The Boy Allies Under Two Flags
Ensign Robert L. Drake
Part 4 out of 4
UNDER THE SEA AGAIN
"I have not yet told the men what I propose to do," Captain
Nicholson informed the boys, ass they made their way aboard the
Captain Nicholson introduced the lads to the man at the helm.
"Old Jansen," he said with a flourish of his arm.
The boys acknowledged this introduction, and Old Jansen touched
"Jansen," said the commander, "we are going to attack the Turkish
battleships at the mouth of the Euphrates."
The old man let out a siren-like yell, and turned crimson all
over his pink and white face.
Captain Nicholson turned the submarine over to him, and, followed
by the two lads, made his way below.
"I never knew eighteen throats could make so much noise," said
Frank to Jack, after the crew had been informed of their project.
And it was indeed a terrific noise the men made when they learned
they were about to go into action.
"The 'subs' aren't like the big ships," Captain Nicholson
explained. "With such a small crew I know the men personally,
and I know I can count on each and every one of them,
particularly Old Jansen, and Brown, the gunner's mate. I need
not caution the engine-room crew for special watchfulness. Every
oiler aft knows a warm bearing would condemn him forever in the
eyes of his shipmates."
A few moments more and the submarine was racing along toward the
mouth of the Euphrates, where the enemy was known to be. Just as
dusk was setting in, Brown, the gunner's mate, reported an
aeroplane to leeward. Captain Nicholson, Jack and Frank, who
stood on the bridge, could just make it out with binoculars.
"I hate to use any electricity out of my batteries now," said
Captain Nicholson, "for it is likely to be very precious later.
However, I don't want to run chances of being discovered. We'll
The three made their way below. The entrance was hermetically
closed, and soon the tanks were being filled. A moment later the
Y-3 began to submerge.
At a depth of 60 feet Captain Nicholson trimmed down, and f or an
hour the vessel ran along at eight knots, the commander wishing
to make sure of complete darkness before coming up.
"How do you manage to keep your course under water, captain?"
"Simple," was the reply. "Gyroscopic compass."
At that moment the man on watch at the bell receiver reported the
sound of a ship's propellers above. Captain Nicholson turned his
place at the periscope over to his first officer and listened
The steady rhythmic beat was well off the port bow.
At Captain Nicholson's command, the main ballast tank was emptied
until the conning tower was well awash. Then the commander,
Frank and Jack went up to have a look around, for the airship, as
well as for the vessel.
"Those sky pilots," said the commander, "maintain that they can
see us and get us with bombs at any depth. However, I see
nothing of our friend. Looks like he had lost his bet this
They returned below, and Frank put his eye to the periscope.
Almost instantly he made out the outline of large vessel of some
kind. He reported this to Captain Nicholson, who brushed him
quickly aside and peered into the periscope himself.
"Merchant vessel of some kind," he said aloud. "We haven't time
to fool with him now. May be able to get him as we come back."
Once more now the three made their way to the bridge. The clouds
had gradually thickened and it was very dark.
"I wish it would rain," mused Captain Nicholson, "or that we
would at least have a dull sunrise, for it will be better suited
for our work. Brown says he's sure we'll be favored with
suitable weather because of the righteousness of our cause; but I
am pinning my faith to the barometer, which has already fallen
"Well, I hope everything goes all right," said Jack.
"It will," said the commander grimly. "You can bank on that,
son. Might as well give the men a little rest," he added.
He poked his head down and called out:
"Turn in and pipe down!"
Then the commander and the two lads stood watch on the bridge.
At 2 o'clock, according to the captain's reckoning, the submarine
was well off the mouth of the Euphrates.
"Can we find our way in by the navigation lights?" asked Frank.
"Not much," replied Captain Nicholson. "We'll stand off and on
near where I place the shore line till we have daylight enough to
see what we are about. Anyhow, I don't suppose there will be any
lights, or if there are, they will likely be misplaced, to lure
somebody to death."
Now the commander went below and bent over the charts for perhaps
the hundredth time.
"About two miles off yet!" he muttered.
The chart gave the bottom on the sandbar in front of the entrance
as shell and hard sand.
"Lucky," Captain Nicholson told the boys when he returned to the
bridge. "This will allow us to run with very little under our
keel in no fear of rocks."
"Is it very deep along here?" asked Jack.
"No," replied the commander. "That's what worries me. The chart
shows a bare six and a half fathoms over the bar, continuing
slightly deeper until it sheers off into the deep basin that is
the inner harbor."
"And how much water does the Y-3 draw?"' asked Frank.
"From the top of her periscope to the bottom of her keel,"
replied Captain Nicholson, "the Y-3 displaces exactly 20 feet.
It will be ticklish work to navigate in those six and a half
fathoms (39 feet) without being drawn down by suction and
striking bottom so hard as to rebound up to the surface, where
the Turks are sure to see us."
At 4:30 o'clock in the morning there was light enough to make out
the small gray fort guarding the entrance to the Euphrates. The
submarine did not lie more than a mile away.
"It's up to us to get out of sight before the fort watchers see
us," said Captain Nicholson.
Being satisfied of how far his run should be and verifying his
course by the compass while still on the surface, Captain
Nicholson quickly ordered the vessel trimmed down to a depth of
60 feet, and then started forward at about four knots -- as low a
speed as was consistent with good handling.
"Lucky it's high tide; just beginning to ebb," said Captain
Nicholson. "We'll find all the water on the bar that is ever
There was to be no more sleep now on the Y-3. From the gunner's
mate down every man of the crew was on the qui vive.
As the submarine neared where the bar was charted, it came up
till the pressure gauge showed only ten feet of water above.
"Ten feet to hide us from the forts' lookouts and guns,"
explained Captain Nicholson.
Suddenly there was a jar that stirred all on board off their
feet. There was a sensation of sinking. As previously
instructed, the diving rudder man immediately gave the submarine
up-rudder. Captain Nicholson ordered full speed ahead, although
he knew it would mean that the vessel's periscope would show,
giving the enemy a good look at the vessel.
"If we hadn't come up," said Captain Nicholson, "we would have
been sucked down solidly into the sand, and good-bye to our
chances at those men-o-war inside."
He was silent a moment and then added: "This is what I call tough
luck. We shall have to porpoise."
In a second the submarine was again down in the deep basin beyond
the bar. The vessel hadn't been up long enough for the commander
even to get a look around.
"Here's where we get busy," said Captain Nicholson. "It's up to
us to rush the work along before the men in the fort, who must
have seen us, can take measures against us."
The submarine ran along at a speed of ten knots at a depth of
forty feet and in almost no time at all had covered the mile from
the entrance to where the men-of-war lay.
