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me with the velocity of light as I dashed madly onward. The outlet was nearly gained; one second more and I would be comparatively safe; but my pursuers suddenly appeared on the bank directly above me, which rose to the height of some ten feet.
There was no time for thought; I bent my head and darted wildly forward. The wolves sprang, but miscalculating my speed, sprang behind, while their intended prey glided out upon the river. Instinct turned me toward home. How my skates made the light icy mist spin from 10 the glassy surface! The fierce howl of my pursuers again rang in my ears. I did not look back; I thought of the dear ones awaiting my return and I put in play every faculty of mind and body for my escape. I was perfectly at home on the ice and many were the days I had spent on my 15 skates.
Every half minute an alternate yelp from my pursuers told me they were close at my heels. Nearer and nearer they came; I could hear them pant. I strained every muscle in my frame to quicken my speed. Still I could 20 hear close behind me the pattering of feet, when an involuntary motion on my part turned me out of my course. The wolves, unable to stop and as unable to turn, slipped and fell, sliding on far ahead, their tongues lolling out, their white tushes gleaming from their red mouths, their 25 dark, shaggy breasts flecked with foam; and as they slid on, they howled with redoubled rage.
The thought occurred to me that by thus turning aside whenever they came too near, I could avoid them; for from the peculiar formation of their feet they cannot run 30 on ice except in a straight line. I immediately acted on this plan. The wolves, having regained their feet, sprang
directly towards me. The race was renewed for twenty yards up the stream; they were already close on my back when I glided round and dashed past them. A fierce howl greeted my evolution, and the wolves slipped upon their 5 haunches and again slid onward, presenting a perfect picture of baffled, bloodthirsty rage.
Thus I gained at each turning nearly a hundred yards. This was repeated two or three times, the wolves getting more excited every moment, until, coming opposite the house, a couple of staghounds, aroused by the noise, bayed furiously from their kennels. Quickly taking the hint the wolves stopped in their mad career, turned skulkingly, and fled. I watched them till their dusky forms disappeared over a neighboring hill. Then, taking off my Is skates, I wended my way to the house, grateful to Providence for my escape and determined never to trust myself again, if I could help it, within the reach of a gray wolf.
1. Relate in order the events of this story. Where is the highest point of interest? By what trick did the man finally make his escape?
2. What other skating story do you know? What other stories of adventure with wolves have you heard?
ATTACKED BY A SUBMARINE
BY JAMES BALDWIN AND W. W. LIVENGOOD
"STRANGE craft on starboard !”
It was Spar who had made the discovery. A chill went up my spine. The captain took a hurried look through the glasses and gave some sudden orders to the 5 engine room. He called me to his side.
"Looks like trouble," he remarked. "It may not be a U-boat, but we take no chances."
The Argo came clean around till her stern pointed in danger's direction. Then we zigzagged ahead as fast as our remaining engines could carry.
"Torpedo on port side!" Macy had come in for honors. The white wake unrolled past us several yards away.
No question about the stranger now. Our wireless shot the message of the attack far and wide. Then our stern gun spoke. The shell fell short. The enemy replied in kind, with the same result. Another and another shot followed. The exchange of compliments was getting lively. But the shells as yet were only stirring up splashes of water between us.
"It looks like a dispute that will be settled by whoever 15 gets in the first shot," observed the captain to me on the bridge. "If he gets us through the hull we will be kindling wood in a second!"
Meanwhile our wireless operator had brought a little encouragement. The captain of the destroyer convoy 20 ahead had picked up our SOS. His reply was, "Hold out. Keep wiring position. Destroyer coming."
That was hopeful, but his help would probably reach us after our fate had been settled one way or the other.
"One thing's sure, Tom," Captain Folger commented. "This ship doesn't surrender!"
"I'm with you on that," I said with emphasis. But the enemy was gaining on us. He tried to maneuver to get us with a torpedo broadside on, but we changed our course as often as he changed his; and the stern of a ship 3< offers only a small target a few thousand yards away. Suddenly one of his shells sprayed us with water as it
splashed harmlessly alongside. Our gunners tried hard to send a shot home, but we had no luck, although we were peppering the water around the U-boat.
In the midst of the excitement I caught a glimpse of a s little scene aft that strangely quieted my pulse. Hawkins and Macy were both busy filling their pipes from Hawkins's tobacco pouch, and quietly watching the effect of our shots. I would give much to know their comments. At any rate the two old skippers were as cool as if they were To watching a whale instead of a submarine.
The next moment there was a crash, and fragments of shell and flying splinters whirred through the air. I suddenly became dizzy, and everything went black. I could have been down only a few seconds; that I discovered 15 at once on coming to my senses. But it was time enough for a dream to flit through my brain. I thought I was back on the porch at home, cuddled up in a big rocking chair, and Mother was singing an old sea ballad she used to sing. The refrain ran, "Oh, the lowlands low!" in a sort of dying 20 fall.
Blood was running down my right cheek when I came to my senses. Captain Folger was stretched on the bridge, face up, with a ghastly cut on his forehead and a stony stare in his half-opened eyes. I knew without touching 25 his pulse that it was all over with him. A glance aft revealed another sad story. The gun crew was scattered, with three of the men down on deck. Macy was stooping over Hawkins. And our stern gun yawed in its fittings. The enemy had registered an awful hit. He had drawn first 30 blood; but we were still afloat with a forward gun intact. I was half maddened by the blood around me, but my head was never clearer. The ship's doctor was already
kneeling by the captain, and shaking his head to me. I nodded my understanding. The responsibility of what was to follow now rested on my shoulders.
I gave a drastic order and the great ship slowly started to wheel in her course. It looked like certain destruction 5 to bring our broadside to the enemy but it was our last chance. We must bring our forward gun to bear. The gun crew was standing ready and impatient to avenge their fallen comrades.
Then a commotion rose from the hatchway leading up 10 from the engine room. I saw Macy drop Hawkins's lifeless body and pick up a heavy fragment of timber dislodged by the bursting shell. The engine-room force had run amuck, panicky with fear! They were led by the East Indian I had signed from Newport. He had a big 15 pistol in his hand.
Macy let drive at him with his shaft, but it went over the rebel leader's head, downing the man behind him. Instantly the Indian fired, and Macy crumpled up on deck and sat down with his head in his hands.
I have no idea how I got off the bridge so quickly, but scarcely had Macy fallen when I was facing the cowards, and my automatic pistol cut loose. The East Indian let out a yell, made a wild run for the scuppers, and pitched headlong overboard. Spar got the next man with his bare 25 fists, and the remainder took to the hatchway. They had come to their senses. In fairness, let me say that there were only half a dozen men on the rampage, all foreigners. The rest, including my college men, had stuck hard to their posts. Spar followed the rebels with my gun leveled; and 30 there was no more trouble from that direction. The mutiny had been quelled.