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   Chapter 14 SAVING AN ENEMY.

Frank Merriwell's Nobility; Or, The Tragedy of the Ocean Tramp By Burt L. Standish Characters: 3263

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

In truth, there was a fire in the "Eagle's" hold. The captain and the crew seemed perfectly panic-stricken. The thought of the explosion that might come any moment seemed to rob them of all reason.

Frank Merriwell and his friends rushed out of the smoking-room.

The hold had been opened in an attempt to get water onto the flames. Smoke was rolling up from the opening.

"Close down the hatch!" shouted somebody. "It is producing a draft, and that helps the fire along!"

Then faint cries came from the hold-cries of a human being in danger and distress!

"It's Harris!" exclaimed Diamond. "He is down there, and his time has come at last!"

"A rope!" shouted Frank Merriwell, flinging off his coat.

"What are you going to do?" demanded Bruce Browning.

"By heavens! I am going down there and try to bring Harris out!"

"You're a fool!" chattered Harry Rattleton. "Think of the oil and powder down there! The stuff is liable to explode any moment! You shall not go!"

Frank saw a coil of rope at a distance. He rushed for it, brought it to the hold, let an end drop and dangle into the darkness from whence the smoke rolled up.

"You are crazy!" roared Bruce Browning, attempting to get hold of Frank. "I refuse to let you go down there!"

"Don't put your hands on me, Browning!" cried Frank. "If you do, I shall knock you down!"

They saw that he meant just what he said. He would not be stopped then. Bruce Browning, giant that he was, felt that he would be no match for Frank then.

The rope was made fast, and down into the smoke and darkness slid Frank, disappearing from view.

Barely had he d

one so when some sailors came rushing forward and attempted to close the hatch.

"Hold on!" thundered Browning. "You can't do that now!"

"Get out of the way!" commanded one of them, who seemed to be an officer. "We must close this hatch to hold the fire in check long enough for the boats to be lowered."

"A friend of mine has gone down there. You can't close it till he comes out!"

"To blazes with your friend!" snarled the man. "What business had he to go down there? If he's gone, he will have to stay there. His life does not count against all the others."

Then, under his directions the men started to close the hatch.

Browning sailed into them. He was aroused to his full extent by the thought of what would happen if the hatch was closed and Frank was shut down there with the fire and smoke. He knocked them aside, he hurled them away as if they were children. They could not stand before him for an instant.

There was a cry from below.

"Pull away, up there!"

It was Frank's voice.

Willing hands seized the rope. There was a heavy weight at the end of it. They dragged the weight up, with the smoke rolling into their faces in a cloud that grew denser and denser.

And up through the smoke came Sport Harris, irons and all, with the ends of the rope tied about his waist!

Frank had found Harris, and here the fellow was.

They untied the rope from Sport's waist in a hurry. Then they lowered it again.

"Pull away!"

Frank Merriwell was dragged up through the smoke.

"Now," said Browning, "down goes the hatch!"

And it was slammed into place in a hurry, holding the smoke back.

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