"Now's the time," said Commander Nicholson.
Quickly the torpedoes, 18-inch superheaters, were placed in the
tubes. It only remained to arise, sight the enemy and fire.
Quickly the little vessel rose until her periscope gave the
commander a view of the first Turkish cruiser. The commander
gave the word for a quick rise and the submersion, and took a
firm grip on the periscope.
Through the spray that broke, the keen eyes of the commander made
out the form of his first target. There, on the port side of the
submarine, was a large Turkish cruiser, stern to.
Midstream, to starboard, lay a light cruiser of the first class,
and 800 yards up the basin, between the two, a small armored
The flat country was thickly veiled with mist and a drizzling
rain. A choppy sea added to the chances of making the first
attack on the Turks unobserved.
Captain Nicholson steered a course straight to the starboard side
of the first Turkish cruiser, to launch the torpedo just forward
of amidships at a distance of about 300 yards.
The lookout on the cruiser had not picked up the submarine.
Captain Nicholson saw an officer at the stern, sighting the fort
with his glass. The Y-3 crept on unnoticed.
Suddenly a seaman on the forecastle of the cruiser made out the
periscope of the submarine, waved his cap frantically and ran
toward an officer.
All this, as it progressed, Captain Nicholson repeated to the
lads, who stood just behind him.
Jack glanced at the range scale. It read 349 yards.
The cross wires of the periscope were on her middle funnel.
Captain Nicholson jerked the firing valve for No. 1 torpedo.
There was a hiss of air and a rush of water.
The first torpedo had been launched!
A SUCCESSFUL RAID
Without pausing to learn the effect of the first shot, Captain
Nicholson sent the submarine below with a lurch, ordered the helm
hard a-starboard and made for mid-channel, where he knew the
second first-class cruiser lay at anchor, stern to and nosing the
All members of the crew, as well as Frank and Jack, were
jubilant. The men insisted that they had heard a roar that meant
the explosion of the cruiser, though this was highly improbable.
Jack and Frank had heard nothing, and they turned to Captain
"Did you hit her, sir?" asked Jack eagerly.
"Sure," was the reply. "The shot couldn't have failed to go
But the work was only one-third done, even less than that, when
the fact that the submarine had to get out of the harbor again is
The submarine, well down, now ran across the harbor at an angle,
aiming to come up to the starboard of the second cruiser.
Captain Nicholson explained his reason for doing this:
"I figure they will expect us on the side nearest the first
cruiser," he said. "Therefore, I believe we stand a fair chance
of surprising them by attacking on the starboard. At the same
time, we will have our movements masked from the third and
smaller cruiser by our second victim itself."
This sounded reasonable to the two lads, but they made no
To foster an appearance of an attack off the second cruiser's
port side, Captain Nicholson let go a decoy periscope to float
with the tide's decided sweep to the left shore and draw the fire
of the enemy in that direction.
Slowly the submarine advanced, and presently those on board could
hear the unmistakable boom of heavy guns. The ruse had
succeeded, and the cruisers and guns of the fort were aiming at
the spot in the water where the decoy periscope led them to
believe the submarine was floating.
The submarine rose so that the periscope took in the scene above
the water. Captain Nicholson, glancing through the instrument,
saw that he was at least 500 yards to the starboard of the second
cruiser. Under full speed, the Y-3 ran straight up to her
The periscope, protruding above the water, was quickly sighted by
the cruiser, but before the vessel's guns could be brought to
bear, Captain Nicholson released the second torpedo. Immediately
the Y-3 dived again.
But before the submarine had entirely disappeared under the
water, there came a loud roaring boom. The second torpedo had
"Magazine must have gone too," said Captain Nicholson briefly.
Frank and Jack glanced curiously at the members of the crew.
Not at all nervous themselves, they were nevertheless surprised
at the apparent coolness of the British sailors.
Captain Nicholson noticed the expression on their faces, and took
time to remark:
"I suppose we should all be thinking with pity of the dead and
dying above us, but when you're a hundred feet or so below, the
shots and cries of battle are neither exciting nor gruesome."
The gallant commander was now steering a course for the third of
the Turkish cruisers.
"Guess I won't go so close this time," he remarked. "I'll fire
at longer range, so we won't have so far to go among the wreckage
of all three when we leave."
Ten minutes, later the submarine came within the desired range,
unobserved by the cruiser, which was lowering her boats to go to
the help of the others. Captain Nicholson stood with his hand on
the toggle of the firing valve, reading the range scale.
Suddenly there was a terrific shock. Every man on board the
submarine was knocked off his feet, and the submarine went
rapidly to the bottom. Jack was knocked unconscious by the
suddenness and force of the shock.
When he opened his eyes again, Frank was bending over him.
"What's the matter?" he gasped.
"Shot hit us, I guess," was Frank's calm reply.
The lad was right. Two small Turkish gunboats, whose presence in
the harbor was not known to Captain Nicholson, had approached the
scene of battle, and making out the submarine's periscope, had
opened on her with the big guns. One shot had gone true, and it
was this that had sent the Y-3 careening to the bottom.
"Are we going to sink?" asked Jack.
"We've already sunk," replied Frank. "Whether we'll get to the
surface again or not I don't know."
The lads heard the hiss of air through the vent in the manifold.
Brown was letting water into the ballast tank to keep the
submarine down. He turned as Captain Nicholson walked over to
"They got our periscopes, I think," he said coolly. "But our
torpedo went just the same!"
Sure enough the tube was empty. The force of the shock had
caused Captain Nicholson to launch the torpedo before he was
ready, and there was no knowing whether it had been aimed true or
The commander now took account of the casualties. One of the men
had an ugly gash across his forehead from being thrown against a
stanchion, another had a bleeding and probably broken nose.
Brown applied first aid to the injured, while Captain Nicholson
got the submarine under way again and headed for the mouth of the
"I wonder if that last torpedo went home," said Frank. "Do you
suppose it did, captain?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "We are blind now, our periscope
having been shot away, and there is no way of telling without
going to the surface and exposing ourselves to gunfire."
"Is there any danger of our being sunk?" asked Jack.
"Danger!" he repeated. "You bet there's danger. Still, thanks
to a tight hull and a true compass, we have a fighting chance."
The Y-3 was now making ten knots, for, as Captain Nicholson said,
"there was no use wasting time and giving the enemy time to plant
Still five hundred yards from the sandbar which must be crossed,
there was a jar, a moaning, grinding sound, and the motors went
instantly dead. From the battery compartment there was a rush of
water into the living quarters.
