The Boy Scout Aviators
Part 3 out of 3
Dick and the telephone man who had not been hurt obeyed, the other
lineman was lifted out, more considerately this time.
"Inside!" said the German with the thick, guttural voice. He
pointed to the open door, and they went inside. One of the
Germans followed them and stood in the open door.
"Werner, you are responsible for the prisoners. especially the
boy," said the leader. "See that none of them escape. You will
be relieved at the proper time. You understand?"
"Ja, Herr Ritter!" said the man. "Zu befehl!"
He saluted, and for the first time Dick had the feeling that this
strange procedure was, in some sense, military, even though there
were no uniforms. Then the door shut, and they were left in the
It was just outside of Bray Park -- he remembered it now. A tiny
box of a place it was, too, but solidly built of stone. It might
have been used as a tool house. There was one window; that and
the door were the only means of egress. The German looked hard at
the window and laughed. Dick saw then that it was barred. To get
out that way, even if he had the chance, would be impossible. And
the guard evidently decided that. He lay down across the door.
"So!" he said. "I shall sleep -- but with one ear open! You
cannot get out except across me. And I am a light sleeper!"
Dick sat there, pondering wretchedly. The man who had been struck
on the head was breathing stertorously. His companion soon
dropped off to sleep, like the German, so that Dick was the only
one awake. Through the window, presently, came the herald of the
dawn, the slowly advancing light. And suddenly Dick saw a shadow
against the light, looked up intently, and saw that is was Jack
Young. Jack pointed. Dick, not quite understanding, moved to the
point at which he pointed.
"Stay there!" said Jack, soundlessly. His lips formed the words
but he did not utter them. He nodded up and down vehemently,
however, and Dick understood him, and that he was to stay where he
was. He nodded in return, and settled down in his new position.
And then Jack dropped out of sight.
For a long time, while the dawn waxed and the light through the
window grew stronger, Dick sat there wondering. Only the
breathing of the three men disturbed the quiet of the little hut.
But then, from behind him, he grew conscious of a faint noise.
Not quite a noise, either, it was more a vibration. He felt the
earthen floor of the hut trembling beneath him. And then at last
He had nearly an hour to wait. But at last the earth cracked and
yawned where he had been sitting. He heard a faint whisper.
"Dig it out a little - there's a big hole underneath. You can
squirm your way through. I'm going to back out now."
Dick obeyed, and a moment later he was working his way down, head
first, through the tunnel Jack had dug from the outside. He was
small and slight and he got through, somehow, though he was short
of breath and dirtier than he had ever been in his life when at
last he was able to straighten up - free.
"Come on!" cried Jack. "We've got no time to lose. I've got a
couple of bicycles here. We'd better run for it."
Run for it they did, but there was no alarm. Behind them was the
hut, quiet and peaceful. And beyond the hut was the menace of
Bray Park and the mysteries of which the Germans had spoken in the
great grey motor car.
A Daring Ruse
Harry, furious as he was when he saw Graves allowed to go off
after false accusation that had caused his arrest, was still able
to control himself sufficiently to think. He was beginning to see
the whole plot now, or to think he saw it. He remembered things
that had seemed trivial at the time of their occurrence, but that
loomed up importantly now. And one of the first things he
realized was that he was probably in no great danger, that the
charge against him had not been made with the serious idea of
securing his conviction, but simply to cause his detention for a
little while, and to discredit any information he might have.
He could no longer doubt that Graves was in league with the spies
on whose trail he and Dick had fallen. And he understood that, if
he kept quiet, all would soon be all right for him. But if he did
that, the plans of the Germans would succeed. He had already seen
an example of what they could do, in the destruction of the water
works. And it seemed to him that it would be a poor thing to fail
in what he had undertaken simply to save himself. As soon as he
reached that conclusion he knew what he must do, or, at all
events, what he must try to do.
For the officer who had arrested him he felt a good deal of
contempt. While it was true that orders had to be obeyed, there
was no reason, Harry felt, why the lieutenant should not have shown
some discretion. An officer of the regular army would have done
so, he felt. But this man looked unintelligent and stupid. Harry
felt that he might safely reply on his appearance. And he was
right. The officer found himself in a quandary at once. His men
were mounted on cycles; Harry was on foot. And Harry saw that he
didn't quite know what to do.
