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Title: Two American Boys with the Dardanelles Battle Fleet

Author: Sherman Crockett

Illustrator: Charles L. Wrenn

Release date: January 24, 2020 [eBook #61225]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Demian Katz, Craig Kirkwood, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (Images
courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University



The two American boys realized that they were in touch with one of the grandest combats the world had ever known.—Page 107

Dardanelles Battle Fleet





Copyright, 1916,



I.Aboard the Greek Powerboat5
II.The Gun Runner17
III.The Threatening Peril27
IV.How the Trick Worked41
V.Contraband of War53
VI.In the Glow of the Searchlight65
VII.Aboard the Battleship Thunderer77
VIII.Bombarding the Turkish Forts89
IX.The Battle in the Straits101
X.Amidst the Crash of Big Guns113
XI.Where History was being Made125
XII.After Darkness Fell137
XIII.Headed for the Gallipoli Shore149
XIV.Landing Under Fire161
XV.The Gallant Territorials173
XVI.A Colonel of the “Kangaroos”185
XVII.To Surprise the Turks197
XVIII.The Battle for the Trenches210[4]
XIX.After the Fight was over222
XX.Starting on a Dangerous Trip237
XXI.The Hidden Battery on the Shore247
XXII.Perils of the Trail262
XXIII.With the New Zealand Contingent272
XXIV.An Attack that Failed287
XXV.Found at Last299


Two American Boys with the
Dardanelles Battle Fleet.


“This old Greek powerboat seems to be making pretty fair time, isn’t it, Amos?”

“It certainly is, Jack, which fact gives me a whole lot of solid satisfaction, I tell you.”

“Lucky for us the water happens to be fairly smooth this spring. They say the Ægean Sea can kick up a lively circus when it takes the notion.”

“The old stories told of the Greek mariners prove that. You know, Jack, we’re fairly surrounded by places that have been made famous in ancient history.”

“Right you are, Amos, and I reckon the Straits of the Dardanelles, that in the days of Leander used to be called the Hellespont, is one of the most noted sheets of water in the wide world.


“Yes, dozens of old-time cities like ancient Troy were situated around the Sea of Marmora. The Persians crossed the straits when they tried so hard to conquer brave little Macedonia and Thrace. Then there was Alexander the Great, who led his wonderful army into Asia by the same route. I guess you could talk for hours about the thrilling events that have taken place along the Dardanelles.

“And now, Amos, to think that in these modern days the Turk is ably defending the water road to Constantinople against his one-time friends and backers, the British and French.

“Times have changed, Amos, and I reckon the Turk is on his way to scuttle out of Europe at last. He came from Asia, you know. Constantinople wasn’t founded by the followers of Mahomet, but taken as a prize of war.”

“Well,” answered Amos, “I only hope that this time we’ll be lucky enough to find my brother Frank. We’ve made two attempts back in Belgium and France, and arrived just in time to[7] learn he had been sent to other fields where skilled airmen were badly needed.”

“Three is often the lucky number, Amos, and somehow I’ve got a hunch that this time we’re bound to run across your brother, who has done such good work for the Allies.”

“I hope so, Jack, I certainly hope so; and one thing sure, I’ll never forget the splendid way you’ve shared my fortunes, no matter how dark they seemed. You’re a cousin and a chum in a million.”

“Forget all that, please, Amos. I’m straining my eyes through this glass in hopes of picking up some sign of land ahead beyond that island yonder; or perhaps seeing the smudge of smoke from the Allies’ battleships on the hazy horizon. Here, take a look, and let me know if you can make out anything.”

Perhaps it might be just as well, while the two manly-looking American lads on board the big Greek powerboat are thus engaged, to go a little into details, and explain who they are. It is necessary, also, that the reader know what[8] strange mission took them into the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean while the world war was in progress.

Of course, those readers who have had the privilege of enjoying the two previous volumes of this series[1] do not need an introduction to Jack and Amos, since they have already followed the pair through many extraordinary adventures when near the firing line in Belgium and Northern France.

There are, however, doubtless others who are making the acquaintance of the two chums for the first time in these pages, and for their sake a brief explanation is necessary.

Amos Turner and Jack Maxfield were not only related through ties of blood, being cousins, but for a long time they had been the most devoted of chums. Blue-eyed Jack had spent some time on a Western ranch, and learned many things there through actual experience that his friend knew only in theory, although Amos had been[9] for some time interested in the Boy Scout movement.

The boy with the dark eyes lived near Chicago, and his father, Colonel Rodney Turner, was known as an ex-military man whose book on tactics had been used throughout the English-speaking world. The stern martinet had traveled extensively, and in this way became personally acquainted with a number of soldiers of world-wide reputation.

There was an older brother, Frank Bradford Turner, a bright boy, but inclined at one time to be wild (and was sometimes called Tom, a nickname of early days). When the old gentleman missed a pocketbook, which he remembered distinctly of having placed in a desk drawer where he kept his papers, he fully believed Frank had given way to temptation and taken it.

The boy had simply denied ever seeing it, but the circumstances were so very suspicious that it ended in a quarrel, and his being sent away from home.

Frank had not been seen by any one for several[10] years, and must have grown to manhood, for he was ten years older than Amos.

Then, one day, an astonishing discovery was made in the Turner home. The drawer of the Colonel’s desk became wedged, and, being now in failing health, he called in Amos to get it out, and oil the edges so it might work smoother.

Amos, discovering that one or two papers had been dragged off the top of the pile in taking the drawer out, thrust his hand into the cavity to capture them, and immediately held up the long-missing pocketbook. It had fallen off in opening the drawer, and was never stolen after all.

Remorse began immediately to gnaw at the old soldier’s heart. He called himself all manner of names, and was suffering keenly, under the belief that he would now never see his oldest born again.

It was learned, through accident, that Frank had traveled in African wilds with a noted explorer. Then, later on, in England, he had taken to aviation, and made a practical air pilot of himself.[11] They even discovered that he had offered his services to the British Government at the outbreak of hostilities, and was even then engaged in his hazardous calling somewhere along the front.

Since the Colonel himself was in too feeble a state of health to think of going across the ocean to look for his wronged boy, Amos proposed that he and Jack undertake the sacred duty. And so they started, well supplied with money, and bearing besides a letter to General Kitchener, who had been, at one time, while in Egypt, a great friend of Colonel Turner, a man whose system of tactics he admired highly.

Meeting the “man of destiny,” upon whom England was placing most of her faith in this terrible crisis, the boys had no difficulty in securing from him a paper that later on smoothed over many difficulties they chanced to encounter while in the fighting zone.

Dozens of times they had made petty officials stare when they saw what a strong endorsement these American lads carried. Often men high in[12] military authority had virtually made a salute at sight of the letter actually penned by Kitchener of Khartoum, whose name was a sign manual wherever men wore the khaki of the British army, as well as the Territorials, as the men from Canada, Australia and New Zealand were called.

After encountering many perils, all of which have been entertainingly described in previous pages, the boys had actually hit upon a strong clue. They heard about the astonishingly daring work of an Allied aviator named Frank Bradford, who, besides other feats, had made a long flight up into the Rhine country and severely damaged some ammunition stores and works of the Germans, returning in safety through dangers without limit.

The more the two lads investigated and asked questions the more firmly Amos became convinced that this Frank Bradford, winning fame as the most skillful of all the Allied air pilots, could be no other than his long-missing brother. For some reason of his own, Frank had chosen to be known by only a portion of his real name;[13] but the descriptions tallied with the remembrance Amos had of his brother.

They had followed the trail from Belgium over into Northern France, and had high hopes of coming upon the object of their long search there; but only met with still another disappointment. Aviators were sorely needed in the region of the Dardanelles, where the Allied fleet was trying to force a passage through the narrow channel that led to the Sea of Marmora, and Constantinople. This peninsula was being desperately defended by an army of Turks, officered by hundreds of expert Germans, and with scores of forts and batteries to hold the assailants in check.

Frank had just a short time before started for the East, and thither, as soon as they could get aboard a steamer at Boulogne, the two boys followed him. They touched at Italy, and from there managed to get to a seaport in Greece, where the real difficulties of the undertaking began to confront them.

Just when they were ready to give up all hope[14] of finding a chance to take passage on any sort of boat, and were even contemplating trying to purchase a small naphtha launch of some sort, they learned that a large powerboat was starting for some Turkish port. The commander, who went under the name of Captain Zenos, agreed to take them somewhere near the scene of operations, when they could find some way of getting in touch with British Headquarters, and learning what they wished to know about Frank Bradford.

They had been for some time passing cautiously among the numerous islands of the famous Ægean Sea, and were heading for the Gallipoli Peninsula that lies between it and the heavily fortified Dardanelles Straits.

After using the glass which his chum had handed him, Amos declared that it began to look as though they might be heading for the island mentioned.

“We are, by this time,” he went on to say, “getting somewhere near our destination, and, since we have paid in advance, I’ve been wondering[15] whether the captain might not mean to land us at any old place, just to get rid of us.”

Jack glanced around before replying, as though to make certain there was no chance of his being overheard. At the time it happened that the crew of seven dark-faced and brawny Greeks were engaged in doing something up forward, under the supervision of their captain, so that Jack felt perfectly free to speak what he had on his mind.

“I’ve been meaning to mention a certain matter for some time, Amos, and it strikes me there’s no use holding it back any longer,” he said, half under his breath.

“Is it about Captain Zenos, Jack?” immediately demanded the other, who doubtless must have noticed the cautious look his companion gave toward the skipper and rough crew of the big powerboat that was churning the water so noisily.

“Just what it is,” came the immediate reply. “To tell you the honest truth, Amos, I don’t like the man’s looks any too well. He watches us[16] from time to time as if he meant to play us some sort of mean trick. We must keep our eyes open, or something not down on the bills may happen to us pretty soon.”



“But what do you think of the grizzled old chap?” asked Amos, managing to snatch a look at the skipper as he spoke.

“I can give only a guess at the most,” admitted Jack. “These Greeks have always been good sailors and regular water-dogs. You know how we have read about their exploits in ancient history. Scylla and Charybdis, the rock and the whirlpool, were among their most feared enemies, not to speak of the mermaids, who combed their long hair and sang to the sailors, trying to entice them to drop overboard and make love to them. As for Captain Zenos, I’m afraid he’s something of a bold adventurer.”

“I’ve thought, myself, he had the free-and-easy look of a regular buccaneer, with those rings in his ears, and that red handkerchief about his head,” said Amos. “As long as he carried out[18] his contract with us I made up my mind it was really no business of ours, even if he turned out to be a pirate.”

“But watch him look over this way every little while, and you’ll feel that he’s got us on his mind. I think, Amos, he’s concluded we’re English boys, and, as some of these Greek sailors are apt to be hand in glove with the Turks, perhaps he may be plotting to hand us over to the enemy, expecting to profit thereby.”

“Whew! I wonder now!” whiffed Amos, as though the idea rather staggered him.

“Of course, as I said before, it’s pretty much all guess work with me,” Jack repeated, “but I’ve been fairly successful in reading faces. Honestly, if you asked me what I thought of our skipper, I’d say he might be a man who would turn on his best friend, if the pay was big enough.”

“I wish we knew the truth,” muttered Amos. “We might do something to put a peg in his nice little game. Each of us is carrying a shooting-iron now, for self-defense, even though we decided not to go armed when near the firing line,[19] for fear of being roughly handled in case we fell into the hands of the Germans, as almost happened several times.”

“We must keep on our guard and watch out for treachery,” said Jack. “This happens to be one of those times when ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.’”

“Yes, and I’ll match your proverb with another when I say that ‘forewarned is forearmed.’ If that old chap wants to get the better of two wide-awake American boys like us he must rise pretty early in the morning, that’s all.”

“Listen, Amos. I was just wondering what sort of a cargo they have down below.”

“Well, up to this minute, I’ve never bothered my head about that part of it,” admitted the other. “All I knew was that it’s carefully covered over with tarpaulins, so that the water can’t get at it. I took it for granted they were carrying bags of flour, or something in the way of food, to Smyrna, and would fetch back figs or oranges, or some other fruit grown around there.”


“It might turn out we’d be able to get a line on Captain Zenos if only we knew what his cargo consisted of,” suggested Jack, softly yet significantly.

Amos started, and looked into his chum’s blue eyes.

“Ginger! does that mean you suspect him of being what might be called a blockade runner?” he asked in a hushed tone.

“Something along those lines,” asserted Jack. “Look him over again and tell me if you could ever imagine a better specimen of a daring adventurer. Doesn’t his every movement and expression say that Captain Zenos has spent the better part of his life dodging customs officers as a smuggler, or something like that?”

“Honest, Jack, I do believe you are right. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think of several things I’ve noticed, and I agree with you. The old Greek skipper has all the ear-marks of a bold adventurer. The chances are he’s as unscrupulous as he is daring.”

“Then it strikes me we ought to be doing something[21] before it’s too late, so as to find out what sort of a boat we’ve taken passage on,” Jack suggested, quietly.

“By demanding that he tell us, do you mean?” asked Amos.

“Well, hardly,” came the reply. “That would only hurry him along, I’m afraid. But there’s another way to find out. I might watch my chance and make an effort to see what lies under those snug tarpaulins down below!”

Amos gave a slight whistle, which was one of his customary ways of indicating surprise.

“Not a bad scheme, Jack, sure it isn’t, only I don’t see why you wouldn’t let me do the prowling around.”

“It was my idea, and you must expect me to be the one to do the job,” he was told, although at the same time Jack favored him with a smile of appreciation, for he knew just how willing Amos always was to undertake any manner of task, regardless of the labor involved or the peril that threatened.

“If, as you suspect, they turn out to be blockade[22] runners, Jack, perhaps they mean to hide behind that island yonder until dark comes on, when they can slip past the torpedo-boat lines, and land their stuff.”

“As like as not,” agreed Jack. “As there’s no time to be lost, I reckon I might slip my cable right now while they’re all so busy up forward, and see if it’s possible to get a line on that mysterious cargo.”

“Good luck to you then,” Amos told him. “But before you go, give me some idea of what you want me to do in case I learn the captain suspects you and acts.”

“I hope that isn’t going to happen,” said Jack. “It would precipitate a crisis. I’d rather wait until it gets dark, when we might manage to slip the boat loose they are towing behind, and get to the land in it.”

“But what if discovery does come about?” persisted Amos.

“In that case there’s only one thing for you to do,” explained Jack; “stop the captain from coming down on top of me, even if you have to[23] cover him with your gun. Then give our old signal, and I’ll be alongside in a jiffy.”

“All right, I’ll remember, though, like you, I certainly hope he won’t notice your absence, or, if he does, he may think you’ve just stepped back in the little cabin for something. I say that, to tell you the honest truth, I don’t like the idea of trying to offstand that ferocious sea-dog. He might rush me, and then I’d have to pull trigger, you know. So-long, Jack. Be back as soon as you can.”

“You may depend on that,” he was told, and with that Jack disappeared.

Amos continued to stand there, using the glass, and, occasionally, when he thought the skipper might be looking his way, he would turn and speak as though conversing with his chum, who apparently was lying down and beyond the range of Captain Zenos’ vision.

It was really very cleverly arranged by Amos, and did him much credit. Possibly only for this scheme he put into play the skipper may have become suspicious and advanced toward him to[24] learn where Jack had gone to, which act would have precipitated a crisis.

A few minutes passed.

Amos had become intensely interested in a black smudge which, through his powerful binoculars, he had just discovered on the horizon. He found himself wondering what kind of vessel was leaving that low trail of smoke behind it. Was it a dreadnaught carrying the British Union Jack or just a transport bearing more forces of the Allies to help beat a way through the rock-bound strait that barred the route to Constantinople?

The captain and crew were still engaged forward, though occasionally the former would think to glance in the direction where his young passenger stood, glass in hand. Amos never forgot to carry out his scheme and make a great show of speaking to some one close by.

He had reason to believe that the little game quite deceived the skipper, for, to the boy’s relief, Captain Zenos made no effort to approach him[25] on some plea or other, but really to investigate.

Why was Jack so long, Amos asked himself, and then decided it was his own impatience that made the seconds seem like minutes. Jack had to proceed with a due amount of caution; and, having accomplished his purpose, he might be expected back at any time now.

Even as Amos told himself this he heard a slight movement behind him, and, turning, discovered his chum. The first thing that struck him as particularly suggestive was the sober look on Jack’s face.

“He has found something out, that’s sure,” Amos told himself, with a sensation akin to a shiver running over his system; but it was the thrill of excitement and not fear that caused him to grit his teeth in expectancy.

In another minute Jack was beside him again.

“Give me the glass, and be pointing something out,” said the latter. “He’s watching us. Yes, I can see that smoke low down on the horizon; and the chances are it’s made by a British battleship going to or coming from the island where we[26] understand they do all their repairs after being struck and damaged.”

“Did you find out anything?” asked the eager Amos.

“I sure did,” he was told.

“And the cargo they’ve got hidden under the canvas tarpaulins, Jack?”

“Consists of guns and ammunition, as well as big shells, Amos! Fact is, we’re aboard a gun runner carrying arms to the Turks!”



The importance of the news rather staggered Amos. He held his breath for nearly half a minute before venturing to say anything.

“That sounds pretty lively, take it from me, Jack. Guns and shells, you say, for the Turks on Gallipoli Peninsula?”

“Yes, and there’s much ammunition besides, powder and rifle cartridges. They must be using those up at a terribly rapid rate,” declared Jack.

“If a lighted match happened to be thrown carelessly under that lot of tarpaulins, an explosion would follow, eh, Jack?”

“I guess what’s passing through that rapid-fire brain of yours, Amos, but unless we’re attacked we really have no right to do anything as serious as that. You must remember that we’re neutral in this war.”

“Huh! we may be so far as the Germans and[28] Austrians are concerned,” grumbled Amos, “but it’s a different thing with the Turks. Every hand in Europe has at times been raised against them. England saved them from being kicked out of Constantinople more than once. And when I see British and French soldiers scrapping with the dark-skinned Turk, I’m just bound to take sides, no matter what anybody says.”

“It must be in the blood,” admitted Jack. “Like father, like son, and after all you’ve got the soldier’s instinct handed down to you.”

“But tell me, Jack, if you’ve guessed it by now, why should the Greeks want to send all this ammunition over there, when the chances are before long they’ll be in the swim, too, and with the Allies as side partners?”

“Oh! it isn’t the Greeks as a people who do this underhand business,” the other explained. “You’ll always find some men ready to take risks when they see a big profit in the gun-running game. You know, Germany hasn’t been able to get as much ammunition across Roumania and Bulgaria as the Turks need; and so some of the[29] German secret agents in Greece have organized a regular fleet of these big powerboats to carry cargoes through the lines of the Allies.”

“If they’re held up it would be a bad job for the skippers I reckon, Jack?”

“No question about it. They might be stood against a wall and shot.”

“But if the captain had this big game up his sleeve,” questioned Amos, who always wanted an explanation, “why should he bother taking a couple of American boys aboard, and perhaps spoil his other work?”

“The big sum we offered tempted him in the first place, I suppose,” explained Jack. “Then, with a crew of seven men, not counting himself, he took it for granted they could do what they liked with us.”

“You mean chuck us ashore on some measly little island in this Ægean Sea, to be marooned, goodness knows for how long?” suggested Amos.

“Perhaps that was the plan, and the island ahead of us the place selected for carrying out[30] the plot. But Amos, for all we know he may have figured on taking us as prisoners ashore on the Peninsula, and handing us over to the Turks as English boys.”

“The dickens you say!” grumbled Amos, shaking his head, upset by the thought. “If I felt sure he had that idea passing through his head, I’d say we ought to do something to foil his plans, and right away in the bargain.”

“Well, I’ve evolved a scheme that may give us the boat,” was the staggering remark made by Jack. It fairly took Amos’ breath away.

“Then let me hear it, please, Jack. They’re still working in the bow there, and we’ve got some time to ourselves. The man at the wheel keeps us heading in the direction of that island, and it’s got something to do with their plans. They mean to either drop us ashore there and maroon us, or else lie to behind until the night wears on, when they can slip past the guard line of patrol boats.”

“When I was down below,” explained Jack, “it struck me what a commotion there would be[31] aboard if smoke was suddenly discovered coming up out of the hold!”

“Oh! my stars! I should say so!” gasped Amos, looking startled. “If, as you say, the cargo is made up of high explosives, we would be shot up into the clouds, and none of us would ever know what had happened. But are you thinking of blowing up the old boat, Jack?”

“Well, not exactly,” was the reply, “but it might answer the same purpose if we could make the crew believe they were in danger of being scattered to the four winds. I think most of them would jump overboard and start swimming for the island we’re getting so close to.”

Amos began to chuckle. Evidently the humorous side of the thing struck him fully.

“Say, wouldn’t that be a great joke though, Jack, if we could scare the bunch into abandoning the boat! Why, what would hinder us from running it, and in the end turning the stuff over to the Allies?”

“You like the idea, then, do you?” questioned Jack.


“It’s a jolly good scheme, let me tell you, if only it could be worked out,” Amos assented—not doubtfully, either, for he had infinite faith in anything his chum attempted to do.

“Leave that part of it to me, Amos. I know just how I can fix things so that in a short time smoke, heavy, black smoke, will ooze out of the hold, though there’ll not be the least danger of an explosion.”

“Then, Jack, since we’ve decided that it’s a case of biting or being bitten, please get busy as quick as you can. I’m fairly wild to see what happens when that smoke is discovered. We must act as if we’re half frightened to death, even if we’re not supposed to know the nature of the cargo under our feet.”

Jack took another look around him. The island came in for a considerable share of his attention, for if there was to be a sudden exodus of captain and crew belonging to the powerboat, that was the only place to which they could go.

The afternoon was near its end and already the shades of approaching night had commenced[33] to creep forth. He could see some slender masts outlined against the sky-line above one part of the land, and concluded there must be a small bay there, possibly a Greek village, and in which shelter from the storms that sweep the Mediterranean in the spring season of the year, these small fishing boats might be safe from damage.

“Listen!” cautioned Amos.

Both of them strained their ears to catch the distant grumble as of thunder that came over the water.

“It seems to come from the northeast, as near as I can make it out,” remarked Jack, presently.

“It must be the sound of the monster guns of a dreadnaught engaging some of the Turkish batteries or forts along the Dardanelles,” ventured the second lad.

“As like as not we’re listening to the sixteen-inch guns carried by the super-dreadnaught Queen Elizabeth,” admitted Jack. “I forget how many dozen miles they claim you can hear the sound, but it’s a long ways. Mark the location well, Amos.”


“That’s right,” added the other, with a wide smile, “because if later on we do the piloting of this craft we’ll want to know our course, so as to strike the line of guard-ships off the end of the Gallipoli Peninsula.”

They stood and listened as the strange complaining grumble came stealing again over the swelling sea. Perhaps, in that moment, both boys could see, in imagination, the great battleship wreathed in smoke after the discharge of a monster gun. Somehow the very thought thrilled them, for they had been anticipating just such a sight as this for some time now.

“Well, we may never have another chance as good as this,” remarked Jack, presently, in a singularly calm voice, which showed how completely he had control of his nerves; “so, perhaps, I’d better be ‘making hay while the sun shines.’”

“You’re away off there, Jack, because the sun has dropped behind the level horizon, and there’s only a glow to tell where he vanished. I’ll stand guard here and see that no one surprises you at work. But for the life of me I can’t guess how[35] you’re going to make smoke, and run no danger of fire.”

“Oh! that’s easy,” chuckled Jack. “I’ve made too many a smudge to keep the skeeters off when in the open not to know the ropes. Just wait and see what happens.”

He was gone almost as soon as he had spoken the last word, and once more Amos began to sweep the horizon with his binoculars, as though eager to pick up some distant spot that would prove to be a vessel. It was becoming more and more difficult to make anything out, on account of the haze that extended with the coming of evening; but as we know, the main object Amos had in mind was to deceive the skipper, whenever he glanced that way.

Fainter grew the glow in the western sky. The far-off booming had also died away, so the only sounds that reached his ear consisted of the loud voice of the Greek captain berating his men for not doing something as he wished it.

Jack had been gone some little time, and Amos began to worry about him. It would really be[36] too bad if, after all, the plan which he had considered so brilliant should be ruined by a sudden movement on the part of the skipper. They were nearly through their job, whatever it was, and the captain as well as the man who attended to all the cooking were likely to approach Amos.

If they saw Jack come up out of the hold they would instantly guess he had been prying around down there and making discoveries that had not been intended for the eyes of the two young passengers.

“Gee! I wish he would hurry,” Amos kept saying to himself, as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other, then looked around to see if Captain Zenos was observing him, and upon finding that it was so, immediately pointed off somewhere as though showing his chum some object the glass had brought to his attention.

Just when Amos was giving up all hope of their being able to carry out the little scheme, once more he heard a rustling sound close by, and knew that Jack had crawled up out of the open hatch.


Fortunately this gap could not be seen by those forward, nor was the man at the wheel able to keep his eye upon it, thanks to a stack of empty crates that were possibly being returned to fruit shippers around Smyrna—at least that was what the boys had been told, though they now believed it to be a mere subterfuge calculated to divert suspicion from the real errand of the big Greek powerboat.

Jack was breathing hard as though he had rushed matters somewhat. Amos felt glad to have his chum once more at his right hand, for he had come to depend on the executive ability of Jack more than ever of late.

“Is the train laid, you black conspirator?” he asked eagerly.

“Yes, and given five minutes more you’ll see it come up with a rush,” he was told by Jack.

“All I can say is that you beat the Dutch when it comes to arranging things like this. And, Jack, whether the skipper comes back here or not doesn’t matter much any more, does it?”

“I think that’s just what is going to happen[38] before many minutes,” announced the late hard worker, as he wiped his forehead, as the evening was warm. “Come, while we have half a chance, let’s move further away from the hatch. I’d like to be well off when the discovery is made that the boat’s afire!”

“Whew! I bet there’s going to be a whole lot of excitement around here to the square inch before long,” muttered Amos. “I’m going to whoop it up good and hearty too, when the row begins. The more noise we make the bigger will be the scare, it strikes me.”

They managed to edge along a little at a time, when no one was looking, so that presently they were able to come to a stand further away from the open hatch, from the edge of the coaming of which the cargo, covered with heavy tarpaulins, could be seen below.

“They’re making a move now, as if they meant to scatter,” reported Amos.

“Yes, and the captain together with the cook have started this way,” Jack ventured. “Look for something not down on the bills to happen at[39] any second, for I reckon my smudge is about due to show itself all at once.”

Amos tried hard to suppress his feelings. He was afraid those keen orbs of the old Greek skipper might read the secret in his glowing eyes, so he once again clapped the glasses up to his face and appeared to be scanning the sea beyond the nearby island as though in search of something.

Still he knew when the captain and the cook drew near the spot where he and his chum stood. If only the discovery might be made just at that critical moment, Amos believed it would count for a good deal more than if they were forced to call out a little later and bring the skipper on deck.

All at once he heard a loud outcry. It was the cook who uttered it, and as the two boys turned quickly to see what he meant they discovered the sailor pointing toward the open hatch, his whole manner telling of sudden fear.

Then the boys whirled around to see what had so startled the sailor, who knew the explosive[40] character of the cargo in the hold, since not even a lighted pipe had been allowed near the opening.

Well, Jack’s plan had apparently worked all right, for out of the hold rolled a curling billow of black smoke. How Jack had contrived to create all this Amos could not for the life of him understand; nor was that the time or place to ask questions. He simply remembered what he had said his plan would be, and at sight of that column of smoke he let out a yell that would have shamed some of those wild cowboy friends with whom Jack, mounted on half-tamed bronchos, once upon a time had been wont to race over the plains.



“Fire! Fire!” whooped Amos, showing the most intense excitement, for if there was any chance to add to the confusion of the moment he meant to do it.

He had but one object in view, which was to so fill the Greek crew with consternation that they would, to a man, leap overboard, and leave the apparently doomed vessel to their erstwhile passengers.

The plan began immediately to show signs of bearing fruit. As has been said before, the crew knew full well what sort of a dangerous cargo they were carrying. High explosives have a habit of going off when brought in contact with a tongue of flame. When, therefore, they saw the black smoke pouring out of the hold their first thought was that, in a few seconds, there would come a terrific crash, and the powerboat[42] would be scattered in atoms over the surface of the sea.

Their loud cries of alarm rang out, as the boys had anticipated. One who by some chance was close to the rail instantly plunged overboard, vanishing under the water like a stone, and doubtless bent on keeping there as long as he could hold his breath, meanwhile swimming desperately away from the still moving craft.

A second and yet a third man saw him go, and evidently thought that the only way out of the fix, for they started to imitate his example.