It was but the work of a moment for the crew to "dog down" the
doors of that compartment to segregate the damage and prevent the
flooding of other compartments. But even then, the Y-3 was in a
bad way, and all on board realized it.
"I guess we are gone this time," said Frank quietly to Jack.
"Looks like it," was Jack's cool reply. "However, while there is
life there is hope."
Captain Nicholson noticed the look of anxiety on the lads' faces.
"Don't you worry," he said cheerily. "We'll get out of here
But now the deadliest foe of the submarine was at work --
chlorine gas. The action of the salt water on the sulphuric acid
of the battery cells was generating it with fatal quickness.
Already the boys could feel a deadly burning sensation in their
throats and noses.
Fifteen minutes of that atmosphere would have left all on board
the submarine gasping and stifling sixty feet below the fresh air
that meant life. There was but one thing to do -- come to the
surface and run for it in the face of the fort.
Captain Nicholson realized that it would be the end if the upper
exhaust of No. 3 cylinder failed now, for with the electric
engines gone, running on the surface with the Diesels was the
only hope. He acted on the instant.
The submarine rose rapidly to the surface, and when well awash,
the engines were started at full speed. The hatches were opened
and the ventilating fans started, blowing out the gases and
letting in the cold, damp air. All on board drew a breath of
this invigorating air, and then Captain Nicholson turned his
attention to escaping from beneath the big guns of the fort.
From his place in the conning tower he cold plainly see the
activity of the fort when the lookout made out the submarine.
Now the two lads, at a sign from the commander, joined him.
Glancing in the direction he pointed, they made out the fighting
tops of the first two cruisers, victims of the submarine's daring
raid, just reaching out of the water. The third cruiser was
afloat, but from her heavy list to starboard, it was plain that
she was badly damaged and sinking fast.
The fort was getting the range now, and shells fell all around
the Y-3. One struck the water nearby, hurling water over the
conning tower and drenching the three who stood there.
"Well," said Captain Nicholson, "they may get us, but we got
three of them."
"And there is some satisfaction in that, anyhow," said Frank.
"You bet there is," Jack agreed.
The submarine was halfway across the bar, and had not been hit,
and every instant meant that much more chance for life. The
helmsman stuck nobly to his post, head down, and without a look
at the fort. The submarine shook and trembled with the vibrations
of the hard-pushed engines, straining to get the submarine to
The gallant lads in the engine-room were doing their best. A
shell from long range, with most of its force expended, glanced
off the port bow of the submarine, carrying away the towing
pennant. The nose of the Y-3 ducked under a bit, but came up
serenely in half a second.
The commander of the vessel, perceiving deep water ahead, encouraged
the helmsman with a cry. Already the vessel was almost over the bar.
The fire from the fort was decreasing. Only the longer range guns
could come into play now.
Looking back, the lads saw two destroyers racing in the wake of
the submarine, preceded by a small gunboat.
The first shells of the gunboat whizzed by the submarine.
Captain Nicholson slammed down the hatch.
"Water armor for us!" he cried.
A moment later the submarine was on the safe haven of the bottom
with 100 feet of solid protecting water between it and hostile
"That was pretty ticklish," said Frank, drawing a breath when
they were out of reach of the gunboat's fire.
"It was," was the commander's response, "and we are not safe yet
by any means."
"Why -- ?" began Frank.
"We can't go up again now, can we?" demanded Captain Nicholson.
"We shall have to stay down here until they believe we have
escaped. Then we will rise and try to sneak out."
"But surely we are safe enough down here."
"Don't you believe it. They'll trawl for us all day; but luckily
for us they don't know we have lost our batteries, so they'll
probably search over a wide area, and we run that much more
chance of not being discovered."
"But surely no shell would reach us here," said Frank.
"No," replied the commander grimly, "but if they discover us,
they are likely to dump a few barge loads of pig iron or
something down on us and crush our steel plating."
But the submarine was not discovered by the enemy and remained
below the water all the rest of the day "went to sleep on the
bottom," as the phrase goes. And that is what literally was
done, for all on board were tired out.
An hour after sunset, the Y-3 came once more to the surface.
There was no sign of an enemy. The sky was still banked with
heavy clouds, and there was a choppy sea running.
Captain Nicholson started to run for safety at full speed ahead.
Having no batteries for submerged running now, the Y-3 had to
remain on top of the water, or else sink to the bottom and lie
still; and for this reason Captain Nicholson kept prepared for a
Mines were the worst dangers the Y- 3 bad to encounter now, and a
careful watch was kept and the speed of the vessel reduced.
Twice the vessel was picked up by the searchlight on the fort,
and each time submerged.
But the engines stood up well, and at last Captain Nicholson said
quietly to the two lads:
"Well, we're safe at last."
"Good," said Frank, "but I wouldn't have missed this experience
for a fortune."
"Nor I," declared Frank.
"You take my advice," said Captain Nicholson, as he headed the
Y-3 for the spot where they had left the Sylph almost 40 hours
before, "and stay on the top. Don't spend any more time on a
submarine than you have to."
It seemed long hours to Frank and Jack before they once more made
out the form of the Sylph, still cruising slowly to and fro close
to where they bad left her nearly two days before. The submarine
drew up to her rapidly, and soon Captain Nicholson ordered a
small boat launched.
Into this climbed first a seaman, then Captain Nicholson and
Frank and, Jack. Lord Hastings greeted the boys warmly as they
dropped over the rail of the Sylph.
"I was beginning to fear something bad gone wrong," he said. "I
certainly am glad to see you back safe and sound. Was the raid a
"It was indeed," replied Frank.
"Three Turkish cruisers sent to the bottom," said Jack briefly.
"Good!" cried Lord Hastings enthusiastically. "And the submarine
wasn't damaged, eh?"
"Oh, yes, it was," broke in Captain Nicholson, and proceeded to
relate the details of the encounter.
"And how did the two lads behave themselves?" questioned Lord
"Admirably," was Captain Nicholson's reply. "We were in a pretty
ticklish situation for a moment, but they never lost their
The lads blushed at this praise.
"Well," said Captain Nicholson, after some further talk, "I guess
I shall have to say good-bye."
He shook hands all around, and was soon on his way back to his
own vessel. Immediately the Sylph was got under way, and
proceeded on her course westward. But she had gone hardly a mile
when the wireless operator rushed up to Lord Hastings, and handed
him a message.
"Relayed by the Gloucester and Terror, Sir," he said.
Lord Hastings read the message:
"Strong German squadron somewhere off coast of South America.
British fleet on watch. Get in touch."
The message was signed by Winston Spencer Churchill, first Lord
of the Admiralty.
Lord Hastings pursed his lips and whistled expressively.