Finally he cut the Gordian knot, as it seemed to him, by
impounding a bicycle from a passing wheelman, who protested
vigorously but in vain. All he got for his cycle was a scrap of
paper, stating that it had been requisitioned for army use. And
Harry was instructed to mount this machine and ride along between
two of the territorial soldiers. He had been hoping for something
like that, but had hardly dared to expect it. He had fully made
up his mind now to take all the risks he would run by trying to
escape. He could not get clear away, that much he knew. But now
he, too, like Graves, needed a little time. He did not mind being
recaptured in a short time if, in the meantime, he could be free
to do what he wanted.
As to just how he would try to get away, he did not try to plan.
He felt that somewhere along the route some chance would present
itself, and that it would be better to trust to that than to make
some plan. He was ordered to the front of the squad - so that a
better eye could be kept upon him, as the lieutenant put it.
Harry had irritated him by his attempts to cause a change in the
disposition of Graves and himself, and the officer gave the
impression now that he regarded Harry as a desperate criminal,
already tried and convicted.
Harry counted upon the traffic, sure to increase as it grew later,
to give him his chance. Something accidental, he knew, there must
be, or he would not be able to get away. And it was not long
before his chance came. As they crossed a wide street there was a
sudden outburst of shouting. A runaway horse, dragging a delivery
cart, came rushing down on the squad, and in a moment it was
broken up and confused. Harry seized the chance. His bicycle, by
a lucky chance, was a high geared machine and before anyone knew
he had gone he had turned a corner. In a moment he threw himself
off the machine, dragged it into a shop, ran out, and in a moment
dashed into another shop, crowded with customers. And there for a
moment, he stayed. There was a hue and cry outside. He saw
uniformed men, on bicycles, dashing by. He even rushed to the
door with the crowd in the shop to see what was amiss! And, when
the chase had passed, he walked out, very calmly, though his heart
was in his mouth, and quite unmolested got aboard a passing tram
He was counting on the stupidity and lack of imagination of the
lieutenant, and his course was hardly as bold as it seemed. As a
matter of fact it was his one chance to escape. He knew what the
officer would think - that, being in flight, he would try to get
away as quickly as possible from the scene of his escape. And so,
by staying there, he was in the one place where on one would think
of looking for him!
On the tram car he was fairly safe. It happened, fortunately,
that he had plenty of money with him. And his first move, when he
felt it was safe, was to get off the tram and look for a cab. He
found a taxicab in a short time, one of those that had escaped
requisition by the government, and in this he drove to an
outfitting shop, were he bought new clothes. He reasoned that he
would be looked for all over, and that if, instead of appearing as
a Boy Scout in character dress of the organization, he was in
ordinary clothes, he would have a better chance. He managed the
change easily, and then felt that it was safe for him to try and
get into communication with Dick.
In this attempt luck was with him again. He called for the number
of the vicarage at Bray, only to find that the call was
interrupted again at the nearest telephone center. But this time
he was asked to wait, and in a minute he heard Jack Young's voice
in his ear.
"We came over to explain about the wire's being cut," said Jack.
"Dick's all right. He's here with me. Where are you? We've got
to see you just as soon as we can."
"In London, but I'm coming down. I'm going to try to get a motor
car, too. I'm in a lot of trouble, Jack - it's Graves."
"Come on down. We'll walk out along the road towards London and
meet you. We've got a lot to tell you, but I'm afraid to talk
about it over the telephone."
"All right! I'll keep my eyes open for you."
Getting a motor car was not easy. A great many had been taken by
the government. But Harry remembered that one was owned by a
business friend of his father's, an American, and this, with some
difficulty, he managed to borrow. He was known as a careful
driver. He had learned to drive his father's car at home, and Mr.
Armstrong knew it. And so, when Harry explained that it was a
matter of the greatest urgency, he got it - since he had
established a reputation for honor that made Mr. Armstrong
understand that when Harry said a thing was urgent, urgent it must
Getting out of London was easy. If a search was being made for
him - and he had no doubt that that was true - he found no
evidence of it. His change of clothes was probably what saved
him, for it altered his appearance greatly. So he came near to
Bray, and finally met his two friends.
