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Tom Slade, Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer
written by "Fitzhugh, Percy Keese, 1876-1950"
...sible on that road now nor in the shell-torn area of No Man's Land through which it ran. But the lone rider forged ahead, zig-zagging his course to escape the bullets of that unseen sharpshooter and because it seemed to free the dragging, catching wire, affording him little spurts of unobstructed speed. Then suddenly the wire caught fast, and his machine stopped and strained like a restive horse, the power wheel racing furiously. Hurriedly he looked behind him where the sinuous wire lay44 along the road, far back—as far as he could see, across the trampled entanglements and trenches. Where were the others who were to help carry it over? Killed? Alone in the open area of No Man's Land, Tom Slade paused for an instant to think. What should he do? Suddenly there appeared out of a shell hole not twenty feet ahead of him a helmeted figure. It rose up grimly, uncannily, like a dragon out of the sea, and levelled a rifle straight at him. So that was the lair of the sharpshooter! Tom was not afraid. He knew that he had been facing death and he was not afraid of what he had been facing. He knew that the sharpshooter had him at last. Neither he nor the wire were going to bear any message back. "Anyway, I'm glad I wrote that letter," he muttered. TOM WAS SURPRISED TO FIND HIMSELF UNINJURED, WHILE THE BOCHE COLLAPSED INTO HIS SHELL HOLE. 45 CHAPTER SEVENA SHOT Then, clear and crisp against the sound of the great guns far off, there was the sharp crack of a rifle and Tom was surprised to find himself still standing by his machine uninjured, while the Boche collapsed back into his shell hole like a jack-in-the-box. He did not pause to think now. Leaving his machine, he rushed pell-mell back to the barbed wire entanglement where the line was caught, disengaged it and ran forward again to his wheel. Shells were bursting all about him, but as he mounted he could see two figures emerge, one after the other, from t...

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