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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: 8

watching. Harris again was about to launch that terrible right. The lad waited calmly.


It flashed forth faster than the eye could see. But it had not come too quick for Jack, who was expecting it.

The blow was aimed for the point of the chin and would have ended the fight right there. But, judging the distance exactly, Jack moved his head a trifle to one side; and Harris' fist flashed by his chin by the fraction of an inch.

With all his force behind the blow, Jack put a straight left to Harris' jaw. A terrible jolt to the abdomen followed; and, as Harris head came forward again, Jack pivoted on his heel and struck with his right.

He had judged the time and the distance perfectly. His right fist caught Harris squarely upon the point of the chin. There was a "smack" that could be heard even above the cheering of the Queen Mary's crew, followed by a crash as Harris fell to the deck. With half a minute of the last round to go, Jack had knocked the man out and won the day for the Queen Mary by a score of twelve to nine.

And the crew cheered again!



Harris remained prostrate on the deck.

Quickly, Jack pulled off his gloves and, leaning down, he picked up the unconscious man and carried him to his own cabin. There he bathed the man's face and brought him back to consciousness.

"How do you feel, old man?" he asked.

Harris looked at the lad queerly.

"So you beat me, eh?" he said. "Well, to tell you the truth, after the fifth round I expected it. I am no match for you and I know it. Do you realize that you are the champion of the British fleet now?"

"I hadn't thought of that," was Jack's reply.

"You have defeated the champion, so your title is undisputed," said

He rose from the bunk where Jack had placed him and felt tenderly of his chin.

"Quite a wallop," he said calmly. "Well, let me congratulate you. I am glad that, as long as I had to be defeated some day, it was you who turned the trick."

He extended a hand and Jack grasped it heartily.

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

"Not a chance," replied Harris. "I know when I have met my superior."

He moved toward the door. There he paused for a moment and said:

"Well, I must go and dress now. I hope that I may see you again before long."

"I am sure I hope so, too," returned Jack.

Hardly had Harris taken his departure when running feet approached Jack's cabin. A moment later a crowd of sailors burst into the room. Before Jack realized what was going on, they had seized him, hoisted him to their shoulders and rushed out on deck again. There, for perhaps half an hour, they paraded up and down, cheering wildly.

They lowered him to the deck, however, when Captain Raleigh and Captain
Reynolds approached. The former spoke first.

"I must congratulate you upon your remarkable exhibition," he said.
"You are a brave boy."

Jack flushed and hung his head.

"When I am mistaken I admit it," said Captain Reynolds. "You are more than a match for Harris at any time."

"I did the best I could," said Jack, sheepishly.

"Well, it was pretty good," said Captain Reynolds.

With Captain Raleigh he moved away.

Frank now approached and accompanied Jack back to their cabin, where
Jack got info his uniform.

"Some scrapper, you are," said Frank. "I thought you were done for once or twice, though."

"I thought so myself," returned Jack, with a grin. "I was pretty lucky in that last round, if you ask me."

"Harris was pretty unlucky, I know that," said Frank, grimly. "Hurry up, it's time to eat."

Jack's fight was the talk of the day aboard the Queen Mary; and aboard the Indefatigable, too, for that matter. In fact, all the British fleet within wireless radius knew before night that there was a new champion of the British fleet; and they cheered him, though he could not hear.

It was upon the following morning, while the Queen Mary steamed about in the North Sea, that Jack and Frank embarked upon their first piece of work since they had been assigned to the giant battleship.

Both lads were in their cabin studying, when an orderly announced that Captain Raleigh desired their presence. They obeyed the summons at once.

"And how do you feel today?" asked Captain Raleigh, as he eyed Jack, quietly.

"First rate, sir."

"Feel like another fight?"

"No, sir. I don't make a practice of that sort of thing."

"I'm glad to hear that. How would you like to take a little trip?"

"First rate, sir. Where to, sir?"

"Well, that's rather a difficult question," returned Captain Raleigh.
"Here, read this," and he passed the lad a slip of paper.

Jack did as commanded. This is what he read:

"Large number of enemy aircraft reported flying over North Sea, fifty miles south of you, every night. Investigate.

(Signed) "BEATTY."

Jack passed the slip of paper back.

"Well?" exclaimed Captain Raleigh.

"Yes, sir," replied Jack. "You want me to find out what's going on, sir?"

"Exactly. Can you run a hydroplane?"

"No, sir; but Frank here can."


"Lieutenant Chadwick, sir."

"Oh," said the commander, "so he is Frank, eh? All right. Then here is what I want you two to do. Take the hydroplane aft and fly south. Take your time and see what you can find out. The matter may amount to nothing, and then again it may forebode something serious."

"Very well, sir," replied Frank. "When shall we start, sir?"

"You may as well start immediately. It is hardly possible, judging by the tone of that message, that you will find anything by daylight, but at least you can be on the ground by night."

"Very well, sir," said Jack, and waited to see if there were any further instructions.

Captain Raleigh dismissed the two lads with a wave of his hand.

"That is all," he said. "Report the moment you are able to do so."

The two lads saluted and returned to their own cabin.

"You see," said Frank, "we didn't have to wait very long to find something to do."

"I see we didn't," agreed Frank. "Now, the first thing to do is shed these uniforms."

"What for?"

"So that we shall not be taken for British should we fall among the enemy. We'll put on plain khaki suits."

"Well, whatever you say," said Frank.

This was the work of but a few moments; and half an hour later the two lads soared into the air in one of the Queen Mary's large hydroplanes.

"This is something like it, if you ask me," said Frank, as he bent over the wheel.

"Pretty fine," Jack agreed, raising his voice to make himself heard above the whir of the propellers and the noise of the engine. "I wouldn't mind flying all the time."

"Where do we want to come down, Jack?" asked Frank.