"What happened to you?" asked Jack and Dick in chorus.
Swiftly Harry explained. He told of his arrest as a spy and of
his escape. And when he mentioned the part that Ernest Graves had
played in the affair, Jack and Dick looked at one another.
"We were afraid of something like that, said Jack. "Harry, we've
found out a lot of things, and we don't know what they mean!
We're sure something dreadful is going to happen tonight. And
we're sure, too, that Bray Park is going to be the centre of the
"Tell me what you know," said Harry, crisply. "Then we'll put two
and two together. I say, Jack, we don't want to be seen, you
know. Isn't there some side road that doesn't lead anywhere, where
I can run in with the car while we talk?"
"Yes. There's a place about a quarter of a mile further on that
will do splendidly," he replied.
"All right. Lead the way! Tell me when we come to it. I've just
thought of something else I ought to never have forgotten. At
least, I thought of it when I took the things out of my pockets
while I was changing my clothes."
They soon came to the turning Jack had thought of, and a run of a
few hundred yards took them entirely out of sight of the main
road, and to a place where they were able to feel fairly sure of
not being molested.
Then they exchanged stories. Harry told his first. Then he heard
of Dick's escape, and of his meeting with Jack. He nodded at the
story they had heard from Graffer Hodge.
"That accounts for how Graves knew," he said, with much
satisfaction. "What happened then?"
When he heard of how they had thought too late of calling Colonel
Throckmorton by telephone he sighed.
"If you'd only got that message through before Graves did his
work!" he said. "He'd have had to believe you then, of course.
"I know," said Jack. "We were frightfully sorry. And then we
went out to find where the wire was cut, and then got Dick. But I
got away, and I managed to stay fairly close to them. I followed
them when they left Dick in a little stone house, as a prisoner,
and I heard this - I heard them talking about getting a big supply
of petrol. Now what on earth do they want petrol for? They said
there would still be plenty left for the automobiles - and then
that they wouldn't need the cars any more, anyhow! What on earth
do you make of that, Harry?"
"Tell me the rest, then I'll tell you what I think," said Harry.
"How did you get Dick out? And did you hear them saying anything
that sounded as if it might be useful, Dick?"
"That was fine work!" he said, when he had heard a description of
Dick's rescue. "Jack, you seem to be around every time one of us
gets into trouble and needs help!"
Then Dick told of the things he had overheard - the mysterious
references to Von Wedel and to things that were to be done to the
barracks at Ealing and Houndsditch. Harry got out a pencil and
paper then, and made a careful note of every name that Dick
mentioned. Then he took a paper from his pocket.
"Remember this, Dick?" he asked. "It's the thing I spoke of that
I forgot until I came across it in my pocket this morning."
"What is it, Harry?"
"Don't you remember what we watched them heliographing some
messages, and put down the Morse signs? Here they are. Now the
thing to do is to see if we can't work out the meaning of the
code. If it's a code that uses words for phrases we've probably
stuck, but I think its more likely to depend on inversions."
"What do you mean, Harry?" asked Jack. "I'm sorry I don't know
anything about codes and ciphers."
"Why, there are two main sorts of codes, Jack, and, of course,
thousands of variations of each of those principal kinds. In one
kind the idea is to save words - in telegraphing or cabling. So
the things that are likely to be said are represented by one word.
For instance Coal, in a mining code, might mean 'struck vein at
two hundred feet level.' In the other sort of code, the letters
are changed. That is done in all sorts of ways, and there are
various tricks. The way to get at nearly all of them is to find
out which letter or number or symbol is used most often, and to
remember that in an ordinary letter E will appear almost twice as
often as any other letter - in English, that is."
"But won't this be in German?"
"Yes. That's just why I wanted those names Dick heard. They are
likely to appear in any message that was sent. So, if we can find
words that correspond in length to those, we may be able to work
it out. Here goes, anyhow!"
For a long time Harry puzzled over the message. He transcribed
the Morse symbols first into English letters and found they made a
hopeless and confused jumble, as he had expected. The key to the
letter E was useless, as he had also expected. But finally, by
making himself think in German, he began to see a light ahead.