"Another long cruise," he said briefly.
Soon the Sylph's head was turned toward the South, and for
several days thereafter she pursued her uneventful way down the
coast of South Africa. Rounding the Cape of Good Hope, she
steamed straight for the distant coast of South America.
Lord Hastings stopped to coal once or twice, and so it was some
days before the lookout picked up, land ahead.
"Should be the Argentine coast, if we have not drifted off our
course," Lord Hastings informed the two lads.
He was right, and the following day the Sylph put in at one of
the small South American ports for coal.
"We'll have the ship looked over a bit," said Lord Hastings. "We
are permitted to stay in this, port 24 hours, and at the
expiration of that time we must leave or be interned."
It was in this place that Lord Hastings and the members of the
Sylph's crew learned of the disaster that had overtaken several
British cruisers in those parts. Here, for the first time, they
heard of the defeat of a small British squadron by the Germans,
and of the death of Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock, who had
gone down fighting to the last.
"Never fear," said Lord Hastings, "Sir Christopher's loss shall
be avenged, and that shortly, or I am badly mistaken."
The following day the Sylph put to sea again, and headed down the
It was late the next afternoon, when the wireless operator aboard
the Sylph picked up a message.
"German squadron some place near, sir," he said laconically, as
he handed a message to Lord Hastings.
The commander of the Sylph glanced at the message. In regular
maritime code, it read:
"I haven't been able to pick up the position of the ship that
sent that, sir," the operator volunteered.
"If you can do so," said Lord Hastings, "let me know
"Do you know what German ships are supposed to be in these
waters?" Jack asked of Lord Hastings.
"Why, yes," was the latter's reply. "The armored cruisers
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the former the flagship of Admiral
Count von Spee, and the protected cruisers Leipzig, Dresden and
"Well," Jack explained, "judging by the message just picked up,
they must be separated. Couldn't we, by representing ourselves
as one of these vessels, possibly pick up a little useful
"By Jove!" said Lord Hastings. "We could."
"But how are we to know which ship sent that message?" asked
Frank. "We wouldn't want to make a mistake, and we might try to
pass ourselves off as the very cruiser that flashed that
"The message was undoubtedly sent from the flagship," said Lord
Hastings, "so we are safe enough there. Come with me."
He led the way to the wireless room, where the operator was
making unsuccessful efforts to pick up more messages from the
Now, at Lord Hastings' direction, he tapped his key.
"Scharnhorst! Scharnhorst!" the instrument called through the
There was no reply, and the call was repeated.
A moment later and there was a faint clicking of the Sylph's
apparatus. The call was being answered. The operator wrote it
"What ship is that? Admiral von Spee orders all to close in,"
and the exact position of the German flagship was given.
"'Dresden!" flashed back Lord Hastings. "Signed, Koehler."
"I happen to know Captain Koehler commands the Dresden," Lord
Hastings confided to the boys.
He sent another message to the German admiral:
"Where are you headed?"
"Falkland Islands," came back the answer.
"To attack the British?" was the message Lord Hastings sent
through the air.
"Will sink one British ship in harbor and destroy Wireless
plant," was the answer to this query.
"Good!" said Lord Hastings to the lads. "We now know his
objective point, and if we could pick up the English fleet we
would be prepared to receive them."
"Is there a British fleet in these waters?" asked Jack, in some
"Yes," replied the commander of the Sylph. "Vice Admiral Sir
Frederick Sturdee, chief of the war staff, is hereabouts with a
powerful fleet. The fact has been generally kept a secret, but I
am in possession of that much information."
"Do you make the Germans' position closer to the Falkland Islands
than ours?" asked Frank.
"No," replied Lord Hastings. "Judging by the action of the
wireless, I should say we are fifty miles closer."
"Then," said Frank, "why cannot we make a dash for the Islands?
We can put in there and give warning. Besides, it may be that
some of the British fleet is near there."
"A good idea," replied Lord Hastings. "It shall be acted upon at
Under full speed the Sylph dashed forward toward the Islands.
"I don't expect we shall pick up the Falklands before morning,"
said Lord Hastings, "and we shall have to keep a sharp lookout
tonight, for we are likely to bump into a German cruiser prowling
about here some place."
"Scharnhorst trying to raise the Dresden again," said the
wireless operator to Lord Hastings, with a grin.
"Let her try," replied Lord Hastings. "Guess Admiral von Spee
will think it funny he gets no reply, but he'll think it funnier
still when he finally does raise the Dresden and learns that it
was not she who answered his other call."
And it was not long until the real Dresden did reply. The
Sylph's operator picked up the messages that were exchanged.
"Dresden, Koehler!" came the response to one of the flagship's
"What is the matter?" came the query. "Why did you cease
"Don't understand," was the reply. "Have not communicated with
"Didn't you acknowledge my call fifteen minutes ago?"
Even the ticking of the wireless instrument now grew nervous, and
it was plain that the sender was laboring under stress.
"Received message signed 'Dresden, Koehler, fifteen minutes ago,"
came from the flagship. "Did you send it?"
"No," was the reply flashed back. "Picked you up now for the
"Enemy must have picked up call and answered then," flashed the
flagship. "Heed only code messages in future, and answer in
Thereafter, although the operator picked up the messages passing
between the two ships, they were only a jumble. In spite of all
attempts of Lord Hastings and the two lads to decipher the code,
they remained in ignorance of further communication between the
"Well," said Lord Hastings. "We have scared them up a little
"I should say we have," replied Jack. "They don't know whether
we are one or a dozen."
"But," said Frank, "they probably will make for the Falklands now
faster than ever."
"Right," replied Lord Hastings, "and it's up to us to get there
well ahead of them."
"Other cruisers coming within zone, sir," reported the wireless
"Can you make out their conversation?" inquired Lord Hastings.
"No, sir," was the reply. "They have reported to the flagship,
and after being warned, have continued in code."
"Did you pick up their identities?"
"Yes, sir. Besides the Dresden, the Gneisenau, Leipzig and
Nurnberg have reported."
"That's all of 'em," said Lord Hastings dryly, and they make a
pretty powerful squadron. Here's where we have to begin to
The Sylph seemed to go forward even faster than before.
TRAPPING THE ENEMY
"Land ahead!" came the cry of the lookout.
It was now early morning, and Lord Hastings, Jack and Frank stood
on the bridge taking a breath of the fresh, invigorating air.
Glasses were quickly leveled, and soon the distant shore was made
"What port are we making for, sir?" asked Jack.
"Port Stanley," was Lord Hastings' reply.
Rapidly the Sylph steamed on, and finally, rounding into the
little harbor, they made out a welcome and unexpected sight.
