Part 1 out of 3
Produced by Jim Ludwig
THE BRIGHTON BOYS WITH THE SUBMARINE FLEET by Lieutenant James R. Driscoll
I. Good-by, Brighton
II. Down in a Submarine
III. Sealed Orders
IV. Somewhere in the North Sea
V. The German Raiders
VI. Rammed by a Destroyer
VII. In a Mine Field
VIII. A Rescue
IX. Vive La France!
X. Attacked from the Sky
XI. In the Fog
XII. Yankee Camouflage
XIII. The Survivors
XIV. On the Bottom of the Sea
XV. The Human Torpedo
XVI. In the Wireless Station
XVII. Up from the Depths
XVIII. In the Rat's Nest
XIX. Capturing a U-Boat
XX. The Mother Ship
XXII. Yankee Ingenuity
XXIII. Out of the Net
XXIV. Into Zeebrugge
XXV. Chlorine Gas
XXVI. The Stars and Stripes
"Wanted: young men to enlist in Uncle Sam's submarine fleet for service
in European waters."
The magic words stood out in bold type from the newspaper that Jack
Hammond held spread out over his knees. Underneath the caption ran
a detailed statement setting forth the desire of the United States
Government to recruit at once a great force of young Americans to man
the undersea ships that were to be sent abroad for service against
Stirred by the appeal, Jack snatched the paper closer and read every
word of the advertisement, his eyes dancing with interest.
"Your country needs you _now_!" it ran; and further on:
"The only way to win the war is to carry it right home to the foe!"
Below, in more of the bold type, it concluded:
"Don't delay a moment---while you hesitate your country waits!"
From beginning to end Jack read the appeal again. Before his eyes
in fancy flashed the picture of a long, lithe steel vessel skimming
the ocean, captain and crew on the lookout for the enemy, the Stars
and Stripes flapping from the tailrail. For an instant he imagined
himself a member of the crew, gazing through the periscope at a
giant German battleship---yes, firing a torpedo that leaped away to
find its mark against the gray steel hull of the foe!
Up in the dormitories some chap was nimbly fingering "Dixie" on the
mandolin. The strains came down to the youth on the campus through
the giant oak trees that half obscured the facade of "old Brighton."
Over on the athletic field a bunch of freshmen "rookies" of the
school battalion were being put through the manual of arms by an
instructor. Jack could hear the command: "Present arms!"
"I guess that means me," he said to himself. And why not? Hadn't
Joe Little and Harry Corwin and Jimmy Hill left school to join the
aviation service? Weren't Jed Flarris and Phil Martin and a bunch
of Brighton boys in Uncle Sam's navy? And hadn't Herb Whitcomb and
Roy Flynn made history in the first-line trenches? Yes, the boys of
Brighton were doing their bit.
In another moment Jack had crushed the newspaper into his pocket---his
decision made---jumped from the bench under the old oak tree and was
speeding across the campus in the direction of the main dormitory
entrance. Without waiting for the elevator he leaped the steps, three
at a time, running up to the third floor, and thence down the corridor
to No. 63---his "home," and that of his chum, Ted Wainwright.
Out of breath, he hurled himself into the room. Ted was crouched over
the study table, algebra in front of him, cramming for an examination.
"There you are! Hip, hurrah!" Jack cried excitedly, thrusting the
folded newspaper under Ted's eyes and pointing to the bold typed
appeal for recruits, all the while keeping up a running fire of
Ted was in the midst of a tantalizing equation. He was accustomed,
however, to such invasions on the part of his chum, the two having
lived together now for nearly three school years---ever since they
had come to Brighton.
Both boys were completing their junior year in the select little
school for which the town of Winchester was famous. They lived
at remote corners of the state and had met during the first week
of their freshman year. They had found themselves together that
first night when the "freshies" were lined up before the gymnasium
to withstand the attack of the "sophs" in the annual fall cane rush.
Together they had fought in that melee, and after it was all over,
anointed each other with liniment and bandaged each other's battle
Jack was a spirited lad, ready always for a fight or a frolic, impetuous
and temperamental; Ted had inherited his father's quiet tastes and
philosophical views of life, looking always before he leaped, cautious
and conservative. So, when Jack came bouncing in, gasping with
excitement, Ted accepted the outburst as "just another one of chum's
"What's all the grand shebang about this time?" he queried, shoving the
algebra aside and taking up the newspaper that had been thrust upon him.
"I'm going---I'm not going to wait another minute---all the other
fellows are going---my grandfather fought through the Civil War---it's
me for the submarine fleet---I'm off this very-----"
But before he could ramble any farther Ted took a hand in the oratory.
"What's the matter, chum? Flunked in anything, or been out to see a
new movie show, have you?"
Jack ran his finger down the newspaper column to the advertisement for
"There you are!" he shouted. "And what's more, I'm going to sign up
this very afternoon. What's the use of waiting any longer? Here's a
great chance to get out with the submarines---think of it!---and, gee,
wouldn't that be bully? Look! Look! What do you say, old boy; are
you going with me?"
Jack's enthusiasm "got" Ted. Taking up the newspaper he read every word
of the appeal, slowly, deliberately. Then he looked up at his chum.
"Do you mean it, Jack; are you in earnest?" he asked, after a long pause.
"Never meant anything so much in all my life," was Jack's quick
For an instant the two boys faced each other. Then out shot Ted's hand,
clasping that of his room-mate in a firm grasp.
"Well, chum, I guess we've been pretty good pals now for nearly three
years. You and I have always stuck together. That means that if you
are going in, I'm going too!"
"Great!" bellowed Jack with a whack on the back that made Ted wince.
"Let's beat it quick for the recruiting station. Are you on?"
Hat in hand he bolted for the door, but stopped short as Ted interrupted:
"Don't you think we'd better tell the home folks first?"
The impetuous Jack turned. "I hadn't thought of that."
"Of course we will," answered his chum. "We'll send them a telegram
right away, telling them we are going to enlist tomorrow."
It was agreed, and no sooner said than done.
There was not much sleep in 63 that night. Long after lights were out
the two boys were huddled together in their den, gazing out at the stars
and speculating on the new adventure for which they were heading.
The morning train into Winchester brought among its passengers two very
much perturbed mothers and two rather anxious fathers. The Hammonds
and Wainwrights had met in the spring during commencement week
festivities and had much in common this morning as they came together
in the Winchester terminal. Ted and Jack were at breakfast when word
was brought to them of the presence of their parents in the president's
It was a joyful little reunion. Only a few minutes' conversation was
necessary, however, to prove to the parents that each of the boys was
dead in earnest in his announced intention to enlist in the navy.
"I don't suppose there is much to be said here," concluded Ted's
father after listening to the son's impassioned appeal for parental
sanction. "You seem to have decided that you owe allegiance to your
country above all other interests. I shall not interfere. As a matter
of fact, my boy, I'm proud of you, and so---here's God bless you!"
Jack's father felt the same and so expressed himself. Only the two
little "maters," their eyes dimmed with mist, held back; but they,
too, eventually were won over by the arguments of the eager lads.
It was decided that the party should have dinner together in town
and that in the afternoon the boys would present themselves for
examination at the recruiting station. The remainder of the morning
was spent in packing up belongings in 63 and preparing to vacate
the "dorms." The boys decided to wait until after they had been
accepted before breaking the news to their school chums. Each felt
confident of passing the necessary requirements. They had made
the football team together in their freshman year. Jack had played,
too, on the varsity basket-ball team for two seasons, while Ted
excelled on the track in the sprints.
Dinner over, the entire party repaired to the recruiting station. It
did not take long to get through the formalities there and, needless
to say, each lad passed with flying colors.
"All I want to make sure of," ventured Jack, "is that we get into the
submarine service. I'm strong for that, and so is chum."
There was a twinkle in the eye of Chief Boatswain's Mate Dunn, in charge
of the recruiting station.
"I reckon Uncle Sam might be able to fix it for you," chuckled the
bronzed veteran. "He's fitting out a great submarine fleet to get right
in after the Prussians, and, since you fellows seem so dead set on
getting there, I guess maybe it'll be arranged."
Jack and Ted were in high spirits, and eager to be off for the naval
base at once. Officer Dunn had informed them they might be forwarded
to the nearest navy yard that night with a batch of recruits signed up
during the week. He told them to report back to the recruiting station
at seven o'clock "ready to go."
The boys were anxious, too, to get back to Brighton and break the news.
It was arranged they should spend the dinner hour at the school bidding
farewell and later meet their mothers and fathers at the recruiting
There was a great buzz of excitement in the mess hall at dinner when
the news spread that Jack Hammond and Ted Wainwright had enlisted in
the navy and were soon to leave. As the bell sounded dismissing the
student body from dinner, Cheer Leader Jimmy Deakyne jumped up on a
chair and proposed three cheers for the new recruits. And the cheers
were given amid a wild demonstration.
Out on the campus the boys had to mount the dormitory steps and make
impromptu speeches, and then submit to a general handshaking and
leave-taking all around. "Fair Brighton" was sung, and the familiar
old Brighton yell chorused over and over, with three long 'rahs for
Jack Hammond and three for Ted Wainwright.
"Makes a fellow feel kinda chokey, don't it, chum?" stammered Ted as he
and Jack finally grabbed their bags and edged out through the campus
They turned for another look at old Brighton. The boys were still
assembled on the dormitory steps singing "Fair Brighton." Up in the
dormitory windows lights were twinkling and the hour hand on the chapel
clock was nearing seven.
"Come on, chum, let's hurry," suggested Jack. They walked in silence
for a moment.
"Pretty nice send-off, Jack," sniffed Ted, finally. "We'll not forget
old Brighton in a hurry."
