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EMILE C. TEPPERMAN

HI-JACKERS FROM HELL

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RGL e-Book Cover 2018©

A SAM FARRELL STORY


Ex Libris

First published in Operator #5, April 1936

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2018
Version Date: 2018-11-30
Produced by Paul Moulder and Roy Glashan

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Operator #5, April 1936, with "Hi-Jackers From Hell"



Sam Farrell, Naval Intelligence, was all set for a soft assignment when he met the beauty from Brazil... But he found her as hard to handle as a buzz-saw out of control—and as dangerous!



SAM FARRELL got out of the cab at the Navy Building, braced himself against the raw wind that cut through Constitution Avenue from the Potomac. An early cold spell had hit Washington, and there was ice in the river already.

Sam paid the driver, scooted through the entrance, and got into the single elevator that was running for the night shift. "Beasley's office!" he growled to the operator, and when he got off at the third floor he made his way to a door marked:


REAR ADMIRAL BEASLEY
CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS


He pushed in without knocking, then stopped, surprised, facing the three men in the room. Besides Admiral Beasley, there was Captain Madison, his adjutant, and another man whom Sam hadn't expected to see there. The other man was Ewing Lorimer, newly-appointed Under-Secretary of the Navy.

Ordinarily, Sam didn't bother with the formalities of saluting. Now, however, he stood to attention smartly, and did the necessary.

Admiral Beasley, a man in his late fifties, with a paternal look on his smooth-shaven face, did not smile. He grunted, got up from behind his desk, and said: "Hello, Sam. You haven't met our new Under-Secretary yet. Mr. Lorimer, this is Lieutenant-Commander Samuel Farrell, United States Naval Intelligence. Don't let his long and lanky quietness deceive you. He's the best man we've got."

Lorimer, a corpulent man whose nephew was senator from a very large state, smiled agreeably, got up from his seat beside Beasley's desk, and shook hands with Sam.

Captain Madison nodded to Sam also, and winked over the Under- Secretary's back.

Beasley wasted no more time on preliminaries. "Look here, Sam," he said briskly. "I've got a job for you!"

Sam's long face lengthened. "My furlough starts at midnight, sir," he protested. "It's a quarter to eleven—"

"Never mind that!" the admiral snapped. "You just forget about the furlough. In case you don't know it, I'll give you the latest news. Yesterday, the revolutionary forces in the Province of Libania, in Brazil, completely routed the government forces. They declared themselves an autonomous republic!"

Sam raised his eyebrows, glanced from Captain Madison to Under-Secretary Lorimer. "Very interesting, sir," he murmured. "But why should a spick revolution affect my furlough?"

Beasley glared at him. "Because, my dear young man, the new Republic of Libania controls the six submarines of the Brazilian fleet. And because those six submarines have just sunk the United States Destroyer Gormley, off Florida!"

Sam's eyes widened. "No!" he exclaimed.

"Yes!" Beasley thundered. "And not only that, but they've bottled up Havana Harbor! They held up the United Fruit Steamer Biscayne, forced her captain to transfer to their holds nine million dollars in bullion that he was carrying to the new branch of the International Bank in Cuba! They've turned to piracy to finance them!"


SAM looked incredulous. "But they're crazy, sir! You can order the whole South Atlantic Feet after them. The fleet's in the Potomac now. They could easily overhaul those subs—"

"That's your idea," the admiral said sarcastically. "But if your mind wasn't on your damn furlough, you'd know that the fleet's bottled up in the river. We're experimenting with the new paravanes which deflect submerged mines. Thirty mines have been laid near the mouth of the Potomac, and the ships are waiting to have the improved paravanes attached before sailing. But the paravanes aren't ready, and the fleet can't leave till they are. Those Libanian submarines are going to hold up every vessel they meet, and levy tribute. Need I tell you what certain European countries will do when it is demonstrated that the United States can't keep order in her own hemisphere? It'll knock the Monroe Doctrine into a cocked hat. They'll be sending battleships over inside of twenty-four hours. It'll start a new war just at a time when we're doing our damnedest to keep the peace!"

Sam's face was suddenly serious. "But the paravanes, sir—why aren't they ready?"

"Because Commander Ferguson was murdered on his way over here two hours ago, with the blue-prints for them! The vanes are all ready except for a small technical change that had to be made. The designer of those vanes is your old friend, Lucius Magnus. Magnus sent the prints here from New York this afternoon. We were to start on them at once, and have the vanes ready to attach in a couple of hours. Well, the prints are gone. They're no damn good to anybody, because Magnus made them up in code. But they're no damn good to us, because they're gone. And the fleet's stuck in the river. And those Libanian subs are having a Roman holiday. We'll have every country in Europe intervening to protect their nationals inside of twenty-four hours!"

