On the Great Meridian with Frank Reade, Jr., in his new air-ship; or, A twenty-five thousand mile trip in mid-air.

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On the Great Meridian with Frank Reade, Jr., in his new air-ship; or, A twenty-five thousand mile trip in mid-air.

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On the Great Meridian with Frank Reade, Jr., in his new air-ship; or, A twenty-five thousand mile trip in mid-air.
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


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Inventors -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00091 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.91 ( USFLDC Handle )
024931301 ( Aleph )
38535166 ( OCLC )

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"'" N Lates t and B est Sto r ies are Publilhed in This Library Ente1ed as Second C lass .Matte at the New Yo1k, N Y., Post O.Otce, Octobe1 5, 1892. No. 119. { FRANK 'l'OUSEY. P{1BT.ISRER. & 36 NORTH MOORE S'l'REE'r, NEW YORK { l 'ltiCI': } New York, November 1 1895. ISSUED WEEKLY. 5 Vol. v. Ente1ed accmding to the Act of Conve s s, in the ye

u ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $1.25 per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. On Great Frank Jr:, in New OR, By "NONAME," Author of "Frank Reade, Jr.'s Greatest Flying Machine," "'l'he Galleon's Gold; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Deep Sea Search," "For Six Weeks Buried in a Deep Sea Cave," etc., t:tc. CHAPTER I. THE CLOUD CUTTER." FRANK READE, JR.'s new nir-ship the" Cloud Cutter" was complet ed. The young inv e ntor, bmous tile world over for his remarkable inventions, was happy. "Barney and Pomp," he said, to his two rigilt hand men and ser ,_. vitors, you may prepare to take with me a tweuty livo tilousand mile trip in mid-air." cried Barney, as be turned o. Hip-tlap, "shore Misther Frank, it's a rale yez are! There's nothin' nearer me heart!" "Golly!" exclaimell Pomp, as he cut a pigeon wiug, "I jes' ilope dat we start on llat trip berry soon, Marse Frank!" Just as soon as we can get tile air-ship provisioned," said Frank. "I have already ordered the supplies. They Will be put on board to day." "Mussy Lordy!" cried Pomp, "twenty-five thousan' miles am a berry ways, Marse FranK!" "Ouce around the globe," declared Frank. "Be jabers, we'll be traveled people whiu we get back!" "You are right, Burney," agreed Frank. Shure, sor, over pbwat part av tbe globe we'll be aftber travel ing!" "Over North America, Asia, Russin, Europe and the North Atlan tic Ocean," replied Frunk; "the !ine we shall follow will be that of the Great Mewliun, wbicb passes through Greecwicb England." "Fo' de Lor', Marse Frank! Amn't dat de meridian on which we'se bound to reckon our time!" Yes," replied Frank; it is in deference to the wishes of Profes aor Bulger of Wasbiogton that I ha,e decided to take that course. He wishes to make scientific and a8tronomicnl observations, and we shall as nearly as possillle follow the great meridian around the earth "We'se bound to bnb eberyfing ready, sah," cried P.omp, with an other dance. Jes' yo' he snub ob dat!'' "All right,'' replied Frank; "see that you do, Now J will go and see bow the workmen have finished tbut cabinet work in the pilot house.'' Frank crossed the yard of the g'reat machine works, which were a legacy from llarly generations of Reades, and were really the import ant buildings of the pretty little city of Readestown. He approached a high roofed building with a great arched door. There was a small side door, whtcb he opened and stepped Into tbe building. There upon the stocks, or large timbers, rested the f<>mous air ship. At first sight one was struck with its feasibility and its beaut.irul outline. It could be seen at a glanee that the question of aerial navi gation was solved, and in an exceedingly simple manner. Tlle Cloud Cutter was a marvelous triumph. To attempt a thorough description of it in detail would be almost impossible. In structure it was nece3ssuily of the lightest material. The ribs and superstructure were of lightest and toughest wood. The hull was or thinly rolled but bullet proof metal, bemg an alloy of steel and aluminum, In shape the air-ship was built upon the lines of