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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

A Russian Raid

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Neither the Ithuriel nor the Orion seemed to have taken any part in the battle so far, or to have done anything to avenge the attack made upon the Ariel. Mazanoff wondered not a little at this, as both Arnold and Tremayne must have seen the fate of the Russian flagship. As soon as he got within speaking distance of the Ithuriel, he sang out to Arnold, who was on the deck--

"I got in rather a tight place down there. That scoundrel fired upon us with the flag of truce flying, and when I gave him a couple of shells in return I thought the end of the world was come."

"You fired at too close range, my friend. Those shells are sudden death to anything within a hundred yards of them. Are you all well on board? You've been knocked about a bit, I see."

"No, poor Volnow's dead. He was killed standing close beside me, and I wasn't touched, though the explosion of the shell knocked the senses out of me completely. However, the machinery's all right, and I don't think the hull is hurt to speak of. But what are you doing? I should have thought you'd have blown half the fleet out of the water by this time."

"No. We saw that you had amply avenged yourself, and the Master's orders were not to do anything till you returned. You'd better come on board and consult with him."

Mazanoff did so, and when he had told his story to Natas, the latter mystified him not a little by replying--

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"I am glad that none of you are injured, though, of course, I'm sorry that I sent Volnow to his death; but that is the fortune of war. If one of us fell into his master's hands his fate would be worse than that. You avenged the outrage promptly and effectively.

"I have decided not to injure the Russian fleet more than I can help. It has work to do which must not be interfered with. My only object is to recover the Lucifer, if possible, and so we shall follow the fleet for the present across the North Sea on our way to the rendezvous with the other vessels from Aeria which are to meet us on Rockall Island, and wait our opportunity. Should the opportunity not come before then, we must proceed to extremities, and destroy her and the cruiser that has her on board."

"And do you think we shall get such an opportunity?"

"I don't know," replied Natas. "But it is possible. I don't think it likely that the fleet will have coal enough for a long cruise in the Atlantic, and therefore it is possible that they will make a descent on Aberdeen, which they are quite strong enough to capture if they like, and coal up there. In that case it is extremely probable that they will make use of the air-ship to terrorise the town into surrender, and as soon as she takes the air we must make a dash for her, and either take her or blow her to pieces."

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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