Not so the skipper, who was evidently made of different stuff. The boys in commenting on his determined looks had not guessed far from wrong when they decided that Captain Zenos was a reckless customer who had run many a blockade for the sake of gain, just as he was now trying to get guns and ammunition to the sorely pressed Turks on Gallipoli Peninsula.

He saw the smoke just as soon as the rest of the crew, but instead of thinking of his safety,[43] the old sea dog’s first idea was to try and save the boat and cargo, even at great personal risk.

What he shouted in his lion-like voice the boys did not know, not being proficient Greek scholars. They could give a pretty good guess, however, that he was roaring out orders to his men to follow him into the hold and try to put out the fire that had so mysteriously broken out when they were off their guard.

He made direct for the open hatch from which that dense smoke oozed. Three men followed on his heels, being possibly the possessors of the same reckless nature as himself, or else descendants of those old-time Spartans who would obey orders from their superiors blindly, no matter if they had to charge into the very jaws of death.

Jack was observing all this with the most intense interest. He even noted that the man at the wheel stuck to his duty. From this fact he supposed the skipper had not forgotten him when roaring out his orders, and that he had been[44] directed to stay where he was, come what may.

There were three in the water by now, and doubtless all making desperately for the nearby shore of the island, anxious to put many fathoms between themselves and the doomed craft before the terrible explosion came.

Captain Zenos snatched up a bucket that stood near. Leaning over the rail he flung it downward and once more he drew it up filled to the brim with salt water.

Each of the three sailors followed his example with exact precision, like men who knew the value of obedience in an emergency. By this time the skipper had reached the open hatch. That dense smoke showed no signs of abating; in fact, if anything, it was oozing forth in greater volume than ever, thanks to Jack’s clever arrangements below.

That dense smoke showed no signs of abating.—Page 44

One last look the valiant skipper gave around, as if to make sure that his crew had not entirely deserted him. Then without the slightest hesitation he plunged into the opening and vanished from view.


Jack and Amos could not repress cries of sincere admiration. If they had from some instinctive reason disliked the battle-scarred old veteran of the blockade and gun-running game, they now admired his great nerve. Evidently, with all his faults, and they were many, Captain Zenos could never be accused of cowardice.

One, two, three figures took the drop after him, not one of the trio showing the slightest hesitation. Perhaps these men had long been associated with the owner of the big powerboat, and imbibed a full share of his daring.

The tail-end man did take a look around before dropping out of sight, and Jack imagined he felt he might be saying good-by to the bright world, for it certainly did seem as though the chances were ten to one they might never come forth again.

As far as it went this was all very fine. Three were in the water madly racing for the shore of the island; another trio had accompanied the leader below; and the last member of the crew stood by the wheel, though the speed of the boat[46] had been reduced until she was now beginning to pass but slowly through the twilight sea.

But Jack realized that as soon as those groping through the dense smoke below found that its source lay in a galvanized bucket, and that the smudge had apparently been created for some distinct purpose, their suspicions would be immediately aroused.

Since they would speedily come pouring forth as furious as could be and turn upon the two boys for an explanation of the trick, it was up to Jack and Amos to prevent such an unhappy consummation.

“The hatch—we must clap it on, and batten the same down!” cried Jack.

Even as he spoke he was jumping toward the smoke cloud, with Amos close at his heels. What few words Jack had spoken revealed the plan of campaign to his comrade, who was only too ready to assist in the deal.

The man at the wheel must have stared hard at seeing the two boys thus start forward instead of jumping overboard like those others had[47] done. Perhaps he even gave them credit for the same species of sublime courage that the skipper possessed. When, presently, he saw what they were doing, astonishment kept him from trying to interfere until it was too late to do any good.

Seizing hold of the heavy hatch, the two boys managed to throw it into place. There was means for securing it so that even if great waves swept over the low deck of the powerboat they could hardly tear the hatch loose, and flood the hold.

Thanks to his habit of observation, Jack knew all about this, and also how the fastenings were applied. Amos, taking his cue from his comrade, also gave such assistance as lay in his power; and between them they speedily managed to accomplish their desired end.

Hardly had they succeeded in doing this than there came heavy pounding on the other side of the hatch. Evidently the skipper had learned how he had been made the victim of what he would call a “scurvy trick”; and was fairly wild[48] to force a way out of the hold, so that he could punish those responsible for it.

Jack had not forgotten the man at the wheel, who had it in his power, should the inclination come to him, to injure the engine of the boat in some way, so as to prevent any further progress.

As this would be greatly to the disadvantage of the two comrades, Jack did not mean to permit the man to have the least chance of carrying out his intention.

Leaving Amos standing by the battened hatch, pistol in hand, Jack rushed straight toward the man at the wheel. He covered him with his weapon, and, under the belief that the fellow knew English, for he had conversed with several of the crew before then, the boy called out sternly:

“Stay where you are, and hold the wheel, and no injury will come to you. There is no fire and we will not be blown up. It was a trick to get the captain down in the hold. He is our prisoner, and we expect to run this boat from now on. Do you understand what I am saying?”


The sailor looked a little dazed as though events were happening with such wonderful rapidity that he could hardly keep track of them. Still he seemed to be able to understand English, especially when accompanied by the significant gestures Jack was making with the little automatic pistol.

He immediately elevated his right hand. That was doubtless intended to show his willingness to submit to whatever fate the daring captors of the powerboat felt inclined to impose upon him.

“Start up the engine again and keep it going full speed!” was the first order the new skipper gave the pilot.

Presently the boat began to pick up, as the propeller churned the water. It felt good to Amos, standing there and listening to the terrific pounding on the lower side of the hatch. He took off his hat and waved it about his head as he gave a loud, boyish hurrah that came from the depths of his heart.

No doubt that organ was pounding against his[50] ribs with the furious energy of a trip-hammer; but apparently the danger point had been safely passed, and they had a free course open before them.

The three men who jumped overboard had meanwhile managed to reach shallow water. They were standing, up to their waists in the sea, at what they considered a safe distance from the powerboat, staring at the now moving craft as though unable to believe their eyes.

The smoke had ceased coming up from the hold as soon as the hatch was clapped on, and, with the starting of the engine, the boat showed signs of leaving the unfortunate trio in the lurch—at least they must have considered themselves in a bad box at the time, though later developments proved that they were exceedingly fortunate.

Loud rang out their shouts as they made all sorts of wild gestures, imploring their companions not to desert them. Perhaps the simple fellows, not aware of the dramatic acts that were taking place aboard the boat, imagined the skipper[51] meant to discipline them for deserting when there was need of their services.

Amos waved his hand hilariously toward the three. He was feeling in a merry mood. The bright scheme which Jack originated had turned out so successful!

One look gave Jack his course, and he impressed it upon the pilot.

“We want to head straight as an arrow for the Dardanelles,” he said sternly. “You will be all right as long as you behave, but the first sign of treachery and it means your end. Our lives are at stake now and we will shoot you down like a dog if you turn on us. We want to run across some warship of the Allies, to whom this boat and its cargo can be surrendered. And if you behave we will guarantee that you are let go free. Get that?”

The man had listened intently, watching every gesture made by Jack. At the conclusion of the short harangue he nodded his head and even allowed a grim smile to flit athwart his dark face. Being a daring chap himself he could admire an[52] exhibition of American pluck such as the two boys were displaying. Anyone who managed to get the better of a sly old sea-dog like Captain Zenos must be pretty wide-awake, according to his opinion.

“I play you the game straight, I promise you!” he assured Jack, who, however, did not take his word for it, knowing how treacherous some men can be when conditions change; and he meant to keep the Greek pilot under constant surveillance until their plans had been fully carried out.



“What’s the next move on the program, Jack?” asked Amos, as he hurried over to the side of his chum, while the pounding on the hatch kept up furiously.

“I’ve given the course to the man at the wheel, and told him we will shoot at the first sign of treachery,” replied the other.

“That sounds good to me!” Amos declared. “Do you think we can keep on into the night, and come slap up against any of those war vessels?”

“I know the points of the compass,” he was told. “I’ve also got a chart of this sea, as well as the Dardanelles, so I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to keep up a straight course. We know about where we’re headed, and I’m in hopes of picking up the searchlight of some battleship that is on the move to keep from being torpedoed.”


“I’m willing to trust everything to you, Jack. How about those chaps below decks? If they should ever break loose there will be trouble right away!”

“It’s a part of our business to make sure they don’t break loose then,” the other remarked, firmly. “I’m going to tell Captain Zenos something. He’s got common-sense, I reckon, even if he is a fire-eater.”

“All I’m afraid of is that he may take a crazy notion to strike a match and blow up the boat rather than surrender it,” said Amos, uneasily.

Even that prospect did not seem to alarm steady-going Jack.

“Don’t worry,” he told his companion. “Few men ever deliberately sacrifice themselves in order to bring about the downfall of others. In forty-nine cases out of fifty a would-be assassin of royalty takes precious good care to look out for a safe getaway. That is what defeats their plans so often.”

“I guess you’re right about that, Jack,” admitted Amos. “I’ve read so along the same line.[55] They say that if a man is firmly decided to give up his own life to the cause, all the precautions in the wide world couldn’t prevent any ruler from getting his finish.”

“Remember what we had last spring in our history class about that general besieging ancient Rome, and who had a young Roman brought before him, caught in the camp. The youth told him he was one of a hundred who had sworn to take the life of the vandal general; and to show his fearless nature, thrust his hand into a fire and held it there until it was consumed.”

“Sure, I remember that,” said Amos, “and the general, knowing that he was a doomed man if he stayed around there much longer, with ninety-nine other young Romans after his life, all built on the same fearless model, soon found it convenient to call off the siege and go home.”

“Well, after I’ve explained to Captain Zenos that he will surely be given his liberty later on, any intention of blowing up the boat he may be entertaining will have passed away. Bold man that he is, all the same he can believe that ‘he who[56] fights and runs away may live to fight another day.’ Now, you stand here and watch our pilot every second of the time, while I speak to the skipper.”

Jack bent down when he reached the hatch. The pounding continued, and was supplemented by loud cries from the men below.

With a monkey-wrench he had picked up on the way, Jack started to himself give a few powerful blows upon the hatch. Immediately the noise below ceased.

“Hello! Captain Zenos!” the boy called out, knowing that the other could speak English as well as his own native tongue, for he was a man who had traveled over pretty much all the world.

“Who is that speaking?” he heard a grumbling voice say.

“It is one of your passengers,” answered Jack. “We have captured your vessel and part of your crew has been left behind, having landed on the island. The rest is below with you.”

“But who are you, and what does this mean?” demanded the bewildered captain.


“Just what we told you we are, two American boys who are looking for some one who is with the Allies at the Dardanelles,” Jack explained.

“Why have you done this?” continued the prisoner of the hold.

“Because we believed you meant us harm, and we decided to strike first. So I made the smudge below in order to cause the crew to leap overboard and abandon the craft. But you were too brave a man to be frightened, and we had to shut you down below or lose the game. I want to make a bargain with you, Captain.”

The man waited some little time before replying. Evidently he was trying to get a firm grip on the conditions by which he was surrounded, so that he could play his best card. Then he called out again as though in anger.

“Do you know what I have a good mind to do, boy? I have matches with me here, and the powder can be easily reached. One match would be enough to finish us all, and we could go into glory together.”

“I understand that, Captain,” said Jack, coolly,[58] as though not a bit afraid the other would put his threat into execution. “We are willing to take our chances. You would be a fool to end your life that way when you can live to enjoy other exploits.”

“But if I fall into the hands of the British they will surely shoot me!” urged the man below.

“I give you my word of honor that they will let you and your men go free, on condition that you do nothing to injure the boat or the cargo. Is it a bargain, Captain Zenos? We are both armed, and will hesitate at nothing, even should you succeed in breaking loose, which we do not mean to have happen. Be reasonable, and, after all, you will lose only your boat. There are other craft to be had for money, but no one can get a second life, you know, if he loses the one he has.”

Jack heard the man actually laugh harshly. He believed he had gone about it the right way to get results.

“You are certainly a boy after my own heart, and since there does not seem to be any other thing to do, I agree to your terms,” the captain[59] called out. “Only I trust you will not deceive us. If I thought I might be held as a prisoner of war, or stood up to be shot, nothing would keep me from striking a match and ending it all now.”

“I have given you my word of honor, Captain; that is all I can do,” Jack told him, a little anxious still, for he knew the man was a reckless blade, and after all he might act on a sudden whim.

“Well, let it be a bargain then,” called the skipper; “but I hope you will not keep us many hours down in this hot hold. We would smother, I fear.”

“Inside of a couple of hours we hope to run across some war vessel, when you will be released and allowed to enter the small boat to make for the shore just as you please.”

Satisfied that he had accomplished the purpose he had in view, Jack turned away. He knew that those below could hardly break out of their confinement within a certain length of time, at least, and, while he did not mean to forget them, he wished to turn his attention to another quarter.


It was getting dark. The twilight had fled, and it was no longer possible to see for any distance over the heaving surface of the sea. The island where the men had landed was far astern, and looked like a dark blot amidst the gathering gloom.

Glancing aloft, Jack could see the first stars beginning to appear. He took his bearings in this way, and as long as those heavenly lanterns remained in sight there would be no fear of their going astray. He had tramped many a time across trackless wastes of land with only a star to guide him; he felt the same confidence when upon the sea.

“We must first of all see to the lights,” he told Amos as he joined him. “With all these dangers hanging over our heads it would be silly to think of keeping in the dark.”

“Let me look after them,” said Amos. “I watched the man who did the job last night, and I think I’ve got it all down pat.”

“After you’ve finished with the lights, Amos, it might be as well to rummage around and stir[61] up something to eat. I’m as hungry as a wolf. There must be food aboard, of course.”

“Trust me for knowing where it’s kept,” chuckled the other. “I never mean to be starved to death if keeping my eyes wide open will prevent it. Sure, there’s plenty of grub close by. Watch me rustle it out when the time comes.”

He soon had the lanterns lighted; one hung to show the figure of the helmsman as he stood there at the wheel and guided the boat; and two others, the one red and the other green, on either side of the boat, so that they might not be run down in the gloom of night.

After this had all been attended to, Amos, true to his promise, washed his hands in the tin basin so as to free them from the kerosene odor, and then proceeded to produce all manner of food from the cook’s little galley.

They made no attempt to cook anything, for the conditions would not allow of their going to such trouble. Hungry boys are as a rule not at all particular about the quality of their food, so long as the quantity is right; and not a single[62] complaint was made regarding that supper, though it was crude in its appointments, and eaten under strange surroundings.

Even the man at the wheel was remembered, and thankfully received a portion of the simple spread, which he proceeded to devour as though he might be no longer troubling himself about the immediate future.

“Now for a long and weary watch,” said Amos, after only half an hour or more had elapsed since the capture of the powerboat.

“It may not be as long as you think,” remarked Jack.

“Why do you say that, Jack? Is it just on general principles, or have you some idea?”

“Well, we are making all of ten miles an hour, it strikes me,” was the answer; “and when twice that time has passed you can see we ought to be somewhere near that battleship we heard firing. Besides, I soon expect to catch sight of their searchlights playing every-which-way.”

“That’s so, Jack,” admitted Amos, immediately convinced. “When warships are in a dangerous[63] locality, and there’s danger all the time of torpedoes, as well as floating mines, I reckon they do keep their searchlights busy all the night in order to discover any creeping enemy.”

“They know these Turks to be clever schemers,” added Jack, “and bold in the bargain, so they keep on the lookout all the time.”

“Then, if we’re discovered, what’s our program going to be, Jack?”

“We want to get busy right away and run up a white flag, to show that we mean to make no resistance. Then they’ll likely send a boat, and board as we lie to. We can surrender the cargo to the officer in charge, first of all asking him to make good our word to Captain Zenos and his crew.”

“Perhaps, to make doubly sure, we might let them take to the small boat and skip out before we surrender the vessel,” suggested Amos.

“Now that isn’t a bad scheme, if it can be worked,” admitted Jack. “The Allies might want to hold these men and I’d hate to have my promise broken.”


They sat there for a long time, now and then exchanging a few sentences or going about to make sure there was no danger of the hatch being pried up, thus allowing the prisoners of the hold to escape and make trouble.

Then what Jack had long been expecting came about. A white shaft of light suddenly shot out of the darkness and began to move along, swiftly covering considerable space, and revealing the choppy waves as though in broad daylight. It was the powerful searchlight on board some war-vessel, possibly a battleship of the Allied fleet.



Jack had their course changed a trifle so as to bear direct for the source of that long ray of brilliant light.

“See if you can find a sheet, or anything white, that can be fastened up to show we do not mean to offer resistance,” he told Amos, who soon had the “flag of truce,” as he called it, in place.

“Seems to me, Jack, that if we mean to give the captain his chance to get away we ought to be doing it before that light gets us,” suggested Amos, when he had once more joined his chum.

“It is a bit dangerous,” the other admitted, “but if worked right, it might be done.”

“We could let them come up, one at a time, and climb into the boat, after we made sure they carried no weapons,” suggested Amos.

Jack weighed the chances. To be on the safe side he knew they would be wise to let things go[66] as they were and trust to the officer on the boarding boat to let them keep their word to the men. Jack thought a good deal of his word, which, once given, he would dislike to see broken.

“I guess Captain Zenos must be a well-known character among the commanders of the Allied vessels,” he mused. “As he’s probably run more than a few cargoes of high explosives past their lines they would like to wind up his career. You see, he has caused a heap of damage by means of the shells he’s smuggled across; and they would want to shoot him. We’ll give him a chance, Amos.”

On his part Amos was not unwilling. Ever since he had seen the utterly fearless way in which the smuggler and gun-runner had dashed into that hold, not knowing but what the expected explosion might come at any second, the boy had conceived a certain amount of admiration for him.

“But we’ve got to be mighty careful, Jack,” he warned the other. “These men are desperate, and not to be trusted.”


“We’ll risk that, Amos. Now, attend to me, and keep your pistol ready for use at a second’s notice.”

He pounded on the hatch.

“Hello! down below!” Jack called out.

“What do you want now?” demanded a voice which they recognized as belonging to the gun-runner captain.

“We are close to the fleet, and, being afraid that they might want to hold you and your men, we would be willing to let you drop into the small boat and row away, if you agreed to certain conditions.”

The man on the other side of the closed hatch seemed to ponder over the proposal. Evidently he realized that the boys meant to do the right thing, being a little afraid that after having given their promise of immunity they could not “deliver the goods.”

“I understand what you mean,” he presently called out. “What do you want us to promise you, lad?”

“First that you will pass up every weapon you[68] have on your persons. Then, one by one, we will let you come on deck, and get into the boat towing astern. We will stop the engine so you may have no trouble. When all are aboard the rope will be cut, and you can lose yourselves in the darkness. The sea is nearly calm so there need be no trouble about getting ashore. What do you say? You will have to hurry, for at any minute now the searchlight will pick us up.”

“What you say sounds to me like you meant to do the right thing,” called the captain. “Loosen the hatch on one side, and we will hand over our firearms. Then, as you say, we can crawl out, one by one, and take our places in the small boat.”

Jack believed that his plan was working out finely. At the same time not for one moment was he disposed to relax his vigilance. He even managed to keep the man at the wheel under his eye, as the fellow easily saw.

They loosened the fastenings of the hatch and raised one side a few inches. A formidable six-shooter was thrust through, of which Jack immediately[69] took possession. It was followed by two others, showing that some of the sailor men had made it a practice to go armed.

“That is all the firearms we have, I give you my word,” said the captain.

“Then let one of the men creep out, and tell him he must get into the small boat without losing a second of time. Also warn him, Captain, that we will shoot at the first sign of treachery.”

Presently a man’s head appeared in view, and then he commenced to crawl out of the narrow opening. The boys kept him covered, and once he gained the deck he was made to scuttle along, clamber over the stern, and take his place in the tender that had been towing behind all through the voyage. It was amply large enough to hold the five men without peril of being overcrowded.

No sooner had they disposed of this man than a second was allowed to come up; after him came the third sailor, with Captain Zenos himself bringing up the rear.

The daring blockade-runner instantly saw the flash of the searchlight and must have realized[70] that the American boys meant to treat him fairly. The loss of his boat may have been a bitter pill for him to swallow; but he was accustomed to taking things as he found them.

“You have hit me a hard blow,” he told Jack. “If ever I get a chance to turn the tables on you, I will; but I want to say you are brave boys, and I admire your pluck. I was always told American boys beat the world that way. We may meet again some of these days. Good-night!”

With that he, too, clambered over the side and took his place in the small boat.

“Have you room for one more, Captain?” asked Jack, and upon receiving an affirmative response he turned to the man at the wheel, saying: “Here, you, get aboard with the rest. We might as well make a clean sweep while we’re about it. I’ll take charge of the wheel when we start again. I know enough about engines to run a tub like this.”

The last of the blockade-runners did not wait upon the order of his going. He seemed only too well pleased to accompany his chief. The[71] prospect of being left behind to fall into the hands of the enemy was not attractive to him.

As soon as this fellow had taken his seat in the boat, Amos, who was hovering nearby, cast the painter off, and immediately the small craft fell astern, for the powerboat still had some headway.

“Bully for us!” exclaimed Amos. “We’re now monarch of all we survey, Jack! And of all the adventures that have come to us since striking Europe this night is going to stand near the head.”

“Don’t crow,” warned Jack. “The Indian should never shout till he is in the woods, or the white man till he is out of them. We’ve got some troubles still ahead of us. I’m going to start up the engine, and keep moving straight toward that war vessel.”

“I think it must be a battleship, Jack, or a big cruiser, from the size of the searchlight. Now that I look around I can see a whole lot more of the same kind of lights roving around further on. Yes, we’ve struck the battle fleet at anchor[72] as sure as anything. If only Frank is somewhere close by and safe, I’ll be satisfied.”

Jack had by this time succeeded in getting the engine started. As he had said, he knew considerable about running engines whether connected with motorboats, automobiles or motorcycles, having had a fair amount of experience with them all.

They constantly decreased the distance separating them from the source of that dazzling light, which for the most part played in the other direction.

Then all at once it began to circle in their quarter.

“She’s going to hit us, I reckon, Jack!” called out Amos, who stood forward and eagerly watched every little thing that occurred.

Even as he spoke the glare of the searchlight came in his eyes, causing him to drop his head. Apparently those aboard had strong glasses and must have instantly discovered the Greek powerboat, for the light remained stationary.

“I hope they don’t turn one of those big sixteen-inch[73] guns loose on us,” ventured Amos, a little uneasily.

“No danger of their wasting a shell on such small game as this boat,” Jack assured him, “when they have need of all they own to smash the fortifications of Gallipoli and the Asiatic mainland. I rather guess we’ll be seeing one of those fleet destroyers dashing this way, to find out who and what we are.”

“Well, our white rag shows up as plain as daylight, and it ought to tell that we don’t mean them any harm,” said Amos, relieved; though he had to immediately laugh at the idea of that miniature boat being a menace to a super-dreadnaught.

Five minutes later, as they continued to advance, they discovered some object approaching at furious speed. Then, as it came in range of the searchlight, the boys saw that it was a torpedo-boat destroyer painted a gray color that could not be told from the surface of the sea at a certain distance.

“We’d better pull up, hadn’t we, Jack?” asked[74] Amos. “They’re whooping it up direct at us. I hope they don’t mean to cut through this poor boat like a knife would a cheese. Me for the water if it looks that way, for there might be a great old blow-up if there’s any dynamite below deck here.”

Jack did shut off the power, although he had no idea anything serious was impending in the way his companion hinted.

Coming at the rate of thirty miles an hour it did not take the destroyer long to arrive within hailing distance of the Greek craft.

“I am sending a boat aboard to find out who and what you are, and why you venture in this forbidden zone!” roared a voice through a megaphone.

“Glad to know it, sir!” called Jack; and possibly the fact that the words were spoken in clear English must have surprised the commander of the torpedo-boat not a little.

Immediately the boys discovered a small boat dancing over the waves, propelled by a motor,[75] and occupied by a number of sailors as well as an officer. It soon came alongside and one of the men sprang aboard, after which the officer followed suit.

He stared hard at the two lads as though hardly able to believe his eyes.

“Where is the crew of this boat?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you,” replied the boy, with a smile. “They originally consisted of seven Greeks and a captain. His name was Captain Zenos, and most likely you have heard about him. Three of the crew we left on an island about fifteen miles or so back there. The rest of them, with their skipper, we allowed to go off in their small boat, because we had given them our word of honor they should not be made prisoners of war if they promised not to blow up the boat when we had them shut down in the hold.”

The man in uniform leaned forward and took another searching look at Jack and Amos.

“Do you mean to tell me, boy,” he demanded, as though unable to believe his ears, “that you two alone and unaided captured Captain Zenos,[76] who is known to be a dare-devil if ever one lived, and his entire crew of seven men?”

“We are not boasting, sir, but that is the truth. We knew the hold was filled with explosives, for I examined it after taking passage aboard this boat. So we fixed it that smoke issued forth, and this so frightened some of the crew they jumped overboard. But the captain was made of better stuff, and with three of his men he went below to put out the fire or die in the attempt. That was when we clapped on the hatch, and held them prisoners. It was all easy enough, and things worked without a single hitch. And now we want to hand this prize of the gun-runner over to the Allies.”

The officer who had come from the torpedo-boat destroyer held out his hand impulsively; for he was British and could appreciate valor wherever he found it.



“My word! I am delighted to have met such a couple of smart lads, and I hope to hear the particulars of your story aboard the Thunderer, for you must come back with me to meet the Vice-Admiral. You are English; that goes without saying.”

Amos chuckled, while Jack shook his head.

“American, sir,” the latter said, briskly, “though our ancestors came from your tight little island, and also fought you for all they were worth at Lexington and Bunker Hill.”

“I’m a bit sorry for that, my lad!” exclaimed the lieutenant, “but, after all, we feel that in this terrible crisis we can count on the sympathy of all Americans who are not of German descent, for we are fighting the battles of civilization and true democracy. Pardon me for saying it, but you know it looks somewhat strange to run[78] across a couple of American boys over here in the war zone just now.”

That was a gentle hint for them to give some sort of explanation, and this Jack was quite ready to do.

“We realize that, sir, and can easily explain why it happens. We are looking for the brother of my chum and cousin here, whose father earnestly desires to see him once more before he passes away. There is a sad story back of it, which it is not necessary for me to mention.”

“Certainly not,” asserted the officer, heartily; “and I am sure the Vice-Admiral will not press you on that score, for he is exceedingly kind. You have reason to think the young man may be somewhere in this vicinity?”

“We have every reason to believe it, sir. When we were in London Lord Kitchener, who is a great friend of my chum’s father, Colonel Turner, U. S. A., gave us a paper that has been of considerable use to us. It helped us search through that part of Belgium held by the Allied armies, and also in Northern France. We[79] learned that Frank Turner was serving your cause as an aviator, and after just missing him with General French’s army we discovered that he had been sent out here to assist in opening the Dardanelles.”

“My word! but I admire your grit in following after him through all the ruck; but then it is just what might be expected of American boys. I have a lady cousin in New York who never tires of sounding the praises of your Boy Scouts, and the wonderful things they do. And a line from Kitchener of Khartoum would serve as an ‘Open Sesame’ even aboard a British battleship, I imagine. But please make ready to accompany me so you may meet the Vice-Admiral.”

“We will be only too glad to do so, sir,” replied Jack. “Of course you expect to take charge of this gun-runner, for the hold is filled with all sorts of explosives?”

“A splendid haul!” declared the other. “Its loss will be felt by the Turks, who are short on ammunition. You deserve many thanks for what you have done toward assisting the cause.”


“But we might not have considered it our duty to capture the blockade-runner,” Jack frankly told him, “only that we had good reason to believe they were plotting to do us bodily harm, or at least abandon us on some lonely island where we might have heaps of trouble getting away.”

“You may say that, my lad,” observed the lieutenant pleasantly, “but nevertheless I am certain that deep down in your hearts you are hand in glove with our cause. In good time I expect America will speak her mind, and the Kaiser will discover that ‘hands across the sea’ stand for no idle words. It will be the whole world against militarism, and not the German people, whom we admire.”

The boys did not expect to be aboard the smuggler again, and therefore they took with them what little luggage they carried. This was very scanty, because, as Amos put it, they were “going light,” and doing without a good many things which, as ordinary travelers, they might have deemed necessary.


In fact, they had long ago learned that it is remarkable how few things are absolutely indispensable when traveling, and especially with a couple of rough-and-ready boys, accustomed to looking after themselves.

Once in the small patrol tender of the destroyer they speedily made the grim-looking little fighter that could cover thirty miles an hour, and then have a little reserve speed for an emergency.

Aboard this boat they were introduced to the commander, who took something of the same interest in them as the other officer had done. It was so remarkable a thing to come upon two American boys under circumstances like these that he felt a great and pardonable curiosity to hear something of their story.

