Watching some of the officers at the rail on the deck above, Captain Prescott was able to discover that the fight was being brought close to his own ship.
Then there came another sign. From up forward the port bow gun of the troopship turned itself loose with a sharp report.
“Did you note how that gun’s muzzle is depressed?” Greg asked Dick, in a low voice.
“I did,” Dick answered with a nod.
Bang! The port gun had been turned loose again. Up on the saloon deck the officers at the port rail were waving their campaign hats as though what they saw filled them with liveliest interest.
“I’d like to be up there!” murmured Greg in his chum’s ear.
“And I’m glad I’m down here,” Prescott retorted. “It shows our men that captains of the regiment are shut out from the view as much as they are. I’d like to see what is going on, but so would I like to have all these men who cannot be near the rails see what is happening.”
Bang! went the starboard bow gun of the transport, her nose pointing straight ahead.
“Only one thing is plain to me,” Holmes declared. “We’re in the midst of a pack of the sea wolves, and they’re doing their best to hit us with torpedoes!”
THE BEST OF DETAILS
Boom! It was a dull sound, off to port. Then even the men who stood in the middle of the spar deck were able to see the top of a broad column of water that rose out of the ocean.
Major Wells so far forgot himself as to give vent to a yell of joy, then suddenly clapped a restraining hand over his own mouth.
“Sorry you men couldn’t have seen that,” the major called, leaning over the rail above and addressing the men on the spar deck. “A destroyer let go a depth charge, which exploded under water and threw up a geyser that would make hot water feel tired.”
“Look at that now, Major,” urged Captain Cartwright, pulling at his superior’s sleeve. Major Wells walked to the side rail, looked out over the water, and had all he could do to keep back another yell of glee.
“There’s something out there that’s worth seeing, men, and it’s visible,” the major called down. “A great blot of oil on the water, and it’s spreading. That shows that a submarine was knocked to flinders by that depth charge!”
In spite of orders a low, surging cheer started.
“Shade off on that noise, men!” Dick ordered briskly, holding up his hand and moving again through the crowd. “Remember that we cannot have any racket except what the guns make.”
A few more guns were fired, and the racket died down.
“The show’s over!” shouted Major Wells. “Evidently we got out of that meeting with less damage than the enemy sustained. We lost no craft, while Fritz has one pirate boat less. Our destroyers of the escort are now moving along straight courses once more.”