an ocean greyhound, with great length and narrow beam. She carried a long tapering bow, terminating in a sharp ram. Over her 'l'be long, smoothly-polislled deck was guarded by a rail whicll tended all the way aronnll the ship. Three cabins rose above the level or the deck, The forward cabin was devottJd to the state-rooms of Barney and Pomp and the electrical stores or the ship. The main cabin was a8 richly furnished a8 any drawing-r.Jom, Here were all the necessaries and comforts io a long "oyage througll mid air Tile after cabin contained the dining-saloon and the state-rooms for the young inventor and his friends They were richly furnished. Below was tile galley, and between tllat and the engine-room was the main hold, where were stored all the provisions and other matter necessary lor the trip. This is a meager description of the new air-ship. For many weary months Fmnk Reade, Jr., had studied out the plans and fittings of his new invention. Bit lJy bit be bad gotten all togetber and perfected a wonderful whole which was the marvel of the world. And after many disappointments and delays, discouragements and appare:Jt obsLncles, be bad overcome all and the new air-ship sprung into being, The young Inventor, therefore, may well be pardoned a bit of egot ism when he claimed that the question or aerial navigation was effectu ally solved. If I were to hetrny my secret.'' he said, "it would revolutionize the world. Our whole, political and social life would undergo a change." "How do you make that out!'' asked a friend. "It IS easy enough to see, The change of affairs would be so com plete and radical as to overturn everytbing in the line or travel now iu use!'' "Do you mean it?'' "I do; it is very easy to see. If people could travel in air-ships safely they could very quickly cross the coon try, and rail way trains and steamboatil and other modes or travel would become a thing of the past.'' "That is logic11l.'' "Of course. The effect upon society could then ver.v rea:lily be seen. It would. demand different manners and customs, dill'erent styles or living, a revolution in business, and a complete change in our whole social and economic system.'' "Then you do not intend to give your dlscoverJ to tb!l world!" "No, sir.''


' ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. 8 The answer was emphatic. I the souls of the poor and oppressed between their thumbs. That shall "Why not!" asked the friend in surprise. "What could be the be our sacred task.'' 1 harm?'' Frank was dumfounded. "It would be incalculable. For instance, suppose that the French His first impulse was to peremptorily dismiss the fellow from his government obtained first the secret of the air-ship from me? She presence. would of course instantly proceed to pay back her score against But on second thought he saw that this might lead to serious reGermany. Revenge is sweet. By means of the air-ship she could Beyond a doubt Pagliaski would make resistance. sail over the Kaiser's dominions and raze every city with dynamite. What be might not do could not be eat1mated. He carry That would involve Europe and perhaps the whole world in war.'' dynamite bombs in his pockets, for aught the young inventor knew. The friend was bound to acl;nowledge tbe logic of Frank's theory. So Frank still clung to a conciliatory course, as the best way to "Consequently,'' continued the young iuventor, '' 1 si.Jall prefer to deal with the madman. keep my secret to myself. No foreign government will ever buy It "So that is your plan," be said, in a smooth way. "Well, my friend, from me." I cannot say that I am ready just at present to co operate wiLh you. Preparations were in rapid progress for the trip around the world Of co11rse you will give me time," on the Great Meridian. Pagliaski leaned over the desk and glared at Frank. One day Frank got a telegram from Washington as follows: "You are not trifimg with me!'' he gritted. SMITHSONI.