Frank and Jack cried out in surprise, and even Lord Hastings was
moved to an expression of wonder.
In the little harbor, screened from the sea, riding gently on the
swell of the tide, were eight British ships of war!
"Oh, my!" exclaimed Frank joyfully, doing a little clog dance on
the bridge, "won't we give it to the Germans now!"
Jack was equally as enthusiastic, though he was not given to such
outbursts of emotion, being naturally more quiet.
"It looks like the end of the German squadron to me," he said
As the Sylph steamed into the little harbor, one of the British
war vessels turned slightly, and a shell screamed over the
"Want to know who we are," explained Lord Hastings.
The British ensign was quickly run up, and there followed a loud,
cheer from the sailors of the fleet.
On the ship closest to shore flew the flag of Vice Admiral
"I guess I had better pay my respects to the admiral at once,"
said, Lord Hastings. "Would you boys care to come with me?"
"Nothing would please us more," replied Frank, speaking for both.
The Sylph steamed close to the British fleet, and then the three
put off for the flagship in a small boat. Aboard, they were
shown immediately to the admiral's cabin, where the nearness of
the German squadron was rapidly related.
"Fortunate!" cried Admiral Sturdee. "I feared I would have to
chase them all over the sea. I didn't expect them to come to me.
Have you a plan to suggest, Lord Hastings?"
"I fear, Sir Frederick," replied Lord Hastings, "that if you put
to sea to give battle, the Germans will turn and flee upon
recognizing the power of the British fleet."
"True," mused the admiral.
"May I offer a suggestion, Sir Frederick?" asked Jack.
The admiral glanced at the lad sharply, but Jack bore up bravely
under the close scrutiny.
"Speak, sir," ordered the admiral.
"Then I would suggest, sir," said Jack, "that one of your
cruisers be sent out so the enemy may be able to get a bare
glimpse of her. Believing that she is alone, they undoubtedly
will approach to attack. Let the cruiser, retiring slowly, give
battle. When she has drawn the enemy close enough, the remainder
of the fleet can make a dash and nab the Germans before they have
time to flee."
"An excellent plan!" cried the admiral, springing to his feet.
"It shall be put into execution."
With a wave of his hand he signified that the interview was over,
and Frank, Jack and Lord Hastings made their way back to the
That Admiral Sturdee was a man of action became apparent in a few
moments. Unaware just how far off the German squadron was, Sir
Frederick took the necessary steps immediately.
Less than an, hour after Lord Hastings and the two lads had
returned aboard the Sylph, the British battleship Canopus got
under way, and steaming away from her sister ships, made for the
entrance to the little harbor, going slowly.
Here she took up her position, steaming slowly back and forth.
As yet, however, there was no sign of the enemy. Meantime, other
vessels in the fleet continued to coal swiftly. Steam was gotten
up and every ship prepared for action.
Against the German fleet of five ships -- the armored cruisers
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the protected cruisers Leipzig,
Dresden and Nurnberg, accompanied by two colliers -- the British
admiral, besides the Sylph, would go into battle with eight ships
of war -- the battle cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, the
former Admiral Sturdee's flagship, the cruisers Kent, Cornwall,
Carnarvon, Bristol and Glasgow, and the battleship Canopus.
At Sir Frederick's command, every sailor in the English fleet was
given a light meal, and then each man took a cold bath.
Following this, those who were not on watch, turned in for a
brief rest. And to show the hardihood and bravery of the British
tar, there was not a man who showed signs of nervousness or fear.
There was a signal from the Canopus -- a signal by flags, for the
British did not wish to betray their presence by the use of the
wireless, which could be as easily picked up by the enemy.
"Enemy approaching," read the signal.
Admiral Sturdee signaled back.
"Engage him when he has approached so close that he believes you
are unable to get away."
The commander of the Canopus signified his understanding of this
command, and continued steaming to and fro, ostensibly guarding
At last the first gray form of a German cruiser came within sight
of those on the Sylph. It was steaming slowly forward,
apparently in no hurry and secure in its belief that there was no
enemy near to be feared.
The Sylph had been stripped for action with the rest of the
British fleet, for Lord Hastings had no mind to keep out of the
"We've come a long ways to see an engagement," he told the lads,
"and I think we are entitled to a hand in the affair."
"Hurrah!" shouted Frank.
"Good!" said Jack, quietly. "I was afraid we would have to stand
off and look on."
"That's what I was afraid of, too," declared Frank.
"Well, we won't," said Lord Hastings. "Not this time, at any
rate. I guess you will see all the fighting you wish presently."
Still the German squadron came on, apparently unconscious of the
presence of the British battleship Canopus, the only English
vessel that could be seen from the open sea. All seven ships --
five vessels of war and the two colliers -- could be plainly
"What's the matter with 'em?" demanded Frank. "Surely they can
see the Canopus."
"I guess they are figuring she hasn't spotted them yet," said
Jack. "Believing he has only one enemy to contend with, Admiral
von Spee evidently is trying to get as close as possible without
Indeed, this seemed a plausible explanation. At any rate, in
lieu of a more reasonable one, it answered. Men on the Canopus
now rushed hurriedly to and fro, officers darted hither and
thither. The Canopus was ready for instant battle.
All the other ships of the British fleet also had come to life.
Men who had been sleeping hurried to their posts. The gun crews
stood at their places, the range finders were at their posts, and
the officers stood ready to repeat the signal for advance as soon
as Admiral Sturdee should give it.
Stripped to the waists, in spite of the chilly atmosphere
outside, the crew of the Sylph also was ready. There was grim
determination written plainly on the face of every man. In spite
of the apparent superiority of the British fleet, each man
realized that the battle would be to the death.
They knew that, although surprised, the Germans would not give up
without a struggle -- that they would battle desperately for
supremacy although outnumbered. Confident of their own prowess
and marksmanship, they nevertheless did not discount the ability
of the foe.
"It will be a furious battle," said Lord Hastings to the lads,
who stood beside him.
"I have an idea," said Frank, "that when the enemy finds he is
outnumbered, he will not engage all his ships, but will try to
protect the flight of most of them with one or two."
"By love!" said Lord Hastings. "I hadn't considered such a
contingency. I wouldn't be surprised if you have hit it."
"I believe he has," said Jack.
"Well," said Lord Hastings grimly, "we will make that our
business. Admiral Sturdee can take care of the fighting part of
the fleet, and we will try to intercept any vessel that tries to
"But do you suppose we can?" asked Frank.
