The terrifying suspicion that there had been some uninvited spectator outside, listening to their plotting, swept over the whole room. The whole company, hearing the sound that had alarmed old Hoff, arose as one man and stood tensed, stupefied with fear, gazing white-faced in the direction from which the sound had come.
Fleck, rudely brushing Jane aside, dropped back from the window and blew a sharp blast with a whistle. At the sound his men came running up with their rifles ready.
Inside, the man called Hans, seizing an electric torch, dashed to the door, and pulling it wide, rushed forth, his torch lighting the way before him. Before he even had time to see the men gathering there and cry an alarm, a blow from the butt of Carter's revolver stretched him senseless on the stoop.
"In the name of the United States I command you to surrender," cried Fleck, springing boldly into the open doorway, revolver in hand; "the house is surrounded."
Instantly all within the room was confusion. Some of those nearest the door, seeing behind Fleck the protruding muzzles of the guns, promptly threw up their hands in token of surrender. Others bolted madly for the front door, only to find their egress there blocked by the rifles in the hands of the guard that Fleck had had the foresight to station there.
Old Otto, the pallor of fear on his face giving away to an expression of demoniac rage, drew a revolver and aimed it straight at Fleck. Jane, who unbidden had followed the raiders as they entered and now was standing wide-eyed in the doorway watching the spectacle, was the only one to see that just as old Otto pulled the trigger his nephew, whether by accident or design, she could not tell, jostled his arm, sending the bullet wide of its mark.
"Come on, men," cried Fleck, advancing boldly into the room.
Eight of the Germans, piteously bleating "Kamerad" stood against the wall near the door, their hands stretched high above their heads.
"Guard these men, Dean," cried Fleck, as with Carter close at his side he dashed into the fray.
One man already lay senseless outside, eight had surrendered. Four had fled to the front of the house. That left only the two Hoffs and one other man against five of them. It was Fleck's intention to try to overpower the trio before the four who had fled returned to aid them.
Jane, amazed at her own coolness, stood beside Dean, her revolver out, helping him guard the prisoners.
Frederic all the while had been standing by his uncle's side, strangely enough appearing to take little interest or part in the battle. Old Otto, though, despite his years, was fighting with vigor enough to require both the work of Fleck and Carter to subdue him. Vainly he struggled to wrench himself free from their grasp and use his revolver again. Fleck's strength pulling loose his fingers from the weapon was too much for him. As he felt himself being disarmed, in a frenzy he tore himself loose from both of them and seizing a chair, swung it with all his strength against the hanging lamp above the table that supplied the only light in the room.