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Newspaper Page Text
striking fairly home, would send the
vessel to the bottom before she could
launch her lifeboats. And the life
boats of the Spitfire would not suf
fice to save a tithe of the Kronprinz's
crew and passengers, few though the
"I'll give her a shotted gun first,"
This time the shell went very near
the Kronprinz, but the result was the
same as before. She sped through
the water about fifteen hundred
yards ahead of the pursuing craft.
Through his glasses Lieutenant
Adams could plainly see the passen
gers crowding the deck.
"They say that she's carrying two
twelve-pounders," suggested Bing
ham. "That may be the reason "
Adams had heard the rumor that
the Kronprinz had been partly con
verted for the destruction of mer
chantmen. A sudden resolution was
apparent on his white face.
"Give her a torpedo when I signal,
Bingham," he answered.
And he stood within the wheel
house fighting the most supreme
battle of his ilfe. It was his duty to
his country against the only woman
he had ever loved, and, though the
result was never in doubt, the con
flict was one of those that go to the
soul of a man and leave their im
He had met Frances Lowell two
years before, when he was tempora
rily attached to the embassy at
Washington. She was of Southern
birth and had been visiting relatives
in the capital. From the first they
had been attracted to each other.
When, after a few weeks of acquaint
ance, Adams had been recalled toN
England, he had gone with the un
derstanding that, as soon as he got
his first command, he should ask her
to be his wife.
The command had come three
months before, and by that time their
correspondence had shown them
that they had not erred in their" se
lection . Frances had accepted him.
He had been looking forward to their,
reunion and had urged her to take
a British ship. And she had sailed
on a German.
The battle was over. With a firm
expression upon his face Adams took
up the speaking tube. He knew that
Bingham was waiting at the other
end, the first word would send the
torpedo hurtling upon her deadly pas
sage of destruction.
But before his hand was on the
tube he heard a singing in his ears,
a roaring over the sea which caused
him momentarily to-postpone giving
the order. Something unexpected
had occurred. Next instant he knew
what it was. He heard the screech
of the shell from the converted liner,
the following boom of the cannon;
and then everything was fire and
smoke and splinters.
The next thing of which he bacame
aware was water around and about
him. Slunned by the concussion, he
managed only to make out the wreck
age in the water of what had been
the smartest torpedo boat in the Brit
ish navy. He heard the cries of
drowning men, the calls for help.
The shell, aimed with deadly pre
cision, had struck the torpedo boat
amidships, rending her and sending
her to the bottom.
With a groan Adams closed his
eyes and resigned himself to the em
brace of theicy waters. And that
was his last remembrance until a
long time after.
He awakened in the Plymouth hos
pital. The first face to meet his
eyes was that of Bingham, seated at
The sub-lieutenant stretched out
his hand and clasped Adams' firmly.
"Where am I?" groaned Adams.
"In the hospital and getting along
finely," answered Bingham. "You
got a piece of shell in your head, but
it was pulled out yesterday and a
couple of weeks should see you
aboard the finest destroyer afloat.
"You see," he continued, "the
Vengeance came up and received the