The Submarine Boys for the Flag

The Submarine Boys for the Flag

Victor G. Durham

Young Adult

CHAPTER I "DO YOU SPEAK GERMAN?" "Hey, there, Mister!" called out Jabez Holt, from one of the two office windows in the little hotel at Dunhaven. As there was only one other man in the office, that other man guessed that he might be the one addressed. With a slight German accent the stranger, who was well-dressed, and looked like a prosperous as well as an educated man, turned and demanded: "You are calling me?" "I reckon," nodded Jabez. "Then my name is Herr Professor—" "Hair professor?" repeated Jabez Holt, a bit of astonishment showing in his wrinkled old face. "Hair professor? Barber, eh? Why, I thought you was a traveler. But hurry up over here—do you hear me?" "My good man," began the German, stiffly, drawing himself up to his full six-foot-one, "it is not often I am affronted by being addressed so—" "There! He\'ll be outer sight in another minute, while you are arguin\' about your dignity!" muttered Holt. "And that\'s the feller you said you wanted to see—Jack Benson." "Benson?" cried the German, forgetting his outraged dignity and springing forward. "Benson?" "That\'s him—almost up to the corner," nodded Landlord Jabez Holt. "Run out and bring him back with you," directed Herr Professor Radberg."Be quick!" "Waal, I guess you\'re spryer\'n I be," returned old Jabez, with a shrewd look at his guest. "Besides, it\'s you that wants the boy." Running back and snatching up his hat, Professor Radberg made for the street without further argument. Moving along hastily, the German soon came in sight of young Captain JackBenson, of the Pollard Submarine Torpedo Boat Company. "Ach, there! Herr Benson!" shouted the Professor. Hearing the hail, Jack Benson turned, then halted. "You are Herr Benson, are you not?" demanded Professor Radberg, as soon as he got close enough. "Benson is my name," nodded Jack, pleasantly. "Then come back to the hotel with me." "You are a foreigner, aren\'t you?" asked Jack, surveying the stranger coolly. "I am German," replied Radberg, in a tone of surprise. "I thought so," nodded the boy. "That is, I didn\'t know from what country you came. But, in this country, when we ask a favor of a stranger, we usually say \'please.\'" "I am Herr Professor—" "Oh, barbers are just as polite as other folks," Jack assured him, his laughing eyes resting on the somewhat bewildered-looking face of the German. "Then please, Herr Benson, come back to the hotel with me." "Yes; if it\'s really necessary. But why do you want to go to the hotel?" "Because, Herr Benson, when we are there, I shall have much of importance to say to you." "Important to me, or to you?" asked Jack, thoughtfully. He had no intention of answering a much older man disrespectfully. But there was about Herr Radberg the air of a man who expects his greatness to be recognized at a glance, and who demands obedience from common people as a right. This sort of thing didn\'t fit well with the American boy. "Oh, it is important to you, and very much so," urged the Professor, somewhat more anxiously....
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