"All right, sir," Sam said quietly. "I get the picture. What do you want me to do?"

"I'll tell you. I phoned Lucius Magnus to come here at once. He can reproduce those prints. He's a queer old guy, as you know, and he won't fly. So he hopped a train and he'll arrive at the Union Station at eleven-fifteen. You go there and meet him; bring him here. You know him personally, and you'll be able to pick him up at the station. It's five to eleven now. You can just make it."

Sam saluted. "I'll bring him here, sir."

Under-Secretary Lorimer put a detaining hand on his sleeve. "One moment, please. As you gentlemen know, I'm not a seaman. This situation is very disturbing, but I don't understand why the fleet was allowed to get into such a position. Why does it need these—er—paravanes? And what is a paravane?"

Beasley cast a helpless look at Captain Madison, then at Sam.

Sam came to his rescue. "A paravane, sir, is a sort of float that looks just like the pontoon of a seaplane. They were first used during the World War, and they've been considerably improved since then. When a ship goes into a mine-infested sector, it floats two of these paravanes, one on either side, attached by cable to the forward part of the keel. The vanes are equipped with rudders which, acting against the drag of the ship, keep them out at a distance from the vessel. When their cable comes in contact with the submerged anchor-wire of a mine, it slides the wire down to a knife-edge on the paravane, and the wire is cut, thus rendering the mine harmless."

Lorimer looked rather blank, as if he felt that he ought to have understood the explanation.

"And now, if you don't mind sir," Sam added, "may I go?"

"Certainly, certainly, young man," the Under-Secretary said absently. "Go right ahead. Bring this Mr. Magnus here. I want to talk to him. H'm! Imagine! I never knew there was such a thing as a paravane!"

"When you make your inspection of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, sir," Sam told him tartly, "you'll see two models of them in front of the School of Navigation. Every midshipman knows what they are!"


HE started for the door, and Beasley followed him. "Damned fool!" he muttered under his breath. "Why don't they appoint a seaman instead of a landlubber?" He plucked Sam's sleeve. "I don't need to tell you to be careful, Sam. This isn't just a welcome-to-the-city job. There's a leak somewhere. Those Libanians knew about the paravanes, of course, and they knew the fleet would be tied up. They killed Ferguson to keep us from going after them. See that they don't get hold of Magnus. If they should make him give up the code to those plans, they could sail their damned subs right up the Potomac and torpedo every ship in the fleet!"

Sam nodded soberly, and left, waving a goodbye to Madison.

Outside the Navy Building, he turned up his coat collar, looked around for another cab. There was none. At this hour, they would be cruising around the theater district. Heeding Beasley's advice, he let his eyes rove up and down the street, but saw no one who looked suspicious.

He shivered in the cold, started to walk up Eighteenth Street, and was halfway across Virginia Avenue, when it happened.

Two men stepped out from the shadows of the Pan-American Union Building, diagonally opposite. One of them held a long object in the crook of his left arm. The other man waved to Sam, called out: "Señor Farrell!"

At the sound of his name Sam half-stopped in his stride, turned in their direction, raising his chin from his coat collar.

The man who had called out said quickly to his companion in a low voice which, nevertheless, reached Sam because of the stillness of the evening: "It is he, Felix. You may shoot!"

Felix swung the object under his left arm around to his right side, raised it. Sam knew what it was even before it began to chatter and spit lead at him. His movements were so swiftly #eye-defying that it would have been hard for an observer to tell exactly what he did first.

His long, lean body doubled over like a jack-knife, and he dropped to the cold pavement, rolled over twice while his right hand dived under his coat for the automatic in the holster under his left arm.

Undoubtedly, the fact that Felix had been carrying the sub-machine gun under his left arm instead of his right was the only thing that saved Sam Farrell's life.

The precious seconds needed for the switch from left to right had given Sam all the handicap he needed. Now, while lead ricocheted from the gutter at the spot where he had stood, his own automatic barked in staccato accompaniment to the chatter of the machine gun.

The hail of steel from the Thompson was sweeping toward his new position in a swift arc when Sam's first slug found its mark. It took Felix in the abdomen, smashed him backward against the front of the Pan-American Building. He dropped the machine gun, sagged, both hands clawing at his stomach.

