FRANK SAVES THE DAY
Frank’s first thought was to go to the assistance of Roy Stone. The latter and his opponent—in the darkness Frank could not distinguish whether it was Morales or Von Arnheim—were locked with their arms about each other and rolling on the ground. His second thought was as to the whereabouts of the other man.
He glanced about in alarm. Dark though the plateau was, however, he could see there was no other in sight. Bending down to the fissure in the rock, he could still hear the voice of Morales, and although he could not distinguish the words, he received the impression that the Mexican was angered for some reason. To Frank this meant that Morales was having difficulty in radioing the Calomares ranch, and his heart leaped with exultation. Jack had interfered.
A wild thought leaped full grown into his mind. Stone had given Bob a stiff battle; he probably would do the same to Von Arnheim, even though his shoulder was sore. What was to prevent Frank from slipping down to the cave while the two were engaged, where he could release Tom Bodine, surprise Morales and recapture the cave and the radio plant?
The next moment a feeling of shame surged over him. If Von Arnheim gained the upper hand, he would kill Stone without compunction. Putting aside his first thought, Frank ran to where the two forms still lay tightly locked on the ground, neither able to gain an advantage.
He bent down, and the first thing his gaze encountered was an upflung hand grasping a revolver, and another hand gripped about the wrist of the first and preventing use of the weapon. He surmised it was Von Arnheim who held the weapon, and acted accordingly.
Grasping the German’s hand, he pressed back the fingers so sharply a cry of pain was wrung from Von Arnheim’s lip. The revolver dropped to the ground. Its owner, however, pluckily continued the fight. Frank danced about, the captured weapon clubbed in his hand, ready to deal a blow when possible. But so furious was the fight that he feared to strike, lest he hit his friend.
Precious minutes were flying by. He was in an agony. Morales had to be prevented from radioing the ranch, if Jack and Bob were to stand their chance.
Then suddenly Roy Stone gained the upper hand of his opponent. He legs were twined about Von Arnheim, he clutched the other to his chest, one arm was in the small of his back, the other was pressed across his throat, his chin was sunk deep into the German’s shoulder. Von Arnheim had only one arm free, the other was pinioned to his side. With this free arm he plucked futilely at Roy’s arm across his throat, unable to reach the guarded face. It was a grip Von Arnheim was powerless to break, and it was only a question of time until he would be throttled into submission.
With a leap of the heart, Frank realized this. And bending down with his lips to Stone’s ear, he said: