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Army Boys in the French Trenches by Homer Randall

Meanwhile the sergeant had started off


"About

all we can do," said Bart finally, "is to hold ourselves in readiness to make use of the first chance of escape that comes along. And if these Germans are all as stupid as the ones we've seen so far, it oughtn't to be very difficult."

"Well, when the chance comes, we won't let any grass grow under our feet, that's certain," said Frank. "But now, I'm dog-tired, and I'm going to see if I can't get a little sleep. And what's more, I'd advise you fellows to do the same."

"He who sleeps, dines," quoted Tom, with a somewhat rueful grin. "I hope there's more in that old saying than there is in most of them."

"Right you are," said Bart, "but something seems to tell me I'm going to be hungry in the morning, just the same."

Bart was right. After a restless night, the boys woke with ravenous appetites, and managed to eat most of the unpalatable fare that was passed around. Not long after this they saw the sergeant who had had charge of them the previous day picking his way through the crowd, evidently looking for some particular object. At last he caught sight of the Americans, and immediately headed toward them.

"Come," he commanded, roughly, in his halting English. "Orders have come for your removal."

"Where to?" inquired Frank. "Silence! Do as you are told, and ask no questions!"

commanded the German.

"For two cents I'd jump on him and choke the dog's life out of him!" muttered Tom, but his friends laid restraining hands on him.

"Nothing doing, Tom," warned Billy. "We'd be playing against stacked cards in a game like that. Take it easy now, and maybe our chance will come later."

Meanwhile the sergeant had started off, and the friends had no choice but to follow him. He led them out of the tent, where a squad of soldiers was lined up. At a nod from the sergeant, these surrounded the boys, and at a curt word of command they all started off.

They were soon outside the confines of the camp, and marching along what had once been a perfect road, but was now badly broken up by the combined effects of shellfire and heavy trucking. The soldiers talked among themselves in low gutturals, and the boys, by piecing together words that they caught here and there, gathered that they were being taken to some higher official for further questioning.

"You see," said Billy, "they know we were inside their lines a considerable time before they caught us, and so they are paying particular attention to us. I guess they think we may know more than we've told them so far." This with a wink at his friends.

"We sure have told them a lot," put in Bart, grinning. "And, just to be perfectly fair, I suggest that we tell the next Boche who questions us just as much as we told the last one."

"Fair enough," agreed Tom. "No favoritism has always been my motto."


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