The Boy Allies Under Two Flags
Ensign Robert L. Drake
Part 3 out of 4
JACK MAKES A NAME FOR HIMSELF
Frank, who had never seen Jack exhibit his prowess in the fistic
art, and who was rather a skillful boxer himself, though by no
means a heavyweight, muttered to himself:
"Why didn't I insist on taking him on myself? Jack is due for a
good lacing. He's strong enough, but he hasn't the science, I'm
He stood nervously in his friend's corner.
The Frenchman opened the fight with a rush, and his friends
uttered subdued cheers and encouragement as he dashed at Jack.
In size, it appeared that the two were about evenly matched,
although the Frenchman was a shade taller than his opponent.
That his comrades believed him a master of the fistic art was
evinced by their cries:
"Finish him up quickly."
"Let him stay a couple of rounds."
"No; one round's enough."
The Frenchman rushed, evidently having decided to finish the
fight as quickly as possible. His expression showed that he had
no doubt of his ability to polish off the Englishman and of his
superiority as a boxer.
Jack met the first rush calmly, and with a slight smile on his
face. His guard was perfect and not a blow reached him. The
Frenchman landed blow after blow upon Jack's arms, with which the
lad covered first his face and then his body.
Frank, having a knowledge of boxing, realized that he was
witnessing a defense that was indeed remarkable, and muttered
happily to himself. But to the rest of the spectators it
appeared that their idol was hitting his man at will, and they
continued to encourage him with low words, at the same time
hurling epithets at Jack.
So far Jack had not attempted to strike a blow; nor had he given
ground. He had presented a perfect defense to his opponent, who
danced rapidly about him, striking from this side and that. The
round ended, and still Jack had not offered at his opponent.
The Frenchman himself, however, skillful boxer that he was, was
not deceived. He realized, as he rested in his corner, that he
had met a foeman worthy of the best he had to offer. As yet,
though, he had no means of telling what the lad had in store for
an attack of his own; but he realized that Jack's defense was
Therefore, when they advanced to the middle of the ring for the
second round, he was more wary, for he had no mind to let Jack
slip over a hard blow through carelessness. Suddenly Jack led
with his right, then made as if to land with his left. The
Frenchman threw up his arm to guard the latter blow, and Jack's
right, which had not been checked -- the feint with the left
having made the desired opening -- caught the Frenchman flush on
The Frenchman staggered back. Jack followed this advantage with
a quick left and then another right to the Frenchman's face.
Both blows had steam behind them, and his opponent, plainly in
distress, covered up quickly and cinched.
In the clinch he attempted to deliver several short arm blows,
but Jack was prepared for this kind of fighting, and blocked them
with ease. Finally the two broke, and the Frenchman stood on the
It was apparent to all who were not too prejudiced that he now
stood in awe of his opponent's hitting power.
Then they stood off and boxed at long range, and Jack trimmed his
adversary beautifully. Tiring of this, the Frenchman rushed, but
time was called as he swung wildly. In swinging he left a wide
opening. Jack, starting a hard blow, turned it aside when the
referee called time.
"Where did you learn to box?' asked Frank breathlessly between
"Why," said Jack, with a smile, "from my father. He was rather
proficient in the use of his fists."
"He must have been," said Frank dryly. "Why didn't you tell me
you could box?"
"You never asked me," replied Jack calmly.
He arose and walked slowly to meet his opponent as the referee
again called time.
"Now, my friend," said Jack to his opponent, "I am going to give
you as good a licking as you ever have had."
He feinted with dazzling rapidity several times, and drove a
straight left to the Frenchman's ear. With lightning-like
quickness he played a tattoo upon the Frenchman's face and body.
Bewildered, his opponent dashed into a clinch.
"If you say so, we'll call this off right here," said Jack.
The Frenchman suddenly freed himself, and his reply to this
kindly offer was to send a jab to Jack's nose, drawing blood.
"Just for that," said Jack quietly, who felt somewhat ashamed at
having been caught off his guard, "I'll finish this fight right
now. There is no need prolonging it."
Once, twice, he rocked the Frenchman's head, and then, as the
latter came forward in a last desperate effort, Jack pivoted on
his heel, and, starting his left low, swung. The Frenchman
checked himself in his attack, and desperately tried to leap
But it was too late. Through his guard went the blow, and,
catching the Frenchman on the point of the chin, it lifted him
from his feet and into the air.
At least four feet through the air went the Frenchman, and came
to the deck, head first, at the feet of his friends. He lay
there while the referee counted him out.
Quickly Jack leaped forward, and, kneeling, raised his late
"Water, some of you," he called.
It was quickly brought, and Jack, wetting his handkerchief,
bathed the Frenchman's face. His efforts were at last rewarded
by a slight groan, and finally the unconscious man opened his
"What hit me?" he asked in a faint whisper.
"It's all right, old man," said Jack. "You'll be all right in a
Slowly the light of comprehension dawned in the Frenchman's eyes.
He struggled to his feet, where he stood uncertainly for a few
moments, looking at his conqueror.
Jack extended a hand.
"I'm sorry I had to do it," he said, a pleasant smile lighting up
The Frenchman looked at him in silence for a full minute, then,
stepping forward, he grasped the outstretched hand.
"What are you," he demanded, grinning, "a prizefighter?"
"No," said Jack, with a laugh, "but I guess I have had better
training than you."
"Well," said the Frenchman, "if you ever need anybody to help you
out, you can count on me. Maybe some day you will bump up
against someone who can best you, but I believe the two of us
together can put him down."
"Thanks," laughed Jack, "I'll remember that offer when the time
The other French middies now gathered found and shook Jack and
Frank both by the hand, while the one who had first made himself
odious apologized profusely for his actions.
"Say no more about it," exclaimed Frank. "I'm glad we're all
friends at last."
Further conversation was interrupted by the sudden sound of a
bugle on deck. It was the call to quarters.
Quickly all sprang to their posts. Men dashed hither and
thither, and in almost less time than it takes to tell it the
Marie Theresa was cleared for action.
Then, at last having time to glance about, the two lads made out
the cause of this sudden call. Several miles across the water
could be seen two small cruisers. A closer look showed the boys
the German flag flying at the masthead of each.
"Now," said Frank to Jack, "we'll have an opportunity of seeing
how the French fight."
"They'll fight," said Jack briefly. "You may make sure of that."
"Nevertheless I would rather that we had an English crew."
Now the range was signaled to the gunners, and the Marie Theresa
quivered and recoiled as the first of her big guns spoke. The
shot fell short. Again the range was signaled, and once more the
shot fell short, though nearer, the first of the German cruisers.
The third shot plowed up the water under her bow.
"We have the range now," said Jack, "we'll hit her next time."
His words proved true. A solid shot, hurled by one of the Marie
Theresa's forward guns, struck the first German cruiser squarely
in the side. The two following ones hit her just below the water
"That's pretty good shooting, if you ask me," said Frank
But now the Germans also had succeeded in finding the range, and
a shell burst over the Marie Theresa, hurling its fragments upon
the deck. Five men went down, never to rise again.
As the battle progressed the two German cruisers drew farther and
farther apart, until now they poured their fire upon the Marie
Theresa from two directions. To avoid this cross fire, the
commander of the Marie Theresa signaled full speed ahead, and
dashed straight for the nearest of the enemy.
In spite of the galling fire from both of the enemy, the Marie
Theresa bore down on the German cruiser. Too late the latter
turned to flee from her larger opponent; but her guns continued
to pour in her fire.
Although raked from stem to stern, the Marie Theresa had not been
hit in a vital spot. The first German cruiser turned to run,
but, by a quick maneuver, Captain Dreyfuss plowed into her as she
turned. The sharp prow of the Marie Theresa crashed into the
German amidships, and so terrific was the impact that the French
But it was the death-blow of the German cruiser. Men leaped into
the small boats and put off from the ship, or flung themselves
head first into the sea. The Marie Theresa drew off and turned
her attention to the other German cruiser.
But the latter had had enough. She turned quickly and headed
west. Boats were lowered from the Marie Theresa and hurried to
the aid of the survivors of the enemy. Many were picked up and
taken aboard the French ship.
