be a man in every sense of the word,--any man who can put
together the twos and twos you summed up after your experience with
Hessenburg, or Tourtelle, and after reading your cousin’s letter, is a
natural-born investigator.  The average person would have been confused
by that evidence; he would not have had the nerve to form the
conclusions you formed.  I’m not saying this to flatter you. If you feel
in the least flattered, you had better say so at once, and give up the
whole scheme, for there is great danger of your failing and being shot.
Let me tell you why:

"The man who has one second’s time to entertain a conceited or
self-conscious thought, devotes just that much time to the undermining
of his own strength.  Get me?"

"Absolutely," Irving replied.  "I’ve told myself that many times,
although not in those words."

"Now," continued the colonel, "I believe you told me that you had
studied German at school?"

"Yes, I had one year of it."

"And Hessenburg said he knew only a little of the language?"

"Yes."

"Does he know any Austrian?"

"No.  His uncle and his father, although Austrians by birth, lived
mostly in Germany until they emigrated."

"Good.  You will not be under suspicion because of your ignorance of the
German language.  Still, it would be well for you to be able to make
yourself understood and to understand others from the moment you get
into that country.  So I’m going to put you under an instructor for a
few days."

In accord with this announcement, Private Ellis talked nothing but
German for a week with an orderly of German parentage who had enlisted
with the Canadian army to help "get the kaiser."  By the end of that
time he felt as if he could hold his own, conversationally, at anything
from a kaffee klatsch to a Berliner royal turnverein, and announced that
he was ready to make his "high dive" into the land of the enemy.



                              *CHAPTER XX*

                         *"SECOND LOOIE ELLIS"*


Meanwhile activities at the front had been progressing in a decisive
manner, although familiarity with the progress and its significance was
restricted to an exclusive class, consisting of certain officers and an
army of industrious workers, who might be classed as the moles of modern
warfare.

The latter were the engineers and workmen whose occupation at times was
a good deal like that of a miner.  It had been their duty to tunnel,
tunnel, tunnel, until you’d think the whole of the country in this
vicinity must be a system of underground passages that would almost
rival the catacombs of Rome.

This tunneling, or sapping, was one of the most important forms of
strategy in the war. Undoubtedly in future years, remnants of many of
these underground passages, preserved for their value as historical
curiosities, will be inspected by thousands of tourists visiting the
scenes of the world’s greatest conflict.

Vimy Ridge, near the end of the historic fight at that long elevation of
earth, was a veritable human anthill.  The work of opposing armies in
their efforts to undermine each other is an exceedingly interesting, if
terrible, operation, and Vimy Ridge furnished an excellent illustration
of this.

Early in the fight for possession of the hill the tunneling began.  At
the beginning of this narrative, when Private Irving Ellis and "Second
Looie Tourtelle" were scouting in No Man’s Land, this boring of the
elongated mole on the earth’s surface was as much of a fencing contest
as a sword battle between two seventeenth century Frenchmen.  The
Germans held the hill, had taken possession of it and intrenched
themselves on the eastern slope as one of the strongholds of their
advanced positions in France.  The Canadians and the British in
attempting to dislodge the invaders, found themselves at a considerable
disadvantage.  There seemed to be only one way to overcome this
difficulty without a great slaughtering of the forces of the Allies.
This was by boring under the hill, mining it with trinitrotoluol,
touching off the explosive with electric sparks and blowing the
fortified mound into Kingdom Come.

Who first started the undermining process may never be known, unless
both kept records of dates and doings along this line.  It is probable,
however, that it was begun by the Canadians, for the opposing army had
not as great incentive for haste as had the Allies.  Moreover, they did
not have to go back so far to start their tunnels, and their
subterranean operations were more of defensive than offensive character.

Statements from authoritative sources since the close of the war
indicate that this tunneling contest was somewhat of a "diving" nature.
It was a contest of depth as well as progress. The Allied engineers
began operations at a certain level and went forward.  As they advanced
they listened.  It was like an American Indian putting his ear to the
ground to listen for the approach of distant enemy horsemen, or a
physician examining the chest of a patient with a stethoscope for
"unfriendly" sounds in the heart and lungs.  The engineers carried a
sort of subterranean stethoscope to detect the approach of enemy
tunnelers.  The instant they heard sounds of Prussian engineers boring
their way to meet the sappers of the Allies, they stopped operations and
went back to a new starting point and began over again, this time on a
lower level.  This process was repeated many times, the Prussians ever
planning to get near enough to the Canadian sappers to enable them to
stop their subterranean operations with high explosives, and the Allied
tunnelers purposing to plant enough trinitrotoluol under Vimy Ridge to
blow it sky-high.

Meanwhile, Private Irving Ellis, in preparation for the greatest event
of his young career, was oblivious to all these activities, which were
destined to culminate in one of the biggest sensations of the war.  He
knew in a vague way that something was going on under the ground at the
front.  He had heard more or less reliable trench gossip to this effect
and had enough real information to assure him that there was something
behind it.  Moreover, it was reasonable, to one of modern warfare
training, to suspect very extensive sapping activities in positions of
this kind.  However, he would have been greatly astonished if an
intimation had come to him of how his own preparations for a plunge from
the skies were converging in point of time with the preparations of the
Canadians for blowing up Vimy Ridge.

At last the occasion arrived for the carefully planned departure by
night of the "boche spy" with his tattooed message camouflaged in a
"spasm of cubist art," as it was characterized by the architectural
draftsman who helped copy it on Irving’s left forearm.  The latter sat
in the rear seat of the aeroplane from which he had taken his lessons in
dropping from the sky and which was specially fitted up with an
elaborate parachute mechanism of the latest and most approved
development.

Apparently it was an important occasion in aircraft activities aside
from Irving’s scheduled stunt, for a large squadron of machines was
preparing for flight at the same time. Probably a big raid was about to
be made on the boche lines or some important ammunition or supply
station of the enemy, the boy reasoned.  But no information was
volunteered to him on this subject and he asked none, for it had nothing
to do with his affair.  He was merely to watch for his opportunity, pick
his own time for taking "French leave," signal the pilot by an agreed
touch on the shoulder, "put up his umbrella," and depart.

Irving had more than one good cause to feel elated at the manner in
which circumstances had shaped themselves for an all-around success of
his venture up to the present time.  And not the least of these was the
presentation to him, a few hours before his flight over the boche lines,
of a second lieutenant’s commission. Accompanying this was a note from
Col. Evans wishing him the "best of good fortune," and concluding thus:

"You will take your leave in the same rank that Hessenburg might have
taken his, namely, as a second lieutenant, if your shrewd interpretation
of developing events had not intervened.  If you have any reasonable
degree of success in this big venture of yours--and I’m sure you
will--I’ll guarantee you a first lieutenancy, and it will take only a
continued exhibition of the good sense and judgment that I have seen in
you up to date to bring you eventually a captain’s commission."

"It’s ’Second Looie Ellis’ now," Irving mused, as he took his seat in
the rear cockpit, strapped himself in, buckled about his waist, chest
and shoulders the parachute harness, and waited for the pilot to start
the motor that would send them away off on a wild night trip through the
air over a wilder scene of human slaughter and with one of the wildest
spy-plans in view that ever put thrills into the records of
international secret service agents.



                             *CHAPTER XXI*

                     *THE BLOWING UP OF VIMY RIDGE*


The aeroplane in which Lieut. Ellis made his "get-away" flight was
equipped with two machine guns, one for the pilot and one for the gunner
in the rear cockpit.  While practicing the art of parachute descent,
Irving also acquired some practical knowledge of the use of a machine
gun in the air, not with the idea of engaging an enemy plane in battle,
but in order that he might put up an appearance of being skilled in sky
fighting if it became advisable for him to make such pretense in order
to avert suspicion as to the motive of his "escape."  In other words, he
must be careful not to create a suspicion that there was collusion
between him and the pilot.

The parachute was folded compactly and deposited in a cylindrical
chamber behind the rear seat.  The mechanism by means of which this aero
life-preserver was put in operation may be described as follows:
Directly in front of the parachute container was a device which, when
put in action, effected the release of the giant "umbrella."  In front
of this device was a compressed-air reservoir.  Within easy reach of the
person occupying the rear seat was a ratchet-lever, which, when pulled,
threw the seat back to an angle of about forty-five degrees and jerked
open the compressed-air reservoir. The opening of this reservoir put the
release machinery into action, and this in turn threw out of the
containing chamber the compactly folded parachute, which automatically,
on being released, spread out and encompassed a great volume of
resisting atmosphere.  This powerful resistance, acting like a hurricane
in a tent, caused the occupant of the rear cockpit to be jerked along
the slanting back of his seat out into the vast expanse of empty space.

One great beauty of this device, when used for exhibition purpose, was
the fact that if it failed to work, the aviator retained his seat as
comfortably as if nothing had happened.  As a life-saver, of course,
this peculiarity had little or no value, inasmuch as a flyer in distress
would be lost if the parachute failed to pull him out of his seat.

Before each of his experiments, Irving had tested the "sky-umbrella"
with a dummy heavier than himself in order to be certain that there was
no danger of ripping the silken cloth.  A slight tear produced by the
strain on the parachute while he was being dragged from his seat might
become larger during the descent and cause him to fall with sufficient
shock to seriously injure or kill him.  This was really the only
considerable danger in the whole performance, but it was one that needed
to be guarded against very carefully.

Up flew the aeroplane with graceful sweep and joined the flock of two
score other "night birds" that were starting out on a raid.  The flight
to the front lines was quickly made and without incident of note.  In
fact, not an enemy plane arose in the air to oppose the attacking
squadron until the leading flyers were directly over No Man’s Land,
brilliantly illuminated with the fireworks of battle, and then something
happened that must have thrilled every aviator who witnessed it,
accustomed though he was almost daily to thrills that make the life of a
soldier on land or a Jackie of the navy seem like a tame existence in
comparison.

Suddenly there was an upheaval of earth almost directly below him,
followed by another and another in quick succession; then a regular
concert of upheavals in almost a straight line, and a very long line at
that, evidently, even to a pair of eyes looking down from a great height
in the air.  There was a magnitude in the scene that could not be
mistaken, although the ridge of land that was visible only a few moments
before looked like little more than an elongated anthill.

"My goodness!" Irving exclaimed, though the noise of the motor and the
propeller and the rush of air about him made it impossible for him to
hear himself.  "My goodness! they’ve actually blown up Vimy Ridge."

The machine swept on with the flock of mechanical war-birds, on over No
Man’s Land and past the enemy front lines.  Meanwhile Irving gazed down,
fascinated by the scene far, far below.  It was a scene of the most
diminutive dwarfs now.  The trenches looked like little more than pen
scratches on a dim-colored sheet, certainly not more than chalk marks,
of no particular color, on a "faded blackboard."  And the people--the
soldiers!  Yes, he could see them now, in large numbers.  They looked
like ants--no, let’s not understate it,--they looked like mice, small
mice, however; and they arose--on the Canadian side--out of the "chalk
marks" and dashed forward, a very short distance, it seemed, only a few
inches or feet at the most, but they chopped off their steps so short
that they appeared just to creep along. Irving was astonished at the
clearness of the night scene under the battle’s illumination.

But they made it finally, up the side of the hill, if indeed any hill
remained, and into the crater--Irving could see an altered condition
following the trinitrotoluol explosions, and concluded that there must
be a long, a very long, crater--miles of it--in the place of Vimy Ridge.
They were cheering like mad--Irving knew it, though he could not hear a
voice.  Yes, into the crater they went, a myriad of insects, or wee
animals,--they had possession of it--the enemy seemed not to offer any
resistance. They were whipped, thoroughly--they knew it.  Tons and tons
of high explosive planted under that ridge had blown it to the sky.

"No, it didn’t, either," Irving mused with a smile of "altitude
amusement."  "It was only a flash in the pan.  Not a pebble came half as
high as we are, and the sky is hundreds of miles--umph!  How much higher
is it?  My! if the world could only get up here and look at itself, I
wonder if things wouldn’t go a little differently.  No, I’m afraid not!
There’d always be somebody then trying to grab a bigger slice of the
moon than he’s entitled to.

"But what am I thinking about?  My head must be getting giddy.  That
won’t do a bit. I’m on very serious business.  The bombing planes are
hovering over the rear line trenches and dropping their flower-pots on
’em.  The anti-aircraft guns are getting busy, too.  There went one
right ahead of us.  They’re getting our range.  And here comes a fleet
of German planes to meet us.  Well, it won’t be safe to wait very long,
and it won’t be fair to my pilot. Just as soon as we get well beyond
that third trench there, I’ll take my plunge."

Irving set himself fixedly as if about to make a mighty leap or a
pistol-shot start in a foot race.  As a matter of fact, he was going to
do nothing of the kind.  Only a sort of passive effort was required of
him, and yet, his nerves had never been more tense.  He put his right
hand on the release lever and leaned forward, his left hand almost
touching the pilot, and looked down over the side of the car, then off
toward the approaching enemy squadron, then at the camouflaged positions
of the belching anti-aircraft guns, then here and there at the exploding
shells in the midst of the invading fleet, then back again at the ground
scene directly below.