His companion dived for the weapon, but Sam, from his prone position in the middle of Virginia Avenue, fired twice more. The second man fell on top of the Thompson, with one slug in his shoulder and another through the top of his skull.

Suddenly, silence descended again upon the street. Sam picked himself up, started across toward the two men. Felix was twitching in agony on the sidewalk. The other man was dead.

Police whistles began to shrill, and uniformed men came running from the White House grounds, which backed on Seventeenth Street, a block away. A District of Columbia police patrol-car screamed down Virginia from C Street...


SAM FARRELL had no wish to be stopped and questioned now. It would have been simple for him to have given a quick explanation of the incident, to have taken the police back into the Navy Building, to Beasley's office. In fifteen minutes he could be on his way again.

But fifteen minutes was too long. He had just that much time to get across town to the Union Station. If he missed Magnus, the United States would be facing a crisis in the morning which might threaten its very existence.

So instead of waiting for the police, he hastily stepped over the body of the groaning machine gunner, slipped into the darkened entrance of the Pan-American Building. He was sure that those two men had not been there when he came out of the Navy Building, for he had searched the opposite side of the street keenly. Therefore, they must have been inside the building; in which case, the door must be unlocked.

He was correct. The heavy door gave to his push, and he stepped into the dark foyer just as the police car screeched to a stop at the curb. The crew of the squad car might—and might not—have seen him. He had moved so fast that the odds were in his favor.

In the darkness of the interior, he felt for the catch of the lock, slipped it down, locking the door. He grinned to himself as he heard one of the cops say: "It's locked, Pete. I guess this guy here, with the lead in his stomach, is the one we seen running. He must have collapsed right here."

Sam Farrell was satisfied. Let them think it was a two-man feud, and that Felix and his companion had killed each other. It would be some time before they discovered otherwise. Later he could have the matter explained fully to the local police.

He started to put his automatic away, stopped, rigid, his hand frozen in midair. Somewhere behind him, he had caught the distinctive sound of muffled breathing. There was another person in there with him; and his back was to that person!

There is no doubt that some sort of mental telepathy must be established between two people who find themselves alone in the dark. One becomes acutely conscious of the movements of the other. Sam could feel, now, that the person behind him was moving up closer. He could almost see, through the back of his head, the clubbed automatic which he imagined to be raised for a vicious downward blow.

There was a faint scraping sound of a heel on the floor behind him, and instinctively Sam ducked, side-stepped quickly.

There was a swish of a descending object, and metal gleamed in the darkness, struck a slithering blow against the framework of the door, against which he had been standing.

Sam reached out blindly with both hands, felt an arm in his grip, and twisted mercilessly. A muffled cry came from his attacker, and steel tinkled on the floor. Sam's mouth thinned into a tight line, and he twisted harder. That was the tinkle of a knife, not of a gun. Whoever this was had tried to stab him.

A fist beat against his face, but not very powerfully. Sam yanked hard on the arm, drew the other closer to him, and enveloped his assailant in a tight bear hug which his hundred and eighty pounds could make very punishing.

The other struggled frantically, but futilely, kicking against his shins, scratching with one free hand that was not imprisoned, against his face. Sam felt a long furrow being clawed into his cheek, and he squeezed harder with one arm, raised his right hand to protect his face.

And suddenly he swore softly in the dark, loosened his hold, and grabbed for the other's hands. He had just realized that the body he held was soft and rounded and yielding—not tough and hard like a man's. Also, he got a whiff of perfume in his nostrils.

He exclaimed: "Holy mackerel! A woman!"


THE woman was breathing hard, still fighting. Outside, police, onlookers and guards from the Navy Building and the White House grounds were clustered around the entrance.

Precious minutes had been lost already. Sam twisted both the woman's arms behind her, held them with one hand, and pushed her toward the back of the building. He said: "Let's get out in the light, lady, where I can take a look at you."

She didn't answer, and stopped fighting, allowed herself to be propelled through the darkness. When they had got far enough from the front door to make it safe, Sam took out his pocket flashlight, and let the beam wander over his prisoner's face.

She was beautiful. Dark-haired, olive-skinned, with thin, black lashes and a wet red mouth. She was dressed in a dark cloth coat with a fur collar, and she wore a small hat that rose to a peak like an alpine climber's. There was a little red feather on one side of it. Her clothing was of the latest mode, and expensive. Her figure was trim, chic.

