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Army Boys in the French Trenches Or, Hand to Hand Fighting with the Enemy   By:

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ARMY BOYS IN THE FRENCH TRENCHES

OR

HAND TO HAND FIGHTING WITH THE ENEMY

BY

HOMER RANDALL

AUTHOR OF "Army Boys in France" and "Army Boys on the Firing Line"

Illustrated by ROBERT GASTON HERBERT

1919

[Illustration: There was a grinding, tearing, screeching sound, as wire entanglements were uprooted.]

CONTENTS

I A SLASHING ATTACK

II THE UPLIFTED KNIFE

III TAKING CHANCES

IV BETWEEN THE LINES

V THE BARBAROUS HUNS

VI A TASTE OF COLD STEEL

VII NICK RABIG'S QUEER ACTIONS

VIII COLONEL PAVET REAPPEARS

IX THE ESCAPE

X A GHASTLY BURDEN

XI WITH THE TANKS

XII BREAKING THROUGH

XIII CAUGHT NAPPING

XIV IN CLOSE QUARTERS

XV THE FOUR FOOTED ENEMY

XVI CHASED BY CAVALRY

XVII THE BROKEN BRIDGE

XVIII RESCUE FROM THE SKY

XIX PUTTING ONE OVER

XX SUSPICION

XXI A FAMILIAR VOICE

XXII THE SHADOW OF TREASON

XXIII A HAIL OF LEAD

XXIV A DEED OF DARING

XXV STORMING THE RIDGE

CHAPTER I

A SLASHING ATTACK

"Stand ready, boys. We attack at dawn!"

The word passed in a whisper down the long line of the trench, where the American army boys crouched like so many khaki clad ghosts, awaiting the command to go "over the top."

"That will be in about fifteen minutes from now, I figure," murmured Frank Sheldon to his friend and comrade, Bart Raymond, as he glanced at the hands of his radio watch and then put it up to his ear to make sure that it had not stopped.

"It'll seem more like fifteen hours," muttered Tom Bradford, who was on the other side of Sheldon.

"Tom's in a hurry to get at the Huns," chuckled Billy Waldon. "He wants to show them where they get off."

"I saw him putting a razor edge on his bayonet last night," added Bart. "Now he's anxious to see how it works."

"He'll have plenty of chances to find out," said Frank. "This is going to be a hot scrap, or I miss my guess. I heard the captain tell the lieutenant that the Germans had their heaviest force right in front of our part of the line."

"So much the better," asserted Billy stoutly. "They can't come too thick or too fast. They've been sneering at what the Yankees were going to do in this war, and it's about time they got punctures in their tires."

At this moment the mess helpers passed along the line with buckets of steaming hot coffee, and the men welcomed it eagerly, for it was late in the autumn and the night air was chill and penetrating. "Come, little cup, to one who loves thee well," murmured Tom, as he swallowed his portion in one gulp.

The others were not slow in following his example, and the buckets were emptied in a twinkling.

Then the stern vigil was renewed.

From the opposing lines a star shell rose and exploded, casting a greenish radiance over the barren stretch of No Man's Land that separated the hostile forces.

"Fritz isn't asleep," muttered Frank.

"He's right on the job with his fireworks," agreed Bart.

"Maybe he has his suspicions that we're going to give him a little surprise party," remarked Billy, "and that's his way of telling us that he's ready to welcome us with open arms."

"Fix bayonets!" came the command from the officer in charge, and there was a faint clink as the order was obeyed.

"It won't be long now," murmured Tom. "But why don't the guns open up?"

"They always do before it's time to charge," commented Billy, as he shifted his position a little. "I suppose they will now almost any minute."

"I don't think there'll be any gun fire this time before we go over the top," ventured Frank.

"What do you mean?" asked Bart in surprise, as he turned his head toward his chum.

"Do you know anything?" queried Tom.

"Not exactly know, but I've heard enough to make a guess," replied Frank. "I think we're going to play the game a little differently this time. Unless I'm mistaken, the Huns are going to get the surprise of their lives... Continue reading book >>




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