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cruiser of small type. It had done
some wonders in discovering mines
set for the unwary and in venturing
spy fashion, into perilous waters. The
craft had extraordinary speed. I did
not know if Adele might be with her
father. I hoped it and counted on
being welcomed by both of them at
the seaport town of Vranches, just
about 100 miles over the Belgian bor
der. We steamed away boldly enough
and the night passed and the day
broke with smooth, unruffled prog
ress our lok The Polaric was worth
studying in its superb armament and
I was interested in all that I saw. At
various points the craft met brother
marines and stopped at several ports
to disembark soldiers, to land some
ammunition. It was about 3 o'clock
in the afternoon when we sighted a
bounding, speeding marine flying the
There was great animation on deck.
The officers were in consultation,
their subordinates were sent scurry
ing from point to point.
"Who is she?" I heard one of the
officers sing out to the lookout man.'
The answer came definitely: "The
I was more than interested. She
seemed coming toward us and one of
the big guns was trained In readiness
for a try at her.
Just then there was a new commo
tion. Out from a cliff-guarded inlet
there set out one of the largest men
of war I had ever seen. Her bulk was
fairly enormous. She steamed along
slowly, clumsily. The officers of the
Polaric were manifestly troubled.
Then I overheard one of .them cry
"I see the game!"
"What is it?" sharply challenged
his companion officer.
"We have headed off the Seeker
and she is making for the protection
of the big marine. Set position to
give the little one a shot as she
passes in range."
"She is a daring little vixen."
"Yes, and troublesome a worry
to the admiralty, with her quick
ways and daring dodgings. It will be
a feather in our cap to end her. Get
her sure, and the admiralty will see
The Seeker seemed heedless of
peril. She seemed resolute, to dart
past us. The big cruiser seemed to
be her goaL I moved nearer to the
swivel gun, mounted and leveled. An
officer handed me his glass. I looked
once and shuddered.
"Great heavens!" I exclaimed ir
resistibly. "What is that?" sharply asked the
''Nothing," I stammered, and hand
ed back the glass. "Thanks!"
I stood electrified upon the gun
deck of the Polaric. I had made out
the commander of the Seeker, the
vice-admiral, and, fearlessly viewing
the outlook of collision-or attack, was
a girl wearing a bright tri-color. knot
on her left shoulder, a favorite
adornment of the girl I loved.
r Then Adele was with her father! It
was now a race; the Seeker getting
to the shelter and protection of the
big sruiser before the Polaric could
half intervene and get a square
shot at her. As the Seeker neared,
neared, neared, the Polaric maneuv
ered. The gunner had his clear poise,
for the Polaric had shut down steam
and was nearly motionless. As the
gunner watched and waited, I fol
lowed the swift course of the Seeker
with distended eyes and bated breath.
I saw the Seeker come squarely
across our bow. The gunner sighted.
Then he drew back and his hand
reached out for the electric switch
which ignited the cap fuse. Aloft the
lookout kept the focus of his glass
shifting with the progress of the
Seeker. It was the hazard of a sec
ond. A whistle rang out the signal.
My love! I had but an instant to
think. I pretended to slip clumsily. A
curse echoed in my ears as the gun
ner, torn from the electric- switch,
went fiat, I on top of him.