On the bridge of the German cruiser' now settling fast, could be
seen the German commander. Several officers were gathered about
him. They were gesticulating violently, but to each the captain
shook his head negatively.
"They'll all be drowned if they don't hurry," said Captain
Dreyfuss anxiously. "Why don't the fools jump!"
Suddenly the German commander drew a revolver from his pocket,
and pointed it directly at the protesting officers. They drew
back. The German commander followed them.
One by one they threw themselves into the sea all but one. At
him the commander pointed revolver, and shook his head
vigorously. The latter protested.
Finally the German commander hurled his weapon far into the sea,
and held out his hand. The officer took it, and, arm in arm, the
two walked, back to the bridge.
The German cruiser lurched heavily, but the two German officers
were unmindful of it. Calmly the commander drew two cigars from
his pocket, and offered one to the officer. The latter accepted
it, and, taking a match from his pocket, struck it calmly.
He held the match so his commander could get a light, then
lighted his own cigar. Thus the two stood, calmly smoking, as
the cruiser settled.
Slowly the fatally wounded craft sank lower and lower in the
water, until nothing was visible below the bridge. Then, with a
sudden lurch, this to disappeared -- nothing but the mast
remained -- then nothing at all.
The German commander had gone down with his ship -- as had so
many before him -- as would so many after him.
The commander of the Marie Theresa lifted his cap, uttering no
word -- a silent tribute to a hero.
IN THE ADRIATIC
The Marie Theresa had not escaped unscathed in the combat, but,
although her injuries were not serious, they were such as to
prevent a pursuit of the second German cruiser, which was dashing
away at full speed.
The crew set to work with a will wreckage, and finally the vessel
was shipshape once more. Then, at a command from Captain
Dreyfuss, she was put on her course toward the south.
Several uneventful days passed, during which Frank and Jack
struck up quite a friendship with their fellow middies. The
unkindly spirit of the young Frenchmen gave way to real
comradeship, and all were now on the best terms.
It was on a bright, sunny morning that the Marie Theresa steamed
through the entrance to the Adriatic Sea, where the French fleet,
with one or two British warships, had the entire Austrian naval
force cooped up. The Austrians had made several dashes, in an
attempt to run the blockade, but so far all such efforts had been
As the Marie Theresa steamed up to the other vessels of the
fleet, she was greeted with a salute. A short time later Captain
Dreyfuss put off for the flagship in a small boat to pay his
respects to the admiral.
It was late when he returned aboard the Marie Theresa, and
immediately he set foot on board a subdued air of excitement
became apparent. The midshipmen, not being in the confidence of
the superior officers, at first could not account for this; but
they soon learned its cause.
The Marie Theresa had been ordered to try and get closer to the
It was a well-known fact that all the Austrian ports had been
mined, and that the heavy shore batteries of the enemy were more
than a match for the big guns on the cruiser -- that they
outranged them -- but, nevertheless, the crew of the Marie
Theresa made what preparations were necessary with enthusiasm.
It was well after nightfall when the French cruiser moved slowly
between the other vessels of the allied fleet, heading for the
enemy. Not a light shone aboard the vessel, and there was not a
sound to break the stillness of the night.
Beyond the rest of the fleet the Marie Theresa was forced to go
more slowly, feeling her way cautiously to avoid being blown up
by one of the many floating mines.
"This is ticklish work," said Jack to Frank, they moved slowly
"You bet," was the latter's reply. "This thing, of floating
along, not knowing the next minute you are liable to be on the
bottom, would try anybody's, nerves. By Jove! I can feel my
hair standing end now."
"I guess it's not as bad as all that," laughed Jack.
"Well, I have a bad case of nerves, anyhow," replied Frank.
Suddenly, at a subdued cry from forward, the Marie Theresa came
to a halt.
"Vessel of some sort dead ahead," the word was passed along.
A moment later a voice of command rang out:
"Pass the word for Mr. Chadwick and Mr. Templeton."
"Wonder what's up?" asked Frank, as they made their way to the
bridge, where Captain Dreyfuss was standing.
"I guess we'll know soon enough," was Jack's reply.
They halted before their commander and came to attention.
"If I am not mistaken," said Captain Dreyfuss, pointing ahead,
"that dark hull there is an Austrian vessel, whether a warship or
not I cannot say. Now, the success of this venture depends upon
silence. A shot from a big gun aboard that ship would mean
failure for us. I have called you two lads to ask if you would
like to undertake a dangerous task?"
"Yes, sir," replied Jack quietly.
"We shall be only too glad," said Frank eagerly.
"Well, then," continued, Captain Dreyfuss, "I believe that by a
quick and silent dash you may be able to board her. If You are
successful in getting aboard, your first duty will be to prevent
the firing of one of the big guns. Luckily, we are still far
from shore, so the sounds of a hand-to-hand struggle are not
likely to be overheard. Are you willing to undertake this
"Yes, sir," replied both lads in a single voice.
"Good! You shall have fifty men. With the effect of a surprise,
I believe this should be enough."
Half an hour later, while the Marie Theresa remained stationary,
not even showing a light, Frank and Jack, with five small boats
at their command, were creeping silently toward the Austrian
vessel. Nearer and nearer they approached, and at length the
first boat scraped the side of the larger vessel.
So far their presence had not been discovered.
Softly and silently Jack led the way to the deck of the enemy,
which, it was now plain, was a small Austrian cruiser. Frank and
the French sailors followed close at his heels.
As Jack's head came even with the rail, he paused to look about.
And it was well that he did so. For not ten paces from him stood
an Austrian sailor.
His eyes were turned in the opposite direction, and so stealthily
did Jack now lower himself to the deck that he was not heard.
"I hate to do this," he muttered to himself, "but --"
A moment later his revolver butt crashed down on the Austrian's
skull. The man dropped like a log. Hastily the lad led the way
to the bridge, where, by quick action, the man on watch was
overcome without the sound of a struggle.
Then half of the French turned their attention to the commander's
cabin, while the others hastened to see that all means of egress
from below were barred.
With drawn revolver Jack entered the cabin first. His eyes fell
upon two officers playing checkers, one evidently the commander
of the cruiser. So quietly did the lad enter the room that his
presence was not discovered until he spoke.
"Hands up!" he commanded.
The officers leaped to their feet with a single movement, and the
hand of the commander fell upon his revolver, while the other,
unarmed though he was, dashed straight at Jack.
Jack's revolver spoke sharply once, and the second Austrian
officer tumbled in a heap to the deck. Before the commander
could draw his weapon Jack had him covered.
"None of that," he said sharply, as the commander made another
move as though to draw.
The Austrian commander evidently thought better of his act, for
his hands flew above his head. Jack advanced quickly and
relieved him of his weapons. Then he marched him to the bridge.
"Now," said Jack calmly, "you will signal the engine-room for
The officer started to protest, but at the sight of Jack's
revolver, leveled right at his head, he reconsidered and did as
ordered. Jack now motioned Frank to stand guard over the
Austrian commander, and himself took the wheel.
Slowly the Austrian cruiser, her head describing a wide circle,
gathered speed and turned in the direction of the allied fleet.
Evidently those below had no idea that anything was wrong, for
not a sound reached the ears of those on deck.
Now, at Jack's command, the commander signaled the engine-room
for full speed ahead, and the pace of the cruiser increased.
Swiftly she dashed along in the night, but was suddenly checked
in her flight by a hail from across the water:
"What ship is that?"
Jack recognized the voice of Captain Dreyfuss, and called back:
"Captured Austrian cruiser, sir. This is Templeton. What shall
I do with her?"
"Take her on to the fleet," came the reply.
"Good work! I shall not wait for you to return but will
This was a disappointment to the two lads, who had banked on
being aboard the Marie Theresa in her raid. However, orders were
not to be disobeyed.
Day was breaking when the Austrian cruiser steamed in among the
French ships. Jack went aboard the admiral's flagship and
reported. It was while he was standing beside the admiral that a
fearful commotion broke out on board the captured Austrian
There was the sound of a big gun, and a shell screamed overhead.
