Those were anxious days, during which I had but little opportunity t_ssociate with Lys. I had given her the commander's room, Bradley and I takin_hat of the deck-officer, while Olson and two of our best men occupied th_oom ordinarily allotted to petty officers. I made Nobs' bed down in Lys'
room, for I knew she would feel less alone.
Nothing of much moment occurred for a while after we left British water_ehind us. We ran steadily along upon the surface, making good time. The firs_wo boats we sighted made off as fast as they could go; and the third, a hug_reighter, fired on us, forcing us to submerge. It was after this that ou_roubles commenced. One of the Diesel engines broke down in the morning, an_hile we were working on it, the forward port diving-tank commenced to fill. _as on deck at the time and noted the gradual list. Guessing at once what wa_appening, I leaped for the hatch and slamming it closed above my head, dropped to the centrale. By this time the craft was going down by the hea_ith a most unpleasant list to port, and I didn't wait to transmit orders t_ome one else but ran as fast as I could for the valve that let the sea int_he forward port diving-tank. It was wide open. To close it and to have th_ump started that would empty it were the work of but a minute; but we had ha_ close call.
I knew that the valve had never opened itself. Some one had opened it—some on_ho was willing to die himself if he might at the same time encompass th_eath of all of us.
After that I kept a guard pacing the length of the narrow craft. We worke_pon the engine all that day and night and half the following day. Most of th_ime we drifted idly upon the surface, but toward noon we sighted smoke du_est, and having found that only enemies inhabited the world for us, I ordere_hat the other engine be started so that we could move out of the path of th_ncoming steamer. The moment the engine started to turn, however, there was _rinding sound of tortured steel, and when it had been stopped, we found tha_ome one had placed a cold-chisel in one of the gears.
It was another two days before we were ready to limp along, half repaired. Th_ight before the repairs were completed, the sentry came to my room and awok_e. He was rather an intelligent fellow of the English middle class, in whom _ad much confidence.
"Well, Wilson," I asked. "What's the matter now?"
He raised his finger to his lips and came closer to me. "I think I've foun_ut who's doin' the mischief," he whispered, and nodded his head toward th_irl's room. "I seen her sneakin' from the crew's room just now," he went on.
"She'd been in gassin' wit' the boche commander. Benson seen her in there las'
night, too, but he never said nothin' till I goes on watch tonight. Benson'_orter slow in the head, an' he never puts two an' two together till some on_lse has made four out of it."
If the man had come in and struck me suddenly in the face, I could have bee_o more surprised.
"Say nothing of this to anyone," I ordered. "Keep your eyes and ears open an_eport every suspicious thing you see or hear."
The man saluted and left me; but for an hour or more I tossed, restless, upo_y hard bunk in an agony of jealousy and fear. Finally I fell into a trouble_leep. It was daylight when I awoke. We were steaming along slowly upon th_urface, my orders having been to proceed at half speed until we could take a_bservation and determine our position. The sky had been overcast all th_revious day and all night; but as I stepped into the centrale that morning _as delighted to see that the sun was again shining. The spirits of the me_eemed improved; everything seemed propitious. I forgot at once the crue_isgivings of the past night as I set to work to take my observations.
What a blow awaited me! The sextant and chronometer had both been broke_eyond repair, and they had been broken just this very night. They had bee_roken upon the night that Lys had been seen talking with von Schoenvorts. _hink that it was this last thought which hurt me the worst. I could look th_ther disaster in the face with equanimity; but the bald fact that Lys migh_e a traitor appalled me.
I called Bradley and Olson on deck and told them what had happened, but fo_he life of me I couldn't bring myself to repeat what Wilson had reported t_e the previous night. In fact, as I had given the matter thought, it seeme_ncredible that the girl could have passed through my room, in which Bradle_nd I slept, and then carried on a conversation in the crew's room, in whic_on Schoenvorts was kept, without having been seen by more than a single man.
Bradley shook his head. "I can't make it out," he said. "One of those boche_ust be pretty clever to come it over us all like this; but they haven'_armed us as much as they think; there are still the extra instruments."
It was my turn now to shake a doleful head. "There are no extra instruments,"
I told them. "They too have disappeared as did the wireless apparatus."
Both men looked at me in amazement. "We still have the compass and the sun,"
said Olson. "They may be after getting the compass some night; but they's to_any of us around in the daytime fer 'em to get the sun."
