As they rode down the mountain lane, Jane rejoiced at the darkness that hid her face, both from Fleck and from Frederic on the seat behind. Now that there was no activity to distract her maddening thoughts once more paced in turmoil through her brain. She loved this man, and she was leading him to disgrace and death. She hated and despised him. He was a treacherous, dangerous enemy of her country whom she had helped to trap, and she was glad, glad, glad. No, no! She wasn't glad. She loved him. He had given her that sealed packet and had charged her to keep it for him. He couldn't be all bad. Why must she love him? Her mind told her he was a criminal, an enemy, a spy, a murderer, yet her wilful heart insisted that she loved him. How strange life was! She and Frederic loved each other. Why could they not marry and be happy? Why was War?
Why must nations fight? Why must people hate each other? Was the whole world mad? Was she going mad herself?
Slowly and carefully, Fleck, with his lights on full, had steered the automobile down the narrow roadway through the woods. He had just turned the car safely into the main road, and stopped to look back to see how closely the other cars were following. Suddenly from the wayside a dozen men in uniform sprang up, the glint of their guns made visible by the automobile lights.
"Halt," cried a voice of authority.
The one glimpse he had caught of the uniform had conveyed to Fleck the welcome fact that the party surrounding him were Americans--cavalry troopers.
"Chief Fleck," he announced, by way of identification. "Who are you?"
A tall figure in officer's clothes sprang up on the running board and peered into Fleck's face.
"Thank God, Chief," he said, "that it's you."
"Colonel Brook-White," cried Fleck in amazement, recognizing the voice as that of one of the officers in charge of the British Government's Intelligence Service in America. "What are you doing here?"
"Trying to round up some bally German spies," explained Brook-White.
"I've beaten you to it," cried Fleck, with a note of triumph in his tone. "I've got them all here in shackles."
"Good," said Brook-White delightedly. "I was fearful I'd be too late.
There was delay in getting a message to me. As soon as I had it, I tried to reach you and couldn't. I dared not wait but dashed up here in my car. I knew there were some American troopers camped near here, and I persuaded the commander to detail some of his men to help me. Did you really capture the Hoff chap, old Otto?"