Part 4 out of 4
He bowed and left the tent. Hal and Chester now turned their attention to
the dog, which still lay sleeping. Chester whistled sharply. The dog was
on his feet in a second, ears cocked and sniffing the air eagerly.
"A real war dog, all right," said Chester. "What shall we call him, Hal?"
"Perhaps he has a name already," said Hal. "Try him."
Chester called off the many dog names familiar to him, and Hal added a
few. But, although the animal wagged his tail with evident pleasure at
thus being talked to, he gave no evidence of owning any of the names in
the boys' vocabulary.
Hal approached and laid his hand on the dog's head. Then, for the first
time, he noticed the collar he wore.
"Hello!" he said, in some surprise.
"What is it?" said Chester, also approaching.
"Collar," said Hal briefly. "Perhaps his name is on it."
Both boys bent over the dog.
"Here it is, sure enough," cried Chester.
"Can you make it out?" asked Hal.
"It's a little dark," replied the lad. "Bring him over here nearer
This was done, and once more Chester bent over the collar.
"Well?" demanded Hal.
"Yes, I can read it," replied Chester.
"What is it?" demanded Hal.
Chester read aloud:
"Marquis--Twenty-third French Infantry."
"A dispatch dog, eh?" said Hal.
"Yes," said Chester; "and, if I mistake not, a very valuable addition to
BERLIN ONCE MORE.
By dint of persuasion the German officer succeeded in gaining the consent
of General Von Kluck to allow the boys to take the dog with them. That
Marquis was just as pleased to go as the boys were to have him, was
plainly evident. When they left their tent for the last time, and
whistled to him to follow, he bounded after them with enthusiasm.
The train on which the boys were to be taken back to Berlin did not leave
until well along toward midnight, but, with some 5,000 other prisoners,
British, French and Belgians alike, they were bundled aboard early.
Heavily guarded, and without a weapon of any kind or description, there
was no fear of a break for liberty, in spite of the large number of
The lads were shoved into a car already loaded down with prisoners and
took their positions at the far end, the dog between them. In spite of
misfortune, the prisoners all were far from unhappy. They joked and
chatted as though they were on a pleasure trip.
Finally, after much delay, the train started with a jolt, tumbling men
all over each other as it gradually gathered momentum. They were hurled
hither and yon, but they only laughed.
The trip was necessarily slow, for the train, time after time, was
switched on to a siding to permit of the movement of German troop trains
carrying soldiers from the western theater of war to the east, or from
the east to the west.
Consequently, it was late the following night when the train finally
pulled in, and the prisoners were ordered to get out. Under the leveled
rifles of a strong German guard, they stepped to the ground, and, after
being divided into squads at the direction of the German officer in
command, were marched away.
Hal, Chester and Marquis were among the last to leave the train. As
the dog tumbled out after them, there was an exclamation from a
"What have we here?" he demanded, approaching the boys. "A dog, eh? Well,
we haven't time to fool with dogs," and he leveled his pistol at Marquis.
Marquis drew back his lips in a snarl, even as Hal stepped forward to
stay the German's hand.
"This dog was allowed to come with us by special command of General Von
Kluck," he said quietly.
"So you say," was the reply. "But how am I to know that you speak
"The very fact that he was allowed in the car should be sufficient proof
of that," said Hal quietly.
The German officer lowered his weapon.
"I guess you are right," he said. "I beg your pardon."
He appraised the boys with a critical eye, and then became more friendly.
"You are British officers?" he asked.
"We are attached to the staff of General French," Chester replied.
"So? and at your age? I presume you have seen considerable action?"
"Considerable," replied Hal, with a smile; "at Liege, Louvain, the battle
of the Marne, and some other skirmishes."
"You have been in luck," said the officer. "And here I have been, ever
since the war broke out, receiving prisoners as they are sent on.
"Cheer up," said Chester, smilingly, "you probably will get your chance
before the war is over."