"The fools!" exclaimed the admiral. "Can't they understand they
have been captured?"
Evidently the Austrians could not, for a second shell screamed
Quickly the flagship signaled the French aboard the captured
vessel to leave, and when they were over the side and well out of
harm's way the French dreadnought opened fire on the cruiser.
Men now emerged from below on to the deck of the captured vessel,
and rushed rapidly about.
An officer leveled a glass and took in the imposing sight of the
French gathered about on all sides of him.
In another moment a white flag was run up at the masthead. It
was the sign of surrender.
The French admiral complimented both lads highly on the success
of their venture; and congratulated them again personally that
night, when the Marie Theresa, after a successful raid into the
very midst of the Austrian fleet, returned unscathed -- leaving
at the bottom of the sea two Austrian torpedo boats.
THE BATTLE IN THE ADRIATIC
The French and Austrian fleets were steaming into battle in the
Adriatic. This coming struggle, while it was to be by no means
decisive, was nevertheless the first engagement of any magnitude
to be fought in southern waters; also it was the first in which
fighters of the air were to play an important part.
The Marie Tieresa, back from her successful raid, was one of the
foremost in the French line of battle. Now, as she steamed
forward with the rest of the fleet, her hydroplanes were made
ready for action.
Captain Dreyfuss summoned Jack and Frank before him.
"You will each take a seat in one of the hydroplanes," he
ordered. "Your duties will be to drop bombs on the enemy. Each
machine carries two men, one a pilot. Therefore you will each
take separate machines."
Frank and Jack saluted, and a moment later were in their places.
What was Jack's surprise to find that the pilot of his machine
was none other than the French midshipman he had so lately
engaged in fistic combat. The latter, whom the boys had learned
to call Pierre, greeted him with a smile.
"I'm glad I am to have you along," he said simply.
"Thanks," was Jack's brief reply.
The French hydroplanes, at least fifty of them, from all the
battleships, now skimmed over the water, and a moment later
soared in the air. Flying on beyond the French ships, a smudge
of smoke came into view, then another, and then many more. Ships
of all kinds, Jack could see, dreadnoughts, cruisers, torpedo
boats and scout ships, advancing toward them.
Then, as they drew nearer, Jack made out other vessels, lying low
in the water, without smoke, approaching. These were the
Austrian submarines. Jack counted the enemy -- sixteen ships of
all classes, and opposed to these the French had offered almost
an equal number. The forces of both sides under and above the
sea, of course, he could not count.
Some of the airships from both sides now came into contact, and
brisk skirmishes ensued. Rifles flashed from them, and suddenly
one tumbled into the sea. It was an Austrian craft, and it was
first blood for the French.
Now the aircraft, at a signal, returned to their respective
fleets, and hovered over them. The speed of both squadrons was
reduced together. The submarines of both fleets suddenly sank
from sight, and it was evident to Jack that the first blows
probably would be struck from under water.
The aircraft once more advanced, flying low, seeking to learn the
positions of the submarines, and to point them out to the gunners
on the big battleships and cruisers. A periscope, extending a
few feet above water, gave Jack a good target, and the lad
dropped a bomb.
There was a terrific explosion below the water. The periscope
disappeared. There was one Austrian submarine less.
The two squadrons of ships meantime were drawing nearer together.
The first French battleship, flagship of the squadron, was now
engaged with the first ship of the Austrian squadron. They were
engaged gun for gun.
Now the second ships of each fleet came into action, and then the
third. Ship after ship engaged the enemy, until the battle
became general. For an instant, after each salvo, the rival
squadrons were hidden from each other by the smoke of battle, but
a brisk wind soon blew this away, and the cannonading continued.
Now one of the French vessels steered aside and dropped behind
the line of battle. She was disabled.
The next ship moved up, and the French advance continued as
The torpedo craft of the French, gathered behind the French
battle line dashed forward suddenly, headlong for the Austrian
fleet. For two miles they sped on, apparently unnoticed by the
enemy, then the great turret guns of the Austrians opened on
them. The French torpedo craft began to suffer. Two together
swung broadside to the Austrians, riddled with holes; the boiler
of a third burst, the ship broke in two and sank almost
instantly. But the others raced on.
Toward the big Austrian battleships they dashed. Austrian
torpedo boats rushed out to meet them.
A shell from a French warship struck one of these, and she went
to the bottom immediately. Others suffered by the French fire.
Four thousand yards from the Austrian fleet the French torpedo
boats launched their torpedoes; then they fled back to the
protection of the battleships, still engaged with the Austrian
pursuers with small guns.
But they had done their work. A hundred torpedoes, driven by
their motors of compressed air just below the surface, were
steering automatically for the Austrian battleships.
Suddenly the fourth ship of the Austrian line staggered; a white
spray of water leaped high in the air, and the Austrian vessel
split into many pieces. The first torpedo had gone home. The
fifth and sixth Austrian battleships also now leaped from the
water, and then sank from sight. Farther back another Austrian
ship dropped from the line of battle.
Now a school of Austrian torpedo craft dashed forward again.
They were met by a fierce hail of fire from the French, but in
spite of this they succeeded in launching their torpedoes, and
the French battleship, far back, suddenly disappeared from the
surface of the Adriatic.
Now the battle grew so terrific that individual ship movements
could not be kept track of. The Austrian torpedo craft retreated
and the French gave chase. Jack and Frank saw all this, soaring
above the sea, a part of it, and yet not a part of it, for so far
they had had little to do.
Pierre, seated in front of Jack, suddenly uttered a shout.
Following the direction of the pilot's eyes, Jack perceived a
great, gray, pencil-shaped object approaching through the air.
He recognized it instantly -- a German war dirigible, sent to
help the Austrians. Under it flew smaller forms, aeroplanes
accompanying it as guard. And now a second Zeppelin appeared --
and then a third.
Swiftly they swept over the sea. A moment and they had passed
over the broken line of Austrian battleships, and sped on toward
the French fleet. The French perceived the menace, and their
special quick-firers, elevated for aeroplane defense, came into
But the Zeppelins bored on, and their powerful guns fired down
macarite shells. The first French battleship, already stripped
by the raking fire of the Austrian fleet, seemed to crumple up,
and a moment later disappeared altogether.
The rain of shells from above found breaches in the armor of a
second French ship, caught a magazine forward and exploded it,
almost at the same time blew up a magazine aft, and the ship,
broken in two, sank.
The first dirigible, having passed over the French fleet, now
turned and came back. The shells of the ships burst harmlessly
below it. As the torpedo boats had gathered for an attack
against the Austrian fleet, so now did the French aircraft gather
for an assault upon these enemies of the air.
But the enemy's airmen did not wait for them. They charged.
Machines met, wing against wing, and toppled into the water.
Others, their propellers crushed, met the same fate. But some of
the French machines burst through, only to be met by the deadly
fire of the Zeppelins and sent into the sea.
Yet a few survived, and their rifle bullets riddled the gas
chambers of the big balloons, but these tiny perforations availed
nothing. The French flyers who survived darted beyond the
Zeppelins and withdrew. The attack had accomplished little, for,
while some of the Austrian aeroplanes had been sent into the sea,
the dirigibles were still intact. A mean for successful attack
against these giants of the air had not been found.
But now, in response to a word of command from Jack, Pierre
nodded his head in understanding. In the meantime the French
birdmen had re-formed and had rushed forward in another gallant
attack. But the result was the same, and, while they succeeded
in accounting for some of the smaller planes' the Zeppelins
continued to fight as before, dropping their powerful shells upon
the French fleet below.
But this time there was one plane that did not swerve as it burst
through the Austrian line of small planes, and darted toward the
first dirigible. Straight on it rushed, absolutely reckless, and
crashed into the first giant balloon, head-on-collapse the great
forward gas chamber, setting it on fire, exploding it, blowing
all the mighty war balloon to atoms.
In this plane were Jack and Pierre. It was Jack's eye that had
made out the only means of effective attack against the
dirigible. Even as he had ordered the attack, the lad knew that
it meant almost certain death, but he had not hesitated. He
realized that the French aircraft must be shown some means of
destroying these huge air fighters, and knowing that there was
time to convey his ideas to the other, had acted at once.
