“A Frenchman?” repeated Noyez disdainfully. “No Frenchman am I. Already I am condemned, so I no longer need even pretend that I am French. No! Though I was born in Alsace, my father’s name was Bamberger. Twenty years ago he moved to Paris, to serve the German Kaiser. He fooled even your boasted police into believing him French, and his name Noyez. My father is dead, so I may tell the truth, that he served the Kaiser like a loyal subject. And he made a spy of me. I was called to the French colors, and I went, under a French name, but a loyal German at heart! I became a French sub-lieutenant, but I was still a German, and the Kaiser’s officers paid me, knew where to find me and how to use me. I must die, but there are yet other agents of the Kaiser distributed through your Army. The Fatherland shall still be served from the French trenches. You will kill me? Bah! My work has already killed at least a regiment of Frenchmen. And since Berger has weakened and betrayed me, I will tell you that he, too, is and always has been a German subject. Remember, there are many more of us wearing the hated uniform of France.”
“Noyez! Bamberger!” retorted General Bazain, “I can almost find it in my heart to feel grateful to you, for you have told me that you are not French. Since you are a German I can understand anything. I thank you for assuring me that you are not French.”
With a gesture General Bazain ordered the prisoner’s removal. Then, his eyes moist, the division commander turned to beckon Dick to him.
“Captain, I have to thank you for finding and helping to remove two dangerous enemies from my command. You will find me grateful—–always!”
Once more outside Lieutenant De Verne turned to Dick to ask:
“You intend returning to the trenches?”
“By all means, for I feel as though the night had but begun,” Dick cried. “It has gone well so far, and I am ready for whatever the remaining hours can give me.”
“I had hoped that, at the most, you would ask me to find you a bunk in a dug-out where you might sleep,” confessed De Verne. “When you have been longer in the trenches, Captain, you will be glad to sleep whenever the chance comes your way.”
“But that will not be until I have learned more of the ways of your trench life than I know yet,” Dick rejoined. “At present I would rather sleep during the daylight, for it appears to be at night that the real things happen.”
De Verne accompanied him back to the fire trench, where Dick was glad to find Captain Ribaut with the other three American officers, that party having returned from a trip down the line.
De Verne soon after took his leave, hastening rearward to begin his rest.
Bang! sounded a field-piece back of the German line.
Between the French first-line and second-line trenches the shell exploded. On the heels of the explosion came a furious burst of discharging artillery.