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قراءة كتاب The Boy Allies at Jutland; Or, The Greatest Naval Battle of History

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‏اللغة: English
The Boy Allies at Jutland; Or, The Greatest Naval Battle of History

The Boy Allies at Jutland; Or, The Greatest Naval Battle of History

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5


Rapidly, Jack swam close to the wreckage. He continued to call to the
German, and while he received an answer each time, he could not locate
the man. Twice he swam around all that remained of the huge Zeppelin.
By this time Frank had come up with him.

"Can't you find him?" he asked.

"No," returned Jack, "and I am rather afraid to swim under there. The balloon may sink and carry me under. But if I were certain in exactly what spot the man is imprisoned, I'd have a try at it."

Frank listened attentively; and directly the German's voice came again.
To Frank it seemed that the voice came from directly ahead of him.

"Lay hold of this end here," he said to Jack. "If you can lift it a bit
I'll go under and have a look."

"Better let me do it, Frank," said Jack.

"No; you're stronger than I am. You can hold this up better."

Jack did as his chum requested and a moment later Frank disappeared under the wreckage, diving first to make sure that he got under.

Under the water the lad swam forward. His hand touched something that was threshing about.

He felt sure it was the German. He rose. His head came in contact with something, but the lad opened his eyes and saw that he was above the surface. The imprisoned German was close beside him.

"Dive!" said Frank. "You can come out all right."

"Can't," was the reply. "My arm is caught."

Frank made a quick examination.

"I can loosen it," he said at last, "but I'll probably break the arm."

"Loosen it," said the German, quietly.

Frank took a firm hold on the arm at the elbow and gave a quick wrench. He felt something give, and when he released his hold on the man's arm, the latter sank suddenly.

Frank dived after him quickly. It was even as the lad feared. The German had fainted from the pain of the arm, which Frank had broken cleanly as he released it.

Frank dived deep and his outstretched hand encountered the German. The lad grasped the man firmly by the collar and then struck upwards. A moment later he succeeded in making his way to where Jack still tugged at the balloon.

Jack lent a hand and they dragged the German from beneath the wreckage. Then they towed him to the boat and other hands lifted him in. Frank and Jack clambered aboard.

"Give way!" said Jack, sharply.

The boat moved toward the battleship; and even as it did so, the mass of wreckage suddenly disappeared from sight with a loud noise.

Jack shuddered.

"Pretty close, Frank," he said quietly. "You can see what would have happened if you had still been under there."



"Can you fight?"

The speaker was a young British midshipman. Jack and Frank stood at the rail, gazing off toward the distant horizon, when the young man approached them. The lads turned quickly.

"Can you fight?" demanded the young man again. His eyes rested on Jack.

"Well," said the latter with a smile, "I can if I'm pushed to it. Who wants to lick me now?"

The young midshipman also smiled.

"It's not that kind of a fight I'm talking about," he said. "You're new aboard, so I'll explain."

"Do," said Jack.

"Well, there has been considerable rivalry between the men of our ship and the crew of the Indefatigable. We had an athletic contest last year and they beat us, carrying everything but the standing broad jump. This year we are better fortified and we hope to get even. Among other things there will be a boxing match. Jackson, that's the man we had entered in that event, is ill. I have been elected to find a substitute. I sized you up as being able to hold your own with most."

"Well, if that's the way of it, you can count me in, of course," said
Jack. "When does this come off?"

"As soon as we come up with the Indefatigable. Probably tomorrow."

"What other events are there?" asked Frank.

"Plenty," was the reply. "Besides the boxing match and standing broad jump are the running broad jump; high jumping, a match with foils and a revolver contest."

"And are your lists filled?" asked Frank.

"I believe so. Why?"

"Well, I'd like to get in the revolver contest," replied the lad. "I'm pretty handy with a gun."

"I'll see what can be done," returned the midshipman. "By the way, my name is Lawrence."

They shook hands and walked off.

"Well, that's something to liven things up a bit," said Frank.

"Yes; but I didn't know they were doing such things in time of war."

"Neither did I; but it seems they are."

It was late that evening when Lawrence again approached the two lads.

"You're in luck," he said to Frank. "We are still one man shy on our revolver team. I have named you for the place."

"Thanks," said Frank. "I'll promise to do the best I can. By the way, where is this match to take place?"

"Right here. Last year it was pulled off on the Indefatigable."

It was drawing toward night when the Queen Mary, steaming swiftly, sighted smoke upon the horizon. Two hours later she slowed down a short distance from three other vessels, which proved to be the Indefatigable, the Invincible and the Lion, the latter the flagship of Vice-Admiral Beatty.

The commanders exchanged salutations; and among other things made arrangements for the athletic contest that was to take place aboard the Queen Mary the following day. This was explained to the men.

The day's events were to begin at nine o'clock. They were to come in this order: Standing broad jump, running broad jump, high jump, foil match, revolver contest and boxing match.

"You're last on the card, Jack," said Frank, with a laugh, when they were informed of the manner in which the events were to be pulled off.

"Hope I'm last on my feet, too," said Jack, with a laugh.

"Oh, I'm not worrying about you. You'll come through with flying colors. I hope I am not nervous, though."

"You won't be," said Jack, positively. "I know you and that revolver of yours too well."

"Guess we had better turn in early so as to be fit," said Frank.

And they did, retiring several hours after mess.

Every man aboard the Queen Mary was astir bright and early the following morning. Each man was filled with enthusiasm and each was ready to wager his next year's pay on the outcome of each event. But there was to be no gambling. Admiral Beatty had issued orders to that effect.

At eight o'clock the championship entrants from the Indefatigable came aboard, accompanied by many of their companions, who would be present to cheer them on. Officers as well as men were greatly interested in the day's sports. Admiral Beatty could not be present, but Captain Reynolds, of the Indefatigable, stood by Captain Raleigh, of the Queen Mary, as the first event was called.

"We're going to get even with you this time, Reynolds," said Captain

"Oh, no you won't. The score will be two in our favor after