Clair W. (Clair Wallace) Hayes.

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THE BOY ALLIES ***




Produced by Roger Frank and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)





[Illustration: "Great Scott!" ejaculated Frank, "It's a girl!"]

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The Boy Allies
On the North Sea Patrol

OR

Striking the First Blow at the German Fleet

By Ensign ROBERT L. DRAKE

AUTHOR OF

"The Boy Allies Under Two Flags"
"The Boy Allies With the Terror of the Seas"
"The Boy Allies With the Flying Squadron"

A. L. BURT COMPANY
NEW YORK

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Copyright, 1915
BY A. L. BURT COMPANY

THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL

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THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL




CHAPTER I.

SHANGHAIED.


"Help! Help!"

Frank Chadwick, strolling along the water-front in Naples, stopped
suddenly in his tracks and gazed in the direction from whence had come
the cry of distress.

"Help! Help!" came the cry again, in English.

Frank dashed forward toward a dirty-looking sailors' boarding house,
from the inside of which he could distinguish the sounds of a struggle.

As he sprang through the door, at the far end of the room he saw a
little man in a red sweater, unmistakably an American, apparently
battling for his life with two swarthy Italians, both armed with
gleaming knives.

Frank jumped forward with a cry, and as he did so, the Italians turned
and fled. The little American wiped his face on his sleeve, and then
turned to Frank with outstretched hand.

"You came just in time," he declared. "I thought it was all up with me."

"I'm glad I did," replied the lad, grasping the other's hand.

"Yes, sir," continued the little man. "If you hadn't-a-come, them dagos
would-a-done for me sure."

He led the way to an adjoining room, Frank following him. He sat down at
a table and rapped loudly upon it.

"Let's have a drink," he said, as a greasy-looking Italian in an even
more greasy apron entered the room.

"Thanks," replied Frank; "but I don't drink."

"Oh, come on now," urged the other; "take something."

"No," said Frank with finality. "I must go," he continued, turning
toward the door. "I am glad to have been of some assistance to you."

But even as he turned the American in the red sweater stamped twice upon
the floor and a trap door fell away beneath Frank's feet. The lad caught
a glimpse of water below.

His elbow struck the floor as he went down, and he fell head-first into
a small rowboat. His head struck the bottom of the boat with sickening
force, stunning him.

It was almost an hour later when his wits began to return to him. He
took in the scene around him. He stood on the deck of a small schooner,
and a great hulk of a man with an evil face stood near him, arguing with
his friend of the red sweater.

"What is this thing you've brought me?" shouted the big man. "If we
don't look out we'll step on it and break it. It hadn't ought to be
around without its ma."

"Oh, he'll do all right, captain," replied the red sweater. "But I've
got to skip or I'll have the patrol boat after me. Do you sign or not?"

"Well, I'll tackle this one, but if he ain't up to snuff he'll come back
by freight, and don't you forget it."

The red sweater pocketed a note the captain handed him, went over the
side of the schooner and rowed off.

Frank gazed about the schooner. Several dirty sailors, fully as evil
looking as the captain, were working about the deck. Apparently they
were foreigners. The captain appeared to be an American.

The captain, Harwood by name, turned to Frank.

"Get forward," he commanded.

Frank drew himself up.

"What's the meaning of this?" he exclaimed. "I demand to be put ashore."

"Is that so," sneered the big captain; "and why do you suppose I went to
all this trouble to get you here, huh? Now you listen to me. I'm captain
of this here tub, and what I say goes. Get forward!"

Still Frank stood still.

"Look here," he began, "I - - "

The captain knocked him down with a single blow of his great fist, and
kicked his prostrate form. Then he picked him up, caught him by the neck
and the slack of his coat and ran him forward to the hatchway, and flung
him below.

As Frank picked himself up there descended upon him a deluge of clothes,
followed by the captain's voice.

"There's your outfit, Willie, and it won't cost you a cent. You've got
two minutes to get into them, and I hope you won't force me to give you
any assistance."

Frank Chadwick was a lad of discretion. Therefore he made haste to
change, and in less than the allotted time he again emerged on deck.

