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Army Boys in the French Trenches by Homer Randall

I think that Rabig is a bad egg


don't suppose the officers know Rabig as well as the rest of us do," said Billy. "But say, fellows, look at that bit of white under the door of the hut. What do you suppose it is?"

"Oh, just a scrap of paper," laughed Bart. "Just like the Belgian treaty."

"Something the wind's blown up against the door, I guess," conjectured Tom.

"Wind nothing!" exclaimed Frank, whose vision was keener than that of any of the others. "It's under the door and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time. I tell you what it is, fellows," he went on excitedly, "it's a note that's being pushed out by the fellow inside."

"Let's get behind these trees and see what's going on," suggested Bart, indicating a clump of trees near which they happened to be standing.

In a moment they were screened from observation. Then they watched with the keenest interest what would follow.

That Rabig had caught sight of the paper was evident, for he stopped his pacing and turned his eyes on the door. Then he looked stealthily about him. The nearest sentry was some distance away, and the boys were well hidden by the trees.

Then Rabig made a complete circuit of the little hut, as though to make sure that no one was lurking about. Having apparently satisfied himself on that point, he

returned and resumed his pacing until he was directly in front of the door.

Here he paused and drew out his handkerchief and wiped his forehead. But as he went to put it back, it dropped from his hand so that it lay close by and almost upon the protruding piece of paper.

He was stooping to pick it up, when he caught sight of a sergeant coming in his direction. Instantly he straightened up, and as he did so the butt of his rifle knocked against the door.

The paper disappeared as though it had been drawn swiftly back from the inside, just as the sergeant came up.

"Gee!" gasped Tom.

"Prisoner all right, Rabig?" inquired the sergeant.

"Yes, sir," replied Rabig. "He seems to be keeping pretty quiet. I looked in a little while ago and he was lying asleep on the bench."

"Keep a close watch on him," counseled the sergeant. "What he tried to do to Raymond yesterday shows that he's a desperate character. But I guess that by this time to-morrow he won't need any one to watch him."

The sergeant passed on and the boys looked at each other with speculation in their eyes.

"What do you think of it?" asked Frank thoughtfully.

"Think?" snorted Tom. "I think that Rabig is a bad egg. What else is there for any one to think?"

"It certainly looks suspicious," said Bart with a little wrinkle of anxiety creasing his brow.

"One thing is sure," declared Billy. "It was a note that was being pushed outside that door. The fellow inside was trying to get into communication with Rabig."

"True," assented Frank. "But that in itself doesn't prove anything. You or I might be on sentry duty and a prisoner might try to do the same thing to us."

"Yes," agreed Billy. "But we wouldn't act the way Rabig did. We'd have picked up the note and given it to the sergeant of the guard."

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