Jimmy gazed for a moment in the direction indicated by his excited churn. Then he exclaimed:
“You’re right! The American aviators are here at last, and I’ll wager it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t get here sooner! Now for a fight in the air!”
And up just beneath the clouds, sometimes out of sight in the mist, the American flying men attacked the enemy. Now there was no time for the Huns to loose their bombs. They must look to their own safety. No longer did they have all the odds on their side.
“Look! Look! See our man engage those two!” shouted Roger.
They all saw what he meant. One intrepid American airman had headed for two Fokkers which were flying directly toward him, close together.
But in another instant one of the German planes was seen to swerve to one side, and then it darted downward, and in a manner to indicate that its pilot had been killed or wounded, for the machine was out of control. Like a dead leaf it descended, crashing into a shapeless mass in a field some distance from the woods.
“Now he’s after the other!” cried Bob. “Oh, they’re going to collide!”
But he spoke without knowledge of the skill to be shown by the American pilot and his accompanying gunner. For, just as it appeared as though the two hostile craft would come together in a mid-air crash, the American machine seemed to slide up and over its opponent. And then, just as the first German had done, the enemy craft crumpled up, and down it went in dizzying whirls.
“Two at once! That’s going some!” yelled Jimmy, capering about. They were comparatively out of danger now, sheltered as they were in the woods from the artillery and rifle and machine-gun fire of the Germans. And no more airship bombs were being dropped.
“Some stunt, that!” declared Bob. “Wonder who they were—those Americans?”
“I hope they live through it so we can find out,” voiced Franz. The battle in the air was now going on fiercely. There were ten American machines attacking more than double that number of Germans, and, as was always the case, the Huns were brave when they had the numerical advantage. They fought bitterly, and with skill—that could not be denied. And before the battle had been going on very long two American machines had been shot down. Whether the men in them had been killed, or not, remained to be seen.
“It’s sort of going against us,” said Jimmy, with a dry, choking sob.
“This is fierce!” cried Roger. “Why don’t we send up some more machines?”
“Haven’t got ’em, maybe,” remarked Franz. “Oh, look at that! They collided head on!”
This actually happened. One of the larger American machines, the ammunition probably having given out, was being attacked by a German Fokker. Knowing that it was either kill or be killed, the pilot of the craft with the Indian head painted on the underside of the wings took a desperate chance.