Frank had just passed his sixteenth birthday. Always athletically
inclined, he was extremely large for his age; and his muscles, hardened
by much outdoor exercise, made him a match for many a man twice his age,
as he had proven more than once when forced to do so.

His father was a well-to-do physician in a small New England town. For a
lad of his years, Frank was an expert in the art of self-defense. Also
he could ride, shoot and fence.

While the lad was by no means an expert with sailing vessels, he
nevertheless had had some experience in that line. At home he had a
small sailboat and in the summer months spent many hours upon the water.
Consequently he was well versed in nautical terms.

This summer Frank and his father had been touring Europe. The war clouds
which had hovered over the continent for weeks had finally burst while
father and son were in Germany. In getting out of the country the two
had been separated, and for two days now the lad had been unable to find
Dr. Chadwick.

Frank was well up on his history, and this, together with the fact that
his mother was of English descent, turned his sympathies with the
allies. Also he was a student of literature and languages, and could
converse fluently in French, German and Italian.

As has been said, Frank was a lad of discretion; which is the reason he
appeared upon deck again within the two minutes allowed him by the
captain.

He emerged from below with blood upon his face and the grime of an
unclean ship upon his hands. As he came on deck he saw the crew of the
schooner hurrying forward, six of them, Italians every one. On the
quarterdeck stood the captain.

"Look at Willie," shouted the captain in great glee. "Clap on to the
starboard windlass brake, son."

Frank saw the Italians ranged about what he supposed was the windlass in
the bow. He took his place among them, grasping one of the bars.

"Break down!" came the next order, and Frank and the Italians obeyed,
bearing up and down on the bars till the slack of the anchor chain came
home and stretched taut and dripping from the hawse-holes.

"'Vast heavin'!"

Frank released his hold on the brake. Orders came thick and fast now,
and Frank's experience with his own sailboat stood him in good stead,
and soon the schooner was beating out to sea.

The wind blew violent and cold, and the spray was flying like icy
small-shot. The schooner rolled and plunged and heaved and sank and rose
again. Frank was drenched to the skin and sore in every joint.

The captain at length ordered the cook to give the men their food.

"Get forward, son," he commanded, fixing Frank with his eye.

Frank descended below. The Italians were already there, sitting on the
edges of their bunks. The cook brought in supper, stewed beef and pork.
A liquor that bore a slight resemblance to coffee was served. This was
Black Jack.

"Well," muttered Frank, looking at the mess of which the Italians were
eating hungrily, "I've got to come to it some time."

He took his knife from his pocket, opened the big blade and cut off a
piece of pork. This he forced himself to eat. Then he once more went on
deck.

Half an hour later the captain emerged from his cabin. Then he and an
Italian he called Charlie, who, in the absence of a mate, appeared to be
the second in command, began to choose the men for their watches. Frank
found himself in the captain's watch.

"I may as well tell you," he said to the captain, "that I'm no sailor."

"Well, you will be, son," came the reply. "You'll either be a sailor or
shark bait."

The watches divided, the captain said to Frank:

"Son, I'm going to do you a real favor. You can berth aft in the cabin
with Charlie and me, and you can make free of my quarterdeck. Maybe you
ain't used to the way of sailormen, but you can take it from me those
are two real concessions."

"Will you tell me where we are bound, captain?" asked Frank.

"I'll tell you it's none of your business," came the sharp reply. "You
do as I say and ask no questions."

About an hour later Frank turned in. The captain showed him his bunk. It
was under the companionway that led down into the cabin. The captain
bunked on one side and Charlie on the other.

As Frank made his way to his bunk, he saw a sight that caused him to
catch his breath in surprise.

In a fourth bunk, above the one in which the captain slept, was the
figure of another man. Approaching closer, Frank saw that the man was
bound and gagged, and apparently unconscious.

"Hmmm," he muttered. "Wonder what this means?"

And at his words the occupant of the bunk moved slightly and moaned.




CHAPTER II.

MUTINY.


Frank went over to the bunk and peered in. At that moment Captain
Harwood's voice broke upon his ear.

"Looking at my little long lost chum, are you, son?" he said in a low,
gentle voice. "Well," and his voice grew suddenly harsh, "don't do it!
You keep away from there! You hear me? You keep away or I'll feed you to
the little fishes!"