Amos, who had by that time recovered his tongue, in particular, was not averse to obliging him, and rattled off an account of some of the adventures that had befallen them since crossing over from London and searching along the battle lines in Belgium for the missing Frank.

When the commander learned that this brother[82] was no other than Frank Bradford, whose exploits had passed from hand to mouth wherever the Allies fought, he was doubly charmed. At the same time he expressed the pious wish that the boys might fail in their mission, because the cause needed aviators like the daring bird-man, and his loss would mean a big gap in the ranks.

The questions asked by the commander were principally about how they came to embark on the powerboat in some Grecian sea town, and what caused them to decide to try and effect the capture of the lawless craft. These events would make a brave showing in his report of the night’s work; for Captain Zenos had long been a thorn in the flesh of the Allies, carrying many a cargo of arms and explosives past their lines into Turkish camps.

“I am only sorry he slipped through our fingers this time,” he told the boys as they drew near the bulky battleship, from which the searchlight shone upon them, and the small craft followed in their rear, manned by a prize crew;[83] “but with his vessel gone he may have his services crippled somewhat. And besides, he may be picked up by one of our scout boats.”

A short time later Jack and Amos found themselves aboard the battleship. It certainly gave them a thrill to realize that they actually trod the deck of one of His Majesty’s big bulldogs of the navy, a vessel that doubtless daily engaged some of the Turkish batteries along the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula or on the Anatolian mainland.

They were speedily taken into the presence of the Vice-Admiral. He may have been a gruff sea-dog in the eyes of his men, and known as a martinet; but he had another and much more genial side to his nature, which he exhibited to his two young American guests.

Perhaps the magical paper which they made haste to show him, signed by Kitchener himself, may have had something to do with his amiable manner, for it was simply wonderful how often that document had helped them over rough places. He insisted on the boys making themselves comfortable[84] in his cabin, and begged to hear their whole story, for already he confessed to being deeply interested in two such manly-looking cousins from across the sea.

When mention was made of Frank, and how they had discovered that he was doing remarkable work in the cause of the Allies under the name of Bradford, the Vice-Admiral showed great interest. He had heard more or less about the famous flier who bore that name, although thus far ignorant of the fact that he had joined the aviation corps on duty with the Dardanelles battle fleet.

“You shall stay aboard our ship temporarily, lads,” he told them later on, “and I promise you to do my best to locate the party you seek, if he is indeed out on this station. It is hardly within the rules to have non-combatants aboard during war times, but that wonderful paper you carry would be ample excuse for any infraction, since it calls upon every one in authority to aid you to the best of their ability.”

“You are very kind, Admiral, and we can only[85] thank you, and say we will accept,” Jack assured him, heartily.

“And it won’t be the first time we’ve bunked in a hammock, either, sir,” declared Amos, gleefully, for he began to see the troubles ahead of them vanishing, as had so often been the case in the past.

“I am afraid you will be a little disappointed, then,” the officer told him; “I could not put you with the crew, for many reasons. It happens, however, that one of our officers was invalided home, and his place has not yet been filled, so you must occupy his quarters for the time being.”

After that he asked many more questions, and seemed greatly interested in his two young American guests. Doubtless there would be ways to explain just how they chanced to be aboard the Thunderer, despite all rules and regulations, for a Vice-Admiral is at times a law unto himself.

Finally Jack and Amos were given into the charge of one of the several officers who had been in the cabin during the recital of their story,[86] and all of whom evinced a lively interest in the boys.

“This is something we never dreamed would happen, Jack,” remarked Amos, when the two found themselves left in the comfortable if snug quarters assigned to them. “Think of us aboard a regular battleship that has been in action, and may be again tomorrow, for all we know.”

“We are certainly in great luck,” admitted Jack, yawning sleepily. “Between you and the lamp-post I like that Vice-Admiral a whole lot. He may have gained a name as a fighter and all that, but deep down in his heart he is a fine specimen of a sailor. And to think that he has several sons of his own, all of them serving their country either in the army or the navy.”

“Well, I only hope our luck holds good, so that we may see how they bombard the old Turkish forts,” wished Amos. “We’ve been on the firing line in Belgium, had a chance to visit the French war trenches, and see some action there; and if only we could watch the battle fleet at work, I’d be satisfied.”


“Leave that for another day,” advised Jack, preparing for bed.

Despite all that had come to them of late in the way of excitement, as well as the peculiar conditions by which they were even then surrounded, both boys managed to drop asleep soon after their heads struck the pillows. If the waves arose in the night, and the heavy battleship wallowed somewhat as she progressed slowly this way and that, so as to keep on the move, they knew nothing of it, for they had proved their right of being called good sailors.

When they did awaken they found that the day had come. Yes, and the vessel was in motion, going at a fair rate of speed. Amos was thrilled with the thought that there might be something in the wind.

As he hastily dressed, his talk was all in the line of action. He certainly hoped there was work cut out for the Thunderer that same day.

“I’m just crazy to hear those big twelve-inch guns boom,” he told his companion, “though I guess it’ll nearly deafen us at first. We must[88] find out what the men do to soften the sound. I’ve heard that standing on your toes helps a whole lot; and then holding your hands over your ears is a good thing.”

“I’ve got some cotton that we can use to stop our ears up if it’s necessary, so don’t bother your head about that part of it,” Jack told him.

Having hastily finished their dressing, the two boys made their way to the deck. They excited considerable interest among such of the crew as they met, and unaware of what rank the two young chaps might hold many of these saluted them as though they were officers.

Looking ahead in the early morning the boys could see the distant jaws of land that doubtless marked the entrance to the Dardanelles Straits; numerous other big and little war vessels dotted the surface of the heaving sea.



“Jack, I do believe they are going in today to engage the Turkish forts!” exclaimed Amos, after taking a good look around at the stirring picture.

The sun, not far above the horizon, shone upon the glistening sea, and in almost every quarter the boys could see war vessels moving steadily in the direction of the land ahead. There were battleships, super-dreadnaughts, cruisers, torpedo-boat destroyers and dispatch boats, all stripped for action and looking in grim earnest as they moved along in seemingly endless procession.

“I’m a little inclined to say the same thing myself,” Jack announced. “But no matter whether it happens or not we are in great luck to be able to set eyes on a glorious picture like this.”

“I’ll never forget it if I live to the age of Methuselah!”[90] affirmed Amos. “Just see how the mosquito craft dodge around, and serve to protect the big ships from any sort of torpedo attack. They must be on the watch all the time, because even a giant super-dreadnaught would go down like a stone if struck from a submarine.”

“I hope the Thunderer isn’t doomed to wind up that way, then,” remarked Jack. “With something like a thousand men aboard, we would have a mighty small chance to swim clear of the wreck, and might be sucked down when she sank. But they’re not depending so much on torpedoes out here as floating mines.”

“That’s what the lieutenant told us when on the destroyer,” said Amos. “It seems that there is always a swift current or tide flowing on the surface from out of the straits. By setting floating mines free above the Narrows, the German engineers, who are helping their allies, the Turks, in this campaign, can send them down upon the battle fleet as it works in the straits.”

“Those are what they call contact mines, I reckon, Jack?”


“Yes, they have triggers projecting from them, and contact with the side of a warship causes the explosion. They’ve already caused a whole lot of trouble, and several big war vessels have gone down in the straits through their work.”

“Then, besides, there have been heaps of regular mines, to be fired by electricity,” Amos went on to say. “The Allies have small boats called mine sweepers that use a sort of net, and drag for these mines. They’ve cleared most of them out of the first five miles of the straits, I understand.”

“Speaking about submarines,” Jack remarked, “the Germans don’t happen to be the only ones that have them. The lieutenant told us about a British submersible that dived under all the rows of mines in the Narrows, and reached the Sea of Marmora, where for several days it kicked up a great row, sinking several Turkish transports, one or two warships, and even bombarding the docks at Constantinople, trying to destroy, they say, the bridge across which so much of their supplies come to the city.”


“If that account is all true,” declared Amos, “that was a feat of daring unequalled in this whole war, according to my way of thinking. The commander of that undersea boat will get the Victoria Cross, you can bet.”

The boys were about this time informed they could have breakfast, since everything was being hurried on that morning because there was stern business ahead.

They met several of the officers in the mess-room, who greeted them in the most friendly way. They had heard enough of the boys’ story to understand that the two young Americans were a brave lot, and had actually alone and single-handed captured the notorious gun-runner, Captain Zenos, together with his entire crew of seven men.

The boat had been sent somewhere to be relieved of her dangerous cargo, which in turn would be utilized against the Turks. Later on that same powerboat was likely to become a mine-sweeper, for which service the craft was admirably fitted. So that, after all, Jack and Amos had[93] been instrumental in adding to the Allied fleet by one useful unit.

By the time breakfast had been dispatched the sound of heavy firing brought the two boys out on deck in a hurry, eager to witness whatever went on.

“They’re engaging the forts at long range,” said Amos, immediately, as he saw a volume of smoke shoot out from a battleship a mile away, and almost immediately heard the awful crash of the big gun.

“Yes, miles away,” Jack observed. “They have the range figured down to a dot. If they waste a shot they soon know it.”

“But how can they, when even with a glass no one could see the Turkish forts away up in the straits?” Amos asked, filled with curiosity.

“If you look up in the heavens you’ll have your answer,” Jack told him.

“Oh! now I see what you mean; there are eyes in the sky. Those aeroplanes are a part of the Allies’ outfit, and they keep watching all the time[94] to see where the shells fall, so as to correct the fire. It’s a great scheme, isn’t it, Jack?”

“A part of the war game of today, Amos, for we’re living in a fast age. Before this war is over I firmly believe there will be battleships of the air as well as of the sea, and they won’t be Zeppelins either.”

“Just to think,” the other boy mused, “right now I may be looking up at my brother Frank, for there’s a pretty big chance if he’s still alive one of those dots in the sky is his aeroplane. And, Jack, if we notice anyone of them that seems to be more daring than the rest, that’ll be Frank, by all accounts.”

Steadily the Thunderer pressed on, still heading for the jaws of land that marked the end of the Dardanelles Straits. With the passage of every minute the eagerness of the two lads increased until Amos was almost quivering with excitement.

“Look, Jack, I do believe they’re getting ready to fire one of the big guns in that forward turret. If you’ve got that cotton handy, please give me[95] a wad, for I don’t want to have my ear-drums cracked by the sound.”

What he said turned out to be the truth, for the gunners aboard the battleship had been given orders to start the ball rolling, as they were now well within the zone for firing, according to the map.

When the terrific roar broke out the boys could feel themselves flattened up along the object they chanced to be leaning against at the time. It seemed as though they had received a strong slap with an unseen plank, though it did not hurt them any.

“I wonder if that shell smashed a gun over in the Turkish battery?” said Amos, as he sniffed at the powder smoke that filled the air for a brief time.

The Thunderer did not repeat her first shot. It may have been a signal to tell the enemy she was coming straight on. There was other work cut out for the big vessels of the fleet for that particular morning.

As they continued to approach the entrance to[96] the straits, Amos became excited again. He had seen other warships pass through, firing as they ran, and there was evidently a warm reply from certain enemy batteries and forts, for explosions could be seen in the air, as well as upheavals in the water, looking like the geysers in Yellowstone Park.

“This beats anything I’ve ever run across!” exclaimed Amos, enthusiastically.

“It certainly is a great sight, and one we never expected to see,” added Jack, though both of them were compelled to speak much above their ordinary tones on account of all the thunderous noise that came over the water.

Some of the vessels were already within the straits, and engaging the enemy to the right and left. Smoke shrouded them from view, and through this pall the flash of the big guns could be seen now and then. Such a din the boys had never listened to. It was like ten thunder storms rolled into one, and “then some,” as Amos declared.

“Talk to me about the Lower Regions!” he exclaimed,[97] “but this is a pretty fair imitation of what I’ve always believed they looked like. Oh! did you see that hit when a shell exploded aboard that cruiser? It must have done heaps of damage, and killed or injured many of the crew. But you don’t notice any slackening of her fire, do you, Jack?”

“If the boat received serious damage she will pull out pretty soon, and allow a substitute to take her place,” Jack explained. “I understand there’s no haphazard work about all this, but every warship has a line of attack laid out that must be pursued.”

“Yes,” Amos admitted, “I can see that while one tackles the batteries over on the Asiatic side of the straits, another sets boldly in and shells a fort on Gallipoli. It will be our turn pretty soon now, for we are entering the jaws of land. Seddul Bahr lies over on the left, and down on the other jaw is Kum Kaleh, both of them long since smashed to pieces, we heard.”

“If the straits were all five miles wide the battle fleet would have passed on through before[98] now,” Jack asserted. “It’s because of the Narrows, and the swift current that carries all the floating mines with it that has held them up. And in my opinion it will be a long time before they break through to Constantinople, for the Turks are fierce fighters, and Mohammedans at that.”

“Why do you add that remark; how does the fact of their being followers of Mahomet make any difference, I’d like to know?”

“Only this,” explained Jack, “as a part of his religion a Mohammedan believes that it is a great honor to be killed in battle, and anyone dying in that way will be transported direct to Paradise. This makes them utterly fearless, and has accounted for most of their victories.”

“Well, well! But it’s almost time for us to get busy, seems like, Jack. There, you can see the big gun is moving with the turret, so as to get in line with some strong Turkish fort far up the waterway, perhaps Kilid Bahr itself in the Narrows.”

Amos made sure to obtain a good grip on[99] something as he stood on his tip-toes, and opened his mouth in the bargain, after the most approved method of lessening the coming shock. His ears were stuffed with cotton, and it had been necessary for Jack to fairly shout in order to be heard by his companion.

Then came the terrific crash. They knew that strong glasses were instantly brought into use to learn what sort of success the gunners had obtained. Doubtless those especially deputized for the work watched a certain aeroplane to learn from the signals whether the shell had fallen in the enemy fort, or dropped short. Getting the range in this fashion while at a distance of several miles from the unseen target was the modern method of sea fighting.

Those in the artfully concealed forts and batteries could easily see their floating targets, and rain shells upon them. That the vessels were not hit more frequently was caused by their being constantly in motion, for there were expert German gunners behind those shore guns doing most of the work. Had it been left entirely to the[100] Turks the battle fleet would have made short work with the defenses of the famous Dardanelles.

Again and again did the Thunderer take her turn to hurl a monster shell at the Turkish forts. It was plainly the object of this morning assault to do as much damage as possible, while the sweepers kept busily at work catching such of the dangerous mines as came within their reach.

Much of the lower five miles of the waterway had already been well cleared of these perils, so that the big battleships could move along without incurring extraordinary danger of being blown up.

In the midst of all this confusion and racket there suddenly came a crash of a distinctly different nature, and both boys felt the concussion of air. As they instinctively shrank back appalled, they realized that a shell had actually struck and exploded aboard the battleship!



There was a dreadful silence aboard the battleship following the explosion of that Turkish shell. Both the boys had been knocked down by the concussion. They sat up, looking rather stupid, and Amos was rubbing the back of his head as though it had come in for a smart blow when it struck the metal deck.

Jack looked him over anxiously.

“Not hurt, I hope, Amos?” he exclaimed, when he could find his breath.

“Er—I guess only a bump or so,” stammered the other, trying to smile, although the effort was a dismal failure because it made his head hurt. “Say, that was a peach of a crack, wasn’t it? They got our range that time all right, seems like, and more may follow that shell.”

“They’ve changed the course of the ship, I think,” said Jack, “for the purpose of blocking[102] that very game. I wonder how much damage it did aboard?”

“I’m almost afraid to find out,” Amos admitted, “because some of the poor fellows may be lying around terribly hurt, or else blown into bits.”

Gaining their feet they pushed in the direction of the spot where the shell had burst. It was forward on the port side, and from this fact they knew the missile must have come from a battery or fort on Gallipoli and not the Asiatic side of the straits.

Despite the fact that there was nothing but the best of steel to be struck by the monster shell, so powerful was the explosive contained in the same that much material damage had been effected. Luckily few of the crew chanced to be within reach of the explosion. Three men received minor wounds, no one was killed, and the damage, the boys quickly learned, was not likely to interfere in the least with the work laid out for the Thunderer on that morning.

“If one of those big things ever burst close to[103] a fellow,” Amos commented as he examined the effect of the gunfire, “it would be all day with him.”

“One thing sure,” Jack added, “he would never know what hurt him. It would be like being struck by lightning; they say the victim sees a flash, and that is the end of it. He never lives long enough to hear the thunder, even when it comes hot on the heels of the lightning.”

The boys were greatly interested in the humble and dangerous though necessary work of the numerous mine-sweepers. Glory there was none for the brave-hearted men aboard the small boats that kept stubbornly at their labor, despite the fire to which they were frequently subjected. Now and then one might be hit and go down, whereupon the crew of a few men must take their chances with the sharks known to infest those waters when there was so much fighting going on.

“They are heroes, every one of them,” Amos declared, when they talked of the remarkable courage shown by the men aboard these small[104] craft. “Just as much as the fellow who does some striking deed in the spotlight, and is rewarded by the Nation’s praise, as well as the Victoria Cross. But they never expect to be known, and are content to just go on and do their work the best way they can see, content if success crowns their efforts.”

“Yes, and right now, Amos, while we’re talking about the risks they run, if you look at that sweeper over near the shore you’ll see she’s sinking.”

“You’re right, Jack; she must have been struck by a shot of some kind from one of those concealed shore batteries. These Turks are pretty clever about hiding their guns, and suddenly making a killing. The meanest patch of brush may shelter three or four guns that even the aviators above fail to see.”

“I think the commanders on the warships dread those hidden batteries more than they do the big guns at Kilid Bahr or Chanak up in the Narrows,” Jack went on to say.

“Then they ought to do something to find out[105] where they are located, I should think,” was the opinion expressed by his comrade.

“The mine-sweepers are helping to do that, for it seems the gunners lying hidden among the gullies ashore find it hard to resist smashing one when they get an opportunity. And that, you know, Amos, shows the watchers on the warships just where to send some of their big shells.”

All this while the busy birdmen were circling the battle field, and constantly seeking to impart important information which, from their lofty eyrie, they were enabled to collect.

“They can see a thousand things from up there, you know,” Jack was saying presently when they watched one of the airmen dropping little bombs that made a great smoke, but which were intended simply as signals to the fleet.

“Yes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they could watch the movements of a submarine far below the surface of the water. I really wonder why aeroplanes haven’t been used to follow and destroy some of the German submersibles that have commenced preying on British commerce.”


“Perhaps they have, for all we can say,” Jack told him. “I know from experiments that when you’re fifty feet above a shallow body of water you can, in calm weather, see the bottom everywhere. That’s how the fish-hawk picks out the prize it wants for its dinner.”

Their exchange of remarks had to be frequently interrupted, for there were violent bursts of cannonading that rendered conversation next to impossible. Many of the British and French warships were now inside the strait, and doing their utmost to silence the enemy batteries.

This was not all by any means. From other positions many miles away came the heaviest of booming. The boys understood that this marked the presence of the super-dreadnaught Queen Elizabeth, which from a station out in the open sea could drop enormous shells from her sixteen-inch guns on the Turkish forts in the Narrows, doing great damage.

After the time when Jack and his cousin had the privilege of witnessing that battle in the straits the conditions changed radically.[107] Thanks to those same floating mines that sank a number of vessels, the frontal attack had to be given up, and a new campaign inaugurated, troops by the tens of thousands being landed on Gallipoli, to try and push the stubborn Turks from their lines.

As they stood there on the deck of the Thunderer and watched the stirring drama of sea and land forces in conflict, the two American boys realized that they were in touch with one of the grandest combats the world had ever known. History would so record it, they felt sure, as they gazed with rapt attention, taking in all the marvelous sights.

Another shell burst against the side of the battleship, and must have made more or less of a dent in her armor. This was to be expected; indeed few of those many staunch warships would pass through this combat without signs to show for their perilous adventure. But if they survived the fighting, those dents would always be looked upon as marks of approval; just as a veteran’s wounds give him cause for personal pride.


Several more of the crew had been injured by shrapnel bursting overhead; for the enemy tried by every means in his power to damage the vessels, and those who manned them.

An officer, seeing that the boys were standing in a very exposed position, came, and with the compliments of the Vice-Admiral invited them to change to a place where they would at least be safe from this overhead peril. They were not slow to accept, for neither of them cared to be reckless while so many missiles of death were flying through the air.

They had one opportunity to witness the result of the gunfire aboard the battleship. A shell burst amidst a copse ashore two miles away, and they distinctly saw men being hurled into the air, as well as parts of a dismantled cannon. A hearty cheer from the whole crew told what they thought of that shot.

“Look at that destroyer shooting along, Jack!” suddenly called out Amos, pointing as he spoke to a slender vessel of great speed that was flying with the grace of a swallow past the battleship.


“There’s something up, as sure as you live!” suggested Jack, immediately deeply interested.

“She seems to be heading right up the straits, and acts as if they meant to try and run through the Narrows yonder,” Amos suggested.

“Oh, hardly that!” Jack told him. “There wouldn’t be one chance in ten she could run the batteries on the shore in that narrow part of the straits. They’d sink her with their smaller guns; but even if she did get through, of what use would she be in the Sea of Marmora, with the Turkish fleet to reckon with?”

“But see how she still keeps flying on, Jack, as if she had wings. I never saw such speed before with any kind of boat. What can be the object of it all, do you think?”

“I expect it’s what I spoke about a while ago, Amos. She has been sent out to serve as a floating target for the concealed batteries of the Turks.”

“What colossal nerve!” cried Amos, almost holding his breath as he watched the swift progress of the destroyer. “She offers herself as a[110] target for all the guns they can bring to bear on her. The chances are three to one they’ll never come back again after making the circuit.”

“Those aboard have their orders, and they’ll carry them out despite all the Turkish guns within ten miles. They may go down, but if, by sacrificing themselves, they show up one or two hidden batteries that can be destroyed by the battleships, they will have died gloriously, like thousands of others of their kind have done since the days of the Spanish armada.”

Thrilled by the spectacle of valor exhibited by the crew of the little destroyer, the two lads stood and kept their eyes riveted on the flitting boat. They could not remember the time when they had felt such a deep interest in anything. When presently the first shell exploded near the destroyer Amos gave a cry of alarm.

“Oh, that was a close shave, let me tell you, Jack!” he exclaimed. “I wonder if the brave commander or any of his crew could have been killed, or seriously wounded by that shell. And, Jack, doesn’t the destroyer look sort of familiar[111] to you? I honestly believe it’s the very same boat we were on last night.”

“That would be hard to say,” his chum explained, “because most of them are built along similar models, and it would be easy to mistake one for another. You can see a dozen of the scout-boats right now inside the straits. But that particular one has for some reason been picked for this daring game of drawing the fangs of the enemy, by tempting the gunners in their hidden batteries to take a chance.”

“Whoever the commander is I take off my hat to him,” asserted Amos, suiting the action to the word.

“Oh! it strikes me that bravery is becoming mighty common these days, Amos. Already there have been dozens of astonishing feats carried out on both sides that make those stories in history look pretty poor.”

“That’s right,” said Amos, “tell me what is there in Leonidas and his three hundred deathless Spartans holding the pass of Thermopylæ beside some of the things that are happening all[112] around us every day, what with these fearless aviators, the men who go down under the ocean in submarines, and those who laugh at death, like the crew of that destroyer are doing this very minute?”

“I’m hoping they get through all right, after all,” Jack wished. “You can see that by now they’ve reached the last Allied warship. Still they keep right on, changing their course constantly so that the white bubbles in their wake look like a snake. There, did you hear that shot from the shore? I can see the smoke, but there isn’t a sign of a cannon in sight. I reckon that was a time when the destroyer got a bite.”

Hardly had his last word been spoken than there was a mighty crash. The Thunderer had sent her compliments at the Turkish shore battery so cleverly hidden, and the location of which had been revealed by that one incautious shot.



As if that one tremendous crash had been a prearranged signal, several others among the scattered war vessels fired a shot toward the shore where that burst of smoke had betrayed the concealed Turkish battery.

Somehow, as Jack afterwards said, it reminded him forcibly of a pack of dogs hanging around and watching one of their number skirmish for a bone; no sooner had he pawed up the ground and made an important discovery than the entire pack scrambled for its possession.

Unfortunately the smoke cloud drifted in front of the two boys so as to shut out their view, for which they were sorry. But there could not be the least doubt that the terrible volley must have utterly annihilated the members of the luckless battery, as well as smashed their guns.

At least no further shot came from that particular[114] quarter as long as the little destroyer remained within range.

“They got what they invited, I guess,” Amos exclaimed, looking relieved when no further shots came from the brush in front of the gully where the battery had been lying hidden for days perhaps, awaiting a chance to do something.

Jack had his binoculars leveled at the spot.

“I can’t see the least movement there,” he declared. “All the ground is torn up in a frightful way, and I think I can pick out the end of a gun that is covered with rocks. Yes, and there is another lying part-way in the water, too.”

The boys looked at each other almost in awe at the frightful result of that volley from the fleet. Then Jack handed the glasses over so that his chum could see for himself the gruesome sight.

The destroyer had not stopped because of this one incident. Encouraged by their initial success in disclosing the hiding-place of the enemy, the daring crew meant to keep right along, venturing[115] several miles up the straits, and trying to invite another battery to take a chance.

Shells were exploding all around the boat, for distant gunners took up the challenge, and endeavored to hit the fleet craft. Her speed was all that saved her on several occasions, for the boys could see the water churned up in her rear as flying missiles struck too late, through a miscalculation as to her swiftness.

For the time being pretty much all the firing had ceased on the part of the invading war vessels. It seemed as though everyone were interested in the fate of the venturesome destroyer. Doubtless, had another battery fired from the shore it must have been instantly overwhelmed in the hail of explosives that would speed that way, since every Allied gunner seemed wild to have a share in the fun.

“They don’t seem to hit her with any kind of success,” called out Amos, for the enemy guns were still booming from the forts further up the straits toward the Narrows; and here and there came a distant report from the Anatolian[116] shore far back from the edge of the water.

“No, it looks as if she bore a charmed life,” admitted Jack, as he saw another geyser spout up far behind the mocking boat that kept tempting the Turkish and German gunners.

“Still, it would take only one hit to finish her,” Amos went on to say, with renewed apprehension. Somehow he seemed to take a personal interest in the fortunes of those gallant men who were showing the kind of mettle they were made of, in thus risking death in order to push their cause forward.

He had hardly spoken than they saw a shell burst apparently directly alongside the destroyer, which was wreathed in smoke, as though her own guns had also been fired shoreward at the same instant.

Jack clapped the glasses to his eyes while Amos stood there holding his breath, for he feared that the worst must have happened, and the little destroyer met the fate she had tempted.

Then both boys gave a shout, and from a thousand throats the same sound welled forth until[117] it rang over the agitated waters of the Dardanelles; for the saucy little destroyer had suddenly appeared, emerging from the smoke cloud, and speeding merrily onward as though scorning the efforts of the enemy to bring about her destruction.

And though the boat continued further along for several miles, all the while fired on from the distant forts, she seemed to be able to defy all their best efforts, for when finally the signal was given for her to return she had escaped the rain of shot and shell.

And it might be noticed that the lesson of that smashed battery had not been lost upon the observing enemy, for although there may have been others hidden amidst the gullies and rocks along the shore they fired no shot to betray their whereabouts. After that one lesson they “tumbled to the game,” as Amos afterwards said, and lay low.

When it was seen that the mission of the destroyer had come to an end temporarily the bombardment of the forts was resumed with greater[118] violence than before. Once again the great guns boomed, and the smoke drifted with the wind across the straits. It proved to be one of the most furious attacks thus far attempted, and doubtless considerable damage was done, not only to the forts themselves, but in destroying the guns with which they were mounted.

During all this time the mine sweepers had been getting in their work. They accomplished it in a modest manner, and there was no halo of romance about what they were doing so that they never received the salvo of cheers that greeted the successful return of the destroyer. At the same time they took desperate chances, since nearly all of the time they were under fire, from both big guns and smaller pieces.

More than one of the sweepers were struck and sunk. Those of the crew able to do so immediately attempted to swim to one of the other small vessels, to be taken aboard. Not all of them were so fortunate, and when the roll-call came later many were not present to answer,[119] having either fallen into the hands of the enemy, or else sunk to a watery grave.

From the distance over which these small boats made their way it was evident that they had succeeded in clearing some miles of the straits of the fixed mines, which was one of the objects of the day’s work.

At that time in the earlier period of the fight for the Dardanelles it was positively believed by the Allies that weight of metal would assuredly carry the battleships through the straits, and the sea wall of Constantinople.

Although several casualties had already been recorded from those dangerous floating mines that were set adrift in shoals above the Narrows, the commanders of the fleet were unable to bring themselves to believe anything could prevent them from accomplishing their purpose as first laid out.