\N INSTI'PUTE "AsAuredly not!" "FRANK READE, JR "For if you are, it will be a fatnl move for yon. Michel Pagliaski "I shall reaci.J Readestown on the 27th inst. with my entire a!tron is in earnest, and will not be foiled!" omical equipment. I hope that our trip on the Great Meridian will be "Yet it is only fair for you to give me time for preparation," ex very productive of valuable data. My best respects to you. postulated Frank. "ANTHONY BULGER, 1'he Crank's eyes lit Up. "Meteorologist.'' "Ah, then you accede!" he asked. Come here tomorrow at this hour and I will tell you my plans." Progress on the airsllip's equipment had been rapid, But when Pagliasl\i looked keenly at Frank. IL was a trying ordeal, but everything had been got in readiness, as usual a drawback occurred. Frank met his gaze steadily. Tllis was how it came about. The fellow was satisfied. One day a queer looking individual alighted from the cars in "It shall be so!" be said, arising. "I will be on hand to-morrow. Readestown. He did not attract special notice. All must then be in readiness. If it is not, woe unto you!" He was in stature of medium height, but his featur es were wild and H 1 b A h k hawklike with a ha2:e:anl expression. His eyes were dark and reste arose ana crosset t 41 room. t t e door he made a moe ing bow and was gone. less. Tbe moment the door clanged behind him Frank made action. He was dressed in a queer, outlandish fashion and was beyond all Hfl sprung to his feet inEtantly and touched a bell. Barney leapdoubt a foreigner. ed into ti.Je room. He hov e red about the gate of the machine wnrks for several daye, "Barney!" cried Frank, excitedly, "did you see that mali who then one afternoon boldly advanced to gate keeper and sent in was just here!" his card to Frauk Re\\de, Jr. "'fhat woild Iukin' son av a say cook, sor! Shure 1 reckon be's a The name on the card was: Rooshian or a Turk!'' "MICHEL PAGLIASKI, "Yes." Moscow, RussiA." Well, sor!" Frank studied the bit of cardboard a moment and said: "Go as quickly as you can for officers of the law. Have him lock" Probably he is some ageut of the Russian government sent here ed up at once. He is a madman and not safe to be at large." secretly to buy the air-ship. Of course he must be met like all the Away went Barney on his errand. He succeed ed in procuring the rest with a courteous refusal. Show him in!" madman'o arrest, A few mom e nts later Michel Pagliaski glided into Frank's private Pagliaski fought savagely. Word Vl'as at once sent to the Russian office in a furtive and secret manner. embassy, !rom whom it was learned that the fellow had escaped a He look e d about him cautiously, ns i! expecting that every article year before from Russian prisons, and that there was a price on hia Of furniture might secrete a spy. Then he put a finger to his lips and beau. wlisperetl hoarsely: Pagliaski was put bahind the bars, and congratulated him" Are we alone! Is it a safe place here?" self on his narrow escape. But this was by no means the end of the Frank in some astonishment regarded the fellow. A sort of snspiepisode. cion dawned upon him that his VISitor was a species of crank. Professor Bulger had nrrivetl safely from Washington. The Cloud So be said curtly: Cutter was all in readiness. What do you mean!" The departure was to be taken the next morning, and at a late hour Do you not understand!'' said Pagllaski, "to be overheard would in the evening Frank and the professor sat in the private draugbtingmean ruin." room discussing some cigars. "Indeed!'' said Frank, with some irritation. "Your words are an Suddanly ti.Je door b:ust open, and in dashed Pomp. enigma to me. Please explain them." "Golly, Marse Frank, dere am de debbil to pay!" Pagliaski bPnt forward and whispered hoarsely: "What's the matter!" cried ti.Je young inventor. "What has hap- The world is In our grasp. It is in our power to overttrow the penetl!" fiendish rule of despots and become the saviors of men." Fo' de good Lor' sake, dat dynamiter, sah-he hab escaped from prison jes' an hour ago, an' dey kain'L fin' a bit ob him anywhere, sab." CHAPTER II. A NARROW ESCAPE, IT needed nothing further to satisfy Frank that the fellow before him was a crank. That he might be a dangerous one he also knew was possible. For a moment the young inventor was undecided how to f.Ct. His first impulse was to call in Barney or Pomp and have the fellow shown out. But 011 second thought he reflected that diplomacy and careful tact would be better in dealing with the madman. It was easy for him to recognize In Pagliaski a represeutative of a sect in Russia akin to