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- The Boy Allies with Uncle Sams Cruisers - 4/34 -


"Pooh!" exclaimed her mother. "Didn't I see guns front and back on this ship as I came abroad?"

"You mean fore and aft, mother," said the girl, smiling. "Yes, I saw the guns, too, but I don't imagine they would be much protection against a German raider."

"Then what are they there for?" Mrs. Wheaton wanted to know.

Jack and Frank laughed, and Captain Stoneman allowed a smile to wrinkle the corners of his mouth.

"Well, they won't dare attack us," said Mrs. Wheaton. "If they do the United States will make Germany pay for it."

"I guess Germany is not worrying about the United States right now," said Jack quietly.

"We'll make her worry," declared the woman.

"We're going to declare war and then the Kaiser will wish he had let us alone. Besides, there are probably American ships of war off the coast of South America. They will not allow us to be molested by a German raider."

"But, perhaps they won't be able to help it," mother, said the girl.

"Of course they will be able to help it," said the mother. "Now don't talk about this foolishness to me any more."

She arose and left the table. Her daughter followed her a few moments later.

"If the Germans get her they'll find they have caught a tartar," declared Jack.

"So they will," declared Captain Stoneman.

"By the way, Captain," said Frank, "do you fear the raider will attack us?"

"She will if she knows we are around," declared the captain grimly.

"And we are not prepared to fight her, sir?" asked Frank.

"Hardly," said the captain quietly.

"What's your crew?" demanded Jack.

"First, second and third officers, chief engineer, assistant and forty men," was the reply.

"And nothing worth while to shoot with," grinned Frank.

The captain brought his hand down hard upon the table.

"No!" he bellowed. "And still with these pirates sailing the seas, the American government won't allow us to carry guns big enough to do any damage."

"Well, we'll hope for the best," said Frank, rising.

The lads made their way on deck.

CHAPTER IV

THE RAIDER

Word of the United States' declaration of war upon Germany was flashed to the Algonquin on the fourth day out. It brought a thrill to Frank and to Captain Stoneman, an American himself.

Mrs. Wheaton, however, was the only person aboard who did any bragging as a result of it. She declared that now the United States had come to the rescue of the world, she had no fear of German raiders or Germans in any other shape or form.

The Algonquin was still two days out from Buenos Ayres. It was night. Came a hail from the lookout forward,

"Ship, sir!" he sang out.

"Where away?" demanded Captain Stoneman from the bridge.

"Dead ahead, sir!"

Half an hour later the light of an approaching vessel became visible to all on deck.

"The raider, do you suppose?" asked Frank, who stood near the captain.

"How do I know?" demanded the captain angrily. "It may be and it may not be."

A moment later the searchlight of the approaching vessel picked the Algonquin out of the darkness.

"Drat those searchlights!" shouted the angry captain. "If it wasn't for those things a man would have a chance."

The wireless operator hurried up.

"Message, sir," he exclaimed.

"Well, why don't you give it to me. What are you standing there for?"

"Vessel orders us to heave to or she'll put a shell into us, sir," said the operator, paying no attention to the captain's anger.

"She will, eh? What right has a bloodthirsty pirate like that to tell me what I can do? I won't do it."

Nevertheless Captain Stoneman gave the command to heave to.

"What's he sign himself ?" he demanded of the wireless operator.

"He doesn't sign himself at all," was the reply.

"Drat him!" exclaimed the captain again. "Oh, well, we'll see what happens."

Half an hour later a small boat from the vessel that had accosted them scraped alongside the Algonquin.

"Throw over a ladder," came a voice in English. "I'm coming aboard you."

The captain of the Algonquin growled again but he gave the necessary order.

A moment later three figures scrambled on deck. At sight of the first man, Captain Stoneman's frown changed to a smile and he stepped quickly forward.

"Dash me if it isn't Lansing!" he exclaimed. "When did you get into the service, old man?"

The man in the uniform of a naval officer looked at the captain closely a moment, then extended a hand.

"Well, well, well!" he exclaimed. "If it isn't Stoneman. Where you bound, Captain?"

"Buenos Ayres. What ship are you?"

"American cruiser Pioneer, Stoneman. I'm the first officer."

"Good for you, son," exclaimed the captain. "First I took you for that German raider they say is sailing about in these parts."

"That's what I took you to be," declared the lieutenant. "I know there is no need searching your ship, Captain. You're true blue, but I'll have to have a look at your papers."

"Perfectly proper," said Captain Stoneman. "Come below."

The two disappeared below, but returned on deck a few moments later.

"Who are your passengers, Captain?" asked the American officer.

Captain Stoneman explained.

"Guess I'd better have a look at them anyhow, if it's no trouble," said the lieutenant.

"No trouble at all . Bo's'n," he called, "summon all passengers on deck."

Frank and Jack were already there, and approached. The American officer asked them a few questions, and then waved them away.

"All right," he said.

Mrs. Wheaton and her daughter appeared a few moments later. The former was angry. She approached the lieutenant.

"What do you mean by holding us up in this high-handed fashion?" she demanded.

"Necessity of war, madam," said the lieutenant with a bow.

"Necessity fiddlesticks," was the reply. "Who are you, anyhow?"

"I'm Lieutenant Lansing, American cruiser Pioneer, madam," came the reply.

Mrs. Wheaton's manner underwent an immediate change. "You'll pardon me, Lieutenant," she exclaimed. "Of course, I know you must do your duty."

After a few words with Mrs. Wheaton and her daughter, Lieutenant Lansing turned again to Captain Stoneman.

"All right, Captain," he said, "you may proceed. If leave you now just a word, though. Look out for that raider. She's around here some


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