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He climbed aboard the run-about, drove out of the yard, and rattled off down the road. He executed his commissions, and was sailing happily back to the village, when about a mile short of it a sitting figure rose from the roadside, stepped forward, and waved an arresting hand. To his surprise, Mary saw that it was one of the Blue Marines.

"What's up?" he said, as the Marine came round to the side and proceeded to step on board.

"Orders," said the Marine briefly. "I was looking out for you. Change course and direction and steer for the new anchorage."

"The idea being wot!" asked Mary.

"We've been in action again," said the Marine gloomily. "Only two shells this time, but they did more damage than all the rest put together this morning."

"More damage?" gasped Mary. "Wot--wot have they damaged?"

The Marine ticked off the damages on his fingers one by one.

"Car hit, badly damaged, and down by the stern; gun out of action--mounting smashed; the sergeant hit, piece of his starboard leg carried away; and five men slightly wounded."

He dropped his hands, which Mary took as a sign that the tally was finished. "Is that all?" he said, and breathed a sigh of relief. "Strewth! I thought you was going to tell me that my garden had been gott-straffed."

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