"I hope so," replied the German, and continued: "I am going to arrange
for you to come with me--yes, and the dog, too," as he saw Hal glance at
his canine friend. "You can tell me stories of the war. Besides, I am
interested to know how it is that two so young should have seen so much
"If I may make so bold," said Hal, "you are not so old yourself."
"True," said the German, with a pleasant smile. "But I am twenty," he
"Then we are not much younger than you," said Chester.
"Well, maybe not; but you seem to have had a whole lot more fun."
His other work disposed of, the German turned to the two lads.
"Come with me," he said, and the boys followed him.
"I am at liberty to accept your parole," said the young German, "if you
are prepared to give it."
Chester glanced quickly at Hal, and the latter replied.
"We appreciate your offer very much, but we decided long ago that we
would give our parole to no one."
"Oh, well," said the German, with a laugh, "it doesn't matter. There is
no chance of your getting out of Berlin, anyhow. However, since you
refuse, it will be necessary to keep more careful watch over you."
The officer bundled the two boys and the dog into a taxi, and they were
soon riding along the streets.
"I am taking you to my home," said the young officer. "While there, you
will be treated as my guests, except that you will always be guarded."
"We understand," said Chester quietly.
"Looks natural along here," said Hal suddenly, nudging Chester.
"It certainly does," said Chester, with a smile, for he had at that
moment recognized the spot where he, Hal, Lieutenant Anderson and Captain
Derevaux had met for the first time--the spot where the French and
British officer had been set upon by a gang of young thugs.
"What, you have been in Berlin before?" questioned the German officer in
"Oh, yes," said Hal. "We spent one vacation here with my mother."
He thought it best not to let the German know how they had escaped from
the German capital following the outbreak of the war. Chester also made
no reference to this.
All the streets which the taxi traversed were familiar to the boys now,
and they pointed out different places of interest to each other as they
sped along. Finally the taxi drew up and stopped.
The young German leaped lightly to the ground, and stood there as the
boys emerged from the taxi. Looking up, the lads beheld a handsome and
"My home," said the lieutenant simply, "and yours, so long as you are
forced to remain in Berlin."
The lads followed their captor up the steps, and into a prettily
furnished hall, where a servant, summoned by the officer, hurried away
with word for Mrs. Strauss, for, as Lieutenant Heinrich Strauss, the
officer now introduced himself to the boys.
A few moments later a pleasant-faced woman appeared in the hall. The boys
were quickly introduced to her, and she made them welcome, adding:
"I am sure the general also will be pleased to have you with us."
Both lads looked questioningly at the young officer, who hastened
"General Strauss is my father, in command in Berlin. Perhaps were it not
for that, I would not have ventured to bring you to my home. You would
have to have gone with the other prisoners."
"Thanks," said Chester. "I am sure we both appreciate it."
"Indeed we do," agreed Hal.
Before either the young lieutenant or his mother could reply, there came
a heavy footstep without; a moment later the door was thrown quickly
open, and a German officer, huge in stature, and imposing in his uniform,
draped with gold and lace, strode in. At sight of the two boys he came to
a sudden pause.
"What have we here?" he demanded, in a great, booming voice.
"Two of my prisoners, sir," said the lieutenant, stepping forward
"Your prisoners, sir? Do you mean that they are spies whom you have
captured in Berlin?"
"No, sir. They came with the last trainload of prisoners."
"Then, why are they not with the others?" demanded General Strauss
"Why, sir," stammered the lieutenant, "I--I--"
"Enough," said the general in a softer voice, his eyes twinkling although
this he endeavored in vain to hide. "You mean that you are up to some of
your old tricks--that your sympathies have gotten the upper hand of your
better judgment. Do you know what I should do with you, sir?"
The lieutenant made no reply, and the father continued:
"I should have you court-martialed for disobeying the command of your
superior officer. But I won't do it this time. However, it is a very good
thing that our emperor--God bless him--is a very good friend of your
He broke off and shrugged his shoulders significantly, then continued:
"Then no doubt that big gray dog I stumbled over outside--and which
almost bit me--is the property of your prisoners."