Suddenly he leaned farther forward and slapped his hand smartly on the
pilot’s shoulder.  The latter nodded and turned the nose of the sky
machine downward.  This was Irving’s cue.  He leaned back and pulled the
release lever as far as it would go.



                             *CHAPTER XXII*

                       *BEHIND THE GERMAN LINES*


The "escape" was successful in every respect.  The boy rocked to and fro
all the way down, like a cork on a billowy sea. Down, down he went, the
scene continuing, in the glare of innumerable lights of the battle,
almost as bright as day.  Irving could see clearly where he was going,
although it was just beyond the zone of blazing activities. Between the
chosen landing place and the fighting terrain was a small belt of
timber, but the surroundings were lighted so brilliantly that the
general character and lay of the land could be determined even from a
height of several thousand feet.

Reinforcements were being rushed forward from points farther in the
rear.  Irving could see a wave of men advancing toward the lighted area.
It looked as if attempts were being made to retake the hill, or what was
left of it. Undoubtedly the enemy had lost heavily as a result of the
volcanic explosions and the need of reserves was pressing at the front.

Irving landed right in the midst of a company of advancing men.  The
lieutenant called a halt and remained long enough to make inquiry as to
the meaning of the parachute descent.  The boy replied in fairly good
German that he was a spy in the service of the emperor, and asked to be
directed to regimental, divisional or army headquarters.  The officer
assigned a sergeant to accompany the "arrival from the sky" and, after a
tramp of more than an hour over a highway on which they had to dodge
camions and autos and motorcycles and troops almost as watchfully as one
must dodge heavy traffic in a warehouse district in a large city, they
arrived at a small town where they found a brigadier general’s
headquarters in what had formerly been the chief municipal building of
the place.

Lieutenant Ellis was taken in charge here by an intelligence attache,
who, observing the Canadian uniform worn by the boy, questioned him as
to his identity and mission.  Irving was greatly pleased, as the
conversation progressed, to find that he understood almost everything
his inquisitor said and could answer intelligibly all the questions put
to him.  The conversation, freely translated into English, was as
follows:

"Who are you?"

"My name is Hessenburg.  I am a second lieutenant in the Canadian army.
But I am a Prussian sympathizer and the bearer of a message from agents
of Emperor William working secretly for him on the other side of the
Atlantic ocean."

"To whom is the message addressed?"

"I don’t know.  It is in cipher."

"Then how are you going to find the person to whom it should be
delivered?"

"I was informed that any high officer in the German army, from brigadier
general up, could tell me what to do the instant he heard my story."

"How did you get past the Canadian and German lines without being
captured; or did you surrender in battle?"

"No, although that was my plan at first.  I managed to get into the air
service temporarily and dropped with a parachute, from an aeroplane in
the midst of a big battle after we got over on this side."

The intelligence attache uttered a guttural something that sounded like
an oath.  From the tone and facial expression accompanying it, Irving
mentally translated the ejaculation into the much milder, "You don’t say
so!"

"That’s true," interposed the sergeant who accompanied Irving from the
scene of his descent.  "I saw him come down.  The lieutenant of my
company ordered me to bring him here."

"If all this is true, I suppose you’ll have to see the general," the
attache concluded.  "Just wait here and I’ll find out how long you’ll
have to wait.  You say your message is important?"

"I haven’t read it," the spy answered; "but I was informed that it was
very important.  I think you’d better help me get it to him as soon as
possible."

The attache left Irving and his companion seated on a long bench in the
orderly room and entered the adjutant’s office.  A few minutes later he
came out again and announced that the message was "on its way to the
general" and an order to "come in" would probably come out in a short
time.

The "short time" was more than two hours, however.  The brigadier
general had been napping.  Ordinarily his night repose might fittingly
have been called sleep, but the taking of Vimy Ridge rendered any such
peaceful term inappropriate.  It is probable, indeed, that there were
naps for few German officers of whatever rank, attached to that sector,
on the night of the great battle on the Canadian front. At any rate,
this officer was one of the few, and he awoke at break of day.  One of
the first matters brought to his attention was the arrival of a spy from
America with an important message.

"Bring him in," he ordered.

A minute later Irving was standing before a very burly and very fierce
looking individual in the uniform of a high commanding officer and
saluting him with an appearance of self-confidence, in spite of a most
provoking nervousness that unexpectedly seized him.



                            *CHAPTER XXIII*

                            *OFF FOR BERLIN*


Irving Ellis recovered his composure and his nervousness left him in
full control of his faculties as he answered the first question put to
him by the brigadier general.  It was a very simple question, thus:

"You are Second Lieutenant Hessenburg of the Canadian army?"

"I am."

"But a subject of Kaiser Wilhelm?"

"No, I am not," Irving replied.  "I’m a subject of Great Britain, for my
father was naturalized in Canada.  But my sympathies are over here and
when I am old enough, you’ll find my citizenship where it ought always
have been."

"There, I got a little truth into my bunch of lies," Irving interpolated
to himself.  "My citizenship will be where it always ought to have been,
and was, and is, and always will be, as long as I live--in the United
States.  I spoke with a double tongue and satisfied my own conscience at
the end.  Oh, I can see that I’m going to be some prevaricator before
this adventure is finished.  Really, it never occurred to me before, but
a spy must have the biggest imagination on earth to be successful.
However, it’s a good cause, that’s some consolation."

Before the boy finished this soliloquy, the brigadier general was asking
another question:

"And you were sent here by some of our agents in Canada?"

"Yes."

"With a message?"

"Yes."

"Let me see it."

Irving took off his coat and rolled up his left shirtsleeve, exposing to
view the "cubist art" tattooing recently pricked into the skin with
sharp pointed needles and aniline dye.  The brigadier general gazed at
it with deep interest two or three times; then looked into the spy’s
face and said:

"You’re all right.  You must go to Berlin at once."

He contemplated the hieroglyphic oddity a minute longer and then said:

"My curiosity is keen to know how you got over here."

"I flew over," Irving replied.

"How could you manage that?  Were you in the air service?"

"Yes, during the last few weeks.  I was out with a pilot last night and
slipped away with a parachute in the heat of the battle."

It was the brigadier general’s turn now to utter something of the
explosive character of an oath.  As Irving’s schooling and recent drill
in the Teutonic tongue did not comprehend such ultra-rhetorical figures
of speech, he did not get the full significance of the expletive.

But it was evident that the officer’s outburst was anything but an
expression of anger. Admiration popped into his eyes and spoke out of
them in "violent harmony" with his oath. But this overflowing
endorsement of the spy’s activities was suddenly interrupted by a change
of manner that caused Irving a little uneasiness as a new thought took
possession of the burly military man’s mind.

"What do you suppose they think about you now over in the Canadian
lines?  They’re onto you now, aren’t they?  If we want you to return on
another mission over there, you’ve spoiled the game by your manner of
escape, haven’t you?  How could you explain it if they put you on the
grill?"

"That’ll be very easy," Irving replied.  "I waited for the right
conditions.  We got into a fight with a couple of German planes and it
was looking pretty bad for us.  Then a shell from an anti-aircraft gun
exploded so near to us that it seemed impossible for us to have escaped
serious damage.  Well, two seconds later I saw the pilot was having
trouble with his engine; so I concluded it was time for me to take my
departure."

The look of gleeful admiration returned to the officer’s face.

"You handled it well, very well," he said, with a disagreeable, gloating
laugh.

Irving’s sentiments, however, were of much different nature.  He was
thoroughly disgusted with his own "string of falsehoods," as he
characterized the stories he had told to the intelligence attache and
the brigadier general.

"I know very well that a spy is a personified fib, pure and simple," he
told himself with a reflective compression of his lips.  "I don’t think
it’s any worse than that, and I don’t think the stories I told were any
worse than fibs.  A spy is just a misrepresentation walking around on
two feet.  If he doesn’t tell a single fib, it’s his business to make
the enemy think he’s something he isn’t.  If he does this for a bad
cause, he’s a bad man; if he does it for a worthy cause, he’s a good
man, not because he fibs, but because of the cause he misrepresents. So
long as he doesn’t misrepresent the cause, he ought to be all right.
Still, the world will admire him more if he’s smart enough to get what
he wants without telling any downright li--fibs like the ones I told.
I’m going to see if I can’t get along hereafter without fibbing."

Irving worked this reasoning out in his mind as the conversation with
the officer proceeded. He was much relieved also on finding that he was
able to answer all succeeding questions without resorting to any gross
misstatements of facts.  At last the brigadier general closed the
interview by saying:

"I’ll excuse you for the time being. Meanwhile I’ll communicate with my
superior officers and you’ll wait under orders of the adjutant for
instructions from me."

Irving returned to the orderlies’ room.  He had not eaten breakfast and
informed an officer of the hungry condition of his stomach.  This
resulted in his being turned over to an orderly who conducted him to the
officers’ mess, where he was served with a very good meal.

"I guess I’m in right," he mused.  "They give me the best feed and show
me considerable attention.  The auspices are good.  Hope I can keep
things coming my way, and I’ll get what I’m after."

About an hour after breakfast, the adjutant summoned Irving into his
office and spoke to him, thus:

"We have just received orders to send you to Berlin.  Are you ready to
go?"

"I haven’t any luggage to pack," the spy answered.

"You will be supplied with what you need," the adjutant continued.  "You
will also be accompanied by a young lieutenant who is recovering from
wounds received at the front and who has been granted home leave for a
month or two.  He lives in Berlin.  He will be here soon and go with you
to the train."

An hour later Irving was on a troop train, speeding away to the
northeast, away from the still thundering battle front and toward the
objective city of his secret-service aims, hopes, plans and patriotic
ambition.



                             *CHAPTER XXIV*

                              *IN BERLIN*


Berlin!

The name was well worth the exclamation. If Irving did not utter it
aloud, he thought it in the "tone of voice" in which it appears here.

He had ridden more than half of the preceding day, all night and well
into another day with a companion in whom he was able to find little of
sympathetic interest.  The fellow, an infantry lieutenant, about 30
years old, was a cold-eyed, emotionless individual and about as cruelly
boastful Prussian as one would care to meet.  There was no fate too
frightful for an English soldier in his opinion, and all other Allies
fighting on the side of the British ought to be reduced to vassalage and
forced to pay tribute to the House of Hohenzollern.

Irving tried for a while to engage in intelligent conversation with him,
but at last found this impossible and decided to encourage him along the
line of least resistance with the view of obtaining as much information
from him as his prejudiced mind was capable of giving. By discounting
every thing uttered with a burst of passion or with sneer of contempt or
tone of bravado and by watching for inadvertent admissions, Irving
gleaned enough to convince him that the central allies were not nearly
as confident of winning the war as they wished the outside world to
believe.

Lieutenant Ellis was a good enough spy not to confine his observations
to the one supreme purpose of obtaining a list of enemy agents in Canada
and the United States.  He saw at once, after landing with his parachute
in the boche lines, that he could be of great service to the cause for
which the Allies were fighting by gathering a fund of information
regarding the man power, supplies, ammunition and the general attitude
of the people in the kaiser’s country.  By the time he reached Berlin,
he felt considerably compensated for the uncongeniality of his traveling
companion during the trip.

They took a horse-cab--there were no automobile taxis in evidence--and
were driven at a very sleepy gait to a high-class hotel in
Friederichstrasse.  The horse behind which they rode looked as if he
might have had a full meal of oats and corn some time before the war.
There was little in the scenes through which they passed that impressed
Irving as bearing any indications of the ravages of war, except perhaps
the scarcity of automobiles and the lack of that spick-and-span
condition for which the streets of Berlin had long been famous.  The boy
spy was unable to discover any quality of excellence at all superior to
that of Buffalo, N.Y., in general appearance.

The hotel he found well furnished, decorated and supplied with rugs.
The rooms taken by Irving and his companion were all that a
"particular," if not fastidious, guest would demand. True, a girl
operated the elevator, but the young spy had learned, through letters
from his cousin, that Canadian girls went much farther than this in
their patriotic efforts, sharing not a little in the heavy labors of
munition shops and the general industries.

Irving’s companion, whose name was Fritz Vollmer, spoke a few words to
the clerk in an undertone, and the clerk nodded knowingly, as if to
indicate that everything was all right.

"An old friend o’ mine," Lieut. Vollmer remarked as they walked toward
the elevator. "I just told him you were all right in spite of your
uniform, that you’d been a spy over in the enemy’s country and hadn’t
had time to change your clothes since you got through the lines. You
won’t be bothered about room rent or any other expenses here.  Those
will be taken care of.  You’re not to change your uniform until after
you’ve had a session at intelligence headquarters."

"When will that be?" Irving inquired.

"This afternoon some time," was the answer. "I’ll go over and make
arrangements and then come back and go with you.  Meanwhile we’ll go out
and have some lunch."