"And you bet we'll do our best for Uncle Sam and make old Brighton proud
of us," added Jack.
At the recruiting station all was lively. The boys were told they must
be at the depot ready to leave on the seven-thirty express. A score or
more lads were waiting for the word to move, some of them taking leave
of their loved ones, others writing postcards home. Ted's folks were
waiting; Jack's came along in a few minutes.
A special car awaited the recruits at the railway terminal. The girls
of the Winchester Home Guard had decked it in flags and bunting and
stored it with sandwiches and fruit. In another ten minutes the
express came hustling in from the west. A shifting engine tugged the
special car over onto the main line, where it was coupled to the
express. All was ready for the train-master's signal to go.
"Good-by, mother; good-by, dad," the boys shouted in unison as the
wheels began to turn and the train drew out of the train shed. A throng
filled the station, and everyone in the crowd seemed to be waving
farewell to some one on the train. The Winchester Harmonic Band had
turned out for the send-off to the town's boys and it was bravely
tooting "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Soon the train was creeping out into the darkness, threading its way
over the maze of switches and leaping out into the cool country air.
All the boys were in high spirits, mingling boisterously in jolly
companionship, the car ringing with their songs and chatter.
Jack and Ted lounged together in their seat, chatting for a while; and
finally, when the tumult had abated and the boys were getting tired,
dozing away into slumber to dream about the new world into which they
were being carried.
Behind them, Winchester and Brighton! Before them, the stirring life of
"jackies" aboard one of Uncle Sam's warships---bound for the war zone!
DOWN IN A SUBMARINE
Daylight found them rolling through the suburbs of a great city. The
long night ride was nearing an end.
All around them as their train wended its way through the railway yard
were evidences of the unusual activities of war times. Long freight
trains were puffing and chugging on the sidings; the air was black with
smoke, and the tracks filled everywhere with locomotives and moving
In a few minutes the train slowed down into the railway terminal and
the score or more of "rookies" were soon stretching their legs on the
platform. A detail of blue jackets, spick and span in their natty
uniforms, awaited the party. Jack and Ted stared at the fine looking
escort, thinking what a wonderful thing it would be when they, too,
were decked out ready for service in such fine-looking attire.
They had not long to wait. Breakfast over, the entire party boarded
trolley cars bound for the navy yard. Soon, across the meadows,
loomed the fighting tops of battleships, and in the background the
giant antennae of the navy yard's wireless station.
"Here we are at last, chum!" chortled Ted with a broad grin, as he and
Jack piled out of the car.
Passing the armed sentries at the gate, the party of recruits were
marched first to the commandant's office, where their arrival was
officially reported. After roll call and checking up of the list of
names, the boys were all marched over to the quartermaster's depot to
be fitted for uniforms. Probably the most impressive moment of the
morning to the boys was the ceremony of swearing them into
service---when they took the oath of allegiance to their country.
Jack and Ted were anxious to get into their uniforms and were afforded
an opportunity very shortly when they were directed aboard the training
ship _Exeter_, where they were to be quartered for a few days until
detailed into service on one of the fighting units in the yard.
The first few days aboard the _Exeter_ passed rapidly, the time being
so filled with drills that the boys had few idle moments. Their
letters home and to their chums at Brighton contained glowing accounts
of the new service into which they had entered.
After a week of it they were standing one afternoon on the forecastle
of the _Exeter_ watching the coaling of a giant dreadnought from an
electric collier when a naval officer, immaculate in white linen and
surrounded by his staff, came aboard. After an exchange of salutes
between the deck officer of the _Exeter_ and the visiting officer, and
a brief chat, the recruits were ordered to fall in. The naval officer
in white stepped forward.
"You boys will be distributed at once among the vessels now in the yard
to make up the necessary complement of crews. The department is very
anxious to put some of you aboard the submarine fleet now fitting out
here, and if there are any in the crowd who would prefer service in the
submarines to any other service you may state your preference."
Jack and Ted stepped forward immediately. Other boys followed suit.
And so it came about that Jack Hammond and Ted Wainwright found
themselves detailed to the U.S. submarine _Dewey_.
A young officer approached and introduced himself. "I am Executive
Officer Binns, of the _Dewey_. If you boys are ready we will go
right aboard. We expect to go down the bay on some maneuvers this
afternoon and want to get you fellows to your places as quickly as
The whole thing was a surprise to Ted and Jack. They had expected to
be kept in the yard a long time, quartered on the training ship. To
get into active service so soon was more than they anticipated.
Marched across the navy yard they soon came in sight of the _Dewey_---a
long cigar-shaped castle of steel, sitting low in the water, riding
easy at the end of a tow line near the drydock. Up on the conning
tower a member of the crew was making some adjustment to the periscope
case, while from astern came the hum of motors and the clatter of
machinery that bespoke action within the engine room below.
"Looks like a long narrow turtle with a hump on its back, doesn't it?"
whispered Jack as he and Ted came alongside.
They were passed aboard by the sentry and there on the deck welcomed
by the officers and members of the _Dewey's_ crew. Turned over to big
Bill Witt, one of the crew, they were directed to go below and be
assigned to their quarters.
Down through the hatchway clambered Witt, followed close by Ted and
Jack, and in another moment they found themselves in the engine room.
Electric lights glowed behind wired enclosures. Well aft were the
motors and oil engines, around them switchboards and other electrical
apparatus---a maze of intricate machinery that filled all the stern
space. The air was hazy and smelled strong of oils and gases. Huge
electric fans swept the foul air along the passageway and up through
the hatchways, while other fans placed near the ventilators distributed
the fresh air as it poured into the vessel, drawn by the suction.
From the engine room the boys walked forward into the control
chamber---the base of the conning tower---the very heart and brain of
the undersea ship. Here were the many levers controlling the ballast
tanks, Witt explaining to the boys that the submarine was submerged and
raised again by filling the tanks with water and expelling it again
to rise by blowing it out with compressed air. Here also was the depth
dial and the indicator bands that showed when the ship was going down
or ascending again, the figures being marked off in feet on the dial
just like a clock. Here also was the gyro-compass by which the ship
was steered when submerged; here also the torpedo control by means of
which the torpedoes were discharged in firing. And, yes, here was the
periscope---the great eye of the submarine---a long tube running up
through the conning tower twenty feet above the commander's turret of
"Something like the folding telescope we have at home to look at
pictures," mumbled Jack aside to Ted.
To the boys' great delight they were allowed to put their eyes to the
hood and gaze into the periscope. In turn they "took a peep." What
they saw was the forward deck of the _Dewey_, the guns in position,
other vessels moored nearby and the blue expanse of water stretching
out into the harbor and on to the open sea. It was rather an exciting
moment for the two "landlubbers."
Witt next showed them forward through the officers' quarters and the
wireless room into the torpedo compartment. This interested them
greatly. On either side of the vessel, chained to the sides of the
hull on long runners that led up to the firing tubes, were the massive
torpedoes, ready to be pushed forward for insertion in the firing
chambers. Chief Gunner Mowrey was working over one of the breech caps
and turned to meet the new recruits.
"Glad to meet you, mates," was his hearty salutation.
The boys listened attentively while Mowrey was telling Witt of some
great "hits" they had made in practice earlier in the morning. Bill
Witt showed the boys in turn the bunks that folded out of the sides
of the vessel in which the crew slept, the electric stove for cooking
food in the ship's tiny galley, the ballast tanks and the storage
batteries running along the keel of the vessel underneath the steel
Climbing up on deck again through the conning tower, the boys found
themselves out on top of the projection in what Witt explained was the
deck steering station whence the _Dewey_ was navigated when cruising
on the surface. Down on the deck the boys inspected the smart-looking
four-inch guns with which they later were to become better acquainted,
and the trim little anti-aircraft guns to be used in case of attack by
Zeppelins or aeroplanes.
"Keep your eyes and ears wide open all the time; remember what you are
told and you'll soon catch on," Witt told them.
Shortly before noon Lieutenant McClure, commander of the _Dewey_, a
youthful-looking chap who, they learned later, had not been long out
of Annapolis, came aboard. It was soon evident that there was something
doing, for in a few minutes the propeller blades began to churn the
water, and the exhaust of the engines fluttered at the port-holes.
The tow lines ashore were cast off and then very gracefully and almost
noiselessly the _Dewey_ began slipping away from its dock. The head of
the vessel swung around and pointed out the harbor.
"We're off, boy!" exclaimed Jack to his chum. They were, indeed. The
boys were standing in front of the conning tower and, because it was
their first submarine voyage and they had yet to acquire their sea
legs, they kept firm hold on the wire railing that ran the length of
the deck on either side of the vessel. Commander McClure and
Executive Officer Binns were up on the deck steering station behind a
sheath of white canvas directing the movement of the ship.
"This is what I call great!" laughed Ted as the _Dewey_ began to gather
speed and moved out into the bay.
Looking seaward the boys beheld the prow of the submarine splitting the
water clean as a knife, the spray dashing in great white sheets over
the anchor chains. From aft came the steady chug-chug of the engines'
exhaust, to be drowned out at intervals as the swell of water surged
over the port-holes. They seemed to be afloat on a narrow raft
propelled swiftly through the water by some strong and unseen power.
"I say, old boy, this beats drilling out on the campus at Brighton with
the school battalion, eh? what?" exclaimed Jack.
Ted was doing a clog dance on the deck. "I'm just as happy as I can
be," was his gleeful comment.
Very shortly the lighthouse that stood on the cape's end marking the
harbor entrance had been passed and the _Dewey_ was out on the open
sea. Before the boys stretched water---endless water as far as the
eye carried---to the far thin line where sky and water met. They were
lost in contemplation of the wonderful view. But their reveries were
suddenly disturbed by a sharp command from Executive Officer Binns:
"All hands below---we are going to submerge!"
