“What’s to be done? I don’t so much mean about the money,” he added quickly, as he saw the others look curiously at him. “That doesn’t matter, though, of course, I’ll be glad of my share, and it’s mighty generous of you, Blazes, to offer to whack up. But I mean what’s to be done about Sergeant Maxwell? Do you suppose he—”
He did not finish, but his meaning was obvious.
“If you mean, do I think he went away with it, I most certainly do not,” declared Jimmy, positively. “A thousand dollars isn’t enough to make a man skip out.”
“A thousand dollars is a lot to some people—I know it is to me,” said Bob. “I worked hard on the Chronicle, and it never brought me a thousand dollars—at least not all at once.”
“Me either—when I was slaving in the munition plant, and running a chance of being blown up every minute,” declared Roger. “But I think Schnitz is right—what’s to be done! Maybe Maxwell was robbed, and he started after the thief and—”
“‘Maybe’ won’t get us anywhere,” said Jimmy. “Of course, I’d rather lose the five thousand francs ten times over than have anything happen to Maxwell. And I’d like to know where he is for his own sake. At the same time I’d like to get that money back, as much for my own sake as for you fellows,” he added. “I can very nicely use a bit of spare cash.”
“So can I,” chimed in Franz. “Maybe we’ll have a chance to hunt for the serg. after this place quiets down a bit.”
“I hope so,” sighed Jimmy. Really he was more affected than he liked to admit, and it was not altogether over the loss of the money, either. He had been firm friends with the missing man—not as close a chum as with his four Brothers, but enough so that there was a genuine loss in his disappearance.
“Well, we’ll see what we can do,” decided Bob. “We’ve got to look after Iggy, too—that is, if he’s alive. But we can’t do anything along either line to-night.”
“No, I guess not,” agreed Jimmy. “Some of us’ll have to do sentry go, I expect, or take a listening post.”
And he was right in his surmise. He and Bob were detailed to take a trick at a listening post—to be on the alert for any possible advance of the temporarily defeated Germans. Franz, because of his bruised ankle, was not put on duty. Indeed, he came near being sent to the rear for treatment when an officer discovered his hurt.
“It’ll be all right in the morning,” declared the youth of German blood, who, nevertheless, was such an ardent hater of the Kaiser and his “Potsdam gang,” as a certain preacher has called the Hun ruler’s associates. “I’m simply not going to the hospital! Captain, there’ll be fighting in the morning; won’t there, sir?”
“Very likely,” was the grim answer.
“Then I’m going to stay, sir!” declared Franz, forgetting that he was speaking to his superior officer. “I’ll be able to walk in the morning, and I want to get some more of the beasts!” and he fairly snarled the word. No true-blooded American hated the Huns as did Franz Schnitzel, of German parentage.