“Why, I am,” said one of the men, stepping forward.
“Good!” said Hal. “I would have spoken sooner, but I was absorbed in the game. I did not remember your name, but I was sent for you. Will you follow me?”
The German nodded his head.
“Very well,” said Hal. “Come.”
He led the way from the tent and the German and Stubbs followed. The latter was astonished at Hal’s words, but he did not show his surprise in his actions. He walked after the others without a word.
“Something up,” he muttered to himself. “I guess I had better keep my gun handy.”
Outside, they walked along slowly.
Five minutes later, when they reached a place that was somewhat secluded, Hal suddenly produced his revolver and pressed it against the German’s head.
“You will give me immediately what papers you have in your pockets,” the lad said quietly. “If you make an outcry I shall be compelled to shoot you.”
The German stared aghast.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded.
“It means that I must have whatever papers you possess,” said Hal, calmly, “even if I have to shoot you to get them.”
“Ah!” cried the German, “I see! A spy!”
He made a move as though to seize Hal, but the lad was too quick for him.
With his left hand he grabbed the German’s elbow in a tight grip and squeezed. Then, even before the man had time to cry out, the lad released his hold, reversed his revolver quickly and brought the butt down on the German’s head with all his force.
The man crumpled up without a word and lay still.
Stubbs, who had witnessed this proceeding in open-eyed wonder, now uttered an exclamation.
“What are you doing? Trying to get us both killed?” he demanded.
Hal did not reply. Stooping over the prostrate German he ran his hand quickly through the man’s pockets. Then he straightened up, and by the soft light of the moon, ran through the papers hurriedly. He gave an exclamation of satisfaction.
“I thought I should find something,” he muttered. “Come on now, Stubbs!” he said.
The little war correspondent hurried after him without another word.
IN GRAVE PERIL
Chester’s sigh of relief almost choked in his throat. But he determined to brave out the situation as well as he could.
“No,” exclaimed the man who had spoken, “this boy is no German!”
Even the Crown Prince was surprised.
“Not a German!” he exclaimed. “Then what is he? A—”
“A spy!” the other concluded for him.
“Impossible!” declared the Crown Prince. “How could there be a spy among us?”
“Well, he’s here. Surely you can look at the boy and tell he is not a German.”
The Crown Prince approached Chester and scrutinized him closely.