The Boy Allies with Uncle Sams Cruisers
Ensign Robert L. Drake
Part 2 out of 4
Jack sprang to the nearest machine gun. Frank and Tom each manned
"Never mind that gun, Frank!" shouted Jack. "Take the wheel!"
Frank obeyed without hesitation. He knew that one machine there would
be as good as a dozen, and he realized that to keep the big ship on an
even keel would be of great assistance.
Again Jack raised his voice. "Lord Hastings!"
His hard pressed commander caught the sound of the lad's voice. He
"To the bridge!" cried Jack. "Get out of the line of fire, sir."
Lord Hastings gave a sharp order to his men. Immediately they jumped
back, and at a second command, dashed toward the bridge, fully two
hundred of them. The others lay about the deck in scattered heaps.
Realizing the import of this ruse, the Germans ran swiftly after them
that they too might be out of the line of fire from the machine guns on
But the men under Lord Hastings had acted too promptly for the
Germans. With the British and Americans out of harm's way, Jack turned
the machine gun loose on the deck.
Shrieks and cries arose. Jack stopped his fire.
That single machine gun had done more execution in one single instant
than the attacking party had done in the rest of the battle.
"Throw down your arms!" Jack commanded.
The Germans obeyed.
"Jack," said Lord Hastings, "take twenty men and search the ship
below. Shoot any man who offers resistance. Tom, take the wheel.
Frank, take twenty men and go to the engine room and make prisoners of
The two lads hurried away on their several errands.
Frank found the men in the engine room working as though nothing had
happened. In some unaccountable manner they had not heard of the
fighting above. Frank's men covered them. There was no resistance.
Jack, descending the hatch with his men, encountered opposition in the
captain's cabin. Half a dozen men had taken refuge there and refused
"Come out or we shall fire through the door!" Jack shouted.
Revolvers spoke from the inside and bullets crashed through the door.
This was the German reply.
"Break down the door, men," said Jack quietly.
This was the work of an instant, although one man dropped while it was
being done. The door flew inward.
A single volley greeted Jack and his men as they appeared in the
doorway but the men had stooped low and none was hit.
Before the Germans could fire again, Jack and his men dashed forward.
The Germans were soon overpowered. Jack marched them back on deck.
There Lord Hastings had just accepted the surrender of the vessel from
a young ordnance officer, the sole German officer left alive with the
exception of Captain Koenig, who was still unconscious in his cabin.
"Jack!" instructed Lord Hastings, "take fifty men and march the
prisoners below and lock them up."
Jack touched his cap. "Very good, sir."
He selected his men, surrounded the prisoners and marched them below.
Fank appeared a few moments later with the crew of the engine room.
hese, too, were locked up, Lord Hastings detailed some of the
victorious seamen for engine room duty, ordered the decks cleared of
the dead and injured, and motioned Frank to follow him.
"Mr. Chadwick," he said, "you are my second officer. You will hold the
bridge until Mr. Templeton, the first officer, relieves you."
Frank touched his cap and Lord Hastings descended below.
Half an hour later the captured raider got under way. Jack and Lord
Hastings were also on the bridge now.
"Shape your course north, sir," said Lord Hastings to Jack.
"North she is, sir," said Jack, passing the word along.
"I suppose you will be interested to know where we are bound?" asked
Lord Hastings a few moments later.
"Yes, sir," said Frank and Jack in a single voice.
"New York," said Lord Hastings.
"New York!" echoed Jack. "I supposed of course we were bound for
Liverpool or Glasgow."
Lord Hastings smiled.
"No," he said. "I had offered, if successful in this venture, to turn
the Vaterland over to the American government. It will be used to
transport troops to Europe."
"I see, sir," said Frank. "And when shall we return to England, sir?"
"Not immediately, I believe. We shall probably remain in New York
until the first United States expeditionary force sets forth. We shall
probably go aboard one of the convoys."
"That suits me, sir," said Jack. "Does it you, Frank?"
"Down to the ground," was Frank's reply.
"Very well," said Lord Hastings. "Mr. Templeton, you will take the
bridge. I'll announce the watches later. In the meantime I'll go down
and have a talk with my friend, Captain Koenig. Come along, Frank."
Under administering hands Captain Koenig had returned to
consciousness. He was in no amiable mood.
"How are you, Captain?" said Lord Hastings cheerfully, as he entered
Captain Koenig looked at him with a savage scowl.
"I trust you are feeling better, sir," said Lord Hastings.
"No, I'm not, you blasted Britisher!" said Captain Koenig in very good
"I'm sorry, Captain. Is there anything I can do for you until I turn
you over to the United States military authorities as a prisoner of
"Not a thing," declared Captain Koenig.
"Too bad," commented Lord Hastings. "What do you say to concluding
that game of chess?"
Captain Koenig's reply was a fierce German imprecation.
"Come, Captain," said Lord Hastings, "don't let your temper run away
with you. It is very foolish. Why, do you not remember how calmly I
took my captivity?"
"You had something up your sleeve," growled Captain Koenig.
"Well, that's true," returned Lord Hastings, "and I'm glad that you
haven't. Until we reach New York, Captain, you shall be kept under
close guard here. If there is anything you want, please let me know."
Lord Hastings bowed and left the German commander to his own
Half an hour later, on deck, Frank again encountered Elizabeth
"It was splendid!" exclaimed the girl. "I am so sorry I doubted you in
the first place."
"I guess it was only natural," said Frank, with a smile. "I guess I
would have done as you did under the circumstances. How is your
"She is as happy as she can be. She says that she knew the American
navy would look out for us."
"You might tell her," said Frank, with a smile, "that it was the
British navy that pulled off this job, although I am an American. Lord
Hastings and Mr. Templeton are British."
"I guess I won't tell her," laughed the girl. "It would spoil it for
her. She thinks there is nothing like the American navy. But what are
your duties now?"
"Well," said Frank, "I am the second officer of this ship, rank of
lieutenant. Mr. Templeton is the first officer."
"Is that so?" asked the girl in some surprise. "You are so young for
such an important position."
Frank turned red.
"I -- I -- I'm not so awfully young," he stammered.
"May be not," admitted Miss Wheaton, with a smile, "but I'll wager you
are not over twenty."
"I'm nineteen," said Frank.
"Just a year older than I am," mused the girl, "and still, think of
what a lot of excitement you have been through."
"Were you frightened during the fight?" asked Frank, changing the
"Not a bit. I knew you would capture the ship. Mother wasn't
frightened either, but some of the others were. It must have been
"It was," said Frank simply.
Frank took the bridge at 6 o'clock and Jack turned in. And, as the big
ship sailed smoothly along during the long hours of the night, Frank
gazed out over the deep with a strange sensation in his breast.
He was going back to his own country for the first time in more than
three years. He had at this moment one thought in his mind.
"Maybe," he told himself over and over through the night, "maybe I
shall have time to go home and see father!"
News of the capture of the German raider Vaterland had preceded the
vessel into New York, having been flashed by wireless while the ship
was still several days out. Therefore there was a large crowd on hand
to see the Vaterland anchor in the North River. Lord Hastings
surrendered the vessel to American naval authorities and then the
officers, crew, erstwhile prisoners and German captives all went
Captain Koenig and his crew were taken in charge by the authorities and
a few days later were sent to one of the big American internment camps
in the south, where they would remain until the end of the war.
There was considerable cheering as Lord Hastings and his officers
stepped ashore. The British commander dodged as much of this as
possible and with Jack and Frank jumped into a taxicab and were driven
to the Biltmore, where they registered and were assigned to a suite of
rooms. There, Lord Hastings decided, they would remain pending
The successful capture of the Vaterland was flashed across the Atlantic
to the British admiralty and a cable message of congratulations was
received a short time later, together with orders for Lord Hastings to
remain in New York until other orders reached him.
It was at the dinner table that evening that Frank asked Lord Hastings'
permission to run home for a day or two. Lord Hastings assented
readily, for he knew that Frank naturally was anxious to see his
"Why don't you take Jack with you?" he asked.