In spite of Lieut. Vollmer’s supercilious ways and boastful language,
the young boche officer evinced a deep personal interest in his
companion.  But undoubtedly the reason for this was the daring and
romantic record that the young spy had behind him.  And this record
necessarily obtruded itself so conspicuously in Irving’s affairs right
now that the vainglorious Teuton could not subordinate it even when
picturing his own "high excellence."  Therefore Lieut. Vollmer’s
uncontrollable admiration for the venturesome youth whom he was
companioning was just a result of the over-awed condition of his own
mind.

They went out to a cafe in Friederichstrasse and ate a very modest
luncheon for which Vollmer paid fifteen marks.  Then they returned to
the hotel, and Irving remained in his room while Vollmer went to
Wilhelmstrasse to announce the arrival of "the spy" and make
arrangements for presenting him to the proper official.  The boy would
have been glad to go out and stroll through the streets of the capital
of the great war-making nation, but hesitated to do this because he
feared that his Canadian uniform might get him into needless difficulty.

An hour later Fritz returned and announced that he had found the proper
official to receive the spy’s message.  That official, he said, was
eager to meet the kaiser’s daring agent, and would he please return with
Lieut. Vollmer at once?

Irving assented, and together they left the hotel.  On the way the
Prussian officer thrilled the spy with patriotic fervor which he was
able to suppress only with great difficulty by informing him that the
United States had declared war against Germany a few days before.

"America will bitterly rue the day she took that action," Lieut. Vollmer
declared vengefully.



                             *CHAPTER XXV*

                    *THE READING OF THE CRYPTOGRAM*


It was a rather imposing structure with gray-stone front that Irving and
his companion entered in Wilhelmstrasse as the headquarters of the
globe-encircling spy system of the terrible German empire.  They walked
through the doorway and passed down the cavernous corridor, with its
innumerable ramifications of mystery, secrecy, penetration. All of these
ramifications were by no means physical and evident to the inquisitive
eyes of the visitor from across the sea.  Most of them, nearly all, in
fact, were pictured in the brain of Lieut. Ellis, who saw visions of
thousands of communicating branches reaching out into every part of the
civilized world.

The names of Bernstorf, Von Papen, Boy-Ed, and other former leading
agents of the kaiser in the United States flashed through his mind, and
he was curious to know what sort of men directed their activities from
central headquarters.  It was not long before his curiosity was rewarded
with visual evidence.

Lieut. Ellis and Lieut. Vollmer walked up a broad flight of flagstone
steps to the second floor and into the waiting room of a large suite of
offices.  There they were met by a girl of freshman high-school age, who
evidently served in the capacity of office boy.

"Have the office boys all been drafted for military service?" Irving
asked himself as his companion answered the girl’s questions.

They were directed to wait a few minutes, which they accordingly did,
and in a quarter of an hour were ushered into the presence of a
mild-eyed man whose least prepossessing characteristic was the
undependability of the mildness of his gaze.  Irving had not been long
in the room with him before he realized that the fellow’s "gentleness"
was a carefully cultivated "attribute," schemed, plotted, and devised to
qualify him for the shrewdest and most subtle of government secret
service.  He was a large man of good proportions, with a mustache that
stood out like a tooth-brush parted in the middle and a very fair and
well rounded face.  Although he might have passed for thirty-five years
of age, Irving subsequently learned that he was nearly ten years older.
He answered to the title of "the baron," addressed familiarly by Lieut.
Vollmer.

"Here he is," said the latter, who seemed to think this was all the
introduction needed.

Irving bowed, and "the baron" bowed. There was no shaking of hands
between them.

"Very well," said the intelligence official, indicating thereby that the
announcer’s duty was performed and that he might now retire. Vollmer did
as suggested by the manner of the receiving nobleman, and Irving and his
world-plotting host were alone.

"I have heard your story from Lieut. Vollmer," "the baron" began.  "He
said you had a message tattooed on your arm.  Let me see it."

Irving took off his coat, rolled up his shirt sleeve and exhibited for
inspection the "cubist art cryptogram" on his left forearm.  The
official gazed at it closely a minute or two; then said:

"Just wait a minute and I’ll have it read."

He lifted a telephone receiver to his ear and called out a local number
through the transmitter. Presently he was talking to the desired
department.

"Send Kiehler and Joe Weber in here," he said.

Three minutes later two middle-aged men entered.  Neither of them was of
striking appearance.  In fact, each had a rather stolid look, but it was
not long before Irving realized that there was some real mechanical, if
not imaginative, ability underneath their apparent stupidity.

"Take this young man into your office and read that cipher message on
his arm," ordered "the baron."

The two cryptogram readers bowed and one of them requested Irving to
follow.  They left the office and proceeded to another on the top floor
of the building.

It was a very light suite of rooms that Irving now found himself in.
One room particularly was supplied with the best of daylight
illumination through a skylight overhead.  It reminded Irving of an
architectural drafting room.  Half a dozen men were seated at as many
desks working as diligently over record and manuscript material before
them as so many college students "cramming" for a trigonometry or
chemistry exam.  Irving was conducted to an unoccupied desk in a remote
corner of the room and there he and his two companions sat down and the
consultation began.

The two cryptologists, however, had little to say.  They seemed to have
little interest in Irving save as to the cipher message he had brought
for them to translate.  They exhibited no surprise when the boy spy
rolled up his sleeve and disclosed the manner in which he had conveyed
his message.  They seemed to have become so accustomed to the discovery
of unusual things that nothing could astonish them.  Stolidity of manner
was a term that fitted them exactly, but certainly not unqualified
stolidity.  Irving felt almost as if their eyes burned right into his
arm.

They worked diligently for more than an hour over the boy’s bared arm,
frequently jotting down characters on tabs of paper before them.  At
last they finished and informed him that he might go.

"Go where?" Irving inquired.

Without answering, one of the men picked up the receiver of a telephone
and put it to his ear.  He gave a number to the operator and soon he was
talking to someone.  The waiting boy was sure that the person "at the
other end" was "the baron."

"Go back to the hotel and remain there for instructions," the man at the
’phone said presently, as he hung up the receiver.

Irving left the building, intending to take a cab to the hotel.  He had
scarcely reached the street, however, when it suddenly occurred to him
that he had no money with him.

"I’ll have to walk," he mused.  "Well, it isn’t very far and I can make
it easy before suppertime.  But I wonder if I’ll get through with this
uniform.  Well, I’ll use my nerve and see what happens."

He started out briskly, but observed as he went that he attracted
attention from a good many persons on the street, some of them soldiers.
Undoubtedly it was his nerve that got him through, but he could not
avoid several times turning his head with whatever nonchalance he could
command and stealing glances to the right and left and behind.  After
looking back two or three times, he became curious regarding the purpose
of a middle-aged man in civilian clothes whom he had observed in front
of the intelligence building as he came out of the main entrance.

"I wonder if that fellow is following me?" he said to himself, a little
nervously.

He walked a few squares farther, then stopped and looked into a tailor
show-window. He remained there several minutes, really interested in the
display and the prices.  With a kind of meditative look, he glanced down
the street, but could see nothing of his supposed shadower.  Then he
moved on again, turned a corner, walked half a square, and suddenly
faced about as if he had made a mistake in his direction and must
retrace his steps.

The middle-aged man in civilian clothes, who was not more than a hundred
feet away, turned almost as suddenly as the boy in Canadian khaki had
turned and entered a cafe that he seemed about to pass.

"I’m being followed," muttered the spy with a real chill of alarm.  "I
wonder what’s up. Have they found something wrong with that message?
Did those cryptogram readers discover that the message had been tampered
with?"



                             *CHAPTER XXVI*

                               *FOLLOWED*


Irving walked on as if nothing unusual had occurred to disturb his peace
of mind, and yet nothing more disquieting perhaps had ever moved the
quakings of fear within him.  If the man who had followed him could have
looked into the face of the young second lieutenant in khaki as the
latter passed the cafe, undoubtedly he would have seen there an
expression of countenance exceedingly interesting to him.

The day was now rapidly drawing to a close, and the damp April
atmosphere, chilly enough when the sun was at its zenith, was becoming
cold toward night.  Irving had no overcoat. He had worn only a
flying-coat and "cover all," aside from his ordinary fair-weather
garments, on the night of his ascent in an aeroplane and descent with a
parachute, but he was not particularly uncomfortable even under present
conditions.  Still, he felt that it would be much more pleasant within
four walls of a first class hotel, even though, as he suspected, the
management was burning coal under war emergency limitations.  So he
hurried on, and did not slacken his pace until he was back at the
hostelry.

About a square from the hotel he turned and looked down the street to
see if the middle-aged man in citizen’s clothes was still following him.
Yes, there he was, 200 feet back, sauntering with a long stride, which
rendered it possible for him to keep pace with the spy without an
appearance of haste.  As the latter entered the lobby and walked toward
the elevator, he said to himself:

"I’ll have to bluff it through.  I’m not going to pretend ignorance of
the fact that I’ve been followed.  But I mustn’t appear to be afraid of
being watched.  I must present the matter in a different light."

He knocked on the door of Vollmer’s room, but received no response.
Then he went to his own room to wait until his guide returned.

"I’ll have to wait for him before I can get any supper," he mused.  "I’m
in a peculiar situation, and don’t know exactly where I’m at. I think
I’ll have to have a plain talk with him tonight, much as I hate to rest
any of my fortunes on his questionable goodwill."

Lieut. Vollmer returned at about 6 o’clock and announced without any
formal greeting that they would go out to supper.  Irving picked up his
hat from the bed where he had thrown it on entering the room and
signified his readiness to go at once.

He was eager to begin conversation on the subject that interested him
most, but decided that he must await a favorable opportunity. His
companion had relapsed again into unsociable aloofness, and the walk of
three squares to the cafe where they had their luncheon was made without
the passing of a word between them.

The meal, too, was eaten almost as quietly. Irving made a few attempts
to draw his companion into conversation, hoping to lead up gradually to
the subject that was weighing rather heavily on his mind, but he failed
utterly.  At last just as they were about to leave the restaurant, the
young German lieutenant altered the aspect of affairs very much by
saying:

"I’m going to leave you to your own devices now, Hessenburg.  For
anything you want, get in touch with the baron; he’ll give instructions
for taking care of you.  They’ll probably give you an army uniform and
send you to the front to fight for the fatherland.  I’m on a leave of
absence and am going home to stay there until my leave expires."

Irving was stunned by this announcement from his uncongenial guide, who
was about to leave him unceremoniously in the lurch.  He did not know
how to reply and so made no attempt to do so aside from the utterance of
a few conventionalities, such as, "I hope you’ll enjoy your furlough,"
and "I thank you for the courtesies you have shown me."

Lieut. Vollmer did not return with Irving to the hotel, but gave him a
limp handshake out on the sidewalk, tossed a careless "aufwiedersehn" at
him and sauntered away.  The deserted spy went back to his room and
passed an uncomfortable night, tormented with so many doubts of
conflicting nature that he soon found himself in a very nervous
condition. After he had lain awake an hour or two trying to clear up the
obscurities in his mind, he decided that the course of thinking that he
had permitted to sway him would result disastrously even if there was no
reason for him to feel apprehensive of the outlook.

"I must throw this out of my mind and get a good night’s rest," he told
himself.  "If my nerves are all shot to pieces tomorrow, it’ll be folly
for me to attempt to get any satisfaction from the government officials.
They’ll see there’s something wrong, dead sure.  I’m proving myself a
mighty poor spy, and ought to have stayed in the Canadian trenches.  Of
course, I must expect to run into the most dangerous situations and
depend on my wits, bluff, and nerve--yes NERVE--to get me out.  What if
I am under suspicion?  If they have no goods on me, I’m safe enough so
long as I don’t convict myself by a guilty manner.  I must be mistaken
in my suspicion that they have found something wrong in that cubist art
message. They’d ’ave arrested me right away if they’d discovered the
change.  I’ll probably find everything all right tomorrow when I talk
with the baron.  Why, he may even decorate me with an iron cross.  Hope
it won’t be too heavy to carry around, that’s all.  Or maybe they need
all the iron to make shells with and will give me a leather cross--no,
they need that for shoes; or a rubber cross--no, they need that to make
rubber heels so they can pussy-foot out in No-Man’s-Land.  There!  I’ve
got my nerves in better shape; think I can go to sleep now, but I do
wonder why that middle-aged man in civilian clothes was following me.  I
wonder if he wore rubber heels."

That was the way Irving managed to induce sleep an hour or two before
midnight.  He adopted the method very systematically and determinedly,
and it worked.  But his slumber was not as undisturbed as he would have
had it, for he dreamed the most violent and mysterious of dreams
enlivened and peopled with aeroplanes and booming cannon and
minnenwerfers and parachutes and rubber-heeled secret service men who
followed him so softly, gently, stealthily that it seemed as if even the
thunder of battle was being toned down to zephyrs of inconsequential
ghostly conflict.