It was then that one of the men stuck his head up through the hatchway an_eeing me, asked permission to come on deck and get a breath of fresh air. _ecognized him as Benson, the man who, Wilson had said, reported having see_ys with von Schoenvorts two nights before. I motioned him on deck and the_alled him to one side, asking if he had seen anything out of the way o_nusual during his trick on watch the night before. The fellow scratched hi_ead a moment and said, "No," and then as though it was an afterthought, h_old me that he had seen the girl in the crew's room about midnight talkin_ith the German commander, but as there hadn't seemed to him to be any harm i_hat, he hadn't said anything about it. Telling him never to fail to report t_e anything in the slightest out of the ordinary routine of the ship, _ismissed him.
Several of the other men now asked permission to come on deck, and soon al_ut those actually engaged in some necessary duty were standing around smokin_nd talking, all in the best of spirits. I took advantage of the absence o_he men upon the deck to go below for my breakfast, which the cook was alread_reparing upon the electric stove. Lys, followed by Nobs, appeared as _ntered the centrale. She met me with a pleasant "Good morning!" which I a_fraid I replied to in a tone that was rather constrained and surly.
"Will you breakfast with me?" I suddenly asked the girl, determined t_ommence a probe of my own along the lines which duty demanded.
She nodded a sweet acceptance of my invitation, and together we sat down a_he little table of the officers' mess. "You slept well last night?" I asked.
"All night," she replied. "I am a splendid sleeper."
Her manner was so straightforward and honest that I could not bring myself t_elieve in her duplicity; yet—Thinking to surprise her into a betrayal of he_uilt, I blurted out: "The chronometer and sextant were both destroyed las_ight; there is a traitor among us." But she never turned a hair by way o_videncing guilty knowledge of the catastrophe.
"Who could it have been?" she cried. "The Germans would be crazy to do it, fo_heir lives are as much at stake as ours."
"Men are often glad to die for an ideal—an ideal of patriotism, perhaps," _eplied; "and a willingness to martyr themselves includes a willingness t_acrifice others, even those who love them. Women are much the same, excep_hat they will go even further than most men—they will sacrifice everything, even honor, for love."
I watched her face carefully as I spoke, and I thought that I detected a ver_aint flush mounting her cheek. Seeing an opening and an advantage, I sough_o follow it up.
"Take von Schoenvorts, for instance," I continued: "he would doubtless be gla_o die and take us all with him, could he prevent in no other way the fallin_f his vessel into enemy hands. He would sacrifice anyone, even you; and i_ou still love him, you might be his ready tool. Do you understand me?"
She looked at me in wide-eyed consternation for a moment, and then she wen_ery white and rose from her seat. "I do," she replied, and turning her bac_pon me, she walked quickly toward her room. I started to follow, for eve_elieving what I did, I was sorry that I had hurt her. I reached the door t_he crew's room just behind her and in time to see von Schoenvorts lea_orward and whisper something to her as she passed; but she must have guesse_hat she might be watched, for she passed on.
That afternoon it clouded over; the wind mounted to a gale, and the sea ros_ntil the craft was wallowing and rolling frightfully. Nearly everyone aboar_as sick; the air became foul and oppressive. For twenty-four hours I did no_eave my post in the conning tower, as both Olson and Bradley were sick.
Finally I found that I must get a little rest, and so I looked about for som_ne to relieve me. Benson volunteered. He had not been sick, and assured m_hat he was a former R.N. man and had been detailed for submarine duty fo_ver two years. I was glad that it was he, for I had considerable confidenc_n his loyalty, and so it was with a feeling of security that I went below an_ay down.
I slept twelve hours straight, and when I awoke and discovered what I ha_one, I lost no time in getting to the conning tower. There sat Benson as wid_wake as could be, and the compass showed that we were heading straight int_he west. The storm was still raging; nor did it abate its fury until th_ourth day. We were all pretty well done up and looked forward to the tim_hen we could go on deck and fill our lungs with fresh air. During the whol_our days I had not seen the girl, as she evidently kept closely to her room; and during this time no untoward incident had occurred aboard the boat—a fac_hich seemed to strengthen the web of circumstantial evidence about her.
For six more days after the storm lessened we still had fairly rough weather; nor did the sun once show himself during all that time. For the season—it wa_ow the middle of June—the storm was unusual; but being from souther_alifornia, I was accustomed to unusual weather. In fact, I have discovere_hat the world over, unusual weather prevails at all times of the year.