"I shall be glad to," replied Frank. "Do you want to go, Jack?"
"Sure," said the young Englishman. "I shall be glad."
"How about you, Lord Hastings?" questioned Frank. "I should like to
have you go also."
"I appreciate your invitation," said Lord Hastings, with a smile, "but
I thought I would run over to Washington and see the British
ambassador. But you see if you can't bring your father back to New
York with you, Frank. I should be more than pleased to see him."
"I'll see what I can do, sir," replied the lad.
Thus it was arranged. Jack and Frank took a train for Boston early the
following morning and Lord Hastings caught a train for Washington.
"You should have sent your father a telegram, Frank," said Jack, as
they left the train in Boston.
"I want to take him by surprise."
"Maybe he won't be home."
"By George! I hadn't thought of that. I guess he will be, though.
He's usually home in the afternoon."
The boys took the elevated from the South station to the North station,
where they found they could catch a train to Woburn, the town where
Frank's father lived, in ten minutes.
It was only a little more than ten miles from Boston to Woburn and the
trip was made quickly. As they alighted from the train, Frank let his
eyes rove over the familiar landmarks, which he had not seen for three
years. There was little change to be noticed. Frank led the way
toward his home.
He paused before an old-fashioned New England house and Jack, glancing
up, saw this sign on the door:
"Dr. R. G. Chadwick."
Frank mounted the steps rapidly and rang the bell. An elderly woman
came to the door. Frank had never seen her before.
"Is the doctor in?" he asked.
"Yes, but he is busy right now. Step in and have a seat."
Frank led the way into the doctor's waiting room, where he and Jack sat
Frank's mother was dead. She had passed away when the lad was not more
than five years, and in the days that followed Dr. Chadwick had been
father and mother both to him.
From the little room beyond Frank caught the sound of his father's
voice. The lad could hardly, restrain his impatience.
A few moments later, however, a door slammed, signifying that the
physician's patient had left by, another door. A moment more and the
door into the waiting room was flung open and Dr. Chadwick stepped into
He looked at the two figures who now rose to greet him, and then he
jumped forward with a cry.
A moment and the lad was in his father's arms.
Dr. Chadwick held the lad off at arm's length and looked at him.
"You've grown," he said. "Sit down and tell me about yourself. I was
afraid you had been killed. I haven't had a letter from you for almost
"Before I recount my adventures, father," said Frank, "I want you to
meet my chum, Jack Templeton, of whom I have written you."
Jack and Dr. Chadwick shook hands. Then Frank sat down and gave an
account of his adventures in the three years since he had been
separated from his father in Naples, Italy, soon after the great
European war had broken out.
"And you say your commander, Lord Hastings, is in New York?" said his
"He's in Washington today, sir," said Jack, "but he probably will be
back day after tomorrow, when we must return, sir."
"I shall do myself the honor of calling on him," declared Dr.
"He asked me particularly to bring you back with us, father," said
Frank. "I'm glad you will go."
"Of course I'll go," said Dr. Chadwick. "Now, son, I have a patient to
see, so if you and Jack care to you can go down the street. You may
see some of your old friends."
Jack and Frank were the heroes of the town the two days they remained
in Woburn. Frank saw many of his old friends, and there is many a lad
in the American navy today who enlisted as a result of Frank's
harrangue that he answer his country's call.
True to his word, Dr. Chadwick accompanied the lads back to New York.
Lord Hastings had returned to the metropolis ahead of them, and was in
their room when they arrived. The boys' commander and Frank's father
shook hands warmly, and the lads withdrew to let them talk.
Over the dinner table that evening Lord Hastings recounted some of
Frank's adventures which the lad had been too modest to tell. Dr.
Chadwick listened eagerly.
"It is as I would have had him do," he exclaimed.
"When I lost him in Naples I was terribly worried and I had the police
scour the city for him. At last I gave up hope that he was still alive
and returned home. Then I received a letter from Frank telling me that
he had joined the British navy.
"I am of old English descent and naturally enough my sympathies were
always with the Allies. Therefore I sanctioned Frank's choice, but I
have been fearful that I would never see him again."
"How long will you stay in New York, Lord Hastings?"
"It's too bad," said Lord Hastings, "but we shall leave here in the
"Is that so, sir?" exclaimed Frank eagerly.
"Where to, sir?"
"We have been ordered to Halifax," was Lord Hastings' reply. "There I
shall take command of the British cruiser Lawrence. We will be one of
the convoy to protect the crossing of the first contingent of American
"I am sorry it is so soon," said Dr. Chadwick. "However, what must be,
In spite of the fact that Frank hated to leave his father so soon
again, he nevertheless was glad that the time of inaction was
comparatively short. Jack also showed his pleasure at Lord Hastings'
Dr. Chadwick remained i New York over night as the guest of Lord
Hastings. The four had breakfast together and then all repaired to the
North station, where Dr. Chadwick took a train for Woburn and Lord
Hastings and his two officers boarded a through train for Canada.
"How does it happen," asked Frank, as they rode along that afternoon,
"that American troops will go across by the way of Halifax?"
"Submarines," returned Lord Hastings. "The channel from Halifax is
well guarded, and it is believed that there is less danger by
traversing that route."
"Have you any idea how many men will form the first contingent?" asked
"No, I haven't," replied Lord Hastings. "That is something that is
being well guarded by the United States war department. It is just as
well, too. Nevertheless, I understand that there will be several large
transports, at least."
The trio reached the Canadian city the following day, and Lord Hastings
at once reported himself to the British commandant. Before evening
Lord Hastings had taken command of the Lawrence. As of yore, Jack and
Frank were his first and second officers.
"And when will we sail, sir?" asked Jack.
"Tomorrow at nightfall," was his commander's reply.
Jack and Frank turned in early. They were happy and eager for action.
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
The first contingent of American troops to cross the Atlantic to take
their places on the firing line sailed in three divisions.
Approximately 225,000 troops comprised the contingent.
The transports, on their voyage, were convoyed by British and American
torpedo boats destroyers, cruisers and other ships of war. These were
in sufficient number, American and British naval authorities believed,
to protect the transports should they be attacked by German
The transports themselves carried big guns fore and aft and were so
equipped as to be able to give a good account of themselves should
occasion arise; and as the voyage progressed a sharp lookout was kept
aboard every vessel of' the flotilla, that a submarine might not come
unheralded within striking distance of the transports or their convoy.
Much to the disappointment of Jack and Frank, they did not sail with
the first section of the American troops; nor did they find themselves
with the second. In fact, it seemed to both lads that they were to be
denied the honor of the trip altogether. But in this belief they were
The British cruiser Lawrence, under command of Lord Hastings, with Jack
as first officer and Frank the third in command, was ordered forth from
a Canadian port as one of the convoy for the third section.
American troops were being transported to France by this northern route
because naval authorities believed the route was less likely to be
infested with German submarines. The channel was well defined and well
protected. Thus, the American navy department had little fear that the
troops would be landed safely.
It was a clear morning in May that the flotilla put to sea. The
sailing was without ostentation, though the population of the port was
aware that the start was being made. However, the sailing was kept
secret from the rest of the world -- even from the United States,
except the naval authorities -- for the navy department was doing
everything possible to prevent word of the sailing from reaching the
But for this fact it is highly probable that the first contingent of
American troops would not have reached France safely, or at least with
more danger than attended their crossing, for the United States at that
time was infested with German spies, who, through secret channels --
via Argentina and Sweden, as it developed later -- were able to flash
their discoveries to the Imperial German government in Berlin.
There was no demonstration, then -- such as had attended sailing of
similar expeditions when Uncle Sam went to war -- in the Canadian city
the troops had just left. The city went about its business as though
nothing out of the ordinary was going on.
The last of the troops had been ordered aboard the transports the night
before and assigned to quarters. Therefore, some of the men were still
asleep in their bunks when the flotilla lifted anchor and put to sea.
