For many miles Bowers’s craft flew inland, and much valuable information was picked up, besides the data from which any naval draughtsman could construct a very good map of that part of the country.
At last Lieutenant Bowers turned back.
Suddenly Dave exclaimed, “Hullo! There are two men coming out of the adobe house ahead.”
The house in question was out about four miles beyond Trent’s station.
Dave kept his glass turned on the two men on the ground, at the same the trying to conceal the glass from their view.
“They haven’t rifles,” he told Lieutenant Bowers. Then, as the aircraft passed and left the adobe house to the rear, Darrin bent over and whispered something in Bowers’s ear that the signalman behind them could not hear.
THE DASH FOR THE TRAITOR
A Little later the hydro-aeroplane returned to Lieutenant Trent’s position.
Dave placed in the hands of the lieutenant the field note-book, which had been so carefully kept that any officer could draw a map from it at need.
Lightly the big airship touched the earth just inside Trent’s line. Dave, shaking hands with his temporary commanding officer, added:
“Thank you for something I’ve always wanted—–a flight over a real enemy’s country.”
“I’ve greatly enjoyed having you with me,” Lieutenant Bowers responded. “Trent, you’ve obliged me hugely by giving me so good an assistant. Good-bye, fellows.”
The birdman was again several hundred feet up in the air.
“What kind of a trip was it?” asked Dalzell.
“It was wonderful,” Dave breathed. “And I’ve brought back news of great importance!”
“Did you get it from Mexico City or Washington?” Trent broke in.
“Of course not,” Dave said, wonderingly.
“Then you’ve no such news as we can tell you,” Danny went on, quickly, sadly. “Can you guess what it is?”
“Our government isn’t going to surrender us to the Huerta forces, is it?”
“Not quite so bad as that,” Dan admitted. “But listen! The governments of Brazil, Argentine and Chili have offered their services in arranging mediation between Washington and Mexico City. And Washington has accepted!”
“No war?” gasped Dave Darrin, thunderstruck. “No war against a country that has treated our citizens so outrageously? Has Huerta accepted, too?”
“We haven’t heard, as yet,” Trent took up the thread of information, “but there is a rumor that Huerta will be only too glad to accept, even if only as a bluff. If, by any kind of a scheme, he can hold us off for a few weeks, he will then have his army consolidated, will have the railroad and bridges destroyed, and the mountain roads to Mexico City all planted with mines, and then be able, most likely, to make the advance of our Army to Mexico City cost us hundreds of good Yankee lives per mile!”