Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Storm Patrol" by Anonymous/Unknown

Storm Patrol

Jack Baxter, manager and star halfback for Calvert Military Academy's football team and president of the athletic association, faced his classmates and told them that he had been robbed of fifteen hundred dollars on the way to the bank from Saturday's game.

Cadet "Sourpuss" Barry said, "Killer Scaldone makes a jail break Friday. Saturday Baxter gets robbed. It's too pat."

He was booed down.

In the dormitory room that Jack shared with Bill Riker, Riker expressed his feelings. Jack Baxter told Bill to skip it.

"I know how you all feel. That's enough." He went over to the window. "It's sure raining."

At that moment the lights went out.

"Uh-oh," Jack said. "Power house. River must be over the flood point."

Their door was pushed open. Eddie Crane, adjutant from Major Yardley's office snapped, "Everybody out to help in the flood!"

Outside, the rain splashed knee high from the pavement. Jack had charge of a squad.

"Sourpuss, take the other side of the street as far as the First National Bank! Watch for broken store windows. Report any vandalism!"

"Yeah," snorted Sourpuss. "The dirty work." He disappeared in the shadows.

Baxter ordered a car off the street and returned to Bill Riker, when a muffled explosion broke through the storm.

"The bank!" he called to Bill. "Handle the traffic till I get back!"

But three shrill whistle blasts brought Bill up behind Jack.

"Sourpuss is calling for help! I'll go with you!"

Jack could see the dark forms of men near a parked car in front of the bank. There were two huddled over a third person that they were forcing into the rear of the car.

"They got him!" Jack said. Bill was now up beside him.

The two thugs got into the car and shot from the curb.

"Looks like Scaldone to me, Bill! The guy I tussled with over the game money. There's no cops till they get to the bridge. We can't phone and warn 'em because the lines are down!"

Across the street a coupe was parked.

"We're in luck, Bill! Major Yardley's car and the key is in it!"

Jack pressed down on the gas pedal. The town swept by like a gloomy black shadow.

"Tail light ahead!" Jack said.

Jack jammed the brake. On the road lay the cop who had been stationed at the bridge. Jack got out. From where he stood he could hear the swirling river. Already the car ahead was over the bridge, turning left up the road toward the dam.

"Help get him off the road, Bill! Those rats shot him and now they're going to blow up the dam!"

As the rear wheels of Jack's car bounced clear of the bridge, the black silhouette of the dam crumbled with a thunderous explosion. Jack wrenched the wheel and the car began the climb.

He kept on. The crooks became clearly defined in his headlights. Their guns barked and the windshield splintered. A bullet grazed Jack's cheek. He kept going, cut off the surprised shriek of the two thugs, trying vainly to jump clear of the streaking vehicle.

Later, Jack, half bewildered, held the check for twenty-five hundred dollars, reward for the capture of Killer Scaldone. He handed it to Major Yardley.

Sourpuss came to him and held his hand out. "You've an apology coming!"

Jack grinned. "Thanks, Sourpuss. We got our dough back and a fund for next year's athletics."

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