There were five transports filled with American soldiers. Three
cruisers and a pair of torpedo boat destroyers showed the way. Strung
out on either side of the transports, which proceeded singly one behind
the other, were two cruisers and as many of the smaller craft. A pair
of American cruisers brought up the rear. Altogether, it was a
formidable armada that steamed swiftly across the Atlantic.
The Lawrence, aboard which Jack and Frank served as officers, had been
assigned a post of honor in the first line. To port was the destroyer
Halifax. To starboard was nothing but the expanse of the ocean. The
Lawrence was on the end of the first line.
The first day passed quietly. The ships of war were all stripped for
action and the men stood to their posts during the long day. There was
little probability that a German submarine lurked so close to North
American shores, but the American and British commanders were taking no
Frank, appearing to relieve Jack on the bridge at eight bells that
"Guess there will be no excitement on this voyage," he said to his
Jack shrugged his shoulders.
"Hard to tell," he replied. "However, I don't anticipate any trouble
until we are near the coast of Ireland."
He went below without further words and turned in.
The second day passed quietly, and the third. Noon of the fourth day
out, however, saw the allied American and British convoy in action.
Jack held the bridge at the time. Frank and Lord Hastings were below in
the latter's cabin. Jack was gazing straight ahead.
Suddenly there was a crash-crash of heavy, guns as the starboard turret
forward aboard the Lawrence poured forth a salvo. Jack wheeled about
suddenly. Across the sea he made out what he felt sure was a periscope
of a German submarine.
At the same moment the forward starboard battery belched forth again.
The gunners had not waited for the word to fire. Such had been their
instructions when the voyage began, and they were still effective.
Jack took command now, pending the arrival of Lord Hastings from his
cabin below. At the same moment a second and a third periscope, still
some distance away, came into view.
"Aft, there!" cried Jack, and the batteries in the stern opened upon
Jack signaled the engine room for full speed ahead and at a word to the
helmsman the Lawrence swung sharply and headed for the nest of
Lord Hastings appeared on deck at this moment, closely followed by
Frank. The commander of the Lawrence took in the situation at a
"Wireless the two cruisers to keep position," he shouted to Frank.
"Order the destroyers to follow us. There may be more of the enemy to
port," he explained.
Frank passed the word and the fourth officer dashed for the wireless
A moment later the two cruisers to port, which had swerved with the
apparent intention of following the Lawrence toward the foe, swung back
into position, as did the vessels that guarded the transports on the
port side. The two destroyers, however, veered sharply and dashed
after the Lawrence.
Again, at Lord Hastings' command, the three cruisers protecting the
transports to starboard also remained in line. This, Lord Hastings
explained later, he had deemed advisable because a submarine might have
pushed a torpedo through to a transport had they moved out of line.
One of the cruisers making up the rear guard, however, the American
cruiser Huron, dashed toward the submarines.
And now it became apparent that there were not only three submarines to
contend, with - there were at least five or six. The flotilla had run
into a veritable nest of the undersea terrors.
The submarines now rose to the surface and launched torpedoes. The
distance was still great, however, and none of them found its mark.
In the meantime the guns aboard the two cruisers rumbled as they bore
down on the foe, and the destroyers, not far behind, added their voices
to the conflict.
Lord Hastings, as he took command of the situation, realized that Jack
had acted with promptness upon the discovery of the foe and he
commended the lad with a nod of his head.
Suddenly there came a cry of triumph from the forward turret aboard the
Lawrence. A British shell had struck squarely aboard the nearest
submersible. The little vessel seemed to fly into a thousand pieces.
A moment later it disappeared from sight.
A second mighty cheer rang out.
"It's not all over yet," said Jack grimly.
Frank, who overheard the words, nodded his assent.
At a quick command from Lord Hastings the Lawrence veered sharply to
starboard -- and a torpedo from the nearest submarine flashed by
"Pretty close, though," Frank muttered.
It had been close, and had it not been for the prompt action of Lord
Hastings in maneuvering the vessel out of harm's way, the Lawrence
would have received a death blow.
Before the submarine could launch a second torpedo, a shell from the
Huron struck her squarely amidships. A moment later the second
submarine disappeared beneath the water.
Again a combined British and American cheer rang out over the sea.
So far as those aboard the Lawrence could see now, there were still
four of the submarines in action. This was a formidable number indeed,
and Lord Hastings realized that it would take quick and decisive action
if they were to be disposed of before severe injury could be inflicted
upon the British and American ships.
He turned to Frank. "Order the Sandusky to our assistance!" he
Frank dashed to the wireless room. A few moments later the Sandusky,
an American cruiser, which was one of the rear guard, left her place in
the line and dashed forward.
"Now we'll get 'em!" cried Frank.
END OF THE SUBMARINE FLEET
There were now opposed to the four remaining submarines, two American
and one British cruiser and two British torpedo destroyers. Two
U-boats had been sunk by the allied fleet and so far the submarines had
failed to deliver an effective blow.
Lord Hastings now commanded his ships to spread out a trifle more --
this giving them more room to act while at the same time interposing an
effective barrier against torpedoes before the transports.
Aboard these transports the men were straining their eyes to get a view
of the battle and chafing at their inability to take a hand. And yet
there was hardly a man aboard the transports who did not realize that
in an encounter with a submarine, a troop ship nine times out of ten
would come off second best.
Denied the privilege of taking a hand, therefore, they stood at the
rails of the various ships and cheered on the fighting vessels.
There was an explosion as a torpedo found the hull of the destroyer
Halifax. The ship wabbled crazily in her course, then dashed forward
again. Apparently she was not badly hurt.
A shell from one of the guns mounted by the first submarine, a moment
later, landed squarely aboard the same destroyer and carried away her
superstructure. Men fell to the deck dead or badly wounded.
"First blood for the Germans," said Jack to himself.
Apparently angered at this German success, the second British
destroyer, the Angelic, darted forward and attacked the submarine with
such abandon and effectiveness that she was forced to give the
destroyer its entire attention. Twice the Angelic maneuvered out of
the path of a torpedo, and then, with a well directed shot, put the
submarine out of the battle. This shell caught the U-boat along side
the conning tower. Iron and steel flew high in the air, and,
descending, scattered death among the crew. Thus crippled, a second
shot from the Angelic disposed of her entirely and she sank beneath the
There were now but three submarines left.
"Great Scott! It's a wonder they don't submerge," said Frank. "Wonder
if they think they can lick us?"
The answer came from the enemy. All three simultaneously launched
torpedoes at the Lawrence. It was absolutely impossible for Lord
Hastings to maneuver the ship out of the way of all three missiles. He
did the best he could, but one of the projectiles penetrated the side
of the ship and pierce the engine room.
There was a loud explosion from below. Lord Hastings turned to Frank.
"Go below and report," he said quietly.
Frank hurried away. Meanwhile, unmindful that the Lawrence might have
received a vital wound, Lord Hastings pressed even closer toward the
In the boiler room Frank found confusion. Three men had been killed by
the explosion. Half a dozen others had been wounded by pieces of
flying steel or splinters, while several had been badly scalded by
escaping water and steam.
Frank approached McMullen, the chief engineer.
"What's your damage?" he asked.
"Just what you see," replied the engineer, with a wave of his band.
"We're still able to proceed?"
"Yes, sir; and we are proceeding."
Frank could see that this was right. He went on deck again.
"Three killed and a dozen wounded, sir," he reported to Lord Hastings.
"No vital damage, sir."
"Very good!" returned Lord Hastings, and turned away with a command for
The British vessels were now pouring such a stream of shells upon the
enemy that it seemed impossible the submarines could survive. But the
little craft stuck doggedly to their work and launched torpedo after
torpedo at the British and Americans.
"Looks like they had decided to lick us or to go down fighting," Frank
said to Jack.
"If that's the case," was Jack's reply, "they'll go down fighting."
The German submarines made no offer to retreat. They stood their
ground bravely enough.