The _Dewey_ was going to dive!
Ted and Jack hastened to follow their comrades down the hatchway. A
sea-gull flapping by squawked shrilly at them as the boys waited their
turn at the ladder. Instinctively they took another look around them
before dipping into the hold of the _Dewey_. They realized that here,
indeed, was the real thrill of submarining. The cap was lowered at
last and secured, and the crew hastened to their posts amid the
artificial light and busy hum of the ship's interior.
Now the Brighton boys were to learn how the _Dewey_ was to be submerged!
For one thing they noted that the oil engines used for surface cruising
were shut off and the locomotion of the vessel switched over to the
electric drive of the storage batteries. But their attention was
directed chiefly to Navigating Officer Binns, who had taken up his
position before a row of levers and water gauges amidships.
"Pump three hundred pounds into No. 1," was the command given by Binns.
One of the levers was thrown over, and immediately could be heard the
swirling of water. The boys were unable to grasp the full meaning of
what was going on until Bill Witt shuffled up and said: "I'll put you
fellows wise to what's going on, if you want me to."
Ted and Jack were glad to know what it was all about and listened
attentively to the commands of the navigating officer and the
interpretations given by their new-found friend. Bill explained that
the process of diving was called "trimming" in submarine cruising, and
that the pumping of the water being directed by Binns was done to fill
the ballast tanks, thus increasing the displacement of the _Dewey_ and
causing it to settle in the water. First one tank was filled, and then
another, until the vessel was submerged on an even keel. This was a
revelation to the boys, for they had supposed it was only necessary to
tilt the ship and dive just like a porpoise.
To their great delight the recruits found that the _Dewey_, like other
submarines built since the beginning of the great world war, was
equipped with twin periscopes, and that, furthermore, they would be
allowed to watch the submersion of the _Dewey_ through the reserve
periscope if they so desired. Would they care to? Well, rather! For
the next few minutes they took turn about peering into the mirrors that
reflected the whole panorama before their eyes.
Gradually, they could see, the _Dewey_ was settling into the embrace
of the sea. Now she was down until the waves rolled completely over
the deck and splashed against the conning tower. Down, down they
dropped till only the periscope projected above the waves. Before
them stretched the wide sweep of water, the ocean rising slowly but
surely to overwhelm them. One after another the waves surged by.
Now the eye of the periscope was so close to the crest of the water
that it was only a matter of another moment until they would be under.
Up, up, up came the water to meet them. Ted's heart was in his mouth
while he viewed this awesome spectacle. Then he gave way for Jack to
take a squint through the tube that carried with it a last look at the
world of sunlight they were leaving. And now the eye of the periscope
was so near submersion that the swell of the waves swept over it and
momentarily blotted out the light. Then the spray dashed madly at the
"eye" of the tube---and they were under!
Down in the depths of the ocean! It was a moment to stir the pulses
of the two Brighton recruits. Wide-eyed in wonder, tense with the
strain of the experience, they stepped back from the periscope.
Through Ted's mind flitted memories of Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand
Leagues Under the Sea," and he was suddenly inspired to find out
whether it was possible to glimpse any of the wonders depicted by
the writer. A peep into the tube showed only a greenish haze as the
rays of the sun seemed trying to follow the _Dewey_ into the depths.
Against the eye of the periscope streamed a faint flicker of greenish
particles in the water that reminded the boy of myriad shooting stars.
And then---nothing but a blur of black!
"What do you know about that?" gasped Ted, turning to his old school
pal. The boys were keyed to a high pitch by this time as a result of
their first experience in a deep-sea dive. So tense were they with
excitement that they marveled at the care-free attitude of the crew.
Some of them were humming nonchalantly; others chatting and laughing
as though on an excursion on a river steamboat.
"What do you feel like, chum?" began Ted, as the two settled into a
conversation over their wonderful exploit.
"Well, I've been up in the tower of the Woolworth Building and down in
a coal mine and up in a Ferris wheel and once I had a ride with Uncle
Jim in the cab of a locomotive---but this beats anything I ever had
anything to do with!" exclaimed Jack, all in one breath.
Ted was gulping a bit. "I feel as though I had left my heart and
stomach up there on top of the ocean," he stammered.
Bill Witt grinned from ear to ear; the remark was reminiscent of other
"rookies" and their first experiences at sea.
"You'll probably think you've completely lost some parts of your
department of internal affairs before you get rightly acquainted with
your new friend Mr. Neptune," offered Bill by way of a gentle reminder.
So far the new members of the _Dewey's_ crew had been unaffected by the
terrors of seasickness. Bill's remark drove the import of it home
pretty hard. "I hope, if we are going to get it," interjected Ted
philosophically, "we get it soon and get over with it."
They had little time to ponder over the possibilities of gastronomic
disturbances, for there was much going on that occupied their attention.
The _Dewey_ was now running entirely submerged, testing out her
"How do they steer the vessel down here under the sea?" asked Jack.
"By the gyrocompass," answered Bill Witt, pointing to where Executive
Officer Binns and Commander McClure stood in the conning tower. "We
are running blind down here, except that the skipper knows from his
compass which direction we are going, and he has charts that tell him
the depth of the sea at this point. They know the longitude and
latitude and can easily determine on their maps and charts just where
"How deep down can we go?" inquired Ted.
"Most of the boats have to be tested at a depth of two hundred feet
before they are accepted by the government from the builders," replied
Bill. "But you can bet your life we don't often go down that far.
When we do, the water is oozing through the thin steel hull and
dropping in globules from the sides and top of the vessel. From sixty
to a hundred feet is our average plunge."
Even at that moment the boys noticed that the _Dewey_ was "sweating"
a little bit, the vaulted steel above them, coated with a composition
that contained cork, being dotted here and there with drops of water.
Jack craned his neck to look at the depth dial and noted the indicator
hand was pointing at seventy-two feet.
Mess was served at noon while the _Dewey_ kept on her run. Coffee and
biscuits made up the frugal meal this time, the officers and crew
being anxious to prove the submersible ready for any emergency call
that Uncle Sam might make, and not desiring to spare the men from
their posts longer than possible.
All afternoon the _Dewey_ ploughed the waves, sometimes running
submerged, other times on the surface. About five o'clock the boys
perceived the lighthouse at the bay entrance, and soon they were
back in the navy yard. Their letters home that night thrilled with
accounts of their first dive under the ocean, and in their dreams
the boys were sharing all manner of wonderful exploits against the
foe on the boundless sea.
For several weeks the Brighton recruits were kept busily at the
business of mastering submarine navigation. In the distribution of
the crew throughout the vessel Jack and Ted found themselves assigned
under the leadership of Chief Gunner Mowrey. In turn the boys were
drilled in the forms for loading and firing torpedoes from the
chambers in the bow of the boat, and in manning the four-inch guns
above deck, as well as the anti-aircraft guns that poked their noses
straight up in the air and sent up shells much after the fashion of
Fourth of July skyrockets. The crew had pet names for their guns.
The forecastle gun was nicknamed "Roosey" for Colonel Roosevelt, the
gun aft was dubbed "Big Bob" in honor of "Fighting Bob" Evans of
Spanish-American War fame, while the anti-aircraft guns became
"Hope we get a shot at a zepp some day soon with one of the Twins,"
sighed Jack one afternoon after the gun crew had finished peppering to
pieces a number of kites that had been raised as targets.
"Yes, and I hope we get that shot at the zepp before the zepp gets one
at us," replied Ted, as he recalled the stories he had read of the
submarines being visible while yet under water to aircraft directly
overhead, and thus being a ready target for a sky gunner.
Coming in the next afternoon from a run to shake down the engines, the
boys on the _Dewey_ found the navy yard in the vicinity of the
submarine fleet moorings in a commotion. Motor trucks were depositing
piles of goods near the piers which were being lightered to some units
of the submarine fleet in motor launches. Officers were hurrying to
and fro between their vessels and the shore and there was a general air
of suspense that seemed to indicate early action of some kind.
The _Dewey_ was wigwagged to take up a position near the other undersea
craft that were being provisioned and fueled, and very soon supplies
were coming aboard.
"Looks like we are going away from here," suggested Ted to his sailor
"It's a guess I've been making myself," answered Jack.
Their surmises were all too true, for very soon Commander McClure, who
had been ashore for some hours now while the businesslike preparations
were in progress, came alongside in the launch of the commandant of
the yard and called his staff of officers into executive conference
down in the officers' quarters. The news spread quickly through the
_Dewey_ as though by magic, that the submarine was due to get away
during the night under sealed orders. A few minutes later Bill Witt
confirmed the news. He was on night watch and had heard it from the
officer of the deck.
Under sealed orders! Where and what!
SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTH SEA
The _Dewey_ was off! Shortly after midnight the little craft got under
way, with her nose pointed out of the harbor.
"I guess it's 'so long U.S.A.' this time," confided Jack to his chum,
as they stood together, aft the conning tower.
"Gee, I'm glad we're off!" answered Ted. "I only hope we are going
over there with the rest of the boys."
Although they had yet to learn officially their destination, the
Brighton boys, together with other members of the crew of the _Dewey_,
took it for granted they now were on their way to Europe to join the
great American fleet and battle with the Imperial German Navy for the
mastery of the sea. It had been noised about ever since their
enlistment that Uncle Sam's submarine fleet was soon to be sent
"Going to fight the U-boat snakes with made-in-America snakes!" was
the way Bill Witt had sized up, the situation one evening when he and
the Brighton recruits had been discussing the likelihood of their
getting out on the firing line at an early date.
