Before landing, I had the men substitute soft bullets for the steel-jacketed projectiles with which their belts and magazines were filled. Thus equipped, we felt upon more even terms with the tigers, but there was no sign of the tigers, and I decided that they must be confined to the mainland. After eating, we set out in search of fuel, leaving Taylor to guard the launch.
Its nose was spread to the size of a half- dollar, its butt-end, steel-jacketed, was undamaged. He compared it with a cartridge from Smoke's belt. "That's plain enough evidence, Stranger, to satisfy a blind man. It's soft-nosed an' steel-jacketed; yourn is soft-nosed and steel- jacketed. It's thirty-thirty; yourn is thirty-thirty.
More bullets hit the keg than the can, and Carlsen was often called upon as umpire. But the tin gradually became ragged and blotched where the steel-jacketed missiles tore through. Beale and Deming both had five clean, undisputed hits, tying for first prize. Beale offered to shoot it off with six more shells apiece, and Deming consented. "Can't be done," declared Carlsen. "Not right now, anyway.
"Oh, yes, we can do that. The initial cast was what stumped me. But we'll go ahead now." "And you can wind the breech with wire, and braze it on; can't you?" persisted Tom. "Yes, I think so. Are you going to have a wire-wound gun?" "That, in combination with a steel-jacketed one.
In a few moments the place was invested, with riflemen on every side except the south, which fronted on the bay. The steel-jacketed bullets from the high-power guns tore through and through the flimsy walls. Nevertheless the defenders replied pluckily, and the siege might have dragged on for hours had it not been for the courage and resource of Kuroki.
Impatiently he thrust the thought aside, and turned with a quiet smile to Bohannan. The major, red with excitement and impatience, still had a hand on the machine-gun. He was patting it slightly, his face eloquent of longing and regret. "Still pinning your faith to steel-jacketed streams of bullets, are you, as against ion-jacketed streams of vibrations?" the Master rallied him.
Shoot! Kill!" he yelled. "Our only chance now! If they get in we're dead!" He snatched her weapon, reloaded, and again rained the steel-jacketed bolts of death against the attackers. In the tumult and wild maelstrom of the fight the revolvers' crackling seemed to produce little effect.
The grey-bearded magistrates, in their velvet caps and robes, wearing their golden chains of office; the great log, swung to shoulder-poles and borne by leathern-jerkined henchmen; surely drummers and fifers, for such a ceremonial would have been impossibly incomplete in Provence without a tambourin and galoubet; doubtless a brace of ceremonial trumpeters; and a seemly guard in front and rear of steel-capped and steel-jacketed halbardiers.
Already had the vanguard of the storm swept down upon him. An inky pall began to shut out the daylight, and when a sudden flash of lightning cleft the low-hanging clouds overhead the effect was perfectly staggering. The roar of thunder that followed quick upon its heels was like the explosion of a twelve-inch gun as heard in the steel-jacketed turret of a modern battleship.
In the nose, which was steel-jacketed, were several little round depressions, just the least fraction of an inch in depth. "It is no wonder Warrington was put out, even by that superficial wound," remarked Garrick at last. "His assailant's aim may have been bad, as it must necessarily have been from one rapidly approaching car at a person in another rapidly moving car, also.