Suddenly one of them blew up with a loud explosion. A shot from the
cruiser Sandusky had found its mark.
"Only two now," said Frank. "Surely they, won't continue the fight."
But continue the fight the Germans did. Another torpedo struck the
Lawrence forward and exploded with a loud detonation. The Lawrence
staggered a trifle, but moved forward. Apparently the wound was not
The British and Americans were right upon them now. Regardless of
possible torpedoes, Lord Hastings pressed on. He knew that he now had
the two remaining submarines in his grasp, and that while it was
possible a torpedo would dispose of the Lawrence, other British and
American ships would account for the enemy. Therefore, while not
exposing himself needlessly, he advanced with more abandon than
One, two torpedoes exploded forward and each time the Lawrence
staggered. Then the moment for which Lord Hastings had been waiting
A brief command to the helmsman and the Lawrence again veered sharply.
She headed straight for the nearest submarine, now only yards away. In
vain the German commander attempted to get his boat out of harm's way.
The sharp prow of the Lawrence found its mark and the German submarine
was crushed like an egg shell.
So there was but one of the enemy left afloat.
"We'll lose him, sure," said Jack, alarmed that - one of the enemy
might escape. "He'll submerge."
Indeed, it seemed that this would have been the wise thing to do.
Instead, however, a white flag appeared from the periscope.
"Great Scott! Surrender!" cried Frank. "I wonder why? All he had to
do was submerge."
Jack shrugged his shoulders.
"Too deep for me," he said. "However, I guess the German commander has
had fighting a-plenty."
At the appearance of the white flag the British ships ceased their fire.
A German appeared through the conning tower. He carried signal
flags, which he waved. The signal officer aboard the Lawrence
"Says he has surrendered and that he and his men will come aboard,
sir," reported the signal officer.
"I read him," returned Lord Hastings, to whom signaling was no secret.
"Tell him we'll send boats for him and his men and to be ready, for we
shall sink his vessel as soon as all are safely aboard the Lawrence."
Again the flags flashed their message. Then the German disappeared.
He came on deck again a moment later, however. Men followed him. Lord
Hastings ordered several small boats launched, and these put off toward
"You can't tell me," said Frank to Jack, "that everything is right.
There is something funny about this."
"Well, what is it?" demanded Jack.
"I don't know what it is, but I've a feeling --"
Frank broke off suddenly and ran to Lord Hastings.
"Treachery!" he cried. "There is something wrong, sir."
Lord Hastings looked at the lad in amazement.
"What's that?" he demanded.
"There is something wrong, sir," said Frank quickly. "I have a feeling
that the Germans are plotting treachery."
Lord Hastings smiled.
"I guess it's too late for that," he said grimly.
"However, I'm glad you warned me. I'll take the necessary precaution.
Have one of the forward guns trained on the submarine, Mr. Chadwick."
Frank hurried away with a feeling of some relief, but he was not fully
The gun trained on the submarine, he stood by quietly.
Apparently all the Germans were now on the deck of the little
submarine. The British small boats had approached close -- almost
close enough to take off the German crew and the German commander.
Suddenly there was a hiss from the submarine. A torpedo flashed from
the side of the little vessel. It whizzed past the Lawrence and sped
straight toward the closest American transport.
Frank gave a cry of alarm and then commanded the man who stood by the
gun already trained on the submarine: "Fire!"
"Boom!" the big gun spoke.
Then there came a terrific explosion. The German submarine, with its
officers and crew upon its deck, was hurled high in the air as the
Lawrence's shell burst squarely amidships. It came down in a million
Alongside, the British boats sent to take off the Germans rocked
crazily for several moments on the angry waves. When these became
still, there was no German nor submarine to be seen.
Thanks to the watchfulness of the commander of the transport, the ship
had been able to escape the torpedo so treacherously launched by the
Germans; so no harm had been done.
Lord Hastings approached Frank and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Quick work, Frank," he said. "I should have listened to you.
However, nothing has come of the treachery. But I have learned that
there is nothing sacred in the Hun mind. I shall never trust another
UNDER OLD GLORY
The third section of the first contingent of American troops sent to
France reached the shores of England safely. After several days of
parading and celebrating they were transported to France and soon they
reached the field of battle, where, for the next few months, they would
undergo the intensive training that would fit them to take up their
share of the work along with their British and French allies.
When the transports docked safely in a British port the duties of Frank
and Jack ceased so far as they had to do with the American troops.
Lord Hastings turned the command of the Lawrence over to a brother
officer and with Frank and Jack took train for London. The lads
accompanied Lord Hastings; to his home, where they awaited further
These instructions came sooner than they had dared hope.
It was at dinner the second day after their return that a peculiar
smile on Lord Hastings' face told Jack and Frank that there was
something in the air.
Jack restrained his impatience; not so Frank.
"I have a hunch that something is going to happen," he said over the
"That so?" queried Lord Hastings. "Just what, for instance?"
"Well, I don't know exactly, sir," was the lad's reply, "but it
wouldn't surprise me greatly if Jack and I were soon on active
"And what makes you think so?" asked Lord Hastings.
"You do, sir. I can tell from your expression that you have good news
"Then I must learn to control my face better," said Lord Hastings.
"However, Frank, seeing that you are so impatient, I may as well admit
it right now."
"I knew it!" exclaimed Frank joyfully. "What is it, sir?"
"If you will just hold your horses a bit, I'll tell you," was his
commander's reply. "It seems to me that you promised to restrain your
"So I did, sir," replied Frank, flushing a trifle. "I will try to
remember that promise."
"Do," replied Lord Hastings, and continued:
"I don't know just how you'll like this piece I of work, but some one
has to do it and I volunteered your services."
"We are always glad to help in any way possible, sir," said Jack
quietly. Lord Hastings nodded.
"That's why I took the liberty of offering your services without first
having consulted you," he made reply. "Well, then, tomorrow morning
you will report to Captain Glenn aboard the Albatross."
"The American ship Albatross!" exclaimed Frank. "That's a merchant
"So it is," agreed his commander. "It is now an armed merchant ship,
to be more precise, it plies between Liverpool and Halifax. Its main
cargo from this time forth will be food and other supplies for the
American expeditionary forces. You will report to Captain Glenn as his
first and second officers. As a result of the United States'
declaration of war on Germany there is a dearth of young officers.
Most of them have joined the naval forces of the nation. In reality,
Captain Glenn is an American naval officer, and now that the United
States has declared war, the Albatross may be classed as an American
naval vessel. It has been heavily armed that it may make the voyages
without convoy. There will be considerable danger, of course, but I
know you are not the lads to shirk that. Come, now, what do you say?"
"We accept, of course, sir," said Frank. "But are you not going with
"No," said Lord Hastings, "I have other work to do here. But I hope to
be able to make use of your services before many days."
"I am sorry you are not going, sir," said Jack, "but I guess that can't
be helped. We shall report to Captain Glenn in the morning. I take
that to mean that we must leave London tonight?"
"Exactly," was Lord Hastings' reply. "I believe Captain Glenn has
arranged to sail by 8 o'clock."
"Then we may as well pack up, Frank," said Jack.
The two lads made their way to their rooms and got together what
belongings they considered necessary. Lord Hastings accompanied them
to the station, where they took train for Liverpool.
"You will find Captain Glenn a very agreeable commander, I am sure,"
said Lord Hastings. "Good-bye and good luck, boys."
The lads shook hands with Lord Hastings and he was gone.
Arriving in Liverpool late that evening they put up at a hotel for the
night and early the following morning sought out the Albatross and went
At the rail a young man -- he could not have been more than 30 --
watched them calmly as they came over the side. He was attired in a
pair of dark blue trousers and a blue coat. He wore no insignia of
rank. There was no other person in sight. The two lads approached
"Can you tell us where we will find Captain Glenn?" asked Jack.
"I'm Captain' Glenn," was the other's response. Jack was a little
surprised, for he had naturally surmised Captain Glenn would be an
older man. The latter noticed Jack's confusion and smiled.
