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Dave Darrin After The Mine Layers
by H. Irving Hancock
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Even before the typed reports had come in Lieutenant Fernald reported with a written list of the names of officers and men whom he recommended for shore leave beginning that evening.

As a matter of form Darrin glanced down through the list, then signed it.

"The last four men on the list report that they would like shore leave, but are out of funds, sir," hesitated Lieutenant Fernald.

Drawing his purse, Dave extracted four five-dollar bills.

"Lend this to them until pay-day," he directed, thrusting the money into the executive officer's hand. "They are dependable men, and will come to no harm. Up to eleven o'clock I shall be found at the Blank Hotel if wanted. At eleven I shall leave to come aboard, so you may send in a launch for me, Mr. Fernald."

As soon as he had received and signed the typed report in duplicate, and had taken steps to forward them, Darrin and Belle went ashore.

At ten o'clock that evening Dan Dalzell joined them.

"How was the hunting, Danny Grin?" Dave inquired, jovially.

"May I speak of such awful subjects before Mrs. Darrin?" Dan asked.

"I am sure you may, and do not delay gratifying my curiosity," Belle put in.

"Well, then," murmured Dalzell, delightedly, "all I can say is that the hunting proved wonderfully good. With the indispensable aid of the dirigible I located four submarines headed for this coast, and sank them all. I believe that each of the submarines was carrying a cargo of mines to enemy submarine mine-layers off this coast. Do you call that a day of good sport?"

"For every one but the Germans," Dave nodded, beamingly.

But Dan glanced at Belle to see how she took such joyous comments on the sudden deaths of enemies.

"I could feel sorry for the people of some nations, if we were at war with them," Belle Darrin stated, calmly. "But when I hear of the deaths of German submarine officers and sailors I feel a sense of relief at the thought that more of the loathsome beasts have been removed from a decent world."

Dan, too, and the other officers and the crew of the "Reed" were granted several days in port. In fact, there was no need of their services in the same line for some time to come, for a temporary but effective stop had been put to German mine-laying in the North Sea and the Channel.

The masters, mates and crews of the "Olga" and the "Louisa" were tried and sentenced to death, and later were executed. Ober-Lieutenant Dreiner, for his cowardly attempt to murder Dave and his three new friends, was also sentenced to death.

Before his leave in port was ended Dave and Belle met "Mr. and Mrs. Launce" and learned that they were really the Earl and Countess of Denby. After her awful experience in the water the countess's health remained impaired for months, so the noble couple gave up the idea of spy work and turned their energies toward Red Cross work in France and Italy.

Sophia Weiner and her daughter were convicted of espionage in that they had sailed for England with false passports. They are now confined in some prison in England, and will remain there for some years after the war closes.

Captain Kennor reached home safely, where he learned that the other boats from the "Rigsdak" had reached a friendly shore. It was some months before the Danish master went to sea again.

The British admiral's report, sent through channels to the Vice Admiral of the American destroyer fleet, and by him referred to the Secretary of the Navy, was of such character that Dave and Dan received the highest praise direct from Washington by cable, and afterwards by letter.

They had done their work in the finest American naval style, and had made a ten-strike against the German mine-layers.

But they took their honors easily, and had need to, for there was still greater work ahead of them after Belle had used up her few days' leave and had sailed back to France.

THE END



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Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 155, "prevous" changed to "previous" Page 181, "mask" changed to "mast" Page 210, "nothing goes on on" changed to "nothing goes on"

THE END

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