And after an hour's hard work he gave a cry of exultation.
"I believe I've got it!" he cried. "Listen and see if this
doesn't sound reasonable!"
"Go ahead!" said Jack and Dick, eagerly.
"Here it is," said Harry. "Petrol just arranged. Supply on way.
Reach Bray Friday. Von Wedel may come. Red light markers
arranged. Ealing Houndsditch Buckingham Admiralty War Office.
They stared at him, mystified.
"I suppose it does make sense," said Dick. "But what on earth
does it mean, Harry?
"Oh, can't you see?" cried Harry. "Von Wedel is a commander of
some sort - that's plain, isn't it? And he's to carry out a raid,
destroying or attacking the places that are mentioned! How can he
do that? He can't be a naval commander. He can't be going to
lead troops, because we know they can't land. Then how can he get
here? And why should he need petrol?"
They stared at him blankly. Then, suddenly, Dick understood.
"He'll come through the air!" he cried.
"Yes, in one of their big Zeppelins!" said Harry. "I suppose she
has been cruising off the coast. She's served as a wireless relay
station, too. The plant here at Bray Park could reach her, and
she could relay the message on across the North Sea, to Helgoland
or Wilhelmshaven. She's waited until everything was ready."
"That what they mean by the red light markers, then?"
"Yes. They could be on the roofs of houses, and masked, so that
they wouldn't be seen except from overhead. They'd be in certain
fixed positions, and the men on the Zeppelins would be able to
calculate their aim, and drop their bombs so many degrees to the
left or right of the red marking lights."
"But we've got aeroplanes flying about, haven't we?" said Jack.
"Wouldn't they see those lights and wonder about them?"
"Yes, if they were showing all the time. But you can depend on it
that these Germans have provided for all that. They will have
arranged for the Zeppelin to be above the position, as near as
they can guess them, at certain times - and the lights will only
be shown at those times, and then only for a few seconds. Even if
someone else sees them, you see, there won't be time to do
"You must be right, Harry!" said Jack, nervously. "There's no
other way to explain that message. How are we going to stop
"I don't know yet, but we'll have to work out some way of doing
it. It would be terrible for us to know what had been planned and
still not be able to stop them! I wish I knew were Graves was.
I'd like to..."
He stopped, thinking hard.
"What good would that do?"
"Oh, I don't want him - not just now. But I don't want him to see
me just at present. I want to know where he is so that I can
"Suppose I scout into Bray?" suggested Jack. "I can find out
something that might be useful, perhaps. If any of them from Bray
Park have come into the village today I'll hear about it."
"That's a good idea. Suppose you do that, Jack. I don't know
just what I'll do yet. But if I go away from here before you come
back, Dick will stay. I've got to think - there must be some way
to beat them!"
A Capture From The Skies
Jack went off to see what he could discover, and Harry, left
behind with Dick, racked his brains for some means of blocking the
plan he was so sure the Germans had made. He was furious at
Graves, who had discredited him with Colonel Throckmorton, as he
believed. He minded the personal unpleasantness involved far less
than the thought that his usefulness was blocked, for he felt that
not information he might bring would be received now.
As he looked around it seemed incredible that such things as he
was trying to prevent could even be imagined. After the early
rain, the day had cleared up warm and lovely, and it was now the
most perfect of things, a beautiful summer day in England. The
little road they had taken was a sort of blind alley. It had
brought them to a meadow, whence the hay had already been cut. At
the far side of this ran a little brook, and all about them were
trees. Except for the call of birds, and the ceaseless hum of
insects, there was no sound to break the stillness. It was a
scene of peaceful beauty that could not be surpassed anywhere in
the world. And yet, only a few miles away, at the most, were men
who were planning deliberately to bring death and destruction upon
helpless enemies - to rain down death from the skies.