                            *CHAPTER XXVII*

                          *THE SPY’S DECISION*


Irving arose at daybreak next morning. In spite of his uneasy night, he
was much refreshed and felt confident that he had good command of his
nerves.  This was an important reassurance, and the young spy decided
that he would not let it get away from him.

"I’ll tie it down with a string of self-confidence and a knot of
determination," he told himself resolutely.

This way of putting the idea amused him a little and added to his
strength of purpose.

"First of all, how about breakfast?" he asked himself as he combed his
hair with a pocket comb which he carried with him and regarded the
puzzled wrinkling of his brow in the wash-room mirror.

"Well," he added, as he returned the comb to its case-and the case to
his pocket, "I guess I’ll have to go without breakfast.  Not a very
comfortable idea, either, but there seems to be no way out of it.  That
fellow Vollmer seemed to take a malicious delight in forgetting every
one of my comforts.  I wish I had something to do between now and 9 or
10 o’clock.  I don’t like to stroll around any more than is necessary in
this uniform."

But there seemed to be nothing for him to do except remain in his room
and wait for his wristwatch to tick several thousand seconds. It seemed,
too, as if all of these ticks hammered away right in the center of his
brain, always striking on the same pin-point spot and irritating his
nervous system almost beyond endurance.  At 8:30 o’clock he decided to
wait no longer and grabbed his hat and hastened from the hotel.  Without
making particular note of his surroundings, he set out at a brisk pace
for the building that contained the intelligence offices which he had
visited the day before.

Meanwhile he had forgotten all about the middle-aged man in civilian
clothes who had followed him through the streets.  It had not occurred
to him that the fellow might return to the hotel and continue his
espionage next day.  He had presumed that the man would make a report to
his superiors and the affair would be taken up again in some other
manner if, indeed, there should be any resumption at all of the
investigation.

"If I’m suspected of being a British spy, they’ll probably arrest me
when I report back at the baron’s office," he mused before leaving the
hotel.

After walking a square or two, Irving slowed his pace considerably,
realizing that it was still early and that he probably would have to
wait an hour or more for "the baron" after his arrival at the latter’s
office if he continued to walk as rapidly as he had started.  To "kill"
a little of the surplus time ahead of him, therefore, he stopped and
looked into several shop windows, the last being an "eat shop," which
teased his appetite not a little and caused him to feel that he could
chew a piece of army meat of the consistency of leather, or rubber, with
a good deal of relish at that moment.

The suggestion contained in the word rubber, for which there seemed to
be no appropriate reason in connection with a steaming breakfast,
revived his burlesque musings of the night before as he was drifting
away into a nervous slumber.  The semi-dream pictures in his mind of a
government sleuth on rubber heels brought him back to his startling
experience of the previous day so suddenly that he turned almost
involuntarily and gazed in the direction from which he had come.

If he had been a person of superstitious susceptibility wandering
through a country cemetery in the ghostly moonlight, he could not have
been more apprehensively thrilled by what he saw.  Half a square up the
street was the mysterious middle-aged man in civilian clothes who had
followed him from the intelligence building to the hotel.

"Gee!  I must hustle along and get to the baron’s office as soon as
possible," he decided as he quickened his steps.  "I must bluff this
thing through as I never bluffed before.  I must put the matter up to
him and find out what it means."

He hurried on more rapidly than the pace with which he started from the
hotel and did not slow up again until he reached the building in
Wilhelmstrasse for which he was headed.

He decided not to pretend to be ignorant of the fact that he was being
followed; indeed, he would have retraced his steps and accosted his
shadower if it had not seemed probable that such a course would have
been futile.  So, just as he was passing through the pillared entrance,
he turned and looked again up the street.

Yes, there he was, 150 feet away, sauntering along as if his greatest
object in life was the sniffing of the damp April ozone.  One look was
enough, and the shadowed spy entered the building and walked up the
flagstone stairway.

"I’m going to find out who that fellow is and what he’s up to if such a
thing is possible," he resolved.  "I’m going to put it up to the baron
right now and if I’m under suspicion I’ll soon find out and, I hope,
drive the suspicion away."

The young spy was now exhibiting real qualities necessary to make a
successful army secret service man.



                            *CHAPTER XXVIII*

                    *MAKING PROGRESS WITH THE BARON*


Irving entered "the baron’s" outer office and asked to see the big
intelligence official. To his surprise, that secret service dignitary
was in, and the caller was requested to wait a few minutes until he was
at leisure.

"Even the nobility are getting up early to help win the war," Irving
ruminated as he waited.  "Well, that shows a good trait of character--if
they only had a good cause to fight for. I wonder if they really think
they have.  I don’t see how they can."

Presently he was informed by an office girl that "the baron" would see
him, and he entered the latter’s private office.  The big, usually
mild-eyed official looked at him rather sharply, he thought, but he
resolved not to be overawed by his dominating personality.

"I am here," he began, rather abruptly, but with a bow of seeming
respect, "to find out what is to become of me.  I feel lost in this big
city. Lieut. Vollmer left me last night and informed me that if I wanted
anything, I should apply to you.  In the first place, I should like to
have some breakfast."

"The baron" seemed to be amused by this speech.  He did not, however,
indicate any particular concern over the hungry condition of the spy,
who had proved himself a daring and spectacular hero "in the service of
the fatherland."  But he smiled and answered in reassuring tones:

"No breakfast?  Ach himmel!  You shall have all you can eat, and by the
time you have finished your breakfast, you’ll realize how futile is the
English blockade."

"What kind of plans have you for me?" Irving asked, deeming it of no
advantage to enter into a discussion of conditions in Germany with a man
who undoubtedly would express only the most optimistic views.  "I’m
getting impatient, I can’t stand it to be idle. I want something to do."

"What do you want to do?" asked "the baron."

"Whatever I’m best fitted for.  I hoped I’d been successful enough in
the venture just completed to warrant your keeping me in something of
the same line."

"Do you want to go back to Canada?"

"I’d thought some of that, but it doesn’t seem practicable," Irving
replied.  "You see, I’m an enlisted soldier now and would be sent back
to the front if I returned.  But it seems to me that I might do some
good work in the United States."

"Yes, that’s true, you might," "the baron" admitted, meditatively.
"I’ll think that over."

"Meanwhile," Irving continued, "I’d like to get rid of this uniform.  It
causes me no end of inconvenience.  I’m constantly expecting to be
stopped on the street and questioned."

"Have you been stopped yet?"

"No, but I’ve been followed.  I’d have gone out and walked around some
last evening, but was followed all the way from here to the hotel. The
same man followed me from the hotel here this morning."

"The baron" appeared to be genuinely surprised at this statement.

"I don’t understand that," he said.  "What kind of looking man was it
that followed you?"

"He was middle-aged and dressed in civilian clothes."

"I’ll find out about this," "the baron" announced, pressing a button on
his desk.

An office messenger between 60 and 70 years old entered.

"Is Schoensiegel or Blau out there?" inquired "the baron."

"Blau is," replied the messenger.

"Send him in."

The messenger went out and a minute later an individual who might have
passed for an ordinary plain-clothes man of the police force entered.

"Blau," said the intelligence official, "this is Mr. Hessenburg, one of
our friends from America--Canada.  He was with the Canadian army at the
front and broke away to bring us some important information.  He’s been
here only a couple of days, but has been followed on the street by
someone, not under orders from this office.  I want you to go outside
and wait until he leaves, and then find out who it is that’s following
him and why he’s doing it.  Maybe some other department or the police
are laboring under a misapprehension as to our friend’s identity."

"Gans gewiss, Herr Hauptmann," said Blau, bowing himself out of the room
and indicating acceptance of his commission.  The conversation was
resumed between the spy and "the baron."

"I’ll provide you with a uniform and make you an attache of this office
for the present," the latter announced.  "Later I’ll take up your
suggestion for keeping you in this branch of the service and see what I
can do.  The skill and daring of your achievements thus far deserves
recognition, I can say that much at least."

Irving was reassured and encouraged by these words.  He was convinced
that "the baron" entertained no doubt regarding the genuineness of his
representations.

"Why not give me employment that will enable me to advance my efficiency
for further spy work?" the boy suggested.

"That’s a good idea," declared the intelligence official with a look of
professional animation in his eyes.  "I think I’ll do that.  As soon as
you get your uniform, report at this office and I’ll have you assigned
to your new duties.  Meanwhile I’ll put you on the payroll and give you
an order for a month’s salary in advance.  Your bill at the hotel has
been taken care of, but from now on you’ll pay that yourself.  Lieut.
Vollmer was guilty of an inexcusable oversight when he left you without
money for your meals and other incidentals.  I thought that was being
taken care of."

Irving thanked "the baron" for the interest shown in his welfare.  Then
he took up the subject on which he had expected to make his strongest
play with the intelligence official.

"I want to speak to you now," he said, "about a matter that perhaps I
should have brought to your attention sooner.  It’s about the message on
my arm.  I don’t know what’s in that message, but it may be that
Canadian officials have taken steps to render worthless the information
I brought to you.  Would it be possible for them to render it of no
value to you if they knew the contents of the message I brought?"

The keen interest that "the baron" manifested instantly in these
suggestions indicated to Irving that he could hardly have broached a
subject that would command closer attention.



                             *CHAPTER XXIX*

                     *ORDERS FOR MONEY AND CLOTHES*


"It would not only be possible for the Canadian officials to nullify the
value to us of the message you brought, but that is exactly what they
would do if they found out the contents of that message."

This is the reply "the baron" gave to the question put to him by Irving
at the close of the preceding chapter.  The spy put the question in
accord with a suggestion made by Col. Evans in the course of his
instructions behind the Canadian lines.  The intent of this move was to
obviate suspicion that he had delivered a fake message when discovery
was made that the information it contained did not answer its professed
purpose.

"Have you any reason to believe that they discovered the nature of the
information you brought in that message?" asked the high Prussian
official after he had answered the spy’s question.

"I’m afraid I have," the latter replied. "Why didn’t they arrest you?"

"Because they didn’t know where to find me. I was lost somewhere in the
Canadian army. They probably had no way of identifying me. However, they
must have made a search for me when they learned what had been going
on--maybe they’re searching yet."

"Do you know what they learned that a message of this kind was being
brought over here?"

"I know enough to feel that there is grave danger that they made such a
discovery."

"How did you find that out?"

"This way: One of the boys in the company to which I belonged received a
letter from his cousin in Canada that told almost the whole story, and I
read the letter.  That cousin told a long story about his going to
Toronto to visit some friends and getting sick while there.  He was
taken to a hospital--_our_ hospital, by the way--and while he was
convalescing, he strolled out in the hall and saw the tattooing
operation on my arm.  The two men who were doing the work saw him
standing there and gazing through the glass door, and they rushed out,
collared him, and dragged him into the laboratory. But he satisfied them
that he was merely a curious onlooker and they let him go.

"However, they had him watched, and after he left the hospital he was
followed everywhere he went.  He communicated with government officials
and a week or two later the hospital was raided.  This is all the
information the letter contained, but it is possible that they compelled
somebody to reveal the contents of the message that was tattooed on my
arm."

"Very possible," agreed "the baron," leaning forward with a look of hard
and harsh concern in his eyes.  "And where were you in the meantime?"

"On my way on a transport for England. The spy in the hospital, I
suppose, did not observe me very closely.  Fortunately I had my coat off
and perhaps he did not identify me as a soldier.  At any rate, I was not
interfered with, and I am here."

"No doubt of that," returned the intelligence official rather absently;
"and you brought the message.  Well, all we can do is remember the
circumstances you have just related and take them into consideration if
developments don’t prove satisfactory.  I’m glad you told me about this,
for it may prevent a lot of confusion.  It wouldn’t be well for you to
venture back into Canada with that picture on your arm.  You’d be picked
up as a deserter, and the intelligence officers wouldn’t be very slow
finding out that you were the fellow they’ve been hunting for ever since
the raid on that Toronto hospital. As a matter of fact, I doubt if you
can be of much use to us in any of the countries of our allied enemies
with that thing on your arm."

"I have an idea to remedy that," said Irving with a smile that suggested
something of a novelty in his mind.

"What is that?" asked "the baron."

"Peel this picture off and graft some new skin in its place."

The intelligence official laughed, but he was interested as well as
amused.

"That isn’t a bad idea at all," he said.  "On the whole I am inclined to
take you seriously. You seem to have a scientific turn of mind, and that
always appeals to an intelligent German. I’m going to put you to work
under the direction of a man who will give you a thorough tryout, and
we’ll find out what you’re good for. You seem to be ambitious and
intelligent and have a good record behind you.  Go ahead now and show us
what you’re worth."

This announcement and the accompanying instruction delighted the spy
beyond measure. If his recent experiences had not schooled him in the
very wise habit of self-restraint, his first joyful impulse might have
got him into trouble.

"Just wait a minute and I’ll fix you up with an order for some money and
some clothes," said "the baron" after a few moments of silence.

He picked up a pen and busied himself filling out a form and writing a
note on a letterhead of the department.  These he folded and placed hi
separate envelopes.  The envelopes he addressed and handed to the spy.