ti.Je socialists Wlho are disposed to plot against the government and will stop at no desperate end to accomplish tlieir purpose. For a lull half minute Frank steadily met the gaze of the crank. Then be said calmly: "My friend Pag!iaski, you have taken me at my very busiest time. Affairs of tne greatest importance claim 111y time, and--" The fellow frowned. "Nothing is of snell vast importance as th.e salvation of men," he cried savagely; "It is a God given duty whici.J we are bound to place before all others! I have come a long ways to make a com promise with you, I tell you humankind must be saved!'' "In what manner do you seek to save them!'' asked Frank in a conciliatory tone. The erank's eyes glittered. "Now are we ut om work,'' he cried. "You have invented a new air-ship. It was a divine inspiration which led you to invent that. In It you and I will sail the globe over. We will carry great, stores of dynamite, and we will raze to the ground-to the common level e"ery palace, every castle, every stronghold of the despots wi.Jo hold Jericho!" exclaimed Frank, bounding to his feet. Has Pagll aski escaped? That is bad! Put guards around all the shops. Lively!" Iu an instant all was bustle in the machine works. Frank felL sure that Pagliaski would visit !:is vengeance upon him the very lirst thing he did. 1 Undoubtedly the fellow had any amount of dynamite hidden away, whi::h he could procure in quick order. In view of all this there was need of expeditious work, Guards were placed in all parts of the works; but 1>8 Frank and the professor were overseeing this a lithe, dark form apt>roached the gate. Halt!" cried the guard, who was armed. But Pagliaski, for he 1t was with a maniaclike scream, cried: I have come for my revenge! Death to the traitor." 1'hen be hurled some small object at the guard. The latter dodged it, but it s\ruck the wall near him. Instantly there was an enormous explosiou. Part of the wall fell in and luckless guard was torn in pieces. With a maniac yell Pagliaskl rushed into the yard. Look out!" shouted Professor Bulger, "he means to destroy the air-ship." That this was Pagliaski's purpose was certain. He was nshing straight for Frank Reade, Jr.'s mnsterpiece. A bomb was uplifted in his band. It was a critical moment. But 1 Frank yelled: "Shoot himt But already Barney, who stood near, had drawn his revolver and fired wili.J quick aim. Tbe dynamiter slipped and fell. A terrible tragedy followed. 1'ht dynamite bo!Bh in his ha!ld In its contact with the ground also


4 ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. explodell. This exploded the other bombs concealed about Pagliaski s person. There was an earthquake shock, a volcano of lire and debris. Not a shred of the dynamiter was ever found afterwards. His fate had been swift, sudden and awful. Every man in the vicinity was thrown down. Windows were broken, walls were shaken, ami other damal!'e doue. The first impul s e or all was to look lor the air-ship. lL was partly dis lodg e d from its stocks. There was a dent in her aluminum plates, an::! the pilot house window was smashed. But otherwise hnppily she was uninjured. Mutual congratulations followed that the affair had been no worse. No regre t s were felt for the fate of the wretch who had caused the disaster. The remains or the unfortunate guard were tenderly picked up and some time later turned over to his sorrowing friends. This was the incident which delayed tlle depa.rture for two whole days. In that time the injuries to the air-ship were repaired and all some what regained their spirits. There was certainly reason for congratulation that the affair had been no worse. Once more the preparations were made for the start. This time no incident occurred to prevent, and upon a lovely June morning the air-ship rose from the machine shop yard and started on her grant cruise around the Great Meridian. A great crowd had gathered to bid her God-speed, and ns she be came a speck in tbe sky all watched her with strange and excited feelings. She was to accomplish the greatest feat ever attempted by man. Twenty-five thousand miles In n:idair was certainly a tremendous journey. Frank had however, based all his calculations upon the greatest of nicety. "We shall make the trip,'' he aaid, "but