"We can try," replied the commander of the Sylph, with slightly
compressed lips. "As soon as the Germans engage the Canopus, we
will try to get out ahead of the rest of the fleet and, keeping
out of the thick of battle, steam to sea. Then if any of the
enemy try to get away, with our superior speed we can at least
head them off and engage them until help arrives."
"A first-class plan," Jack agreed. "However, I shouldn't be
surprised if Admiral Sturdee had anticipated such a maneuver by
"Even if he has," said Lord Hastings, "we probably wouldn't be
selected to accomplish the work, and that's what we want to do.
Therefore, we will act without being ordered."
"Good," said Jack.
In the meantime the German fleet had been approaching steadily.
It was apparent that the presence of the British battleship
Canopus, in the entrance to the harbor, had at last been
discovered. A wireless message flashed through the air.
"Surrender or I shall sink you!" it read.
"An Englishman never surrenders!" was the reply flashed back by
the commander of the Canopus.
The German admiral tried again.
"I would avoid all unnecessary loss of life," he signaled.
"Thanks," was the laconic response of the Canopus. "We are able
to take care of ourselves."
To this there was no reply, and still the German squadron came on
without firing a shot.
"Wonder why they don't shoot?" asked Jack.
"Guess they want to get as close as possible first," replied
Frank. "Remember, they believe they have only one to deal with."
"True," said Jack. "But why doesn't the Canopus fire?"
"I suppose," replied Frank, "it's because the commander wishes to
draw the enemy so close that escape will be impossible."
And the lad had hit upon the exact reason. Mindful of his
instructions to draw the enemy in as close as possible before
engaging him, the commander of the Canopus had no mind to open
And ever the German squadron was steaming closer and closer to
destruction. But there is an end to everything, and so there
finally came an end to this inaction.
A single German gun had opened the battle.
There was no reply from the Canopus.
"Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!"
Two of the enemy's ships cut loose at the Canopus.
Still the British battleship did not reply.
But the Germans had not yet found the range, and the Canopus was
untouched, although several shells struck near her.
Then: "Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!"
The Canopus had at last opened fire on her foes. And, even as
the first British shell sped across the water, the Canopus turned
and began to retreat.
Fearful of losing their prey, the German vessels increased their
speed and steamed rapidly after her, their big guns continuing to
hurl shells across the water.
The Canopus was replying gun for gun, now, and with each moment
the roar of battle increased.
And then, suddenly, in perfect battle formation, imposing and
majestic in their advance, out of the little harbor steamed
proudly the battle fleet of Great Britain, moving swiftly forward
to engage the enemy!
The enemy perceived the advance of this formidable squadron in an
instant, and there was a lull in the fire of the German ships.
Then the guns opened with redoubled vigor, and the entire German
fleet turned to flee.
Not unwilling to take advantage of the apparent fact that they
had but one enemy to encounter -- the Canopus -- now that the
odds were somewhat against them there was a different story.
Evidently the German admiral held five German ships against one
British vessel fair odds, but he was not minded to have the odds
eight to five against him.
But the German fleet, secure in the belief that it had but one
enemy to contend with, had advanced too far. Escape now was
impossible. The greater speed of the British ships became
apparent as the chase continued, the English ever gaining.
At last, realizing that there was no hope of escape, Admiral von
Spee turned to give battle. The Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and
Leipzig immediately formed in battle line.
Immediately the British ships slowed up. The Nurnberg and
Dresden, the two smaller German cruisers, did not join the other
three German ships in battle formation, but continued their
This was what those on board the Sylph had expected, and the
little scout cruiser, making a slight detour, to avoid, as far as
possible, shells from the three German cruisers, started in
pursuit, full speed ahead. The German vessels, however, had
considerable of a start, and it was plain that the Sylph would
not overhaul them for hours.
In the meantime the battle was raging fiercely. From the first
the British concentrated their fire on the German flagship. The
huge thirty-four centimeter guns of the British fleet, as against
the twenty-one centimeter guns of the enemy, made the outcome of
the engagement certain from the first. All that remained was to
see how well the Germans could fight, and what damage they could
inflict on Admiral Sturdee's fleet before being sent to the
A huge shell from the British flagship dropped squarely aboard
the Scharnhorst and exploded with a deafening detonation. Metal
and bodies flew high in the air, shattered, and dropped into the
sea for yards around. But the Scharnhorst had not been hit in a
vital spot, and she continued to fight back desperately.
Now a shell from the Canopus struck the Scharnhorst amidships; a
second from the Inflexible and a third from the Invincible
followed in quick succession, and every one went home. The
marksmanship of the British gunners was remarkable.
But the British were not escaping unscathed. A shell from the
Leipzig struck the Cornwall just below the waterline and pierced
her armor, and then exploded. Two men were killed by flying
pieces of steel, and several others were wounded. So far this
was the only loss sustained by the English.
As the battle progressed the fire of the British became more and
more deadly. Hardly a shot was wasted now. The Scharnhorst,
wounded unto death, fought back with the courage born of
A well-directed shell burst aboard the Invincible, killing three
men outright and maiming practically every member of a gun crew
near which it struck. But new men were in their places in a
second, and the gun did not even pause in its fire.
Gradually the fire of the Scharnhorst became slower and slower,
as one after another her guns were silenced by the accurate fire
of the British gunners.
Then came the sound of a terrific explosion aboard the German
flagship, and she staggered perceptibly. There was a lull in the
British fire, as a demand was made for the Scharnhorst to
The German admiral hurled back a message of defiance to his foes,
and the few remaining guns on his flagship continued to spout
fire and smoke. He had determined to fight to the last, and go
down with his ship, if need be.
The fire from the British ships, the demand for surrender having
been refused, broke out afresh, and finally, struck in a vital
part, the Scharnhorst burst into flames, at the same time
beginning to settle in the water.
Admiral Sturdee could not but admire the way in which the German
sailors stuck to their posts in the face of certain death, and he
ordered the fire against the Scharnhorst to cease, that those on
board might have a chance for life.
But of this chance neither the German admiral nor his men would
take advantage. There were still several guns fit for action,
and these continued to rain shells at the British. And, as the
ship burned like a raging furnace, at the same time settling
lower and lower in the water, these brave men continued to fire
Now the last gun had either been silenced or had disappeared
below the water. Admiral von Spee appeared upon deck, in full
view of his enemies. His officers and surviving members of the
crew gathered about him. The sweet music of a band carried
across the water. The Germans stood erect about their commander,
as the flames crept close and the ship settled.
Suddenly it was all over. With a startling movement the
Scharnhorst disappeared beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Her commander and crew had stood with bared heads to the last,
and had gone to death, standing as though drawn up for
inspection. There was a faint cheer from them as the ship
disappeared beneath the waves.
