“Then we ought to fly back and look after the ones who were wounded on the road,” Frank said. “Suppose we all go back on our machines, and really see something of the country?”
This was agreed to, and the party separated for the night. In the morning Ned paid his respects to the American ambassador, who greeted him courteously, but wanted to know all about the events of the trip from the coast.
“You have gotten Uncle Sam out of a bad mess,” the ambassador said, when Ned had finished his narration, “and you will find that you will be well rewarded when you return to Washington.”
The ambassador also requested the boys to visit the other legations, but they did not care to do so.
“Well,” he said, then, “you must take a letter from me which may help you on your way. I have been expecting you here all the week, but it seems that you completed your work without my assistance,”
“Just what I was figuring on,” Ned replied.
“I worked under surveillance all the way here, and I desired to show that I could do something on my own account.”
The boys left Peking early the next morning, and were not long in reaching the house where the powder trap had been set for them. There they found Hans and Sandy! The boys had followed them on from Tientsin in an automobile which an English merchant was taking through.
Both boys were riding motorcycles, and were already proficient enough to proceed with the others, using the machines which had been ridden by the wounded marines, who were sent on to Peking in charge of Captain Martin.
A week was spent on the road to Taku, and the lads enjoyed every minute of the time. The letter given them by the American ambassador brought them every attention at Tientsin and Taku.
It was late in the fall when they reached New York. On the night of their arrival there were many joyful meetings in the clubroom of the Black Bear Patrol. The next day Ned went on to Washington to file his report. When he returned it was with a very substantial reward.
“Now,” he said, with a laugh, “I’m ready for the next trip. I wonder where it will be?”