Page:Air Service Boys over the Rhine.djvu/226

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216
THE ESCAPE

"The airmen claimed you as their prey, and the infantrymen said they were entitled to call you theirs. So, even in the midst of the fire and destruction, the commandant had to order you put in the stockade until he could decide whose prisoners you were. The infantrymen said they had captured you, but the airmen said their fire had brought down your plane."

"Well, that was partly true," said Tom. "But it was an explosion from below that knocked us out temporarily. But we're all right now. And so are you, aren't you, Dad?"

"Yes, but I worried a lot, not knowing what had happened to you, Tom, and being unable to guess what would happen to me. I was in the hands of clever and unscrupulous enemies. How clever they were you can judge when I tell you they took me right out of Paris. Perhaps the bombardment made it easier. But tell me—what of the big guns?"

"Some of them are out of commission, thanks to your brave boy and his comrades," said Major de Trouville.

"Good!" cried Mr. Raymond. "Some rumor to that effect sifted in to me there, but it seemed too good to be true. The Germans must be wild with rage."

"I guess they are," admitted Jack.

"And it would have gone hard with you if