The Silent Command

1
---- through the Panama
Canal!

One of the greatest
engineering feats in
history -- a monument
to Roosevelt, Goethals
and Gorgas that shall
endure forever!

2
 With the Canal's
vast strategic and 
commercial importance,
it would be surprising
indeed if the United
States were not the
envy of some ambitious
foreign powers --

3
---- for, obviously, the
Canal, by making it
possible for the Atlantic
and Pacific Fleets to
join, has doubled the
United States Navy:-
without it, the Navy 
would be cut in
two.

4
  At Gatun Lock.

Foreign agents, in 
the guise of sugar 
     planters.

5
Benedict Hisston, a
sinister figure in
international intrigue,
a vulture who feeds 
on war.

6
Menchen, a soldier
of fortune, ready
  to serve the 
  highest bidder.

7
Within the governor's 
mansion, Captain Decatur
---- descendant of a
family famous in 
naval annals --

8
---- completes a
diagram of mines
for the defense of
the Canal.

Decatur - - -
      EDMUND LOWE.

9
    "Not a move 
   is made in the
Administration Building
  or the governor's 
  mansion without our
  knowledge. We have
   them thoroughly
       covered."

10
On Hisston's plantation.

The center of the 
system of "mechanical
ears" that honeycombs 
the zone, by the use 
of dictographs.

11
"Tell the governor
 I am ready."

12
"Did you make only 
    one copy?"

13
"But you know a
 duplicate must be
 filed with the
 War Department in
   Washington?"

14
"And I am going
  to make that 
  duplicate in
   Washington!"

15
"The safety of the 
 Canal is based on
 this plan --- and
 I don't dare run 
 the risk of a
 copy down here."

16
"Locate the safe ---
 and get that paper
     tonight!"

17
"Making a duplicate
 of that plan won't
 be very difficult.
 I honestly believe I
   could do it 
   with my eyes 
      shut!"

18
"--- and take that
 dictograph out of
 there. It might be
 discovered -- and
 we don't need it
 any longer!"

19
In the still watches 
of the night.

20
"The Governor's changed
  the combination!
 We'll have to smoke
      him out!"

21
On Hisston's
plantation.

22
In the wee, small 
      hours.

23
"--- you ought to
 return to Washington
 at once, to make
 a full report to
 the Office of Naval
   Intelligence!"

24
  The gray
majesty of the
Atlantic Fleet.

Homeward bound.

25
Admiral Nevins,
Decatur's father-
in-law --- known
affectionately to
 the Navy as
"Fighting Tom"
    Nevins.

26
  "At this rate,
we'll surprise the
folks ---- and be
home in time to
see that boy of
mine graduate from
Annapolis ----"

27
"The Secretary is
 reviewing the boys 
 at Annapolis today."

28
Also homeward
bound.

29
In Washington.

30
Peg Williams, whose
abilities make her
a valued decoy, in
certain confidential
circles.

31
The silken net that
is to be woven
around Capt. Decatur.

32
"I have friends at
 various embassies --
 it will be easy
 to introduce you to
 Washington as my
 cousin -- a willing
 and dashing widow!"

33
"You're bound to meet
 Captain Decatur. After
 that, the game is in
 your hands. Remember
 ---- he is the only
 man in the world
 with the information
 we've got to have!"

34
 "Make him lose
his heart to you, 
Peg ---- and his
head to us!"

35
 Headquarters of
that powerful branch
of the Secret Service
-- the Office of Naval
Intelligence.

36
"Isn't he the
  spark plug!"

37
"What the Governor
 cabled has made
 us very anxious to
 hear your report."

38
"I am supposed to
 be the head, to
 this department --
 but in reality I
 am not."

39
"This is Mr. Collins,
 the real head, to
 whom you will make
 your report."

40
 "You see, Captain,
to preserve the safety
   of our country,
  it is necessary
  for some of us
   to work under
       cover."

41
 Annapolis, the
nation's anchor --
 the cradle of 
    heroes.

Commencement Day.

42
Dolores, a daughter
of Spain ---- of
all those white-clad
youths, she sees but
one!

43
And that one is
Gridley Nevins, the
Admiral's son.

44
Two guests of an
unsuspecting member
of the diplomatic
     circle.

45
The proudest moment.

46
The duty of every
   sweetheart.

47
At the Embassy ball.

  Where, upon a
stage carefully set,
Hisston makes his 
   first move.

