‘Pass the word the commander wishes to see Carrington,’ came a voice.
‘Lootenant Strang wants you,’ said Williams. ’Go right aft. Sentry’ll show you. And go careful, mind you. Submarines ain’t the sort o’ shops for foot races.’
Ken went cautiously back past the amazing tangle of spinning, whirling machinery. Where the long interior narrowed to the stern hung a thick curtain. The sentry silently parted it, and Ken found himself in the officer’s quarters of G2. They were as plain as the steerage on a liner. Just two bunks and in the middle a table at which Lieutenant Strang sat, busily writing.
He glanced up as Ken entered, and, saluting, stood to attention. Ken noticed, with inward approval, the strength and intelligence in the clean-cut features of the commanding officer.
‘Feeling better, Carrington?’
‘Quite all right, sir, thank you.’
‘I want to hear what you’ve been doing. Let’s have the whole yarn.’
Ken told him. He put it as shortly as he could, but gave his story clearly and well. Lieutenant Strang listened with the deepest attention.
‘’Pon my word, you and your chum have been going it some!’ he remarked when Ken at last finished. ’So you’re a son of Captain Carrington? How is it you did not take a commission?’
‘I didn’t think I had any right to it, sir,’ Ken answered simply. ’It seemed to me it was the sort of thing one ought to win.’
’Just so. I dare say you are right. I hope you’ll get one anyhow. But see here, I can’t put you ashore. We’re going north, not south.’
‘Going up through the Straits, sir?’ exclaimed Ken. ’We’ve gone. We’re opposite Bulair this minute, so far as I can judge.’
KEN MEETS AN OLD FRIEND
‘Then—then you’re bound for Constantinople?’ said Ken eagerly.
’Not necessarily. No, I am not particularly anxious to charge into the Golden Horn. It’s a deal of risk, and not much to be got out of it. Our mission is to cruise in the Marmora and look out for Turkish transports and store ships.’
‘Why, what’s the matter?’ he broke off, noticing how Ken’s face had fallen.
’I beg your pardon, sir. It was my father I was thinking of. You see he is in Constantinople—at least, so that scoundrel Henkel told me. I thought I might have a chance of getting ashore and helping him.’
’My good fellow, you must be crazy. Apart from the fact that I should have the greatest difficulty in putting you ashore, you would, of course, at once be arrested and shot as a spy.’
’I don’t think so, sir. You see I know the place well, and have friends there. And I talk the language as well as I do English. I know some Arabic, too.’
‘The deuce you do!’ said the commander, staring at him keenly. ’Then it’s possible that you may be uncommonly useful to me during our present trip. No, I shall tell you no more just now. And pray put out of your head any such mad idea as landing at Constantinople.’