“Ah, it is nothing. Voila! What would you have?” and Voissard shrugged his shoulders. “They are but beasts and they fight as the beasts—they run, too, as the beasts! n’est ce pas?”
“Well, two of ’em tried to run, but we landed ’em!” exclaimed Roger, with a laugh. “We just took ’em to the rear. Their petrol tank was shot full of holes.”
“Was it a machine with a sort of double iron cross on it?” asked Jack.
“That was it,” said Roger.
“That’s the one we couldn’t seem to get,” went on Jack. “She was a bit too speedy for us. But it seems we got her after all.”
“Or Jimmy and his bunch did”, commented Jerry.
“Oh, well, it’s all the same as long as they were ’got’!” and Jack clapped Jimmy on the back.
“You are keeping up your good work, I see,” commented Voissard. “France shall soon be free of the mark of the beast!”
“Well, you’re doing your share, sir!” commented Roger.
“It is nothing! If I could only do a thousand times as much!” and the man who had earned such an enviable rating shook his head. “There are so many of the Huns! So many! But we shall never give up! Never!” and he drew himself up determinedly.
“But, my friends, we must not linger here,” he went on. “The battle will soon start again, and the fortunes of war may turn against us. We should go and telephone for petrol, that we may take our machines back behind the lines, to safety.”
“Yes, we’ll have to do that,” declared one of the Twinkle Twins. “See you again, boys!” and with waves of their hands they set off to find the nearest telephone, that they might send word of their plight to their hangars.
“Well, good luck!” called Jimmy and his chums to the brave Frenchman and his no less brave cousins.
“That was some coincidence—that the Twinkles and their cousin Emile should be fighting for us and we not know it,” commented Roger, as the five Khaki Boys trudged back. “I should say so,” agreed Bob. “Say, we’d better hurry!” he went on. “Sounds as if they were starting the game once more!”
The noise of the big and little guns was beginning again, and hardly had our heroes reached their command in the woods than the order came to go forward.
With yells of savage delight it was received, and then there came a desperate dash that carried Jimmy and his friends, as well as those with him, well up toward the German lines.
Fierce and bloody was the fighting, and there was death in it, too, for many. But ever did the Americans press on, slowly but steadily driving back the Germans. On all sides great guns roared, and ears were nearly split with the riot of sound.
When night came it found our five Brothers occupying some of the trenches so long held by the Huns, who had been driven out. It was the start of the movement that was to clean the Boches from France.