Jovial Bill Witt had proved such a capital good fellow that Jack and
Ted had taken a great liking to him. The three boys were great pals
by this time and were always together in their leisure moments.
Temperamental Jean Cartier, the smiling little Frenchman who had
shipped aboard the _Dewey_ as chief commissary steward, very often
joined their circle and spun the boys stories of that dear France
and his home near Marseilles.
To-night it was different. There was no levity. Every man seemed to
sense the situation and stood to his post of duty grimly conscious of
the serious business upon which he had embarked. Through the minds of
the lads flitted visions of home and campus.
Jack, dreaming of good old Brighton, was stirred out of his reverie
by his chum.
"Do you suppose we will go all the way over under our own power, or
will we be towed?" Ted was asking.
"Haven't the least doubt but that we'll stand on our own sea legs,"
replied Jack. "Don't you remember how we read in the papers early
in the war of a bunch of submarines put together in the St. Lawrence
River going all the way across to Gibraltar and thence through the
Mediterranean to the Dardanelles under their own power?"
Ted did remember, now that it had been called to his mind. It had
gripped their imagination at the time; it seemed such a wonderful
thing, the fact that submarines small enough to be carried on the
decks of huge liners had been able to cross the Atlantic alone and
unaided. They had been still further amazed by the feats of the
German undersea cargo carrier Deutschland that had made the trip to
America and back, and the U-53 that suddenly popped into Newport one
The night dragged along. Now that they were fairly off, Jack and Ted
preferred not to sleep, but rather to keep tabs on the maneuvers of
the American fleet. The sea was calm and the _Dewey_ cruised on the
surface, with her hatches open. The boys were able to stretch
themselves in a promenade on the aft deck and found the night air
invigorating as they speculated together on their mission.
They had soon to find out something of the number and character of
warships in the fleet of which the _Dewey_ was a unit. As daybreak
came stealing up over the horizon they looked about them to discern
many other warships all about them. Far to port, strung out in
single file about a half mile apart, were three huge liners that
they took to be troopships. Deployed around them were destroyers---four
of them---riding like a protecting body guard. Bobbing about at
intervals in the maritime procession were other submarines, their
conning towers silhouetted against the dim skyline.
Relieved of duty, Jack and Ted went below and turned in for a two-hour
sleep. When they climbed up through the forward hatch again after
breakfast it was to find the sun shining bright and the fleet moving
Chief Gunner's Mate Mike Mowrey confided to them that the _Dewey_
was, indeed, bound for European waters. Lieutenant McClure had opened
his sealed orders and learned that he was to report to the Vice-Admiral
in the North Sea. Word had been passed around to the ship's officers
and they in turn were "tipping off" their men. The _Dewey_ was stripped
for action and was to assist the destroyers in defense of the transports
in the event of an attack.
The first day out was spent in drills and target practice. Late in
the afternoon a huge warship was sighted dead ahead and for a time
there was a bit of anxious waiting aboard the _Dewey_. While it was
generally known that the German high seas fleet was bottled up in the
Kiel Canal, there was always a chance of running into a stray raider.
But very shortly the oncoming vessel broke out a flutter of flags,
indicating that she was a French cruiser, and exchanged salutations
with the commander of the American fleet.
The men of the _Dewey_ soon learned that the troopships which they
were escorting carried a number of regiments of marines and several
detachments of U.S. Regulars bound for France. Because the submarines
were slower than either the transports or the destroyers, the fleet
made slow progress.
They had been at sea over a week and were entering the war zone when,
late one afternoon, there came a sharp cry from the lookout in the
_Dewey's_ deck steering station.
"Periscope two points off the starboard!"
Instantly an alarm to general quarters was sounded. Jack and Ted,
detailed in the same gun crew, had just come on duty at the forward
gun. The _Dewey's_ wireless was flashing the news to the rest of the
The destroyers drew in closer to the troopships and began immediately
belching forth dense black clouds of smoke under forced draft that the
boys divined instantly as the smoke screens used so effectively as a
curtain to blind the eyes of the U-boats.
Turning her nose outward from the hidden transports the _Dewey_ drew
away in a wide sweeping circle to starboard.
"All hands below!" came the order. Immediately the deck guns were made
fast and the crew scrambled down through the hatches. In a few minutes,
driving ahead at full speed, the _Dewey_ was submerged until only her
All at once the crew heard a shout from the conning tower.
"There she is!" yelled Lieutenant McClure, as he stood with his eyes
glued to the periscope glass.
"U-boat driving straight ahead at the smoke curtain. Port the helm!"
The _Dewey_ came around sharp and, in response to the guidance of her
commander, began to ascend.
Having executed a flank movement, the _Dewey_ now was endeavoring to
engineer a surprise attack on the German submarine from the rear. To
all intents, the German commander had not yet noted the approaching
American submersible. He was going after the transports full tilt,
hoping to bore through the destroyers' smoke curtain and torpedo one
of the Yankee fleet.
Quickly the _Dewey_ dived up out of the water, the hatches were thrown
open and the gun crews swarmed on deck, carrying shells for their
guns. Jack and Ted followed Mike Mowrey on deck and dropped into
position behind "Roosey." Gazing ahead they could make out the German
periscope and its foamy trail.
"Fire on that periscope," ordered Lieutenant McClure.
The U-boat was not more than nine hundred yards away, according to the
_Dewey's_ range-finder, and apparently yet unconscious of the proximity
of the American submarine. In a moment the gun was loaded and ready
"Bang!" she spoke, and then every eye followed the shot. Commander
McClure had jumped up on the conning tower and was hugging the periscope
pole. There was a moment's silence before he spoke.
"A little short, boys," he called. "Elevate just a little more---you've
nearly got the range."
Again the gun crew leaped into action.
"Hurry, boys! he sees us now and is beginning to submerge!" yelled the
young lieutenant as he followed the U-boat through his glasses.
Again "Roosey" spoke, and this time with an emphatic "crack" that boded
ill for any luckless human who might get within the line of its
screaming shell fire.
"O-o-o-oh, great!" cried Lieutenant McClure an instant later as he
peered more intently through his glasses.
Of a sudden the periscope disappeared from the crest of the sea as
though wiped out completely by the explosion of the _Dewey's_ shell.
"No doubt of it, boys; you ripped off that periscope," announced
McClure, with an air of finality.
At their commander's words the gun crew burst into cheers. The
submersible's wireless was singing out a message of good cheer to
the American fleet. It was only too evident that the enemy U-boat had
been crippled and put completely to rout by the daring maneuvers and
deadly gunfire of the _Dewey_.
"Who said the Yanks couldn't stop their pesky undersea wasps?" chattered
Bill Witt joyously. "If they just let us loose long enough we'll show
'em how to kill poison with poison."
Mike Mowrey was in great glee.
"Just like a grasshopper begging for mercy on a bass hook," he said
jauntily, imitating with a crook of his finger the disappearing
Soon the fleet was off Cape Clear on the southernmost point of the
Irish coast and very shortly headed well into the English Channel.
Now every few hours the American warships were speaking one or other
of the English and French patrol ships. Great was the joy of the
boys aboard the _Dewey_ when first they beheld an American destroyer
out on the firing line.
"Union Jack and French tricolor look pretty good; but none of them
makes a fellow's blood tingle like the Stars and Stripes; eh, chum?"
queried Jack, as he surveyed an American destroyer dashing along in
fine fettle. And Ted heartily agreed.
Off Falmouth, the transports, accompanied by three of the American
destroyers and two English "limeys "---as the British destroyers are
known in the slang of the sea---slipped off silently into the twilight.
The American infantry and marines were to be landed "somewhere in
France." Jack and Ted viewed the departure with mingled pride and
"Reckon they will be in the trenches before long," ventured Ted.
"Frisking bean balls at the Fritzes," snapped Bill Witt with a chuckle
as he joined his mates.
And now the submarine fleet continued on its way into the North Sea.
An American destroyer, two English "limeys" and a French vessel of
the same type were to escort the Yankee subs the rest of the way.
By morning the _Dewey_ had slipped through the Strait of Dover and
emerged at last into the North Sea---the field of her future activities!
There, in due time, the subs reported to the American admiral. Without
any delay they were detailed for duty in the vast arena stretching
down the Strait of Dover northward to the Norwegian coast---from
Wilhelmshaven to the east coast of England and Scotland.
Provisioned and refueled after an inspection and test of her engines,
the _Dewey_ lost no time in getting out on the firing line. London
papers, brought on board while the Yankee submersible rested in the
English naval station at Chatham, told of a daring raid by German
light cruisers on the east coast of England only the night before.
Eluding the allied patrol ships, the raiders had slipped through the
entente lines and bombarded a number of coast towns, escaping finally
in a running fight with English cruisers.
"That was before we got over here," said Bill Witt with a show of irony
as he read the meager dispatch in the London Times. "Wait till we
Yanks meet up with the Huns!"
An opportunity came shortly. One night, little more than a week after
the _Dewey_ had put out into the North Sea, she ran plumb into a huge
warship. The little submarine had taken a position about twenty miles
directly west of the great German stronghold at Heligoland in a lane
likely to be traveled by any outcoming warships.
Executive Officer Cleary, alone in the conning tower, had suddenly
been apprised of the approach of the vessel by a message from the
wireless room. The _Dewey_ was floating in twenty feet of water with
only her periscopes, protruding above the surface. Hardly had he gazed
into the glass before he made out dimly the outlines of the approaching
At once the crew was sounded to quarters.
"German raider!" the muffled cry ran through the ship.
THE GERMAN RAIDERS
As the _Dewey_ settled into the water. Lieutenant McClure and his
executive officer peered intently though the periscopes, hoping to
catch sight of the unknown craft and speculating on her nationality.
