Two Boys of the Battleship

Two Boys of the Battleship

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Excerpt: ...Ned stood at the ammunition hoist. A shrill whistle sounded in the turret. The officer in charge listened. "The range is thirteen thousand yards," he said. An observer in a crow's-nest on one of the masts had sent in this information. The target was just coming into view, and through the range-finder the distance was quickly computed. "Aye, aye, sir!" answered Frank in response to the officer. Then he bent down to peer through the telescope sight. "Can you see it?" asked the officer. "Not yet--there it is!" cried Frank, suddenly. "Fire when you sight it properly." There was a moment's hesitation. Then 106 Frank's finger pressed on the lever that would send the great projectile on its way. Such a crash followed that every one was deafened for a moment, in spite of the fact that every man in the turret stood on his toes to lessen the shock, and had his ears stuffed with cotton. The great gun recoiled, the back action being taken up by shock-absorbers, however. A sharp, acrid smell filled the turret. Smoke drifted in. Men staggered back and opened their mouths for air. It seemed as if ten thousand thunder claps had been made into one. Then came a silence. "Do you think you hit it?" asked Ned, and his voice sounded so strange, after the great crash, that nearly every one laughed. "Silence!" called the officer in charge. Again came a whistle through the speaking tube. "Yes!" answered the listening officer. "A hit? Good! You made a hit the first try!" he shouted to Frank. "Try again." Frank blushed with pleasure. But one would never have known that his cheeks reddened, for he was black with grease and oil, having been engaged in going over the mechanism before he made the shot. The smoke was gradually blackening every one. No sooner had the gun recoiled and moved 107 back into place again, than compressed air rushed automatically into the breech and barrel, to drive out any slow-burning pieces of powder...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 95g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236733819
  • 9781236733818