"There, that’s all today, I think," he said. "Whatever you need
hereafter will be taken care of by Mr. Herrmann.  Inquire outside and
you’ll be directed where to go to have this order cashed."

Irving thanked him and left the office.  Ten minutes later he was
outside the building with a comfortable roll of bank-bills in his
pocket. As he started up the street with directions in his mind for
reaching the quartermaster’s office, he saw Blau on the opposite
sidewalk and was reminded of the instruction given that intelligence
operative to shadow the young spy’s shadower.



                             *CHAPTER XXX*

                           *BEFORE BREAKFAST*


Irving dismissed from his mind for the time being the mystery concerning
the middle-aged man in civilian clothes who had followed him through the
streets on two occasions.  His fears regarding the incident were
dispelled, for he felt that Blau, the intelligence operative on the
opposite side of the street, would take care of that matter very
efficiently. Everything was coming his way now, and he in his mission
than he had felt at any other time walked alone; with greater confidence
of success since landing with his parachute.

It was a ten minute walk to the quartermaster’s headquarters.  At the
entrance of the building, his curiosity concerning the game of "shadow
chase shadow" which he presumed to be going on behind him was aroused by
a sudden reverting of his mind to the subject, and he turned and looked
down the street by which he had come.  There was Blau, half a square
away, but the "middle-aged man in civilian clothes" was not in sight.

"I wonder if he got onto the fact that somebody was directed to watch
him," Irving mused. "But that ought not to have stopped him.  He had
nothing to fear from an agent of another department if he was engaged in
legitimate government business."

The spy delivered his requisition for a soldier’s uniform and was given
in turn an order on the supply house and directions how to reach it.
Then he left the building and took a car for the place where he was to
get his suit.

Blau took the same car, but the "shadow" he had been ordered to "shadow"
was not there unless he had disguised himself so successfully that
Irving was unable to recognize him.  The operative appeared to be
somewhat puzzled, too, but he made no sign of recognition to the soldier
in enemy uniform, and the latter maintained a like pretense of
unacquaintance.

An hour later the spy was clad in a first lieutenant’s uniform and on
his way back to the hotel.  Blau kept within hailing distance of him,
but his shadowing seemed to be futile, for the "middle-aged man in
civilian clothes" had not appeared in any recognizable guise or
disguise.  Indeed, Irving was certain that nobody except the operative
had followed him since he came out of the quartermaster’s office and
started for the store-rooms.

The applicant for an army uniform was required to enlist for service in
the army before it could be supplied.  Irving was not surprised at this,
but he was very much surprised by the kind of uniform given him.  It
bore the insignia of a first lieutenant’s rank.

"That’s certainly generous on the baron’s part," he said to himself.  "I
don’t understand it.  I didn’t read his note to the quartermaster, nor
the quartermaster’s order.  Maybe they would have afforded some
explanation.  Maybe I shall have to earn my rank and meanwhile will go
about like an automobile for which a license has not been issued but
bears a tag ’license applied for.’  Maybe that’s my case here--first
lieutenant’s commission applied for.  It looks kind of irregular, but I
suppose ’the baron’ knows his business.  Anyway, mine is a special case
all around, however one looks at it."

When he filled out his enlistment papers, of course Irving signed the
name of Adolph Hessenburg, late of Toronto, Canada, and on the "history
sheet" that he had to fill out he entered data given him by the boy of
the original tattooed cubist-art message.  Then he was granted the use
of a room where he discarded his Canadian uniform and put on his new
Prussian military disguise.

He felt that he was disguised now as he at no time had hoped to be since
planning his spy expedition into the heart of the kaiser’s kingdom.  He
surely must have the full confidence of the Prussian officials with whom
he had come into contact, or he would not have been elevated to the
military rank and position of trust that now were virtually his.

Irving was particularly pleased with the ease he had experienced in
picking up the idioms of the German language.  He had an excellent
memory and scarcely a word or a phrase that was taught to him at school
or behind the Canadian lines, or that he had heard since landing with a
parachute on territory held by the Prussian armies, had failed to make a
lasting impression on his mind.  Moreover, he was very quick to put
ideas together and in that way get their associated significance; so
that he skillfully "figured out" the meaning of not a few words that he
had never heard before they were used in conversation with him by "the
baron" and other persons with whom he came in contact.  And he was
almost as quick and skillful in his use of those same words for the
expression of his own ideas.

After leaving the quartermaster’s supply depot, Irving visited a
haberdashery and bought several suits of underwear, shirts, collars, and
socks, and then returned to the hotel. As he entered his room and
deposited his bundles on the bed a funny thing happened.

He stopped short--true, he could not have gone much farther without
falling over the bed, but nevertheless there was a decided "shortness"
to his "stop."

"My goodness!" he exclaimed, clapping his hand to his appetite region.
"I haven’t had any breakfast yet."

Which being a sufficiently thrilling climax for the closing of a
chapter, we will carry the reader over in suspense to the next.



                             *CHAPTER XXXI*

                      *AT WORK IN THE SPY OFFICE*


Irving laughed and felt hungrier than ever. The humorous relaxation
afforded him great relief from the nervousness of his morning’s
activities, which had been associated enough with doubt and apprehension
to make a coward run and a brave man extremely cautious.

"Well, that’s a good one," the young pseudo-boche lieutenant continued
in soliloquy.  "Here it’s nearly 2 o’clock and I haven’t eaten my
breakfast, and meanwhile I’d forgotten all about it.  And I’m as hungry
as a bear.  I wonder if the British blockade has left enough food in the
kaiser’s kingdom, to fill up the vacuum inside of me.  I think I’ll go
and find out. That’ll be worth-while information to carry back to the
Canadian commanders."

So out he went to a restaurant two squares away, where he had small
difficulty in getting all he wanted to eat, the only qualification being
that he had to pay prices so out of proportion to his income that he
instinctively began to figure out the financial problem of how to make
his salary carry him through to the end of the month.

"I’m starting out too swell," he concluded after several minutes’
reckoning.  "I’ll have to eat at cheaper restaurants and get a cheaper
room.  That makes me think I don’t know how much my room at the hotel is
going to cost me; but it’s bound to be pretty steep.  Anyway, I don’t
care, so long as I can pull through on my salary.  I don’t want to carry
any of this money with me when I go back to the other side of No-Man’s
Land."

Irving did not ask how much the hotel was charging for his room.  He
merely announced that he would check out that evening after engaging
quarters in a comfortable rooming house in a semi-residence district
near the Tiergarten.  Economy was not the only motive that caused him to
make this move.  Being now in German uniform, he reasoned that he might
be able to throw off of his trail the "middle-aged man in civilian
clothes" who had been shadowing him, if he changed his living address
also. As a further precaution he made this change late in the evening.

Next morning he reported for duty at the office of "Mr. Herrmann" as he
had been instructed by "the baron" to do.  Mr. Herrmann proved to be in
charge of a suite of offices in the intelligence building in which were
employed more than a hundred persons, most of them men, varying in ages
from 20 to 70.  Irving, for want of detailed information regarding their
duties, classed them all as clerks, stenographers and typists at first
glance, and this in general was a very good classification, although
many of them performed special work that entitled them to ranking
positions of greater dignity. And he had not been employed there more
than two or three days when he learned that half of them held such
ranking positions together with salaries proportionate to the grades of
work they did.

"Can you operate a typewriter?" asked Mr. Herrmann after conducting the
new employe through one large and several smaller work-rooms under his
superintendence.

"With two fingers," Irving replied with a smile.

"Learned it at home, eh?  Well, you won’t need a lot of speed.  I
understand your education in German is not very far advanced."

"Not very far," the spy replied.

"Can you read the script?"

"Yes, I can work it out.  I know the letters, but they come to me rather
slowly."

"You’ll make it all right after a few days’ practice.  I’m going to set
you at work first copying some translated cipher messages."  (The boy’s
heart began to thump eagerly, but the thumping became a weaker reflex
pattering as the superintendent continued.)  "They don’t amount to much.
We get masses of indifferent material from numerous sources, but we keep
it all carefully cataloged, indexed, and cross-indexed several times.
Any little insignificant item of information may be worth a good deal to
us at any time.  That’s one secret of the great value of the German spy
system. Now I’ll leave you with this budget of communications and let
you work it out with your own intelligence.  That’s one way we have of
finding out what a man is worth."

Irving longed to ask him how he protected such an intricate system of
concentrated information from leaks that might be of value to the enemy,
but wisely refrained.

"I’ll find that out by keeping my eyes and ears open," he told himself.
"I mustn’t ask any questions except such as bear directly on my duties
and are calculated to promote my efficiency."

He sat down at the desk assigned to him and was soon diligently, eagerly
at work.  His eagerness, however, was a well-camouflaged secret.



                            *CHAPTER XXXII*

                       *A STARTLING RECOGNITION*


For two weeks Irving continued his work in the record offices of the
great German espionage system.  His experiences there during this time
were without special incident, except that they evolved before his mind
a continuous motion picture of scientific detail far more intricate,
comprehensive, and deep-reaching than he could ever have imagined.

There could be no doubt that "the baron," Mr. Herrmann, and the staff of
experts, clerks, stenographers, and typists looked upon the "parachute
hero" as a bona fide fatherland loyalist.  The story of his "camouflaged
escape" by parachute from an enemy aeroplane to deliver a cryptic-code
message that he carried all the way from America had circulated among
them, and the glee with which they commented on his skill and success
indicated the intense feeling with which they, one and all, regarded the
cause for which the Teutonic race was fighting--the supremacy of the
empire founded by Prince Bismarck.  Irving discovered also another
important human factor in this relation, namely, that the initiated
members of the great spy organization of the central powers could
discuss among themselves the secrets of their system without becoming in
the least gossipy; hence, the danger of their inadvertently dropping
hints of important state matters never intended for "outside ears" was
small indeed.

A more secretive group of employes it would be difficult to imagine.
Moreover, their secrets seemed to be grouped in sections and degrees.
And the most peculiar feature of the whole system, perhaps, was the fact
that few instructions were given, defining these sections and degrees.
Irving received none himself, and in all the time he was connected with
the bureau he learned of nobody else who had been told what, or what
not, to do or say in this regard.

"Here seems to be another instance of the requirement of instinctive
understanding," he told himself a good many times.  "They seem to give
me credit of being an extremely intelligent fellow.  Well, I hope I
exceed their estimate of me.  If I do, they may find it necessary co
revise their system somewhat."

The degrees of secrecy Irving learned in the course of a week or more
were of a graduated character.  For instance, he soon discovered that he
might talk about his own work to any and all other members of the force,
but all of them outside of his class would not discuss their work with
him.  After he was advanced to the next higher grade of work he found,
as he had already had reason to suspect, that there were two degrees of
the great spy system within the "circumscribed freedom" of his
intelligence. This "freedom" was circumscribed by a prohibition,
forbidding him to discuss any spy subject to anybody outside the office
except on special direction from superior authority.

Irving progressed rapidly in his work.  He exhibited such ready
comprehension of details and purposes that he was soon marked by the
entire office force as a "coming man" in the government secret service.
Undoubtedly his spectacular method of transit from the Canadian to the
German lines helped materially to boost along his growing reputation,
but it would also be unfair to put too much emphasis on this feat of
daring and skill.  Irving really deserved much credit for innate
ability.

In his efforts to create a general feeling of satisfaction and
confidence in order to ward off any suspicions which might arise
regarding his purpose and motives, the young spy did a good many things
that almost caused in him a rebellious boiling over of patriotic
sentiment.  He did much to perfect a filing system that had been
neglected because of illness of the man previously in charge, and
offered a number of suggestions for certain other efficiency
improvements which brought forth complimentary notice from
Superintendent Herrmann. But all the time, while doing these things,
Irving kept in mind the big purpose of his mission which outmeasured so
greatly in importance his services to the enemy that his feelings of
self-reproach for the aid he was incidentally giving the kaiser’s spy
machine were short-lived.

Evidently it was the purpose of Mr. Herrmann to advance his spy pupil as
rapidly as possible.  Undoubtedly he was under orders to do this from
"the baron."  Although the reason for this method of procedure had not
been stated in so many words, the understanding seemed to be clear
enough that it was the purpose of the department to send him back to
America equipped for very important work at an early date.

Three weeks after he entered the office he began to accumulate the
information for which he had been sent.  He then was given access to the
card-index system of the great world-spy organization.  It was like a
city-library catalog, with references to files of interminable data
buried away in metal boxes in a large vault.

In his work with this catalog and files he was associated with a man
whose countenance was strangely familiar to him from the first.  He
tried to assume that there was merely a resemblance in the face of this
man to that of some other man he had known on the Canadian front or at
home, but such assumption failed to satisfy him.  He could not drive
away the feeling that he had met this fellow somewhere since he dropped
from the sky with a parachute behind the German battle lines, but
although he studied over the matter for hours while busy with his work
he was unable by such efforts to solve the mystery.