Now, this accomplished, the plane in which Jack and Pierre had
performed this success, driven deep into the flaming mass of
wreckage, was falling with the broken war balloon down into the
The wreck fell slowly, for the fabric, yet unconsumed, parachuted
and held in the air. Then, finally, hissing and splashing, it
fell into the sea.
To Jack's ears, as he came again to the surface, came the cries
of men wounded and burning. An arm flung toward the sky sent his
eyes in that direction, even as he swam.
He saw the two remaining dirigibles fighting together against
another aeroplane attack. But the way had been shown, and no
longer did the French sheer off when they broke through the
Austrian air line. Two small planes crashed into the dirigibles,
one into each, and exploded them.
They fell to the sea, burning, men tumbling out upon all sides.
A form struck the water close to where Jack, miraculously
uninjured, swam. The latter stretched out an arm, and grasped
the body by the shoulder, as it reappeared upon the surface.
Then a cry of amazement burst from his lips.
The form that he thus clutched so tightly was that of his friend
FROM THE DEAD
At Jack's cry of amazement Frank slowly opened his eyes. His
constitution was not nearly as strong, as that of his huge
friend. He was almost unconscious as the result of his terrible
fall. But he recognized his chum in an instant, smiled feebly,
and then his muscles relaxed. He lay a dead weight in Jack's
Quickly the lad looked round for some sign of a vessel, or a
piece of wreckage to which to cling until he could be picked up.
There was none, so still carrying his friend he struck out in the
direction of the nearest ship, which could even now be seen
The sounds of battle still continued, but they gradually grew
less as the Austrian fleet, or what was left of it, retired to
the protection of its land batteries.
Four warships sent to the bottom of the sea, three submarines
missing, and undoubtedly gone forever, and a half score of
torpedo boats sunk, was the Austrian loss. The French had lost
two battleships, a submarine and three torpedo boats. The
heaviest losses sustained by both sides had been to the air
Now the approaching vessel drew closer to Jack, and he at length
realized that he had been seen. A small boat put off to him.
Strong arms gripped him and pulled him and Frank into the boat,
and a hearty voice exclaimed in English:
"By Jove! They're English! Now, how do you suppose they got
Jack was conscious of a pleasant sensation at hearing his native
tongue spoken thus, but he was too exhausted to take much
interest in it then. He fell back unconscious.
But, if the lad was surprised at thus being addressed in English,
there was still a greater surprise and joy in store for him --
and for Frank.
When Jack reopened his eyes, he lay in a small but well-furnished
cabin. Frank lay near him. He already had returned to
consciousness, and even now was glancing curiously about.
He glanced at Jack as the latter opened his eyes.
"By George!" he ejaculated. "I was afraid you were done for, you
lay there so quietly. How did I come here?"
"Why," said Jack, "you toppled into the sea right beside me, and
I grabbed you and held on until we were picked up."
"Then," cried Frank excitedly, "you were aboard the first plane
that dived into the dirigible?"
"I was there," replied Jack briefly.
"By Jove! I thought so. It looked like some your doings. And,
if you hadn't thought of that method of attack, the whole French
fleet probably would have been sunk!"
"Well, somebody had to do it," said Jack modestly. "I notice you
weren't far behind yourself."
"Well," said Frank quietly, "I am glad we accomplished the task
successfully. Where are we now?"
"I don't know exactly," replied Jack. "But, as we were picked
up, I heard someone talking in English. I believe that we are on
an English ship that happened on the scene just in time to get
into the battle."
"Well --" began Frank, and stopped suddenly, staring open-mouthed
at a figure now framed in the doorway of the little cabin.
Jack turned his eyes in that direction, and also was stricken
"Am I dreaming?" muttered Frank at last. "It -- it can't be."
"'But it is," exclaimed a well-known voice, and a dignified and
military figure marched into the room -- the figure of Lord
Hastings, whom the, boys had so long mourned as lost.
In spite of their exhausted condition, both boys were upon their
feet instantly, and each had him by the hand.
"But you went down with the Sylph," protested Jack.
"You were drowned," declared Frank. "I saw you go down."
"So you did," replied Lord Hastings, laughing a little. "But I
came up again. I came up near a piece of floating wreckage, to
which I clung for more than twenty-four hours before I was
finally picked up by a British torpedo boat."
There were tears in the eyes of both boys as they clung to their
"But what happened to you?" Lord Hastings continued. "I inquired
everywhere, and could find no trace of you. I was certain that
you had gone down, and I was never so surprised and overjoyed in
my life as when you were lifted aboard the Sylph a few hours
"The Sylph!" ejaculated Jack.
"Yes," replied His Lordship, smiling a little, "I have christened
this vessel the Sylph II, but I always speak of her as the Sylph.
But come, tell me about yourselves."
Briefly Frank related the experiences they had gone through since
the Sylph had been sunk.
"Nothing you do can surprise me any more," declared Lord
Hastings, when Frank had finished his narrative. "But now, as to
the future, do you wish to remain aboard the Marie Theresa, or
would you like to come with me?"
"Would we!" ejaculated Jack fervently.
"I should say we would!" declared Frank decisively.
"Well," said Lord Hastings, "I have no doubt that it can be
arranged. I shall speak to Captain Dreyfuss at once."
"Is Lieutenant Hetherington alive?" asked Jack suddenly.
"No," replied Lord Hastings sadly, "we three are the sole
survivors of the Sylph."
"But what are you doing in these waters?" demanded Frank.
"Well," replied Lord Hastings, "it's somewhat of a secret, but I
don't mind telling you. I am on the trail of the German cruiser
"The Emden!" ejaculated both lads.
"Exactly. She has become a terrible menace to British shipping.
While she is probably more than a match for the Sylph, if I come
up with her I shall stay on her trail until I can raise a cruiser
big enough to tackle her. My job is to find her, and, when I do,
I guarantee I shall never lose sight of her."
"Good!" cried Jack. "Now, if you can fix it up with Captain
Dreyfuss, we are ready to go with you."
"Would you like to accompany me?" asked the commander of the
The lads signified their assent. An hour later they were all
seated in Captain Dreyfuss' cabin aboard the Marie Theresa.
"And where is Pierre?" demanded Captain Dreyfuss of Jack.
"Gone!" replied the lad quietly. "He died the death of a hero."
"And do you mean to tell me," demanded the captain, "that you two
lads were in the machines that dived head first into the enemy?"
"It was Jack who conceived the idea and made the first attack,"
Captain Dreyfuss turned to Lord Hastings.
"And these are the two lads you are asking me to give up to you,
eh?" he said severely.
"Well," replied Lord Hastings, "I certainly should like to have
them back again. But, of course, if you do not give your consent
Captain Dreyfuss interrupted him with a wave of the hand, and
turned to the boys.
"And what do you say, sirs?" he demanded. "Have you not been
treated well aboard my ship?"
"Yes, sir," replied Jack, "but --"
Frank's heart fell. From the captain's tone, it was apparent
that he did not intend to let them go.
"And you, sir?" demanded the captain of Frank.
"We have no cause to complain," replied Frank. "But Lord
"Enough!" interrupted Captain Dreyfuss. "It shall be as you
say." He turned to Lord Hastings.
"Take them," he said, "and I am sure you will never find two
"Thank you, sir," said both boys.
The commander of the Marie Theresa arose to his feet, signifying
that the interview was over, and extended a hand to each lad.
"Good luck," he said simply. "You may go now. I have some
matters to discuss with your new commander."
The boys saluted and went on deck, where they awaited Lord
It was several hours later before they returned aboard the Sylph.
No sooner were they aboard, however, than Lord Hastings ordered
that the vessel be put under way immediately.
"I have wasted time enough here," he told the lads. "I must get
on the trail of the Emden at once."
The lads were given quarters corresponding to the ones they had
had on the old Sylph. The vessel was built along the same lines
as the Sylph I, and had been fitted out just as luxuriously and
comfortably. It was, in times of peace, well adapted for a
The Sylph II carried a goodly array of fighting material,
however, and a crew of 150 men.
It was while dining that night that Lord Hastings gave the boys
the surprise of their lives.