She stared into the eye of the flashlight, supine in Sam's grip, with both her hands imprisoned behind her in his one huge paw. Her red mouth curved into an enigmatic smile.

"Señor Farrell," she said, "is a brave man—and a very lucky one. I saw what happened in the street."

Sam grunted, clicked out the light, and urged her along. "I know you saw it. And you tried to finish what your boy friends started!"

He held her wrists punishingly till they reached an exit of the building, which opened on Seventeenth Street. He got the heavy door open with one hand, pushed her out into the street, after looking up and down to make sure they weren't observed.

Strangely, she made no protest.

He didn't exactly know what to do with her. He had to get over to the Union Station, and he didn't want to let her go till he had found out what was back of the attack on him—that it had something to do with the appointment that Beasley had made for him at eleven-fifteen, he was sure.

His problem was partially solved when an empty cab swung out into Seventeenth Street, from the driveway of the Ellipse, in the rear of the White House grounds.

He hailed the cab, and when it pulled in at the curb he said to the woman: "You can come along with me now, or be turned over to the police. Which will it be?"

She shrugged, smiling wryly with pain, for her wrists were numb under his grip. She spoke huskily, with a Latin accent: "Eef you had wanted the poleece, Señor Farrell, you would already have called them. But you may do what you please weeth me," she added with an air of meekness that he knew she was far from feeling. "I am your preesoner!"

He handed her into the cab awkwardly, letting go of one of her hands in order to do so. She made no attempt to escape, sat down very quietly.

"Union Station!" Sam barked at the driver. "And—" he glanced at his wrist watch—"I've got just nine minutes to make it. Think you can do it?"

The driver grinned, threw in the gear shift and opened her up along Seventeenth. "I used to hack in New York, mister. If anybody can make it, I'm the guy. But I got me doubts."

Washington is about the worst city in the world for anybody who wants to make time in a cab. Along the main thoroughfares the traffic lights are progressively synchronized for a maximum speed of twenty-two miles an hour, and if you try to do more, you are stopped by a red light at every corner.


IT was thirteen minutes later when Sam's cab raced out of Louisiana into the wide circle in front of the Union Station, circled the Columbus Monument, and pulled up at the magnificent broad entrance.

Lieutenant-Commander Sam Farrell was sitting on the edge of the seat, holding on to his captive's wrist with one hand and peering out of the window.

The clock on the station front showed eleven-nineteen, and he caught sight of a stoop-shouldered, thin man with eyeglasses, just entering a Consolidated cab, down the line. He recognized his man.

He slammed the cab door open, shouted: "Mr. Magnus! Hey, Mr. Magnus!"

The thin Mr. Magnus was already in the cab, and a tall, swarthy man was escorting him. The swarthy man heard Sam, but Magnus did not. The swarthy man turned, frowned in Sam's direction, then hurriedly got into the cab behind Mr. Magnus.

Sam was already out of his own taxi, and racing down the line. But the Consolidated cab had pulled away, and was down at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue by the time Sam got to the place in the line where it had been.

He ran out into the street after it, but the light at the corner turned green just then, and the Consolidated scooted away. He saw the sardonic face of the swarthy man leering out at him from the rear window.

Cursing under his breath, he turned back to his own cab, in time to see his beautiful lady friend stepping out of the far door of the cab he had left. She got out, walked around in back of the cab, and headed into the Union Station.

Sam yelled after her: "Wait a minute, lady!" and launched himself after her. She didn't stop, but glanced back at him swiftly, then passed through the revolving doors. By the time Sam got in, she was half way through the main concourse, toward the Chicago Street exit.

He pushed people out of his way indiscriminately, and got to her before she reached the door, seized her by the shoulder, and swung her roughly around. "Now," he began, "we'll—"

His speech was cut short by a heavy hand that clamped itself on his coat collar, yanked him backward. It was a special station policeman. He was a big, husky Irishman, as tall as Sam and twice as broad.

He glared at Sam, growled: "What's the idea, mister?" Then he turned to the woman, asked her gallantly: "Is this man annoying you, lady?"

The woman was a consummate actress—and nimble of wit as well. Her face suddenly pictured hurt innocence. "He—he has been following me for ten minutes," she said, while her eyes glowed softly at the big special. "I—I do not know heem!"

