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- Army Boys on German Soil - 29/29 -


that resistance was futile. The baffled conspirators stood huddled together, disarmed, and under guard.

The doctor's rage was fearful as his eyes rested on Frank, for whom he had cherished bitter enmity since their first encounter, and who he felt instinctively was the cause of his undoing.

The lieutenant gave a few curt commands and the prisoners were led out through the passage, secret no longer, and conveyed under guard to American headquarters.

Here a number of leading American officers had gathered to await the results of the raid. The prisoners were remanded for examination on the morrow, with the exception of the doctor, who was brought at once before the tribunal and sternly questioned.

At first he remained stubbornly silent, refusing to say a word. Then the crumpled papers that he had attempted to swallow were opened and read.

They proved to be the formulas relating to the deadly germs contained in the phials. Step by step the process was described. The proof was positive and overwhelming. But most important of all was the setting down of the antidote that would neutralize the effect of the germs.

The doctor's face during the reading of the papers was a study in emotions. Rage, disappointment, hate succeeded one another. Upon the faces of his judges the prevalent expression was one of horror, tempered somewhat by the relief afforded by the knowledge that the antidote was within their reach.

Being asked if he had anything to say, the doctor at last broke his stubborn silence. Denial was impossible. The game was up. There was nothing to gain by repressing his feelings, and he broke out in a wild tirade.

Yes, he said, it was true that he had discovered and isolated this deadly germ and had made numberless cultures of it to be spread broadcast. He boasted of it. He gloried in it. He had already killed many of the hated Americans, and if he had been given time he would have swept the whole American Army of Occupation off the face of the earth. It was true that he had not confined his operations to the Americans alone. He had sought revenge on his own cowardly countrymen who had yielded supinely and permitted the Americans to occupy the fairest districts of Germany. He had offered his deadly discovery to the German commanders before the armistice was signed, but either through doubts of its value or fear that their own troops would share in the contagion they had refused to make use of it. Then his rage had turned against countrymen and foes alike. Like Caligula, he had wished that the whole human race had but a single head so that he might cut it off with one blow. He would have done it, too, if this accursed young American--

Here he made a savage lunge at Frank, and there was a terrific struggle before he was overpowered by the guards. He fought with the strength of a maniac, which indeed he was, for the wild rage under which he labored had reached its climax in the overturning of his reason. He was dragged away, struggling, fighting, and foaming at the mouth.

There was unmeasured joy and relief at American headquarters that night, for the shadow of the plague that had hung over the army for months was lifted and the remedy was known. Frank and his comrades came in for praise and commendation that made their faces glow, and it was promised that promotion and crosses of honor would be a reward and recognition of their splendid work.

And now the date had been set for the signing of the Peace Treaty. Germany was at white heat in protest against the terms. She swore that she would never sign. She raged like a wild beast that had been caught in a trap. With characteristic treachery she sank the interned fleet at Scapa Flow. A mob burned the French flags in Berlin, of which the treaty demanded the surrender. Sign the treaty? Never! Never!

The Americans were ready on the instant to march toward Berlin. Twenty-four hours before the time set for signing, tanks, airplanes, guns and men poured over the Rhine. If the Germans wanted more fighting they could have it. If they did not sign the treaty at Versailles, they would be compelled to sign it in Berlin. The guns were ready to thunder, the men ready to charge.

The Germans saw those preparations and wilted. Their boasting changed to whining.

On June the twenty-eighth they signed the treaty. _The war was over_!

And when that night the booming of guns at Coblenz told that the treaty had been signed, the Army Boys hugged each other in delight at the knowledge that their work was done and that now they were free to go back home!

"Hurrah!" cried Billy in wild jubilation.

"Back to the States!" shouted Bart.

"Three cheers for Old Glory!" exclaimed Tom.

"And a tiger," added Frank. "Well, fellows, our work is over. Our boys came over here to! whip the Hun. They did it. They came over to help win the war. They did it. The job is done, and now we Army Boys can go back in triumph to God's country!"

THE END


Army Boys on German Soil - 29/29

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