We know that later on a radical change was made in the program. The passage of the Dardanelles, promised for the first of May, had not been accomplished by the first of September,[120] when there was trench warfare ashore, with tens of thousands killed and wounded on both sides, and the end still unknown.

At the time Jack and Amos found themselves with the battle fleet a spirit of optimism pervaded the various units composing the immense flotilla. Possibly the knowledge that they had already shattered a number of the forts at the lower end of the passageway had much to do with this confidence. They could not yet seem to grasp the fact that the swift current that set through the Narrows, coming from the Sea of Marmora day and night, was fated to be their eventual undoing, and render all their efforts vain, for it bore countless floating mines capable of sinking even a super-dreadnaught upon contact.

The boys had become heartily tired of it all by this time. Their heads rang from the dreadful concussion, and Amos even declared he had a splitting headache.

“I shall go crazy if they don’t drop out soon, stop these terrible broadsides of living, fiery metal, and get away!” he told his cousin, who was[121] just then observing some of the aeroplanes that still sailed back and forth in the clear skies above.

“Watch that fellow away over yonder,” he told Amos, clapping the binoculars in his hand.

“Oh! do you think he can be Frank?” cried the other, trembling as he started to adjust the glasses to his sight.

“That’s more than I’d like to say,” replied Jack, “though it might be possible, for right now he’s taking desperate chances to carry out a little scheme he’s set up, hoping to do some damage to the Turks, in all this excitement, where the shells of the fleet can’t reach them.”

“He is swooping low, as sure as anything,” admitted Amos, eagerly. “It seems to me he must be throwing something down at a fort below him. There, I could see a little cloud of gray smoke burst close by the aeroplane, so they must be sending shrapnel up at him from those anti-airship guns.”

“That’s just what he is doing, Amos, throwing bombs down at a magazine he has discovered. Turn the glasses lower, and watch to see if there[122] is any sort of an explosion on the ground. That would give it away if he succeeds.”

Ten seconds later and Amos uttered a shout.

“He did it, Jack, sure he did! You can see the cloud of dense smoke that is rising right now! He must have exploded a magazine, and created no end of trouble for the Turks. Bully for the man in the aeroplane, whether he’s my brother Frank or another of his stripe!”

Jack saw good reason to believe that what his comrade cried out was true. There had suddenly arisen a great cloud of smoke many times larger than would have followed the discharge of a single gun. They could not hear the thunder that may have accompanied the rending of the magazine walls, on account of the heavy cannonading that was going on intermittently around them.

As though satisfied, after having accomplished the errand with which he had been entrusted, the bold airman now commenced to bore upward in spirals, meaning to baffle all the attempts of the Turkish gunners to strike his machine.


“See, they are trying their level best to fetch him down, just in a spirit of revenge, I reckon!” cried Amos, as he kept the glasses glued to his eyes; for somehow he seemed to feel that he was looking at his long-missing brother Frank, because this venturesome feat tallied exactly with others which the American aviator had successfully carried through in the past.

A few minutes later and he seemed satisfied the aviator had risen beyond range of the shrapnel, for he handed the binoculars back to Jack. His face was beaming with happiness and pride, for Amos certainly felt that a new honor had come to the Turner family.

“This time I really believe the Thunderer is going to get out of the straits for good!” Jack observed. Although the battleship had swung around the circle a number of times, so as to always keep moving, and present a difficult target to the enemy, up to then they had invariably come back again for a few more shots at distant Kilid Bahr and Chanak forts, the one on the left and the other on the right of the Narrows.


Amos was delighted to hear it. His head rang with the terrible noise, despite his precautions with regard to stuffing his ears with cotton. Never in all his life had he heard one-tenth the racket that for two hours or more had assailed him even in the most terrible thunder storm of his experience.

Yes, the warships were actually leaving the straits, satisfied with the execution they had done. Thousands of tons of metal had been hurled upon the batteries and forts of the enemy, and great destruction must have followed. Still, this severe business could not be kept up indefinitely; it was too fierce a strain on both men and guns.

So by degrees the firing died down. A few vessels lingered as though their commanders were loth to abandon the practice; but when another half hour had passed the quivering air had a chance to quiet down. The battle had come to a close.



That afternoon the Thunderer was many miles away from the scene of the morning’s activities. The crew busied themselves with “cleaning up,” and both Jack and Amos were more or less interested in watching how the monster guns were taken care of.

Comparatively little damage had been done by the bursting of shells aboard the battleship. In fact, considering the rain of shot to which all the vessels of the invading fleet had been subjected, it was a matter of congratulation among the various commanders that no serious losses had resulted.

Launches were shooting this way and that as visits were exchanged; but these were in every case necessitated by the need of conferences, and not mere acts of courtesy. When the war paint was daubed on the battleships only business was[126] supposed to occupy the minds of those who were entrusted with the charge of the many units of the vast armada.

Amos had not as yet succeeded in entirely getting rid of his headache, though he admitted that he felt better. What he had witnessed that morning had made a deep impression on his mind, so that he could talk of little else.

They had had a good lunch in the mess-room at about one, and later in the day, as the sun drew nearer the watery horizon toward the west, the boys lounged in a favorite spot on deck, surveying the pleasing picture.

In every direction they could see big battleships, swift destroyers, mine-sweepers, and transports that had brought out new additions to take the place of those who may have been lost, as well as troops from both Great Britain and France.

Jack had found an opportunity to make certain inquiries, and he felt that it was time to communicate what he had learned to his chum.

“I asked about the British flag we saw floating[127] at the lower extremity of Gallipoli,” he remarked, “as well as the tricolor of France that was waving across on the Asiatic side of the straits, where Fort Kum Kaleh used to be. And they tell me that some thousands of troops have been landed there, and are entrenched, with batteries of quick-firing guns.”

“Then that is why certain vessels keep within a few miles of the straits all the time, is it?” asked Amos. “They mean to defend the shore parties if they are attacked by superior numbers of the Turks.”

“That’s just the whole thing in a nut-shell,” agreed Jack. “You know the fleet had little trouble in reducing the forts and batteries on the tip of Gallipoli to ruins in the beginning, because they could get a clean sweep and crossfire on Seddul Bahr and Orkhanieh. There in the ruins of those places the handful of British soldiers are standing at bay, ready to mow down the enemy if he starts anything.”

“But why are the French over across on the Asiatic shore, Jack?”


“I suppose only to protect the British, for they have batteries too. But you understand, Amos, what I was trying to find out concerned the headquarters of the aviation corps.”

“Someone told me he thought it was on one of the Greek islands lying about twenty miles away as the crow flies,” Amos said.

“That may be all very true, but on the other hand I’ve heard there have been men landed in another quarter of the peninsula, part way up, and my informant assured me he believed some of the fliers made their start from one of the two camps.”

“That would be important news, if only we knew it to be true, Jack.”

“It would mean that we must manage to get ashore some way or other, and find out for ourselves, Amos. We’ve never made it a point to depend on others when we had a thing to be done, like the old farmer did, you remember.”

“Well, perhaps I’ve heard the story, Jack, but it wouldn’t do any harm to tell it again,” suggested Amos.


“Oh! it is meant to show how foolish it is to think others will do things as well as you can yourself,” Jack commenced. “You see, it is something of a fairy story, too, and concerns a mother bird that had her little brood nearly ready for flying, with the nest concealed among the ripening grain of a farmer.”

“A dangerous place to build a nest, that’s sure,” observed Amos.

“One day when she came home the youngsters were in a great fright, for they said the farmer and his son had been walking close by, and declared the grain was ready to be cut, so they would send around for the neighbors, and start in on the next day. After she had managed to quiet her excited little brood the mother bird told them there was no need of worry, for the grain would not be cut.

“The next day when she came home they were as badly scared as before. The farmer and his son had been around again, and this time the old man declared that since their neighbors had all been too busy to respond, he would have to call[130] in his relatives, and get the wheat cut on the following day.”

Amos laughed.

“Chances were it wasn’t cut, Jack?” he remarked, sensibly.

“Well, she told them there was no danger, Amos; but when on the third day the mother bird came home, and the nestlings told her what had happened, it was different. The farmer had said that since neighbors and relatives had failed them, on the following day he and his son would have to take off their coats and reap the grain themselves. ‘It’s time we were going then, children,’ said the wise mother bird, ‘for when a man says he will do a thing himself, and stops depending on others, that settles it.’ And there’s the story, though I’m afraid it’s a chestnut.”

“Honestly, Jack, I never heard it before, though it’s a cracking good one, and illustrates the point you were making. But ever since we’ve been going together we’ve tried to do things ourselves, and depend on others just as little as possible. We’ll do it again in this case.”


“I’ll take the first chance I can find to have a little talk with the commander,” ventured Jack.

“About our getting ashore, you mean?”

“Yes,” replied Jack, “for it isn’t the easiest thing going, you can understand, making a landing, when a thousand enemy eyes may be on the watch. First thing you know they may open on you with a quick-firer, and your name will be Dennis.”

“Still, they must have some way of communicating with the forces ashore, and sending ammunition as well as provisions to them,” urged Amos.

“I imagine all that is done under cover of darkness, when a landing can be made without drawing the fire of the enemy. With every light out one of these small dispatch boats can creep in close enough to send a boat-load ashore. Perhaps some of these transports that look as if they had come a long distance may be loaded with more Australian or New Zealand troops.”

“They’re coming from all over the world to[132] take a hand in this fierce scrap, it seems,” suggested Amos. “Canadians, Hindoos, New Zealanders they call Kiwis and Australians known as Kangaroos, Algerians, Egyptians, Senegalese, and lots of others. It is a world war, sure enough, Jack.”

“Just stop and think of it for a minute,” urged Jack, shaking his head as the immensity of the titanic struggle struck him. “Besides Belgium, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and France, there is Russia, with dozens of different tribes, and Austria with a patchwork lot of peoples. Then little Servia, and still smaller Montenegro are fighting. Italy is bound to get in the scrap at any day now, and before the end comes the Turk may find Rumania and Greece at his throat, eager to help kick him out of Europe.”

“No one knows yet what the end will be,” Amos continued in the same strain. “Even Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland may be dragged into the row. I only hope the good old United States is able to keep out of it, that’s all. We don’t want to fight the Germans[133] if we can help it, because we think too much of them as a people.”

“We’ll never go in unless we are forced to,” declared Jack. “The only thing I’m afraid may get us there is this submarine warfare which Germany has started. They are torpedoing passenger steamers, and when some Americans are drowned Uncle Sam is apt to get riled, you know, and roll up his sleeves for business.”

They sat there chatting in this strain for some time. It was impossible to ever tire of the wonderful scene spread before them, with all those vessels that represented the vast sea power of Great Britain and France moving to and fro.

“Germany keeps her fleet shut up in the Kiel Canal all the time. What do you suppose their object is, Jack?” Amos asked after a while.

“They are waiting in hopes of crippling the British fleet by use of the submarines and mines,” he was told. “Already several old battleships have been lost out here, and others have been sunk closer at home. But I’ve been told that so many super-dreadnaughts have been finished[134] since the war began that the British fleet is ever so much stronger today than early last August when the shadow of war fell across Europe.”

“All German commerce has been driven from the sea routes,” said Amos; “and what vessels have escaped capture are hiding in different friendly ports. Why, over in New York, you remember, we saw nearly a dozen splendid big steamers that haven’t earned a dollar since July last. And they daren’t go outside the harbor either.”

“For a pretty good reason, too,” chuckled the other. “Didn’t we see three British cruisers, stripped for action, hovering near by when we passed Sandy Hook lightship on our way out? They would soon riddle the biggest German vessel, and sink her, if there was any attempt made at getting out. The sea just at present doesn’t belong to the Kaiser.”

“I can see the Vice-Admiral standing by himself up on the bridge,” Amos remarked just then. “If only you could catch his eye he might beckon[135] to you to join him there, for I fancy he’s taken a great liking to you, Jack.”

“That would give me the opening I wanted, to ask a favor of him about being put ashore, wouldn’t it, Amos? Besides, he would be likely to know about where aviation headquarters might be found.”

“Nothing like trying, Jack; and here’s wishing you luck.”

Jack managed to stroll forward until near the bridge. He stood there, keeping an eye on the figure in the admiral’s uniform. Apparently the commander was using his binoculars to some purpose, possibly locating certain units of the fleet so as to know which way to look for any orders that might come from the one in supreme control, while darkness rested on the sea.

Something caused him to glance downward after a little while, and seeing Jack saluting him, he smiled. Then, just as Amos had prophesied, he beckoned the boy to ascend to the bridge and join him.

Amos laughed softly when he saw this.[136] Doubtless he was saying to himself that he was a good guesser, since he had made a bull’s-eye the first shot. He watched Jack join the commander, who immediately engaged him in earnest conversation, pointing out certain warships as though telling Jack what they had accomplished. Then Jack must have started to mention what he and his comrade wished to do, for the Vice-Admiral seemed to be listening, occasionally saying something as the opportunity arose.

“It’s all right,” Amos remarked, in a satisfied tone. “I know he’ll do nearly anything Jack asks of him, because my chum has such a convincing way about him, he can nearly always carry his point. And it may be we’ll not be aboard the bully old Thunderer when dawn breaks, though that remains to be seen.”

A short time afterwards he saw Jack again salute the grizzled commander, and start down from the bridge, while the officer again used his glass to locate the most prominent units of the big fleet of war vessels.



“You see I was right about his asking you up on the bridge, Jack. What sort of luck did you have?” demanded Amos, when his chum joined him on deck.

“Good enough in some ways, though he couldn’t tell me positively whether there would be an aviation camp ashore,” Jack replied. “He did mention one on an island quite some ways off, where the injured war vessels are taken for temporary repairs. I made up my mind that since we had the chance we’d better go ashore first. If it turns out that there are no aeroplane pilots in camp we can find a way to come back again; and he says he’ll see we get to the island all right.”

“I felt it in my bones you could get nearly anything you wanted out of the Vice-Admiral,” boasted Amos.


“As far as that goes,” the other told him, “I rather believe it was the paper we carry, signed by Kitchener, that did the trick. Every British officer on sea or land we’ve let look at that signature has acted as if he couldn’t do too much for the boys K. of K. wanted to help.”

“But how about getting ashore, and when can we go, Jack?”

“Here’s the way it stands,” came the reply. “Some time late tonight, after twelve, he said, there will come up a dispatch boat that is expected to run over to the peninsula, and make a landing, carrying orders, and other things, too.”

“And we can go aboard that, can we?” questioned Amos.

“Yes, the kind Vice-Admiral will have it all arranged for us. He also means to give us a document that will help us when we want to leave the peninsula again, no matter whether we’ve found Frank or not.”

“Good for him, Jack. One of the best things we seem to run up against is this finding a friend[139] when in need. It’s all cut and dried now, then, and we can count on getting ashore before morning breaks.”

“Barring accidents, Amos.”

“Just what do you mean by that?” asked the other, curiously.

“Stop and think how much risk hangs over a landing on the rocky peninsula, when sharp-eyed Turkish soldiers are on guard everywhere by tens of thousands, and all sorts of barbed wire entanglements have been set to trap the unwary. These landings are mighty dangerous affairs at the best, I understand.”

“They must be,” Amos admitted readily enough, “when any minute you may find yourself made a target for a quick-firer that shoots bullets as fast as you can wink, and cuts men down like ripe grain. But the darkness is in our favor, Jack.”

“Yes, and in spite of the danger some thousands of British soldiers and Territorials are ashore right now, ready to fight to the last gasp so as to hold the bit of enemy land they are squatted[140] on. When the sun comes up I count on being with them.”

“And then we may know if Frank is there or not,” added Amos, fervently, for that one consideration was ever foremost in his mind.

The two comrades had been seeking the missing one so long now, and met with so many disappointments just when success seemed within their grasp, that Amos could hardly be blamed for feeling terribly despondent at times.

That was where having a cheery chum came in, for Jack had buoyed his spirits up many a time when Amos felt that the outlook was “as blue as indigo.”

As the afternoon wore away and the sun sank to rest, the boys took note of the fact that all signs seemed to promise a good day on the morrow. This counted for considerable with them; for according to all reports there had been a season of fogs and even storms recently that had held up the work of reducing the forts defending the waterway to Constantinople.

“In spite of the stars we’ll have overhead,”[141] said Jack, “I think the night will be a dark one.”

“All the better for our landing, I should say,” was Amos’ comment.

They had been watching the preparations made by some of the battleships to meet the constant danger from a submarine, for of late it had been rumored that the Germans had succeeded in shipping an undersea boat in sections through Bulgaria, and that it might be heard from any day.

Since that time one of the larger submersibles is said to have made the long water trip past Gibraltar, and the entire length of the Mediterranean, arriving unexpectedly in time to do terrible damage among the Allied fleets; but earlier in the summer even the threat of hidden peril gave the commander of the flotilla grave concern.

In some cases nets were used to protect a vessel lying to or drifting; but as a rule their greatest protection lay in an utter absence of lights aboard. Like grim shadows the floating batteries lay here and there on the sea, ready with[142] steam up to move at any time. The destroyers hovered near by, constantly on guard; and from time to time brilliant searchlights would sweep the surroundings so thoroughly that not even a rowboat could escape their penetrating ray.

It can be easily understood that these arrangements so deeply interested the two boys that they could not bear to leave the deck until told by a steward that supper was waiting in the mess-room. That appealed strongly to Amos, whose appetite, always fair, had been considerably sharpened by the salt sea air.

The officers whom they met at supper were a very kindly set. They had heard enough about the American lads to feel considerable interest in their fortunes. Besides, being men who knew what it was to take chances, they could admire pluck no matter where found.

The daring feat of Jack and his chum in capturing the notorious blockade runner, Captain Zenos, and his entire crew, without any outside assistance, made the boys heroes in the eyes of the British officers. Hence they paid them constant[143] attention, and stood ready to extend a helping hand whenever asked.

Jack, always looking ahead, asked many questions as he ate his supper. In this way he managed to pick up much information concerning things that bore an intimate connection with the enterprise he and Amos had in view.

He had explained to him how those dangerous night landings were effected, so as to take as few chances as possible. One of the officers had been ashore, it happened, and was able to tell something concerning the nature of the rough ground likely to be encountered, cut up in large and small gullies that would make any advance on the part of the troops a difficult proposition indeed.

Later on the boys once more sought their favorite place on deck to spend some time in talking matters over.

Night had now settled down over the sea, though it was hardly as dark as might be expected later on. They could make out the shadowy outlines of one or two fighters of the fleet[144] not far away. Few sounds were heard, as silence had been impressed upon every crew; and such labor as could be left until morning was suspended.

“We must get to our bunks before a great while,” Jack suggested, “because we can only count on a few hours’ sleep if that dispatch boat comes a little after midnight, as the commander told me it would.”

“Did you get that little paper from him he promised you?”

“Yes, it was handed to me while we were at the table,” Jack replied. “Even in the midst of the weighty matters that are holding his attention these days the kind-hearted Vice-Admiral, who has taken such an interest in your hunt for Frank, didn’t forget his promise.”

“We were certainly born under a lucky star, to have such good friends raised up for us right along,” laughed Amos.

“If we fail to find Frank on Gallipoli,” Jack declared, “we can get aboard the Thunderer again and make a fresh start. You understand[145] the great favor granted to us, for as a rule no civilian is ever allowed on British battleships in war times, and especially in the midst of work like that we’ve seen today.”

“It’s a mighty fine thing to have a smooth tongue, and a convincing way about you, let me tell you, Jack, old chum.”

“But,” protested the other, “from my way of looking at it all my abilities would have counted for very little if we hadn’t been fortunate enough to capture that gun-running vessel and turn the stuff over to the Allies. You see that old rascal of a Captain Zenos has something of a name as a sharp character. They have never been able to catch him, even though they knew he was carrying explosives and guns to the Turks right along. And they think we have earned all we are getting from the Vice-Admiral.”

“Well, all I can say is that it feels good to be appreciated,” Amos concluded.

They found themselves getting sleepy before long. Of late their rest had been sadly broken, and besides they expected to be aroused before[146] many hours. So when Jack proposed that they say good-night to the outside world and seek their little quarters where they had already passed one comfortable night, Amos offered no objection.

The last look around showed them only a few vivid lanes of white light traveling this way and that, and which would keep up all through the weary watches of that long night—searchlights seeking signs of a foe that might try to creep out and spread consternation and destruction among the numerous warships of the fleet. All else was by this time swathed in the utter gloom that had come as the night deepened.

Whoever the unfortunate officer was who had been invalided home, the boys considered themselves very lucky to be given his comfortable quarters. If they were a little crowded for space that did not matter, and they were used to bunking together, so this fact gave them no concern.

They made themselves ready so that little time might be wasted when the call came; for they had[147] been told that someone would arouse them when the dispatch boat arrived.

In fact, the boys lay down just about as they were, never going to the trouble of even removing their leggings or shoes.

Amos called it “turning in all standing,” though he must have picked up the phrase from some seafarer; sailors often have to throw themselves down wet and just as they are, only too glad to get an hour’s sleep in the midst of a storm that by its violence has utterly worn everyone out.

The battleship was very steady, partly because of the stillness of the sea at that particular time; had the waves been running high it would doubtless have proven far less pleasant to “land-lubbers” like Jack and Amos.

“Wake me early, mother dear,” said Amos as he turned in, “because tomorrow will be the first of May. Seriously speaking, Jack, if I’m so sound asleep I don’t hear the pounding on the door, give me a kick, will you?”

“You can depend on me to do the same,”[148] laughed Jack. “But there’s small danger of you not waking. A cat couldn’t walk across the floor without you bobbing up your head and asking ‘who’s there?’ We can have about four hours’ nap, and that will have to do us for the night.”

Both boys were soon asleep. There were hosts of things they might have allowed themselves to think about, but neither of them had ever fallen into the bad habit of doing all their worrying when in bed.

They were aroused by a rap at the door, not a loud summons, but quite boisterous enough to cause two heads to rise from the pillow, while Jack called out:

“Hello! there, what is it?”

“Lieutenant’s compliments, sir, and he says the dispatch boat is coming on, and will you please come on deck as soon as you can,” a man’s voice replied.

“Ay, ay, our compliments to the lieutenant, and tell him we’ll be with him in two shakes of a lamb’s tail,” and with these words Amos was on his feet.



Amos was now glad that Jack had been so positive about making all their arrangements beforehand. The dispatch boat would be in somewhat of a hurry, as the commander doubtless had a regular schedule to be carried out; and any unexpected delay was apt to disarrange this.

“I’m ready!” sang out Amos, almost before the marine who had aroused them according to orders from the lieutenant, whose duty kept him on deck at this hour, could have made his report.

“Same here,” came a voice from the darkness, “and the sooner we make out to reach the deck the better. They may object to losing even a minute of their precious time for a couple of Yankee boys.”

They knew their way perfectly, whether it were broad daylight or in the inky darkness of[150] night. Jack had looked out for that. It was a habit born of his woodcraft education that when in strange quarters the first thing to be done must be to impress every little thing on his mind—and a very good idea for any boy to take as his motto.

So they came on deck without colliding with anything. The first thing Jack did—and this also sprang from his two years’ experience out on the plains—was to cast an eye aloft.

The stars shone brightly, even though the world below lay shrouded in darkness. Those stars meant much more to Jack Maxfield than they might to the ordinary careless, happy-go-lucky lad. He was so well acquainted with the positions of the various planets that stood for the signs of the zodiac that all he needed at any time was one good look around, and he could tell pretty closely what the hour was.

Knowing this strong point on the part of his chum, Amos therefore was not at all surprised to hear him immediately mutter:

“It’s a good deal later than I expected. They[151] said the boat would come any time after midnight; but right now it’s less than two hours to peep of dawn.”

“Ginger! that may play the dickens with our plans for getting ashore, Jack!” exclaimed Amos. It might be noticed that never for one instant did he question the accuracy of his comrade’s statement; for in truth he had seen the other prove his ability to tell time by the position of the stars again and again.

“Oh, let’s hope not,” Jack went on to say with his customary assurance, for he always saw the bright side of things. “They must know what they are doing, and just how long it’s going to take them to run across to Gallipoli.”

“Yes, and, Jack, you remember the commander assured you they would have to send a boat in to shore, no matter what happened, for certain things had to be delivered to the general in charge of the Territorials. I guess it’s going to be all right.”

“There’s the dispatch boat coming up now, and with only one light showing. All these movements[152] look ghostly, let me tell you, Amos.”

“But there’s a good reason for every one of them,” remarked Amos, as they watched the swift boat drawing close to the bulky battleship.

“You can be sure there is,” said Jack. “If ever there was a case where constant vigilance is the price of safety, the British seamen know it during these exciting days. They never can tell when, without warning, a torpedo will smash against the side of their war vessel, sinking it inside of five minutes.”

“Or an aeroplane come sailing along overhead, and try to drop bombs down on the deck that might do a heap of damage. Whew! talk about living under a strain, I bet there’ll be a lot of old-young men after this war is over. Their hair will turn white in a year, from the constant suspense and worry.”

“There, the dispatch boat has halted, and they are sending a boat over to us, you can see. I make out the dip of the oars in the water, and can just barely hear the same in the rowlocks.[153] We’re expected to go off in that same boat, Amos.”

Two minutes later and they saw someone come aboard. The lieutenant of the big battleship met him and there ensued a short talk in low tones. Doubtless he was first of all handing over something which was to be taken ashore, possibly mail for the Territorials from their home ports. Then Jack guessed he must be giving the Vice-Admiral’s orders that the two American boys be landed at the camp, particular care being taken to insure their safety.

Immediately afterwards the officer belonging to the Thunderer turned and made a gesture with his hand that Jack knew must be meant for them. Accordingly he and his comrade drew forward.

“You are to be put in charge of this gentleman, who will see that you are taken ashore. It is the admiral’s orders, and we hope you will meet in your search with the success you certainly deserve.”

The British officer would not likely say as much as that to most strangers, but somehow[154] these two wide-awake lads had become favorites in the mess-room during their brief stay aboard the grim war vessel.

Shaking hands with the lieutenant, after he had made the first move himself, the boys managed to drop into the waiting boat with a fair amount of agility. Although they may not have been born seamen, and indeed, until lately, had had very little to do with boats of any size, at the same time they were naturally nimble, and athletic as well.

The two sailors rowed them across to the destroyer which was acting as a dispatch boat, awaited their coming, lying like a bird on the heaving bosom of the sea. They lost no time in getting aboard, after which the boat was hoisted with as little noise as possible.

Indeed, silence seemed to be at a premium in these exciting times. Every block had apparently been well oiled so that when the ropes pulled through there would be no squeaking to announce the fact. Smaller things than this have betrayed the presence of a boat to lurking foes;[155] and evidently the order had gone forth that nothing should be left undone to baffle those who would only too willingly open a battery upon them.

Now they were off.

The boys first of all noticed the difference in motion when aboard the speedy destroyer as compared with the bulky battleship.

“I guess the one might be called a bulldog and the other a greyhound, so far as looks and speed go,” said Amos, speaking almost in a whisper, for everything seemed to be done in such a ghostly fashion that he did not dare talk out in his natural tones.

“But I like this much better than the other,” Jack told him. “It makes you feel almost as if you were flying. We are cutting through the water at a rate of twenty miles an hour right now, and yet you’d hardly believe it.”

Another stop was made, and more mail collected or delivered. Evidently then the dispatch boat was also being used for the mails. Amos began to feel a little uneasy again.


“All I hope is that we don’t have to make many more stops like this,” he muttered disconsolately, as they strained their eyes to make out the shadowy shape of the big sea fighter close to which they had come to, while the boat was again lowered and rowed away. “Ten precious minutes each and every time would soon put us on the ragged edge.”

“Oh! they know what they are doing,” Jack assured him. “Right now I bet you the commander of this little craft has the minutes figured up, and understands just when he can get to where he expects to run his boat ashore. And you’ll find that it isn’t going to be done in broad daylight either.”

Jack absolutely refused to borrow trouble. He had perfect faith in those keen-witted officers who had control of the war vessels. If they were not fully competent he believed they would not be filling the responsible positions they held in His Majesty’s service.

Presently the boat returned, and was once more hoisted aboard.


“This time let’s hope it’s come for good,” ventured Amos.

“They seem to be taking more pains at stowing it away than before,” Jack informed him, “and from that fact I imagine it’s going to stay aboard for a spell. Yes, and as we start off you may notice that they’ve changed the course by several points.”

“Well, it’s little escapes you, Jack, I must say. Now that you mention it I can see that we are running straight toward that bright star, while before this it lay on our right. Do you think we’re pointing into the east now?”

“Well, hardly that,” mused Jack; “rather something like east-by-north would fit in better.”

At that Amos chuckled.

“Whew! what d’ye think of that now—my chum here beginning to talk like an old salt, and able to box the compass like any Jack Tar. By the time we get home you’ll be a regular walking encyclopedia of knowledge.”