Hal stepped forward and saluted.
"He is, sir," he said.
The old general eyed the lad for some minutes in silence. Hal bore the
scrutiny without flinching. Then the general turned to Chester and
repeated the process. Chester also met his gaze squarely.
"Humph!" ejaculated the German commander; then turned suddenly to his
"When you have introduced us," he said, "we shall all go in and have
something to eat!"
A PIECE OF PAPER.
Upon the two following days Hal and Chester, in company with the young
German lieutenant, viewed the sights in the German capital. Instead of
the peaceful, pleasure-loving city of their vacation, it now bore naught
but signs of war.
Officers in automobiles, afoot and on horseback, were rushing hither
and thither continually. Troops were moving through the streets of the
city upon every hand--some preparing to entrain for the west, and some
for the east, where even now it was known that the great hordes of the
Czar of all the Russias were approaching as fast as their vast numbers
It was indeed a scene to delight a war-like eye, and it was not lost upon
the two lads.
"It's going to be an awful job to lick these fellows," Chester confided
to Hal, as they strolled about one afternoon.
"There is no question about that," was Hal's reply. "Still, it has
to be done."
"And will be done eventually," declared Chester grimly. "The trouble is
that we are not likely to see it done."
"Don't lose heart," said Hal. "Something may turn up. You never
And something did turn up, though it was nothing the lads could possibly
have anticipated. As they walked down the street a squad of German
soldiers approached, in their center a man in civilian clothes.
Lieutenant Strauss and the boys approached them.
As the three neared, the officer in command of the squad called a halt.
"What have we here?" asked Lieutenant Strauss.
"A spy, sir," was the reply.
"Where was he found?"
"About thirty miles west of the city."
"How does he account for his presence there?"
"He has not had much to say," replied the officer, "but he did tell me
that he fell from an aeroplane."
"Does he deny being a spy?"
"He does, sir."
"Then how does he account for the fact that he wears no uniform?"
"He doesn't account for it at all, sir. He refuses to say anything on
Hal and Chester, during this conversation, had drawn as close to the
prisoner as the armed guard would permit.
"Looks like an Englishman," said Hal.
"That's what he is, all right," declared Chester.
The prisoner looked up suddenly at hearing these words, spoken in
English. Then, with a sudden movement, he shook off his guards, and,
apparently in a dash for freedom, sprang toward Hal and Chester.
Taken by surprise, the boys leaped back, but not before Chester, throwing
up one hand to ward off what he believed was an attack, felt a little
piece of paper slipped into his hand.
In spite of his surprise, his fingers closed over it involuntarily; and,
at the same instant, the man grappled with him. As they struggled, the
lad was surprised to hear his opponent whisper:
"Don't lose it! It must reach Grand Duke Nicholas at all costs, and at
once. Much depends upon it."
Then the prisoner grew weak in the lad's grasp, and Chester realized what
was expected of him.
"I've got him," he cried, and, throwing the man to the ground, fell on
top of him.
The guards lifted the two to their feet, and once more the prisoner was
closely surrounded. Lieutenant Strauss now signified that he desired no
further information and the squad of soldiers marched away, the prisoner
meantime hurling epithets at the two lads.
"A nice pair of Englishmen you are," he cried "Traitors, that's what you
are. If you hadn't stopped me I would have got away."
"Never mind him," said Lieutenant Strauss. "He's naturally angry at being
foiled in his attempt to escape."
Chester, the little piece of paper still clutched in his right hand, was
now impatient to be where he could read it, and for that reason pleaded
fatigue. Stealing a moment when the lieutenant's attention was directed
elsewhere, he slipped the paper into his pocket, as he feared that, upon
close scrutiny, the lieutenant might see that he was concealing something
in his hand.
