“Sergeant Maxwell!” was the startling answer. “There he is!”
And as the others looked more closely they saw that Jimmy was right.
A GLORIOUS VICTORY
“How did he get here?”
“What happened to him?”
“Is he wounded?”
These were some of the questions that were, literally, fired at Jimmy as he stood over the cot on which reposed the wasted and scarcely recognizable form of Sergeant Maxwell. Jimmy’s chums asked these questions of him because, I suppose, they thought he ought to know the answers.
“I don’t know any more how poor Max got here, or what happened to him, than you fellows do,” said Jimmy.
“Is he hurt?” asked Bob.
“I’ll ask him,” said Jimmy. Bending over the form of the sergeant, who was now tossing restlessly to and fro, Jimmy inquired: “Do you know us, Max? Are you hurt? What happened to you?” An incoherent murmur was the only answer.
“He’s in a fever,” said Roger, as he held his hand against the flushed face. “He ought to be taken to the hospital!”
“Give him some water,” suggested Franz, holding out his full canteen.
Jimmy raised his friend’s head and Bob managed to get a little water between the parched lips.
“Good! Good! I wanted water!” murmured the man somewhat indistinctly. “I’ve wanted water a long time.”
“Do you know us? I’m Jimmy Blazes, and here’s Bob, Roger, Iggy and Franz,” said Jimmy. “Do you know us! Can you tell us where you’ve been all this while, and what happened to you!”
“Good water! Good water!” was all the reply that came from poor Maxwell.
“He’s out of his head,” said Bob.
“We’d better send a doctor if we can find one, or get him to a hospital,” suggested Roger.
“You go see if you can find any stretcher bearers, or a doctor or anyone like that,” suggested Jimmy to Franz and Iggy. “We’ll stay with him. Or Bob and I will. You’d better go report to the captain where we are, Roger. He might think we’ve deserted.”
Bob and Jimmy, left with Maxwell, made him as comfortable as they could, washing his face and giving him more water to drink. But he answered none of their questions, murmuring only about the cool water. He was in a delirium of fever.
Of course Jimmy did not ask about the missing money. It would have been useless at this time. But, naturally, he wondered if the sergeant knew where it was.
Franz and Iggy came back with a doctor who, after a brief examination, said the sergeant was suffering from bad treatment and lack of food and water more than anything else. He did not seem to be wounded, but, of course, there might be some internal hurt which did not show at the first examination.
“Hospital’s the place for him,” decided the doctor. “Ill have him sent back with the first batch of wounded.”