By very contrast to the idyllic peace of all about them, the
terrors of war seemed more dreadful. That men who went to war
should be killed and wounded, bat though it was, still seemed
legitimate. But his driving home of an attack upon a city all
unprepared, upon the many non-combatants who would be bound to
suffer, was another and more dreadful thing. Harry could
understand that it was war, that it was permissible to do what
these Germans were planned. And yet --
His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden change in the quality of
the noisy silence that the insects made. Just before he noticed
it, half a dozen bees had been humming near him. Now he heard
something that sounded like the humming of a far vaster bee.
Suddenly it stopped, and, as it did, he looked up, his eyes as
well as Dick's being drawn upward at the same moment. And they
saw, high above them, an aeroplane with dun colored wings. Its
engine had stopped and it was descending now in a beautiful series
of volplaning curves.
"Out of essense - he's got to come down," said Harry,
appraisingly, to Dick. "He'll manage it all right, too. He
knows his business through and through, that chap."
"I wonder where he'll land," speculated Dick.
"He's got to pick an open space, of course," said Harry. "And
there aren't so many of them around here. By Jove!"
"Look! He's certainly coming down fast!" exclaimed Dick.
"Yes - and, I say, I think he's heading for this meadow! Come on
-- start that motor, Dick!"
"Why? Don't you want him to see us?"
"I don't mind him seeing us - I don't want him to see the car,"
explained Harry. "We'll run it around that bend, out of sight
from the meadow."
"Why shouldn't he see it?"
"Because if he's out of petrol, he'll want to take all we've got
and we may not want him to have it. We don't know who he is,
The car was moving as Harry explained. As soon as the meadow was
out of sight, Harry stopped the engine and got out of the car.
"He may have seen it as he was coming down - the car, I mean," he
said. "But I doubt it. He's got other things to watch. That
meadow for one - and all his levers and his wheel. Guiding an
aeroplane in a coast like that down the air is no easy job."
"Have you ever been up, Harry?"
"Yes, often. I've never driven one myself, but I believe I could
if I had to. I've watched other people handle them so often that
I know just about everything that has to be done.
"That's an English monoplane. I've seen them ever so often," said
Dick. "It's an army machine, I mean. See it's number? It's just
coming in sight of us now. Wouldn't you like to fly her though?"
"I'd like to know what it's doing around here," said Harry. "And
it seems funny to me if an English army aviator has started out
without enough petrol in his tank to see him through any flight he
might be making. And wouldn't he have headed for one of his
supply stations as soon as he found out he was running short,
instead of coming down in country like this?"
Dick stared at him.
"Do you think it's another spy?" he asked.
"I don't think anything about it yet, Dick. But I'm not going to
be caught napping. That's a Bleriot - and the British army flying
corps uses Bleriots. But anyone with the money can buy one and
make it look like an English army plane. Remember that."
There was no mistaking about the monoplane when it was once down.
Its pilot was German; he was unmistakably so. He had been flying
very high and when he landed he was still stiff from the cold.
"Petrol!" he cried eagerly, as he saw the two boys. "Where can I
get petrol? Quick! Answer me!"
Harry shot a quick glance at Dick.
"Come on," he said, beneath his breath. "We've got to get him and
tie him up."
The aviator, cramped and stiffened as he was by the intense cold
that prevails in the high levels where he had been flying, was no
match for them. As they sprang at him his face took on the most
ludicrous appearance of utter surprise. Had he suspected that
they would attack him he might have drawn a pistol. As it was, he
was helpless before the two boys, both in the pink of condition
and determined to capture him. He made a struggle, but in two
minutes he was laying roped, tied, and utterly helpless. He was
not silent; he breathed the most fearful threats as to what would
happen to them. But neither boy paid any attention to him.
"We've got to get him to the car," said Harry. "Can we drag him?"
"Yes. But if we loosen his feet a little, he could walk,"
suggested Dick. "That would be ever so much easier for him, and
for us too. I should hate to be dragged. Let's make him walk."
"Right - and a good idea!" said Harry. He loosened the ropes
about the aviator's feet, and helped him to stand.
"March!" he said. "Don't try to get away - I've got a leading
rope, you see."
He did have a loose end of rope, left over from a knot, and with
this he proceeded to lead the enraged German to the automobile.
It looked for all the world as if he were leading a dog, and for a
moment Dick doubled up in helpless laughter. The whole episode
had it's comic side, but it was serious, too.
"Now we've got to draw off the gasoline in the tank in this
bucket," said Harry. The German had been bestowed in the tonneau,
and made as comfortable as possible with rugs and cushions. His
feet were securely tied again, and there was no chance for him to
"What are you going to do?" asked Dick. "Are you going to try to
fly in that machine?"
"I don't know, yet. But I'm going to have it ready, so that I can
if I need to," said Harry. "That Bleriot maybe the saving of us
yet, Dick. There's no telling what we shall have to do."
Even as he spoke, Harry was making new plans, rendered possible by
this gift from the skies. He was beginning, at last, to see a way
to circumvent the Germans. What he had in mind was risky,
certainly, and might prove perilous in the extreme. But he did not
let that aspect of the situation worry him. His one concern was to
foil the terrible plan that the Germans had made, and he was
willing to run any risk that would help him to do so.
"The Zeppelin is coming here to Bray Park - it's going to land
here," said Harry. "And if it ever gets away from here there will
be no way of stopping it from doing all the damage they have
planned, or most of it. Thanks to Graves, we wouldn't be believed
if we tell what we know - we'd probably just be put in the guard
house. So we've got to try to stop it ourselves."
They had reached the Bleriot by that time. Harry filled the tank,
and looked at the motor. Then he sat in the driver's seat and
practiced with the levers, until he decided that he understood
them thoroughly. And, as he did this, he made his decision.
"I'm going into Bray Park tonight," he said. "This is the only
way to get in."
"And I'm going with you," announced Dick.
At first Harry refused absolutely to consent to Dick's accompanying
him, but after a long argument he was forced to yield.
"Why should you take all the risks when it isn't your own country,
especially?" asked Dick, almost sobbing. "I've got a right to go!
And, besides, you may need me."
That was true enough, as Harry realized. Moreover, he had been
investigating the Bleriot, and he discovered that it was one of
the new safety type, with a gyroscope device to insure stability.
That day was almost without wind, and therefore it seemed that if
such an excursion could ever be safe, this was the time. He
consented in the end, and later he was to be thankful that he had.
Once the decision was taken, they waited impatiently for the
return of Jack Young. Harry foresaw protests from Jack when he
found out what they meant to do, but for him there as an easy
answer - there was room in the aeroplane for only two people, and
there was no way of carrying an extra passenger.
It was early dusk when Jack returned, and he had the forethought
to bring a basket of food with him - cold chicken, bread and
butter, and milk, as well as some fruit.
"I didn't find out very much," he said, "except this. Someone
from London has been asking about you both. And this much more -
at least a dozen people have come down to Bray Park today from
"Did you see any sign of soldiers from London?"
"No," said Jack.
He was disappointed when he found out what they meant to do, but
he took his disappointment pluckily when he saw that there was no
help for it. Harry explained very quietly to both Jack and Dick
what he meant to do and they listened, open mouthed, with wonder.
"You'll have your part to play, Jack," said Harry. "Somehow I
can't believe that the letter I wrote to Colonel Throckmorton last
night won't have some effect. You have got to scout around in
case anyone comes and tell them all I've told you. You understand
thoroughly, do you?"
"Yes," said Jack, quietly. "When are you going to start?"
"There's no use going up much before eleven o'clock," said Harry.
"Before that we'd be seen, and, besides, if a Zepplin is coming,
it wouldn't be until after that. My plan is to scout to the east
and try to pick her up and watch her descend. I think I know just
about where she'll land - the only place where there's room enough
for her. And then -"
He stopped, and the others nodded, grimly.
"I imagine she'll have about a hundred and twenty miles to travel
in a straight line - perhaps a little less," said Harry. "She can
make that in about two hours, or less. Big as they are, those
airships are painted so that they're almost invisible from below.
So if she comes by night, getting here won't be as hard a job as
it seems at first thought."
Then the three of them went over in every detail the plan Harry
had formed. Dick and Jack took their places in the monoplane and
rehearsed every movement they would have to make.
"I can't think of anything else that we can provide for now," said
Harry, at last. "Of course, we can't tell what will come up, and
it would be wonderful if everything came out just as we have
planned. But we've provided for everything we can think of. You
know where you are to be, Jack?"