"You're Lieutenant Templeton, I suppose?" he questioned.
"Yes, sir," replied Jack.
"Good!" The captain extended a hand which Jack grasped. Captain Glenn
turned to Frank.
"Lieutenant Chadwick?" he questioned.
"Yes, sir," returned Frank, and grasped the captain's hand.
"Very good," said Captain Glenn. "Mr. Templeton, you are the first
officer of this ship and Mr. Chadwick, you are next in command. Come
below to my cabin and I will give you our course and other details."
The lads followed him below. The captain explained things in a few
words and after showing them to their quarters he added:
"We sail at 8 o'clock. It is now 7."
Jack and Frank ascended the bridge fifteen minutes later. Signs of
life became apparent aboard the Albatross. Both lads assumed their
duties at once and soon the Albatross was moving out to sea.
The Albatross, the lads learned, was one of the largest freighters
afloat. It carried a crew of more than 200 men. It was loaded in
ballast for the trip across, but, returning, it would carry a valuable
cargo of food and supplies.
The third officer's name was Williams. He was a Welshman. Others of
importance aboard were Carney, chief engineer; Tompkins, bo's'n;
Washington, negro cook and Paul, wireless operator.
Jack was assigned to the first watch. Frank came next in line and then
Williams. Captain Glenn announced that he himself would take the
bridge whenever necessary.
Soon after the Albatross had sailed members of the crew were picked for
the various watches, Captain Glenn retained the bridge until the ship
was well out to sea.
Frank and Jack saw that the Albatross was heavily armed for a trade
ship. Forward she was equipped with a battery of 6-inch guns, while a
second battery had been constructed aft. She also carried two 6-inch
"We should be able to give a good account of ourselves," said Frank,
after a survey of the vessel.
"Rather," said Jack dryly; "and remember, we are to have the guns ready
for action every instant."
"I'm not likely to forget," said Frank; "and don't you forget that
orders are to keep the searchlight playing at night."
"I won't be any more likely to forget than you are," said Jack, with a
smile. "Remember, we're not out hunting for Germans now. We're trying
to dodge them."
"I know it," said Frank. "That's the trouble with a merchant ship.
We'll run while we can and then fight instead of fighting first and
running if we have to."
"Can't be helped now," said Jack. "We're here and we shall have to
make the best of it."
"Well, you can't tell," replied Frank. "Something is likely to turn up
"Right; but we're here to see that it doesn't turn up if we can help
it. Well, I'm going below. Call me if you want anything."
"Don't worry," said Frank with a smile. "I guess nothing is going to
happen, but if it does you may make sure that you'll hear about it."
Jack went below and turned in for a good night's sleep. Frank held the
Nothing happened that night nor the following day or night, but when
Captain Glenn came on deck the morning of the third day he cast an
uneasy eye toward the northeast.
"Storm brewing," he said quietly to Frank, who stood near.
"Calm enough now, sir," returned Frank. "Sun shinning, too, sir.
Doesn't look as though there would be much of a blow."
"What's the barometer say?" asked Captain Glenn.
Frank took a hasty look. "Falling, sir."
"As I thought. We're in for a spell of bad weather. Pipe all hands on
deck, Mr. Chadwick."
Frank gave the necessary command. As the first man appeared from
below, the sun went out as if a great cloud had blotted it from sight.
Outside it became black as right.
Despite his lack of years, Captain Glenn was an able skipper; otherwise
he would not have been in command of the Albatross. He acted promptly
and with decision.
Men dashed forward and aft as Frank and Jack repeated the captain's
commands. Everything was made secure before the storm broke and
Captain Glenn ordered all men not needed on deck below. The helmsman
had lashed himself to the wheel. Everything was as snug as it could be
made aboard the Albatross.
Captain Glenn signaled the engine room for five knots.
"We'll have to slow down," he explained to Jack.
"No need of rushing blindly into the storm. It's coming from the
northeast. We'll hold to our course as well as possible. The
Albatross has weathered many a hard gale. Guess we will come through
this all right."
The words had hardly left his mouth when the gale descended with the
utmost fury. The Albatross keeled to port until her side almost
touched the water. Jack, Frank and the captain saved themselves from
being washed overboard by seizing the rail and clutching it with all
their strength. As the ship righted itself, only to keel far to
starboard the next minute, a deluge of water covered the deck.
Captain Glenn bellowed a hoarse command to Jack and Frank.
"Below and get into your oilskins!" he shouted.
The two lads struggled along the deck holding fast to whatever they
could find. The ship rocked and dipped like a drunken man. Frank and
Jack clambered into their oilskins with difficulty and then made their
way back to the bridge, where Captain Glenn stood drenched to the
The latter turned the bridge over to Jack while he went below for dry
clothes and his own oilskins.
"Keep her on her course!" he shouted. "We're in no danger."
Jack obeyed. Captain Glenn returned a short time later and again
All that day the gale raged and with the coming of night it showed no
signs of abatement. So far the Albatross had plowed through the
turbulent sea without injury, but it was plain to Jack and Frank that
Captain Glenn was growing uneasy.
"This gale must stop soon or we'll have trouble," he shouted. "A ship
can stand only so much pounding and you can hear the Albatross
It was true. Even above the roar of the gale the lads could hear the
creaking of the timbers as the Albatross fought her way through the
A man appeared from below.
"Sprung a leak forward, sir!" he shouted.
"Mr. Chadwick!" commanded Captain Glenn. "Get below and find out from
the carpenter how bad the leak is."
Frank returned fifteen minutes later.
"Not bad, sir," he reported. "Carpenter says he can fix it in two
hours. Could do it in half an hour if it weren't for the storm."
Captain Glenn nodded but made no audible reply.
At midnight the gale was still raging. Captain Glenn, tired out,
announced that he was going below to get "forty winks." Jack took the
"Call me if anything happens," were the commander's last words as he
Along toward four o'clock a man emerged from below and fought his way
toward the bridge.
"Leak in the main compartment aft, sir," he reported to Jack.
Jack ordered Frank below to learn the extent of the damage.
"Pretty bad this time, Jack," said Frank, reporting a few minutes
later. "We're shipping water by the gallon. Carpenter says he can't
do a thing. However, one compartment more or less won't hurt. She'll
"All right," Jack replied. "I won't awake Captain Glenn until I have
An hour later Captain Glenn, greatly refreshed, reappeared on deck.
Jack reported the damage. Captain Glenn accepted the bad news with a
nod, summoned Williams, the fourth officer, and ordered Jack and Frank
"Get some sleep," he shouted to make himself heard above the roaring of
the wind. "I'll call you if you're needed."
The two lads descended to their quarters. It had been many hours since
they had slept and in spite of the rolling and pitching of the ship
they were asleep the moment they touched their bunks.
And as they slept the gale raged.
On the evening of the second night, with the gale still at its height,
Captain Glenn said, "Six more hours of this and we are done for."
At that time the Albatross was leaking badly in a dozen places. The
engineer was having trouble with his engines. The rolling and pitching
of the ship made it almost impossible to stand.
Suddenly the ship gave a great lurch, keeled over, righted, and then
wallowed in the trough of the sea.
"Great Scott!" ejaculated Frank. "Now what?"
"Rudder broken, sir," said the helmsman quietly.
Frank threw up his hands in a gesture of dismay. "That settles it," he
"Out with the life boats!" cried Captain Glenn.
"All hands on deck."
The men needed no urging. The life boats were made ready, the men the
while clinging to whatever support offered itself. Suddenly there was
a shrill scream aft, followed by a cry: "Man overboard!"
Captain Glenn shrugged his shoulders.
"Can't be helped," he said. "He's just beating us a little; that's
The commander of the Albatross hesitated to give the command to lower
the boats. He knew that the odds were a hundred to one that the boats
would not live in such a sea. While the Albatross held together they
were safer aboard the vessel.