it will be at the expense of the air-ship. She could hot sail five thousand miles further, as by that time her machinery will be worn out." "Yet you might replace it piece by pi e ce as it failed." said Bulger. "It would hardly be feasillle,'' declared Frank. "The ship itself will be racked and strained by storms and other disasters. This one tlip will be the Cloud Cutter's first and last." "Allow that,'' said professor. "Will it not be enough!" "It will, indeed.'' Straight northward the Cloud Cutter sailed. The Great Meridian made its circumference of the earth between the 50th and 60Lh degree or north latitude. Frank intended to intersect the great line al a point upon James Bay in Upper Canada. Thence he intended to sail west over British Columbia to the Pacific. When the entire circumference of the earth bad been accomplished on this line, and the airship had again reached James Bay, then would the great trip around the Great Meridian be completed in ita wonderful e1tent. CHAPTER IIJ. IN THE INDIAN COUNTRY WE have introduced the characters of our story, have described the great air-ship and its purr;osed voyage; also we have seen the voy agers take their leave of Readestown. Now, with the reader's kind permission, we will tmnaport him to a point in the far Northwest where settlements were unknown-where the loot of white man seldom trod, and where the bear and the moose held undisputed sway. Here one day the Cloud Cutter hovered about two thousand feet above a great gorge in a mountain chain. Professor Bulger was on deck with h!s instruments, and was busily engaged in making observations. Steer a little to the northward, Barney!" he cried. Perhaps a hundred yards. 'fhere! The registllr tells the story. We are exactly on the great meridmn!" At lastl" saitl Frank, drawing a deep breath. "Yes, at last." "Now we propose to keep on this line around the earth.'' "Yes. Whe n we reach England we shall pass directly over the great observatory at Greenwich." "Wonderful! I hope that our trip will be a success!" I think it will.'' A course was now set doe weat. Soon the air-ship was hovering onr the waters of James Bay. At this time of the year it was clear of ice, and the sparkling blue expanse made a pretty picture so far below. The tlight across this 1 branch of the Hudson's Bay was quickly made. When the green forests of the opposite shore came into view a long 1 lagoon was seen to stretch far to the southward. And from this immense flocks of wild geese and other water fowl arose. As they did so every one on the air-ship's deck distinctly heard the distant rPpOrt Of a "What was that?' cried the professor. "Who is firing? I thought thi1 region was unexplored by man." "Not by the hunters of the Hudaons' Bay Company,'' said Frank. "There are few wild nooks that they have not explored.'' '' Oh, of course. This is a part or the great for country." "Just so." "But I am curious to know where that hunter cq.n be. are now full two thousand feet above the earth." "That is true," agreed Frank. "I opine that he is over there in that lagoon, and that be is the cause of the flurry among those birds.'' "Impossible,'' said the professor. "That is too far otl' to hear the report of a ritle." "Pshaw," replied Frank. "You should know better than that. We are in an elevated atmosphere, and the wind is !rom that direction. You may be sure our hunter is over there. Ah! did I not tell you!" The second report of a riHe cam\) plainly to the hearing or all. Then they heard something else wLich gav!' them ali a wild thrill. It was a strange hoarse cry of hom au agony. The professor gave a start. "Great Cicero!'' he exclaimed, "what on earth was thatr "It sounded like the cry of some one in distress.'' And such it was. Frank turned to Barney, wbo was in the pilot-bouse door. "Bear down for that lagoon over there, Barney," he said. "Ali roigbt, sor," agreed tiJe Celt. The air-at.ip was turned in the direction requested. In a short while it hung over lagoon. Then a startling scene fell upon the vision of all. The shores of the lagoon were !ringed with dense reeds and dank In these there crouched two white men in a canoe. Each carried a rifle, and were apparently in the attitude of listening. In the open lake, and at the edge or the saw