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   Chapter 12 THE SNIPER-HUNT

At Suvla Bay By John Hargrave Characters: 2302

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


He lay flat under a huge rock. I left the stretcher-squads, and, crawling behind a bush, looked through the glasses. It certainly was a Turk, and his position was one of hiding. He kept perfectly motionless on his stomach and his rifle lay by his side.

I sent a message to pass the word up to the leading squads for Hawk. Quickly he came down to me and took the glasses. He had wonderful sight. After looking for a few seconds he agreed that it looked like a Turkish sniper lying in wait.

"Let's go and see, anyway," said I.

"Chance it?"

"Yes."

"Righto."

Hawk led the way down into the thorn-bushes and dried-up plants. I followed close at his heels. We crouched as we went and kept well under cover. Hawk took a semicircular route, which I could see would ultimately bring us out by the side of the rock under which the sniper hid.

Now we caught a glimpse of the little dark figure-then we plunged deeper into the rank willow-growth and bore round to the right.

Hawk unslung the great jack-knife which hung round his waist and silently opened the gleaming blade. I did the same.

"I'll surprise him; you can leave it to me t

o get in a good slash," said Hawk, and I saw the great muscles of his miner's arms tighten. "But if he gets one in on me," he whispered, "be ready with your knife at the back of his neck."

A few steps farther brought us suddenly upon the rock and the sniper. Hawk was immediately in front of me, and his arm was held back ready for a mighty blow. He stood perfectly still looking at the rock, and I watched his muscles relax.

"See it?" he said.

"What?"

"Dead."

There was the Turk-a great heat-swollen figure stinking in the sunshine. As I moved forward a swarm of green and black flies, which had been feeding on his face and crawling up his nostrils, went up in a humming, buzzing cloud.

A bit of wood lying near had looked like his rifle from a distance; and now we saw that, instead of lying on his stomach, he was lying on his back, and looked as if he had been killed by shrapnel.

"Putrid stink," said I; "come on-let's clear out."

And so our sniper-hunt led to nothing but a dead Turk stewing in the glaring sunshine. We rejoined the squads. No one had missed us. This first day was destined to be one of many adventures.

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