“Well, don’t worry about it,” and Jimmy tried to keep his voice up to the cheerful mark. “Have you got it?”
“No,” said the sergeant, “I haven’t. But—”
He paused to take a drink of water, and Jimmy’s feelings went down to about the zero position.
“But I know where it is,” added the sergeant.
“I suppose the Germans took it off you.”
“Indeed they didn’t!” was the rather vigorous answer. “I didn’t have it on me. It’s back in the dugout!”
“The dugout!” cried Jimmy, his spirits once more soaring.
“Yes, the one where I was quartered when you gave it to me. I knew we were in for some hard fighting, so before I went out on listening post I hid the franc notes in an old tin can and stuck it up under the roof beams. It’s right under where a picture of President Wilson is tacked up. And if the dugout isn’t destroyed the money is there yet.”
“Well, the dugout can’t be destroyed, for there haven’t been any Germans there in some time,” said Jimmy. “And I do hope you’re right about the money being there. Not so much for my sake,” he added quickly, “but because I promised to whack up with my bunkies, and I want to keep my word.”
“Well, you send a message there and see if I’m not right,” concluded Maxwell, and then, being rather weak, he was ordered by the nurse to take a rest.
Elated, but hardly believing the good news, Jimmy received permission not only to send a message, but to go back in a motor truck to the place where the headquarters of the 509th Infantry had been just before the big advance.
Jimmy did not get back to his chums until late that night, for his leave covered him up to midnight, and he was not on duty. He found Iggy, Franz, Bob and Roger in a Y.M.C.A. hut, writing letters, and from the labor Iggy was undergoing, his tongue sticking out and following every movement of his pen, it was evident that the Polish lad was not finding English correspondence any easier as the war progressed.
“Where have you been, Blazes? Back home?” asked Bob a bit sarcastically at Jimmy’s absence.
“Sort of,” was the answer. “That looks like stuff from home; doesn’t it!” and he threw on the table some crumpled and rather stained thousand franc notes.
“Suffering shrapnel!” cried Bob. “The prize money!”
“Where’d you get it?”
“Did Max have it?”
“How’d you get it away from him?”
“How is he?”
“One at a time, please!” laughed Jimmy. “But first I’ll tell you good news—Max is going to get well,” and he related the story he had heard about the sergeant.
“Well, that’s quite a yarn!” exclaimed Roger.
“However, that hasn’t anything on what we’re going to tell you, Jimmy Blazes!” cried Bob Dalton excitedly.
“Have we all won the croix de guerre?” asked Jimmy, smiling.
“No, but here’s a note from the ‘spy’ we denounced,” and Jimmy, as he accepted a paper Bob held out, wondered at the happy looks on the faces of his chums.