The sky was flecked with clouds and there was no convenient moon
to aid the submarine sentinel---an ideal night for a raid! "Little
Mack," as the crew had affectionately named their commander, was in
a quandary as to whether the approaching vessel was friend or foe.
"We'll lie right here and watch him awhile," he told his executive
officer. "Pretty soon he'll be close enough for us to get a line
on his silhouette."
It had been an interesting revelation to the Brighton boys soon after
their entry into the navy to learn that each ship was equipped with a
silhouette book. By means of this it was possible to tell the
vessels of one nation from another by the size and formation of their
hulls, their smokestacks and general outline. Each officer had to be
thoroughly well informed on the contents of the book.
Quietly, stealthily the hidden submarine awaited the approach of her
adversary, for it seemed only too certain that the ship that had
suddenly come dashing up out of the east was out of Cuxhaven or
Wilhelmshaven, and had but a short time before passed under the
mighty German guns on Heligoland.
Chief Gunner Mowrey and his crew in the torpedo chamber forward were
signaled to "stand by the guns ready for action," which meant in this
case the huge firing tubes and the Whitehead torpedoes. Jack and Ted
fell into their places, stripped to the waist, and making sure that
the reserve torpedoes were ready for any emergency.
By adjusting the headpiece of the ship's microphone to his ears Chief
Electrician Sammy Smith kept close tabs on the approaching vessel
with the underwater telephone. With the receivers to his hears he
could hear plainly the swish of the vessel's propeller blades as she
bore down upon the floating submarine. With his reports as a basis
for their deductions, the _Dewey's_ officers were able to figure out
the position of the mystery ship and to tell accurately the distance
between the two vessels.
"Reckon he'll be dead off our bow in a minute or so," observed Cleary
as he completed another observation based on Smith's latest report.
McClure sprang again to the periscope.
"Yes, we ought to get a line on him soon enough now," was his rejoinder.
For a moment the two officers studied the haze of the night sea
around them, unable yet to discern the form of the approaching vessel.
And then came a huge specter, looming up directly off the starboard
quarter of the _Dewey_ in the proportions of a massive warship.
"Looks like a German cruiser," said the American lieutenant as he
gripped the brass wheel of the periscope and gave himself intently
to the task of divining the identity of the unknown ship.
Cleary was making observations at the reserve periscope, the two
officers having plunged the conning tower of the _Dewey_ in utter
darkness that they might better observe the shadowy hulk bearing
down upon them.
"It is a German cruiser---_Plauen_ class---and coming up in a hurry
at better than twenty knots," exclaimed McClure, as the outline of
the ship was implanted clean-cut against the horizon dead ahead of
His hand on the firing valve, the submarine commander waited only until
the bow of the German warship showed on the range glass of the
periscope, and then released a torpedo.
Instantly a great volume of compressed air swirled into the upper port
chamber; the bowcap was opened and the missile sped on its way.
"Gee, I hope that 'moldy' lands her!" shouted Jack at the sound of the
Although but a short time in the North Sea and just getting well
acquainted with their English cousins, the American lads were fast
learning the lingo of the deep. To every man aboard the _Dewey_ a
torpedo was a "moldy," so named by the English seamen.
As the torpedo crew sprang to reload the emptied chamber the _Dewey's_
diving rudders were turned, ballast was shipped and she started to
dive. The plunge came none too soon. A lookout on the German
cruiser, eagle-eyed about his daring venture, had noted the approaching
torpedo and sounded an alarm. At the same moment the ship's rudder
was thrown over and she swung to starboard, paralleling the position
of the _Dewey_. And just as she came around one of her big searchlights
aft flashed into life and shot its bright rays over the water. For a
moment or two a finger of ghostly white shifted aimlessly to and fro
over the surf ace of the sea and then centered full upon the
disappearing periscope of the _Dewey_! Instantly came the boom of
the ship's guns as they belched a salvo at the tormenting submarine.
"Missed him by inches," growled McClure after waiting long enough to
be convinced that the torpedo had sped wide of the mark.
"And he is firing with all his aft guns," added Cleary as he observed
further the flashes of fire from the turrets of the German cruiser.
McClure signaled for the _Dewey_ to be submerged with all speed.
"He'll never get us," he announced a few seconds later as the submarine
dived down out of sight.
Jack and Ted, with the rest of their crew, had by this time shunted
another Whitehead into position, adjusted the mechanism and were
standing by awaiting developments.
"Just our luck to slip a moldy to the blooming Boche and draw a blank,"
grumbled Mike Mowrey, who was mad as a hornet over the "miss."
Ted was inclined to be a bit pessimistic, too; but Jack was sure the
_Dewey_ would make good on her next try. Bill Witt started to sing:
"We'll hang Kaiser Bill to a sour apple tree," but got little response.
The torpedo crew were glum over their failure to bag the German raiding
cruiser and in no mood for singing.
"Cheer up, boys; better luck next time," called out Navigating Officer
Binns as he peered into the torpedo compartment.
All at once the boys were startled by a cry from Sammy Smith, who had
suddenly leaped to his feet and stood swaying in the wireless room with
both microphone receivers tightly pressed to his ears. Above the
clatter of the _Dewey's_ engines the gunners forward could hear the
electrician talking excitedly to Lieutenant McClure.
"Listen, listen, other ships are coming up," Smith was shouting. "I
can hear their propellers. That's the fellow we missed moving off
there on our port quarter. You can hear at least two more here in the
starboard microphone. We seem to have landed plumb in the nest of a
German raiding party," rattled off the electrician glibly as he passed
the receivers to his commander for a verification of his report.
McClure snatched the apparatus and clamped it to his ears. For a
moment he listened to the mechanical whirr of churning propellers,
borne into his senses through the submarine telephone.
"Great!" he exclaimed. "Some more of the Kaiser's vaunted navy trying
to sneak away from their home base for a bit of trickery."
As he rang the engine room to shut off power, the American commander
added, with flashing eyes:
"If we don't bring down one of these prowlers before this night is over
I'll go back home and ship as deckhand on a Jersey City ferry-boat."
Suspended fifty feet below the surface of the sea, the _Dewey_ floated
like a cork in a huge basin while her officers took further observations
on the movements of the German warships above them. Now that their
presence was known the American officers realized they would be
accorded a stiff reception when they next went "up top.".
"I'm going to try it," announced McClure shortly. "We'll take a chance
and pay our respects to one of their tubs."
The _Dewey_ forthwith began to rise. At the direction of the navigating
officer two hundred pounds of ballast were expelled. Tilting fore and
aft like a rocking horse, the submersible responded gradually to the
lightening process until at last the depth dial showed only a margin
of several feet needed to lift the eyes of the periscopes above the
waves. The little steel-encased clock in the conning tower showed ten
minutes past one---just about the right time for a night raiding party
to be getting under way.
"Guess we'll lie here and wait for them to come along," whispered
McClure to Cleary as the periscopes popped up out of the depths into
the night gloom.
"We seem to be right in their path and may be able to get one of them
as he shoots across our bow," added Cleary as he took another telephone
report from the wireless room.
According to Sammy Smith's observations there were two vessels coming
up to starboard, while the third, the one the _Dewey_ had missed, was
dim in the port microphone and almost out of range. Engines shut off,
the submarine lay entirely concealed, awaiting the coming of her prey.
It was McClure's idea to lie perfectly still in the water until one of
the enemy warships swung right into the range glass of the _Dewey_ and
then give it a stab of steel---a sting in the dark from a hidden serpent!
The waiting moments seemed like hours. Gradually, however, the leader
of the silent ships drew nearer. There was no mistaking the telltale
reports in the wireless room. Basing his calculations on the chief
electrician's reports, McClure figured the leader of the oncoming
squadron to be now not more than half a mile away and moving steadily
forward toward the desired range---a dead line on the bow of the _Dewey_.
Executive Officer Cleary at the reserve periscope was first to detect
the mass of steel looming up out of the darkness. Lieutenant McClure
swung his periscope several degrees to starboard and drew a bead on the
German warship an instant later.
"We'll drop this chap just as he shoots across our bow," declared the
Five hundred yards away came the speeding warship. It was close
enough now for the American officers to make out her outlines in
detail and to satisfy themselves that this was another member of the
raiding party out of the great German naval base in back of Heligoland.
"All right, here goes," shouted the doughty Yankee skipper a moment
later as the German cruiser drew up until her bow edged into the circle
that McClure had marked off on the periscope as the exact spot on
which to aim his fire.
Swish! went the torpedo as it shot from the bow of the _Dewey_ and
straightened out in the water on its foamy trail, cutting through
the sea like a huge swordfish.
It took only a moment---an interval of time during which the torpedo
from the American submarine and the German cruiser seemed irresistibly
drawn toward each other. And then came the crash---the impact of the
torpedo's war-nose against the steel side of the cruiser, the
detonation of the powerful explosive, the rending of the German hull.
And then, loud enough for his crew forward to hear his words, McClure
"A perfect hit, boys; torpedo landed plumb in the engine room of a big
A great cheer resounded through the hull of the American undersea craft
as the good news was borne to the torpedo crew forward and to the
engine room aft.
Keeping his eyes to the periscope, McClure beheld the most spectacular
picture that had yet been glimpsed through the eye of the American
submarine. The torpedo had struck squarely abaft the ship's magazine
and wrecked her completely. The night was painted a lurid glow as a
titanic explosion shook the sea and a mass of yellow flame completely
enveloped the doomed warship from stem to stern.
"Look, she is going down by the stern," called out Officer Cleary as
he took one last squint at the _Dewey's_ quarry just before the
stricken warship slipped away into the depths.
