Page:Air Service Boys Flying for Victory.djvu/16

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6
IN ACTION OVER THE ARGONNE

As usual, Jack made mental note of the fact that seldom were the Huns willing to join in battle unless they outnumbered their foes. That was a compliment to the fighting qualities of the Americans, for it showed that they had already won the respect of their adversaries.

Jack was out for business. He tried to lure one of the enemy fliers into a "scrap" as he always called an engagement, but found the Boche wary. Some of those opposed to the Americans were well known aces who had gained a great reputation, having brought down scores of British and French planes. Yet to-day they seemed loath to enter into combat with this new type of fighter.

Now and then the young airman managed to glimpse Tom's well known machine, for the two chums had decorated their planes with distinguishing marks that they could recognize even when a great distance away. The other was fighting with two of the foe, and was having a serious time of it, spinning like a reel, darting downward to avoid being raked by machine-gun fire, and then coming up on the tail of a Hun with the advantage all on his side.

Jack, still denied his share of action, continued to watch Tom out of the comer of his eye. He felt like giving a shout when presently he saw one of the Hun machines plunge downward as though a shot had paralyzed the arm of the pilot.