“Perhaps I may,” replied the other quietly, “but one thing sure, if I miss anything it isn’t[158] going to be my fault. Now, as we’re spinning along at such a fast clip we had better get out of the breeze, and stop talking so much.”

Amos just gloried in the speed they were making. He mentally calculated that it must assuredly be close on thirty miles an hour. Never in all his life had he experienced anything like it when aboard a boat.

As the minutes crept on the boys continued to keep a bright lookout ahead. They thought several times they could see shadowy objects on the water, but were never quite sure whether these were boats belonging to the fleet, or islands. Once or twice they watched the swinging around the circle of a powerful searchlight, no doubt aboard a sentry vessel. When it fell on the destroyer and rested there, they knew full well signals were set to disclose their identity. Then the dazzling shaft passed on as though the workers of the searchlight had become convinced of their friendly mission.

An hour and more had gone. Amos was getting nervous.


“I’m sure it can’t be very far from peep of dawn, Jack,” he said, crossly. “Still, we’re shooting along as if we had the whole night ahead of us.”

“I wonder what those dim lights can be I make out dead ahead,” ventured Jack, who himself knew that the dawn was really coming on, though he did not wish to admit as much to Amos, for fear of increasing the other’s unrest.

“Why, yes, there are a number of them, too. Try your glass on the same, Jack. It does pretty good night work, as well as in the daytime.”

A minute later and Jack made an announcement.

“As near as I can make out they seem to be smouldering camp-fires, Amos.”

“Oh! that must mean we are in sight of the camp of the Territorials—those fellows from the other side of the world, Australia, New Zealand and perhaps South Africa. Then it can’t be long now before we get in close enough to launch a boat, and start for the shore.”

The minutes passed. Jack saw the darkness[160] was beginning to be dissipated; already the gray of dawn had come. His flesh tingled with eagerness to learn what difference that would make. Possibly the enemy was kept at a sufficient distance from the landing place by the presence of the troops ashore, so that it was really safe to use a small boat without any great risk, even in the gray mists of early dawn.

“Oh! see what the sailors are pointing at over there, Jack!” suddenly exclaimed Amos. “It looks like a pole sticking out of the water, only it’s moving all the time. Jack, I wonder now can that be the periscope of one of those terrible submarines?”

And Jack, fastening his eyes on the odd sight, hastened to add:

“It seems almost too strange to be true, Amos, but I do believe you’re right!”



Those aboard the destroyer had doubtless been on the watch for just such a sight as this for many weeks. Every seaman had been carefully drilled how to use his eyes in order to distinguish what the periscope of a submersible would look like if he ever had the luck to discover one sticking out of the water.

Jack and Amos, after making sure that this was indeed what they saw, closed their hands tight as a sensation akin to alarm passed over them. Would the submarine actually waste one of her valuable torpedoes on the small enemy, a destroyer? They were more inclined to believe the under-sea boat would be apt to dive, and thus slip away from danger.

Orders were hastily given. The speed of the boat suddenly changed as though it were a part of the scheme to confuse the Germans, who[162] might even then be observing them by means of their periscope.

But this was not to be the sum total of the destroyer’s programme. There came a sudden burst of firing, and the boys saw the water churned into foam around the spot where a few seconds before that queer tube had been sighted.

Nothing could be seen of the under-sea boat, which had evidently gone down after its custom. Already the destroyer had commenced to circle around the place, and everyone aboard strained his eyesight in order to see whether the first sign of the volley from the small guns had succeeded in its mission.

“Why, how still the water seems to be here,” remarked Amos. “Yet all around us the sea is moving in choppy little waves.”

“There may be a reason for that,” said Jack. “You know that sometimes vessels in distress during a storm at sea have found it worth while to tow a bag of oil after them. It helps to smooth the breaking billows a good deal.”

“But how would oil come here, Jack, because[163] we haven’t thrown any—oh! do you mean it looks as if the submarine had been struck when they sent that volley at the periscope?”

“That’s what I mean, and if you listen to what the men are saying you’ll see they think the same way,” Jack asserted.

“And if the boat was struck it may never come to the surface again, which would make a lot of jackies in the big fleet happy, I guess,” Amos concluded.

The destroyer circled the spot several times, but nothing was seen beyond some bubbles, and the oil on the surface of the sea. If the submarine had been wrecked they would never know it, because it must stay on the bottom of the sea, and the crew be suffocated as time passed. On the other hand, if it had not been seriously injured by now it was far away, and proceeding under the surface, perhaps heading so as to get at one of the battleships.

One of the first things to be done after communications with the shore had been effected would be to let the commander of the fleet know[164] about the presence of a small submarine, so that all extra precautions might be taken against a surprise.

“What happened, do you think, Jack?” wondered Amos, the gunners ready to let fly with another volley at the first sign of the enemy under-sea boat.

“Ask me something easy, please,” he was told. “They’re all hoping the submarine got her death wound, and will never come up again. I’m a little skeptical about that. It wouldn’t surprise me any to hear that before long some warship, perhaps a big one at that, had been torpedoed.”

“Those Germans are seldom caught asleep at the switch, are they?” asked Amos.

“Oh! they’re no better, no worse than others, I take it. The best of them will get caught napping sometimes. When they poked their periscope out so as to take a look around with the coming of daylight they never dreamed a sassy little destroyer was within a hundred feet of them.”

“Do you think they saw us, Jack?”

“As like as not they did, which would account[165] for the hurry they showed at sinking again. But the shot covered every foot of the water around where we saw that spying tube. And these gunners have all been instructed just how to shoot so as to bring about the destruction of a submersible.”

“Well, they’re giving it up, you see, Jack, and once more heading toward the lights ashore. I can see them much better now, so I reckon all this firing must have aroused the campers, who are starting up their fires, thinking of breakfast.”

“Another thing you notice, Amos, we’re not going straight any longer, but with a distinct wiggle, turning first to the right and then to the left.”

“Then, after all, they’re not so sure about that submarine, and this motion is for the purpose of avoiding being struck by a torpedo,” Amos suggested, as though he considered that ample explanation for the queer movements of the destroyer.

“No, you’re wrong there,” his chum explained. “I think they’ve got in mind the Turks ashore,[166] who must have a number of batteries mounted back yonder.”

“You mean they half expect to be shot at from now on?” Amos asked.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were,” Jack admitted. “Thanks to the sea fog that is drifting along the edge of the shore, they will have some trouble locating us. The commander knows what he’s about, you can depend on it, Amos. And I’m not going to worry any more than I can help.”

They were by this time approaching the shore, which they could see was inclined to be rocky and very rough. A shallow beach ran along under the little bluff, however, and a landing could be easily effected if they were not subjected to a hot bombardment from rapid-fire guns.

As Jack had said more than once, the soldiers ashore knew very well how absolutely necessary it was that they should be able to communicate with the fleet; and on this account he believed they had pushed forward far enough to render a landing fairly safe.


Before the destroyer came to a stop there was heard the heavy report of a gun somewhere up on the hillside a mile or so. This was followed by a great splash quite some distance away from them, showing that the missile must have been sent almost at random, or else the gun from which it came had been wretchedly aimed by the Turkish gunners in charge.

“No German sent that compliment to us,” asserted Jack, who had a high opinion of the Kaiser’s artillerymen, from having seen some remarkable results of their gunfire on the western front.

“If it was a Turk I only hope his eyesight keeps on being poor,” voiced Amos, wondering what it would feel like should a shell strike the destroyer fairly amidships, though he certainly had no desire to experience the sensation.

The light was getting stronger now. They, it seemed, had wasted some time in circling around while searching for signs of the submarine, and only for this the boys might have been safely ashore before then.


“They’re getting ready to drop the boat overboard,” Amos remarked a minute later. “That means we’re going ashore. I can see some soldiers under the little bluff, and they seem to be watching us, as if they know we are fetching them news from home. There, I saw a chap toss packages of mail into the boat, which explains the main reason we’re landing here.”

“One of the men ashore has a bag in his hand, which may contain letters some of them have written,” Jack was saying. “I wonder if it’s really true that every letter has to be left open, so no news of importance could be picked up by the enemy. You know over in England they’ve gone daffy over the German spy scare; and one of the Tommies out here might give things away.”

“Come on, Jack, let’s shove along so as to be ready to jump in when we’re given the word.”

“Afraid we may be left, are you, Amos? But it’s just as well to be ready, and then no blame for the delay can be put on our shoulders.”

Another shot came from the Turkish battery[169] on the slope of the hill. Perhaps by now the enemy had caught a glimpse of the gray destroyer through the little wisps of sea fog that were floating past. At any rate, the shell fell much closer than that first one had, a fact Amos viewed with more or less displeasure.

“They’re sure getting the range, Jack. If they keep on improving that way, by the time the fourth shell comes along it’s going to splash water over us, if nothing worse.”

“But before then we’ll be in the small boat, and pulling as fast as anything for the shore,” he was told; for Jack could always find a way to dissipate those depressing fears that assailed his comrade.

In fact, even before the destroyer had fully stopped moving the rowboat was dropped overboard, and a couple of men sprang into it. The same officer who had taken the boys from the battleship motioned them to follow suit, which they did without the loss of a second, after which he took his place in the stern and the boat started.

Jack and his companion were seated in the[170] bow. They had an uninterrupted view of the land, and could see everything that went on in that quarter.

Amos hoped the Turks might have lost sight of them by now, what with the sea fog, and the fact that the dawn was only coming on. He dreaded the possibility of being made a target for one of those terrible quick-firers that could rattle off the shots like hail beating on a tin roof.

As he sat there he was staring as hard as he could up beyond the little bluff back of the scanty beach. Glimpses of the distant hillside where the enemy lay in ambush could be caught; and since those in hiding were doubtless able to see as well on their part, the boy wondered whether their feeling of security might not turn out to be short-lived.

He knew they must take what came, since there was no way of “ducking” so as to avoid the shower of missiles. Again came that startling flash of fire far up the hillside. Amos involuntarily drew his head in just as if that could do him any good. Jack, on the other hand,[171] turned to glance back at the destroyer, for he felt it reasonable to believe the Turks would be more likely to spend their precious ammunition trying to sink a war vessel, than in smashing so small an object as a mail rowboat with just five occupants.

It was as he suspected. He saw the splash as the missile struck the water, and close to the destroyer, too. The saucy little war vessel had been waiting for this, and immediately fired a volley from her guns. Doubtless small damage, if any, could be effected, for the Turks had built earthen barricades to protect their batteries. It would serve as notice, however, that those aboard the destroyer were not in the least daunted by the bombardment.

At the same time the vessel was seen to be in motion. It was the intention of the commander to take no chances. He could run out a mile or so to sea, and await a signal from those going ashore, when once more the destroyer would come in so as to pick up the boat.

With lusty strokes the two rowers bent to their[172] oars, and the boat made rapid progress toward the beach where a landing was intended to be made. If all went well for a few minutes Jack felt that they would be under the shelter of that bluff, and hence out of range of the enemy’s guns. But to Amos those minutes seemed the longest he had ever known; at every second he half expected hearing a crash that would announce the opening of new trouble.



“They’ve discovered what’s going on!”

Amos made this muttered remark in the ear of his chum when a missile of some sort splashed the water, so that the spray blew across their faces.

Whether the shell had been fired directly at the small boat that was being propelled toward the shore, or simply fell short when sent after the destroyer, they could not say, but nevertheless it was a close shave.

Jack did not answer immediately. His heart was fluttering with suspense, since there could be no telling what might happen next. If the Turks had really discovered the boat through the mists of the early morning there was nothing to hinder them from sending a hail of missiles that way through the medium of a rapid-fire gun.

The two boys were not the only ones who[174] waited with more or less anxiety to discover what their fate was to be. When nothing happened, and seconds passed, with the shore line drawing constantly closer, they began to breathe more freely.

“I guess it’s going to be all right after all,” ventured Amos, in a relieved tone that found an echo in Jack’s heart.

“You see we get the benefit of that bluff now,” the latter explained. “It hides us from the eyes of the Turkish sentries. Perhaps they think they’ve driven the destroyer off before she could drop a boat, and they’re giving all their attention to her right now.”

Whatever the reason might be, both of them felt pleased not to attract the notice of the vigilant enemy. They could by this time see a number of figures dressed in khaki waiting for them on the beach. They were, doubtless, members of the Territorial forces who had effected this landing some little time before, and who yearned to welcome the boat that might be bringing them letters from their far-away homeland.


Presently the keel ran up on the beach, and as several stout fellows laid hold of the bow the boat was quickly dragged well along, so that those aboard could jump ashore without even getting their feet wet.

The officer from the destroyer did not mean to stay any longer than he could help. That friendly mist might clear away at any minute, when the task of getting back to his boat would present new difficulties.

He said a few words to one of the men, and the newcomers were told to accompany the latter up the bank. The two seamen from the destroyer were ordered to stand by the boat, as their services would be needed presently.

When they made their way up the little bluff, the boys noticed that the path led along what seemed to be a gully. They could easily understand why the Territorials had selected this particular route, since it afforded them a certain measure of protection from the vigilant eyes of the ever-wakeful enemy.

Bending low, they soon found themselves on[176] a little plateau. It was sheltered from above by rocks and trees. At the same time the boys noticed that everyone who crossed this level always did so in more or less haste, bending part way over through excessive caution.

“It’s become a regular habit hereabouts, seems like,” whispered Amos, always noticing things that appeared strange to him, “to duck as you walk. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of fellows have paid dearly for standing up too straight and making targets of themselves. Then again it may be these Kangaroos from the other side of the world have some queer ways of their own. All the same, I’m doing it myself, thank you.”

In a short time they had reached a tent that stood under an overhanging rock. Undoubtedly this might be called “Headquarters,” for as the Territorials were just “hanging on,” as they called it, at this stage in the invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula, they could not think of comfort, safety being the first consideration.

An officer was standing at the flap of the khaki[177] tent waiting for them. Information must have been carried to him with regard to the presence of the destroyer, and he could readily guess that the boat carried mail as well as instructions for his guidance.

The officer who had come ashore was anxious to start back. He quickly handed over the mail sack he carried, and received in turn what letters were waiting to go, at the same time remarking:

“These two lads are American boys who are turned over to your care, Colonel. They will be glad to explain how they happened to be aboard the Thunderer. The Vice-Admiral confides them to your guardianship, and begs that you will render them all the assistance in your power. You will pardon me, I am sure, for my brevity, but if I am to get back safely to my boat, I shall have to be in haste.”

“I trust that you will not linger a minute longer,” remarked the stalwart Territorial officer whom the boys had heard addressed as Colonel. “Give my regards to the Vice-Admiral, and[178] assure him I shall take great pleasure in doing as he requests.”

Without waiting any longer, the young officer turned and began to retrace his way down to the beach, though he did think to shake hands with both of the boys before leaving them, wishing them the best of good luck.

No sooner had he left than the Colonel spoke to his guests.

“If you will be seated I may be able to give you attention in a short time. My brave fellows are fairly wild to hear from home, and this is the fattest lot of mail we have had for many days. I shall take great pleasure in listening to your story while we eat our breakfast together; and rest assured that if there is anything I can do to assist you, my services are at your command.”

His manner was so extremely hearty that it was not strange for the two boys to notice it. After he had left them Amos was the first to make a remark.

“Somehow I reckon there’s a considerable difference[179] between these Territorials and the Britishers. It strikes me they resemble us Americans a whole lot, being frank, hearty and breezy. Anyway, I want to say right in the start I like that Colonel first rate, and I hope he lives to go back home again to his wife and family when this cruel war is over; for chances are ten to one that he has a family.”

Jack felt pretty much the same way, though not accustomed to giving vent to his feelings as readily as his cousin. The Colonel struck him as being a fine chap, and he felt sure everything possible would be done to advance their cause while they were the guests of these gallant Australians.

“I’m glad we managed to run the gauntlet safely,” Jack remarked, after a little time had passed, “for when that single shot struck the water so close to our boat I was afraid the Turks had discovered us, and would proceed to riddle us with a hail of bullets. It was about as thrilling a minute as we’ve ever passed through.”


“By now the boat must be heading out from the shore again,” said Amos, jumping to his feet to look, immediately adding excitedly: “Yes, there she is as sure as anything, with the men pulling like horses. I’m afraid the mist is rising some, and if that is so they’ll surely be seen.”

Jack at that got upon his feet to look, and after a pause went on to remark:

“No, I think you’re mistaken there, Amos, for it has swept down again. It seems to come and go in flukes. You can hear the stroke of the oars in spite of the care they use to hide the sound.”

“There goes a gun up on the hill!” exclaimed Amos. “Perhaps the Turks have such fine hearing that they too have caught the sound of oars, and are firing at random in hopes of striking the boat, for that shot struck some distance away. They could hardly hit a barn, anyway, I’m told, except by accident.”

“There,” said Jack in turn, “some of the troops are shouting, but between you and me I believe all that row is started to hide the sound[181] of the oars. Besides, it may divert the attention of the watching gunners, who are always expecting a rush from these wide-awake Territorials.”

The boys had heard more or less about the Australian and New Zealand troops when on board the Thunderer. The brilliant work that had already been done by the men from the antipodes seemed to give the British the most intense satisfaction. Backed by such stalwart hosts from the various territories claimed by the Mother country, from Canada, South Africa, India and the other parts of the world, they believed the future was certain.

There were no further shots fired up on the hillside, which went to prove that the attention of the vigilant gunners must have been diverted by those loud yells that would have done credit, Jack said, to a band of Western cow-punchers galloping madly into a plains settlement after pay day for their monthly picnic.

The small boat had vanished from view, and the boys began to feel that the three occupants[182] were pretty sure to get aboard the destroyer presently. Relieved by this cheering fact, they felt that they could once more begin to pay attention to other affairs.

“If these fellows have only managed to get a foothold here,” remarked Amos, “I’m mighty sure they don’t mean to be dislodged. You can see they’ve got quick-firers a-plenty, and in time some big guns will be put ashore. What does it all mean, do you think?”

“Nobody seems to care to discuss it with us,” replied Jack, “but I can read between the lines that already the losses in warships the British have suffered has begun to make them fear the job of forcing the straits is going to be a lot harder than was first figured on. So they’re beginning to get ready to undertake the thing in a different fashion.”

“By cutting a way across the peninsula, and commanding the strait beyond, when they can clean out the nest of Turks, and control things—of course that’s what you mean; and, Jack, I think myself that’s the only way to do it.”


Amos spoke lightly at the time, as though he believed that when there were sufficient forces ashore the obstacles that confronted the Allies could be easily brushed aside. It took months of desperate hand-to-hand fighting, with frightful losses on both sides, to convince the Allies that they had one of the most difficult tasks on their hands that ever confronted an army.

The Gallipoli peninsula has been admirably fitted by nature for defense, since it consists of elevations and gullies, with comparatively little shelter. In these days of murderous rapid-fire guns and explosive shells an advance under such difficulties presents a grim choice of death, with very little certainty of any gain save in yards dearly purchased.

All this was to be learned as the summer progressed, and fall coming on found the problem far from solved.

“Listen!” cried Amos, suddenly, “that must have been some sort of signal from the destroyer. I wonder if they have taken the boat aboard, and started back to where the big fleet[184] lies, with anchors up, waiting for the day’s work to begin?”

“I think that was what it meant,” remarked Jack. “For one, I’m glad, for that young officer was a pretty genial fellow—for an Englishman. As a rule they’re a queer lot, and so reserved that until you get to understand them well you’re apt to think them cold-blooded and uppish. But we know different, don’t we?”

“From K. of K. down we’ve met with only kindness from them,” declared Amos, with sincerity in his voice. “I only hope and pray that we’re fated to come on my brother Frank ashore here.”

“If not, we’ll get back to the Thunderer tomorrow night, if possible, and then try to reach that Greek island where some of the seaplanes start from when doing their little daily stunt. But here comes the Colonel. Perhaps he’s found time to listen to what we have to tell him.”



The Colonel, however, did not stop beside them. He evidently had letters to read, and wished to look them over in the seclusion of his tent.

“We will be having breakfast before long,” he remarked to the two boys on passing, “and I shall expect you to be my guests for the time being. While we eat our scanty meal you can tell me all you wish me to know.”

Here and there the fires had been built up again, and preparations were proceeding for the morning meal. This interested the boys. They had their customary appetites with them; and, besides, were amused to see how differently these men from the other side of the world went about certain things in connection with cooking.

It was not long before enticing odors began to arrive that caused Amos to express himself:


“They know how to cook, let me tell you, Jack, even if their way of building a camp fireplace does look queer to us. I suppose different people have different ways of doing things. The result is, after all, the main thing, and if these splendid whiffs I’m getting mean anything I’ve got something to learn still.”

It was broad daylight when the Colonel came out of his tent again. Jack thought he looked as though he had had good news from home, for his eyes sparkled, and a smile could be seen on his bronzed face.

“Now, if you young chaps will sit down with me here at my camp table, we can talk while we eat,” he remarked as he joined them.

No one seemed to be at mess with the Colonel. Perhaps this was because they had duties elsewhere; or else he had let it be understood that he wished to be alone with the two American boys who had come from the Thunderer, bent on some mysterious errand that was yet to be made plain to him.

For a short time the conversation was on[187] general topics. The officer asked many questions, for he had not been in touch with the great outside world for weeks, and was naturally deeply interested in what might be going on across the Atlantic.

“I have been through your wonderful country years back,” he explained, as if to let them know why he took such an interest in America; “and I think it leads the whole world in many things. Most of us are hoping and praying that in this terrible world war that means everything to those who come after us, the Allies have the sympathy of the vast majority of your mixed people. Of course we recognize that nearly all who have Teuton blood in their veins would naturally side with our enemies.”

The boys assured him that as far as they knew that was the way things stood at the time they left home.

“And now,” continued the officer, kindly, “all I know about you is your names, so if you feel disposed to tell me what the Vice-Admiral wishes me to do for you I shall gladly take the matter[188] up, and act upon it, after today sees us through what we have laid out to perform.”

This was an invitation to begin at the start so as to tell him about Frank Turner, and how it happened he came to be turned out of his home some years back. Jack took it upon himself to be the spokesman, for Amos had insisted on this arrangement. He knew that Jack could gain more favors through his winning manner than he might ever expect to have come to him.

Jack did not enter too deeply into particulars. There was no need for them. When he spoke of Amos’ father having known Lord Kitchener long ago, and then handed the Territorial officer that wonderful paper which was now almost going to tatters through long handling, just as both boys expected, the result was all they could have hoped for.

After that Jack told how they had made their way along through that section of Belgium held by the Allies; and then, learning that Frank had gone to Northern France, searched for him there also.


No doubt the Colonel was astute enough to realize that the chums must have undergone many hardships, and encountered numerous perils while trying to get on the track of the missing Frank. He did not ask for incidents, however. If, later on, the boys cared to go deeper into details he would be only too well pleased to listen; but just now the rough outlines of the case satisfied him.

How his eyes sparkled when Jack modestly told of their latest adventure. Like most others who were in the Dardanelles fight, the Colonel had heard wonderful stories concerning the blockade-runner, Captain Zenos; and it astonished him beyond measure to hear Jack tell how he and his chum had trapped the cunning Greek, and finally turned his cargo and powerboat over to the Allies.

Before the story had been barely finished he was insisting on shaking hands with the two American lads, after his breezy fashion.

“I am more than proud to have met you, to shake hands with you!” he declared. “You are[190] boys after my own heart. I can conceive of nothing finer than the trick you played on Zenos; and the only thing I regret is that you didn’t see fit to hand him over to our people. That man has carried a vast amount of shells to the enemy. Many of the Allies have lost their lives just because of him; and he would never have run the blockade again, you can rest assured.”

“That was what we feared,” said Jack, “and it bothered us to know what we ought to do. Circumstances settled it for us. You see, he was shut up below, with all that explosive stuff. If he believed we meant to hand him over to the British the chances were that, in a fit of desperation, he might have blown the boat up, and all of us would have perished with her.”

“And you made a bargain with him, did you, promising to let him go free on condition that he behaved himself? Well, my son, after all is said and done that seems to have been a wise move on your part. Zenos is a reckless scoundrel, and he knows what would happen to him if caught.”


The story had now been finished, and the boys eagerly waited to hear what the Territorial officer would have to say. He seemed to be considering matters, since he remained silent for quite some time.

“As I understand it, Amos,” he finally remarked, turning upon the other as he spoke, “you have good reason to believe this dashing brother of yours is now with our force out here at the Dardanelles?”

“We know he started this way, and the chances are ten to one Frank has been doing some of his usual daring work here. We watched the aeroplanes and seaplanes soaring over the Turkish forts and batteries while the fleet was bombarding in the lower part of the straits yesterday, and something seemed to tell me that the one who dropped bombs into a fort, and blew up the magazine, must have been my brother.”

“Very possibly,” agreed the other, with a smile, “although we have some gallant fliers of our own stock who would hesitate at nothing.[192] Then your plan is to try and find out as soon as possible if Frank is here?”

“We were given to understand that possibly one or more of the aviators had found a convenient base on the peninsula, though the main body had their headquarters on one of the Greek islands some twenty miles or more away from here. What we planned to do was to first of all learn whether Frank could be the one ashore, as that would just be like his venturesome ways; if it turned out to be another flier, then the Vice-Admiral told us to get back to the Thunderer as soon as we could, and he would send us to the island.”

The Colonel was rubbing his chin after the manner of a man who might be trying to figure something out. Feeling sure that he would do everything possible to further their cause, the boys waited patiently to hear what he might have to say when his mind was made up.

“I have been given to understand,” he finally told them, “that there is one of our aviators who has found some place where he can drop down[193] and rise again, on the shore of Gallipoli; but I am sorry to say I have not myself seen him. I made inquiries only yesterday and one of my men, who has been at the camp of the New Zealanders a mile or more above us, told me he had seen and talked with the birdman. So I understand that he is taking advantage of the protection they are able to give him. The ground must differ radically from what we have here, because outside of one little exposed plateau there is absolutely no place an aeroplane could make a run to get a start when about to rise.”

Amos looked pleased.

“Oh! did he go so far as to describe the aviator, Colonel?” he asked. “See, here is a picture of my brother taken some years ago; perhaps he might be able to tell me from that, if we’re on the right track at last.”

“I’ll put you in touch with the man as soon as we are done with breakfast,” advised the obliging officer. “The chances are you will learn the facts, one way or another.”

“And if he seems inclined to say it is the same[194] person, how can we manage to get up to the other camp, Colonel?” asked Amos.

“Well, it would be utterly out of the question to think of trying such a game in broad daylight,” he was told. “We have no boats, you understand, and when this private was sent off on a mission to our fellows in the upper camp he was guided by a Greek named Arturus, who knows every foot of the way. He is still with us, and might be influenced to undertake to lead you there.”

“Oh! I’m not afraid in the least that he will refuse, after my cousin has had a chance to talk with him,” said Amos, at which the officer laughed.

“I believe your faith is not misplaced, for Jack certainly has a winning way about him,” he assured Amos. “Even if my mind had not already been made up to help you in every way possible, I think I would have fallen a victim to his arguments. I have a boy at home who is as much like Jack here as two peas in a pod—not in looks alone but manners as well.”


That partly explained why the doughty Colonel of the Territorials had looked so earnestly and often at Jack Maxfield. The sight of the resolute face of the American boy had put him in mind of his own son far away across the seas.

“When can we expect to take this venture, then, sir?” asked Jack, partly to hide his confusion, for compliments of any kind always made him turn red in the face, and feel uneasy.

“If tonight offers a fair chance you shall make the attempt,” he was told. “In the meantime you can meet the soldier who saw this aviator in the camp above, and also arrange with Arturus. I shall let the Greek know that I am giving my full permission to the enterprise, and you can make your own terms with him.”

“He is to be depended on, sir?” asked Jack, whose recent experience with Greek treachery somehow did not make him feel kindly disposed toward the inhabitants of the Hellenic islands.

“He is as true as steel, you can count on it. That slippery customer of a Zenos is an exception to the rule. We look on the Greeks as our[196] allies-to-be sooner or later, when the proper time comes. And while you are here today you will be given an opportunity to see something of the vigorous kind of fighting we have to engage in.”

“Then you mean to tackle the Turks again I take it, sir?” asked Amos, eagerly, for somehow he had become possessed of an ardent desire to see how these Australians fought, knowing as he did that their ways were radically different from those of the regular British troops; just as their habits of dress seemed to be.

“Yes, but I want you to promise me that you will keep far in the rear, and not run any unnecessary chances of getting hurt,” the Colonel proceeded. “While as a rule these Turks are poor marksmen, there are men among them, perhaps Germans it may be, who can hit the bullseye, and we have learned this to our sorrow.”

“We promise you, sir, not to expose ourselves, for you know we are neutral in this awful business,” Amos hastily remarked.