The jubilation of the crew knew no bounds. The men were wild with joy
over their success. Jack and Chief Gunner Mowrey were "mitting" each
other like a prize fighter and his manager after a big fight, while
Ted and Bill Witt were clawing each other like a pair of wild men.
Through the main periscope Commander McClure was noting the death
struggle of the German cruiser, when Executive Officer Cleary, swinging
the reserve periscope around to scan the horizon aft the _Dewey_,
suddenly called out sharply:
"Submerge, quick! Right here abaft our conning tower to starboard
comes a destroyer. She is aimed directly at us and almost on top of
us. Hurry, or we are going to be run down!"
RAMMED BY A DESTROYER
It was a critical moment aboard the American submarine. Out of the
darkness the destroyer---speed king of the modern navies---had emerged
just at the moment the _Dewey_ was sending home the shot that laid low
the German cruiser.
Dashing along at a speed better than thirty knots an hour, the greyhound
of the Teutonic fleet was bearing down hard upon the Yankee. Evidently
the lookout on the destroyer had marked the path of the _Dewey's_
torpedo in the dim gray of the night sea, and with his skipper had sent
his craft charging full tilt at the American "wasp."
"If they get to us before we submerge we are done for," gasped
Lieutenant McClure, as he bellowed orders to Navigating Officer Binns
to lower away as fast as the submerging apparatus would permit. Then
the quick-witted commander rang the engine room full speed ahead at
the same time he threw the helm hard to port in an effort to bring his
craft around parallel with the charging destroyer and thus make a
Down, down, down sank the _Dewey_ as her valves were opened and the
sea surged into the ballast tanks. The periscopes had been well out
of water when the destroyer had first been sighted. It was now a race
between two cool and cunning naval officers---the German to hurl his
vessel full upon the American submarine and deal it a death blow; the
American skipper to outwit and outmaneuver his antagonist by putting
the _Dewey_ down where she would be safe from the steel nose of the
Although no word was spoken to the crew, they could sense the situation
by the sharp commands emanating from the conning tower and the celerity
with which the navigating officer and his assistant were working the
Great beads of perspiration stood out on the forehead of Officer Binns
as he stood over the array of levers and gave directions, first to ship
ballast in one tank, and then in another, shifting the added weight
evenly so as not to disturb the equilibrium of the _Dewey_ and cause
her to go hurtling to the bottom, top heavy in either bow or stern.
Nearly two minutes were necessary to get the little undersea craft
down far enough to evade the prow of the oncoming destroyer, and even
then the conning tower furnished a target that might be crushed by the
nose of the enemy ship and precipitate an avalanche of water into the
hold---with disaster for the men assembled at their posts of duty.
"They are right on top of us now," screamed Sammy Smith as he hugged
the microphone receivers to his ears.
If the destroyer was going to get the submarine, now was the fatal
The _Dewey_ suddenly lunged like a great tiger leaping from the limb
of a tree upon its prey. Responding to a signal from his commander,
Chief Engineer Blaine had suddenly shot into the submarine's engines
the full power of the electric storage batteries and hurled the
_Dewey_ forward with a great burst of speed. There was a slim chance
that the swift-moving German warship might be sidestepped by a quick
maneuver, and the crafty McClure was leaving no deep-sea trick unturned.
"Nice place for the Fritzes to swing overboard one of those infernal
depth bombs," muttered Bill Witt.
A depth bomb! Jack and Ted knew all about the latest device being
employed by the warring nations in their campaigns against submarines.
Gigantic grenades, they were, carrying deadly and powerful explosives
timed to go off at any desired depth. One of them dropped from the
deck of the destroyer as it passed over the spot where the _Dewey_
had submerged might blow the diminutive ship to atoms.
With reckless abandon big bluff Bill Witt began to sing:
_"It's a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to go. It's a long
The song was interrupted by a harsh grating sound---the crashing of
steel against steel---and then the _Dewey_ shuddered from stem to
stern as though it had run suddenly against a stone wall.
Hurled from his feet by the fearful impact Jack sprawled on the steel
floor of the torpedo room. Ted, standing close by his chum, clutched
at one of the reserve torpedoes hanging in the rack in time to prevent
For a moment the _Dewey_ appeared to be going down by the stern, with
her bow inclined upward at an angle of forty-five degrees. Above all
the din and confusion could be heard the roar of a terrific explosion
outside. The little submersible was caught in the convulsion of the
sea until it seemed her seams would be rent and her crew engulfed.
From the engine room Chief Engineer Blaine and his men retreated
amidships declaring that the submarine had been dealt a powerful blow
directly aft the conning tower on her starboard beam.
"Any plates leaking?" asked Lieutenant McClure quietly.
"Not that we can notice, sir," replied Blame. "It appears as though
the nose of that Prussian scraped along our deck line abaft the
At any moment the steel plates were likely to cave in under the strain
and the submarine be inundated.
"Stand by ready for the emergency valve!" shouted Lieutenant McClure.
This was the ship's safety contrivance. The Brighton boys had been
wonderfully impressed with it shortly after their first introduction
to the "innards" of a submarine.
The safety valve could be set for any desired depth; when the vessel
dropped to that depth the ballast tanks were automatically opened and
every ounce of water expelled. As a result the submarine would shoot
to the surface. The older "submarine salts" called the safety the
"If they've punctured us we might as well cut loose and take our
chances on the surface," declared Lieutenant McClure to the little
group of officers standing with him amidships in the control chamber.
Not a man dissented. They were content to abide by the word of their
chieftain. It was some relief to know that the nose of the destroyer
had not crashed through the skin of the submarine; but, from the
concussion astern and Chief Engineer Blaine's report, it was very
evident that the _Dewey_ had been struck a glancing blow. Deep-sea
pressure against a weakened plate could have but one inevitable
sequel---the rending of the ship's hull.
"They have gone completely over us," came the announcement from the
Hardly had the electrician concluded the report before the _Dewey_
was rocked by another submarine detonation---the explosion of a
second depth bomb. This time it was farther from the hiding vessel;
however, the ship was shaken until every electric light blinked in
"I hope they soon get done with their Fourth of July celebration,"
remarked Bill Witt by way of a bit of subsea repartee.
"That's the way they blow holes in their schweitzer cheese," ventured
Mike Mowrey with a chuckle.
It was decided to submerge a little deeper and then leisurely inspect
the interior hull aft. An observation with the microphones disclosed
the fact that the destroyer was moving out into the North Sea.
"Guess they think they got us that time," suggested Lieutenant McClure
to his executive officer.
"Was rather a close call, come to think of it," smiled Cleary.
The latter went aft with Chief Engineer Blaine for the hull inspection
and returned in a few moments to say that, so far as could be observed
from the interior, she had not been dealt a severe blow. The executive
officer ventured the opinion that the keel of the destroyer had brushed
along the aft deck, thus accounting for the fact that the submarine
had suddenly been tilted downward at the stern.
"We'll not dare submerge too deep," said Lieutenant McClure. "Pressure
against our hull increases, you know, at the rate of four and a quarter
pounds to the square inch for every ten feet we submerge. It may be
our plates were weakened by that collision. We'll go down to one
hundred feet and lie there until these ships get out of the way."
The depth dial showed eighty feet. More water, accordingly, was
shipped and the _Dewey_ slipped away to the desired depth, when the
intake of ballast ceased and the tiny vessel floated alone in the
sea. Determined to take no more chances with the Kaiser's navy
until he had ascertained the true condition of his own vessel, Lieutenant
McClure decided to lie-to here in safety.
When the raiders had departed he would ascend and make a more detailed
external inspection of the hull.
It was half-past two. Jean Cartier superintended the distribution of
hot coffee and light "chow" and the crew made themselves comfortable
in their submarine home.
Half an hour later, when it had been determined by the telephones that
the German ships had moved on westward, the _Dewey_ began again to
ascend the depths.
Early dawn was streaking the sky with tints of orange gray when at last
the submarine poked its periscopes above the waves. Not a ship was in
sight; there was not a trace of the battle cruiser that the _Dewey_ had
sent to her doom during the earlier hours of the night.
"Didn't have a chance, did they?" Ted said to his churn in contemplation
of the fate of the German warship.
Jack felt different about it.
"Sure they had a chance," he answered.
"They would have gotten us if we hadn't landed them first."
"Do the other fellow as you know he would do you," Jack philosophized.
As the _Dewey_ emerged again on the surface with her deck and
super-structure exposed, the ship's wireless aerials were run up and
she prepared to get in touch with the United States fleet. Jack crept
into the wireless room that he might better understand what was going
on. Lately he had been learning the wireless code and familiarizing
himself with the operation of the radio under the kindly instruction
of Sammy Smith.
"You never know when knowledge of these things is going to stand you
in good stead," remarked Jack when he had applied to Sammy for "a bit
Once more the hatches were opened and the crew swarmed out to stretch
their limbs and get a breath of fresh air again. Lieutenant McClure
hastened to examine the deck of the _Dewey_ to ascertain whether any
damage had been done in the collision with the destroyer.
Yes, there was a slight dent---a broad scar---running obliquely across
the deck plates just aft the conning tower within a few inches of the
engine room hatch. The damage, however, appeared to be slight.
"Narrow escape," the lieutenant pondered.
"Zip! zip!" the wireless was sputtering as Sammy Smith flung a code
message into space in quest of other members of the allied navies.
Several times he shot out the call and then closed his key to await
Finally it came---a radio from an American warship far out of sight
over the horizon.
"Take this radio to Lieutenant McClure," said Sammy, as he typed it
with the wireless receiver still to his ears, and wheeled to hand it
to Jack. The latter took the flimsy sheet and bounded up the aft hatch
to where his commander stood examining the hull.