The sinking of the German flagship Scharnhorst had required just
a few minutes less than an hour.
Now the entire British fleet concentrated its fire upon the
Gneisenau. In spite of the loss of the flagship and their
admiral, the Germans would not give up; in fact, they seemed
determined to rejoin their companions in the world beyond a
The fire from both German cruisers became fiercer. Shells played
a merry tattoo on the armored sides of the Canopus, upon which
the two German cruisers were concentrating their fire, but the
shells rattled harmlessly off the well-protected sides, and the
Canopus was not damaged.
Gradually now the British squadron closed in on the Gneisenau and
Leipzig, spreading out in a half circle as they advanced. Both
German ships had been vitally wounded, but they continued to
fight back gamely. Shell after shell burst on their decks,
pierced them below the waterline, or carried away their fighting
tops or superstructure.
Battered almost to pieces, and their decks strewn with dead and
dying, they nevertheless fought on.
There would be no surrender. This fact was apparent to the
British, and they directed their fire so as to end the battle as
quickly as possible.
The Gneisenau staggered, and seemed about to go under. She
recovered her equilibrium in an instant, however, and renewed the
battle with even greater vigor than before.
Now the two German cruisers, crippled and battered as they were,
steamed as rapidly they could right toward the British fleet,
making a final effort to inflict a serious blow upon the British
before themselves going to the bottom.
Closer and closer they came, their guns hurling shells at all the
British vessels without favor. A shell struck squarely upon the
bridge of the Canopus, killing an officer; and the splintering
wood that flew about accounted for two more, making the British
death list now eight.
And still the German cruisers came on; and then the Gneisenau
wavered, halted and staggered back. A shell had pierced through
to her boilers. There was an explosion, followed by a great
Without steam the Gneisenau could steam neither forward nor
backward. Stationary, rising and falling on the swell of the
waves, she continued to pour in her fire, even as the Leipzig
continued on alone.
A British shell struck the Leipzig's steering gear, rendering it
useless, and the German cruiser staggered about at the mercy of
the sea. Still the gunners continued to hurl shells at the
British whenever the guns could be brought to bear.
But this was not often, for the fact that she could not be
steered properly rendered the work of the British much easier.
Admiral Sturdee, greatly impressed with the bravery of the
Germans, decided to give them one more chance for life. He
ordered a cessation of firing and called upon the two cruisers to
The merciful offer was met with a cry of defiance, and a shell
burst over the admiral's flagship, dropping half a score of men,
two of whom never arose.
Now the British ships closed in on the two German cruisers, and
poured broadside after broadside into the almost defenseless
Suddenly the Gneisenau disappeared beneath the waves, with all on
board, the last that was heard of her being a cheer from her
The Leipzig lasted but a moment longer. She was listing badly,
and now, suddenly rising on her beam's end, she dived beneath the
The battle of the Falkland Islands, the greatest British sea
victory since the battle off Heligoland, was over.
Boats were quickly lowered from the British ships to rescue, if
possible, survivors of the German ships. A few were picked up,
but not many. Of the more than 1,800 men aboard the three German
cruisers, at least 1,700 had gone to the bottom.
The Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau were the largest cruisers of
the German fleet. They were sister ships, of 11,600 tons'
displacement, 450 feet on the waterline, and were rated at a
speed of 22 1/2 knots. Each carried a complement of 765 men, and
was armed with eight 8.2-inch guns, six 6-inch guns, twenty
24-Pounders, four machine-guns and four torpedo tubes.
The Leipzig had a displacement of 3,250 tons and carried 286 men.
She was 341 feet long on the waterline, had a beam of 43 1/2 feet,
and was rated at 23 knots. Her largest guns, of which she
carried ten, were 4-inch. She had also ten 1-pounders, four
machine-guns and two torpedo tubes.
And these were the three mighty vessels of the battle fleet of
the Emperor of Germany which, after having preyed for months upon
British shipping, had finally been sent to the bottom of the
Atlantic by Admiral Sir Frederick Sturdee, chief of the British
Meanwhile, what of the Sylph?
When the German cruisers Dresden and Nurnberg had fallen back in
an attempt to escape, the Sylph dashed after them at full speed.
"'Will you engage both of them?" asked Frank of Lord Hastings.
"If necessary,"' replied the Sylph's commander. "We at least may
be able to hold them off until help arrives."
The Sylph sped on; but it became apparent that the Dresden was
gradually drawing ahead of the Nurnberg. Jack noticed this, and
spoke to Lord Hastings.
"If we stay well behind, and give them the impression that we are
not fast enough to overtake either of them," he said, "the
Dresden may leave the Nurnberg to take care of herself. Then we
can get them one at a time."
"A good idea," said Lord Hastings.
The speed of the Sylph was reduced somewhat. Still the Dresden
continued to draw away from her consort, and, after hours of
tireless pursuit, finally was almost out of sight.
All that night the pursuit of the Nurnberg continued, and it was
early morning, and the sun was streaming over the sea, when the
Sylph, having increased her speed during the darkness, finally
drew within range of the Nurnberg.
A shot from the Sylph's forward gun brought the Nurnberg to a
sudden halt, and she turned immediately to give battle. This was
what Lord Hastings had hoped for.
The first shell from the Nurnberg kicked up the water a good half
mile in front of the Sylph.
"We have the range of her," said Lord Hastings calmly.
The Sylph slowed down, and continued to plump shells and solid
shot upon her opponent at long range. Some of these struck home,
and it was plain to the two lads, who stood on the bridge, that
some of them had done considerable damage.
Realizing that he was outranged, the commander of the Nurnberg
ordered full speed ahead and dashed toward the Sylph, that he
might get within range before the Sylph had crippled him with her
Before she managed to get within range, however, her fighting top
had been shot away, she had been pierced in vital spots several
times and was otherwise very badly crippled.
But now a shell came screaming over the bridge. Involuntarily
both lads ducked, so close had the shell passed to their heads.
It sped on over the Sylph and plowed up the water over the stern.
"Close call," said Jack briefly.
"It was, indeed," agreed Frank.
So close were the two vessels now that the machine-guns on both
vessels were brought into play, and a perfect hail of shot fell
upon both ships.
So far the Sylph had not been hit, but suddenly the little
cruiser staggered back. A shot had struck her squarely in the
bow. The damage was not serious, and she again leaped forward.
For two hours the battle continued, with advantage to neither
side. Both vessels were badly battered by this time, and one of
the Sylph's smokestacks had been shot away. Now, glancing
suddenly astern, Frank uttered a joyous cry.
"British cruiser coming up, sir," he informed Lord Hastings.
