“That was the time for you to know me,” declared the other brazenly. “That was the time when you needed a friend to show you how to get square like a man instead of like a coward and a quitter.”
“Be careful with your names!” commanded Mock harshly. “Say, Mr. Man, who are you, and what are you?”
“Private Mock, I believe I can answer that question for you!” broke in Captain Dick Prescott, stepping out from behind his leafy screen.
THE ENEMY IN CAMP BERRY
“Captain Prescott!” uttered Mock, starting back in dismay.
“Donner und blitzen!” (thunder and lightning) ejaculated the stoop-shouldered one.
“The fellow has just answered your question for you,” Dick went on, pointing an accusing finger at the stranger. “You know what language he was betrayed into using just now.”
“German, sir,” said Mock.
“That’s right,” nodded Prescott.
“Is he one of them Kaiser-hound spies, sir?” demanded Mock, stung to wrath and throwing grammar to the winds. “Why, I’ve dreamed of catching one and tearing him to pieces. With your permission, sir-----!”
Not stopping to finish Mock threw himself upon the stoop-shouldered one, But that worthy had foreseen it, and adroitly stopped the ex-sergeant with a blow on the end of the nose that dazed him for an instant.
“I’ll take care of him, Mock!” cried Captain Dick, leaping forward. As he did so the stranger turned and fled. No longer stoop-shouldered, but bearing himself like an athlete, the unknown turned and darted away, Prescott racing after him.
“Get back!” warned the fugitive, drawing an automatic revolver and flourishing it over his head.
Though unarmed, save for his fists, Prescott continued to pursue with all speed. After both of them raced Private Mock.
Dick was gaining when he stepped on a round stone, slipped and fell. Mock dashed after him. The fleeing German halted long enough to hurl the automatic pistol at Mock’s face, then turned and ran on. Naturally the soldier dodged the missile, which struck the ground behind him. Thinking the weapon might be useful, Mock halted, then ran back and secured the pistol, after which he started to give chase. But the fugitive had vanished in the darkness.
“Come back here and surrender, before I shoot,” bluffed Mock, but the German did not answer.
To Mock’s intense astonishment Dick reached over, snatching the pistol from his hand.
“That will be about all, Private Mock,” said Prescott sternly. “You’ve bluffed your part well, and helped your friend to escape, but at all events I’ve got you!”
“Do you—–” began the soldier, but stopped, further words failing him. Dick gripped the man’s arm, giving a significant pressure before he said:
“You’ll come along with me, Mock, and it will be worse for you if you try any further monkey-shines with me.”