"American and English cruisers and destroyers in running fight with
German raiding squadron. Give us your position. U.S.S. _Salem_,"
the message ran.
At once the _Dewey's_ latitude and longitude were rattled off to the
Salem. In reply came another radio from the scout cruiser, giving the
position of the raiding fleet and the pursuers, with this direction:
"Close in from your position. German fleet in full retreat headed
E.N.E. across North Sea. You may be able to intercept them!"
IN A MINE FIELD
Without any further ado the _Dewey_ got under way. While the inspection
of the hull had been going on the submarine's batteries had been
recharged and she was ready again for further diving upon a moment's
notice. Lieutenant McClure climbed into the deck steering station---the
bridge of a submarine---and assumed charge of the electric rudder
control, the wheel of a submersible.
Jack and Ted were ordered onto the bridge with their commander and
instructed to keep a sharp lookout on the horizon with powerful
glasses. The wireless was snapping away exchanging messages with the
allied fleet and getting a line on the pursued raiders. The cool fresh
air felt invigorating after the night's cramped vigil in the fetid
air of the submarine.
When mess call sounded, Jack and Ted, relieved from duty, went below
to get some "chow" and snatch an hour or two of rest.
A radiogram was handed Lieutenant McClure while at breakfast giving
the position of the U.S.S. _Chicago_. A little later H.M.S. Congo, a
"limey," was spoken. Soon the sub was hearing the chatter of half a
dozen American and English warships.
Hastening back to the conning tower, Lieutenant McClure conferred for
a few moments with his executive officer and as a result of their
calculations the course of the _Dewey_ was altered. Headed due north,
it was the aim of the submarine officers to intercept the retreating
column of German raiders whom they knew now to be in full retreat,
hotly pursued by the allied squadron.
Not half an hour had elapsed when the lookout reported a blur on the
horizon that, despite the mist of early morning, was easily discernible
as the smoke of several vessels under forced draft. Very soon the head
of the column loomed over the horizon---a German cruiser in the
lead---followed closely by a destroyer that was belching forth dense
black smoke from its funnels.
"They are making for home under a smoke screen from their destroyers,
and I'll bet some of our ships are not very far away either," was
Lieutenant McClure's observation as he stood surveying the field of
action through his glass.
"Yes, and that destroyer there is probably the chap who nearly ran us
down last night," added Executive Officer Cleary.
Lieutenant McClure nodded assent and then turned toward Jack, who had
been watching the approaching Germans from a position on deck just aft
the conning tower.
The _Dewey's_ commander motioned the young seaman to climb into the
"I want you to stand right by and act as my aide," said McClure.
"That goes, not only now, but until further orders. You and Mr.
Wainwright will relieve each other as my aides. Go below and tell
Chief Engineer Blaine we are about to close in on the Huns and want
all the speed possible during the next hour or so."
Jack saluted and lowered away into the conning tower hatch. As he
climbed down into the hull he heard the sound of heavy cannonading
across the water. It was certain now that a running fight was in
progress and that behind the veil of the black German destroyer
smoke were allied warships.
The retreating column was well off the port bow and racing eastward
toward the shelter of the big guns at Heligoland. Coming up out of
the south the American submarine had run at right angles into the line
of the Hun retreat. The _Dewey_ held a strategic position. She
viewed the approaching squadron as though looking down the hypotenuse
of the angle. The Germans were speeding along the base. The _Dewey_
had but to slip down the perpendicular to intercept the panicky
And that was just what Lieutenant McClure proposed doing. All hands
were ordered below and the hatches sealed. Running on the surface,
the oil engines were put to their best endeavor and the _Dewey_ cleft
the whitecaps at her best speed.
"Go forward, Mr. Hammond, and inquire of Chief Gunner Mowrey how many
torpedoes we have aboard," ordered Lieutenant McClure.
Jack hurried away and returned in a few minutes to report that all
four tubes were loaded and two auxiliary Whiteheads in the racks.
The _Dewey's_ torpedo range was two miles, but her commander preferred
to be within less than six hundred yards for a sure shot.
McClure could now see the leader of the German squadron---a powerful
battle cruiser---crowding on all speed. His guns astern, powerful
fourteen-inch pieces in twin turrets, were in action, firing huge
salvos at his pursuers. The destroyer rode far to starboard of the
cruiser, emitting a steady stream of smoke designed to blind the eyes
of the pursuers.
Jockeying into position after another twenty minutes' run, the _Dewey's_
commander decided to let loose with a torpedo. The cruiser had pulled
up now until it was nearly dead ahead of the American submersible. The
destroyer was dancing along several hundreds yards in the rear of the
So intent were the Germans on keeping away from the pursuing warships
that they had not noticed the sly little submarine that had slipped up
out of the south!
Jack had now an opportunity to witness the actual firing of a torpedo
at an enemy vessel at close range. Directly in front of the _Dewey's_
commander, just above the electric rudder button, glowed four little
light bulbs in bright red---one for each of the torpedo tubes in the
bow bulkhead. When they were lighted thus it indicated that every
chamber was loaded. As soon as a torpedo was discharged the bulb
corresponding with the empty tube faded out. Lieutenant McClure had
but to touch the electric contact under each bulb to send one of the
death-dealing torpedoes on its way. This Jack was to see in a moment.
Crouching with his eyes to the periscope until the racing German
cruiser drew up to the desired fret on the measured glass McClure
clutched the lower port toggle and released a torpedo. Again the
jarring motion that indicated the discharge of the missile and the
swirl of the compressed air forward. Through the eye of the forward
periscope the commander of the _Dewey_ followed the course of the
torpedo as it skimmed away from his bow.
"There she goes!" exclaimed Executive Officer Cleary as the mirror
reflected the frothing wake of the giant Whitehead.
For a moment or so there was a breathless silence in the conning
tower of the Yankee sub as the two officers followed their shot.
Only for a moment however, for Commander McClure, knowing full well
the German destroyer would sight the speeding torpedo and immediately
turn its fire on the Yankee's periscopes, gave orders to submerge.
But as the _Dewey_ lowered away he gazed ahead once more. The
spectacle that greeted him made the blood leap fast in his veins.
"It's a hit!" he yelled in sheer delight.
So it proved. Officer Cleary, still straining at the reserve periscope,
beheld the same picture. The torpedo had shot across the bow of the
destroyer and leaped forward to finally bury its steel nose in the
great gray side of the cruiser.
"Almost directly amidships," called out "Little Mack."
And then, as the _Dewey_ plunged beneath the waves, Lieutenant McClure
explained eagerly how he had beheld the explosion of the torpedo just
aft the main forward battery turret directly on the line of the
forward smoke funnel.
"Giving them a dose of their own medicine," ejaculated Cleary as his
commander turned laughingly from the periscope.
"This will settle a few scores for the Lusitania, to say nothing of
the many more ships with defenseless men and women that have been sunk
since the beginning of the war," added McClure seriously. Then turning
to Jack Hammond he added: "I guess you are the good-luck chap. We got
both those Boche boats since I called you into the turret as my aide.
Don't forget, you are to stay right here permanently."
Jack saluted mechanically, but his heart beat high and he could scarce
repress an exclamation of delight.
At a depth of sixty feet the _Dewey's_ engines were slowed down and she
floated gracefully out of range of the German destroyer. After
traveling ahead for half a mile the submersible was stopped again and
began slowly to ascend.
As the eye of the periscope projected again out of the sea Lieutenant
McClure hastened to get a glimpse of his surroundings.
There, off the port bow, lay the crippled German cruiser---the same
vessel that had been hit by the _Dewey's_ torpedo. She was listing
badly from the effect of the American submarine's unexpected sting
and had turned far over on her side. A British destroyer was standing
by rescuing members of the Teuton crew as they flung themselves into
the water from their overturning craft.
Far off the _Dewey's_ starboard bow could be seen a moving column of
warships---the remnants of the German raiding fleet in the van,
followed by the English and American patrol vessels.
"Useless for us to follow them," declared McClure, as he took in the
situation. "Might as well stand by this stricken Hun cruiser and pick
up some of her floating crew."
"There's a lot of them in the water," said Cleary, as he swung the
other periscope to scan the open sea well to the sinking cruiser's
In a few minutes the _Dewey_ ascended and made herself known to the
British "limey." Over the decks of the latter clambered several score
German seamen who had been fished from a watery grave.
A stiff wind had come up out of the southeast and was kicking the sea
into rollers with whitecaps. However, the men of the _Dewey_, armed
with life preservers, steadied themselves on the turtle-back deck of
their craft, and started the hunt for swimming Germans.
Ted had joined Jack forward, carrying a coil of rope, and they were
scanning the sea, when their attention was diverted by the gesticulations
of Bill Witt standing well forward. He was pointing off to port.
"Look---a floating mine!" he shouted. Almost at the same moment Jack
spied another mine closer up off the starboard quarter.
In a mine field! The retreating German warships had strewn the sea
with the deadly implements of naval warfare, and the _Dewey_ had come
up almost on top of a number of the unanchored explosives!
"If one of them pill boxes bumps us on the water line it's all day with
your Uncle Sam's U-boat _Dewey_," vouchsafed Bill Witt as he stood
surveying the mine field into which they had stumbled.
In response to the warning from the lookout forward, Lieutenant
McClure had stopped the submarine and was taking account of the
dangers that beset his ship. The sea was running high and it was
hard to discern the mines except when they were carried up on the
swell of the waves.
Swept along thus with the rise and fall of water, one of the floating
missiles seemed now bearing down upon the _Dewey's_ port bow. Lieutenant
McClure saw it just as a huge wave picked up the whirling bomb and
carried it closer up toward the submarine.
