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The Boy Allies in the Balkan Campaign Or, the Struggle to Save a Nation   By: (1887-)

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THE BOY ALLIES IN THE BALKAN CAMPAIGN

OR

The Struggle to Save a Nation

By CLAIR W. HAYES

AUTHOR OF "The Boy Allies in Great Peril," "The Boy Allies at LiƩge," "The Boy Allies on the Firing Line," "The Boy Allies with the Cossacks," "The Boy Allies in the Trenches."

1916

CHAPTER I.

IN THE AIR.

"And how do you feel now, Mr. Stubbs?"

Hal Paine took his eyes from the distance ahead long enough to gaze toward that part of the military aeroplane in which three other figures were seated. It might rather be said, however, that two of the others were seated, for the third figure was huddled up in a little ball, now and then emitting feeble sounds.

In response to Hal's question, this huddled figure straightened itself up long enough to make reply.

"I feel sick," came the answer in a low voice. "How long before we can get back to earth, so that I may die peacefully?"

"Oh, I guess you won't die, Mr. Stubbs," said Hal, chuckling a bit to himself.

He turned his eyes ahead again and gave his entire attention to guiding the swiftly flying craft.

The first streak of dawn had appeared in the east but a few moments before and gradually now it was growing light. High in the air, it was very chilly and those in the aeroplane had drawn their coats closely about them.

"Where do you suppose we are now, Hal?"

This speaker was another of the passengers in the car, Chester Crawford, chum and bosom companion of Hal.

"Somewhere over Central Austria," replied Hal, not taking his eyes from ahead.

"I would rather that it were over Serbia, Montenegro or Greece," said the fourth occupant of the airship, Colonel Harry Anderson of His British Majesty's service. "I'm beginning to get a little cramped up here. I'd like to stretch my legs a bit."

"You won't ever stretch them again, you may be sure of that," said a hollow voice, none other than that of Anthony Stubbs, American war correspondent, who now aroused himself enough to predict dire results.

"What?" said Colonel Anderson. "And why won't I ever stretch my legs again?"

"The undertaker'll do it for you," groaned Stubbs. "This contraption is bound to come down pretty quick and when it does it'll be all off."

"Can't see why that should worry you any," remarked the colonel cheerfully. "It won't be your funeral."

"No, but I'll have one at about the same time," Stubbs moaned. "I go down when you do."

He raised his voice a trifle. "Let's go down, Hal," he continued. "I'm awfully sick."

"Go down nothing," ejaculated Chester. "Think we want to give the Austrians another chance at us, huh?"

"Better be shot by an Austrian than to die in this infernal machine," declared Stubbs in a feeble voice.

"This," said Chester calmly, "is an airship and not an infernal machine."

"Well, it's my idea of an infernal machine, all the same," Stubbs groaned. "We'll all come down in pieces, as sure as you're a foot high."

"Oh, I guess not," said Chester. "We whoa, there."

He broke off suddenly and seized the side of the machine, as did Colonel Anderson, just as the craft tilted dangerously to one side.

"Help!" came a cry from Stubbs, as he went rolling toward the side of the craft.

There appeared to be no danger that the little man would be thrown out, for the sides of the basket like craft protected him, but he was plainly frightened and Chester gave him a hand, now that the machine had righted itself again.

"It's all right, Stubbs," the lad said; "no danger at all. Sit up, now."

The little man shook off the hand.

"I don't want to sit up," he whimpered. "I want to jump overboard and end all this suspense. I might as well die now as ten minutes from now. Oh my, I wish "

"Well, Mr. Stubbs," came Hal's voice, "unless I miss my guess, you are likely to get your wish... Continue reading book >>




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