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The Boy Allies with Uncle Sam's Cruisers   By: (1887-)

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Scanned by Sean Pobuda.


By Ensign Robert L. Drake



Frank Chadwick jumped from a chair in the front window and ran toward the door. A form had swung from the sidewalk along the drive that marked the entrance to Lord Hasting's London home and at sight of it Frank had uttered an exclamation. Now, as the figure climbed the steps, Frank flung open the door.

"Jack!" he exclaimed with outstretched hand. "I feared something had happened, you have been gone so long and we had heard nothing of you."

"I'm perfectly whole," laughed Jack, grasping his friend's hand. "Why, I've been gone less than two weeks."

"But you expected to be gone only a day or two."

"That's true, but a fellow can't tell what is going to happen, you know. I wasn't sure I should find you here when I returned, though."

"You probably wouldn't had you come a day later," returned Frank.

"How's that?"

"We sail tomorrow night," said Frank.

"By George! Then I'm back just in time," declared Jack. "Where bound this time?"

"I don't know exactly, but personally I believe to America."


The United States, I understand, is about to declare war on Germany. I have heard it said that immediately thereafter American troops will be sent to Europe."

"What's that got to do with our voyage?"

"I'm coming to that. There will be need, of convoys for the American transports. I believe that is the work in which we will be engaged."

"That will be first rate, for a change," said Jack.

"But come," said Frank, leading the way into the house. "Where have you been? Tell me about yourself."

"Wait, until I get a breath," laughed Jack, making himself comfortable in a big armchair. "By the way, where is Lord Hastings?"

"He is in conference with the admiralty."

"And Lady Hastings?"

"Shopping, I believe. However, both will be back before long. Now let's have an account of your adventures."

"Well, they didn't amount to much," said Jack.

"Where've you been?"

"Pretty close to Heligoland."

"What! Again?"

"Exactly. You remember how Lord Hastings came to us one day and said that the admiralty had need of a single officer at that moment, and that we both volunteered?"

"I certainly do," declared Frank, "and we drew straws to see which of us should go. I lost."

"Exactly. Well, when I reached the admiralty I found there a certain Captain Ames. I made myself known and was straightway informed that I would do as well as another. Captain Ames was in command of the British destroyer Falcon. He was bound on active duty at once, and he took me along as second in command."

"Where was he bound?" demanded Frank. "And what was the nature of the work?"

"The nature of the work," said Jack, "was to search out German mines ahead of the battleships, who were to attempt a raid of Heligoland."

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Frank. "I hadn't heard anything about that. Was the raid a success?"

"It was not," replied Jack briefly.

"Explain," said Frank.

"I'm trying to," smiled Jack. "Give me a chance, will you?"

He became silent and mused for a few moments. Then he said meditatively:

"The destroyer service might well be called the cavalry of the sea. It calls for dashing initiative, aggressiveness and courage and daring to the point of rashness. Where an officer would be justified even duty bound by navy standards to run away with a bigger and more valuable vessel, the commander of a destroyer often must close in to almost certain annihilation."

"Hm m m," said Frank slyly. "You are not feeling a bit proud of yourself, are you?"

"Oh, I'm not talking about myself," said Jack quietly. "I was thinking of a man like Captain Ames and other men of his caliber. However, I've been pretty close to death myself, and having come as close to a fellow as death did to me, I believe he'll become discouraged and quit... Continue reading book >>

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