And well the Germans might, for they were being forced to land within the enemy’s lines.
“Guess their gasolene tank was shot to pieces,” commented Roger. “The plane doesn’t seem to be damaged much.”
And this, later, they learned was the case. A bullet had pierced the petrol tank of the Boche craft, and the pilot and gunner had been forced to land.
Down shot the craft, and, a moment later, it made a good landing in a field. The machine ran along over the rough ground for a little distance and then two figures, clad in regulation flying costumes, were seen to leap out. They paused for a moment, trying to set fire to their machine, so that it might not fall, comparatively undamaged as it was, into the hands of the Americans. But this was not to be.
“Don’t let them get away with that!” cried an officer, quickly. “Pick off those two men, boys!”
Instantly rifles began to crack, and as the bullets sang about the ears of the Huns they stopped their incendiary operations and began to run. How they thought they could escape is inexplainable. They were surrounded by Americans, and were some distance away from their own lines.
“Come on, fellows!” cried Jimmy to his chums. “Don’t let ’em get away. We can head ’em off!”
“You said something!” yelled Bob. “Oh, boy! That was some fight!”
The battle in the air was over now, and though there had been a lull in the contest in the immediate vicinity of our heroes, the firing was going on in both wings of the American army.
Emerging from their shelter in the woods, so as to intercept at an angle the fleeing Germans, Jimmy and his four Brothers ran hotfoot over the open ground. Then the Huns saw the five lads coming, and turned, as though to go in another direction.
“No you don’t!” shouted Bob, as he sent a well-aimed bullet over the head of the foremost German. He did not intend to hit the fellow—merely to scare him. And it had that effect.
The man stopped suddenly, and raised his hands in the air.
“Kamerad!” he bellowed.
His companion was seen to be fumbling in his belt, as though trying to get a hand grenade or lose his revolver. But the man who had surrendered, realizing what would happen if any resistance were shown, gave his companion a kick that sent him sprawling.
“Kamerad!” cried the kicker. And his companion, struggling to rise, echoed:
“You’d better surrender!” grimly observed Jimmy, as he and his chums rushed up.
Quickly the Germans were disarmed, and then they were marched back, ahead of their captors, to where stood the captain of the company of which the five Brothers formed so active a part.
“Good work, Sergeant,” complimented the captain, when Jimmy, as a ranking non-com. over his companions, came back with the two German aviators. “Good work! And you may have the pleasure of taking the prisoners to the rear. We’ll be held up here some time, I fancy. Report to me when you return. And don’t let those fellows get away!” he added significantly.