held it loosely by the barrel, and waited.
For five minutes the silence of the night was unbroken,
then from the east came a single shot, followed immediately by
a scattering fusillade and a chorus of hoarse cries.
Billy Byrne smiled. The sentry resumed indications of
quickness. From the barracks beyond the guardhouse came sharp
commands and the sounds of men running. From the opposite
end of the town the noise of battle welled up to ominous
Billy heard the soldiers stream from their quarters and a
moment later saw them trot up the street at the double.
Everyone was moving toward the opposite end of the town
except the lone sentinel before the guardhouse. The moment
seemed propitious for his attempt.
Billy peered around the corner of the guardhouse. Conditions
were just as he had pictured they would be. The sentry
stood gazing in the direction of the firing, his back toward the
guardhouse door and Billy.
With a bound the American cleared the space between
himself and the unsuspecting and unfortunate soldier. The butt
of the heavy revolver fell, almost noiselessly, upon the back of
the sentry's head, and the man sank to the ground without
even a moan.
Turning to the door Billy knocked the bar from its place,
the door swung in and Bridge slipped through to liberty.
"Quick!" said Billy. "Follow me," and turned at a rapid
run toward the south edge of the town. He made no effort
now to conceal his movements. Speed was the only essential,
and the two covered the ground swiftly and openly without
any attempt to take advantage of cover.<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>