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The Boy Allies Under the Sea   By: (1887-)

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THE BOY ALLIES UNDER THE SEA

Or, The Vanishing Submarines

by

ENSIGN ROBERT L. DRAKE

Author of The Boy Allies in the Baltic , The Boy Allies on the North Sea Patrol , The Boy Allies Under Two Flags , The Boy Allies with the Flying Squadron , The Boy Allies with the Terror of the Seas

A.L. Burt Company New York

1916

[Illustration]

CHAPTER I.

A MYSTERY.

"What I would like to know," said Frank Chadwick, "is just how long England intends to put up with the activities of the German submarines in the waters surrounding the British Isles."

"How long?" echoed Jack Templeton. "Surely you know that England is already conducting a vigorous campaign against them."

"I don't seem to have heard anything of such a campaign," returned Frank dryly; "but another big liner was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland yesterday. What are we going to do about it? That's what I want to know."

"I'll tell you a little something you don't seem to know," said Jack. "In the last thirty days, in the neighborhood of a hundred German submarines have disappeared sunk or captured no one seems to know which. Nevertheless, it is a fact. Through diplomatic channels word has been received in London that a large number have failed to return to their bases. The German government is much disturbed."

"Where have they gone?" asked Frank, with some surprise.

"I don't know. Nobody knows unless, perhaps, a few high government officials. They have just naturally disappeared vanished."

"How do you know all this?"

"I happened to hear Lord Hastings discussing it with Mr. Churchill while you were out the other day."

"But, of course, Mr. Churchill knows what has happened to the submarines."

"Of course; but he's not telling everything he knows."

"But doesn't Lord Hastings know?"

"I suppose so; but he is keeping his information to himself."

"Well, I didn't know any of them had disappeared."

"They have, though, and I heard Mr. Churchill say that the government hoped within another month to have rid British waters entirely of the German submersibles."

"I hope his hope comes true," said Frank with a smile.

"And I; but I would like to know something more of the mystery of these vanishing submarines."

Both lads were to learn something more, even sooner than they could possibly have hoped.

The door opened and a man strode into the room. Attired in the full uniform of a British naval commander, he made a striking appearance in his gold and lace. He greeted the two lads with a smile.

"Well, boys?" he said.

The newcomer was Lord Hastings, erstwhile distinguished secret service agent and new commander in his British majesty's royal navy. Also, though the fact was known to few, he was a distant cousin of the king himself and one of the most highly trusted officers of the empire.

"Well, boys?" he repeated.

"Well, sir," said Frank, "we were just discussing the mystery of the vanishing submarines."

Lord Hastings gazed at the lad in surprise.

"Vanishing submarines!" he repeated. "And tell me, how did you know there were such things as vanishing submarines?"

"Why, Jack told me, sir," replied Frank.

"And how did you know it?" demanded Lord Hastings of Jack.

"I heard you and Mr. Churchill discussing it, sir," replied Jack.

Lord Hastings drew a long breath, evidently of relief.

"I didn't know we had been so indiscreet," he said, half to himself. "However, there is no harm done, for I know you boys are to be trusted not to repeat what you overhear. I'll tell you this, you two are among the very few who know that any of the German submarines have been accounted for."

"Then it is true?" asked Frank.

"Oh, it's true enough," replied Lord Hastings. "Perhaps a hundred of them have disappeared."

"And where are they, sir?" asked Frank. "At the bottom?"

"That," said Lord Hastings with a slow smile, "is the mystery the German government would like to solve... Continue reading book >>




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