“And now,” said the Colonel, “if you are through with your breakfast I will send first of all for the private who went to the upper camp with Arturus the Greek, and then, in turn, you can meet the guide.”

He was as good as his word. In a very few minutes a soldier came up and saluted, a fellow who had discarded the leggings with which he had come from the other side of the world, and turned up his trouser-legs so as to keep cool, for the weather was already feeling rather uncomfortably warm to one accustomed to a cooler climate.

Later on these men from the other side of the world stripped half their garments off, and fought in that “free-and-easy” fashion, as they termed it. Some of them must have had the blood of Scottish Highlanders in their veins.


“Lancing, these two young chaps are American boys who are looking for an aviator named Frank Turner,” the officer explained to him as he stood there at attention, as rigid as a stick. “They have some reason to believe he is ashore here. You told me when you made your report that you had spoken with an air pilot whose aeroplane was at the camp of the New Zealanders. Now show him the picture, Amos.”

Amos only too gladly complied. He fairly held his breath while the stiffened figure of the private put out a hand and took the photograph. He was looking intently at it now.

“That picture was taken, they tell me, several years back, Lancing,” the Colonel went on to explain, “so naturally it might not be exactly like the original as he is today. Now, since you have examined it, can you say whether the man you met and talked with resembled this picture to any degree?”

“He does, sir, and he does not,” answered the man.

“Still you can see no reason why they should[199] not be the same, can you? Is the color of the hair similar, and the general features much alike?” continued the obliging officer.

“On the whole, sir, I’m tempted to say I have talked with the original of this picture,” the soldier finally admitted. “Yes, I can see now the odd little smile around the corners of the mouth that I noticed in the air pilot.”

Amos gave a gurgle of intense satisfaction. It seemed to him that, as Jack had declared, their third attempt was fated to meet with the success that had been denied to them on two previous occasions.

“That will do, Lancing. When you go back send the Greek Arturus to me. Tell him it is a matter of great importance.”

He turned to the boys after the soldier had again saluted, wheeled stiffly in his tracks, and walked away in a machine-like fashion.

“It begins to look promising, I am glad to note, Amos, and I sincerely hope you will be able to find your brother before another daybreak. Though, like others you have told me of, I am[200] sorry to know you mean to coax him to leave us, in order to go home. I only trust that after he has seen his father he will come back again and continue his wonderful work for our cause.”

The Greek must have been close at hand for he now made his appearance. Jack was favorably impressed with his bold, resolute bearing. He likened him to some of those old-time worthies of whose brave exploits history teems; and whose names are held in reverence wherever Greeks continue to gather, for they live a good deal in the past.

Arturus listened to what the Colonel had to say. Meanwhile he was casting covert glances toward the two boys. When he first learned that he was expected to pilot the pair up to the other camp, through numberless perils, he had frowned because he deemed it a fool’s errand. The Colonel soon disillusioned his mind on this point.

When Arturus learned that Jack and Amos had actually captured, alone and single-handed, the terrible gun-runner and his crew, as well as turned the cargo and the boat over to the Allies,[201] his manner changed at once. He evidently knew enough of Captain Zenos to understand that anyone who could trap him so cleverly was not to be treated with scorn or derision, even though mere boys in point of years.

It was speedily arranged that Arturus would pilot the Colonel’s guests to their intended destination when night again fell upon Gallipoli. Nothing was said as to payment, but Jack felt sure this part of the matter could be easily settled. With Arturus the wish of the Colonel was as good as law; and he would have promised to do his part even without thought of any reward.

The Greek made an engagement to meet them at sundown. He would come to the Colonel’s tent at that hour ready to explain his plan of campaign. So he passed away, and Jack, looking after him, noted that the man was a born woodsman, for he planted his feet on the ground as softly as a cat, and his eyes seemed to continually rove from side to side as though nothing could escape them.

“You will have to excuse me from now on,[202] boys, and shift for yourselves,” they were told by the commander of the Territorial force ashore on the peninsula. “Remember that you have promised not to take any unnecessary risks while observing the action today.”

They renewed their assurances, having no desire to expose themselves to the marksmanship of some German sharpshooter who might be posted up on the hillside, eager to pick off such of the invaders as he could discover.

It was not long before there were positive signs of “something doing,” as Amos called it. The khaki-clad men with their guns began to gather in squads. There was evidently no attempt going to be made to “rush” the trenches of the Turks in the conventional way, for the presence of those quick-firers above cooled all such ardor.

“It’s going to be something like the old-time Indian fighting over in our own country, you can see, Jack,” asserted Amos, as he and his chum stood and watched some of these detachments start forward.


“Well,” Jack remarked, “these Territorials, whether from South Africa, Canada or the other side of the world, all know about those sort of tactics. Many of them are hunters, or have been cowboys. Others have had experience with crafty savages, and copied some of the ways of the heathen.”

“Yes, it’s a good maxim to follow—‘when you’re in Rome do as the Romans do,’” Amos said reflectively. “They’re going to fight fire with fire. See how they drop down in that brush, and start to crawling along like snakes. I’m only afraid we won’t be able to see much of this scrap after all.”

“Wait a while,” his chum advised. “I reckon that when enough of them have managed to creep up close to the trenches of the Turks there will be some sort of a signal given, at which every Territorial will leap to his feet, and be over the line like so many wolves.”

The anticipation of such a thrilling picture caused Amos to quiver with eagerness. His only regret was that he himself could not be one of the[204] select company on whom this gallant advance was to fall; for with his reckless nature Amos would have liked nothing better.

“I wonder if the Turks look for anything like this today?” he remarked a short time later, as they found seats where they could rest comfortably.

“Oh! so far as that goes, Amos, they must be on the watch day and night, when they’re facing these Territorials. They can never tell when something is going to happen. But you remember the Colonel told us they were expecting that the enemy might be somewhat off his guard today, because this is one of their holy days, when the true Mohammedan fasts, and devotes a lot of his attention to his prayer rug, bowing toward Mecca.”

“Now that’s what I call a clever trick—planning to take the Turk by surprise when his mind’s turned on other things. We’ll soon see whether it works or not, Jack.”

“Not for some hours, I’m afraid,” the other told him. “They have a long distance to cover,[205] and very nearly every foot of the same they must snake their way along. Then there are several gullies lying between that must be crossed. Likely there’ll be absolutely nothing doing for some time.”

“We might look up that Arturus, and pump him some, in order to learn what we can of what’s ahead of us,” Amos suggested. “The country is terribly rough all around here, and we’re apt to have a sweet time of it making our way to the other camp, especially in the pitch dark, and with hawk-eyed Turks roaming around looking for a chance to cut down the number of their foes.”

Jack thought the idea worth carrying out, and accordingly both kept watch for the Greek. It was an hour before he came along, but seeing Amos beckoning, he hastened to join them.

“We said nothing about a reward for your services, Arturus,” Jack told him, “for the Colonel gave us no chance to mention it. Would you be satisfied with twenty American dollars? We are not as well supplied with ready cash as[206] we would like, you understand, Arturus, or we would double that amount.”

The young Greek smiled until he showed his even white teeth under his black mustache. He also shook his head vigorously in the negative.

“I am not thinking of the money, I assure you,” he told them. “Listen. Once upon a time I knew this same Captain Zenos. In fact, I was one of his crew, and went with him on three voyages. Then we had words, and he struck me. See, there is a mark, just under my hair, which I shall carry always with me. I dared not answer him as the rage in my heart would have tempted me to do; but I was resolved never again to sail with him. Besides, my heart was not in the work. I detested the cruel Turks by whom I had lost a father and elder brother in the last war. So you can now understand why I left Captain Zenos.”

“And it’s a good thing you did, Arturus,” said Amos, warmly. “You are on the right side now, depend on that, and fighting for all that is worth[207] while in this world—the coming of a peace that will last forever, it is hoped.”

“And after I have heard what it was you two boys have done to my former captain,” continued the Greek, smiling again, “I was determined to serve you to the best of my ability. I owe you that, and much more, because in humbling that man you have at the same time avenged my wrongs. So please do not speak to me of money when I am only too glad to help you valiant boys.”

They asked Arturus to sit down and chat, for there were many things they wished to know. These not only concerned the methods by which the Territorials expected to surprise the Turks on one of their fast and holy days, but also covered the subject of their intended journey on the coming night.

The Greek told them what he could of the ground they would be compelled to pass over. Part of the way they might expect to utilize the sandy beach, but after getting a certain distance from the camp there was too much danger attached[208] to that method of progression. Then it would be necessary for them to worm their way along, something after the manner the Territorials did when creeping up toward the lines held by the enemy.

The time dragged slowly, and it became noon.

Amos and Jack had been by themselves for several hours now, Arturus going about his own business. An oppressive silence seemed to hang over the scene, where on the preceding day a constant booming of great guns had made the air quiver with the concussion.

“It looks like there was going to be nothing doing from the fleet today, because we’ve hardly had a distant glimpse of a war vessel all morning,” Amos remarked, as he watched some of the soldiers who had been left behind, for the most part suffering from slight wounds, start to prepare the midday meal.

“Oh! that’s only to be expected,” Jack told him. “The wear and tear on the big guns must be something fierce. And then, you know, they have to take on more ammunition so as to be always[209] ready for business. No, whatever goes on today will be ashore here; and up to now we’re in the dark just whether or not the boys can crawl up close enough to make an attack.”



Jack had hardly made this remark when something happened. Neither of the boys could fully decide what the nature of the signal may have been; but they were sure one must have been given by the leader of the attacking Australians, far up on the hillside beyond the brown level, and the deep gullies that cut into the face of the earth here and there.

There seemed to be a salvo of shrill whoops and deeper hurrahs. It was hard to distinguish the cries of the startled Turks from those of the assailants coming on with an impetuous rush from the shelter where they had been lying unseen.

Both boys leaped to their feet as though impelled by hidden springs. Not for anything in the wide world would they want to risk the chance of losing the wonderful spectacle of that[211] assault, so cleverly planned, and so skillfully carried out. It looked from the start as though the wily Turks had for once been caught napping. The smart tactics of these “Kangaroos” from the other side of the world had been too much for them.

Just as the boys had mentioned, this was one of the days when all true believers of the Prophet fasted, and ever so many times made use of their prayer rugs in order to show their faith in Mahomet and Allah.

It was a day when their duties were apt to hang lightly upon their consciences, and unless attacked they had no heart for fighting. But a Turk has never been known to be a quitter; history has ever reckoned him a cruel man, but never a coward. Consequently at the first sign of an attack the defenders of the rude trenches up there on the hillside flew to their posts, and prepared to sell their lives dearly.

If any of the Allies believed the Turks, being disorganized, and smarting from recent defeats at the hands of the little Balkan States, would[212] prove to be an “easy mark,” they soon learned their mistake. It cost them a multitude of men to find this out, as the depleted ranks of their regiments amply proves.

From where Jack and Amos stood they had a pretty fair view of the side of the slope where the fighting was going on. They had selected this position purposely, having been assured that it was as good as could be found.

Amos, quivering with a queer sensation, that may have been a love for excitement, instantly burst forth with expressions of mingled amazement and admiration.

“Oh! did you ever dream anything could be as fierce as that, Jack? Look how in twenty places at once they are fighting at close grips, just like they used to do in the old days before the quick-firers came into play. It’s a case of bayonet against bayonet. And the same thing must be going on along the whole line, even if we can’t see it all!”

“It makes my blood run cold, I tell you!” exclaimed Jack, who was paler than usual, while he[213] had his jaws set, as though forcing himself to continue looking at the terrible spectacle of men scrambling about up there on that elevation, each fairly wild to do material damage to his sworn foes, though he lost his own life in the undertaking.

“One thing you can bet on,” continued the irrepressible Amos. “This quick rush of the Kangaroos has made all the Turks’ German rapid-fire guns next door to useless. They are all right when the enemy is rushing the fort or the trenches in solid ranks, or even in detached bunches; but when it’s a case of every man for himself they become next door to old junk.”

“They’re not trying to use them that I can see, as far as the open lies,” said Jack, speaking very loud, for the jumble of fierce sounds welling down from the fighting line rendered ordinary conversation impossible.

“Oh! did you see that soldier rush the Turk down with his bayonet?” Amos went on exclaiming, as though finding a vent for his feverish anxieties in thus commenting on the progress[214] of the battle for the trenches. “I was afraid the man above would prove to have the longer reach, but just at the last second the Kangaroo jumped into the air, just like the animal he’s named after does, and came at the Turk from a direction he hadn’t expected. And, Jack, the Turk went down like grass before the scythe.”

Fascinated by the amazing sight, they continued to stand there and use their eyes to the best advantage. Up to this moment Jack had apparently forgotten all about the glasses he carried in a small case, binoculars of the best make, and which had proved a valuable asset on numerous former occasions.

Indeed it was Amos who suddenly reminded him of the fact that he was losing a good opportunity to view some of these sanguinary doings at close quarters; and that while they might cause a cold shudder, still, they were apt to regret it if they allowed the chance to pass by unimproved.

It might have been noticed, however, that Jack did not show any great eagerness about making use of the glasses. Perhaps he would rather have[215] refrained, only for the urging of his comrade; as they saw the affair without any magnifying it was terrible enough, Jack may have thought.

He looked for a brief time and then gladly handed the binoculars over to his companion. Amos could not help but notice that Jack’s hand shook as with the palsy when he came in contact with it; and this was so unusual with steady-going, self-contained Jack that the other could not help shooting an uneasy look at his face.

“Why, you’re as white as a ghost, old fellow!” he exclaimed in wonder. “Whatever is the matter with you? I don’t remember seeing you like that before in all my life.”

“Look for yourself,” was what Jack told him, drawing a long breath. “Perhaps in time a fellow might get used to such awful sights, but it seems to send a cold shiver to my heart.”

Amos immediately clapped the glasses to his own eyes. He ranged them along the limited field of vision allowed them from below. Everywhere it seemed as though men were wrestling furiously[216] with one another, dealing wicked blows, and struggling like mad for the mastery.

It was very evident that with these dauntless Territorials on the one side, and the fanatical Turks, fearless of death, on the other, these gullies and hillsides marking the topography of the Gallipoli Peninsula would prove to be a veritable shambles before the end came, no matter which won out eventually.

Amos somehow proved to have the stronger nerves in this crisis. It may have been that his natural curiosity forced him to keep on looking, even though from time to time he was compelled to emit exclamations indicative of horror, amazement, or wildly enthusiastic admiration.

They could see that in places the ground was fairly covered with those who had already fallen. In the midst of this scene other men still battled, now slipping down, only to scramble erect again, and go on with the mad struggle.

In one section the assailants seemed to have carried their point, for they were climbing over the rude trenches and the barricades which the[217] Turks had thrown up to protect themselves from the fire of the enemy below. If the warships shelled the camp they doubtless had holes into which they were wont to crawl as rabbits might seek their burrows in a storm.

So far it was anybody’s fight. Honors seemed even, with the Turks holding their own at one end of the line, and the Territorials pushing them badly at the other. A little thing might suffice to win the day, Jack believed.

“I’m only worried for fear reinforcements get there for the Turks,” Amos was saying as he kept the glasses glued to his eyes, being under the impression that if Jack wished to have them again he would ask.

“But you can make up your mind, Amos, that all our men have not been allowed to get into the fight at the start. The Colonel is too wise for that. There must be a reserve force that can be hurled forward when the proper time comes.”

“Then I wish it was right now!” cried the other, “because it would stampede the Turks. They’re just ready to give up, I bet you, if they[218] saw another force coming up the hill on the run. Why doesn’t the Colonel see that, Jack? Oh! he’s letting a golden opportunity get past him, I’m telling you!”

“Trust him to know what he is doing, Amos. A soldier has to learn tactics in battle as well as on the drill ground. I warrant you our friend the Colonel has a card up his sleeve, and will show it when the right time comes. I’ve got an idea there’s a little of the Napoleon in him, or is it the spirit of Wellington?”

“Oh! that’s too bad, utterly too bad!” cried Amos.

“What has happened?” demanded the other, seemingly quite satisfied to have the news filtered to him through the medium of his companion.

“The Turks have been reinforced, Jack! I can see new men jumping into the fight all along the line. Others have gathered back yonder, and seem to be trying to pick our men off at a safe distance. I’m afraid the Colonel waited too long. He might have had them on the run before this;[219] and once a panic strikes in it’s hard to stop a beaten force.”

“Well, these Turks seldom get into a panic,” Jack told him. “They are more likely to fight and die on the spot, satisfied that they are going straight to Paradise.”

“But unless something happens right away it will be much too late to count for our side, Jack!”

“All right! Something is going to happen before you can say Jack Robinson three times. Look higher up, Amos! There, did you hear a terrible crash? That came from a big bomb. And now you see who threw it, don’t you, Amos?”

“An aeroplane, Jack, soaring right along over the battle front, dipping down low at times, then spinning up again on a slant! See how daringly the pilot guides his machine along. If the Turks can spare the time to look up and fire their guns at him, they cut only holes in the air, for he is going like a whirlwind. There! he is about to drop another of his bombs. I bet you the old[220] Turks are scattering like chickens when the hawk swoops down over the field. Wow!

This last exclamation on the part of Amos was drowned by the terrific detonation that signaled the arrival of the death-dealing bomb. The boys saw a cloud of smoke instantly rise. They also noted that in the immediate vicinity the Turks were displaying the wildest confusion.

“There are things, you see, Jack,” Amos was calling triumphantly, “that can strike terror to the heart of even a fanatical Turk. He can get used to meeting cold steel in the shape of bayonets, and even the flash of guns close at hand doesn’t faze him; but a shell, or a bursting bomb, makes him turn tail and run.”

“It does look that way, Amos,” admitted Jack, still watching the singular train of events that was passing before their eyes as though it might be a panorama on a big screen.

“Oh! if there were only half a dozen of those aeroplanes instead of just the lone one, I believe they’d soon have the victory clinched. The Turks never could stand a rain of bombs from[221] the skies, and they’d skedaddle over the brow of the hill like scared deer.”

“Are you looking at the man in the flier, Amos?” asked the other.

“You may be sure I am, Jack, as hard as ever I can.”

“And do you think it can be your brother Frank; because this machine must be the one we heard had landed on the peninsula at the upper camp?”

“I wish I knew; I certainly would give a heap to be sure. Jack, you see he’s got his head all muffled up; and with goggles on even his brother wouldn’t know him in that disguise. But something tells me it must be Frank. From all we’ve heard about his dashing work I feel that no other air pilot could take such desperate chances as that fellow does, and carry it through. Frank was known for a bold boy years and years ago. He would stay all night in a house they said was haunted; and Jack, he found out that the noises came from the air whistling through a knot-hole. Now his scare held off the Turks. They can’t win!”



“Why do you say that, Amos?” demanded Jack, quickly.

“Oh! because our reinforcements have arrived,” replied the other, exultantly. “Look further down the hill and you’ll see them leaping forward like tigers. They act as if wild to get in the scrap; and when they do it’s all over with Mr. Turk on this day. They have made up their minds to take those trenches and they’ve just got to do it, that’s all.”

Jack had felt all the thrills that such a picture is apt to bring in its train when the heart beats in full sympathy for one or the other of the combatants. He had tried his best to keep from taking sides, but found it impossible, when he believed that the principles for which the Allies were fighting were the same as those of the big republic across the sea.


It was easily possible for him to see the new line of the Kangaroos bounding impetuously up the side of the slope; binoculars were not needed to disclose their furious rush. The sunlight gleaming on their set bayonets caused them to glitter as though set with diamonds; but, alas! they would not always remain so bright.

Jack watched with his heart beating much faster than its wont. He wondered if, when those new men reached the fighting line, they would carry all before them. The loud cries of Amos broke in upon his figuring.

“I can see German officers up there, Jack, as sure as anything!” he exclaimed. “Oh! I know them from their uniforms, and the way they act. They are even beating some of the poor Turks to make them fight harder. Oh! what d’ye think, one of them actually shot a fellow who may have been running away. That shows the Germans are the masters here.”

Jack was glad he had not seen what his chum was describing so vividly. There were enough terrible things to be discovered without that.


By now the newcomers had struck the line. Their rush was fully as impetuous as any football squad had ever used to carry things before it. Indeed, doubtless many of those fighters from the other side of the world were used to the tactics of the gridiron, and could apply their knowledge of formations to good advantage, even on the field of battle.

The influence of the supporting column was immediately felt. Where the Kangaroos had begun to waver their line was stiffened. Men who had felt themselves almost at the point of succumbing received a new stimulus, and with fresh shouts once more threw themselves upon the staggering foe.

The coming of the lone aeroplane had in a measure discounted the addition to the ranks of the Turks. They evidently knew they could expect no other reinforcements, and the fact gave them the sensation of having to face defeat.

More furiously than ever did the Allies charge them. They would not be denied the victory they could now see looming up close at hand.


“Jack, they’re giving way, I do believe!” shouted Amos.

“Do you mean the Turks?” asked the other.

“Sure I do. You don’t think for a minute I hope that those brave Australians would fall back as long as one of them could stand. Yes, there goes a bunch of the enemy. They bowled one of those German officers off his feet when he tried to stop them. I hope he’s captured, that’s what I do. And, Jack, all along the line there’s a sign of giving way. Hurrah! I really believe the game is won!”

“Hold on, don’t shout too soon, Amos,” warned the more cautious Jack, though for that matter he himself had hard work to hold in. “They may counter-attack, you know. When you hear the Kangaroos yelling like mad you may believe the victory is safe, but not yet, not yet.”

Nevertheless hardly a minute more passed than Jack himself was obliged to admit that it looked as though others besides Amos believed the end of the fierce engagement had come; for loud and[226] victorious whoops reached their ears from all along the line.

These were echoed back by those who, from one cause or another, had been kept in camp, and not permitted to assist in cleaning out the enemy trenches. Amos raised his strong young voice, and gave numerous examples of what he could do in the way of adding to the din.

Outside of a football field after a close and exciting game Jack believed he had never before heard such a racket. The brave fellows up on the hill, who had thrown the Turks out of their trenches by bayonet thrusts, and close in-and-out fighting, waved their hats, and let their lungs have full play.

“Why, would you believe it, Jack!” cried Amos, when he finally stopped his loud cheering and became rational again, “I can see many of the wounded fellows on the ground trying to wave their hats, and I guess they’re yelling too. But not all of the down-and-outs are doing it, I’m sorry to say. Lots of them lie there as still as[227] anything; and I’m afraid the taking of the trenches has cost a stiff price.”

Jack sighed.

“That’s always the case, Amos,” he went on to say. “You must be willing to pay the toll if you want anything worth while. And the better the prize is the greater the price. When those chaps from Australia want anything they will never stop till they get it, as long as there are any of them left.”

It could now be seen that those above were not stopping to rejoice over their victory. They knew the Turks were likely to come back as soon as they could meet with reinforcements, and some other German officers again took charge.

The rapid-fire guns that had been captured with the trenches were immediately turned, and placed so as to pour a hail of missiles on their late owners should the battle be renewed. Others of the same species were to be seen being taken up the hill, having been kept somewhere below in order to cover the retreat in case such a catastrophe befell the Allies.


“It was all splendidly planned, Jack,” said Amos. “I give the Colonel credit for having a long head. Still, the result might not have come just as easily as it did were it not for Frank—well, whoever the brave pilot of that aeroplane may turn out to be.”

“He certainly did help a whole lot,” admitted Jack. “Let’s hope he proves to be your brother; also that he settles down on Gallipoli tonight instead of flying across to that Greek island where the rest of the pilots have their headquarters.”

“Oh! I guess he will stick here,” Amos hastened to say, as though the wish were father to the thought. “Especially after he’s been able to do such great stunts for the Kangaroos.”

“I suppose now they will be pushing their line further, if they can only hold those trenches up on the hill,” Jack suggested.

“And so this is going to be the way the peninsula will be won in the end, if it ever is won?” Amos questioned, as though he found it hard work to believe all those massive battleships, capable[229] of throwing tons and tons of mighty shells, were unable to force a passage through the Dardanelles.

“That has to be left to the future to decide,” Jack told him. “There’s a big ‘if’ connected with everything undertaken these days. You can’t tell what a week will bring on, with these Balkan States hanging in the balance. If they could only settle their differences, and join the Allies, it would mean the beginning of the end.”

“Someone is calling to us, Jack, and I believe they mean that lunch is all ready to serve. Come to think of it, I’m really hungry! Suppose we walk over and sit down. I wonder how those tired chaps up there will get anything to eat.”

“I’m thinking of something else, Amos,” ventured the other, seriously. “We must get through with our bite as soon as we can for it strikes me two husky fellows like ourselves ought to make themselves useful as well as ornamental in such a crisis as this.”

“Do you mean we can help carry some of the wounded down where they can be looked after in[230] the temporary field hospital?” asked Amos, showing decided interest in the matter.

“That’s about the size of it,” Jack told him.

The guess Amos made concerning the meaning of the call turned out to be correct. Evidently the Colonel had left strict instructions looking to the comfort of his young guests while he was away, and the cook had not forgotten them.

Both of the boys pitched in with avidity. The food was good, and they had not lost their appetites in spite of all the sensations that had come so near overwhelming them during the course of the last hour.

They wasted no time in useless conversation, for both boys realized that with so much suffering on the slope above they ought to be doing what they could to assist those who had been so kind.

No sooner was the hurried meal finished than they started off. No one questioned or ventured to detain them; in fact every man seemed to be as busy as the proverbial bee about that time. The boys met processions coming down the hill bearing the wounded on stretchers, some of them[231] improvised since the force had managed to effect a landing on the hostile shore.

Most of these poor fellows were bearing up bravely; they even tried to wave a hand when they met any comrade, and through the blood marks of their pale faces a wan, forced smile would appear, as though the indomitable nature refused to cringe even when death was so very near. Others, more desperately hurt, groaned dismally, though perhaps they did not themselves know it.

Finding a stretcher that had not been taken, Jack and his chum pushed resolutely on up the hill. There was danger that at any moment the Turks, returning, might let loose a rain of fire from new positions; but even this possibility failed to deter the two American boys when they saw their duty before them.

When a short time later they arrived at the scene of the dreadful carnage their hearts felt sick within them, for after all they were only boys, and not accustomed to such dreadful surroundings.


Nevertheless, if their faces did seem white, their teeth were grimly set, and it was evident they did not mean to allow any squeamishness to prevent them from accomplishing the Samaritan work they had set out to perform.

“Here’s a poor fellow waiting to be looked after,” said Amos, as they glanced about them for some moving figure whom they could assist.

The soldier was badly hurt in the leg. He had managed to tie his red bandana handkerchief tightly around the limb to prevent his bleeding to death. Evidently he must have refused to let them carry him down to the hospital when others were in greater need of surgical attendance than he.

The boys heard him start to say something to that effect as they came up. Jack, however, saw that the man was really growing weak, and was carrying his splendid self denial to an extreme point that might bring about his collapse.

“We’re going to carry you down, my friend, no matter what you say,” he told the gallant Kangaroo.


Accordingly they placed him on the litter as easily as possible, and after that started down the slope. On the way, whom should they meet but the Colonel himself! He must have been in the thick of the battle for he had one arm tied up, and his uniform showed several rents as though made by vicious bayonet thrusts. At sight of the two American boys and their burden the doughty officer smiled affably.

On the way, whom should they meet but the Colonel himself!—Page 233

“Good for you, my boys!” he exclaimed. “It is a pleasure to be entertaining guests who believe in lending a helping hand. We need all the assistance we can get, for we paid a terrible price to gain the victory. But the trenches are ours, and all the Turks and Germans on Gallipoli never can throw us out of them again. I will see you before night comes; there is too much to be looked after just now to give a thought to your affairs. Thank you again a thousand times, boys!”

He hurried away up the hill, evidently to look after the placing of his men, as well as the quick-firers upon which they must depend to repel any new assault on the part of the furious enemy.


When the boys reached the field hospital, which had been established under the bluff where no Turkish guns could drop missiles upon the wounded despite the Red Cross flag, they found it a busy place indeed. Scores of injured had already been brought in, and the few surgeons with their assistants were hurrying from one case to another. They themselves would be ready to drop when the last patient had received proper attention.

The boys did not linger, it may be taken for granted. They had no desire to look upon the accumulated suffering to be found there under the bluff on that warm day. No doubt as long as the sun remained above the horizon plenty of work would be found for those who were not needed to man the advanced line. Even after all the injured had been taken care of the dead must be buried, both friend and foe alike, for the protection of the living.

After wandering around for a short time above, and not seeming to find a wounded Territorial, Jack ventured to make a proposition.


“Here’s a poor Turk who seems to be in a bad way,” he said. “I’m going to give him a drink of cold water, and then we’ll get him on our stretcher.”

Amos looked curiously at his chum, but almost immediately cried:

“You’re right there, Jack; they can feel their injuries just as much as the rest. It was only proper that the boys should take care of their own first; but depend on it they’ve got too big hearts to let any enemy lie here in this hot sun and want for a drink of water. There, you can see they are carrying a Turk down on that stretcher.”

