"Why, it's after midnight," he exclaimed. "Time for bed."
Frank led the way to the room he had occupied since babyhood. This Jack was to share with him during his stay.
"I'll tell you," said Frank, as he climbed into bed, "it feels pretty good to a fellow to get back into his own bed after all these years."
"I should think it would," agreed Jack. "But mine is a long ways from here. However, I guess I shall see it again some day."
"Of course you will, old fellow, and I'll go along with you."
They fell asleep.
Both lads were awakened by the sound of a commotion without. They jumped out of bed. It was broad daylight of the first day of January, 1919.
"Still celebrating the new year, I guess," said Frank. "Remember we heard 'em shooting before we went to bed?"
Frank went to the window and stuck his head out. Instantly there was a wild yell outside. Frank drew his head hurriedly back again.
"What's the matter?" asked Jack.
"I don't know," said Frank. "There is a whole gang of fellows out there and they all seem to be crazy about something."
Jack had a faint suspicion. He crossed to the window and looked out.
Again a yell went up, followed by a cry from many throats:
"We want Frank!"
Even Frank heard this. His face turned red and he began to act flustered.
"Some of the fellows know I'm home, I guess," he said.
"That's what's the matter, all right," Jack agreed. "Better show yourself again."
"Wait till I get some clothes on and I'll go down and see 'em," said Frank.
"They'll probably want you to make a speech," Jack suggested.
Frank was alarmed.
"Speech?" he repeated. "I can't make a speech."
"Oh, yes you can. You don't mean to tell me that a fellow who has done what you have—who has talked with kings and czars—is afraid to talk to some of his old friends and companions?"
"That's different," declared Frank.
"I catch your point, and maybe you're right," he admitted. "However, you'll have to do it."
"I suppose I shall," said Frank with a sigh, "so the sooner I get it over with the better."
He led the way downstairs and on to the front porch. Jack stepped forward close beside him. Again there was a wild cheer from many throats.
Both lads still wore their British uniforms, and they both presented a manly and handsome appearance as they stood there on the front porch of Frank's home.
"Hello, Frank!" "Glad to see you back!" "Are you going to stay here?" "Tell us about yourself."
These were some of the cries hurled at the lad.
Frank's face turned red and he would have turned away had not Jack's stalwart frame stayed him.
"Speech! Speech!" came the cry.
The hubbub increased.
"I can't do it, Jack!" Frank exclaimed.
"Oh, yes you can," replied his chum. "I'll help you."
He raised his right hand for silence, still keeping his left tightly on Frank's shoulder, for the latter showed signs of bolting at the first opportunity. Instantly the shouting died away and the crowd of young fellows waited expectantly.
"I just want to introduce my friend," said Jack smiling. "Lieutenant Chadwick, gentlemen, of His British Majesty's service, though an American citizen, and a good one at that. Lieutenant Chadwick will be glad to say a few words to you."
The cheering burst forth again, but died away as Jack pushed Frank forward.
Frank made a brave effort and finally managed to say a few words. He grew more at ease as he went along and his audience listened intently. He spoke for perhaps five minutes, then concluded:
"And now, fellows, I want you all to step up and shake hands with my friend—also my commander—Captain Jack Templeton. He's an Englishman, but a pretty good fellow at that—and he's no older than any of us."
There was another cheer and the boys gathered around to shake Jack's hand and get acquainted with him. And after they had talked and talked and feasted their eyes on the British uniforms to their hearts' content they went away. Then Jack and Frank went in to breakfast, where Dr. Chadwick was awaiting them at the table.
A few words more and the history of The Boy Allies on the Sea is complete.
Jack remained with Frank for several weeks, then returned to England upon receipt of a message from Lord Hastings announcing that he had found a place for the lad in the diplomatic service. The story of Jack's struggles in his chosen profession would make interesting reading, perhaps, but it is in no wise connected with the great war. Suffice it to say that he is rapidly rising to fame and fortune and that in years to come, in all probability, he will hold one of the most important posts in the British government.
Frank, for his part, remained in his home town, where he took up the study of law. He proved an apt student and soon showed signs of talent that undoubtedly will make him famous.
So here we shall take our leave of Jack Templeton and Frank Chadwick, knowing that, in years to come, they will meet again, both famous then, and that through all the years their friendship shall survive, and grow stronger than it was in the days when they fought side by side for the freedom of the world.