Alone in their own room, before Chester could speak, Hal said:
"What on earth did you want to interfere with the prisoner for? He might
have got away if it hadn't been for you. No wonder he called us
Chester only smiled for answer, put his hand in his pocket, and
pulled forth the little piece of paper. Holding it up where Hal could
see it, he said:
"I didn't know you were fooled, too. I thought you would surely know that
there was something up."
"Something up!" exclaimed Hal. "What do you mean?"
"Why, simply that the prisoner's attempt to escape was a ruse."
"Exactly. That's why he jumped toward us. Do you see now?"
"No," replied Hal, losing his temper, "I don't. Quit beating around the
bush. If you have anything to tell me, do it."
"Well, then," said Chester, "you see this piece of paper?"
"Well, the prisoner made his attempt to escape for the sole purpose of
handing this to one of us. I happened to be closer to him than you were.
That's why I got it."
"You mean--" began Hal.
"Exactly," Chester interrupted. "Now, let's see what it says."
Both lads bent over the paper.
"It's written so finely I can hardly make it out," said Chester, after
looking over the paper.
"Bring it over to the window," replied Hal. "Under a strong light we may
be able to read it."
Again both lads bent over the little piece of paper. This is what
"For the success of military operations in the western theater of war, it
is essential that the Russian campaign be pushed with immediate vigor,
particularly in the north. Knowing that we are all working in sympathy
and accord, without awaiting an answer, I take it for granted that this
suggestion will be acted upon."
"No address and no signature," said Hal. "What's it all about?"
Chester bent closer over the paper.
"What's this at the bottom?" he said.
Hal looked again.
"Some kind of a seal, it looks like to me," he said, after a careful
scrutiny. "By Jove, I have it! It's a secret sign, that's what it is. The
man for whom this is meant will undoubtedly recognize it."
"I believe you have hit it," exclaimed Chester.
"But how are we to know for whom it is intended?" said Hal. "It carries
"It is intended for Grand Duke Nicholas, commander-in-chief of the
Russian armies," replied Chester.
"How do you know that?"
"When I was wrestling with the prisoner he told me so," was
"Well, then," said Hal, "we know for whom it is intended, but what did
the man give it to you for?"
"Well, he said that it must be delivered at all costs."
"I hope he didn't expect us to deliver it."
"I guess he did though, or to see that it went on its way."
"Yes; and how are we going to do it? Can you figure that out?"
"No," said Chester, "I can't. But something has got to be done. I imagine
that General French and General Joffre figured that it would be delivered
without fail. Either the messenger did not take the route as commanded,
or it was believed safe for him to go by air in a sudden dash."
"Well, I can't see that that part makes any difference. The question now
is, what are we going to do with it?"
"Yes," replied Chester; "that's the question."
For a long while the boys sat and talked over this strange episode, each
suggesting plans and then discarding them as unwise.
Suddenly Chester sprang to his feet with an exclamation.
"What is it?" asked Hal eagerly.
"We'll take it ourselves!" he exclaimed.
"We will, eh?" said Hal incredulously. "Would you mind telling me how?"
"I won't tell you anything," was Chester's reply. "But are you willing to
do as I say?"
"Yes," replied Hal, after some consideration.
"Good! Then, with luck we shall put this paper in the hands of Grand Duke
TAKING A CHANCE.
"The first thing to do," said Chester, "is to appropriate two of
Lieutenant Strauss' uniforms. That's your job."
"That's right--pick out the easy work for me," replied Hal sarcastically.
"How do you figure I'm going to get 'em?"
"I don't know," said Chester. "That's up to you. My job, and a much
harder one, it seems to me, is to appropriate one of the general's big
maps, so that if we do succeed in getting out of Berlin, we shall know
where we are going."
"I take back what I said," exclaimed Hal. "I'll try to get those
"Trying is not enough," said Chester. "You've got to get 'em!"
"All right, then," replied Hal, "I'll get 'em!"
