Tam o’ the Scoots

Produced by D Alexander and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

TAM O’ THE SCOOTS

By EDGAR WALLACE




 


 

A. L. BURT COMPANY
PUBLISHERS

New York Chicago

Printed in U. S. A.


Copyright, 1919

By SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY

(INCORPORATED)


BOOKS BY

ANGEL ESQUIRETHE HAIRY ARM
THE ANGEL OF TERRORJACK O’ JUDGMENT
THE BLACK ABBOTKATE PLUS 10
BLUE HANDA KING BY NIGHT
CAPTAINS OF SOULSTHE MAN WHO KNEW
THE CLEVER ONETHE MELODY OF DEATH
THE CLUE OF THE NEW PINTHE MISSING MILLIONS
THE CLUE OF THE TWISTED
CANDLE
THE MURDER BOOK OF J. G.
REEDER
THE CRIMSON CIRCLETHE NORTHING TRAMP
THE DAFFODIL MURDERTHE RINGER
THE DARK EYES OF LONDONTHE SECRET HOUSE
DIANA OF KARA-KARATHE SINISTER MAN
THE DOOR WITH SEVEN
LOCKS
THE SQUEALER
THE FACE IN THE NIGHTTHE STRANGE COUNTESS
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE
FROG
TAM O’ THE SCOOTS
THE FLYING SQUADTHE TERRIBLE PEOPLE
THE FOUR JUST MENTERROR KEEP
THE GIRL FROM SCOTLAND YARDTHE TRAITORS’ GATE
THE GREEN ARCHERTHE THREE JUST MEN
GREEN RUSTTHE TWISTER
GUNMAN’S BLUFFTHE VALLEY OF GHOSTS

To
QUENTIN ROOSEVELT

AND ALL AIRMEN, FRIEND AND FOE
ALIKE, WHO HAVE FALLEN IN CLEAN FIGHTING

The world was a puddle of gloom and of shadowy things, He sped till the red and the gold of invisible day Was burnish and flames to the undermost spread of his wings, So he outlighted the stars as he poised in the grey.
Nearer was he to the knowledge and splendour of God, Mysteries sealed from the ken of the ancient and wise— Beauties forbidden to those who are one with the clod— All that there was of the Truth was revealed to his eyes.
Flickers of fire from the void and the whistle of death, Clouds that snapped blackly beneath him, above and
beside,
Watch him, serene and uncaring—holding your breath, Fearing his peril and all that may come of his pride.
Now he was swooped to the world like a bird to his nest, Now is the drone of his coming the roaring of hell, Now with a splutter and crash are the engines at rest— All’s well! E. W.

CONTENTS

  PAGE
IThe Case of Lasky1
IIPuppies of the Pack21
IIIThe Coming of Müller40
IVThe Strafing of Müller58
VAnnie—the Gun76
VIThe Law-breaker and Frightfulness100
VIIThe Man Behind the Circus130
VIIIA Question of Rank157
IXA Reprisal Raid191
XThe Last Load220

TAM O’ THE SCOOTS

CHAPTER I

THE CASE OF LASKY

Lieutenant Bridgeman went out over the German line and “strafed” a depot. He stayed a while to locate a new gun position and was caught between three strong batteries of Archies.

“Reports?” said the wing commander. “Well, Bridgeman isn’t back and Tam said he saw him nose-dive behind the German trenches.”

So the report was made to Headquarters and Headquarters sent forward a long account of air flights for publication in the day’s communique, adding, “One of our machines did not return.”

“But, A’ doot if he’s killit,” said Tam; “he flattened oot before he reached airth an’ flew aroond a bit. Wi’ ye no ask Mr. Lasky, sir-r, he’s just in?”

Mr. Lasky was a bright-faced lad who, in ordinary circumstances, might have been looking forward to his leaving-book from Eton, but now had to his credit divers bombed dumps and three enemy airmen.

He met the brown-faced, red-haired, awkwardly built youth whom all the Flying Corps called “Tam.”

“Ah, Tam,” said Lasky reproachfully, “I was looking for you—I wanted you badly.”

Tam chuckled.

“A’ thocht so,” he said, “but A’ wis not so far frae the aerodrome when yon feller chased you—”

“I was chasing him!” said the indignant Lasky.

“Oh, ay?” replied the other skeptically. “An’ was ye wantin’ the Scoot to help ye chase ain puir wee Hoon? Sir-r, A’ think shame on ye for misusin’ the puir laddie.”

“There were four,” protested Lasky.

“And yeer gun jammed, A’m thinkin’, so wi’ rair presence o’ mind, ye stood oop in the fuselage an’ hit the nairest representative of the Imperial Gairman Air Sairvice a crack over the heid wi’ a spanner.”

A little group began to form at the door of the mess-room, for the news that Tam the Scoot was “up” was always sufficient to attract an audience. As for the victim of Tam’s irony, his eyes were dancing with glee.

“Dismayed or frichtened by this apparition of the supermon i’ the air-r,” continued Tam in the monotonous tone he adopted when he was evolving one of his romances, “the enemy fled, emittin’ spairks an’ vapair to hide them from the veegilant ee o’ young Mr. Lasky, the Boy Avenger, oor the Terror o’ the Fairmament. They darted heether and theether wi’ their remorseless pairsuer on their heels an’ the seenister sound of his bullets whistlin’ in their lugs. Ain by ain the enemy is defeated, fa’ing like Lucifer in a flamin’ shrood. Soodenly Mr. Lasky turns verra pale. Heavens! A thocht has strook him. Where is Tam the Scoot? The horror o’ the thocht leaves him braithless; an’ back he tairns an’ like a hawk deeps sweeftly but gracefully into the aerodrome—saved!”

“Bravo, Tam!” They gave him his due reward with great handclapping and Tam bowed left and right, his forage cap in his hand.

“Folks,” he said, “ma next pairformance will be duly annoonced.”


Tam came from the Clyde. He was not a ship-builder, but was the assistant of a man who ran a garage and did small repairs. Nor was he, in the accepted sense of the word, a patriot, because he did not enlist at the beginning of the war. His boss suggested he should, but Tam apparently held other views, went into a shipyard and was “badged and reserved.”

They combed him out of that, and he went to another factory, making a false statement to secure the substitution of the badge he had lost. He was unmarried and had none dependent on him, and his landlord, who had two sons fighting, suggested to Tam that though he’d hate to lose a good lodger, he didn’t think the country ought to lose a good soldier.

Tam changed his lodgings.

Pages: First | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | ... | Next → | Last | Single Page