"I presume you know," he said quietly, "that as the two surviving
officers of the Sylph, you now move into the vacancies left by
the death of my first and second officer?"
"What!" exclaimed both lads in the greatest surprise.
"Oh, you heard me," replied Lord Hastings. "But which of you is
to be which?"
"But how about your present officers?" demanded Jack.
"They will understand when I explain to them," replied Lord
Hastings. "Now, which is to be my first officer?"
"Jack, sir," said Frank.
"Frank, sir," said Jack.
"Come," said His Lordship, "I have a way to decide."
He took two toothpicks, and broke one off a little shorter than
the other. He put them behind his back for a moment, and then
held his hand out in front of him.
"Whoever draws the shortest stick," he said, "shall be my first
Jack took one of the toothpicks and Frank the other. Then they
Frank dropped his and slapped Jack heartily on the back.
"Good!" he said joyfully, "you've won."
"The Emden," said Lord Hastings to Jack and Frank, "has probably
done more damage to British, French and Russian shipping than all
of the other German raiders and fleets at large."
"Has she accomplished anything lately?" asked Frank.
"Yes," replied Lord Hastings, "she has indeed. I suppose you
have not heard the story of her raids?"
"No," replied both lads, and Jack added: "Will you tell us what
you know of her?"
"Well," began Lord Hastings, "the Emden is commanded by Captain
Karl von Mueller, a courteous gentleman and a competent officer
-- also, by the way, in times of peace, a friend of mine."
"Then you know him well?" asked Frank.
"Very well," returned Lord Hastings. "He has visited me more
than once, and I have been his guest in Berlin. But to proceed.
The first report of the activity of the Emden was received on
August 6, when word came that the German cruiser had sunk the
steamer City of Winchester the day before.
"The Emden has contributed to the history of the war one of its
most remarkable chapters. For sheer audacity and success it has
few parallels. Twenty-two ships, mostly British, have been sunk
and one has been captured by this German cruiser, rightly named
'The Terror of the Sea.'
"Since early in August the Emden has been at work. Most of this
time she has been preying on shipping in the Indian Ocean. The
vessels destroyed by Captain von Mueller had a total value of
about $4,000,000, exclusive of their cargoes. The Emden's
largest guns, according to the best figures obtainable, are only
4-inch, and of these she has ten. Her speed of 24.5 knots is her
greatest asset, but the Sylph has the heels of her. She has been
able to run down merchant ships with ease and then escape from
larger but slower vessels that pursued her. British, Russian,
French and Japanese warships in the East have been trying for
weeks to put an end to her, but without success."
"But," Frank broke in, "how has she been able to keep to sea
month after month without replenishing her coal supply?"
"That," said Lord Hastings, "is a mystery that is as yet
unsolved. It is assumed, however, that she has obtained
sufficient food and fuel to meet her needs from captured ships.
In at least one instance this is known to have been done. The
captain of the British steamer Exford, captured by the Emden,
informed his owners that Captain von Mueller said that before he
sank the Exford he intended to take on board his cruiser the
7,000 tons of steam coal with which the Exford was laden."
Captain von Mueller must indeed be a capable officer," said Jack.
"He is," said Lord Hastings. "But to continue. After sinking
the City of Winchester the Emden steamed into the Bay of Bengal,
five days later, and sent two more British vessels to the bottom.
Within three days she had sunk four vessels there. She was
accompanied by the Markommania, a converted liner, as a collier.
The collier was sunk off Sumatra October 16 by a British cruiser.
"Leaving the Bay of Bengal, the Emden sank three British steamers
in the Indian Ocean on September 14. September 22 she appeared
off Madras and shelled the city, and, extinguishing her lights,
disappeared when the forts replied. Then she renewed her
activity in the vicinity of Rangoon, where more British ships
fell to her prey. Where she is now I don't know."
"How large a vessel is she?" asked Jack, greatly interested.
"She has a complement Of 361 men," replied Lord Hastings. "Her
armament, besides the ten 4-inch guns I referred to before,
consists of eight five pounders and four machine guns. She is
also understood to be equipped with two submerged 17.7 - inch
torpedo tubes. She displaces 3,6oo tons. She is 387 feet long
and has a beam of 43 1/3 feet. She was built in 1908. That's
about all I can tell you about her."
"And Captain von Mueller," said Frank, "is he an elderly man?"
"No," replied Lord Hastings, "I should hardly call him that. I
don't know his age, of course, but he is under forty. I
understand that the Germans are bailing him as the modern Nelson
and Paul Jones, in memory of two of the greatest sea fighters of
"Well they may," declared Jack, "for he must be a man of
exceptional ability. I should like to see him."
"So you may, with good fortune," said Lord Hastings. "It is my
hope to see him again before he has done further damage to
Lord Hastings' account of the brief history of the Emden made
quite an impression on Frank and Jack. The brief though active
career of probably the greatest of German sea fighters interested
them greatly, as it should all young readers.
The boys talked much of the gallant German captain as the Sylph
II continued on her course from the Adriatic into the sunny
Mediterranean once more, through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea,
after a stop for coal at Port Said, and on into the warm waters
of the Indian Ocean.
And more news of the Emden was not to be long forthcoming. Lord
Hastings had no means of knowing just in what part of the sea the
Emden might be in so, after two days of fruitless cruising, he
put into the port of Penang, on Malacca Straits. Here Lord
Hastings received first-hand information concerning the
whereabouts of the German "Terror of the Sea."
There were two Russian cruisers, two French destroyers and one
British vessel in the harbor, under the guns of the little fort,
when the Sylph steamed in. These vessels also had been in search
of the Emden, and had put in for coal.
The commanders of the various ships exchanged visits. The Emden
was practically the sole topic of their conversation. The
Russian commander had just returned aboard his own ship after a
visit to Lord Hastings. There came a call from the lookout-on
"Cruiser coming into the harbor, sir!"
Lord Hastings, Frank and Jack hurried to the bridge.
"She shows no colors," muttered Frank. "Wonder who she is?"
"Maybe the Emden come to pay a little social call," said Jack.
"No " said Lord Hastings; "this cruiser has four smokestacks; the
Emden has but three."
"They could easily rig up another one," said Jack.
"Lord Hastings, some way I feel that all is not right."
"Nonsense," replied Lord Hastings.
There was the sound of a shot from one of the Russian cruisers.
"She'll show her colors now," said Lord Hastings.
All glanced toward the approaching vessel. A flag was run tip
the masthead. Lord Hastings made it out immediately.
"Japanese," he said, unconsciously breathing easier.
Slowly the cruiser came closer, heading right for the other ships
of war in the harbor. Lord Hastings returned to his cabin and
Frank followed him.
Jack continued to gaze over the rail at the cruiser. Suddenly,
why he never knew, he rushed hurriedly after his commander.
"I am sure that is not a Japanese cruiser, sir," he cried. "I
don't know why, but something tells me it is an enemy."
"Nonsense," said Lord Hastings again. "You are a bit nervous.
"No, sir, it isn't that," replied Jack. "I --"
He was interrupted by the boom of a single big gun followed by a
heavy outbreak of cannonading. Lord Hastings jumped to his feet
and dashed to the bridge, Jack and Frank close at his heels.
They glanced quickly at the supposed Japanese cruiser. But the
Japanese ensign had been hauled down, and now there floated from
the cruiser the flag of Germany! And the cruiser's fourth smoke
stack had come down.
"The Emden!" cried Lord Hastings.
Bugles were sounding on all the allied ships, of war in the
harbor, calling the men to quarters. Caught thus unprepared, the
allied vessels were at an immense disadvantage.
Suddenly there was a loud explosion aboard one of the Russian
cruisers, and a moment later it burst into flames. Now the other
ships poured broadsides into the Emden, but she stuck to her
post. One of the two French destroyers suddenly dived,
head-first, into the sea, one of the Emden's submerged torpedoes
having dealt her a deathblow.
A shell sped over the stern of the Sylph, but did no damage.
Then, calmly, almost ignoring. the remaining ships of the allied
fleet, the Emden put about, and made off. Her raid had been
successful, and it was another victory for the Kaiser.