Came a wave sweeping over the ship mightier than the rest. The
Albatross dipped clear to the sea. For a moment it seemed that she
must go under; but she righted herself with an effort.
"Thought we were gone for that time!" shouted Captain Glenn. "She
won't survive another. Lower away the boats, men."
Half a dozen men had been washed overboard by the last mighty deluge;
the others now sprang to the boats and lowered them. Several were
swamped as they hit the water, and there were not more than half a
dozen that put off from the ship.
In the last boat were Frank, Jack and Captain Glenn and the fourth
The little boat hit the water with a splash and all but turned over.
"Shove away from the ship!" cried Captain Glenn to the two sailors who
manned the boat -- the others had been lost. The sailors, Timothy and
Allen by names, obeyed and then all took to their oars.
The little boat, one moment riding the crest of the waves, the next
wallowing in the trough of the sea, moved away bravely though every
moment it seemed in imminent danger of capsizing. It took skillful
handling by Captain Glenn -- the only man not at the oars -- to keep
the craft right side up.
It was so dark there on the sea that it was impossible for the
occupants of the boat to tell whether or not others had escaped the
"This storm can't last much longer, sir!" shouted Jack.
"If it does, we are wasting energy rowing," said Frank quietly.
"We'll row along as long as we can," said Captain Glenn. "We've been
blown so far off our course that there is no telling where we are. It
wouldn't surprise me if we had been blown off the coast of South
"Impossible, sir," ejaculated Jack.
"Maybe so," replied Captain Glenn. "I'm just guessing. Still, it
wouldn't surprise me a bit."
Suddenly the raging wind ceased. The waves still rose to mighty
heights, but the wind was stilled almost to a zephyr and the little
boat rode the swells gently.
"It's over, sir!" shouted Frank.
"So it is," said Captain Glenn, "but it is still dark. Strike a match
someone and learn the hour."
Jack did so.
"Three thirty, sir," he said.
"Morning or afternoon?" demanded Frank, who seemed to have lost track
of the time entirely.
"Morning, of course," said Jack.
"Can't see the reason for that 'of course,'" mumbled Frank.
"It should be light in half an hour," said Captain Glenn. "Then we may
see whether any of the others are near."
They waited silently. The sea grew calmer and calmer; and at last the
The occupants of the boat stood up and scanned the ocean. There was
nothing that the eye could see save water. There was no sign of the
Albatross nor other of the small boats.
"Poor fellows!" said Jack.
At that moment Frank, his eyes sharper than those of the others, gave
an exclamation. "Land ahead!" he shouted.
It was still early morning when the little boat with the six castaways
-- Frank, Jack, Captain Glenn, Williams, fourth officer of the
Albatross' and the two sailors, Timothy and Allen -- rounded a
projecting point of land and put into a small harbor.
Along the shore were signs of human hands. There was a recently
constructed dock, well hidden under overhanging foliage. It was
perfectly invisible from a distance, being revealed to view only when
the small boat approached within a hundred yards. There was no vessel
"Somebody lives around these parts, that's sure," commented Captain
Glenn. "Wonder where we are, anyhow?"
"Thought you said something about South America, Sir," said Frank.
"So I did," replied the erstwhile commander of the Albatross, "but
that's no reason we are. I was just guessing at it, you know."
"Well," said Jack, "we're safe at any rate, and that's something."
"Right you are, Jack," said Frank. "I am sorry the same cannot be said
for all who were with us aboard the Albatross."
For a time the occupants of the boat were silent as they drew closer to
the shore. At last the nose of the little craft plowed into the sand.
Frank leaped lightly ashore and the others followed.
"Drag the boat out of the water, Allen," Frank instructed, and added:
"We don't want it to be carried away by the tide."
The sailor followed instructions and the little boat was soon high and
"Now what?" asked Jack.
"Well," said Captain Glenn, "I don't know where we are exactly and the
best thing is to find out. I still incline to the belief that we're on
the coast of South America and the more I look around the more certain
I feet about it. It has all the appearance of the tropics."
"We'll have a look, then, sir," said Frank briefly.
"Hold on," called Jack, as Frank moved away. "Don't forget we've
rifles in the boat."
"Guess we won't need them," said Frank. "We're out of the war zone, at
"Don't be so sure, youngster," interposed Williams, himself a man well
over forty. "This war has pretty well dragged every nation beneath the
sun within its maw. You never can tell where you will encounter the
hand of the German Kaiser; and, besides, we'll need something to eat."
"Right, Williams," said Captain Glenn, "and wherever you find the
Kaiser's band there you also will find trouble. The German is no
respecter of neutrality, or anything else, for that matter. We'll take
our rifles and make sure that our revolvers and knives are in working
The six returned to the boat, from which Frank dragged a dozen rifles
and a quantity of superfluous revolvers and sheath knives.
There's an abundance here," the lad said. "We can carry two revolvers
apiece and a knife. Also we can lug a rifle, but I am opposed to
carrying more than one."
"I'm with you there," said Captain Glenn. "For that reason I shall
detail you, Chadwick, to guard the boat with Timothy and Allen, while
Templeton, Williams and I do a little exploring."
Frank's face fell a trifle, for he was keen to have a hand in the work;
but he was too well trained to protest. So all he said was: "Very
"In the meantime," continued Captain Glenn, is you might drag out all
the ammunition and provisions and make sure that they're dry. It will
be well to provide against eventualities. Should we fail to return by
4 o'clock this afternoon, you will know that something has gone wrong
and you will look to your own safety without thought of help from us."
"Very well, sir," said Frank again.
Captain Glenn now led the way inland, Jack and Williams striding along
on either side of him. Each carried a rifle in addition to a pair of
Colt automatics and a heavy sheath knife stuck in his belt. They felt
perfectly able to cope with any danger that might present itself.
Behind, Frank and the two sailors fell to unloading the boat. It had
been well stocked with provision, water and ammunition. Such a
contingency as shipwreck had been provided for before the Albatross
sailed. Therefore, when time came to desert the ship there had been
nothing to do but lower the boats.
Prank gazed after his friends as they strode rapidly inland. As they
disappeared beyond a distant clump of trees he shrugged.
"Well," he said to the sailors, "they've gone and we're here. I don't
imagine any one will bother us, but we'll be on guard. Timothy, you
keep your weather eye open for possible callers while Allen and I
The two proceeded untiringly with the work while Timothy scanned the
Now, it so happened that the sailor paid no attention to the water
front. After one brief glance, in which be made sure that there was
nothing upon the surface of the water, he confined his attention
inland. Therefore, it is only natural that Frank was taken off his
feet by surprise when, chancing to look up, he beheld in the harbor a
small vessel, to all appearances a submarine, and advancing toward him
a dozen or more men, armed with rifles.
Frank staightened up with a cry. Timothy and Allen sprang to his
side. Each seized a rifle and loosened the revolvers in their belts.
"Timothy," said Frank severely, "I thought I told you to keep your eyes
"I did, sir," replied the sailor, eyeing the approaching men in the
utmost surprise. "I'll take my oath there was no submarine there five
"But it must have been in sight," said Frank. "It didn't materialize
out of thin air, you know."
"I can't help that," declared Timothy. "It wasn't there, I tell you."
"What's the use of talking like that, man," exclaimed Frank,
exasperated. "I tell you it must have been in sight."
Timothy mumbled something to himself, but made no coherent reply.
"Wonder who they are, sir?" said Allen.
"It's too deep for me," said Frank with a shrug. "However, we'll know
soon enough. Now, you men keep quiet and let me do the talking. We
don't want to have any trouble if we can help it. Chances are they
will prove friendly enough. That vessel in the harbor is probably a
submarine of some South American government. These men approaching are
the officers and crew. We are not at war with any South American
country, so there is no reason why we should anticipate trouble."
The newcomers had now approached within hailing distance. At a command
from the man who appeared to be the leader they halted. Frank saw that
they were all heavily armed. A man stepped forward and shouted:
"Who are you and what do you want here?"
