“Right foot—–high foot!” chanted Tom.
Mentally Dick Prescott jumped as though he had been shot. “Right foot—–high foot” had been one of their old kicking signals on the Gridley High School eleven!
Lieutenant Dick Prescott fairly throbbed as he now understood the covered signal.
“Now!” left Reade’s lips with explosive energy, though the word was low-spoken.
At “right foot—–high foot” and “now” each youth suddenly shot his right foot up into the air.
Tom’s landed against Sambo’s right wrist, kicking the automatic revolver completely out of the negro’s hands.
Dick’s kick landed against the black man’s left wrist. The pistol held in Sambo’s left hand was discharged, though the muzzle had been driven up at such an angle that the bullet passed harmlessly over Prescott’s head.
In a twinkling Ebony had been disarmed.
Darting low, Tom grappled with the negro’s legs. Then Reade rose swiftly, toppling Sambo over backward.
Dick Prescott bounded upon the prostrate foe, beating him with both fists. Tom also threw himself into the melee.
While the black might have thrashed either youth alone he was not equal to handling both at the same time.
“I’ve got him, now, and he’ll behave, I guess,” panted Tom Reade, at last. “Slip off, Dick, and gather in the pistols.”
As Prescott did so Sambo made the last few efforts of which he was capable. He had been hammered so hard, however, that Tom did not have extreme difficulty in holding him down.
“Now, lie still and take orders,” warned Dick, pressing one of the pistols against the black man’s temple, “or I’ll get excited and send you out of this world for keeps!”
Sambo Ebony thereupon dropped into sullen muttering, but did not offer to resist. Prescott, as a soldier, had a businesslike way of handling weapons that cowed the black man.
Tom got up leisurely from the prostrate foe.
“Now, you can stand a little farther off, Dick,” he suggested, “and then the fellow won’t get a chance to tip you over with any trick. If he tries to get up before he’s told you can easily bring him to earth again, for you’ve been taught the exact use of firearms.”
“Good idea,” nodded Lieutenant Prescott, backing away a few feet. “Are you going to run for assistance now, Tom?”
“No,” retorted Reade. “You’re going to shoot for it.”
“Fire a shot into the air from each revolver. That, with the accidental discharge of a moment go, will show any listener that there’s trouble going on over here. I miss my guess if the shots don’t bring help very shortly.”
Nor was Reade’s guess a wrong one. Not much time passed before steps were heard hurrying in their direction.
“Here! This way!” summoned Tom.
“Are you hurt?” sounded Mr. Prenter’s voice.