"Then you'd better start pretty soon. Good-bye, Jack!" He held
out his hand. "We could never have worked this out without you.
If we succeed you'll have a big part in what we've done."
A little later Jack said good-bye in earnest, and then there was
nothing to do but wait. About them the voices of the insects and
frogs changed, with the darkening night. The stars came out, but
the night was a dark one. Harry looked at his watch from time to
time and at last he got up.
"Time to start!" he said.
He felt a thrill of nervousness as the monoplane rose into the
air. After all, there was a difference between being the pilot
and sitting still in the car. But he managed very well, after a
few anxious moments in the ascent. And once they were clear of
the trees and climbing swiftly, in great spirals, there was a
glorious sensation of freedom. Dick caught his breath at first,
then he got used to the queer motion, and cried aloud in his
Harry headed straight into the east when he felt that he was high
enough. And suddenly he gave a cry.
"Look!" he shouted in Dick's ear. "We didn't start a moment too
soon. See her - that great big cigar-shaped thing, dropping over
It was the Zepplin - the battleship of the air. She was dipping
down, descending gracefully, over Bray Park.
"I was right!" cried Harry. "Now we can go to work at once - we
won't have to land and wait!"
He rose still higher, then flew straight for Bray Park. They were
high, but, far below, with lights moving about her, they could see
the huge bulk of the airship, as long as a moderate sized ocean
liner. She presented a perfect target.
"Now!" said Harry.
And at once Dick began dropping projectiles they had found in the
aeroplane - sharply pointed shells of steel. Harry had examined
these -- he found they were really solid steel shot, cast like
modern rifle bullets, and calculated to penetrate, even without
explosive action, when dropped from a height.
From the first two that Dick dropped there was no result. But
with the falling of the third a hissing sound came from below, and
as Dick rapidly dropped three more, the noise increased. And they
could see the lights flying - plainly the men were running from
the monster. Its bulk lessened as the gas escaped from the great
bag and then, in a moment more, there was a terrific explosion
that rocked the monoplane violently. Had Harry not been ready for
it, they might have been brought down.
But he had been prepared, and was flying away.
Down below there was now a great glare from the burning wreckage,
lighting up the whole scene. And suddenly there was a sharp
breaking out of rifle fire. At first he thought the men below had
seen them, and were firing upward. But in a moment he saw the
truth. Bray Park had been attacked from outside!
Even before they reached the ground, in the meadow where Harry and
Jack had emerged from the tunnel, and Harry and Dick saw, to their
wonder and delight, that the ground swarmed with khaki-clad
soldiers. In the same moment Jack ran up to them.
"The soldiers have the place surrounded!" he cried, exultingly.
"They must have believed your letter after all, Harry! Come on -
there's a boat here! Aren't you coming over?"
They were rowing for the other shore before the words were well
spoken. And, once over, they were seized at once by two soldiers.
"More of them," said one of the soldiers. "Where's the colonel?"
Without trying to explain, they let themselves be taken to where
Colonel Throckmorton stood near the burning wreckage. At the
sight of Harry his face lighted up.
"What do you know about this?" he asked, sternly, pointing to the
Harry explained in a few words.
"Very good," said the colonel. "You are under arrest - you broke
arrest this morning. I suppose you know that is a serious
offense, whether your original arrest was justified or not?"
"I felt I had to do it, sir," said Harry. He had caught the glint
of a smile in the colonel's eyes.
"Explain yourself, sir," said the colonel. "Report fully as to
your movements today. Perhaps I shall recommend you for a metal
instead of court marshalling you, after all."
And so the story came out, and Harry learned that the colonel had
never believed Graves, but had chosen to let him think he did.
"The boy Graves is a German, and older than he seems," said the
colonel. "He was here as a spy. He is in custody now, and you
have broken up a dangerous raid and a still more dangerous system
of espionage. If you hadn't come along with your aeroplane, we
would never have stopped the raid. I had ordered aviators to be
here, but it is plain that something has gone wrong. You have
done more than well. I shall see to it that your services are
properly recognized. And now be off with you, and get some sleep.
You may report to me the day after tomorrow!"
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