He aimed a vicious blow at Frank, which the lad avoided only by a quick
backward leap. The captain took a step forward as though to continue his
attack; then changed his mind and said:

"I don't want to hurt you, son, but you'll have to keep away from my
property."

The captain turned on his heel and went on deck.

In spite of the captain's warning, Frank once more approached the man in
the bunk; but he kept a wary eye on the door. Putting his foot on the
edge of the captain's bunk, he pulled himself up.

The bound man was still moaning feebly. Frank removed the gag from his
mouth.

"Thanks," said the man in a low voice in English. "I didn't think I
could stand that thing in my mouth another instant."

"What's the matter, anyhow," demanded Frank. "Why are you kept a
prisoner here?"

"It's a long story," was the reply, "and I haven't time to tell you now.
But I can say this much, for I don't believe you will repeat it. I'm in
the English diplomatic corps and am on an important mission. My capture
must be the work of treachery. I suppose I am to be turned over to the
Germans."

"I thought diplomacy was a thing of the past," said Frank. "Of what use
is diplomacy now that practically the whole of Europe is at war?"

"That's just it," was the reply. "The whole of Europe is not at war.
Italy is still neutral, but unless something happens she is likely to
throw in her fortunes with Germany."

"But what have you got to do with that?"

The man in the bunk was silent for a few moments.

"All I can say," he replied finally, "is that I am supposed to see that
something happens; or rather, I should say, I am to help."

"But how did you get here?"

"I was trapped. There is a traitor somewhere. It looks as though I am
done for. The Germans know me. They will show me no mercy."

"Surely, it's not as bad as all that!" exclaimed Frank.

"Worse, if possible," was the reply.

"But I can't believe Captain Harwood, an American, would be engaged in
work of that sort."

"Harwood!" exclaimed, the man in the bunk. "A more villainous pirate
never lived. I know him of old. I don't know how he happened to be
sailing at this exact time. He certainly is not making this trip on my
account alone. He's up to some other game."

Frank was struck with an idea.

"But the crew," he exclaimed. "Can't we get some help from them?"

"Don't you bank on that," was the reply.

"But - - " began Frank.

The man in the bunk interrupted.

"Sh-h-h!" he cautioned. "Footsteps!"

Frank listened a moment; then with a quick spring jumped into his own
bunk just as Captain Harwood again appeared. The captain approached him.
To all appearances Frank was sleeping soundly. The captain grunted and
then approached the man in the bunk.

"So!" he exclaimed. "I've got you again, eh! Well, this time you won't
get away. You don't think I've forgotten I spent two years behind the
bars on your account, do you? I haven't. You hear me!"

He struck the helpless man a blow with his fist.

"Why don't you answer me?" he demanded; then smiled to himself. "Oh, I
forgot. Guess I'll remove that gag and let you say something."

He climbed up and leaned over the occupant of the upper bunk, then
started back with a cry.

"How did you remove that gag?" he demanded; then continued, "O-ho I see.
Little Willie boy, eh! Well - - "

He turned toward Frank and at the same moment the man in the bunk let
out a cry of warning.

But Frank was not to be caught napping. As the captain turned toward him
he sprang to his feet and placed himself in an attitude of defense. He
knew that he was no match for the giant captain, but he determined to
give a good account of himself.

"Well, well," cried the captain advancing, "little Willie is going to
fight! What d'ye think o' that?"

He doubled his huge fists and took another step forward; but at that
instant there came a fearful cry from on deck.

The captain paused, and Charlie's voice came down the hatchway in a loud
wail:

"Help!"

Captain Harwood sprang toward the door, and as he went through it he
hurled back over his shoulder:

"I'll 'tend to your case when I come back, son!"

A moment later there came cries from above and the sound of a furious
struggle. Frank rushed up the hatchway to the deck, where a terrible
sight met his eyes.

Surrounded by all six of the crew. Captain Harwood was battling
desperately for his life. Time after time he struck out with his great
fists, but his blows failed to land. The nimble Italians skipped back,
then closed in again. By the wheel, Frank saw the unconscious form of
Charlie.