"Castaways!" Frank shouted back. "We're the sole survivors of an
American merchant ship."
This reply seemed to lend courage to the others, who, at a command from
the leader, advanced boldly.
"Throw down your rifles men," said Frank in a low voice, "but keep your
hands on your revolvers. These fellows seem all right, but there is no
need taking unnecessary chances."
They stood quietly as the men approached. As they drew nearer, Frank
made out that they were indeed a motley crew. Spanish faces -- or
South American, to be more exact -- predominated, but there were a few
who seemed to be English or Americans. Also, there were two plainly of
African descent and three who seemed to be Chinese or Japanese.
Frank whistled softly to himself.
"If I didn't know the days of pirates are over..." he said, and then
The leader of the party -- a young man, he could not have been more
than twenty-four, although he was exceedingly large and powerful
looking -- spoke in English. Frank was not wrong when he placed him as
an American, though of German descent.
"What's your name?" he demanded of Frank.
"Chadwick," replied Frank quietly. "Frank Chadwick."
"And you say you are castaways?" said the man. "What was your position
aboard the ship?"
"Second officer," said Frank
"A merchant ship, you say?"
Frank did not deem it necessary to tell the other that he held a
lieutenancy in the British royal navy.
"And you are the sole survivors?" demanded the man.
"So far as I know, yes."
"Good," said the leader of the party. "Then you shall come with us.
It may be that you will have brains, in which event your fortune is
assured. If no, well, it won't be hard to get rid of you. You'll come
with me. Tell your men to follow."
Frank thought quickly. It was plain that he was in danger of some kind
though as yet he was unable to tell just what.
"One minute," he said. The others paused.
"Who are you?" the lad demanded.
The other smiled.
"Why, I'm Captain Jack," he said quietly.
"I see," said Frank. "And your ship - a submarine, I note -- a war
vessel, it can be plainly seen. What flag does she fly?"
"The black flag," was the smiling reply; "the jolly Roger."
"As I thought," said Frank. "A pirate!"
His hands dropped to his guns.
"We are, in South America, all right."
Thus spoke Captain Glenn as he, Jack and Williams proceeded inland
after leaving Frank and the two sailors near the shore.
"What makes you think so, Captain?" asked Jack.
"Look at the trees. You find trees like these in no other place
besides the tropics. And feel the heat."
"It gets hot other places, sir."
"Not like it does in the tropics. Once you have felt the tropical heat
you can't mistake it."
The land in which they now found themselves was thickly covered with
big trees. Their foliage was so dense that progress was difficult.
"Good place for snakes, sir," said Williams.
"Fine," agreed Captain Glenn.
"Don't talk about snakes," said Jack with a shudder. "If there is one
thing from which I will run a mile it's a snake."
"You won't run a mile from any snake you find around here," said
"Don't you believe it," declared Jack. "I don't care how small the
snake may be, nor how harmless."
"Snakes hereabouts," said Williams, "are neither small nor harmless.
That's why I say you won't run a mile from them."
"Surely they won't attack a man," said Jack.
"Ordinarily, no. But when you come upon one unexpectedly he naturally
thinks you mean him harm and he acts promptly."
"If a snake ever bit me, that would settle me forever," said Jack.
"Most of these," said Williams, "don't bite. They wrap around a man
and crush him to death."
"Look here," said Jack, "are you trying to scare me or what? I don't
even like to talk about snakes. Let's drop the subject."
"All right," said Williams, with a smile. "I'm just warning you,
"Thanks," said Jack dryly.
At this moment there came a sudden exclamation from Captain Glenn, who
was slightly ahead. He had just disappeared beyond a clump of trees
larger than the rest. Jack stopped stock still. Visions of a snake of
monstrous size rose before his eyes.
"Come on," said Williams.
Jack forced himself to follow the other. They darted along the path
taken by Captain Glenn and there they came upon the cause of his
exclamation. Directly ahead of them lay a broad expanse of water.
"The ocean again," said Captain Glenn. "I should say that we are on an
"By Jove!" said Jack, for the moment forgetting all about snakes, "I
believe you are right. That means that we are marooned, sir."
"Not necessarily," said Captain Glenn. "We'll head north. We may
strike a settlement there."
Accordingly they turned their steps in that direction.
For perhaps two hours they walked without finding signs of human
"Guess we've gone the wrong way," said Captain Glenn. "We should have
turned south. "He glanced at his watch. "We'd better be getting back
to the others," he said, "or they will think something has happened to
They turned and retraced their steps. For perhaps an hour they walked
along and then Jack, who was slightly in advance, stopped suddenly and
held up his hand in a warning gesture.
"Someone coming," he whispered.
"Maybe it's a snake," said Williams.
Again Jack shuddered a trifle, but he held his ground. His hands
rested on his revolvers.
The sound of creaking twigs reached the ears of the three who stood
silently there in the forest. At a sign from Jack, each man got behind
a tree and each drew his revolvers. Hardly had they thus screened
themselves when half a dozen men burst into view, walking along slowly
The men, although they carried rifles, appeared peaceable enough, so
Captain Glenn, thinking to bring their long search to an end, stepped
forward after they had passed and raised his voice in hello.
Instantly the strangers wheeled about. The man nearest Captain Glenn
raised his rifle to his shoulder and his hand pressed the trigger. At
that distance a miss would have been impossible. Captain Glenn brought
up his own gun, but before he could fire Jack's gun spoke. The man who
had covered Captain Glenn dropped to the ground with a wild cry.
Jack's promptness undoubtedly had saved his commander's life.
Saved thus from almost certain death, Captain Glenn quickly sprang
behind a tree. Jack and Williams were also sheltered and now held the
strangers at a disadvantage. Apparently believing, however, that the
hidden men would shoot them down where they stood, one who appeared to
be in command of the others raised his voice in a shout. He spoke in
"To shelter, men!" he cried.
At the word each man sprang for the nearest tree. Neither Jack,
Williams nor Captain Glenn felt impelled to shoot them down in cold
blood so all reached shelter safely enough. Jack peered from behind
his tree a moment later. As he did so a bullet whizzed by his ear.
"It's a fight," the lad called to Captain Glenn.
"Apparently they don't want us to explain."
Jack sank to the ground and again peered forth. Some distance away he
saw a shoulder protruding from behind a tree, Jack raised his rifle and
The man pitched forward into the open with a cry. His cry was echoed
by the others, and Jack felt a second bullet whiz overhead.
"Pretty close," the lad muttered, "but it's only four to three now."
For a time all was silent in the forest. Then one of the enemy, more
venturesome than the others, darted across the open in an effort to get
closer to Jack and his friends.
This time it was the revolver of Williams that spoke and the man
dropped in his tracks.
For some time now the enemy showed no disposition to expose himself to
the fire of Jack and the others. The forest was as still as death.
Jack began to fidget.
"By Jove! This is getting tiresome," he said.
"Must be some way of getting rid of those fellows." He raised his
voice and called Captain Glenn. "Cover me," he said. "I'm going to
shift my position."
He did not wait for an answer. There were two sharp crashes as he
dashed from behind the tree. Jack felt a sting in his left arm and
knew that he was not badly hurt. As he jumped behind another tree, he
heard Captain Glenn's voice:
"I got him!"
Jack was now so close to the tree behind which Captain Glenn stood that
he found he was able to converse with his commander without raising his
"This thing is getting monotonous," he said.
"Exactly," agreed Captain Glenn; "besides which, it is altogether
foolish. We haven't anything against these fellows and they surely
can't have anything against us."
"You are forgetting the men we have shot, sir," said Jack.
"No, I'm not. That was their own fault. I vote we hold a parley with
the remaining two."
"Whatever you say, sir," said Jack.
Captain Glenn raised his voice. "Hello, there!" he cried. "We want to
talk to you."
"Talk ahead," said a voice so close that Captain Glenn started.
Apparently one of the enemy had shifted his position. He now was
concealed behind the tree next to the captain. Apparently he had been
biding his time until the latter should show himself. However, Captain
Glenn showed no alarm.