Just then Jack gave vent to a cry that betokened some new thrill, and Amos turned quickly to see if the enemy had come in sight again, bent on a fresh attack.

“Do you see that dead man lying there on his face, Amos?” Jack demanded, pointing as he spoke. “Look closer and you’ll see he is no Turk but one of those arbitrary German officers we saw trying to force the men to fight.”


“I see what you mean, Jack. He didn’t die from a Territorial’s blow. There is a bayonet through his body, a Turkish sword bayonet, and it came from behind him.”

“Yes,” said Jack with a shudder, “one of the Turks he may have struck with the flat of his sword repaid the blow. But let us go on and get this man down to the emergency hospital. Then we will come up again, for there are many more Turkish wounded needing attention.”

So they worked diligently on, plodding back and forth, and during that warm afternoon many a feverish Turk called down the blessings of Allah upon the heads of the two friendly American boys who gave him cold water to freshen his parched throat, and then bore him to where his injuries might be attended to.



The long day came to an end at last. None of those who had taken part in or even witnessed the glorious taking of the Turkish trenches would ever be likely to forget the experience.

All the wounded had been carried to the temporary hospital. If a vessel could be summoned by wireless they were to be removed to some other place, where they might be nursed, and brought back to health without constant danger of being under fire.

Many of the dead had also been buried. The work in this respect, proving too stupendous a task for one day, had to be dropped for another time. Besides, it was really of greater importance that the safety of the living be looked after than the disposal of those who were out of the fight for good.

The boys had done all they could to lend a helping[238] hand. On every side they received words of gratitude and praise. It heartened those valiant fellows from the antipodes to find American boys standing by them in this emergency. Small although the circumstance might seem to them, it meant much, for they chose to feel that they had the moral backing of the vast majority of Americans in their struggle against the military ideas formulated by the Teuton ruling families.

And now the sun was setting. It went down like a great glowing ball of fire, as though in keeping with the terrible work of the day. It somehow made Jack think of an interesting story he had read in a paper, concerning a famous battlefield where thousands had fallen, and telling how, in the following year, the ground was a mass of fire as innumerable red poppies bloomed. The superstitious peasants declared that the earth had refused to hold all the blood with which it had been drenched on that awful day.

Although both Jack and Amos felt somewhat tired after so strenuous an afternoon, at the same time this was not going to deter them from trying[239] to reach the camp of the New Zealand troops further up the shore by a mile and more.

The Colonel had given them his promise, and they believed he was one who always kept his word, no matter how much he might regret it. They had seen him at intervals during the rest of the afternoon, but never to talk to, for he was always hurrying this way and that, personally seeing that the newly acquired trenches were being put in a state of defense so that no matter how fiercely the Turks attacked they would be beaten back.

“I wonder,” ventured Amos, as they watched the big orb dip lower and lower until its rim was hidden beneath the watery horizon that lay in the far west, “I wonder now if I’ll be with Frank when the sun peeks up again tomorrow.”

“There seems to be a pretty good chance that way, I’m ready to admit,” Jack told him. “In fact, it strikes me we must by this time be pretty near the end of the long trail. First we missed connections with him in Belgium; then came that chase through the French war trenches; and at[240] last the trip to the Dardanelles. Believe me, you’re going to lay hands on Frank this time, anyway, Amos. You need something like that to put new heart in you.”

“Well, as a rule I’m not so easily discouraged, Jack, and you know it; but again and again I’ve been cheated out of even getting a glimpse of my brother, and it wears on a fellow, you see.”

“Change the subject, and you’ll feel better,” his chum advised. “For instance, do you think you could eat any supper? It looks to me as if we would soon be called to join the Colonel and two of his officers yonder.”

“Evidently he means to keep Headquarters down here yet a while,” speculated Amos.

“Well, as yet they’re not so sure they can hold the advanced line. They fully expect to be attacked between now and morning, when there’ll be some more terrible work going on; only this time it must be up to the Turks to do the attacking.”

“Then, you mark my words for it, they’ll suffer an awful loss, Jack.”


“I agree with you,” said the other quickly. “Like the Germans, they believe in massed formations when making assaults. In these modern days of quick-firers that is a risky thing to do. It may carry everything before it like a football rush does, but at a frightful cost.”

Presently the call to supper reached the boys in the shape of a message from the Colonel. He greeted both with a pleasant smile, and asked that they make themselves at home at the rude camp table where his meals were served.

The conversation for a while ran upon the stirring events of the day, and the listening boys learned how the plan of campaign had been rigidly adhered to from beginning to end. Evidently the Colonel fully believed victory would have been their portion even though the daring air pilot had refrained from attacking the enemy with his bombs, and creating the first decided feeling of apprehension among the enemy. At the same time he frankly acknowledged the material assistance his men had received from this work on the part of the aeroplane man.


“If he was your brother, Amos, give him my compliments when you meet him, and thank him heartily for my Territorial tigers. He helped us not a little by scattering the enemy at just that critical moment. His work was as dashing as anything I ever struck; and it’s plain to be seen such a birdman is a brother to be proud of.”

Those were pleasant words to Amos. They seemed to repay him for all he had gone through with on that awful day. Frank was his brother, and he would much sooner hear him praised than listen to any amount of commendation for himself.

It was not until after the two officers had left the table to hurry to their positions so as to be in the harness for the night that the Colonel referred in the least degree to the contemplated expedition of the two American lads.

“I suppose you have made all your arrangements with Arturus before now, boys,” the Colonel remarked presently.

Jack explained to him what they had done, and[243] after hearing all about it the Colonel shook his head.

“I’m more than half sorry now I promised to let you make the attempt,” he told them. “The dangers will be multiplied after the defeat the Turks have suffered today. They come down in places to the very shore, and you are apt to run upon some of them at any time. I’m afraid they will be feeling unusually ugly after the way my boys handled them.”

“But there seems to be no other way for me to get to the upper camp, Colonel,” remarked Amos eagerly.

“I’m sorry to say there isn’t at present, since we have no boat; and I understand just how anxious you must be to learn the truth. So I suppose I’ll have to salve my conscience by saying there’s no help for it. But I sincerely hope nothing may befall you on the road.”

The heartiness of his words, as well as his manner, convinced Jack that the Colonel felt more than a passing interest in their welfare. Perhaps the fact that Jack seemed to remind him of[244] his own son, thousands of miles away from there, had more or less to do with that circumstance, though not everything.

They continued to chat as they sat there. When Jack began to see that the mind of their host was evidently turning toward his own affairs, of which he had enough to worry over, to be sure, he concluded that it might be well for himself and Amos to say good-bye.

“Here’s wishing you every good thing that your hearts long for,” said the Colonel, as he squeezed their hands at parting. “I hope you find your brother, Frank, and take him home with you to that old father who longs so to see him once more. I also deplore the necessity for his going, because he will be sorely missed here where every good man is needed.”

The boys would often think of the valiant Colonel. Should they return in safety to their native shores he had given them his home address where they could, if they chose, learn what his fate turned out to be. He spoke of the uncertain future with the grim look of a brave man, and[245] said the chances were his life would have to be laid down, like countless others, for the cause they fought to win.

Jack had already glimpsed the young Greek, Arturus, who seemed to be hovering near by as though waiting for them to leave the hospitable board of the commanding officer. Presently they were joined by the intended guide. Jack, looking him over again, saw no reason to alter the former good opinion he had held of Arturus. He would prove loyal through everything, and they could place the utmost reliance on his honesty as well as his courage.

“It is yet too soon to start,” he told them; “much safer that we wait until another hour has passed. Then it may be we will stand a better chance of passing through without meeting any Turks who have come down near the water for some purpose.”

Accordingly they all sat down and talked. Jack was not sorry of a chance to pick up some information concerning the route the Greek expected to take them over. Besides, he believed[246] that, with a little encouragement, Arturus might tell them about some of the desperate undertakings in which, with Captain Zenos, he had been engaged in times past.

So the minutes glided on until finally the Greek announced it was time for them to be moving. The boys were soon ready, and the three of them glided out of the camp, no one offering the least objection, for the sentries had all been informed about their contemplated perilous trip to the upper camp.

Up to the time of their departure no sound from above proclaimed that the Turks in augmented numbers had come back to try and recover their lost trenches.



Talking was not to be encouraged during this secret night trip up along the strip of coast stretching between the camps of the Australian and the New Zealand contingents of the fighting Territorials. If there arose any necessity for exchanging remarks, great care was to be taken to whisper in the lowest tone possible.

Arturus, the Greek guide, had told the boys there was every likelihood of their meeting detachments of the Turks somewhere on the way. The enemy moved about more or less, seeking new positions which they believed would be to their advantage. More than this, they were very fond of night attacks, and would go to great trouble to surprise the entrenched invaders.

On this account, then, the boys had made up their minds to be surprised at nothing. They hoped to get through in safety, and would do[248] everything in their power to bring about such a desirable result.

Several things favored them, they had figured. In the first place the night was rather dark, though when their eyes became accustomed to their surroundings they were able to see fairly well. Then there was the fact that both boys were good at this sort of thing, being well up in most of the rules of woodcraft; so that they were not apt to stumble clumsily along, and constantly threaten to betray their presence to any lurking foe.

Best of all, Jack considered, was the fact that they had engaged the services of a skillful guide in the person of Arturus. He knew every foot of the ground, for most of his life had been spent on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Consequently they would have the advantage of being led around certain gullies that might have proved barriers or traps to anyone unacquainted with the vicinity.

Jack had amused himself during the afternoon in seeking a position that was a little elevated, where he could get something of a view of the[249] territory beyond. Here, with the aid of his binoculars, he had tried to figure out what might be the easiest way of advancing.

When, soon after they had departed from the camp, he found that the guide was beginning to turn toward the edge of the water, Jack was not much surprised. Indeed, he had wondered why this might not prove the easiest method of covering the space separating the two camps.

Upon mentioning his belief to Arturus, Jack had learned that part of the trail did lead along the sandy stretch that hugged the shore. The only trouble was that some of the Turks were in the habit of coming down to the water during the night, and this being the case they were likely to stumble upon the enemy at any minute.

A sharp lookout was necessary to prevent discovery. No matter how lonely their surroundings might seem they must not be off their guard. Amos had been duly impressed with the fact that silence was golden in this case, and all comments he might feel inclined to make would have to be left until another time.


Presently they could hear the sound of the waves running up on the sandy beach. It chanced to be an unusually quiet night. Even out on the deep water there seemed to be nothing doing, though far away the boys could catch the flitting gleam of searchlights playing at tag with the darkness, as the vessels of the fleet stood guard.

Had the wind chosen to rise and rattle the leaves of the stumpy trees, as well as dash the rollers against the shore with more or less of a resounding clamor, it would have served their purpose much better. Still, they had to take conditions as they found them, and make the best of it.

Every rod placed behind them counted. Arturus had assured them it was not more than a mile and a half at the most which they had to cover before reaching the vicinity of the other camp.

Now a distance like that may seem a mere trifle when the road is good, and the traveler has daylight to show him what obstacles he must surmount. When he finds it necessary to grope his[251] way along over the roughest of ground, avoiding many threatening pitfalls, listening constantly for signs of lurking foes, and meeting with every conceivable manner of trouble, the case becomes a more serious one.

Amos had started with a light heart. He fancied they would certainly be able to tide over the gap inside of an hour or two. Looking back he could remember several instances when he and Jack had done such a caper as this without exerting themselves unduly. He therefore felt that before the end came they would surprise the guide with the abundance of their knowledge concerning Indian ways. Darkness had little terror for Amos at starting time.

They had not gone very far, however, when he began to realize that he was up against a pretty hard proposition, a much tougher one than he had imagined could confront them.

There seemed to be some sort of rough road along the shore. It could not have been much of a thoroughfare in its palmiest days, and long neglect had caused it to become a hollow mockery,[252] had one attempted to drive any sort of vehicle that way.

For a short time after leaving the camp Arturus had been leading them along this road. Now he dropped down and sought the shallow beach, and Jack guessed that the going would be better there.

In this he found himself correct, though they had to keep close to the little bluff, and stop to listen every minute or so for signs of hostile forces ahead.

Amos was trying to figure out what distance they had covered. The only way he knew of accomplishing this was according to the steps they took. He had worked that all out, knew the number of feet in a mile, and counting two to a step believed he could tell when they had passed the half-way mark.

When, according to his deductions, they had actually made one-third of the distance, his hopes began to mount higher. Why, after all, this was not so very bad; he felt positive they could get to their destination in due course of time; and thinking[253] thus Amos was actually patting himself—figuratively of course—upon his back.

Then something happened as usual to throw down all these fine castles in the air. Arturus came to a sudden pause. He held out both hands as though to prevent either of his charges from advancing another step.

Standing or half crouching there they strained their ears to listen. Low sounds reached them as the night air took a new slant just then, striking directly in their faces.

There was the mutter of voices for one thing, and then came a queer clinking noise, followed by more grumbling sounds. Jack jumped to the conclusion that they must have stumbled upon a nest of the enemy, who for some reason had taken up a position at this particular spot where the scrub grew thickest, and they could more easily lie in ambush.

The boy wondered what reason the Turks could have for hiding here; and what that strange clinking sound meant. Possibly Arturus, who was better acquainted with such things, would be able[254] to understand it all. He had hardly come to this conclusion when he felt the Greek guide pushing him gently back. This Jack knew meant they must retreat for a consultation; and taking hold of his chum’s arm, he commenced a retrograde movement.

Amos did not like it. He evidently feared the Greek guide had been seized with what might be termed in boy’s parlance, “cold feet,” and meant to give up the undertaking. That showed how poorly Amos had sized up the young Greek; Jack knew better, and was perfectly willing to continue to trust the pilot of the secret expedition to the end.

When they had gone back a little way Arturus bade them halt, and in a low whisper started to explain what it all meant.

“It appears that the Turks have brought one of their biggest guns down to the shore here since I was over the trail last,” he told them. “It is a battery hidden in the rocks and brush. Some time they hope that a warship it come close to the shore in the daytime. Then a shot from the big gun[255] sink her easy. So they hide here, and wait their time.”

“But does that spoil our trip, Arturus?” asked Amos fretfully.

“Not at all. We must only go around instead of following the beach, or the old trail. It takes us longer, to be sure, but after all what is time when we have the rest of the night before us? You come along with me, and I show you how it can be done.”

Of course this intelligence pleased Amos immensely. His heart grew light again. After all it was going to be only one of those little troubles which they must surmount before they could hope to attain their cherished end. The more they had to battle with these impediments the sweeter victory would be finally.

They accordingly climbed up the little bluff, taking care not to make too much noise, though Arturus did not seem to believe the Turks manning the hidden big gun battery could be very watchful.

Having accomplished this part of their task,[256] the guide led them further back from the shore line. It was fearfully rough. At times they were almost compelled to get down on their hands and knees in order to make progress; but in spite of all this they persisted diligently, and in the end reached what Arturus must have considered a reasonably safe distance from the battery.

Here he changed his course, and once more headed up the shore, intending thus to make a half circuit, so as to come out upon the neglected road above the enemy’s position.

By this time Amos had changed his mind not a little. He figured that when everything was considered this night’s adventure would take its place among his most difficult feats. Truth to tell, he could not remember the time when he had undergone such a strenuous “crawl” as this was turning out to be. His hands were scratched by thorns and sharp-pointed rocks, while his knees threatened to be placed in the same category. In spite of it all, Amos did not venture to complain—he only shut his teeth tightly together, and mentally vowed to keep up the fight until he dropped;[257] for he believed the goal to be near at hand now, and victory was worth all that he suffered and even more.

After a long siege of it the boys noticed that again their course was changed. This seemed to tell them they must have passed the battery in the brush and detached rocks, so that it would be safe to edge their way down to where the going would be somewhat better.

Once they arrived at that long disused road, it was to be hoped they might continue along it to the end, for it would likely fetch them to the camp which the New Zealand troops had succeeded in making above. This they knew was close to the water’s edge, for thus far it had not been possible to improve the position the Territorials had seized on first landing.

Finally they struck the old road, and Amos mentally shook hands with himself as he figured on easier progress. This certainly was a night long to be remembered. He wondered if there could be any other queer experience awaiting them before the goal was attained.


Hardly had Amos allowed himself to think along these lines when there came a sudden glare of white light. It was as though a dozen full moons had been uncovered from dense clouds overhead, sending their concentrated rays down upon the lonely shore of Gallipoli.

Looking up in a startled way they could see a moving object faintly outlined against the star-studded heavens. A constantly increasing shaft of dazzling light poured down from this hovering object, and seemed to center upon a spot just a little way in their rear.

Jack guessed what it meant almost instantly. He realized that it must be some kind of aeroplane carrying a searchlight, though he had not known of such a thing before. Swiftly Jack figured out the rest of it. During the day just passed, while soaring over the peninsula before or after the battle for the trenches, this air-pilot must have discovered the hidden battery in spite of the care the Turks had taken to conceal the big gun.

No doubt the necessary information had[259] been sent to the commander of the fleet who could arrange plans looking to the smashing of the battery while darkness lay upon land and sea.

Out there a mile or two, doubtless, a battleship was ready to open fire at the proper time. The aeroplane hovering above was signaling to show just where the battery lay. Imagine the sudden fright of those Turkish gunners when that astonishing glow so suddenly fell around them, and remained stationary.

Before Jack could open his lips to mention what had flashed through his active mind there came a flash and a dreadful boom far out at sea. The unseen war vessel had discharged one of her guns, having the exact range, and being guided by the friendly light from above.

Amos involuntarily dropped down flat on the ground, in which action he was immediately copied by the two others. They were none too soon, for the earth fairly quaked under the mighty explosion that followed. The shell had burst very close by, and Jack was of the opinion[260] that the estimations of the British gunner must have been remarkably accurate.

If the Turkish battery had managed to escape that first explosion there would very likely be more coming along. The intense white light from above continued to cover the spot in a most tantalizing way; and there was no means for shutting it off. The guide called out just then:

“Come, we must make off as fast as we can before another shell falls. This time it may be closer to us, and we may be torn to pieces. Hasten, everyone. Do not mind little things like that,” he added, as Amos in his extreme haste fell over some obstacle, and measured his length on the rough ground.

They had not gone much more than forty feet when again came that flash out at sea. Once more they threw themselves flat in hopes of being able to escape the flying missiles better when in this recumbent position. The dreadful explosion was as awe-inspiring as the first had been; and Jack noticed that if anything this shell landed[261] closer to where that big Turkish gun had been hidden from sight, with the intention of some day surprising an incautious vessel of the Allied fleet.



“That must have done some damage, I reckon!” gasped Amos as he struggled once more to his feet, ready to push steadily on again.

They had heard a series of shouts, some of them indicating pain, and others an acute degree of terror. Evidently the Turkish gunners were being demoralized by this firing. The bursting shells were working sad havoc in their midst.

But Turks have ever been known to show bravery under fire, and Jack was not so very much surprised when there came a bellow from the rear that made the earth quiver. The big gun hidden in the brush and rocky spurs had been fired, perhaps almost at random, to prove to the enemy that although betrayed by that searchlight from above the gunners were ready to die at their posts.

The two boys and Arturus were all hurrying[263] along by that time, eager to put as much space between themselves and the danger zone as possible. More terrible shells were bound to fall in that limited area, and since the Turks would be utterly unable to move their big gun it stood a good show of being finally smashed.

So accurately did the gunners on the warship manage to drop their missiles that there seemed no further danger of one falling close enough to the boys to injure them. On this account then they no longer threw themselves down when that flash over the water announced the speeding of another projectile.

Amos, being now filled with a natural curiosity to observe the effect of the bursting shells, actually turned his head to look back when the next shot came. He would never forget the dreadful sight when the great shell exploded. The whole vicinity seemed to be illuminated by the glare, and Amos believed he could see unfortunate men being hurled right and left, as well as logs and stones.

“Oh! that was the time they hit it!” he exclaimed,[264] when the fearful thunder of the explosion had died away.

“Do you mean they smashed the big gun?” asked Jack, who apparently had not been looking at the time.

“Yes, I’m sure of it,” the other went on to assert; “for I saw the shell burst, it seemed to me, right against the cannon. You’ll hear no more from that piece, I give you my affidavy, Jack. It was beautifully done, and I take off my hat to the bullies out there in the gloom who could find their mark so quickly.”

“But the searchlight keeps on playing down on the spot,” suggested Jack.

“They’re trying to make sure of the result,” Amos declared. “You’ll soon see I was right about it, when they send a signal out to the battleship that there’s no need to waste any more ammunition.”

Somehow they were so fascinated by the idea that all of them stood there, and continued to watch. The air pilot even swooped down lower as though bent upon making absolutely sure before[265] sending word to the war vessel waiting to hear from him before continuing the bombardment.

“There, what did I tell you?” exclaimed Amos, with a ring of triumph in his voice.

The aviator above had suddenly switched off his light, and dense darkness fell upon the scene. No further crash from off over the water came to the ears of the listening boys. The only sounds they heard consisted of cries from wounded men, and a faint faraway whir that must be the aeroplane winging its way back to its former post.

“It’s all over!” said Jack, almost solemnly; “another gun knocked out of business, and from what they say, the Turks can’t afford to lose many more these days, when it’s so hard to get them through from Austria and Germany.”

“We must go on,” said Arturus just then, “for we may be overtaken by some of the Turks fleeing from the place.”

“But did you notice, Jack, that the aeroplane seemed to fly away up the coast and not out to sea?” ventured Amos.


“Well, now, I hadn’t thought anything about that until you spoke; but now you have mentioned it, Amos, I believe that’s a fact.”

“Of course we couldn’t see anything,” continued the other, “but I took great pains to follow the sound, and it kept right along ahead of us.”

“From that you figure something out, of course?” asked the other. “I can give a pretty good guess what it is.”

“That aviator must have been the same man who hung over the trenches today, and dropped so many bombs,” Amos ventured. “We know he came from the upper camp; and I feel dead sure he was my brother Frank. If that’s so, then here he’s gone and distinguished himself again.”

“It certainly looks as if Frank might be in the front rank of the Allied pilots if it turns out as we believe,” Jack permitted himself to say; “but now we’d better quiet down again, Amos. Arturus doesn’t like to have us chattering away like this, even if it is in whispers.”

“Because we are not yet out of the bushes,” added the Greek guide suggestively, by which[267] they understood him to mean that with half the distance still to be covered there always existed a possibility that other enemies might be encountered.

Jack, as he walked along in the wake of Arturus, was thinking very naturally of what wonderful things this war had already brought forth, what with its Zeppelins, the submarine raiders which Germany was letting loose to prey upon the fleets and commerce of her enemies; the marvelous big guns which were able to smash the most formidable steel defences known to modern military science; and the amazing trenches made of concrete which existed for hundreds of miles along the fighting line in Northern France and Belgium.

He wondered what would be the next marvel brought out by one side or the other. At that time the asphyxiating gases of the Germans, and the dreadful liquid fire had not been used; but Jack could easily anticipate something along these lines.

As for the aeroplane, it had proved its wonderful[268] strategic value a thousand times over. Its uses were manifold, from scouting to dropping bombs in daylight raids over enemy country and barracks. Jack had already seen enough of these things to convince him that the country which had an abundant supply of both submarines and giant aeroplanes could carry things their own way in the future.

“Listen!” said Arturus all of a sudden.

“We are being pursued!” whispered Amos, as he plainly heard voices from the rear, accompanied by other sounds that might spring from men stumbling while hurrying madly along the rough trail.

The Greek drew his charges aside, and crouching amidst the bushes, they waited to ascertain what it could all mean. Closer came the sounds. They could now make out that the men rushing headlong toward them were Turks. Jack wondered if they could really be hunting the three who had passed around the hidden battery just before it was bombarded so successfully from out at sea.


Moving figures now caught their attention, three of them, and all stumbling along in the most reckless fashion. From their excited manner Jack immediately made up his mind they must be remnants of the force of gunners who had had charge of the battery. Wounded by some of the flying missiles when the shells burst around them, they had fled in a panic, that kept them pushing on even after the danger seemed past.

They shuffled by the spot where the boys were concealed, and went on up the shore. Jack’s first thought was that this was a peculiar thing for them to do, since they must certainly know that the camp of the New Zealand troops lay not so very far away in that direction.

“What do you make out of it, Arturus?” he asked, softly.

“They belonged to the battery, and have been badly frightened,” the guide replied. “I have not before seen Turks show such alarm. It must be what you call the panic has gripped hold of them.”

“Yes, I can understand all that,” continued[270] Jack, “but why should they keep on up the shore? A safe retreat for them would be to take to the hills.”

“That is something we do not know,” answered the guide, seriously, “but it may be we will soon find out. It was no accident, that is sure; and I believe there may be other Turkish forces between us and the camp.”

“Whew! again?” muttered Amos, thinking of that terrible climb they had been forced to take in order to pass around the concealed battery.

The sound of the fleeing Turks had now subsided. Either they had passed beyond hearing or else managed in some way to curb their panicky condition. At the very least it meant they would have these three enemies to contend against, and must therefore be constantly on their guard.

If anything, the ground grew rougher than before. Amos believed so since he tripped more frequently, though that may have come from his weariness. It had been an exhausting day for the boys, what with their work as Red Cross stretcher-bearers, and a lot of other duties performed[271] by them. Any boy might well have confessed that he was almost worn out from fatigue; and it was the wild hope of meeting his missing brother Frank that kept Amos up, more than his will power.

They had not been moving along for more than ten minutes in this slow and cautious fashion when again Arturus, the Greek, came to a stand. Instinctively both of the boys immediately strained their hearing to ascertain what sounds may have reached the ears of the guide. And what they managed to catch gave them to understand that a large body of the enemy must be straddling the trail ahead, for some purpose or other.



“Wait here until I return!”

The Greek guide whispered these words in Jack’s ear, thus recognizing the fact that he knew which of the two boys could be accounted the leader.

Without explaining what he meant to do he left them, and his form was speedily swallowed up in the gloom. Amos hardly knew what it meant, though, of course, knowing that Arturus had not basely deserted them thus.

“What’s up, Jack?” he asked, cautiously.

“He believes there is a large body of Turks on the road ahead, and has gone to find out,” Jack told him after he had placed his lips close to the other’s ear.

Amos only grunted. No doubt he was beginning to believe there never could have been a more difficult undertaking than the one they were now[273] engaged upon. Troubles seemed to be following quick and fast on each other’s heels—first that battery, then the task of passing around it, and now something else.

Crouching there, they waited as patiently as they could for Arturus’ return. In the meantime they listened, and could catch sounds that told of many men being close by, a fact that seemed to prove Jack’s conclusion sound. The Turks must be gathering a force with the intention of making a night attack on the little New Zealand contingent beyond, expecting to take them by surprise and sweep them into the sea.

He did not tell Amos this, not wanting to discourage the other, who had already met with so many disappointments. It stood to reason, though, that if the “Kiwis” were dislodged, and either captured, or forced to take to their boats, the aviator must vacate his little field where he had held forth, venturing on so many daring trips.

The minutes dragged terribly. Every now and then Amos would let fall a great big sigh, proving[274] how this delay was cutting him to the heart. Surely Arturus must have had ample time by now to find out all he wanted to know, and should be back with his companions again. But Jack refused to let himself suspect anything like treachery on the part of the guide, whose measure he had taken in the start, and in whom he put the utmost trust.

Presently he was relieved to hear a slight sound as of someone approaching. It came from the proper direction, and he felt sure Arturus was returning.

A figure could now be dimly made out; still neither of the boys so much as moved a finger. They were waiting for something more definite to identify the other.

“Jack, Amos!”

When they heard their names breathed ever so softly they knew it was all right, and that Arturus had come back; so they immediately hastened to join him.

“It is even worse than I believed,” was the first thing he told them.


“They are Turks, of course?” asked Amos, never forgetting for a moment the need of extreme caution when making any communication.

“Yes, hundreds of them gathered there,” he was told. “It is their intention to creep around and attack the camp from the east. Already many of them have started up among the rocks, and the rest expect to follow.”

“Oh! we must manage some way or other to warn the troops, or they may be caught napping, and all of them killed,” Amos went on to say.

“What is the best plan of campaign, Arturus?” asked Jack in his customary direct way; for he knew that action alone could secure the end they had in view.

“We can wait until all have left the road and then pass on,” explained Arturus; “or if we please we might reach the beach, and proceed that way.”

“They may happen to leave a few men behind them to watch the road,” suggested Jack. “On the whole, I think it our best plan to take to the shore.”


“Just as you say, and I myself believe that is the safest way,” admitted Arturus.

“Then let’s be moving right away,” begged Amos.