48
"Whatever you do,
 make a special 
 effort to gain
 the confidence and
 friendship of his
 wife!"

49
"Mi mayor gusto
 seria que usted
 bailase conmigo
 esta noche."

50
   "If you had
studied Spanish, you
would know what 
he was saying."

51
  "You're not
offended with me
for flirting so
outrageously with you
at Annapolis?"

52
 "Somehow, I ---- I
just couldn't help 
it. Of course, I
didn't know then that
you were married!"

53
The silken net is
 woven skilfully.

Taking advantage of
the Decaturs' open
hospitality, Hisston
and his "cousin" soon
become their close 
friends.

54 [?]
"Woof --- spell
      cat!"

55
"The laughter of
children is the
sweetest music! Your
home life is so
beautiful ---- it
 recalls my lost
   happiness!"

56
"The next time 
mama comes to see 
me she must bring
you, darling -- you
can play with my
 doggie all the
   afternoon."

57
"That's Spanish."

58
"My uncle thinks 
 you're the cat's
 whiskers!"

59
    "Don't you
understand American?"

60
"No ---- I talk
    Spanish."

61
"Say ---- I think
 I'll study Spanish
 myself."

62
 "Will you call 
 at my apartment
tomorrow? ---- I'm
on the track of some
important information
   you ought to
       have."

63
   "It's very 
confidential! Don't
 tell anyone, not
 even your wife.
  She wouldn't
  understand."

64
"Let's begin with
the verb to kiss!"

65
Even angels have 
fallen from Heaven
---- mere mortals
have that to console
them.

66
"I'm so sorry
I had you come
 here today for
   nothing!"

67
 "Can't you
at least tell me
something about
this information?"

68
"That would only
spoil it ---- I
insist on telling
you all at once,
or not at all!"

69
"Miss Williams is
     not in."

70
"Please --- take me
       home."

71
"Now, my dear, do
 be reasonable --
 let me explain."

72
"Did you come to
 see the little doggie,
 too, daddy?"

73
"Some women are so
 damned unreasonable!"

74
"I'd be jealous of
 you, too ---- all
 women are fools
 when they're in
 love."

75
"Look at the time!
 -- I thought he'd
 never go!"

76
"Promise me never
 to see that woman
 again -- or our
 life together is
 ended."

77
 "I'll be at the
Arlington, in case
you want to reach
       me."

78
"Aren't you making
 a fool of yourself, 
       Dick?"

79
"It seems I did
 that the day I
 married your --"

80
"You take those words
 back -- or I'll choke
    them down your 
       throat!"

81
The tongue of
   scandal.

82
"My father says
 your father is 
 a sheik!"

83
"He said my father
  is a bad man."

84
 Thanksgiving night.

All Washington is out
to honor the navy
and celebrate the
gridiron victory of
Annapolis over West
      Point.

85
"That impudent fellow
 is trying to flirt
 with me."

86
"Is that what you
 call a lady?"

87
"Capt. Decatur, you
 are under arrest!"

88
Swift upon the
heels of his
offense --- the
court martial.

89
    "You are
charged with conduct
  unbecoming an
  officer and a
gentleman -- have
you anything to say
 in your defense?"

90
 "The prisoner
was intoxicated --
I saw him strike
Admiral Meade."

91
   "We are ready
to deliberate. Please
  clear the court."

92
 The penalty.

To the sound of
sullen drum-beat
and taunting bugle-
call --- under the
pitiless eyes of his 
fellow officers.

93
"The Court, therefore,
sentences him, Captain
Richard Decatur, to be
dismissed from the United
States Naval Service. All
his rights as a citizen
of the United States
shall be revoked."

94
"My country! -
May she be always
right -- but, right
or wrong ---- my
country!"

95
"God forgive me!
 I never thought,
 when he first
 reported to me,
 that it would
 come to this!"

96
"There's no doubt
 about it --- the
 attempt to steal
 your plans was the
 work of certain
 foreign agents we've
 been watching. Their
 leaders meet with
 Peg Williams, whose maid
 is in our employ."

97
"Their next move 
will be to use
Peg as a decoy --
let her think she
is succeeding, win
their confidence, learn
their plans - above all,
find out what nation
is employing them!"

