Clair W. Hayes.

The Boy Allies on the Firing Line online

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opened the front door and closed it softly behind them. Then, with a
swaggering air, they descended the front steps, to bump squarely into
one of the guards.

The guard drew back respectfully and saluted.

"I beg your pardon, sir," he said, addressing Chester. "I saw you go
out once before, but I didn't see you return."

"You must be more careful," said Chester, imitating the lieutenant's
voice. "My friend and I came in a few moments ago and I didn't see you
anywhere."

"But I was right here, sir, or at least, only a few steps away,"
protested the soldier.

"Well, I'll pass over it this time," said Chester, "but don't let it
happen again. The prisoners might escape."

"Thank you, sir," replied the soldier, saluting again. "But the
prisoners will not escape while I am on guard. Never fear, sir."

The lads bade the soldier good night and walked slowly away. Once
around the first corner, however, they increased their pace, and soon
had put considerable distance between them and the Strauss home,
where, even now, the old general, having failed to find his maps at
headquarters, was again raging about, swearing that his documents had
been stolen.

Walking into a quiet little shop, Chester purchased two revolvers.
Also, while there, he withdrew the map from his pocket and studied it
carefully.

"I want to impress this firmly on my mind," he said to Hal, "for we
may not have a chance to look at it again for some time."

Hal also bent over and studied the map carefully. A few moments later
they left the store, each feeling more secure because of the
ugly-looking Colt each carried in his pocket.

As the boys walked along one of the dark streets, they became aware of
the soft pat-pat of steps behind them, coming swiftly. They turned to
face whatever danger threatened, and then Hal suddenly broke into a
laugh.

"Marquis!" he cried aloud.

Sure enough, it was their four-footed friend. He came running up to
the boys, wagging his tail happily at being with them once again, but
with reproach in his eyes at having been left behind.

"Good old Marquis," said Chester, patting his head. "You didn't want
to be left behind among all these Germans, did you?"

Marquis wagged his tail fiercely.

"What are we going to do with him?" asked Hal. "Won't he be in the
way?"

"No, I don't think so," replied Chester. "Not if the plan I have in
mind works."

"What is your plan?"

"You'll know soon enough," said Chester calmly. "Come on."

For two hours the lads walked along, gradually drawing out of the city
at the eastern extremity. They passed many German officers as they
walked along, but were not molested nor even challenged.

Finally, beyond the city, Chester increased his pace and the two boys
and the dog hurried on. At length they came to a large building.

"I thought I was right," said Chester to himself. "But I was beginning
to doubt it."

"What is it?" demanded Hal. "What is that building?"

"That," said Chester calmly, "is an aëroplane station. We shall now go
in and get one."

"Oh, we will, eh? And I suppose they give one to every strange officer
who happens along?"

"No, they don't," said Chester. "But, among other things in General
Strauss's desk, I found several orders upon this place, each one
calling upon the commandant to furnish bearer with one plane."

"Why didn't you tell me before?" demanded Hal.

"I wanted to save it as a surprise," said Chester.

As they approached nearer, it became apparent that the structure was a
long, low shed. A hundred yards away, they were challenged by a
sentry.

"I have an order for the commandant," called Chester.

"Approach," said the sentry.

A moment later, the commandant, being summoned by the sentry, arrived.

"What can I do for you, gentlemen?" he asked.

Without a word, Chester pulled one of the orders he had appropriated
from General Strauss's desk from his pocket and passed it to the
commandant. The latter glanced at it quickly, and then bowed.

"You shall have the machine in five minutes," he said, and left them.

True to his word, five minutes later a large-winged biplane stood
before them.

"You will have to run this thing," Chester whispered to Hal.

"Well, it won't be the first time," Hal whispered back.

Hal took the aviator's seat and Chester also took his place. Then the
latter whistled to Marquis, who came bounding up and sprang in and sat
down calmly between Chester's feet.

"Surely you are not going to take that dog," protested the commandant.

"Yes," said Chester. "He is one of the dispatch dogs taken from the
French. We are going to make use of him with a false dispatch."

"I see," exclaimed the commandant. "A good idea."

"Isn't it?" said Chester.

"All ready?" demanded the commandant of Hal.

"All ready," was the lad's reply.

"Let her go, then," the commandant ordered the two men who had
appeared to give the aëroplane a start.

A moment later and the machine was speeding along the ground.

"Good luck," called the commandant.

Chester waved his hand in reply.

Now Hal touched the elevating lever, and the aëroplane left the
ground, and, soaring high in the air, sped on its way.

"Which way, Chester?" Hal called back over his shoulder.

"Due east," replied Chester, "but first rise as high as you can."

Hal obeyed this command, and soon the two boys and a dog were
thousands of feet above the earth.

"What's your altitude?" called Chester.

Hal told him.

"Good!" said Chester. "Keep her there, and now head due east."

Quickly Hal brought the big aircraft about, and pointed her nose in a
direction that eventually, barring accidents and the misfortunes of
war, would land them in the heart of Poland, where the mighty armies
of Russia were rushing upon the German legions.

"I know we shall get through safely," called Chester, as they sped
along. "Some way I feel it."

"And so do I," Hal called back.

They were right, and before another night had fallen these two
young American boys placed in the hands of the Grand Duke Nicholas,
commander-in-chief of the mighty hordes of the Czar, the paper which
had so strangely fallen into their hands - the paper which, later on,
brought about more than one serious check to German arms.

But here ends the story of the Boy Allies along the Marne. Their
further adventures will be told in a succeeding volume, entitled, "The
Boy Allies With the Cossacks; or a Wild Dash Over the Carpathian
Mountains."




TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:

Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors; otherwise
every effort has been made to remain true to the author's words and
intent.







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Online LibraryClair W. HayesThe Boy Allies on the Firing Line → online text (page 12 of 12)