The solution came during a period of relaxation, as the solution of many
mysteries come. On the third day since his last advancement in the
service, while making entries on certain catalog cards, there recurred
to him a mental picture of his experiences with the unidentified man who
had shadowed him through the streets while he was still in Canadian
uniform.  Two weeks before he had dismissed this incident from his mind,
being convinced that the man had given up his quest, whatever it was.

But the returned picture did not rest long peacefully in his mind.  It
was followed closely by a thrill that almost made him drop the card that
he held in his hand.  He looked quickly, almost involuntarily, at his
associate worker, who was bent over a task at his desk.

Irving knew at once that he was not mistaken. Before him was the
"middle-aged man in civilian clothes" who had shadowed him more than
three weeks before from the intelligence building to the hotel where he
was living and to other places in the city.



                            *CHAPTER XXXIII*

                          *A SURPRISING OFFER*


Emil Strauss was the name of Irving’s coworker in the card index room.
One could hardly say that he was either an agreeable or a disagreeable
fellow.  He had little to say.  It was generally understood that he was
very efficient in his work and ranked as one of the leading, if not the
leading, experts in the department.

Strauss was not a typical Teuton in appearance. Irving thought he looked
as much like an Irishman as a German, that he might have passed for
either or a Swede.  He was of medium height, somewhat slender of build,
and had a smooth, round face, out of which shone two piercing black
eyes--that is, they shone and pierced when the camouflage of heavy
eyelashes and eyebrows was lifted.  Otherwise one would have noticed
almost everything else about him first.

There was no doubt in Irving’s mind as to his identification, but he
caught not even a surreptitious glance of recognition from the fellow at
any time.  He attended strictly and diligently to his own business, and
the spy did likewise from the moment of his recognition of the man.  He
was determined his new associate should see no evidences of uneasiness
in him as a result of this development.

Three days elapsed after Irving’s last advancement to the card-catalog
division, and still the conversations between him and his working
companion were of the "yea, yea, nay, nay" character.  Finally, however,
the boy decided to attempt to draw Strauss into conversation.  He did
this by reference to humorous incidents in the war as brought out in
cartoons and pointed paragraphs in Berlin newspaper and magazines.

He was somewhat surprised, and pleased also, to note that the
"middle-aged man in civilian clothes" did not meet his advances with
coldness or indifference.  The fellow proved, indeed, to be much more
polite than it had at first seemed possible.  He appeared to enjoy
Irving’s palaver, for the youth was something of a wit, but preferred to
listen rather than talk himself.  Finally, however, he grew more
communicative and manifested something of interest in his associate’s
personal affairs.

"They’re telling some great stories about you around here," he said one
day as they were preparing to go out for lunch.  It was the first time
they had quit work for the noon hour at the same time.  Usually Irving
went first and his companion went out after he returned, although
Strauss was virtually "his own boss" and came and went as he chose.

"Yes, they’re a bunch of gossips around here," Irving replied with a
deprecating smile. "And you know what magnified stories gossips turn out
when their tongues get busy."

Strauss smiled mysteriously and said:

"Oh, for that matter we are all gossips, even the quietest of us
sometimes.  All you have to do is to get us off on the subjects that we
are well informed about and you’ll soon find out how our tongues can wag
at both ends."

"It’s pretty hard for me to imagine your tongue wagging at both ends,"
Irving returned with more meaning in his mind than he expressed in his
tone of voice.

"Why?"

"Because you seem to enjoy listening more than talking."

"I am engaged in a secret business," Strauss explained, lifting his
shaggy brows slightly and darting a sharp glance at the other.

"Yes, so am I," Irving returned quickly. "But I like to talk."

"So I observe," said Strauss with veiled significance, which the boy did
not try to penetrate.

"Just to be sociable," the spy added by way of explanation and to
prevent the conversation from lagging.

But Strauss did not appear to be so talkatively eager.  They were in the
locker and wash room during most of this exchange of words, and nothing
further was said between them until they were outside the building.  The
catalog expert then spoke first.

"Where do you eat?" he asked.

"Oh, any place," Irving replied.  "I’ve been in two or three restaurants
around here. There’s a good one down in the next block."

"That suits me," said Strauss.

They walked along in silence half a square, and then the boy’s
mysterious companion put to him the most inquisitive query that the spy
had listened to from this man since he became acquainted with him:

"When do you expect to go back to America?"

"Good!" Irving said to himself.  "Sounds as if he’s going to open up.
Maybe I’ll get something out of him after all."

He little dreamed how much that something was going to be.

"I don’t know," he answered aloud.  "I haven’t received any orders yet."

"You’d better begin to find out then," was the expert’s advice uttered
in tones of startling sharpness.  "I suppose you know it’s up to you to
decide that matter yourself."

"Oh, yes, I suppose so," Irving replied with a matter-of-factness of
manner, which was anything but expressive of what was going on in his
mind.  The fact is, he was a little disturbed by the last remark of his
companion.

"I’ll have to undergo a surgical operation before I start back," he
added.

"What’s that?" inquired Strauss.  "Were you wounded?"

"No," Irving replied.  "But I must get rid of a mark of identification
and go back as another person."

Strauss nodded a stoical sign of interest. They were now at the entrance
of the restaurant for which they were headed, and the conversation
ceased until they were seated at a table in one corner of the room and
well removed from other lunchers.  After they had been served they
resumed their discussion of Irving’s proposed operation in subdued
tones.

"It must be a curious growth on your body that you should have to remove
it in order to avoid identification," Strauss remarked as he spread a
"knife-end" of war-time "butter" on a piece of black bread.

"No, it isn’t a growth," Irving replied.  "It’s that cubist art picture
on my arm."

"Oh, I see," Strauss grunted.  "But," he added, "I don’t just see how an
operation there is going to do you much good.  What are you going to
have done--have your arm cut off?"

"No--have the skin peeled off."

"Ach," grunted the card-catalog expert. "That will leave a scar."

"Not if I have some other skin grafted in its place."

"Quite an idea.  Where do you expect to get the other skin to graft
there?"

"From some part of my body," Irving replied.

"Ja wo-ohl," said the other slowly, with a suggestion of doubt in his
voice not contained in the phrase.  "But that would leave a scar on your
body, and if some sharp fellow tried to identify you as the person who
brought that tattooed message ever here the scar might help him to
explain the disappearance of the picture on your arm."

"Yes, that’s true," Irving agreed.  "But the chance of anything of that
sort is small. Anyway, I’d have to find somebody who would give me a
section of his skin four inches by two."

"There are thousands of patriotic Germans who are willing to give their
lives for their country," reasoned the expert.  "It ought not to be hard
to find somebody who would give a few inches of skin."

"You are very logical," the spy observed. "Perhaps there’s somebody in
our office who would make such a sacrifice for his country."

"I’ll do it myself," declared Strauss quickly.

In view of the fact that the latter appeared a few weeks previously to
have regarded him with very grave suspicion, Irving had to admit to
himself after this offer that the spy-cataloger was more of a mystery
than ever.



                            *CHAPTER XXXIV*

                            *SKIN GRAFTING*


"Your offer is very kind," Irving said with emphasis intended to express
warmth of feeling.

"No--patriotic," Strauss declared.

"No doubt of that," the spy admitted; "but a man can be patriotic and
kind at the same time, can he not?"

"Yes, but this is all patriotism."

"Very well, I’ll accept your offer," Irving announced.  "But I doubt if
Mr. Herrmann will allow it.  You are a very valuable man in the office,
and the operation would surely make it necessary for you to lay off a
few days.  He’ll probably insist that an office boy or clerk or
stenographer make the patriotic sacrifice in your stead."

"That’ll suit me--just so there is no delay in finding someone who’s
willing," Strauss replied.

Irving proved to be correct in his prophecy of the probable attitude of
the superintendent toward the proposition.  Mr. Herrmann objected
strenuously for the reason suggested by the spy and he took it on
himself to find a person who would supply the skin to be grafted. Two
days later he reported success and preparations for the operation were
begun.

But everybody connected with these preliminaries had an important lesson
to learn regarding the proper method for a layman to approach a matter
of science.  None of them, of course, knew anything, except in a very
general way, about skin grafting.  Irving had assumed that it was a
simple process, and, as a matter of fact, it is, if we accept the
principle of the simplicity of all things.  But what startled him most
was the simplicity of the error he had fallen into.

Mr. Herrmann gave Irving a note to the superintendent of one of the city
hospitals and directed him to go there and make arrangements for the
operation.  He was authorized to state that a young soldier who had lost
one of his legs in the first battle of the Marne had promised to furnish
the needed four-by-two inches of skin to replace the tattooed integument
on his arm.

The spy did as instructed and was turned over to a member of the
surgical staff.  The latter listened to the boy’s story and his
suggestions and then inquired:

"At what college of physicians and surgeons did you get your degree?"

Irving no doubt flushed like a schoolboy.  He realized that the member
of the hospital staff was laughing at him, and this confused him more
than a veiled suspicion that he was a Canadian spy would have done.

"The college I graduated from was that of mother’s home remedies," he
replied.

"I thought so," nodded the surgeon with a smile.  "Let me see--you are
in the intelligence department, are you not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Doing important work, aren’t you?’

"I believe so."

"Work that requires sharp wit?"

"Supposedly."

"Well, sharp wits never assume anything without some information to back
them up. Your ideas of skin grafting are a good deal like a child’s.  In
the first place we shan’t need anybody to supply any skin.  Sorry to
disappoint the young patriot with really commendable spirit of loyalty."

Irving looked his surprise.

"You’ll supply all the skin we need," the surgeon continued.

"But it is important that there be no scars," Irving insisted.

"There won’t be any, or so slight that they’ll be hardly noticeable,"
was the surgeon’s reassuring reply.  "Let me explain the process to an
unscientific keen wit of the government’s intelligence department."

The surgeon lifted the spy’s bared arm with his left hand and began his
explanation, indicating with one finger now and then the various moves
necessary as he described the process.

"With a razor," he said, "we will cut an outline around this hideous art
of yours.  Then we’ll peel off the atrocity and cremate it over an
alcohol flame.  Next we’ll  peel a strip of the same length and
three-fourths of an inch wide just below here, leaving the upper end of
the strip attached and twisting it around so that it will lie midway
between the edges of the raw space where the tattooing was.  Then we’ll
cut under the skin along both sides to loosen it an inch or more back
and draw the loosened skin to the piece in the center and make a hair
suture.  The reason we must run a strip of skin over the middle of the
raw area is because this area will be too wide for stretching the skin
at the sides over it.  Skin that is stretched too tight will die.  The
narrow raw place produced by the peeling of the strip down over the
wrist can be covered by pulling together the edges of the skin on both
sides after running the razor back under it a short distance.  Quite
different from the process you imagined, isn’t it?"

"Yes, it is," Irving admitted.

"I bet you thought all that was necessary was to peel off a piece of
skin and lay it on the raw place after this cubist art picture had been
removed.  Isn’t that true?"

"Maybe--something of the kind.  I hadn’t thought it out in detail,"
Irving replied.

"Of course, you hadn’t.  You’d have been too scientific for a secret
service operative, wouldn’t you?"

"Can’t secret service people be scientific?" Irving inquired.

"What do you think about it?" asked the surgeon.  "You ought to know
more about it than I do.  But I’ll tell you what my frank and
unscientific opinion in the matter is."

"What is it?"

"That government secret service is 1 per cent information and 99 per
cent bluff."

"That’s a little strong on the side of the bluff," said the spy,
smiling.

"But there’s something to it?"

"Yes."

"Now you need this much science to prevent your bluff from getting you
into trouble.  When you attempt to bluff a scientific man be sure not to
bluff along the line of his knowledge and the line of your ignorance.
By the way, when do you want that operation performed?

"The sooner the better," Irving replied.

"How about now?"

This almost took the boy’s breath away, but after a few minutes he
answered:

"That’s all right, I suppose, but I’d better call up my office first and
tell the boss what’s doing."

"Very well; here’s a telephone.  Call him up."

Irving did so and in a few minutes had authority to "go ahead and have
it over as soon as possible."



                             *CHAPTER XXXV*

                      *THE TAPPING ON THE WINDOW*


Irving slept under an anæsthetic during the operation.  He objected at
first to the administration of ether, but the surgeon insisted.

"I don’t want you to make any trouble," he insisted.  "Remember you’re
not a scientific youth and might do something ridiculous.  If I’m going
to perform this operation you must take orders and obey them."

That settled it; Irving acquiesced.  When he recovered consciousness he
found himself in a hospital bed with his left arm bandaged and feeling a
good deal like a limb of a tree, or anything else with a like degree of
life.  He remained in bed until the next morning, when his arm was put
in a sling and he was permitted to move about as he pleased, although
directed to remain in the hospital.  Two days later he was allowed to
leave the institution, but was instructed to return daily for
examination and redressing of the graft.

He returned at once to the intelligence office and reported the success
of the operation.  The chief surgeon had informed him that his arm might
be taken out of the sling in about a week.