"All hands below; ready to submerge!" he called out sharply, at the same
time directing Executive Officer Cleary to get the _Dewey_ under way.
"Stay here with me a moment," continued McClure, addressing Jack. They
were standing alone on the forward deck.
Another wave brought the mine dangerously close.
"You armed?" called out Lieutenant McClure.
"Yes, sir," replied Jack, as he drew his heavy navy automatic.
"Shoot at that mine, boy," commanded the officer. At the same time
the young lieutenant drew his own weapon and began blazing away. He
hoped thus to explode the deadly thing before it was hurled against
Jack followed suit. The target, however, was so buffeted about by the
waves that it was next to impossible to sight on it. The only thing
to do was to fire at random, hoping against hope that a lucky shot
would result in the detonation of the mine.
"It's no use," shouted McClure above the crack of the firearms and the
roar of the sea.
Their shots were rattling harmlessly off the metallic sides of the
By now Cleary had swung the _Dewey_ around until she was pointed almost
directly at the nearest mine, it being slightly off the port quarter.
The engines had been reversed and started, and the submarine was
"We ought to clear this one and then be able to dive and get out of
here," said McClure.
But as he spoke a huge wave lifted the mine again and flung it full in
the path of the submarine. As though drawn by some mysterious magnet
the floating explosive seemed following the _Dewey_ at every
turn---an unrelenting nemesis bent on the destruction of the American
"Quick, Jack; grab that wireless upright forward!" commanded the young
With alacrity Jack flung himself upon the steel aerial and wrenched
it loose. It was a long tubing very much like an ordinary length of
gas pipe set up usually forward as one of the wireless supports, and
folding down into the deck plates when the _Dewey_ was stripped for
"I am going to take a chance on exploding that one mine that seems to
be our hoodoo," shouted Lieutenant McClure.
Jack waited anxiously to see just what his lieutenant was doing. Taking
the wireless upright in hand after the manner of a track athlete
throwing the javelin, the young commander drew it well back and then
launched it full upon the mine floating not more than fifteen or
twenty feet from the _Dewey_.
"Hit it!" exclaimed McClure as the improvised battering ram left his
strong right arm.
It did, and with the desired result. The impact of the long steel
tubing directly upon the shell of the mine was sufficient to explode
the deadly thing. A terrific detonation rent the air and immediately
a column of water was hurled high, towering over the _Dewey_ like a
geyser, and then engulfing the little submarine. Jack and his
commander were swept off their feet in the deluge. As though some
unseen hand had suddenly clutched them with a grip of steel the pair
were flung from the deck of their craft into the seething foam.
It seemed an endless eternity to Jack as he was carried down into the
depths. The roar of a million cataracts throbbed in his brain and
before his mind flashed the panorama of his life.
Home---Winchester---Brighton---all the old chums and the "profs!"
Death seemed so near to the youth as ho felt his strength giving
way. His senses reeled. In his ears pealed the medley of a thousand
bells. In this horrible abyss he knew he could not long survive.
Then, just when it seemed life was gone, his head shot up out of the
water and he found himself swimming free and breathing normally again.
Above, the same old blue sky. Turning over on his back and paddling
thus until he floated, the boy remembered gain the submersible and
the fearful mine explosion that had cast him into the sea.
He looked for the _Dewey_ and in a moment beheld it still riding the
waves. Yes, the old sub had survived the mine explosion, or at least,
was still afloat, if damaged.
But what about Lieutenant McClure? Now Jack recalled his gallant
commander and how he, too, had been cast from the deck in the deluge.
Was "Little Mack" still alive?
The _Dewey_ was slowly picking her way among the other mines. Jack
shouted to her, but getting no response he started to swim with
vigorous strokes. He had gone but a few yards when an object appeared
on the crest of the water directly in front of him. It took only a
glance to convince him that it was the form of Lieutenant McClure.
With a supreme effort Jack drove himself forward with mighty strokes
toward the inert form of his commander.
Glancing up for a moment, what was the delight of the youth battling
with death to see the _Dewey_ bearing down upon him!
Some one had seen him and they were coming to his rescue.
The sight renewed his strength. After what seemed a long while Jack
was able to clutch the collar of his chief officer. "Little Mack"
By degrees Jack succeeded in turning over the limp form until it
floated face upward. Locking his left arm securely around the neck
of the apparently lifeless officer so that the face was held above the
surface of the water, and using his strong right arm and legs, Jack
began swimming as best he could in the general direction of the
submarine that he knew to be not far away.
The weight of the lieutenant's body dragged heavily upon his left arm.
His strength was ebbing away fast. His arm became numb and his senses
Instinctively the lad closed his eyes. It seemed he must let loose
the burden tugging in his arms and himself slip away into the depths
and into that long sweet sleep that seemed just now so alluring, so
"Catch the rope when I fling it"---the words were borne into his
stifled senses. It sounded like the voice of his good chum.
Was it Ted? Again came the call, seemingly closer at hand. It was
Ted, now faintly, now more clearly. The sound of that voice
galvanized the youth in the water.
Jack flung out his free limbs in a frenzy of muscular energy. Something
loomed up in the blue of the sky near him and he beheld for one instant
the periscopes of the _Dewey_.
She was drawing closer to the pair in the water!
On the deck stood a number of the crew disregarding the floating mines
that had been engaging their attention. Someone was whirling a rope,
aiming to throw it to the pair in the water. Every one seemed to be
yelling at the same time.
"Hold on---we are coming---don't let go---catch the rope!" Jack heard
the calls from his shipmates.
Out over the water spun a coil of rope---only to fall short of the
desired mark and trail off into the sea many yards from the floating
pair. Yes, it was Ted, winding frantically again, and yelling
encouragement to his chum.
"Hold 'em!" Ted shouted over and over again, just as the Brighton lads
had been wont to yell in unison at their football games when the
opposing eleven was smashing its way toward Brighton's goal. Once
again the coil was ready; once again it was flung outward from the
deck of the _Dewey_. This time it fairly lashed Jack's face. The
sting of the hemp seethed to whip new courage into him. Making one
last frantic effort he clutched and held the precious rope, just as
Ted sprang from the submarine and dived to the rescue.
Jack remembered no more. When he came to he was stretched in his bunk
in the hold of the _Dewey_. Ted was bending over him.
"Thank God you are alive, Jack, old chum!" Ted was murmuring, with
glad tears brimming from his eyes.
Jack strove to raise himself on one elbow but fell back limply, weak
from the terrible struggle through which he had passed.
"How about 'Little Mack'?" he managed finally to ask faintly.
"Alive but yet unconscious," replied Ted, "They have gotten most of
the water out of his lungs and are using the pulmotor."
Jack closed his eyes again and murmured a prayer of thanks for his
safe deliverance and for the life of his lieutenant.
"Was the _Dewey_ damaged by the mine explosion?" he asked.
Ted replied that so far as could be determined no serious damage had
been inflicted, although Officer Cleary had expressed some apprehension
as to the condition of the port seams forward on the under side of the
hull. The examination was still in progress.
For an hour Jack rested quietly in his bunk. The _Dewey_ had submerged
after taking aboard the half-drowned commander and his rescuer, and
at a safe depth gotten safely out of the zone of danger. Now she had
come to the surface again for further examination of her hull.
Jack and Ted were conversing in low tones, when Bill Witt stumbled
along the passageway leading into the men's quarters and stopped beside
Jack. His face was stern.
"What's the matter, Bill---you seasick?" queried Ted.
"Wish that's all it was," muttered Bill.
"Tell us, what's up?" pressed Ted.
"Isn't very cheery news for a fellow knocked out like Jack after making
such a plucky fight for his life and saving his lieutenant," answered
Bill with a shrug of his broad shoulders.
"If I survived that, I guess I can hear what's troubling you," was his
"Well, it's bad news, boys---mighty bad," went on Bill. "Chief
Engineer Blaine reports a leak in the main oil reservoir to starboard.
That mine explosion loosened up the seams and the fuel stuff is slowly
but steadily streaming into the deep blue sea!"
VIVE LA FRANCE!
Ted ran aft to the engine room to get a fuller report on the new
danger that confronted the _Dewey_. There he found that what Bill
Witt had said was only too true. Either portions of the flying steel
from the exploded mine had punctured the skin of the submarine, or
else the plates had been loosened by the detonation. The oil was
leaking away at an alarming rate and there was no way here in the
open sea to get at the leak. The _Dewey_ would have to go into
drydock before the repairs could be made.
"But we can navigate with our batteries, can't we?" Ted inquired of
Sammy Smith, who had come out of the wireless room to better acquaint
himself with the _Dewey's_ newest tale of woe.
Sammy was not at all comforting.
"I understand the batteries, are pretty well exhausted," he said.
"They were just going to recharge when we ran into that mine. Blaine
says we have only enough juice to last us two hours, moderate running."
He paused for a moment as Ted grasped the significance of the situation.
"Furthermore," Sammy continued, "we cannot dive to any considerable
"With that leak in the reservoir plates Cleary and Blame say it would
be foolhardy to go down very far for fear the _Dewey_ would spread
wide open and we would be flooded."
It was disquieting news, and Ted hurried forward to talk it over with
Jack. As he passed the control station he saw Cleary and Binns in
animated conference with the chief engineer. He surmised they were
debating the best course under the circumstances.
In the bunk room Ted found Jack had revived considerably under the
influence of hot bouillon and strong coffee provided by Jean Cartier,
and a change of clothing with a stiff rub-down that had done wonders
"Monsieur is a brave man; he wins the American Croix de Guerre for
saving the life of his commander so bravely," Jean was saying as Ted
reappeared upon the scene.
Jack was trying hard to be modest.