The boys arranged for a stay of at least a week in Paris, having told the proprietor their errand to the capital. By the time they had finished their dinner they found it was too late to set out in search of Mr. Raymond, as in the changed, war-time Paris little could be done in the evening. So Tom and Jack retired to their room and their bed.
"Are you going right to the Rue Lafayette?" asked Jack of his chum, the next day.
"Yes, and if we can't get any news of him there we'll appeal to the military authorities. I have a letter of introduction to persons high in authority from our captain."
The boys hailed a taxicab and gave the chauffeur the necessary directions. They were bowling along through the beautiful streets of Paris, noting on all sides the warlike scenes, and their thoughts were busily occupied, when they suddenly became aware that something had happened.
Like a thunderbolt from a clear sky there sounded a terrific explosion, and at no great distance. The concussion shook the ground, and they could feel the taxicab tremble under the shock, while the chauffeur instantly threw on all brakes, making the machine skid dangerously.
"What is it? What's the matter?" yelled Jack.