Sam's boys, had returned in safety. Too many times they did not—that is not all—for the Hun anti-aircraft guns found their marks with deadly precision at times.
The Caudrons appeared larger as they neared the landing field, and Tom and Jack, raising their binoculars, scanned the ranks—for all the world like a flock of wild geese—to see if they could determine who of their friends, if any, were missing.
"How do you make it, Tom?" asked Jack, after an anxious pause.
"I'm not sure, but I can count only eight."
"That's what I make it. And ten of 'em went out last night, didn't they?"
"So I heard. And if only eight come back it means that at least four of our airmen have either been killed or captured."
"One fate is almost as bad as the other, where you have to be captured by the Boches," murmured Jack. "They're just what their name indicates—beasts!"
"You said something!" came heartily from Tom. "And yet, to the credit of airmen in general, let it be said that the German aviators treat their fellow prisoners better than the Hun infantrymen do.""So I've heard. Well, here's hoping neither of us, nor any more of our friends, falls over the