“Come on! Come on!” cried Jimmy, and no one faltered.
Suddenly, from a little mound of earth in front of the five, there came a sound as of some one tearing stiff cloth, or beating a drum more rapidly than one was ever beaten before. The Khaki Boys knew what it meant—a machine-gun nest.
Instinctively they dropped to earth, and the bullets flew over their heads. If they found living targets farther on the lads did not turn to see.
“We’ve got to wipe that out!” cried Jimmy.
“We’re with you!” shouted Bob.
Franz, looking forward from between two little hummocks of earth, suddenly fired his rifle.
“There goes one Hun!” he exulted.
“And I got a second!” exclaimed Roger.
They were both good shots and each had gotten his enemy.
“Come on—rush ’em!” yelled Jimmy, jumping up. Bob attempted to pull his chum back, for it was almost certain death to stand up in front of a machine-gun emplacement. But it was too late. Jimmy had taken his chance, and he lived through it.
For a brief instant there was no firing from where the machine-gun was hidden and this was Jimmy’s opportunity and that of his chums. With wild yells they leaped up and followed his lead.
A moment later they were fighting fiercely with half a dozen Germans who composed what was left of the automatic gun squad. The weapon appeared to be jammed, for one of the Huns was frantically working at the firing mechanism. And it was this same jamming, as was learned later, that, undoubtedly, saved the lives of Jimmy and his chums.
Roger shot pointblank at one Boche and Bob bayoneted another. Then the remainder raised their hands and cried: “Kamerad!”
“We haven’t any time to take prisoners!” yelled Franz.
But they did not get the chance. The Germans left alive leaped out of the shallow pit in which the gun had been hidden, and ran toward the rear. But they had not gone far before they were wiped out of existence by the explosion of a shell which fell right on top of them.
“Come on! Come on!” cried Jimmy, when it was seen that the machine-gun was of no further use, since the weapon was damaged. Besides, the American advance would soon be up to this point and it would be within the Allied lines.
Forward leaped the five Brothers, into the midst of the fighting again. And it was hot and heavy. They would advance a little, firing as they went, and then would drop as they realized that they were getting too close to danger. After a moment’s rest they would rush on again.
And these tactics were slowly but surely driving the Germans back. True, now and again the Huns rallied, and beat back their foes, but this was not for long. The overwhelming rush of the Americans kept up.
Once, after the battle had been raging with unabated fury for two hours, Jimmy and his chums, with some other brave lads, found themselves cut off in a sort of pocket, surrounded on three sides by Germans.