The Emden continued to rain shells at her foes until she was out
of range. Not minded to take any unnecessary risk, Lord Hastings
let the Emden get well out of range, before he gave the command
for the Sylph to follow.
Then, stripped for action, the Sylph set out upon the trail of
the German cruiser.
"We are on the trail at last," said Lord Hastings, "and on the
trail we'll remain until the Emden has been sent to the bottom."
He turned to Jack. "Hereafter," he said, "I'll place faith in
The Sylph kept just far enough in the rear of the Emden to be out
of range. After three hours, it became apparent that the
commander of the German cruiser was aware that he was being
followed. He slowed down, waiting the Sylph to come within range
and give battle.
But while Lord Hastings was a brave man, he had no idea of
accepting battle now. For had the day gone against him, the
Emden would have been able to disappear once more. With the
superior speed of the Sylph, Lord Hastings knew that he could
remain on the trail, using his wireless to pick up some British
vessel big enough to put an end to the "Terror of the Sea."
Accordingly, the Sylph also slowed down. After waiting in vain
for the little scout cruiser to approach closer, the Emden again
set out on her course, at full speed. The Sylph also quickened
her pace, and the Emden was unable to shake her off.
Then the Emden slowed down again. So did the Sylph. The
wireless operator approached Lord Hastings with a message.
Lord Hastings read it aloud:
"Remain where you are till I come up, or I shall sink you.
Signed, von Mueller."
Followed by the two lads Lord Hastings made his way to the
wireless room, and ticked off this message himself :
"The Emden is doomed. Signed, Hastings."
ON THE TRAIL
A reply to this message was not long coming. It read:
"Lord Hastings: Sorry you are aboard, but I must sink you."
To this Lord Hastings replied:
"It can't be done."
Now the Emden put about and headed for the Sylph. Quickly also
the Sylph came about and headed westward.
"If he'll only follow long enough, we'll lure him into the path
of some British vessel," said Lord Hastings.
"Well," said Jack, "I don't believe he will. As soon as he finds
he cannot overtake us, he'll continue on his way."
"And he'll try to lose us in the night," said Frank.
"That is my idea," said Lord Hastings. "To prevent that we must
be on the alert continually. We'll follow him for months, if
necessary. At nights we shall have to close up a bit, and take a
chance that they cannot hit us."
It was nearing dusk when the Emden finally gave up the chase of
the Sylph as futile, and once more put about. Immediately also
the Sylph's head came about, and she once more set out, to trail
the German. Occasional messages were exchanged between Captain
von Mueller and Lord Hastings.
Night fell, and now the Sylph began to draw closer to her quarry.
She closed up the distance gradually, until Lord Hastings decided
that they were near enough; and this position the Sylph
maintained, her searchlight playing upon the Emden and making her
as light as day.
All night and all the following day the Sylph followed the Emden.
Several times the Emden put about, and made as if to give chase,
but on each occasion the Sylph also changed her course. The
relative positions of the two vessels remained the same, except
that in the light of day the Sylph put more distance between her
and her quarry.
Night drew on once more, and again the Sylph approached closer.
It was plain that this remorseless pursuit was worrying the
commander of the Emden and that he did not know which way to turn
to avoid his pursuer.
Lord Hastings sniffed the air.
"Feels like there would be a fog tonight," he said. "I hope it
is not so dense as to dim the glow of the searchlight."
But in this he was doomed to disappointment. The fog descended,
but still those on the Sylph could dimly make out the outline of
the Emden. But with the approach of morning, while Jack had the
bridge, the fog suddenly thickened, and blotted out the pursued
Quickly Jack summoned Lord Hastings.
Immediately Lord Hastings ordered the searchlight extinguished
and all lights on board put out.
"We don't want to let him know where we are," he said. "I feel
absolutely certain that Captain von Mueller will double back and
try to come up upon us in the fog. We must avoid that at all
hazards, and at the same time must so maneuver as to be near
enough to pick him up when the fog lifts."
Lord Hastings altered the course of the Sylph slightly, but
continued to go forward. Six o'clock came and no sign of the
Emden, and then seven. And then the fog lifted as suddenly as it
had descended, and at that moment there was the sound of a big
gun and a shell whistled over the stern of the Sylph.
A mile in the offing, having put about, was the Emden. She had
maneuvered even as Lord Hastings had figured, and had run clear
by the Sylph in the darkness.
"Full speed ahead!" commanded Lord Hastings.
The Sylph leaped quickly forward, as the bell tinkled the signal
to the engine-room, running rapidly to get out of range of the
Emden's guns and torpedoes.
Several times, without reducing the speed of his ship, Lord
Hastings swerved in his course, and thus spoiled the aim of the
German gunners. And then the Emden's shells began to fall short.
The Sylph was out of range.
For an hour the Emden continued her pursuit, and then once more
put about and herself became the pursued, the Sylph following
relentlessly on her heels.
It was near noon when the wireless operator aboard the Sylph
approached Lord Hastings.
"Have just picked up the Australian cruiser Sydney, sir. I gave
him our identity and Captain Glossop pays his respects to you,
Lord Hastings jumped to action in a moment.
"Where is he now?"
The operator gave the position of the Sydney.
"A hundred miles away," mused Lord Hastings.
He led the way to the wireless room.
"Send this in code," he told the operator, handing him a slip of
paper on which he had written a few words, "and instruct him to
reply in code."
The operator did as he was commanded.
The reply was plain to Lord Hastings, himself an operator upon
"Good!" he said to himself.
He turned to the boys.
"I gave the Sydney our position and told him we were trailing the
Emden. He replied that he would head for us immediately; for us
to keep up the chase and keep him constantly informed of our
"But don't you suppose the Emden has picked up the message, sir."
"Undoubtedly; that is why I sent it in code. Von Mueller may
surmise what we are up to, but he cannot be sure."
That the commander of the Emden had picked up the message became
apparent a few moments later.
"Emden has signaled the Sydney her presence not needed, sir,"
said the operator, "and signed the message Hastings."
Lord Hastings scribbled rapidly.
"Send this," he ordered.
The message read:
"Disregard all communications not in code. Emden trying to throw
you off the track."
The Sydney acknowledged the receipt of this message, and Lord
Hastings and the two lads returned to the bridge.
"What do you suppose Captain von Mueller will do now?" asked
"Run as long as he can," replied Lord Hastings.
"However, the Sydney is considerably faster, so it is only a
question of time till we get him."
The Emden now headed east, on a course that eventually would land
her, if she maintained it, somewhere along the Malay archipelago.
The Sylph gave chase.
Continual messages were flashed between Lord Hastings and the
commander of the Australian cruiser, and it became apparent that
the latter gradually overhauling them.
Came a message to Lord Hastings from the commander of the Emden:
"Sorry you were afraid to fight it out."
Lord Hastings wired back:
"I wasn't afraid, but I will take no chance of losing you."
All day and all another night the chase continued; and it was
near noon of the following day that the lookout gave the welcome
"Ship off the stern, sir!"
Quickly all eyes were turned in the direction indicated. A
smudge of smoke could be seen off the horizon. Came a message
from the Sydney:
"Have sighted you."
But the Sydney was still far in the rear when land came in sight.
"What do you make it, sir?" asked Frank of Lord Hastings.
"I should say it is one of the Cocos Islands group," was the
The Emden headed straight for it. Two hours later she landed,
and the Sylph stood off.
"Do you suppose Captain von Mueller will desert the ship or sink
her?" asked Jack.
"Not without a fight," replied Lord Hastings positively.
It was three hours later before the Emden lifted anchor and put
to sea again. Those on board did not know it then, but a landing
party from the Emden had destroyed the wireless station on the
island while there.
Slowly but surely the Sydney overhauled the Sylph, and at length
drew up on even terms with her. Then she forged slowly ahead,
drawing closer and closer to her prey.
Now, realizing that escape was impossible, the Emden turned.
Brought to bay, Captain von Mueller had decided to give battle.
"Will we go into action, sir?" asked Jack of Lord Hastings
"Not unless it is absolutely necessary," replied the commander of
the Sylph. "The Sydney can handle the Emden alone."
