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Air Service Boys Over The Rhine Fighting Above The Clouds   By:

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AIR SERVICE BOYS OVER THE RHINE

OR, FIGHTING ABOVE THE CLOUDS

BY CHARLES AMORY BEACH

AUTHOR OF "AIR SERVICE BOYS FLYING FOR FRANCE," "AIR SERVICE BOYS OVER THE ENEMY'S LINES," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED BY ROBERT GASTON HERBERT

THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING CO. AKRON, OHIO NEW YORK

MADE IN U.S.A.

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY GEORGE SULLY & COMPANY

[Illustration: BLOWING UP THE GERMAN MUNITION FACTORY.]

CONTENTS

I DOUBLE NEWS

II ANXIOUS DAYS

III ON TO PARIS

IV SUSPICIONS

V THE BOMBARDMENT OF PARIS

VI THE RUE LAFAYETTE RUINS

VII TOM'S FATHER

VIII WHERE IS MR. RAYMOND?

IX VARIOUS THEORIES

X THE "DUD"

XI A MONSTER CANNON

XII FOR PERILOUS SERVICE

XIII THE SPY

XIV WITH COMRADES AGAIN

XV THE PICKED SQUADRON

XVI MISSING

XVII SEEKING THE GUN

XVIII A CLOUD BATTLE

XIX QUEER LIGHTS

XX THE BIG GUN

XXI DEVASTATING FIRE

XXII OVER THE RHINE

XXIII OFF FOR GERMANY

XXIV PRISONERS

XXV THE ESCAPE

AIR SERVICE BOYS OVER THE RHINE

CHAPTER I

DOUBLE NEWS

"Here they come back, Tom!"

"Yes, I see them coming. Can you count them yet? Don't tell me any of our boys are missing!" and the speaker, one of two young men, wearing the uniform of the Lafayette Escadrille, who were standing near the hangars of the aviation field "somewhere in France," gazed earnestly up toward the blue sky that was dotted with fleecy, white clouds.

There were other dots also, dots which meant much to the trained eyes of Tom Raymond and Jack Parmly, for the dots increased in size, like oncoming birds. But they were not birds. Or rather, they were human birds.

The specks in the sky were Caudrons. A small aerial fleet was returning from a night raid over the German ammunition dumps and troop centers, and the anxiety of the watching young men was as to whether or not all the airmen, among whom were numbered some of Uncle Sam's boys, had returned in safety. Too many times they did not that is not all for the Hun anti aircraft guns found their marks with deadly precision at times.

The Caudrons appeared larger as they neared the landing field, and Tom and Jack, raising their binoculars, scanned the ranks for all the world like a flock of wild geese to see if they could determine who of their friends, if any, were missing.

"How do you make it, Tom?" asked Jack, after an anxious pause.

"I'm not sure, but I can count only eight."

"That's what I make it. And ten of 'em went out last night, didn't they?"

"So I heard. And if only eight come back it means that at least four of our airmen have either been killed or captured."

"One fate is almost as bad as the other, where you have to be captured by the Boches," murmured Jack. "They're just what their name indicates beasts!"

"You said something!" came heartily from Tom. "And yet, to the credit of airmen in general, let it be said that the German aviators treat their fellow, prisoners better than the Hun infantrymen do."

"So I've heard. Well, here's hoping neither of us, nor any more of our friends, falls over the German lines. But look, Tom!" and Jack pointed excitedly. "Are my eyes seeing things, or is that another Caudron looming up there, the last in the line? Take a look and tell me. I don't want to hope too much, yet maybe we have lost only one, and not two."

Tom changed the focus of his powerful glasses slightly and peered in the direction indicated by his chum. Then he remarked, with the binoculars still at his eyes:

"Yes, that's another of our machines! But she's coming in slowly. Must have been hit a couple of times."

"She's lucky, then, to get back at all. But let's go over and hear what the news is. I hope they blew up a lot of the Huns last night."

"Same here!"

The aircraft were near enough now for the throbbing of their big motors to be heard, and Tom and Jack, each an officer now because of gallant work, hurried across the landing field... Continue reading book >>




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