We kept steadily to our westward course, and as the U-33 was one of th_astest submersibles we had ever turned out, I knew that we must be prett_lose to the North American coast. What puzzled me most was the fact that fo_ix days we had not sighted a single ship. It seemed remarkable that we coul_ross the Atlantic almost to the coast of the American continent withou_limpsing smoke or sail, and at last I came to the conclusion that we were wa_ff our course, but whether to the north or to the south of it I could no_etermine.
On the seventh day the sea lay comparatively calm at early dawn. There was _light haze upon the ocean which had cut off our view of the stars; bu_onditions all pointed toward a clear morrow, and I was on deck anxiousl_waiting the rising of the sun. My eyes were glued upon the impenetrable mis_stern, for there in the east I should see the first glow of the rising su_hat would assure me we were still upon the right course. Gradually th_eavens lightened; but astern I could see no intenser glow that would indicat_he rising sun behind the mist. Bradley was standing at my side. Presently h_ouched my arm.
"Look, captain," he said, and pointed south.
I looked and gasped, for there directly to port I saw outlined through th_aze the red top of the rising sun. Hurrying to the tower, I looked at th_ompass. It showed that we were holding steadily upon our westward course.
Either the sun was rising in the south, or the compass had been tampered with.
The conclusion was obvious.
I went back to Bradley and told him what I had discovered. "And," I concluded,
"we can't make another five hundred knots without oil; our provisions ar_unning low and so is our water. God only knows how far south we have run."
"There is nothing to do," he replied, "other than to alter our course onc_ore toward the west; we must raise land soon or we shall all be lost."
I told him to do so; and then I set to work improvising a crude sextant wit_hich we finally took our bearings in a rough and most unsatisfactory manner; for when the work was done, we did not know how far from the truth the resul_ight be. It showed us to be about 20' north and 30' west—nearly twenty-fiv_undred miles off our course. In short, if our reading was anywhere nea_orrect, we must have been traveling due south for six days. Bradley no_elieved Benson, for we had arranged our shifts so that the latter and Olso_ow divided the nights, while Bradley and I alternated with one another durin_he days.
I questioned both Olson and Benson closely in the matter of the compass; bu_ach stoutly maintained that no one had tampered with it during his tour o_uty. Benson gave me a knowing smile, as much as to say: "Well, you and I kno_ho did this." Yet I could not believe that it was the girl.
We kept to our westerly course for several hours when the lookout's cr_nnounced a sail. I ordered the U-33's course altered, and we bore down upo_he stranger, for I had come to a decision which was the result of necessity.
We could not lie there in the middle of the Atlantic and starve to death i_here was any way out of it. The sailing ship saw us while we were still _ong way off, as was evidenced by her efforts to escape. There was scarcel_ny wind, however, and her case was hopeless; so when we drew near an_ignaled her to stop, she came into the wind and lay there with her sail_lapping idly. We moved in quite close to her. She was the Balmen of Halmstad, Sweden, with a general cargo from Brazil for Spain.
I explained our circumstances to her skipper and asked for food, water an_il; but when he found that we were not German, he became very angry an_busive and started to draw away from us; but I was in no mood for any suc_usiness. Turning toward Bradley, who was in the conning-tower, I snapped out:
"Gun-service on deck! To the diving stations!" We had no opportunity fo_rill; but every man had been posted as to his duties, and the German member_f the crew understood that it was obedience or death for them, as each wa_ccompanied by a man with a pistol. Most of them, though, were only too gla_o obey me.
Bradley passed the order down into the ship and a moment later the gun-cre_lambered up the narrow ladder and at my direction trained their piece upo_he slow-moving Swede. "Fire a shot across her bow," I instructed the gun- captain.
Accept it from me, it didn't take that Swede long to see the error of his wa_nd get the red and white pennant signifying "I understand" to the masthead.
Once again the sails flapped idly, and then I ordered him to lower a boat an_ome after me. With Olson and a couple of the Englishmen I boarded the ship, and from her cargo selected what we needed—oil, provisions and water. I gav_he master of the Balmen a receipt for what we took, together with a_ffidavit signed by Bradley, Olson, and myself, stating briefly how we ha_ome into possession of the U-33 and the urgency of our need for what we took.
We addressed both to any British agent with the request that the owners of th_almen be reimbursed; but whether or not they were, I do not know. 
 Late in July, 1916, an item in the shipping news mentioned a Swedis_ailing vessel, Balmen, Rio de Janiero to Barcelona, sunk by a German raide_ometime in June. A single survivor in an open boat was picked up off the Cap_erde Islands, in a dying condition. He expired without giving any details.
With water, food, and oil aboard, we felt that we had obtained a new lease o_ife. Now, too, we knew definitely where we were, and I determined to make fo_eorgetown, British Guiana—but I was destined to again suffer bitte_isappointment.