Since the two lads had been guests, or prisoners, in the Strauss home, a
detail of soldiers had been stationed around the house, with orders not
to let either of the lads pass unless accompanied by either the
lieutenant or the general. The boys had been given the freedom of the
house. The lieutenant had demurred at the placing of a guard around the
house, saying that there was not the slightest chance of the boys
escaping, anyhow, but the general had held out on that point, remarking:
"I know these Americans better than you do. They're slippery. You have to
watch them closely, or they will slip between your very fingers."
Choosing a moment when the lieutenant had left the house, Hal slipped
unobserved into his room. He knew the uniforms hung in a closet.
He approached and tried the knob. The door was locked.
"It's up to me to see if I can't pick that lock," he told himself,
and set to work with what improvised little tools he could bring from
In vain he worked. He could not pick the lock. He stepped back and viewed
the door, meantime keeping his ear cocked for sound of footsteps from
without. Then an idea struck him.
Using his knife as a screwdriver, he removed the hinges from the door. A
moment later he was inside the closet. Quickly selecting two of the
lieutenant's uniforms, he laid them on a chair, and hurriedly put back
the door and tightened the bolts.
Then, holding the uniforms behind him, he made his way back to his own
room, where he threw the uniforms under the bed. Chester was not there.
"Hope he has things as easy as I did," said Hal to himself, and sat down
to await his friend's return.
When Chester entered the general's private room, which he found unlocked,
he went straight to the general's desk. He knew that maps and valuable
papers were kept there, because the general had once referred to them as
being there while at supper.
The desk was locked, but this did not disconcert the lad, for he had
expected it would be. Drawing a small buttonhook that he always carried
from his pocket, he inserted it in the keyhole. After several
unsuccessful attempts the lock finally turned, and Chester quietly threw
up the top.
Walking to the door and making sure that no one was near, the lad
returned to the desk. Quickly he looked over the assortment of papers,
and at length a smile lighted up his face. Evidently he had found what he
was in search of, for he quickly thrust a paper in his pocket.
He did not leave at once, but continued to rifle the contents of the
general's desk. Finally he appropriated several more documents, which he
also thrust into his pocket.
There was the sound of a door slammed on the floor below. Quickly the
lad closed the desk, and, walking softly to the door, peered out. There
was no one in sight. Closing the door quietly behind him, Chester
walked rapidly down the hall to his own room, where Hal was waiting for
"Did you get it?" asked Hal, as Chester entered the room and closed the
door behind him.
"Yes," replied Chester; "and you?"
"They are under the bed," said Hal, with a grin. "I believe I would make
a first-class burglar."
"And I," agreed Chester. "However, 'All's fair in love and war,'
"I am glad I do know it," said Hal. "Otherwise I wouldn't think much of
"We had better hide these things," said Chester. "Their loss might be
discovered and a search made."
"Where shall we put them?"
Chester glanced around the room. He walked to the closet and opened the
door. Peering in, he found, just above the top shelf, a small opening,
apparently not meant for use, as it was too close to the ceiling.
"Put 'em in here," he said, and, withdrawing the papers from his pocket,
he suited the action to the word.
Hal now brought the uniforms out from under the bed, and, by dint of hard
squeezing, also finally succeeded in secreting them. The dark cloth made
the hiding-place look like nothing more than a hole.
"All we need now are swords and pistols," said Chester.
"Pistols," agreed Hal. "I don't know that we need swords."
"You don't," said Chester, in contempt. "We would make a couple of
fine-looking officers, strutting around without swords, wouldn't we?"
"You're right," Hal agreed, somewhat sheepishly. "Where are we going to
"The general always leaves his sword and revolvers on the table in the
hall before retiring," said Chester. "Then I noticed another pair of
swords hanging on the wall there. Also the lieutenant invariably leaves
his weapons on the parlor table. Careless, I say, but lucky for us."