During this period Irving was in the office much of the time, although
he was able to be of little service with the use of only one arm.
Still, he found it possible to add a good deal to his knowledge of the
system of which the government was planning to make him an important
agent, and this was, on the whole, quite satisfactory to him.

The youthful spy’s plans for carrying out his mission for the British
government had been developing rapidly since he became a member of the
staff in the German intelligence office. And not a little of this
development had been quite unforeseen by him.  His original plans,
therefore, underwent considerable change as time and experience
advanced.

For instance, he decided not to attempt to make a list of names of
leading enemy agents in the United States and Canada to take back with
him.  This had been his original purpose. He now regarded it as unwise,
unsafe.  He would depend on his memory to retain a store of information
of this kind.  So he watched and examined and probed and memorized,
going over the information he had accumulated many times in his leisure
hours in order to keep it fixed and unmistakable in his mind.

"I think I could go back to school and memorize history dates as I never
did before," he told himself one evening about a week after the
skin-grafting operation.  "Gee!  I never realized I had such a memory.
I can run off a string of dope as long as the tune the old cow died on,
just like saying the ABC’s."

Irving had forgotten the "tune the old cow died on," but the expression
stuck in his mind as a relic of nursery days.

One of the divisions of service in the intelligence department that
interested the spy particularly was the telegraphic division.  It came
as an intermediate grade in his course of instruction, and he was
required to learn to read the ticking of the telegraph instrument.
Fortunately, a few years before, he had learned the alphabet while
amusing himself with an amateur wireless outfit, and it now required
comparatively little time for him to develop a fair degree of
proficiency as a key-listener.

"You can never tell when it’ll be greatly to your advantage to be able
to read the telegraph instrument," Mr. Herrmann explained.  "In fact,
that may be one of your most important occupations in America--tapping
wires, for instance."

Indeed, the spy caught a number of messages of incalculable importance
while pursuing his studies in this division and made careful note of
them in his mental repository.

About a week later he had a novel "telegraphic" experience, which, in
turn, was to have an important bearing on his fortunes as a spy in the
enemy’s country.  The affair took place in the rooming house where he
was living. While he endeavored to get out in the evening, as a rule,
and mingle with citizens of all sorts and descriptions, in order to
absorb as much general information as possible, still he retired almost
every night in good season, and not infrequently went early to his room
to study, rehearse, memorize and plan.  In this manner he endeavored to
improve every opportunity to make his excursion a success.

He had just finished one of these solitary sessions in which several
leading newspapers and magazines played an important part, and was about
to lay them aside and prepare for bed, when his attention was attracted
by a faint tapping sound.  At first he gave little heed to it,
presuming, in a semi-conscious way, that it was occasioned by a
continuous breath of air and a tiny, loose pendant of some sort in the
exterior construction work of the house.  But it continued in a
strangely familiar way and seemed to grow a little louder very
gradually.

Suddenly, Irving sat up straight and listened rigidly.  Anyone observing
him in this attitude could not have failed to be impressed with the
feeling that an alarm of some character was thrilling his every nerve
center.

"My goodness!" was the exclamation that smothered itself within him.
"What in the world can that mean?  Yes, no, yes--somebody is trying to
communicate with me.  He’s using the telegraphic signal.  He’s asking me
to answer, to indicate in some way that I am getting his message.  He
says he’s a friend.  He knows I’m a British spy.  But maybe it’s a trap
to catch me.  What shall I do?  If he’s a friend he surely ought to know
better than to expect me to make such an admission.  But he says he has
important information.  What--what in the world shall I do?  I may be in
very great danger.  Here is certainly the test of my life."



                            *CHAPTER XXXVI*

                             *A REVELATION*


"I have an important message for you.  I am a French spy.  I must get
this message to you.  Answer me in some way.  Heave a big yawn or clear
your throat and I’ll know you hear me and get what I’m saying.  I merely
want to make sure you are what I think you are.  I don’t dare reveal
myself to you for fear that I may be mistaken and you’d turn me over to
the government."

These words were tapped off, alphabetically, with a small instrument,
probably a pencil, on the window overlooking a court inclosed by the
building on three sides.  After a pause of half a minute, following the
appeal just recorded, the dot-and-dash tapping continued thus:

"I am looking through the shade of your window and can see that you are
listening attentively; so you need not reply.  Just continue to listen,
and I shall know everything is all right.

"When you leave for America you will be supplied with a message in
cipher, prepared by me, for a certain agent of the kaiser.  That message
will bear the appearance of having been written by a friend of yours to
you, but it will contain information in invisible ink for your benefit
as a loyal agent of the Allies.  This information will be of great value
to the Allies, supplying them with material for undermining the Teutonic
spy system in England, France, and America, which recently declared war.

"This is all.  I merely wished to advise you of what you will find
written with invisible ink on the paper that will be placed in your
possession when you set out on your return to America."

The tapping ceased.  Irving remained like a statue in his chair for
several minutes.  Then he arose, went to the window and pulled the shade
aside.  The court was dark, save for a solitary dim light out at the
entrance.  He could just faintly discern the steel structure of the fire
escape near the window.

"That’s the way he got up," he half muttered.  "He stood there on that
landing while he tapped his message.  I wonder who he is and how he
spotted me.  He must be a very clever fellow.  I really believe he’s
what he represented himself to be; and yet, it may possibly be a trap to
catch me.  However, I don’t see what I can do except await
developments."

He went to bed and slept better than might have been expected under the
circumstances. But he had become so used to critical situations by this
time that he felt almost capable of sleeping peacefully on the "edge of
the earth" with a torpedo for a pillow.

Next day the mystery of the window-telegraph spy bothered him a good
deal, even more than it did immediately after the fellow had "dotted and
dashed" his message on the pane of glass.

"I wonder who he was?" he repeated many times.  "I wonder if he’s
somebody I’m in close touch with every day?"

The suggestion caused him to watch narrowly every person in the office
with whom he did business for the German government.  But the more he
watched, the more unsatisfactory the situation became.  He continued his
furtive outlook several days, but finally admitted to himself that the
prospect of his efforts solving the mystery was anything but bright.

Meanwhile the spy’s preparations for a new excursion out into a broad
field of international espionage were rapidly drawing to a close.  The
surgeon at the hospital who had performed the skin-grafting operation on
his arm pronounced it sufficiently well healed, first, to warrant taking
the limb out of the sling, and then, a week later, for the removal of
the bandage.  There were a few slightly rough places here and there.
around the edges of the patch, and one small scar at the lower end of
the middle strip of skin where it had been twisted to cause it to lie
"right side out" through the middle of the larger patch and make the
latter complete by meeting the outer edges that had been undercut and
drawn to it.

All things considered, Irving was well pleased with the course of events
during his sojourn in the German capital.  Although a number of
situations had developed with rather dangerous aspect, he had pulled
through all of them with apparent success.  While he was still reporting
daily at the hospital for the dressing of his arm his lieutenancy
commission was acted upon in the war office and was delivered to him
through Mr. Herrmann.

At last the day arrived for a windup of the young spy’s affairs in the
intelligence offices, and he was summoned into the presence of "the
baron" and Superintendent Herrmann.  A third man also was present to
receive the young espionage student.  He wore a navy uniform and was
introduced as Capt. Bartholf of the submarine service.

"You will go with Capt. Bartholf on board his boat," "the baron"
announced, addressing "Lieut. Hessenburg."  "He will land you on the
coast of Spain and from there you will go to a German consul and devise
a method for getting you to Mexico and from there into the United
States.

"By the way," the high intelligence official remarked, suddenly
interrupting himself and addressing Superintendent Herrmann; "how about
that letter that was being prepared for Lieut. Hessenburg to take
along?"

"I’ll see," replied Herrmann, as he started for the door.

"Bring Strauss in with you," "the baron" called after him.  "I may want
to ask him some questions."

"Strauss!"

The name echoed in Irving’s brain with a succession of significant
thrills.  What did Strauss have to do with the preparation of the letter
he was to take with him?  Was it possible--?

He did not finish the sentence in words, but the idea was there and
remained uppermost in his mind during the remainder of the session in
"the baron’s" office.  Presently Herrmann returned, accompanied by the
card-catalog expert, who carried an envelope of ordinary
business-correspondence size in one hand.  This envelope he laid on the
desk in front of the intelligence chief.

The latter picked it up, looked keenly at Strauss and asked with like
sharpness of voice:

"This paper was prepared entirely by you, was it?"

"Yes," the cataloger answered.

"And it has been in no other person’s hands at any time since you began
work on it?"

"No."

"And you vouch for the accuracy and thoroughness of its preparation?"

"Yes."

"That’s all.  You may retire."

Strauss left the room.  "The baron" turned to Irving, handed him the
letter, and said:

"This innocent looking missive is of vast importance.  It is addressed
in cipher to a very important person in America who is high in the
confidence of the United States government. You have learned how to read
this cipher and will work it out for yourself.  That is all. Good-by.  I
wish you a continuation of the success that has been yours in a
remarkable degree heretofore."

Irving took "the baron’s" offered hand and then left the office
accompanied by Capt. Bartholf. As he went the name of Strauss continued
to ring in his head, together with this startling conviction:

The catalog expert was the French spy who had tapped the "telegraph
message" on his window at the rooming house!



                            *CHAPTER XXXVII*

                            *THE SUBMARINES*


Lieut. Ellis of the Canadian army, alias Lieut. Hessenburg of the German
army, had quite enough to think about as he left the office of "the
baron" in company with the submarine commander.  Out in the reception
room the latter took leave of him, saying, "Meet me at the Kaiserhof at
9 o’clock tomorrow morning"; then the youthful spy, with a
counter-spying commission from the enemy, went to his desk and began to
make arrangements for his departure.

Mr. Herrmann selected from the office force a former soldier who had
lost one arm, and to him Irving made a brief statement of the work he
had been doing so that his successor might continue where he had left
off.  For a short time he debated in his mind whether to go to those of
his fellow workmen with whom he had been more intimately associated and
bid them farewell, but he decided that this would not be in harmony with
the "community conduct" of the officials and employes of the bureau.  In
fact, he had observed little in the association of the office that had
suggested real community life.  Everybody connected with the
intelligence bureau seemed either to have been born with a cold
furtiveness of manner or to have developed an espionage attitude of this
sort in the atmosphere of the greatest spy system the world had ever
known.

However, he disliked very much to leave the place for the last time
without passing at least an "aufwiedersehen" to the one person there who
he felt certain was a friend of the great cause of human liberty for
which the allied nations were fighting.  But Strauss seemed disposed to
ignore him if possible.  He passed several times near the expert’s desk,
but the latter pored more diligently than ever over his work. Once
Irving caught his eye and attempted to pass him a look of intelligent
meaning, but Strauss turned away quickly, and Irving left the building
without saying good-by to one of the occupants.

"A very cold-blooded business," he told himself.  "My!  I’m glad to be
out of there.  I’m afraid I’m not built along cold enough lines for a
spy even in behalf of a great and meritorious cause.  That fellow
Strauss is an ideal spy.  He must be the best any nation ever produced.
He certainly has worked himself into a powerful position of confidence
with the enemy.  But that was some chance he took when he tapped that
message on my window.  I wonder if he expected me to discover who he was
after he told me he was the fellow that prepared the letter that was to
be given to me.  And when he assured the baron that nobody else had had
the letter in his possession, nobody else remained for me to suspect.
Well, he must know now that I spotted him; but he surely exhibited
extremely wise caution when he refused to recognize even a significant
look from me. Good-by, Mr. Strauss, or whatever your name is.  You were
too shrewd to let me shake your hand, and cold judgment tells me you
were right.  I hope after the war is over I may take a trip to Europe
and look you up.  But, judging from the way you looked at me, or avoided
looking at me, I’m afraid you’d take advantage of the opportunity to
give me a calling down such as few people have ever received.  I’d
probably feel the knives of your sarcasm making ridiculous mince meat
out of me."

Next morning, promptly at the appointed hour, Irving was at the
information desk of the Kaiserhof, asking for Capt. Bartholf.  The
latter was in his room waiting for the young intelligence officer.  Two
hours later, arrangements having been made for the transfer of baggage,
the captain and the lieutenant were on board a train and headed for one
of the principal submarine ports of the German coast.

The trip was uneventful, except that it afforded Irving an opportunity
to make a study of the character of an official representative of the
policy of ruthlessness of the military government of Germany.  Capt.
Bartholf was a fit exponent of this policy and exceedingly efficient
because of the intelligence with which he could disguise the barbarous
nature of his ideas.  Hours before they reached the port of their
destination, the spy was convinced that an enemy who fell into the
clutches of this sub-sea commander might as well toss hope to the
fishes.

"I don’t believe he’d take a prisoner if he could help it," Irving mused
as a climax to his conclusions.  "I’d never surrender to a man like him
if I knew in advance what kind of fellow he was.  It’d be a finish fight
even though there were no hope in it for me."