Long, wicked-looking knives gleamed in the hands of the Italians.
Bleeding from half a dozen wounds, the giant captain continued to fight
off his enemies.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank. "I can't stand here and see him killed!"

He sprang forward and, before his presence was noted, struck down one of
the Italians with a blow of his fist.

The captain noted with a nod this aid from such an unexpected source.

"Good work, son!" he exclaimed.

Frank turned to another of the Italians, but as he did so the man he had
knocked down arose, stooped and picked up a belaying pin that lay
nearby, and struck Frank a heavy blow on the head.

The lad dropped to the deck unconscious. At the same moment the other
Italians sprang upon the captain with even greater ferocity. In vain he
tried to fight them off. Two he knocked down with hammer-like blows of
his great fists. Then, seizing a descending arm, he twisted sharply and
a knife fell clattering to the deck.

At the same moment another Italian sprang upon his unprotected back, and
buried his knife to the hilt. Three times the captain spun around on his
heel, then fell to the deck on his face. Instantly half a dozen knives
were buried in his back. The captain gave a great sob, shuddered, and
lay still.

Roughly the Italians picked up the great body, carried it to the rail
and threw it into the sea. The body of Charlie was treated in a similar
manner. Then the Italians approached Frank.

As they picked him up he groaned. Consciousness was returning.

"He's still alive," came a voice. "What shall we do with him?"

"Overboard with him anyhow," came the reply.

"No," said another voice. "Let him live. Tie him up and put him below
with the other prisoner. There is a good price on the head of one,
according to what the captain said. The other may be worth something."

It was now dark; but suddenly the little schooner was the center of a
dazzling light and a shot rang out over the water. Dimly, could be made
out the outlines of a battle cruiser. A second shot rang out - a command
to heave-to.

"Quick!" cried one of the mutineers, apparently the leader of the gang.
"We must make a run for it. Tie this dog up and throw him below!"

Swiftly Frank was bound hand and foot and tumbled down the hatchway. In
falling the knot that bound his feet became unloosened and he freed his
legs with little difficulty. But try as he would he could not release
his hands. He made his way to his bunk and lay down.

"What's the matter?" came the voice of the man in the bunk.

Frank explained matters to him.

"Good!" was the reply. "They can't get away from the cruiser. It is
undoubtedly a British ship."

But both were doomed to disappointment. A heavy wind had sprung up and
now was blowing a gale. With all sails set, the little schooner soon
lost itself in the darkness, and when morning dawned there was not the
sign of a sail as far as the eye could see.




CHAPTER III.

JACK TEMPLETON.


Jack Templeton stood in a shady grove in a little hamlet on the north
coast of Africa. A lad of seventeen, he was the only white person in the
village, or in fact for many miles around. He had come there with his
father five years before.

His father's reasons for thus practically burying himself alive, Jack
did not know. He had started up a little store and had made a bare
living selling goods to the natives. Twice a year a ship brought him
stock enough for the ensuing six months, but except at these rare
intervals, a white man was seldom seen in the village.

A year before Jack's father had died, and Jack had inherited the little
store. Now he was following in his father's footsteps. Of his father's
past life he knew next to nothing, beyond the fact that his father, by
birth, was an Englishman, and, before coming to the little African
village, had lived for some years in the United States.

In spite of his youth, Jack was of huge stature. Always tall for his
age, he had filled out so rapidly that now at seventeen he was well over
six feet and big all through. His strength was immense, and there were
no three natives in the village that could stand up against him.

His father had been a scholar, and Jack was a keen student. He spoke
several languages besides English and one or two native dialects.

As Jack stood in the little grove this warm afternoon he kept an
attentive eye on a shabby looking schooner that was creeping up from the
south. At a distance of about a mile from the shore the schooner luffed
up, hoisted a dirty red ensign and dropped her anchor; a fishing canoe,
which had paddled out to meet her, ran alongside and presently returned
shoreward with a couple of strangers.

Jack made no move, in spite of the fact that he was well aware that the
strangers, probably, were headed direct for his store. To-day he was in
no mood to meet a white man, for he was not quite ready to take his
departure from the village.