The commander of the Nurnberg had noticed the approach of the
British cruiser at the same instant, and, realizing that he could
not successfully battle with another enemy, he ordered the
Nurnberg put about, and made off as fast as his crippled
condition would permit, his stern guns still playing upon the
Evidently the Nurnberg's commander figured that the Sylph, being
as badly crippled as he was, could not successfully pursue. The
British cruiser was still some distance off, and he hoped to be
able to outrun her also.
But he was doomed to disappointment. No sooner had the Nurnberg
turned to flee, than the Sylph made rapidly after her. At the
same moment there came a wireless from the British cruiser, which
proved to be the Glasgow.
"Stick to her close," the message read, "we'll be with you in a
So, at Lord Hastings' command, the Sylph stuck closely. For
perhaps an hour the commander of the Nurnberg tried to shake off
the pursuer; and then, realizing that this could not be done, and
that the Glasgow was also rapidly gaining on him, he once, more
turned to give battle.
The Nurnberg came about suddenly and dashed straight at the
Sylph. In fact, so sudden was this maneuver that the Sylph was
caught unprepared, and for a moment was at a disadvantage.
However, this disadvantage did not last long.
Lord Hastings ordered the Sylph put about, and turned to flee.
"What on earth are we running for?" demanded Jack.
"Why," replied Lord Hastings, "if the Nurnberg will chase us,
we'll run her right up to the Glasgow. And, if she puts about
and makes off again, we have gained just that much time."
"I see," said Jack.
The Nurnberg refused to chase the Sylph. Instead, she put about
and continued her flight. Immediately the Sylph was after her
again. Once more the Nurnberg came about and made a dash at the
Sylph, and again the Sylph turned and ran.
But this time the Nurnberg did not turn to run again. Lord
Hastings' maneuver had succeeded so well that the Glasgow was now
within striking distance, and a shell fired at long range dropped
close to the Nurnberg. The Sylph came about again and dashed
forward, hurling her instruments of death at her opponent as
rapidly as her crippled condition would permit.
From the Glasgow came a command for the Nurnberg to surrender,
but the commander of the German ship did not even take the
trouble to reply to this message. The Sylph and her enemy came
close together rapidly.
Shells were dropping aboard both vessels, and it seemed
miraculous that both did not go to the bottom. The blood of both
commanders was up and neither would give an inch. It all
depended now upon which ship was struck in a vital spot first.
Fortunately for those aboard the Sylph it was the German who
suffered. A shell pierced the Nurnberg's side and penetrated the
engine-room, where it exploded the Nurnberg's boilers with, a
thundering roar. On the instant the Nurnberg seemed to turn into
a sheet of flame.
Another explosion followed, and still another, and almost quicker
than it takes to tell it, the German cruiser Nurnberg, the fourth
of Admiral von Spee's fleet, disappeared beneath the waves.
While the Sylph lay waiting for the Glasgow to come up a hasty
examination was made. One man had been killed and two injured
That was, the extent of the damage to the Sylph. Every man of
the German crew of 300 men had gone to the bottom.
"Nothing serious the matter with us, sir," Jack reported, after
"Good!" replied Lord Hasting.
"Nothing broken that cannot be fixed in two hours, sir," Frank
"Good!" exclaimed Lord Hastings again.
Half an hour later the commander of the Glasgow came aboard the
Sylph, and was speedily closeted with Lord Hastings in the
latter's cabin. Soon, however, the two emerged on deck, and
approached where Frank and Jack were standing.
"I understand," said the commander of the Glasgow to the two
lads, "that it was your plan Admiral Sturdee acted upon when he
lured the German fleet to give battle. Also that it was your
idea that has resulted in the sinking of the Nurnberg. I am glad
to know you."
He extended a hand to each, and the boys grasped them heartily.
"Now," continued the commander of the Glasgow, "it is up to us to
follow and sink the Dresden. Besides her there is but one German
ship in these waters -- the Karlsruhe, and we'll get her before
we are through."
"Have you any idea where she is?" asked Frank.
"I imagine she has gone around the Horn into the Pacific."
"In that case," said Jack, "the Dresden has probably gone to join
"By Jove!" exclaimed the commander of the Glasgow. "I believe
you are right. What do you think, Lord Hastings?"
"I believe Mr. Templeton has hit the nail on the head, as usual,"
replied the commander of the Sylph. "Therefore, I should say
that we had better head in that direction."
"Agreed!" returned the commander of the Glasgow, and, after some
further talk, he put over the side and returned to his own
Several hours were now spent on board the Sylph repairing the
damage caused by the German shells and getting the little vessel
in shipshape again. Then, at last, the Sylph was once more under
way, beading for the Pacific.
A mile to the stern followed the British cruiser Glasgow. For
two days and nights, after rounding the Horn, the two British
vessels sought some trace of the Karlsruhe and the Dresden. They
put into port after port, but could get no trace of her.
But at last they came upon the German cruiser. It was the fourth
day after rounding the Horn, and the German ship was just putting
out of a little Chilean port. The commander was not unaware of
the presence of the British ships outside, for it had been
reported to him; but he had already been in the port for
twenty-four hours, and the laws of neutrality demanded that he
either put to sea again or that his ship be interned.
Captain Koehler, of the Dresden, was a man of action. Therefore,
he spurned the suggestion of having his ship interned. And his
last words to the German consul, as he stepped aboard his ship
and ordered that she be put to sea were:
"We are going to join our comrades!"
Well out of neutral waters, the Sylph and the Glasgow lay in wait
for the enemy. Outside the port the Dresden attempted to flee;
but, after an hour's chase, Captain Koehler realized the futility
of this, and, at last brought to bay, turned to fight.
In the action that followed, an action that lasted for more than
two hours, the Dresden put up a terrific battle. But there could
be but one end. Outnumbered, she fought well, but at length the
waters of the calm Pacific closed over her.
"Only one left," said Frank to Jack, as they stood upon the
bridge after the sinking of the Dresden.
"Only one -- the Karlsruhe."
"And we'll get her, too!" said Jack quietly.
Slowly the two British cruisers, the Sylph and the Glasgow, their
damages having been repaired, turned their noses north, and set
out on their search for the only German vessel remaining in
As they sail away over the mysterious Pacific we shall for a
brief period take our leave of Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton,
than whom no more courageous lads (nor men, either, for that
matter) engaged in the greatest war of all history.
But we shall meet them again; and, if the readers of this volume
are interested in their further adventures and exploits, as well
as in the personal side of the great war, they will find it all
in the third volume of The Boy Allies with, the Battleships
Series, entitled, "The Boy Allies with the Flying Squadron; or
The Naval Raiders of the Great War."
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