“I want to know how it was done,” the Admiral speculated. “Can’t have been ramming if he bagged two of them, and they surely never came to the surface voluntarily, with a destroyer about.”
Geraldine glanced around the room to be sure that they were alone.
“Don’t you remember when Olive and I were at Portsmouth?” she said. “Ralph has been absolutely dumb about it but he did just give us a hint that he had a little surprise in store for the submarines. There was something on deck, covered all up and watched by a sentry, and just before we sat down to lunch, you know, we were turned off and had to go to the ‘Ship’. Ralph wouldn’t tell us a word about it but I’m sure he’s got some new contrivance on the Scorpion for fighting the submarines.”
“There may be something in it,” the Admiral admitted cheerfully. “I noticed the Morning Post naval man the other day made a very guarded reference to some secret means of dealing with these vermin.”
Lady Conyers sailed into the room, a telegram in her hand.
“A wireless from Ralph,” she announced. “Listen.”
Have sunk two of the brutes. More to come. Love.
They pored over the telegram and the newspaper until the breakfast was cold. The Admiral was like a boy again.
“If we can get rid of these curses of the sea,” he said, settling down at last to his bacon and eggs, “and get those Germans to come out, the war will be over months before any one expected. I shall go down to the Admiralty after breakfast and see if they’ve got anything to tell. Ralph gave me a hint about the net scheme but he never even mentioned anything else.”
The telephone rang in the next room and a servant summoned Geraldine.
“Captain Granet wishes to speak to Miss Conyers,” he announced.
Geraldine left her place at once and hastened into the library. She took up the receiver.
“Is that you, Captain Granet?” she asked.
“I felt that I must ring you up,” he declared, “to congratulate you, Miss Conyers, upon your brother’s exploit. I have had half a dozen soldier fellows in already this morning to talk about it, and we’re simply mad with curiosity. Do you think we shall be told soon how it was done?”
“Father’s going down to the Admiralty to try and find out,” Geraldine replied. “Ralph doesn’t say a word except that he sunk them. We’ve had a wireless from him this morning.”
“It really doesn’t matter much, does it,” Granet went on, “so long as we get rid of the brutes. I was perfectly certain, when we were down at Portsmouth, that your brother had something up his sleeve. Does give one a thrill, doesn’t it, when one’s ashore and doing nothing, to read of things like this?”
“You’ll soon be at work again,” she told him encouragingly.
“I don’t know,” he sighed. “They talk about giving me a home job and I don’t think I could stick it. Are you walking in the Park this morning, Miss Conyers?”