The canoe landed, the strangers stepped ashore and disappeared.
Presently a file of natives appeared moving toward the shore, each
carrying a large basket of provisions. Then suddenly two white men
appeared, running.

They jumped in the canoe, the men pushed off and the little craft began
to wriggle its way through the surf. At the same moment another figure
appeared on the beach, and made unmistakable signs of hostility to the
receding canoe.

Jack recognized this figure. It was his assistant. As Jack crossed the
sand toward the village, the black assistant came running toward him.

"Dem sailors am tiefs, sar!" he gasped, when he had come within earshot.

Jack comprehended in a moment. "Do you mean they didn't pay you?" he
demanded.

"Yes, sar! No, sar!" exclaimed the assistant excitedly. "Dey no pay
nuttin'."

"All right," said Jack calmly. "We'll go aboard and collect for it
then."

"All canoes out fishin' 'cept dat one," exclaimed the negro, pointing to
the one carrying the sailors back to the schooner.

"We'll wait for that one, then," replied Jack.

The two sat down on the beach to wait. The negro said nothing. He knew
Jack too well to try and dissuade him from his purpose, so he kept his
own counsel.

The canoe ran alongside the schooner, and having discharged its
passengers and freight, put off for its return to shore. Then the
schooner's sails began to slide up the stays; the canvas aloft began to
flatten out to the pull of the sheets. The schooner was preparing to get
under way.

The canoe had now reached the beach and Jack and the black assistant
climbed in. Then they put off toward the schooner.

As the canoe bounded forward, Jack suddenly caught the sound of the
schooner's windlass pawl. The anchor was being hove up.

The natives in the canoe bent to the work. The canoe swept alongside the
schooner and Jack, grasping a chain, swung himself up into the channel,
whence he climbed to the bulwark rail and dropped down on the deck.

The windlass was manned by five men, plainly Italians. A sixth was
seated on the deck nearby.

"Good afternoon," said Jack. "You forgot to pay for those provisions."

The seated man looked up with a start, first at Jack, then at the
assistant, who now sat astride the rail, ready either to advance or
retreat. The clink of the windlass ceased and the other five men came
aft grinning.

"What are you doing aboard this ship?" demanded the seated sailor in
halting and very poor English.

"I've come to collect my dues," replied Jack. "I'm the owner of these
provisions."

"You are mistaken," said the sailor. "I am the owner."

"Then you have got to pay me."

"Look here," remarked the sailor, rising. "You get overboard quick!"

"I want my pay," declared Jack.

"Pitch him overboard," spoke up another sailor.

The first sailor, evidently the commander, advanced.

Jack stood motionless with his long legs wide apart, his hands clasped
behind him, his shoulders hunched up and his chin thrust forward. He
presented an uninviting aspect.

The sailor evidently appreciated this, and for a moment hesitated. Then
he came forward again. But he picked a bad moment for his attack, for he
rushed just as the deck rose.

There was a resounding "smack, smack," the sailor staggered backward,
upsetting two men behind him, staggered down the deck closely followed
by Jack, and finally fell sprawling in the scuppers with his head jammed
against the stanchion.

The two other men scrambled to their feet and, with their three
companions, closed in on Jack; but the latter did not wait to be
attacked.

He charged the group, hammering right and left, regardless of the thumps
he got in return, and gradually drove them, bewildered by his quickness
and heavy blows, through the space between the foremast and the bulwark.

Slowly they backed away before his battering, hampered by their numbers
as they struck at him, until one man, who had the bad luck to catch two
uppercuts in succession, whipped out his sheath knife.

Jack's quick eye caught the glint of the steel just as he was passing
the fife rail. He whipped out an iron belaying pin and brought it down
on the man's head. The man dropped, and as the belaying pin rose and
fell, the other men drew back.

Suddenly a shot rang out. A little cloud of splinters flew from the mast
near Jack's head. Glancing forward. Jack beheld the leader emerge from
the forecastle hatch and aim at him with a revolver. At that moment Jack
was abreast of the uncovered main hatch. He had perceived a tier of
grain bags covering the floor of the hold. He stooped, and with his
hands on the coaming, vaulted over, dropped on the bags, picked himself
up and scrambled forward under the shelter of the deck.


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