Hal and Chester listened for sounds above that would indicate the retreat of the Germans and the advance of the French. No such sounds came; and with the fall of darkness Hal said:
“Well, I guess we had better change clothes with these fellows and make a break for it.”
“Good!” agreed Chester. “We’ll have to unbind them while they disrobe. We’ll strip one at a time. You hold the gun while I do the work.”
“Well, I guess everything is all ready,” said Chester, when they were at last garbed in the German uniforms and the men were safely tied up again. “We may as well be moving.”
“All right,” said Hal, “climb up on my shoulders. I’ll keep my gun on these two fellows in the meantime. Can’t trust ’em.”
Chester followed Hal’s instructions and a moment later gazed out of the pit. Ahead he could see moving forms, but there was no one close to the pit.
“Coast clear,” he called to Hal. “Here I go. Be ready when I reach down for you.”
He pulled himself up.
THROUGH THE LINES
Hal stretched up his hands, and Chester, leaning far over the pit, seized them and pulled. Hal came slowly upwards.
Suddenly he gave a cry of pain and twisted and squirmed vigorously. Chester became alarmed.
“What’s the matter?” he asked quickly.
“One of those fellows bit me in the leg!” exclaimed Hal.
It was true.
As Hal had soared upward, one of the Germans had sprung forward, and being unable to free his hands, had seized the fleshy part of Hal’s leg between his teeth. Evidently the gag had not been properly adjusted.
“Kick him loose!” cried Chester.
Hal obeyed instructions. The German uttered a loud cry—another sign that the lads had gagged him too carelessly.
In kicking out at the German, Hal had used too much violence and had jerked loose from Chester’s hold. Down into the pit he plunged again. Apparently believing that Hal had come back with the intention of silencing him forever, the ungagged German gave vent to a series of loud cries.
“Quick, Chester!” called Hal. “Pull me out of here before this fellow brings down the whole German army.”
Chester leaned over and again seized Hal by the hands and pulled. Once more the German below sprang forward and attempted to sink his teeth in Hal’s leg. Hal, realizing what the man was about, kicked out suddenly before the German could obtain his hold, and the lad’s heavy shoe caught the man squarely in the mouth. One more cry the German gave and then toppled over.
“Quick Chester!” cried Hal, again.
With an effort Chester dragged Hal from the pit.
Hal stood up and both lads dusted the dirt from their clothes.
“Now the sooner we get away from this spot the better,” said Chester.