Six of us of the loyal crew had come on deck either to serve the gun or boar_he Swede during our set-to with her; and now, one by one, we descended th_adder into the centrale. I was the last to come, and when I reached th_ottom, I found myself looking into the muzzle of a pistol in the hands o_aron Friedrich von Schoenvorts—I saw all my men lined up at one side with th_emaining eight Germans standing guard over them.
I couldn't imagine how it had happened; but it had. Later I learned that the_ad first overpowered Benson, who was asleep in his bunk, and taken his pisto_rom him, and then had found it an easy matter to disarm the cook and th_emaining two Englishmen below. After that it had been comparatively simple t_tand at the foot of the ladder and arrest each individual as he descended.
The first thing von Schoenvorts did was to send for me and announce that as _irate I was to be shot early the next morning. Then he explained that th_-33 would cruise in these waters for a time, sinking neutral and enem_hipping indiscriminately, and looking for one of the German raiders that wa_upposed to be in these parts.
He didn't shoot me the next morning as he had promised, and it has never bee_lear to me why he postponed the execution of my sentence. Instead he kept m_roned just as he had been; then he kicked Bradley out of my room and took i_ll to himself.
We cruised for a long time, sinking many vessels, all but one by gunfire, bu_e did not come across a German raider. I was surprised to note that vo_choenvorts often permitted Benson to take command; but I reconciled this b_he fact that Benson appeared to know more of the duties of a submarin_ommander than did any of the Stupid Germans.
Once or twice Lys passed me; but for the most part she kept to her room. Th_irst time she hesitated as though she wished to speak to me; but I did no_aise my head, and finally she passed on. Then one day came the word that w_ere about to round the Horn and that von Schoenvorts had taken it into hi_ool head to cruise up along the Pacific coast of North America and prey upo_ll sorts and conditions of merchantmen.
"I'll put the fear of God and the Kaiser into them," he said.
The very first day we entered the South Pacific we had an adventure. It turne_ut to be quite the most exciting adventure I had ever encountered. It fel_bout this way. About eight bells of the forenoon watch I heard a hail fro_he deck, and presently the footsteps of the entire ship's company, from th_mount of noise I heard at the ladder. Some one yelled back to those who ha_ot yet reached the level of the deck: "It's the raider, the German raide_eier!"
I saw that we had reached the end of our rope. Below all was quiet—not a ma_emained. A door opened at the end of the narrow hull, and presently Nobs cam_rotting up to me. He licked my face and rolled over on his back, reaching fo_e with his big, awkward paws. Then other footsteps sounded, approaching me. _new whose they were, and I looked straight down at the flooring. The girl wa_oming almost at a run—she was at my side immediately. "Here!" she cried.
"Quick!" And she slipped something into my hand. It was a key—the key to m_rons. At my side she also laid a pistol, and then she went on into th_entrale. As she passed me, I saw that she carried another pistol for herself.
It did not take me long to liberate myself, and then I was at her side. "Ho_an I thank you?" I started; but she shut me up with a word.
"Do not thank me," she said coldly. "I do not care to hear your thanks or an_ther expression from you. Do not stand there looking at me. I have given yo_ chance to do something—now do it!" The last was a peremptory command tha_ade me jump.
Glancing up, I saw that the tower was empty, and I lost no time in clamberin_p, looking about me. About a hundred yards off lay a small, swift cruiser- raider, and above her floated the German man-of-war's flag. A boat had jus_een lowered, and I could see it moving toward us filled with officers an_en. The cruiser lay dead ahead. "My," I thought, "what a wonderful targ—" _topped even thinking, so surprised and shocked was I by the boldness of m_magery. The girl was just below me. I looked down on her wistfully. Could _rust her? Why had she released me at this moment? I must! I must! There wa_o other way. I dropped back below. "Ask Olson to step down here, please," _equested; "and don't let anyone see you ask him."
She looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face for the barest fractio_f a second, and then she turned and went up the ladder. A moment later Olso_eturned, and the girl followed him. "Quick!" I whispered to the big Irishman, and made for the bow compartment where the torpedo-tubes are built into th_oat; here, too, were the torpedoes. The girl accompanied us, and when she sa_he thing I had in mind, she stepped forward and lent a hand to the swingin_f the great cylinder of death and destruction into the mouth of its tube.
With oil and main strength we shoved the torpedo home and shut the tube; the_ ran back to the conning-tower, praying in my heart of hearts that the U-3_ad not swung her bow away from the prey. No, thank God!
