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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: 6


They became silent as four men, two from each ship, made ready for the standing broad jump.

The jumping was superb. After eight attempts one man from each ship was eliminated; and at length the Indefatigable man won.

"Two points for us, Raleigh," said Captain Reynolds, jotting down something on the back of an envelope.

"Don't crow, we'll get you yet, Reynolds," was Captain Raleigh's reply.

The running broad jump was won by the Queen Mary's entrants. Then it was Captain Raleigh's time to smile.

"Told you so," he said to Captain Reynolds.

"Oh, you won one event last year," was the reply. "This high jump comes to us."

And it did. The score was now four to two in favor of the Indefatigable. Then came the match with foils and this also went to the Indefatigable, making the score nine to two, for this match carried five points for the winner. Also, the pistol contest and the boxing match carried five points each.

"We've got you now, Raleigh," laughed Captain Reynolds. "Nine to two. You've got to take both of the next two events to win. It can't be done."

"It has been done," was the reply.

"It won't be this time," was the reply. "I think we will win the revolver contest, for I have some pretty fair shots, but if we don't, we are sure to take the boxing match. We've a surprise for you there. Here they go."

The revolver match was on. There were three men on each team. The first mark was set, a target at twenty yards with a six-inch bull's eye. Frank fired first. He hit the bull's eye easily. So did the others, all except one of the Indefatigable crew, who was thus eliminated, much to his disgust, as the spectators jeered him.

The next shot at a smaller mark eliminated one of the Queen Mary's crew. An Indefatigable man and a Queen Mary man both missed the next mark and there remained but Frank for the Queen Mary and a man named Simpson for the Indefatigable.

The target had been removed to sixty yards and the bull's eye was but two inches. Frank fired and scored a hit. So did Simpson. Next both hit the mark ten yards farther back.

A one-inch bull's eye was substituted. Frank fired first. He scored a clean hit. Simpson also hit the eye, though not so squarely. Still it counted a hit.

Now the bull's eye was reduced to half an inch, and at seventy yards it seemed almost impossible to hit it. This time Simpson was to fire first. Carefully he took deliberate aim and fired.

A shout went up from the Queen Mary men who stood near.

"Missed it by a hair," said one. "Beat it, Chadwick! Beat it!"

"He can't beat it! Hooray! We've won!" This from the Indefatigable's crew.

"Good shooting, old man," said Frank, quietly, as he took his position.

Carefully he measured the distance with his eye.

Then he raised his revolver slowly, and seeming scarcely to take aim, fired.

And a yell went up from the Queen Mary's crew.

"Bull's eye! Bull's eye!" they cried, and danced and capered about the deck.

Frank had won. He had hit the bull's eye squarely.

The men rushed up and danced about him.

"Good work!" they cried. "Five points for us. Nine to seven now. We'll win this yet!"

Simpson approached Frank and extended a hand.

"Good shooting, son," he exclaimed.

Simpson was a man well along in years, and he put this touch of familiarity to his words to make Frank realize that they were sincere. "I used to be something of a shot myself," he said. "But I guess you are better than I ever was."

Frank took Simpson's hand.

"You would probably beat me next time," he said.

Simpson shook his head.

"Not in a thousand years," he said, and walked off.

Meantime, Captain Raleigh and Captain Reynolds were having it out.

"Told you so! Told you so!" exclaimed the former, as pleased as a boy.
"We'll beat you yet, sure."

"No, you won't, Raleigh," said Reynolds, with a wink. "I'll tell you something. Ever hear of a man named Harris?"

"Yes; I know several men by that name."

"Ever hear of Tim Harris?"

"By George! You mean Tim Harris, of the Queen Elizabeth?"

"The same."

"The champion of the British fleet, eh? You mean to tell me you have rung him in on us?"

"We didn't ring him in," was the reply. "He was transferred to the Indefatigable before the Queen Elizabeth went to the Dardanelles. We've been saving this up as a little surprise."

Captain Raleigh had lost his look of optimism.

"Then our man should be warned," he said. "He may wish to withdraw."

"It is only fair to tell him who his opponent is," agreed Captain
Reynolds. "I guess we should have done it long ago."

"I'll tell him," said Captain Raleigh.

At this moment there was a loud cheer from the crew of the Queen

"Here he comes!" they shouted.

Jack, stripped to the waist and wearing a pair of trunks, had appeared on deck. Two men accompanied him. These, it seemed, were to be his seconds. Jack caught sight of Frank and smiled.

And again the crew of the Queen Mary went wild.



The champion of the Indefatigable had not yet appeared on deck; and the crew of the Queen Mary strained their necks hunting him out.

"Bring out your champion!" they called. "What's the matter with him? Is he afraid?"

The men of the Indefatigable returned these compliments with jeers of their own.

"Oh, just wait!" they howled.

Captain Raleigh, in the meantime, had approached Jack and his seconds.

"It is only fair to warn you," he said quietly, "that the man whom you are to oppose is Tim Harris, champion of the British fleet."

Jack was surprised.

"I didn't know that, sir. I thought he was with the Queen Elizabeth."

"Well, he's here; but I didn't know it until a moment ago. It will be no dishonor to you if you wish to withdraw. A man must be in perfect trim to stand before Harris."

"Why," said Jack, in surprise, "I can hardly do that now, sir. The men are depending on me."

Captain Raleigh smiled frankly.

"You are all right, boy," he said. "At your first words I thought you were afraid. But you cannot hope for victory."

"I always hope for victory, sir, and I shall do my best. I am no novice."

"Perhaps not; but Harris is almost a professional; in fact, I may say, a good deal better than many professionals. He is fast for a man of his size and has a terrible right-hand punch. I have seen him box often. If you are decided to go on with this, a word of warning. Watch that right hand of his like you would a hawk."

"I shall remember, sir," replied Jack. "Thank you."

"All right then," said Captain Raleigh. "I like your spunk. Good luck to you."

Captain Raleigh walked back to