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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

A Battle In The Night

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"Don't have any fear for the Aurania, Mr. Roburoff. That's only a cruiser, or perhaps a couple, down there, and the enemy haven't a ship that I can't give a good five knots and a beating to. We shall sight the British ships soon after daybreak, and by that time those fellows will be fifty miles behind us.

"I have as much confidence in the Aurania's speed as you have, Captain Frazer," replied Michael. "but I'm afraid you are underrating the enemy's strength. Do you know that within the last few days it has been almost doubled, and that a determined effort is to be made, not only to catch or sink the Aurania, but also to break the British line of posts, and cut the line of American and Canadian communication altogether?"

"No, sir," replied the captain, looking sharply at Michael. "I don't know anything of the sort, neither do the commanders of the British warships on this side. If your information is correct, I should like to know how you came by it. You are a Russian by name "--

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"But not a subject of the Tsar," quickly interrupted Michael. "I am an American citizen, and I have come by this information not as the friend of Russia, as you seem to suspect, but as her enemy, or rather as the enemy of her ruler. How I got it is my business. It is enough for you to know that it is correct, and that you are in far greater danger than you think you are. The signal given by that French spy was evidently part of a prearranged plan, and for all you know you may even now be surrounded, or steaming straight into a trap that has been laid for you. If I may advise, I would earnestly counsel you to double on your course and make every effort to rejoin the other liner and the cruisers we have passed."

"Nonsense, sir, nonsense!" answered the captain testily. " Our watch-dogs are far too wide awake to be caught napping like that. You have been deceived by one of the rumours that are filling the air just now. You can go to your berth and sleep in peace, and to-morrow you shall be half-way across the Atlantic without an enemy's ship in sight."

"Captain Frazer," said Michael very seriously, "with your leave I shall not go to my berth; and what is more, I can tell you that very few of us will get much sleep to-night, and that if you do not back I hardly think you will be flying the British flag to-morrow. Ha! look there--and there!"

Michael seized the captain's arm suddenly, and pointed rapidly to the south-east and north-east. Two thin rays of light flashed up into the sky one after the other. Then came a third from the south-west, and then darkness again. At the same instant came the hails from the look-outs announcing the lights.

Captain Frazer was wrong, and he saw that he was at a glance. The flash in the north-east could not be from a friend, for it was a plain answer to the known enemy in the southeast, and so too in all probability was the third. If so, the Aurania was almost surrounded

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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