for France—to protect her from enemies within as well as from those who are without. France thanks you, gentlemen!" and the aged officer saluted the two young men as though he considered them his equals.
"Well, now that's off our minds we can get down to the real business that brought us to Paris," suggested Tom. "And that's to find my father—if he's here. After that we can look up Bessie and her mother, if you like. Jack."
"Of course I'll be glad to do that, Tom, and I should think that you—"
"Oh, of a surety, yes, as a Frenchman would say. I'll be happy also, to see our friends again, but I know Bessie will consider—"
"Oh, drop it, will you?" begged Jack, for he could see that his chum was about to start to rally him about the girl.
"Then," went on Tom, "the first thing to do, in my opinion, is to get to this address in the Rue Lafayette where dad said he would make his headquarters, and see why he hasn't answered any of my messages. When I once see him, and know he's all right, I'll feel better."
"Even capable of eating that dinner you claim to have won from me?" asked Jack.
"Of course."The two Air Service boys had the satisfaction of seeing the "tip" they gave acted on, for as