"All right, lady, if you wanna make a complaint, I'll take him in—"

"No, no! My hosband! He mus' have grown tired of waiting. I have jus' see heem go out of that door. I mus' catch heem—"

"Sure, lady. I'll hold this guy till you get him an' come back. He—"

"See here!" Sam broke in hotly. "This dame is a spy. I'm an officer of Naval Intelligence—"

The Irishman guffawed. "An' I'm the Queen of Sweden! I've seen your kind before—"

Sam gritted his teeth, brought out his credentials, which he pushed in the special's face. "Here, you sap. Read that!"

The Irishman lost some of his assurance. "Jeez, Commander, I didn't figure you—hey! Where's that dame?"

The woman was gone...!

A small crowd had gathered about them, and the special let go his hold on Sam's collar, looked around sheepishly. Sam's back had been turned to her for just one moment, and she had taken advantage of it.

To his demands from the crowd about them, he got half a dozen different answers. One said she had gone out the Chicago Street exit, another pointed to the Concourse, another to the California Street side. The only certain thing Sam could gather from them was that she was gone.

The big Irishman scratched his head. "Me eyes were only off her for a little tick of the clock." he told Sam. "She couldn't of reached any exit in that time. But she's gone, all right!"


SAM spent ten minutes questioning people at every exit. None had seen her. His only link with the person who had spirited Magnus away from under his nose had dissolved into thin air. Of the two men who had attacked him in front of the Navy Building, one was dead, and the other would probably be unconscious for hours, unable to talk. In the mean time, somewhere in the City of Washington, was the one man who had the key that would unlock the doors to the fleet bottled up in the Potomac.

By this time the police were there in droves, taking orders from him. He posted guards at every exit, just in case the woman hadn't had time to leave. Then he went into a phone booth in the main waiting-room, and called Beasley, gave him a swift resume of the situation.

"You were right about a leak, sir," he said. His eyes, as he talked, absently followed the figure of an elderly woman, heavily veiled, who had come in through the main entrance, and who made her way across the waiting room, past the phone booths, into the ladies' room. He went on with his report to Beasley. "Your Libanian friends must have known you were sending me to meet Magnus. They tried to stop me, while one of their own men went to meet him instead. Well, they put it over."

"Damn it!" Beasley swore into the phone. "We've got to do something—and do it fast. The State Department just called up in a sweat. They had a phone call from the British Embassy. Those subs held up a Munson ship right off the coast of Cuba. They took off the load of gold ingots consigned to the Bank of England. The thing's international now. I haven't got a ship outside of the ones in the river here, that could get down there in time to head them off on the way home. And once they're back with all that money, they'll be able to buy all of South America. We'll have to send marines down there. We'll have Europe on our necks—"

Suddenly Sam exclaimed: "Hold the wire, sir!" and dropped the phone, scrambled out of the booth, leaving Beasley blubbering at the other end.

He had seen that old woman come out of the ladies' room again, and he noticed something strange—her black, low-heeled shoes, which had appeared perfectly normal when she went in, were now at least two sizes too big for her!

The heavy veil still covered her face, and she appeared to be the same old lady who had come into the station only a few minutes before—except for the fit of her shoes.

She had clopped her way past Sam's booth, and entered one a little farther down, around a bend.

Sam frantically motioned to one of the policemen, set him to watch the booth, and raced toward the ladies' room. Two women, just going into it, stared at him aghast as he pushed past them.

"Sorry, ladies," he threw back at them. "Government business. You'll have to wait."

One of the women exclaimed: "Well, of all the nerve! Since when has the government taken to meddling—?"

He lost the rest of her undoubtedly caustic comment as he stepped inside. The place was, luckily, empty. He stared around it, his blood racing. He was sure his guess had been right. Yet—

Suddenly he heard a slight scraping sound, which would never have attracted attention if he hadn't been keyed up to it.

The sound came from a broom closet at his left, and he yanked open the door, stared down at the figure of an elderly lady, minus her dress, hat, veil and shoes, tied on the floor with strips of silk torn from a dress—the dress that Sam's dark-eyed lady-friend had worn. The old lady was gagged with similar material, and the Spanish girl's coat was thrown over her.

He dashed out of that place faster than he had come in, almost bowling over the two women he had brushed before.


THE little old lady passed safely under the scrutiny of the guards at the entrance, stepped out into the night, and calmly crossed the street to the car line. Sam kept a little distance behind her, watched her get aboard a District car, and hailed a cab, ordered the driver to follow the trolley. Behind him he saw four or five policemen piling into a squad car.

The woman changed trolleys three times, and Sam changed cabs, too. If she was as smart as she had already shown herself to be, she'd probably have spotted the number of the cab that was so persistently keeping behind a trolley car.