Never could aim have been truer. I signaled back to Olson: "Let 'er go!" Th_-33 trembled from stem to stern as the torpedo shot from its tube. I saw th_hite wake leap from her bow straight toward the enemy cruiser. A chorus o_oarse yells arose from the deck of our own craft: I saw the officers stan_uddenly erect in the boat that was approaching us, and I heard loud cries an_urses from the raider. Then I turned my attention to my own business. Most o_he men on the submarine's deck were standing in paralyzed fascination, staring at the torpedo. Bradley happened to be looking toward the conning- tower and saw me. I sprang on deck and ran toward him. "Quick!" I whispered.
"While they are stunned, we must overcome them."
A German was standing near Bradley—just in front of him. The Englishman struc_he fellow a frantic blow upon the neck and at the same time snatched hi_istol from its holster. Von Schoenvorts had recovered from his first surpris_uickly and had turned toward the main hatch to investigate. I covered hi_ith my revolver, and at the same instant the torpedo struck the raider, th_errific explosion drowning the German's command to his men.
Bradley was now running from one to another of our men, and though some of th_ermans saw and heard him, they seemed too stunned for action.
Olson was below, so that there were only nine of us against eight Germans, fo_he man Bradley had struck still lay upon the deck. Only two of us were armed; but the heart seemed to have gone out of the boches, and they put up but half- hearted resistance. Von Schoenvorts was the worst—he was fairly frenzied wit_age and chagrin, and he came charging for me like a mad bull, and as he cam_e discharged his pistol. If he'd stopped long enough to take aim, he migh_ave gotten me; but his pace made him wild, so that not a shot touched me, an_hen we clinched and went to the deck. This left two pistols, which two of m_wn men were quick to appropriate. The Baron was no match for me in a hand-to- hand encounter, and I soon had him pinned to the deck and the life almos_hoked out of him.
A half-hour later things had quieted down, and all was much the same as befor_he prisoners had revolted—only we kept a much closer watch on vo_choenvorts. The Geier had sunk while we were still battling upon our deck, and afterward we had drawn away toward the north, leaving the survivors to th_ttention of the single boat which had been making its way toward us whe_lson launched the torpedo. I suppose the poor devils never reached land, an_f they did, they most probably perished on that cold and unhospitable shore; but I couldn't permit them aboard the U-33. We had all the Germans we coul_ake care of.
That evening the girl asked permission to go on deck. She said that she fel_he effects of long confinement below, and I readily granted her request. _ould not understand her, and I craved an opportunity to talk with her agai_n an effort to fathom her and her intentions, and so I made it a point t_ollow her up the ladder. It was a clear, cold, beautiful night. The sea wa_alm except for the white water at our bows and the two long radiating swell_unning far off into the distance upon either hand astern, forming a great _hich our propellers filled with choppy waves. Benson was in the tower, w_ere bound for San Diego and all looked well.
Lys stood with a heavy blanket wrapped around her slender figure, and as _pproached her, she half turned toward me to see who it was. When sh_ecognized me, she immediately turned away.
"I want to thank you," I said, "for your bravery and loyalty—you wer_agnificent. I am sorry that you had reason before to think that I doubte_ou."
"You did doubt me," she replied in a level voice. "You practically accused m_f aiding Baron von Schoenvorts. I can never forgive you."
There was a great deal of finality in both her words and tone.
"I could not believe it," I said; "and yet two of my men reported having see_ou in conversation with von Schoenvorts late at night upon two separat_ccasions—after each of which some great damage was found done us in th_orning. I didn't want to doubt you; but I carried all the responsibility o_he lives of these men, of the safety of the ship, of your life and mine. _ad to watch you, and I had to put you on your guard against a repetition o_our madness."
She was looking at me now with those great eyes of hers, very wide and round.
"Who told you that I spoke with Baron von Schoenvorts at night, or any othe_ime?" she asked.
"I cannot tell you, Lys," I replied, "but it came to me from two differen_ources."
"Then two men have lied," she asserted without heat. "I have not spoken t_aron von Schoenvorts other than in your presence when first we came aboar_he U-33. And please, when you address me, remember that to others than m_ntimates I am Miss La Rue."
Did you ever get slapped in the face when you least expected it? No? Well, then you do not know how I felt at that moment. I could feel the hot, re_lush surging up my neck, across my cheeks, over my ears, clear to my scalp.
And it made me love her all the more; it made me swear inwardly a thousan_olemn oaths that I would win her.