98
"Remember, no one
 is to have the
 slightest knowledge
 of what you are 
about to undertake -"

99
"-- not even your
      wife."

100
 "On your absolute,
unquestioning obedience
to the silent command
 the safety of your
    country may 
      depend!"

101
 The solemn oath
of induction into
the Naval Intelligence
--- a sacred oath
that binds one to
silent and implicit
obedience.

102
The outcast.

103
"You must 'carry on',
  Decatur --- your
   work has just
       begun."

104
"They undoubtedly
count on blowing
up the Canal with
our own mines --
before the Atlantic
Fleet can join the
 Pacific for the
   manoeuvers."

105
"If Hisston should
 want to test you 
by demanding advance
information, you may
give him the position
   of one of the
       mines."

106
"It's too late to
 quibble! - We must
 take a long chance!"

107
"He'll never doubt
 you after that
 -- and --"

108
"--- we're counting
 on his taking you
 to Panama with
 him ---"

109
 "He's terribly
embittered -- said
his forefathers were
fools to devote their
lives to a country
  so ungrateful!"

110
 "I hinted at
knowing someone
who would pay
handsomely for what-
ever information he
  has about the
  Panama Canal."

111
"He jumped at it
 -- said money was
 the only thing people
 respected -- and he's
 to come here this
 evening to meet that
'someone'."

112
"I shall want you
 to go to Panama
 with me - but first
 I must be sure
 we are paying you
 for facts."

113
 "Are you willing
to give me ---- say
---- the location of
one mine at Gatun
Lock -- to cable to
Menchen - before you
   and I go any
     further?"

114
 After Menchen
has received the
information ----

115
"-- and when we
 get the rest of
 the plan --- the
 Panama Canal goes
 up in smoke and
 the U.S. Navy is 
 cut in two!"

116
   While the
Atlantic Fleet sails
for the manoeuvers
in Panama ----

117
- Hisston's specially
chartered boat, speeding
before a gathering
hurricane, nears the
Canal.

118
  "It's the
Atlantic Fleet!"

119
"You told me the
 Fleet wasn't going
 to sail for ten
 days!"

120
Zone headquarters
  of the Naval
  Intelligence.

121
 "I'm going to
cable Menchen to 
  blow up that
      mine!"

122
  "But that will
destroy just a small
part ---- beat the
fleet there -- then
we can blow it 
all up after the
ships have entered."

123
"Order full steam
 ahead and I'll show
 you a diagram in
 ten minutes."

124
A-d-m-i-r-a-l N-e-v-i-n-s
- - F-l-a-g-s-h-i-p - -

125
"Someone trying
 to send a message
 -- I can't raise
 it."

126
"Rocks! Rocks ahead!"

127
"For Mr. Menchen."

128
 "Oh, God! ---- I've
failed! -- I've failed!"

129
"Never mind me -
 radio the Fleet to
 keep out of the
 Canal - it's going
 to be blown up!"

130
"Boss say ---- get
      ready."

131
To Admiral Nevins --

132
"Keep out of Canal
 -- mine wired
 to blow up at
 Gatun Lock!"

133
"To Naval Land
Station:--
   Conspirators'
headquarters located
in ruined tower on
Hisston's plantation."

134
"All ready!"

135
"They're coming in!"

136
"They're in!"

137
"Sound assembly!"

138
"I've just received
 word that the Canal
 may be blown up
 --- you are to
 leave the ship at
 once."

139
"Beg pardon, sir
 -- we'd rather
 go down with
 colors flying than
 desert the ship!"

140
"Get ready!"

141
"Ready! GO!"

142
So pass the secret 
enemies of the 
nation -- and the
mighty guns of the 
Atlantic and Pacific
Fleets roar together
in joint manoeuvers.

143
Reinstatement ---
reparation --- how
inadequate are words
when a man's world
lifts him from the
pit of degradation
to the pinnacle of 
     honor!

144
"We all stand ready
to die for our country.
To suffer degradation
in her service ----
that is the supreme
test! I salute Captain
Richard Dectur, gallant
officer of the United
States Navy!"

145
"Three cheers for
 Captain Decatur!"

146
  Journeys
end in lovers
   meeting.

THE
END

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