Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

A Battle In The Night

Page 6 of 8

Table Of Contents: The Angel Of The Revolution

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The captain wasted no words in confessing his error, but ran up on to the bridge to rectify it as far as he could at once. The helm was put hard over, the port screw was reversed, and the steamer swung round in a wide sweep, and was soon speeding back westward over her own tracks. An hour's run brought her in sight of the lights of the North German and her escort. She slowed as she passed them, and told the news. Then she sped on again at full-speed to meet the Oceana and the two cruisers, which were about fifty miles behind.

By one A.M. the three cruisers and the three liners had joined forces, and were steaming westward at twenty knots an hour, the liners in single file led by a cruiser, and having one on each beam. Soon the flashes on the horizon grew more frequent, always drawing closer together.

Then those in the westward dropped from the perpendicular to the horizontal, and swept the water as though seeking something. It was not long before the darting rays of one of the searchlights fell across the track of the British flotilla. Instantly from all three points converging flashes were concentrated upon it, revealing the outline of every ship with the most perfect distinctness.

The last hope of running through the hostile fleet unperceived had now vanished. There was nothing for it but to go ahead full-speed, and trust to the chances of a running fight to get clear. With a view of finding out the strength of the enemy, the British cruisers now turned their searchlights on and swept the horizon.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

A very few moments sufficed to show that an overwhelming force was closing in on them from three sides. They were completely caught in a trap, from which there was no escape save by running the gauntlet. Whichever way they headed they would have to pass through the converging fire of the enemy.

The weakest point, so far as they could see, was the one cruiser and two torpedo-boats to the northward, and so towards them they headed. At the speed at which they were travelling it needed but a few minutes to bring them within range, and the British commanders rightly decided to concentrate their fire for the present on the single cruiser and her two attendants, in the hope of sinking them before the others could get into action.

At three thousand yards the heavy guns came into play, and a storm of shell was hurled upon the advancing foe, who lost no time in replying in the same terms. As the vessels approached each other the shooting became closer and terribly effective.

The searchlights of the British cruisers were kept full ahead, and every attempt of the torpedo-boats to get round on the flank was foiled by a hail of shot from the quick-firing guns. Within fifteen minutes of opening fire one of these was sunk and the other disabled. The French cruiser, too, suffered fearfully from the tempest of shot and shell that was rained upon her.

Page 6 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2006