Chester's thoughtfulness in hiding the articles they had appropriated
stood them in good stead, as it turned out that evening. General Strauss,
upon his arrival home, went straight to his private office, saying that
he would be in to dinner in a few moments.
Accordingly the others went in and sat down at the table without waiting
for him. A moment later the old general came storming into the room.
"My maps!" he cried. "My maps! Has anyone seen my maps?"
The lieutenant jumped to his feet.
"Have you lost them, sir?" he asked.
"Lost 'em? Lost 'em? Do you think I would ask for them if I knew where
"Perhaps you left them at headquarters, sir."
"No, I didn't leave 'em at headquarters," raged the general. "Someone has
"Stolen, sir? Why, there has been no one in the house, and you know that
none could have entered without the guard on the outside seeing them."
"I tell you they have been stolen!" cried the general. "I want the house
searched at once--every room in it, sir, yes, and the room of these two
"Father!" admonished the lieutenant. "Surely you are not accusing them?"
"I am not accusing anybody, sir, but I want this house searched. Must I
call for outside help, or will you help me, sir?"
"I'll help, sir," replied the lieutenant quietly. To the lads he said
softly: "Never mind him. He is always irritable when he misplaces
The old general's sharp ears caught this remark.
"Irritable, am I?" he cried. "Well, maybe I am, but I don't need to have
my own son apologize for my actions. If I have done anything that demands
an apology I'll apologize myself."
Lieutenant Strauss shrugged his shoulders, as he said:
"I'll search the second floor, sir. Will you take the first?"
"Yes," snapped the general, "and see that you make a thorough job of it."
At this juncture Chester rose to his feet.
"If you think we have your papers, sir," he said quietly, "we are willing
to submit to a search."
"And searched you shall be," said the general. He turned to his son.
The lieutenant protested, but to no avail. The kids submitted to the
search in silence.
"They have nothing, sir," said the lieutenant.
"Then search the second floor," commanded the general.
An hour later the lieutenant came downstairs, and a few moments later the
old gentleman, now considerably cooled off, also returned.
"I found nothing, sir," reported the lieutenant.
"Nor I," said the general slowly. "Can it be I was mistaken? Perhaps,
after all, I did leave the maps at headquarters." He turned to Hal and
Chester. "I hope you will pardon me for my outburst," he said gravely,
"but I am easily excited."
"Say no more about it, sir," replied both lads together, but to each came
the same thought:
"We are in luck."
Dinner over and the old general having left the house, Lieutenant Strauss
said to the boys:
"There is still some amusement in Berlin, in spite of the war. Would you
care to accompany me to the play to-night?"
Both lads, knowing that this would be as good an opportunity as they
could expect for making their escape, pleaded that they were too tired.
"Some other evening, if that will do as well," said Chester.
"Oh, all right, whatever you say," replied the lieutenant. "I hope there
are no hard feelings--that you will overlook my father's show of temper?"
"Of course," said Hal. "Anyone would have done the same under the
After a few further words the lieutenant departed, and the lads, bidding
his mother good night, and announcing their intention of retiring early,
made their way to their room.
There their air of leisure gave way to haste.
"We'll have to hurry," said Hal. "The general will fail to find his maps
at headquarters, and will be back here in two shakes of a lamb's tail."
Quickly the lads threw on the young lieutenant's uniforms, and Chester
placed the maps in his pocket.
"We will have to go without revolvers," said Chester, "for we certainly
can't afford to wait until the general and lieutenant come home."
"I should say not," Hal agreed. "The sooner we get out of here now the
better, providing we can get out."
Quickly, but silently, the boys made their way from the room and
descended the stairs. Stepping lightly upon a chair, Hal secured the two
swords, suspended in their scabbards with a pair of army belts, and,
leaping lightly down, passed one to Chester.
Quickly the lads strapped the swords around them and quietly they
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
"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
"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
"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
"What is it?" demanded Hal. "What is that building?"
"That," said Chester calmly, "is an aeroplane 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
"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 aeroplane 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 aeroplane 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."