Both lads were disappointed, for they had felt certain, that when
the Emden was brought to bay they would have a hand in putting an
end to her.
"Well," said Jack, "we can at least see the battle."
"Right," said Frank, and fortifying themselves with glasses, they
took posts of vantage.
Now the Emden steamed forward to meet the Sydney, and the Sylph
hove to. The crew, relieved from duty, scattered about the
decks, seeking advantageous places to witness the encounter.
Slowly the two cruisers approached each other.
The Emden already has been described, and a few words here
concerning the Sydney will not be amiss.
The Australian cruiser Sydney carried a main battery of eight
6-inch guns, thus giving her an advantage over the German ship.
She had a complement Of 400 men. She was 400 feet long and was
much greater in the beam than her antagonist. She carried
several smaller guns and a number of rapid-firers. As did the
Emden, the Sydney carried two submerged torpedoes.
Across the water came the call of a bugle, as the crew of the
Sydney made ready for action. She was almost within range now.
There was no question but that she outranged the Emden slightly,
but the German cruiser was steaming rapidly forward to overcome
this disadvantage as quickly as possible.
Now there was a puff of smoke from the bow of the Sydney.
"Boom!" came the sound of a big gun.
The Sydney, within range at last, had opened the battle.
"Now for it!" cried Jack, as the first shell from the British
cruiser splashed up the water only a few yards in front of the
A second concussion was heard and an English shell struck the
heavy armored side of the German cruiser.
The sailors and officers raised a loud cheer. It was first blood
for the Sydney, and the sailors aboard that vessel also let out a
yell of delight.
So far the Emden had not answered the Sydney's fire. However,
she was dashing rapidly ahead, seeking to get within range. Two
more shells from the Sydney struck the Emden before she finally
managed to get within range, and opened fire with the 4-inch guns
in her forward turrets.
The results of the first salvos from the German guns were nil.
The range finders on the Emden had evidently not calculated
properly. The water leaped into white sprays ahead of the
Sydney, indicating that the Emden's first fire had been wasted.
But the next attempt o the Emden met with better success. A
solid shot struck the Sydney, squarely on the bow. The Sydney's
armor was, too strong for the German guns at this distance,
however, and while the vessel staggered slightly, she was not
damaged to any extent.
It became apparent early in the battle that the marksmanship of
the Sydney's gunners was much superior to that of the foe. The
range-finders were attending to their work with coolness and
precision. The fire was deliberate and accurate. It was slower
than that of the Emden, but far more deadly.
A shell struck upon the Emden's deck near the forward smokestack
and burst. Iron and steel flew high in the air and came down in
a deadly hail, killing and maiming many members of the crew.
The smokestack toppled to the deck, pinioning many more beneath
Quickly a squad of men sprang forward and soon cleared away the
wreckage. But the carrying away of the smokestack now hampered
the draught of the Emden and made progress much more difficult.
Nevertheless, she still continued to pour her shells against the
armored sides of the Sydney.
Now the first shot landed among the gun crew of the Sydney,
putting one of the guns out of commission, killing three of the
crew and wounding several others. Those three men were the only
ones killed on the Sydney in the whole course of the battle.
Suddenly those aboard the Sylph became aware that the fire of the
enemy was not as rapid as before. The reason for this they soon
made out. One of the forward guns of the Emden had been,
silenced by the well-directed fire of the Sydney.
A moment later another of the enemy's guns became silent -- and
then another. Up to this moment the Emden had been rushing as
rapidly as possible toward the Sydney, but now she paused in her
advance, almost stopped, swung about in a wide circle, and made
off in the other direction.
It was plain that she had had enough. A cheer went up from the
British sailors, both on the Sydney and aboard the Sylph. But
Captain Glossop, of the Sydney, had no mind to let his prey
escape. The Sydney dashed in pursuit of the enemy at full speed,
and a fierce running battle ensued.
The Emden's stern guns continued to play upon the Sydney as she
made a wild dash for the distant shore. She was headed for the
nearest point of land, and the question that now rose in the
minds of the spectators aboard the Sylph was whether the Sydney
could come up with her before she could find a certain amount of
refuge in what appeared to be a small cove.
The excitement aboard the Sylph was intense. Men shouted and
yelled, calling words of encouragement and advice to the fellow
sailors aboard the British battle cruiser, forgetting their
voices could not be heard.
As the Emden turned and made off, Jack cried out:
"She's running! She's liable to get away!"
"Don't you believe it!" called Frank excitedly. "The Sydney'll
"What's the Emden heading that way for?' asked Jack of Lord
Hastings, who stood beside the lads.
"My idea is," replied the commander of the Sylph, "that von
Mueller intends to beach the ship."
"In that event will he and his men try to escape inland?"
"I suppose so."
The Sydney continued her chase, seeming to gather additional
speed at every furlong. Her heavy shells played a merry tattoo
upon the stem and deck of the fleeing German cruiser.
But the Emden was now gradually drawing toward land. Suddenly,
she swerved and headed straight for a huge reef that could be
seen protruding above the surface of the water. A cry of dismay
went up from those aboard the Sylph.
But the cry was uncalled for. For even as the Emden swerved in
her course, a British shell burst squarely upon the bridge of the
At the same instant a second found 'its way through the various
compartments to the engine-room.
There was the sound of terrific explosion, and a red sheet of
flame sprang above the cruiser. Even above the cries of battle
came the cries of German sailors, maimed and suffering horribly.
Another salvo from the Sydney put the steering apparatus of the
Emden out of commission, and now instead of steering straight for
the rocky reef, she turned her broadside toward it.
Swiftly she floated toward this dangerous projection. Almost
helpless as she was, Captain von Mueller evidently had no thought
of surrender. The three guns still in commission aboard the
vessel continued to hurl their messages of defiance at the
Suddenly rapid movements of those aboard the Emden told that one
of the submerged torpedoes, still undamaged, was about to be
launched. Quickly the Sydney maneuvered a trifle to the left,
and the huge explosive sped on to the sea beyond, doing no
damage. Now the second torpedo was launched, but it had no
Now the Sydney made use of her own torpedo tube, and a moment
later this engine of destruction sped through the water toward
the Emden. There was no need for a second. A terrible explosion
told that the torpedo had found its mark.
High above the burning cruiser a second sheet of flame flared up,
and at almost the same instant the Emden beached. There was a
loud crunching sound as the cruiser grounded on the rocky reef
and was battered by the heavy waves against the uneven
To launch the small boats in this place and make for the shore
was impossible. The boats were launched, and the crew tumbled
in. One made off toward the shore, but it could not live in the
fierce breakers, and in a moment disappeared.
The other boats, warned by the fate of the first, put off toward
the open sea.
"Do you suppose Captain von Mueller will remain and perish with
his ship?" asked Frank of Lord Hastings.
"I do not believe so," was the reply. "There is no need for it.
If the ship were sinking, it would be another matter, but as you
see, it is not. It appears to be caught hard and fast on a
ledge, and is burning up."
It was true. Stuck suddenly fast on a rocky ledge, the Emden was
almost stationary. Flames continued to leap on all sides of her,
and it was plainly apparent that it would not be long before they
would reach her magazine; and when they did reach it, that would
be the end.
As the German small boats headed seaward, the Sydney ceased
firing at the now helpless vessel, and bore down on them. It was
plain that Captain Glossop was bent upon capturing the survivors.
Small boats and the Australian cruiser were now probably a mile
from the burning vessel, and the, Sylph had started forward also
to pick up some of the German sailors.
At this moment the flames reached the magazine of the Emden.
There was a blinding flash, a terrific detonation. The Emden
sprang from the sea like a thing alive, seemed to hang in the air
for a brief moment, then turned and dived head-first into the
sea. The waters closed over her with an angry hiss, and the
German cruiser Emden, for months a terrible menace to British,
French and Russian shipping, "The Terror of the Sea," was no
"A fitting end for so noble a vessel," was Lord Hastings' only
comment as the cruiser disappeared from the world's ken.
The Sylph was nearing the little flotilla of small boats, and
several were put off from the vessel to join the small craft of
the Sydney and take the surviving Germans prisoners.