"Then listen," he said. "We have nothing against you fellows. You
don't even know us. Therefore why should we fight?"
"Well," said the man behind the next tree, "that's good enough
reasoning. I'm willing to call it off any time you say."
"Very good. Drop your gun and step out in the open."'
"And let you shoot me down? I guess not."
"Come, man, don't be a fool," said Captain Glenn. "We mean you no
"Then you fellows drop your guns and step into the open," was the
"Not much," said Captain Glenn.
The conference was at a deadlock.
"Look here," said Jack, taking a hand in the conversation. "I have a
plan that will possibly meet your favor."
"Let's hear it," was the rejoinder.
"We'll throw our rifles into the open and toss out our revolvers. Then
you do the same. We'll all step out then."
"Very good," said the hidden man. "Throw yours out first."
Jack hurled his rifle from him and tossed one revolver into the open.
Captain Glenn tossed away his revolvers and rifle, and Williams,
acquainted with the plan by a shout, followed suit. The unseen men did
likewise. Captain Glenn and Williams stepped out. Their adversaries
also left their hiding places. Then Jack saw that one of them covered
Captain Glenn and Williams with a revolver. Jack smiled, and taking
deliberate aim fired. The man's weapon dropped from his hand.
When "Captain Jack" admitted to Frank that he was a full-fledged
pirate, the lad's first thought was to draw his revolvers and open
fire. That was why he dropped his hands to his guns following his
exclamation of "Pirates."
Timothy and Allen, the two sailors, taking their cue from Frank, also
reached for their weapons. Captain Jack, though realizing on the
instant what these movements signified, simply smiled.
"I wouldn't, if I were you," he said quietly.
Frank thought better of his plan to fight and dropped his hands to his
side again. He, too, smiled.
"Guess you're right," he said quietly.
"Wouldn't do much good, would it?"
"Hardly, with all my men about you. You might get me, and you might
not, but they would get you sure."
"I guess I could get you all right," said Frank.
"Maybe so, though I'm pretty handy with a gun. Suppose I can draw
quicker and shoot straighter than you or anyone you have seen."
"There is room for argument on that point," said Frank dryly.
"An argument would soon convince you that I am right," was the reply.
"However, we will not argue the point now. Nor need we ever argue it
if you are reasonable."
"What do you mean by reasonable?" Frank wanted to know.
"Well," said Captain Jack, "truth is I am somewhat short-handed. I
lost my first officer in my last battle. Lost half a dozen men along
with him. Now you're an officer, though not a military officer.
Therefore I can make use of you, if you're open to a proposition."
"Thanks," said Frank quietly, "but I'm not open to a proposition to
become a murderer."
"Careful," said Captain Jack, taking a quick step forward. "That kind
of talk won't go with me."
"Well, I don't know whether you're one now or not," said Frank, "but
you stand in a fair way of becoming one. I have no hankering for
Captain Jack looked at the lad long and earnestly. Then he said:
"Guess I'll make a pirate out of you anyhow. Grab him, men."
Two men leaped upon the lad. Frank's two revolvers flashed out like a
streak of lightning and there were two sharp reports. Not for nothing
had Jack once declared that Frank was the quickest and best shot he
ever hoped to see.
The men who had sprung upon the lad tumbled over. Frank turned to
confront the others. As he did so there were two more sharp reports
and the lad's two revolvers clattered to the ground. Sharp pains shot
through both his wrists and his hands seemed to have been numbed.
The lad turned to where Captain Jack, with two smoking revolvers in his
hands, was smiling quietly.
"You reckoned without Captain Jack, you see," said the pirate chief.
"Don't worry. You're not hurt. I just felt called upon to shoot away
your guns before you annihilated my men here. Now, if you have no
objections, I'll have you and your men tied tip and taken aboard the
Roger, where you shall be kept until you are wiling to listen to
Timothy and Allen had been deprived of their weapons and at command
from Captain Jack, the three prisoners were securely bound.
"Take them aboard the Roger," instructed the pirate chief with a wave
of his hand.
The three captives were led away.
The submarine now had come against the half concealed dock that had
caused the castaways such wonderment when they approached the shore.
At command of their captors, they leaped to the deck of the submarine
and then passed through the conning tower and descended below.
At sight of the interior Frank could not suppress an exclamation of
astonishment. The vessel was fitted with the handsomest of
appointments. The little cabin into which the three prisoners were led
even showed signs of an artistic taste, undoubtedly that of Captain
Jack, Frank thought.
"This young pirate certainly has an eye for the beautiful," Frank told
The prisoners once inside the cabin, the captors withdrew and locked
the door behind them.
"Well," said Frank, "here we are, men. What are we going to do about
"Nothing we can do, sir," said Allen. "He will probably offer us a
chance to join his crew and if we refuse he'll heave us all overboard."
"I'm a f raid he'll have to heave away then," said, Frank, "for I don't
think I would make a very good pirate."
"I'd make a better pirate than I would a corpse, sir," declared
Timothy, "and this fellow must have made quite a success. Here he is
the undisputed owner of a submarine fitted out like a palace; he's his
own boss and his prizes he probably distributes among members of the
crew. Why, sir, a year of this life and a man would be rich."
"Look here, Timothy," said Frank, "I don't like that kind of talk.
Why, man, you talk like you would like to be a pirate."
"Maybe I would, sir. I've thought about it for years. Look at the
excitement a man could have."
"Timothy's right, sir," declared Allen. "I'm not hankering for the
life of a pirate, but I'm not hankering for a watery grave, either. I
don't, know but what I would join if given the chance."
"Look here, men," said Frank, "I'm free to confess that the life of a
pirate seems to have its sunny side. I've read a lot of pirate tales
and I can remember when I thought I would like to be one. But I know
myself and I know you better than you think. When it came to a
showdown, you'd balk."
"Well, I'm not sure about that, sir," said Allen..
"I am," declared Frank decisively. "You mark my words, you'll refuse
when the time comes."
"Then we'll walk the plank," said Timothy.
"Better to walk the plank with clean hands than to be hanged with the
death of innocent persons on your conscience," said Frank.
"We'll see when the times comes," said Allen.
The three were talking of Jack, Captain Glenn and Williams some time
later when a hand fumbled with the key in the door. They whirled about
quickly, forgetful for the moment that they were helpless in their
bonds. A moment later the door swung open and Captain Jack entered,
"Well, well," he said. "So we're all here, eh? Guess I'll unloosen
your hands. I feel that I can handle the whole bunch of you if it's
He cut the cords that bound them and the three stretched their cramped
"Now we'll have a little talk," said Captain Jack.
He motioned the three to seats and took a stool himself, near the door,
to guard the exit. For the first time Frank took a good look at him.
The pirate chief was perhaps half an inch shorter than Jack Templeton.
He was more fully developed, though, as became his years, and had the
appearance of being of enormous strength. Frank decided that he was a
trifle, though not much, stronger than his chum. He had a pleasant
face and smiled continually. There was nothing about him that would
label him "pirate."
Captain Jack addressed Frank.
"I've come to ask you to be my first lieutenant," he said.
Frank jumped to his feet.
"I'll see you hanged first," he cried.
Captain Jack smiled calmly.
"No, I don't think you will," he said pleasantly. "I've the whip hand
now, you know. If you decline, I shall feel called upon to take stern
"Take them, then," said Frank briefly.
Captain Jack hesitated.
"It seems a pity, too," he said. "You're rather handy with a gun. You
could be of great use to me. Now, for example, I have word -- picked
up by my wireless station inland -- that a certain ship is about to
pass through these waters. It will be loaded with riches. I intend to
capture it. I would like to have you lend a hand."
"You've a lot of nerve," said Frank. "You talk about capturing an
American ship -- or even a British or French, or of a country allied
with the United States -- as though it were nothing."
"Who said it was an American ship or a vessel of an allied nation?"
demanded Captain Jack.
"What else could it be?" demanded Frank.
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