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Aces Up by Covington Clarke

McGee quickly resigned himself


"I

wish I knew as much," McGee quickly resigned himself. "This drive is all so sudden and unexpected, to me, that I hardly know where I am right now. I've an idea the Old Man is going to tell me I can't go along."

"Don't worry, fellow," Larkin told him, pausing at the Major's door. "Every guy with two arms, two legs and two eyes will be along on this little fracas. Believe me, this is to be some show!"

As they entered they noticed that Cowan stood with his back to the door, bending over a large map spread out on the table.

"What did I tell you?" Larkin whispered to McGee. "We're in for a session of night map flying."

McGee did not hear him. His interest was upon a sergeant and four privates who were seated on a bench against the wall just to the right of the door. He noted that they wore side arms only, and that on their sleeves were the blue and white brassards of the Military Police. M.P., eh? Then something was up!

Cowan turned from his map. "Ah, you are here. Sergeant," he addressed the non-com in charge of the detail, "post your detail just outside the door and wait. If anyone approaches with a--ah--prisoner, admit them."

"Yes, sir." The detail filed out.

Cowan saw the look of question on the faces of the two pilots.

justify;">"You are wondering why they are here, eh? Well, they have been sent down from Corps Headquarters to take charge of a prisoner. We hope to hold a little reception here within a short time--possibly any minute now."

"Who is to be honored, Major?" Larkin asked.

"A rather well known gentleman," Cowan replied, tantalizingly. "Both of you are quite well acquainted with Lieutenant Siddons, I believe?"

Larkin looked at McGee in astonishment.

"No, sir," McGee replied to Cowan, "no one in this outfit knows that fellow very well."

"Quite right," Cowan agreed. "Lieutenant Larkin, I recall that you lost your old R.F.C. uniform a good while back."

"Yes, sir."

"And in the pocket was your old identification fold, and certain other papers? An old pass to Paris, for one thing?"

"Why--yes, sir. The identification card was there, but I don't recall what I did with that old pass."

"It was there," Cowan told him, "and it grieves me to inform you that the uniform, and all that the pockets contained, was stolen by Lieutenant Siddons."

"What! Are you sure?"

"There is no doubt about it. Furthermore, he delivered them into the hands of the enemy." Larkin was too dumbfounded for words, but McGee displayed little surprise.

"So you have at last found out what I knew all along, Major?" Red asked.

"Not _at last_," Cowan replied, with meaning emphasis. "Your uniform, Lieutenant Larkin, will be returned to you soon--we hope."

"Oh!" McGee jerked his head toward the door. "So that's the reason for the M.P.'s. You are going to nab him?"

"Not exactly that." Cowan was enjoying the curiosity provoked by the suspense he was creating. "I believe both of you have heard of a certain German ace, Count von Herzmann?"


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