Frank and Jack were in the first boat. As they, drew closer,
Jack made out a uniformed figure in one of the German boats that
he felt sure was the commander of the Emden.
He steered his boat closer. It was plain that there would be no
further resistance from the Germans, and Jack finally managed to
steer his boat alongside that of Captain von Mueller.
The latter made no protest when Jack ordered him to step aboard
the Sylph's small boat, and did so without a word. Immediately,
the little craft turned about and put back to the Sylph, leaving
the other small craft to attend to the rest of the German
Of the Emden's crew Of 361 officers and men, there were less than
75 left alive. Dead and wounded alike had gone to a deep-sea
grave when the German cruiser took her death plunge.
Lord Hastings stood at the rail of the Sylph as the little boat
Jack and Frank clambered over the side of the ship ahead of the
German commander and, with Lord Hastings, stood waiting to
CAPTAIN VON MUELLER
As Captain von Mueller clambered over the rail, Lord Hastings
advanced to meet him with outstretched hand.
"It is indeed a pleasure to receive you aboard the Sylph!" he
exclaimed, with real pleasure in his voice.
Captain von Mueller grasped the outstretched hand and wrung it
"And I am glad to see you," he returned quietly, "though I would
rather it were under more fortunate circumstances. But the
battle is over and with your permission, we will not refer to it
"Agreed," replied Lord Hastings, and led the way to his cabin,
motioning for Captain von Mueller, Frank and Jack to follow.
He introduced the lads to the great German commander, and the
latter expressed his pleasure at seeing them. At this moment the
third officer entered and spoke to Lord Hastings.
"Launch from the Sydney coming alongside, sir," he said.
"Show Captain Glossop here when he comes aboard," he said.
The third officer withdrew. He appeared again a moment later,
however, followed by the commander of the Sydney. Introductions
"Captain von Mueller," said Lord Hastings at length, "it will be
necessary for me to turn you over to Captain Glossop. You will
go with him aboard the Sydney. Were I returning direct to
England, it would give me pleasure to have you accompany me.
However, the Sydney will go straight back to Melbourne, and you
will be taken there and held as a prisoner of war."
Captain von Mueller signified his understanding of the situation.
He expressed pleasure at having met Lord Hastings again, and that
the fortunes of war had made him the prisoner of such gallant
After some further talk, Captain von Mueller and Captain Glossop
disappeared over the side of the Sylph, and put off toward the
Sydney. Before either vessel proceeded on its way, several
further messages were exchanged between the commanders of the
Sydney and the Sylph; but at length the Sydney began to draw away
toward the east.
"And so," said Lord Hastings to the two lads, as they stood
leaning over the rail, after the Sylph was once more under way,
"so goes the 'German Terror of the Sea.'"
The Sylph now turned her head once more to the west, and started
on her journey back toward the Mediterranean. She steamed along
slowly, Lord Hastings, greatly satisfied with the success of his
mission, being in no particular hurry. They put in at Ceylon for
coal; then once more resumed their journey.
It was the second day after leaving Ceylon that the lookout made
a startling discovery.
"Submarine off the starboard bow, sir!" he called.
Instantly there was excitement on board the Sylph, for there was
no telling whether the submarine were friend or foe. At length
those on the bridge were able to make out the periscope of the
vessel, close to the water. And at this very moment it stood
higher and higher in the water. The submarine was coming to the
The Sylph had been quickly stripped for action, for Lord
Hastings had determined to give battle should the submarine prove
to be an enemy. All available guns were turned upon the spot
where the submarine was rising.
But hardly had the under-sea craft come to the surface than a
British ensign was run up.
Lord Hastings breathed easier.
"Good!" he exclaimed. "I wouldn't care much to encounter a
The commander of the submarine, Captain Nicholson, came aboard
the Sylph to pay his respects to Lord Hastings.
"I suppose you are aware," he said during the course of the
conversation, "that Turkey has declared war on England, France
"What!" cried Lord Hastings. "Turkey has declared war! I hadn't
heard of it."
"Well, it's true, nevertheless," replied Captain Nicholson.
Lord Hastings smiled grimly.
"I guess it will be 'The Sick Man of Europe's' last illness," he
Captain Nicholson laughed.
"It will," he said briefly.
"But what are you doing in these waters?" asked Lord Hastings,
having already explained his own presence there.
"Well," said Captain Nicholson, "I understand that there are at
least three Turkish cruisers anchored in the mouth of the
Euphrates, in the Persian gulf. I suppose they are there to
protect Bassora, about 70 miles up the river, from possible
attacks. I had thought of attempting to sink them."
"What, alone?" said Lord Hastings.
The captain of the submarine shrugged his shoulders.
"Why not?' be wanted to know.
'Well," said Lord Hastings, "it's a desperate venture, but if you
are successful, it will be a feather in your cap."
"I'm not looking for glory," replied Captain Nicholson. "But I
would give my right arm to destroy those Turkish cruisers,
guarded as they are by a fort. And I mean to have a try at it."
"I'd like to go with you," said Lord Hastings, "but the Sylph
would be worse than useless in such an encounter."
"True," said Captain Nicholson. "But I have an idea. Have you
ever been aboard a submarine in action?"
"I have been aboard many submarines, yes," replied Lord Hastings,
"but one in action, no."
"Then why not come with me?"
"I would like to," said Lord Hastings, "but what of the Sylph?"
"Your first officer could take command until you returned."
"No," said Lord Hastings, "it can't be done." He was struck with
a sudden idea, and turned to Jack and Frank. "How would you two
lads like to make such an excursion?" he asked.
"We would like nothing better, sir," replied Frank.
"Indeed, we would like it immensely," agreed Jack.
Lord Hastings turned again to Captain Nicholson.
"Why not take these two lads as substitutes for me?" he asked.
The commander of the submarine looked somewhat dubious.
"Oh, I'll guarantee they won't be in the way," said Lord Hastings
with a laugh, and he proceeded to relate to the astounded
commander some of the things the lads had already accomplished.
Captain Nicholson arose, and took each lad by the hand.
"I shall account it an honor to have you with me,"' he said
"So be it, then," said Lord Hastings. "I shall remain here with
the Sylph until you return."
Both lads thanked Lord Hastings heartily for giving them this
opportunity of seeing something of under-the-sea fighting aboard
a British vessel.
"How soon do you plan to start?" Lord Hastings inquired of
"Immediately," replied the commander of the submarine Y-3.
"And how long do you figure it will be before you can return
"Not more than thirty-six hours."
Lord Hastings turned to the two lads.
"You had better take a few clothes with you," he told then. "Do
you prepare now, while I have a few words with Captain
The lads hastened to their own quarters, and rapidly threw a few
belongings together, so anxious were they to be off.
"Lord Hastings is a brick!" exclaimed Jack.
"I should say he is!" agreed Frank. "He agrees to wait in this
outlandish spot two days just to give us this opportunity. How
many other commanders do you suppose there are who would go to
all that trouble?"
"Not many," replied Jack dryly.
"I guess not. Are you ready;"'
"Come on then, let's go back to Lord Hastings' cabin."
Captain Nicholson was already on his feet, ready to go, when the
lads re-entered the commander's cabin.
"I see it didn't take you long," he observed.
"We are very anxious to go, sir," Jack explained.
"They are always quick and prompt," said Lord Hastings.
"An excellent trait," commended Captain Nicholson.
Lord Hastings accompanied Captain Nicholson and the two lads to
"All you two lads have to do," he said, "is to, look on. You are
not supposed to do any fighting, just keep out of everybody's way
and make no trouble. Also, keep out of mischief."
"Very well, sir," replied Jack.
The three clambered over the rail and dropped into the little
boat that was rising and falling gently with the swell of the
waves on the sea below.
Quickly the launch put off toward the submarine.
Lord Hastings raised his voice and shouted after them.
"I'll wait here until you return. Don't be gone any longer than
you can help."
"We'll be back within the time I mentioned," Captain Nicholson
Lord Hastings signified that he was satisfied, and waved his hand
to the departing boat.
Jack and Frank waved in return.
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