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A Hero of Liége by Herbert Strang

Pariset glanced quickly at Kenneth


"Do

you think that is the way to go to work?" Pariset asked tactfully. "They would hardly allow themselves to be caught napping; at the first alarm they would no doubt blow up the bridge, and I take it that to prevent that is even more important than to seize the men themselves--though our aim should be to do both."

"It is true, monsieur. I am an old man. This is the day of young men. Oh that I were forty years younger and able to serve my country! But you will not let them go? You will bring some of our brave soldiers here and capture the villains?"

"There may not be time for that. We must meet craft with craft. If we could only reconnoitre the mill we might be able to hit upon a plan. My uniform would give me away, if I approached the place as I am; you could no doubt lend me some clothes to disguise myself?"

"Surely, monsieur; but----"

He broke off, eyeing Pariset's face, with its small military moustache, doubtfully.

At this moment they heard the rumble of a heavy vehicle on the road.

"It is the beer, compere," said the farmer, glancing out of the window.

"Ah! the beer!" repeated the miller. "I might have known they were Germans! Every week they have a barrel delivered from Charleroi, and it is not the local brew, but the Lion brew

from Munich."

He had moved to the window, followed by his visitors. A heavy dray laden with beer was lumbering down the road. As it came opposite to the house the drayman hailed the miller, pulling up his horses.

"The Germans are shelling Liege," he said. "Maybe 'tis the last time I shall come this way. Your good tenants had better clear out."

"Good tenants!" cried the old man explosively.

"Quiet!" said Pariset, touching him on the sleeve. "Don't tell him they are Germans."

"Ah! You are right, monsieur. But my blood boils. You are going to the mill?" he asked the drayman.

"Yes. 'Tis only a small barrel to-day--not the big one they usually have. There aren't so many of them, seemingly. I was just loading up the usual nine gallons when the order came from the office to take a four-and-a-half instead."

Pariset glanced quickly at Kenneth.

"They're going to clear out soon," he said in a low tone. "It looks as though we're only just in time."

They drew aside from the others while the miller gossiped with the drayman.

"I say, you talked of disguising yourself," said Kenneth. "Why shouldn't you take the drayman's place and deliver the beer? You could then take stock of the place and the people."

"A capital notion! I must take the drayman into my confidence. Wait a minute," he called out of the window, as the man was about to drive on. In a few words he explained the plan to the miller.

"Parbleu, monsieur, but look at his size!" said the old man.

"Yes, that's a difficulty, I admit," said Pariset ruefully. "He would make three of me. The Germans aren't fools, and if they saw me with his smock flapping about me they would smell a rat."


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