There was no objection to his plea, and consequently they turned to the left, for the water lay in that quarter. Once more they lowered themselves down the little bluff, and if a few stones were dislodged they expected that the sounds would, even if heard by the nearby Turks, not be deemed suspicious, or worthy of investigation.

Once they struck the sandy strip where the little waves came running up close to their feet, all of them felt vastly relieved. If only they could creep past the danger spot, they would very likely be on the home stretch, and could reach their destination without further trouble.

The voices of the Turks reached them more plainly as they pushed on. It meant that some of them were squatting on the very bluff overhead; so that if the trio expected to pass unobserved they must continue to be exceedingly careful.


All Jack hoped for was that none of the Turks would happen to be down by the edge of the water. If that proved to be the case they would be compelled to postpone their passage until the last of the followers of Mahomet had withdrawn, following the rest of the detachment up the hill.

Jack placed implicit confidence in Arturus, and the Greek did not fail them. He kept as close to the bluff as possible, while advancing all the while; and quite naturally the two boys copied his example, recognizing the value of it.

In this way they gradually managed to creep past the spot where the Turks on the little bluff above kept up their low-toned conversation. Possibly Arturus understood what they said, but it was useless for either of the others to try and grasp the meaning, since the Turkish tongue was a sealed book to them.

When this had been accomplished, and they could feel that they were safely by, both boys felt pleased. A heavy load was taken from the chest of Amos, so that once again he could encourage himself with fresh hopes.


Their progress was now more speedy, though Arturus still kept on his guard. Jack admired the fellow more and more as he saw him work. He felt sure Arturus must be a born scout, and in the service of the Allies ashore on Gallipoli would prove himself to be a valuable man indeed.

From this time onward all of them were keenly on the watch for some sign ahead to indicate the presence of the Territorials. They did not mean to take any chance of being shot at by some vigilant sentry, who may have discovered their coming from his post in the darkness, and mistaken them for a straggling party of the enemy.

As it was no longer possible to advance any further along the beach, owing to their having reached a place where the waves ran up against the rocks direct, the guide had once more led them to the forsaken shore road, and they were now moving along that.

It was about this time that Jack sniffed the air. He had caught a whiff of tobacco smoke, it seemed to him. Possibly one of the sentries had[279] managed in some way to roll a cigarette, and was enjoying a few puffs, hiding the light as well as he could with his hands.

Arturus, too, must have caught the same odor for he had come to a pause; and all of them seemed to be trying to pierce the black curtain ahead in hopes of picking up a tiny speck of fire that would betray the presence of the soldier. After all, it was Amos whose sharp eyes discovered what they sought. He gripped Jack’s arm and pointed, although it was difficult to follow his extended hand.

Jack, however, saw a tiny glow. The night air, too, came from that very quarter, showing how the odor of tobacco smoke had been carried to them.

“Lie low in case he fires at us, and let me challenge him,” he told the others.

His voice must have faintly reached the unseen sentry, for there came a quick hail, and they plainly heard the click of a gun-lock.

“Who’s there?” demanded an imperative voice.

“Don’t fire! We are friends!” called out Jack,[280] lying behind a rock, for it was not at all certain what the sentry might do.

“Where did you come from?” asked the other, suspiciously, as though he imagined this might after all be some clever trick played by German officers, and intended for his undoing.

“From the lower camp, and with word for your commander,” Jack went on to say. “So be kind enough to summon help and have us conducted before him. There is need of haste, too, because right now the Turks are closing in around you, and mean to spring a surprise attack.”

Apparently this startling information aroused the sentry, for he gave some sort of signal, and immediately afterward the tramp of feet announced the coming of several others.

The boys could hear them talking together. Then another voice, invested with more or less authority, reached them.

“How many of you are there out there?” came the question.

“Three, two American boys, and the Greek guide, Arturus,” Jack replied, thinking it might[281] hurry things somewhat if he explained in a satisfactory manner in the start.

“Advance one at a time, and remember that any sign of treachery will mean your death!” came the gruff voice, evidently belonging to a sergeant.

Jack stepped out first, and quickly found himself in the company of half a dozen men in khaki, great, tall fellows they were, such as so many of the Territorials seemed to be, as though they grew giants out there in the Eastern Seas.

Faces were thrust close to Jack. One man even struck a match the better to see.

“He is a boy, all right!” affirmed this party, as the match went out.

“We are just what we told you, two American boys, and the Greek, Arturus,” Jack repeated, impressively. “We must see your commander without a minute’s delay. You are in great peril, and the news we bring is of vast importance. Besides, we have a letter for him from the colonel commanding the Australian forces in the lower camp. So please hurry up.”


The sergeant was apparently fully satisfied by this time that it could not be a cunning trick engineered by some of those Germans whom they knew to be among the Turks. So he told them to follow him, and ordered several of his giants to trot along in the rear with their guns held ready.

Amos cared little for all this. The main thing in his mind was that, after all, their perilous undertaking seemed to have reached a point of success. He only felt a cold hand clutching at his heart occasionally when he feared that Frank might never have been on Gallipoli after all, and that the daring aviator whose work they had watched and cheered was a total stranger.

Presently they found themselves in the camp of the New Zealanders. The khaki-colored tents had been erected here and there in places that seemed to afford the highest degree of safety. Doubtless there were also cavities in the rocks into which the men retreated like conies whenever there was danger of the camp being under shell fire from some distant Turkish redoubt or trenches.


Straight up to one of the tents they were conducted. Several men were sitting on camp stools, smoking their pipes, and apparently engaged in quietly discussing the plans of campaign that had been laid out for their guidance, because Jack saw immediately that they were officers.

The coming of the little group evidently surprised them considerably, for they were not in the habit of having visitors. When they did come, it was from the fleet, bringing supplies and ammunition, and more quick-firing guns with which to hold the savage Turks at bay when they fought to hurl the men in khaki into the sea.

“Who are you, and where did you come from?” asked one of the officers, evidently the commander-in-chief of the little New Zealand force.

“We are two American boys who have been with the battle fleet, sir, and sent ashore by the Vice-Admiral on board the Thunderer. We were in the lower camp yesterday and witnessed the fight when they captured the Turks’ trenches.”

At that the officers uttered various exclamations[284] of satisfaction, for up to then they were not absolutely sure what the result of the battle had been.

“Our errand to your camp, sir, is a personal one,” continued Jack; “but it can be explained later on. The first thing we want to tell you is that on our way here we came upon a very heavy detachment of the enemy, leaving the old shore road to swing around on your front. Our guide, the Greek, Arturus, here, is positive they mean to attack your position sometime between now and morning.”

At that every man sprang to his feet. Although they were constantly anticipating such news, when it did come, it produced a profound impression.

“Are you there, Arturus?” demanded the commander-in-chief, discovering the young Greek, who was evidently well known to him from previous meetings. “Do you back up all this young chap has been telling us?”

“It is the truth, General,” declared the guide. “They are in heavy force, and mean to give you a[285] hard fight for your position. It is their aim to drive your force into the sea.”

Then followed quick, sharp orders, showing how well prepared the “Kiwis” were to accept the gage of battle. Under arms every minute of the day and night, ready to meet each emergency as it arose, they were not likely to be harried out of the position they had gained on the Gallipoli shore by any surprise tactics on the part of the sly enemy.

Presently there was no one with the newcomers save the commander-in-chief himself. He insisted on shaking hands with each of the three by turns.

“You have done us all a great service this night,” was what he told the boys as he squeezed their hands. “We are always prepared for trouble, but ‘forewarned is forearmed,’ you know, and on this account the notice you have brought may save many precious lives. I shall be sure to see you later on, if alive, and anything I may be able to do for you, that you can command of me.”

With that he turned and left them. Doubtless[286] he had duties himself to perform, and did not believe in leaving every detail to subordinates. These soldiers from the islands of the sea and across the broad Atlantic were more inclined to follow the French methods of kindly treating their men than to follow the austere German or British plan. They were on good terms with every private in the ranks, and there was a certain degree of familiarity between officers and men that bound them closer together.



Left to themselves, the two boys sought a place where they could make themselves comfortable. The camp stools looked inviting, but cautious Jack shook his head when Amos proposed occupying them.

“I think we can find a safer place than that,” he remarked. “Just as like as not some Turkish spies have had a look-in at this camp, and marked the position of the General’s headquarters. If they have any guns along they’ll be apt to hurl a few shells around here, and it wouldn’t pay us to take the chances.”

“Whew! I never thought of that,” admitted Amos, always ready to agree with his chum.

Wandering around the almost deserted camp, they presently selected a location where they might see something of what was going on. They could easily understand that the position taken[288] by the Territorials had been made as impregnable as the conditions allowed. No doubt there were trenches and barricades behind which the troops could work their many rapid-fire guns, and their repeating rifles as well. Being born marksmen, they would take frightful toll of the Turks when they advanced to the attack in their customary solid formations, urged on by German officers, who from the rear would threaten to sabre or shoot anyone daring to turn back.

All seemed silent save for the sound of the sea fretting along the shore. Amos could hardly believe that right then and there hundreds upon hundreds of Allied troops were getting in position to man the defences of the camp; and that some thousands of ferocious Mussulman fighters were creeping along not so very far away with the avowed intention of rushing the works after the manner of reckless fighters, careless of their lives.

Amos had not forgotten the main reason for his being there in the camp of the gallant New Zealanders. As he sat there and glanced this[289] way and that, trying to make things out in the uncertain light, he was wondering just where the little level plateau lay from which the bold aviator took his flights, and landed again after he had sufficiently harassed the enemy.

It surely was somewhere close by, for unless well within the lines he could never have come and gone with safety. A thousand thoughts were racing through the agitated mind of Amos Turner, though the main theme lay in his fervent hope that here at last he might meet the brother for whom he had been searching so long.

He believed he would know the best or the worst by the time day dawned once more. If Frank was there they must inevitably meet; the General had promised to do anything that lay in his power to help. If again doomed to disappointment the shock would prove most cruel.

Amos and Jack occasionally exchanged a few sentences, but for the most part they lay there on the ground, simply waiting to see what would happen.

An hour, perhaps two of them, had passed[290] since the boys reached camp. Indeed, Amos had actually dozed several times, so that he was utterly unable to keep track of time. He scanned the heavens and believed it must be getting well on toward midnight. Would the Turks attack soon, or had they for some reason given up the plan? Amos even wondered whether the General might not believe they had been mistaken in their warning, and accordingly act less cordially toward the boys.

It was while he was ruefully contemplating some such dire possibility as this that the first shot was fired some little distance away. Instantly a transformation that was certainly wonderful took place. Several searchlights flashed into being, and criss-crossed in a hasty manner as the manipulators sought to show up the advancing enemy.

“They’ve got everything fixed, you see!” Jack exclaimed, as both of them jumped to their feet in their eagerness to see all they could.

Loud shouts were now heard. They evidently sprang from the advancing Turks, filled with[291] fanatical zeal, and determined to sweep everything before them, as they had undoubtedly been assured by their German officers could be easily done.

Amos held his breath. He knew what was bound to follow, and the thought of the hail storm of missiles that would presently be hurled upon the attacking party filled him with dismay; for he had seen the terrible results of such work at close quarters before then, and would never forget it as long as he lived.

That first shot must have been fired by some advanced vidette, who, satisfied with having thus given the alarm, had hastily retreated along lines previously laid out for his guidance.

You have often heard the sudden, sharp crash of thunder immediately after a most brilliant flash of lightning—well, to Jack’s mind that was about what the sudden discharge of a gun close by sounded like, it came with such startling abruptness.

Immediately afterwards other sounds chimed in—the whirring rattle of quick-firers, the volleys[292] of those in the trenches, and the stentorious shouts of the excited men from the other side of the world who were filled with the enthusiasm of battle.

The advancing Turks also made themselves heard, for they shouted at the top of their voices, even as red Indians had been wont to whoop when attacking some log cabin in an Ohio clearing, or a wagon-train on its way across the plains.

The clamor grew in volume. The Turks were firing as they came on, though those they sought to slay were doubly screened both by darkness and the barricades behind which they stood or crouched, each man acting mostly on his own initiative. The searchlights were destined to turn the scales of battle against the charging Turks, Jack imagined. Those powerful streams of light playing along the enemy’s lines betrayed their every move, and afforded the Allies a splendid opportunity to spray their columns with the fluid of death that leaped from the muzzles of those quick-firers.

Nor was this all.


In the midst of the terrible noise there came a dull boom from out on the water. Some battleship must be there in the darkness, possibly the same one that had so lately destroyed the hidden battery on the shore below. The men aboard knew to a fraction just what the distance was, and that brilliant light showed them where to land a shell.

Jack heard a peculiar sound that may have been caused by the passage of the monster shell overhead. Then came one of those terrible shocks, and they could see the flash as the explosion took place.

It struck him as nothing short of miraculous how those experts aboard the battleship could drop their shells exactly where they chose, with darkness around them; but that was just what happened, for the monster exploded in the very midst of the charging Turks, and must have created a panic among those who survived.

Having seen some of the craters dug by the shells hurled from the famous forty-two-centimetre guns of the Germans along the fighting[294] line in Belgium and France, Jack could easily imagine what a pit had followed the crash, swallowing scores of the Turks. But the dismay among the attacking troops was but momentary. They had been primed for a victory, and were not to be cheated so easily. Once more they were coming on, a surging mob, with the rain from the pulsating quick-firers cutting swathes through their ranks.

If you have ever watched a farmer swinging his scythe, or the mowing machine pushing through the wheat or oats, you can have a pretty good idea of how men fall in windrows when a bevy of those modern guns are in action. Those who manipulate them constantly change the position of the weapons so that the discharge might be compared to the result when anyone handles a hose to sprinkle the lawn or the family garden. Some have even likened it to the machine for whitewashing or painting great buildings like those erected for Expositions; only instead of the pure white the result of this spraying is red.


Both Amos and Jack stood there watching most anxiously. Those shouts were so insistent, and the clamor so dreadful that they could be easily pardoned for feeling more or less nervousness. If, after all, the Turks swept irresistibly forward and carried the trenches of the Territorials, what the result might be no one could more than guess.

Both lads felt that they had much at stake in the success or failure of the valiant defence being put up by the men from the eastern seas. They tried their best to gauge the rise or fall of the tide of battle from the awful sounds that came to their ears; but it was all such a mixture of shouts, jumbled orders, cries of pain or savage triumph, that this was found to be impossible.

Again the battleship off the coast sent another shell ashore. This landed in the rear of the Turks, for they were now so close to the trenches that the British naval gunners did not dare take the chances of harming their own allies. The effect of the bursting shell was bound to dampen the enthusiasm of the already despairing Turks,[296] Jack felt confident, and that counted for something.

Listening he presently decided in his own mind that the ferocious cries of the assailants seemed somewhat subdued. This might spring from the fact that so many had already gone down under that merciless spraying process. It was also possible that those who were left had become disheartened, and were by degrees giving it up.

When this suspicion grew stronger in his mind, Jack felt a thrill of relief. Then, after all, it was not going to be a massacre of the Kiwis; they were not to be thrown into the sea, as the Turks had openly boasted they would do when they got ready to attend to their case. In fact, the shoe seemed on the other foot.

Losses would have been incurred by the Territorials, to be sure, for they had been subjected to a hot fire at close quarters, besides having many of the onrushing Turks meet them in a bayonet charge; but the trenches had been held against all opposition. Doubtless, too, the enemy had received a severe lesson from this rough handling.[297] They would be more careful after this night how they attacked the men from New Zealand. If ever they tried to rush those trenches again, it must be in overwhelming numbers, so that they might carry their point through the sheer exhaustion of the defenders.

“It’s all over but the shouting, I guess, Jack!” cried Amos, when the noise began to rapidly subside, though the terrible searchlights continued to flash back and forth, picking out small detachments of the retreating Turks upon whom the exultant gunners could turn their “hoppers,” as some of them called the rapid-fire guns.

“And the camp is saved in the bargain, though we have still to find out at what cost,” replied Jack, himself greatly pleased with the handy fashion in which these fighting units of Territorials had carried themselves under fire.

Although they could hardly expect another attack that night, still one of those searchlights would undoubtedly be kept busy covering the ground above. Meanwhile the wounded must be looked after, for there were many casualties on[298] the side of the Allies, the Turks fighting for the trenches until many of them were literally thrown out on the point of the bayonet.

“Here’s where we can make ourselves useful again, Amos,” suggested Jack. Although greatly wearied after all they had gone through with since dawn, the boys could not rest easy when there was need of their services.

Accordingly they sought out the first officer they could find, and asked to be assigned the task of helping to bring in the wounded, stating that they had only too willingly shouldered their share of the burden in the other camp, after the glorious fight by which the Australians had extended their holding on the shore. And, of course, the officer gladly gave them permission to use a stretcher, for as most of the troops were still holding the trenches there was need of all the help they could secure.



For fear lest the revengeful Turks might seek to shell the camp after their recent serious defeat it was deemed unwise to use much light. Men went about with electric hand torches, where they had them, and sought out the wounded. Then these were placed on stretchers and carried down to where a temporary field hospital had been arranged, so that their injuries might be cared for.

As the Territorials had for the most part fought within the line of their own trenches it was not difficult to find those who were in need of tender care. Jack and Amos were surprised at the number, for they had not imagined the fight to be of such a desperate nature. Evidently the Turks had attacked with their customary dash and recklessness, even throwing themselves into the enemy trenches to grapple with the invaders of Islam territory.


There were also quite a number of gallant fellows who would never again, alas, return to their far-distant native shores. They had yielded up their young lives in the great cause for which they believed the Allies were fighting—universal freedom from the horrible idea of militarism. The boys felt sad when they gazed upon these victims of the Turks’ ferocity; and deep down in their hearts both of them fervently hoped and prayed that the sacrifice of so many valuable lives on both sides would not have been made in vain.

They soon found themselves busily engaged. Having already had considerable experience in handling a stretcher, they knew just how to go about the caring for the wounded. Indeed, it was doubtful whether any of those among whom they took their place carried themselves more admirably.

Back and forth they went, their feet dragging a little, for they were very tired, but determined not to flinch while another poor fellow remained to be taken to where he could be looked after.


So, by degrees, the last of the wounded had been found out. The boys had come down with a poor chap whom they had found trying to keep from bleeding to death after having made a rude tourniquet of his large silk bandana handkerchief, possibly a last present from his girl at home. Being somewhat experienced themselves in the surgical arts, the boys had hastened first of all to rearrange this, so that it would do its work better; after which they had placed him on the litter, and made their way down to the emergency hospital with their burden, the man having fainted in the meantime from utter weakness and exhaustion.

There was really no need of them climbing the rise again, for word had been passed around that all the wounded had now been taken care of.

Jack could give a pretty good guess what was on the mind of his chum when he saw Amos begin to glance eagerly around as soon as they found themselves amidst the busy scenes of the field hospital.

“He is thinking of Frank, and the chance of[302] learning something about him here,” was what flitted through the brain of Jack as they bore their groaning burden toward the place where several army surgeons were working steadily.

To tell the truth the closer Amos came to realizing his ambition, which as we know was to find his brother, the greater his fears arose. He dreaded lest after all his long search he might discover Frank just a little too late. The daring aviator was accustomed to taking such fearful chances in his chosen vocation that there must always be heavy odds against his coming through alive.

And when Amos saw the steady stream of men in khaki being carried to the operating tables he stared hard at each and every one as though really afraid deep down in his brotherly heart he was fated to find Frank there, a mangled wreck, and utterly beyond the task of going back home to say good-bye to the father who yearned to receive his forgiveness.

Jack had an idea just then, which he hastened to communicate to his chum.


“Take your chance and ask the head surgeon about Frank,” was his suggestion.

“I believe I will,” replied the other, not without a perceptible shudder. “He might know of him, for of course most of the news of the camp is heard at the headquarters of the surgical staff. Thank you for speaking about it, Jack.”

They soon found means to dispose of their burden, and both boys were relieved when they heard that by now the field had been well scoured by men with stretchers, and that apparently the last of the wounded had been brought in.

The Turks really behaved better than the boys had dreamed would be the case. Indeed, many times they heard some of the Allies speak in terms of respect and admiration for the generosity of the Turkish soldiers, and often bitterly comparing it with the ferocity and apparent cruelty they had met with on the part of others among the Central Powers fighters.

So Amos, watching for an opportunity, presently approached the head surgeon. This party was a grizzled veteran who doubtless had seen[304] much service in his vocation, and at the outbreak of the Great War had only too gladly placed his knowledge at the disposition of the King.

He must have noticed the recent work of the two lads at the time they bore in the wounded Australian, for, as Amos approached, the fatigued surgeon actually smiled and held out his hand.

At another time Amos might have shuddered at seeing signs of blood on the fingers extended in hospitable greeting; but by now he had gone through so much that was terrible and nerve stretching that the experience had hardened him to such things. Besides the boy was rapidly becoming what might be called philosophical, as happens to all those who are brought in close contact with varied scenes of suffering.

“I’m glad you’ve given me the chance to thank you, my brave lad, for your assistance,” said the head surgeon as he grasped the hand of Amos. “I do not know who you two boys are, for somehow you are different from our English lads, but[305] there’s little doubt your hearts are with us in this terrible carnage.”

“We are both American boys,” said Amos hastily, his eyes sparkling with pleasure at this friendly and hearty greeting, which was so different from what a good many Britishers would have exhibited, for they seem to repress their feelings until outsiders come to look upon them as cold-blooded people, which is not the case at all.

“That pleases me again,” said the surgeon, “for my wife was of your country, and I have spent many happy months visiting America. But pardon my curiosity, please; what can have brought two lads of your age over here in the midst of the fighting, and particularly on Gallipoli Peninsula, where one would least expect to meet you?”

That gave the anxious Amos the opening he wanted, and so he immediately started in to tell of his long search for his brother, and just why, at that particular time above all others, it was of the greatest importance that Frank should return[306] home with him, even though he meant to come back to his duty again.

“Tell me his name,” said the surgeon, “possibly I may happen to know of him even if I have never met him personally.”

His surprise was great when the boy proudly let it be known that the brother whom he sought had established a wonderful reputation for valor among the Allies—indeed, that he even had a price set on his head by the Germans, who had learned to fear him above all the dashing birdmen who served in the ranks of the French and the British.

“Indeed, you astonish me,” remarked the kindly head surgeon; “it must give you great satisfaction to hear on every side that this wonderful brother of yours is accounted the best aviator we have. Far and near I have heard his praises sung, and if any class of men can appreciate true bravery surely soldiers may. I heard only yesterday that he was working with us now on Gallipoli, but as yet I have not had the pleasure of making his acquaintance. In a way that may be[307] accounted fortunate for him, since many come to me who would rather not.”

Amos was, of course, a bit disappointed. He had anticipated meeting with better success than this.

“I thank you very much for what you have said, Doctor,” he remarked, controlling his emotion. “We expect to make inquiries, and before a great while I shall hope to run across Frank, who can hardly hide his light under a bushel here, for he will be either with the fleet at some island rendezvous, or else on shore;” and as the surgeon’s services were required just then nothing more could be said.

Amos still lingered, not that he liked to see the gruesome sights, but from some reason he himself could hardly have explained had he been asked.

Just then two men who had an empty stretcher came in. Evidently they had searched in vain for a last victim, and failing to find any meant to give up the task.

One of them strode over to an army surgeon[308] who, with shirt sleeves rolled up, had been industriously at work, though just then business seemed slack. Jack noticed that this person was a young fellow with a face well tanned by the air and sun. He had a rough bandage around his arm, which was stained by blood, and it was evident that while wounded slightly himself he had insisted on making use of his undoubted strength to carry some of the boys to the hospital.

The surgeon greeted him as though he looked on him as some sort of hero; for he began to quickly undo the hastily placed bandage so as to examine the cut made by a bayonet or flying shrapnel.

Amos uttered a little cry that made his chum turn and stare at him. He found the other focussing his eyes on the darkened face of the young man, while his hands were closed fiercely.

“Frank! oh! Frank!” almost shouted Amos.

At that the other whirled around and stared at the boy, who was now advancing towards him with outstretched hands.

“Don’t you know me, Frank?” cried Amos[309] hoarsely. “It’s—your—own—brother—Amos!”

“Don’t you know me, Frank?” cried Amos.—Page 308

At hearing that astounding assertion, the young aviator looked as though he believed himself dreaming. To meet his younger brother here in the midst of bloody scenes, Amos, the “kid” whom he only remembered as a little fellow, was almost beyond his comprehension.

But in another moment Amos had reached his side, and putting out his arms, Frank hugged the lad to his heart, regardless of the pain such a movement must have caused him.

“What brought you over here, boy?” he demanded, as soon as he could catch his breath.

“Oh! we have been searching for you everywhere,” replied Amos, beaming upon the brother of whom he was so proud. “All the way across Belgium, and most of the way along the lines of battle in France, always arriving just too late to meet you. Get your arm looked after, Frank, and then I’ve got a thousand things to tell you. I’m so happy I feel as if I were flying through space, just as we saw you do when you threw those bombs on the Turks yesterday.”


“What, were you there with the Australians through the fierce battle?” demanded Frank, hardly able to believe his ears, for to his mind Amos was still the same “kid” the latter had been when he left home some years back, and he could not realize that the boy had grown to be so tall and stout.

“Yes, and we helped carry in the wounded afterwards; but you shall hear it all, only on condition that you let the surgeon attend to your wound, which looks like a bad one, too.”

“The only tough thing about it is I need that arm every time I go up, and it’s going to cripple me for some time, I’m afraid,” complained Frank, bitterly.

“Then you must take a vacation, and go back home with me, if only for a visit,” said Amos, in a thrilling tone. “Father is nearing his end, we fear, Frank, and he is crazy to see you just once again before he dies. You surely wouldn’t refuse him the last chance to ask you to forgive him; for, Frank, what was lost has been found[311] just lately, back of the drawer in the desk where it lay all these years!”

Upon hearing how his name had been cleared, Frank seemed to draw in a long breath. It evidently meant much to him to have that stern father know he was innocent of the crime that had been laid at his door. He put a hand to his head—the army surgeon was already busily engaged with the other arm.

“I’d rather wait until I hear the whole story, Amos, before deciding,” he said, presently. “Though I want to tell you right now I’m sorely inclined to do what you are asking of me. With this wound I’d be of little use here for some time; and it wouldn’t take more than a month or so to run over and come back. Yes, I own up that I would never forgive myself if father passed away, and I refused to give him a chance to see me again after all these years. Most of the bitterness has left my heart in the passage of time, and if I survived this war I would probably have made the first advances toward patching up a peace with father.”


This made Amos smile broadly. After all he had undergone, victory seemed only the sweeter to the boy. He introduced Jack to his brother, who, it seemed, remembered the cousin. Then, later on, the three sought a secure nook where the story could be told.

Frank listened with amazement when he heard the many adventures that had befallen the two brave American boys during their long continued search for him. Many times did he stop the narrator to ask questions. He even viewed the wonderful paper signed by K. of K. with due reverence; for like most of the soldiers fighting for King George and the cause of the Allies, he had come to believe Kitchener the mainstay of the whole war, and the one whose tactics would eventually win out.

At last there was really nothing else to say, and Amos waited to hear Frank’s final decision. The other thrust out his hand to his younger brother.

“After the wonderful way you’ve followed me over the most of Europe, Amos, my dear brother, it would be a crime for me to refuse your request.[313] Yes, I’ll start back home with you as soon as we can get away. Perhaps they may show me some few favors in return for what I’ve done, and the road will be made easier. But remember, I must come back again when I’ve seen my father. There is yet work for me here, and my heart is in it!”

Upon hearing these words, Amos, boy fashion, jumped up and threw his hat into the air. From that moment, the future looked rosy. Little did our heroes guess, when last on Gallipoli, that the daring enterprise would be frustrated—long before this reaches the eye of the reader—by the steady current which swiftly flowed from the Sea of Marmora toward the Mediterranean. It was this current that enabled the shrewd German engineers to float innumerable mines which wrecked or destroyed many a battleship attempting to force the narrow passage.

Jack, Amos and Frank left for England, having been accorded a passage on a returning collier, thanks to the influence of some of Frank’s admirers. As has been said, no one then dreamed[314] of failure; indeed, the American aviator was entreated to hasten back to his field of duty unless he wanted to arrive too late and find everything carried in a glorious rush.

In this happy condition we will say good-bye to the American boys whose fortunes we have followed through the battlefields of war-stricken Europe. It may be our good fortune to meet them again in the pages of some future volume; but for the present we must be patient and wait.



[1] See “Two American Boys with the Allied Armies,” and “Two American Boys in the French War Trenches.”

Transcriber’s Notes:

Illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks near where they are mentioned.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

The one footnote has been moved to the end of the text and relabeled.

The following changes were made:

p. 38: combing changed to coaming (the coaming of)

p. 116: metal changed to mettle (of mettle they)

p. 220: phase changed to faze (doesn’t faze him)