At last, however, the woman seemed to be convinced that she was not being followed. For she left the last trolley, and got into a cab. The cab took her straight to an address on Wisconsin Avenue.

Sam let his cab drive past, saw the woman fit a key into a lock, and enter the building. He got out of the taxi, showed the driver his Intelligence card, and instructed him to phone the police.

Then he looked over the house from the corner. It was one of the old three-story brownstones that are so numerous in Washington. It had been renovated, and its entrance was on the street floor.

Sam walked down to the house next to it, stepped into the corridor, and tried the door. It opened, and he hurried up three flights of stairs on tiptoe, so as not to disturb the occupants, climbed a ladder and pried open the skylight.

In two minutes he had crossed to the roof of the house which the woman had entered. He tried the skylight.

He let himself quietly down the ladder, tiptoed to the nearest door. It was open, and the room within was dark. He risked his flashlight, found that it was unoccupied. The same was true of two more rooms on the floor.

He worked his way down to the next landing, and here he heard voices. They came from a room at the head of the stairs, from the transom of which a light shone. The transom was open, and the voices were plain now. There was a man's voice, and a woman's voice. The woman was his lady friend.

"Never mind that!" the man growled. "You shouldn't have come. You might have been followed—"

"No, no, Captain. Three time' have I change' thee trollee. An' then a cab. They have not suspec' the leetle ol' ladee—"

"All right, all right! Let's get to work on this baby. He won't talk. He's an old man, but he can take it!"

Sam Farrell felt a queer sensation at his stomach. He recognized the voice of the man, as well as that of the woman. It was hardly possible—

Sam tensed, drew his automatic as the knob of the door turned, and the swarthy man who had spirited Magnus away in the cab appeared. The man saw Sam, started to slam the door, but Sam fired, caught him in the shoulder, sent him spinning into the room.

Sam followed him into that room, and his bleak eyes met those of Captain Madison, the adjutant to Admiral Beasley. It was Madison's voice he had just heard.

Madison had drawn a service revolver, and he fired past the swarthy man, who was tottering just inside the doorway. But the wounded man lurched to one side, and Madison's slug was stopped by his other shoulder. He slammed back, moaning:

"Madre de Dios!" and he sank to the floor. Madison, his teeth bared in a snarl, raised his gun to fire again, but Sam beat him to it. The steel-jacketed bullet caught the captain between the eyes.

Sam barged into the room just in time to see the Spanish girl, still in the veil and the big shoes, darting through a doorway.

Sam turned to the figure of Lucius Magnus, stretched out on his back on the bed, with his hands and feet tied to the posts. His shoes and socks had been removed, and there were blisters on his feet where they had been burned with a rod heated over a small alcohol lamp.

Beads of sweat ran down his thin face as he stared up at Sam, who stooped and untied him, raised him to a sitting position. From downstairs came sounds of axes being wielded, and soon feet were tramping up the stairs.

Uniformed men burst into the room, and behind them appeared the choleric face of Admiral Beasley, with Under-Secretary Lorimer waddling beside him.

Sam was grinning, and pointing to a set of rolled blueprints on the table in the center of the room. "There's your prints, sir," he said to Beasley. "And here—" he indicated Magnus—"is your code!"


FOR the rest of the night there was feverish activity on the Potomac, and in the Navy Building. It was close to morning when Beasley finally brushed a sleeve across his tired face, hung up the phone on the last report from the fleet at sea.

"The fleet has all six of those subs in tow!" he reported to Under-Secretary Lorimer and to Sam Farrell. "They ringed them around outside of Havana, and dropped a couple of depth bombs. The crews didn't like that, and they came up like good little boys and struck their colors. All the gold is recovered. And the Monroe Doctrine is intact!"

"Glad to hear it," said Lieutenant-Commander Sam Farrell, drily. "I wish the same were true of my furlough. Now I have to stick around for the trial of that dame; and I don't even know her name."

Under Secretary Lorimer got up from his chair. "Your furlough, my boy, is hereby extended for a month. And I'm going to get you a medal of some kind. I don't know yet what they give you boys."

Sam suddenly smiled. "Thanks for the furlough, sir. You can forget about the medal. I'll leave the day the trial is over."

"Not so fast, Commander," Lorimer said, his eyes twinkling. "Before you go off on your vacation, you've got another little job ahead of you. You're going to take me to the Naval Academy and explain to me all about paravanes!"


THE END