They arrived at the seaport in the evening and took rooms at a hotel.
Two days they remained in this city.  The captain explained the delay by
saying that he was awaiting orders to start on a raiding cruise.
Finally the orders arrived, and he announced that they would go on board
at once.

Half an hour later they were at the docks, where a dozen U-boats were
lined up, some of them taking in provisions and oil, or undergoing
inspection and minor repairs.  Irving’s eyes were busy with new objects
of interest at this submarine harbor, for he had never before seen an
undersea craft.  Eagerly he took in the scene, regarding the various
objects with more than the calculating interest of an international spy;
and while in the act of boarding the vessel in which he was about to
take his first submarine trip, he almost forgot, as the romantic thrill
of the experience went through him, that he was surrounded by enemies in
whose hands his life would be worth only a volley of rifle balls if his
real identity were revealed to them.



                           *CHAPTER XXXVIII*

                           *"KAMERAD!" AGAIN*


"Shut off the power."

Irving was in the conning tower with Capt. Bartholf and Lieut. Voltz of
U-31 when the latter, who was at the periscope, gave the foregoing order
through the speaking tube.

They had been out all night and half the preceding day, running much of
the time on the surface of the ocean in order to make the best possible
speed.  Irving had not a clear idea where they were, but presumed that
they must have passed a considerable distance beyond the western end of
the English channel.

Lieut. Voltz gazed again into the glass of the periscope after giving
his order to the engineer.  He had had his hand on the lever at his
right and with this had turned the periscope tube so that his eye could
sweep the horizon. Now, however, he had discovered something, and he no
longer moved the lever except occasionally little more than a hair’s
breadth in order to keep the object of interest in view. After a few
moments of further careful examination and reference to the telemeter
attachment to determine the distance away of the discovered object, he
called again into the speaking tube.

"Go down four fathoms."

Then turning to Capt. Bartholf, he said:

"There are two vessels about five knots a little south of west from
here.  One is probably a convoy."

"Run about three knots closer and take another peep," the captain
ordered.  "Did 17 and the 23 sight them also?"

"I think so.  Seventeen just went under."

Irving understood this question and answer to refer to two other U-boats
that accompanied No. 31 on this trip.  Meanwhile the latter submerged to
the depth ordered by Lieut. Voltz.

Twenty minutes later the periscope was again a few feet out of the water
with the lieutenant’s eye glued to the glass and his right hand working
the lever.

"Let me have a look," said the commander.

He gazed a minute into the glass and then said:

"I’m going to try to get that convoy first and then the other, which
appears to be a hospital ship."

Irving shuddered.

The order was again given to submerge.  The lieutenant seemed to be
doing all the work of lookout, pilot and operating master, for he was
busy at the steering wheel, periscope, and speaking tube almost
simultaneously much of the time.  All these were within easy reach from
one position.  The "sub" arose several times near enough to the surface
to enable the lieutenant or the captain to take a peep at the
prospective prey, and then down again it would go. At last, under
direction from the captain, the lieutenant gave this order through the
speaking tube:

"Have the men slide a torpedo into one of the forward tubes."

Eager to witness this operation, Irving sprang to the stairway and was
soon down on the lower deck.  There he saw several members of the crew
remove the safety attachment from the nose of a sixteen-foot
phosphor-bronze torpedo, which was seventeen or eighteen inches in
diameter, and slide it into a tunnel-like hole in the midst of a maze of
operating machinery. A minute or two later the order was given to
"shoot," and out it went, under initial propulsion from a compressed air
engine.

Then the order to submerge was given again, and away they went southward
at full speed under three fathoms of water.  Ten minutes afterward the
periscope peeped up over the surface of the sea once more, and Capt.
Bartholf had his eye glued eagerly to the glass.

A moment later he gave a yelp of delight, and Irving knew that a hit had
been scored.

"We’ve hit ’em both fine!" the commanding officer exclaimed.  "One of
the other boats must have fired a torpedo about the same time we did.
Both of those ships are going down."

It was not regarded safe to show the hulks of the submarines above the
water yet, however, for fear lest the convoy hit one or more of them
with a shell as a last living act of revenge.  But they did not have to
wait long, however, for the doomed vessels sank rapidly.

Then all three submarines showed themselves on the surface and Irving
was delighted to observe that apparently all of the sailors, soldiers
and nurses that had been on the hospital ship and the convoy were now in
lifeboats, which were being rowed with frantic desperation away from the
U-boat-infested spot.

"Follow them up and let’s see what they look like," Capt. Bartholf
ordered, with a kind of gloating glee.

All three captains seemed to be of like mind, for all three U-boats took
the same course and ran up close to the crowded lifeboats.  Several
officers and members of the crew of each of the submarines appeared on
the outer deck to view the results of their uncontested victory.

Suddenly there came from one of the boats a call that thrilled and
chilled Irving with a sense of awed familiarity.

"Kamerad!"

Where had he heard that cry in that tone of voice before?  He could not
decide on the moment, and yet he was apprehensive of an unpleasant
discovery.

The captain of U-31 determined to investigate and ordered the lifeboat
from which the hail proceeded to come alongside.  The occupants could do
nothing more sensible than obey. As it approached a young man with an
empty left sleeve arose and repeated his appealing cry, and Irving
almost dropped in his tracks.

The one-armed fellow was Adolph Hessenburg, alias Tourtelle, the former
Canadian lieutenant of the tattooed cubist art cryptogram.  Undoubtedly
he was being sent to England to be held there for a determination of his
fate after information had been received regarding the success or
failure of his substitute spy’s mission within the German lines.



                            *CHAPTER XXXIX*

                       *"ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN"*


If anybody had observed the precipitation with which Irving dived down
the hatchway of U-31 a moment or two after he recognized the "cubist art
spy," there is no doubt that the observer would have been impressed with
the mystery of the proceeding.  As it was, all of his boche companions
on the outer deck were too much interested in seeking an explanation of
the "kamerad" cry from the midst of a boatload of enemy soldiers and
sailors to give attention to anything less than the explosion of a bomb
on their own vessel.

Irving meanwhile picked up a sou’wester that he found on the lower deck,
put it over his head so that it partly covered, shaded, and hence
considerably disguised his face, and then returned to the outer deck.
True, the weather was not stormy, but the air was chilly and the
"cloudburst hood" added considerably to his comfort.

The real Hessenburg had been assisted on board and was being questioned
by Captain Bartholf.  Irving heard the latter ask him his name, and then
suddenly something happened which the trembling spy has ever since
declared undoubtedly saved his life and some very important information
for the Allies.

What caused the sudden lurch of the submarine was not subsequently
disclosed. Possibly one of the men below, accidentally or thoughtlessly
moved a lever or wheel that resulted in a momentary spasm of mechanical
action.  At any rate, all on the outer deck were dancing around for
several seconds to preserve their balance, and one of them was not as
successful as the others.  That was Hessenburg, who was thrown violently
against the low railing so that he struck his head on one of the iron
standards or posts.

Evidently he was seriously injured, for he did not attempt to rise.  The
pallor of his face and the glassy look in his eyes indicated that he had
fainted.  He was carried below and restoratives were administered to
him, but these did not bring back more than barely enough life to
reassure his caretakers that the concussion on his head was probably not
fatal.

                     *      *      *      *      *

The run from the scene of the sinking of the British hospital ship and
convoy to the Spanish coast was made in about eighteen hours, and before
noon of the day following, Irving was landed on a bleak and desolate
spot on the Bay of Biscay.  Meanwhile, he had thankfully observed the
slowness with which the former "cubist art spy" recovered.  Although he
found it necessary several times to be at the bedside of the patient,
the latter showed no signs of recognition; indeed, he at no time before
Irving was put ashore indicated that he had fully recovered from the
stupor which followed the shock of his fall.

The story of how Irving found his way to a Spanish settlement and
subsequently got in touch with a British consulate and thence again with
the Canadian army is of little interest compared with the thrilling
events heretofore narrated.  Suffice it to say that in due time success
met his efforts to get back with the Canadians, who retained unshakable
possession of Vimy Ridge, and that the information he was able to turn
over to his superior officers brought him recognition and honors from
very high sources.



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Gertrude Elliott’s Crucible.  Mrs. George Sheldon Downs
Girl Question (The).  John W. Harding
Girls of Silver Spur Ranch.  Grace McGowan Cook and Anne McQueen
Greater Joy (The).  Margaret Blake
Her Heart’s Gift.  Oliver Kent
Her Right Divine.  Oliver Kent
Honor of His House (The).  Andrew Soutar
House by the Lock (The).  Mrs. C. N. Williamson
In Old Kentucky.  Edward Marshall
Inspiration.  Carol Gordon
International Spy (The).  Allen Upward
Jess of the River.  T. C. DeLeon
Katherine’s Sheaves.  Mrs. George Sheldon Downs
Kindling.  Charles Kenyon and Arthur Hornblow
King of the Camorra.  From the Italian of E. Serao
Land of the Frozen Suns.  Bertrand W. Sinclair
Man’s Code (A).  W. B. M. Rerguson
Mask (The).  Arthur Hornblow
Master of Fortune (A).  Cutliffe Hyne
Matthew Ferguson.  Margaret Blake
Modern Heloise (The).  Alfred Buchanan
Mrs. Linthicum and Mary Jane.  Charlotte Hay Meredith
My Lady Cinderella.  Mrs. C. N. Williamson
Nation Famous New York Murders.  Alfred Henry Lewis
New England Folks.  Eugene W. Fresbrey
Night Wind’s Promise (The).  Varick Vanardy
Old Homestead (The).  Novelized from the Great Play
Paid in Full.  John W. Harding
Price (The).  George Broadhurst, Arthur Hornblow
Quo Vadis.  Henryk Sienkiewicz
Raw Gold.  Bertrand W. Sinclair
Real Boys.  Judge Henry A. Shute
Redeemed.  Mrs. George Sheldon Downs
Return of the Night Wind.  Varick Vanardy
Rogue’s Heiress (The).  Tom Gallon
Round Up (The).  John Murray and M. M. Miller
Silver King (The).  Alfred Wilson Barrett
Sins of Society.  Cecil Raleigh
Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer.  Cyrus Townsend Brady
Souls of Men (The).  Martha M. Stanley
Story of Paul Jones (The).  Alfred Henry Lewis
Spendthrift (The).  Porter Emerson Browne and Edward Marshall
St. Elmo.  Augusta Evans Wilson
Step by Step.  Mrs. George Sheldon Downs
Strongheart.  F. R. Burton
Surry of Eagle’s Nest.  John Esten Cooke
Sweet Danger.  Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Talker (The).  Marion Fairfax and Arthur Hornblow
Thoroughbred (The).  Edith MacVane
Three Daughters of the Confederacy.  Cyrus Townsend Brady
Time, Place and the Girl (The).  John W. Harding
Traffic in Souls.  Eustace Hale Ball
True Detective Stories.  A. L. Drummond
Voice of the Heart (The).  Margaret Blake
Warrens of Virginia (The).  George Cary Eggleston
Wasp (The).  Theodore Goodridge Roberts
Watch-Dog (The).  Arthur Hornblow
White Rose of Memphis (The).  W. C. Falkner
Wolf (The).  Eugene Walter
Writing on the Wall.  Edward Marshall



                     *      *      *      *      *



                                  *By*

                      *Mrs. George Sheldon Downs*


*Katherine’s Sheaves*

                   A Great Novel With a Great Purpose

Katherine’s Sheaves is altogether delightful, a charming piece of
fiction, a beautiful romance.  One must admire the book for its
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The story is a dramatic one, abounding in strong situations.

The plot is well conceived and carried out, the style easy and the
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*Step by Step*

Judged as a story pure and simple, "STEP BY STEP," is altogether
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        *12mo, Cloth, Illustrated.  Popular Edition, 75 cents.*


*Gertrude Elliot’s Crucible*

It is a readable story, clean, wholesome, and high in moral
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It has an alluring plot, and is well and skillfully worked out. The
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        *12mo, Cloth, Illustrated.  Popular Edition, 75 cents.*


*Redeemed*

Dealing with divorce--the most vital problem in the world today--this
book tells how a pure-minded woman is divorced from her Husband, upon a
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        *12mo, Cloth, Illustrated.  Popular Edition, 75 cents.*



                     *      *      *      *      *



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*By H. G. WELLS*

MR. BRITLING SEES IT THROUGH.
WIFE OF SIR ISAAC HARMAN.
RESEARCH MAGNIFICENT.
BEALBY.
NEW WORLDS FOR OLD.
WHAT IS COMING.
ITALY, FRANCE AND BRITAIN AT WAR.
GOD, THE INVINCIBLE KING.


*By GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON, Author of "Graustark," Etc.*

FROM THE HOUSETOPS.
GREEN FANCY.


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FALL OF A NATION.  The sequel to "Birth of a Nation."


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SHEPHERD OF THE NORTH.


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THE PRISONER.


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OUR ADMIRABLE BETTY.
THE DEFINITE OBJECT.



                     *      *      *      *      *



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                          *M. A. DONOHUE & CO.
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