grass, were four large cano e s tilled with Indiana. The story coula be read at a glance. The white hunters were encroaching upon the hunting reserve of the Indians. The result was a conflict. The odds were decidedly against the white men. For some while the aerial voyagt!rs watched the exciting panorama or incidents bl'low. Somewhat curiously, none of the contesting parties saw the air-ship above them, or attempted to take an upward look. They were Intent wholly upon a game of bide and seek. The Indians were stealthily paddling along in the verge of the saw grass, trying to locate their white foe. The hunters, like Brer Rabbit, were lying low and playing a strate gic game. Suddenly the savages glided closer to the saw-grass. One of t hem parted the grass. It was at a point which disclosed the white men to view. The sequel was swift and deadly. There was a sharp crack, the rifle of one of the hunters spoke. With a yell of mortal agony the savage went over into the water. "Great Cicero!" gasped the t>roressor, "that is the end of him." "It looks like it," agreed Frank, "but the hunters have got to bus tle now.' This was true. One of them bad seizPd a paddle and drove the canoe deeper into the Haw-grass. Bot the savages were closing in very rapidly. It was certam that they meant to capture the wh1te invaders if they could. Rifle shots now rang out. The white bunters worked their way deeper into the grass, but yet the savagss pursued them. It was evident that this could not last long. The redmen would certainly succeed in surrounding their victims. Then the white men's scalps would pay for their temerity. The aerial voyagers excllanged glances. Well," exclaimed the professor, "shall we see them exterlninat ed lily those barbanans!" "Not much, cried Frank, "they are countrymen of ours and it would be indeed inhuman to leave them to such a fate. Bring out your rifles." Golly l dat am de way to do it!'' crie

ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. 5 Barney now lowered the air-ship nnd Frank leaned o..-er the raiL Hello, down there!" be shouted. "Bello!'' replied the men. "Are you wounded, or in need of assistance!" "Not a bit, stranger," replied one of the rneo, "but who in tarna tion air yew an' whar did yew cum from anyway!'' "This is th e air-ship Cloud Cutter !rom Readestown, U.S. A.," replied Frank, "and I am Frank Reade, Jr., her owner!" "Yew don't say! An air ship, eht Wall, that beats ther big beav c rs! Wbar keeps ye afloat? Is it them big wings up thar?" "Yes," replied Frank. "You can see them readily." "Ob, sartio; but what a head yew must hev tew git up sich a thing as thet, I'll be durned !'' "Now tell us who you are?'' cried Frank. "We ure two Hudson's Buy men. We cum over byar to bag some otter an' ran into a gang of reds." "Well,'' said Frank, "you were having a lively time with tht>m." "Yew bet! Ouly for yew we should have lost our ha'1 Much obleeged to ye. Won't ye cum cown? We kam't do much fer ye but give ye a fine otter pelt we've got hyar.'' Thank you," replied Frank, if you are able to get back to your camp all right, I don't believe we will stop." "Oh, fer sartin' Don't yew fret about us! Them Iujuns never 'II git us boxed up like theL agin fer one while. But 1 say, friend!'' "Well!" Wbar be yew going with that air-ship?" "No douM you will be surprised," said Frank, with & laugh, but we are going around the world." Arounll the world!" "Yes." "Yew don't mean it! That's a heap of a long ways!" 1'wenty-tive thousand miles." "Sho! How long will you be about it!" About two months we reckon." "Wall, we wisb yew good luck. May yew git thar with best of luck!" Thank you. Goodbye.'' Bye ter yer, straungers." The last seen of the trappers they were yet standing in the saw grass watching tbe air-ship. This little episode was not long in lleing followed by yet anotber. CHAPTER IV. EXPERIENC E WITH GRIZZLIES, BEYOND St. James..._Bay there stretched an immeasurable waste of u reat and barren mount.ains. 'l'hese were intersected with wild and rocky passes. Tiley were as deep anti frightful ns any depicted in Dante's Inferno, and the aerial voyagers gazed down into them with awe. As they were sailing over one rocky spm of tbe mountain, Barney espied a startling obj ect far below. "Mither av Moses!'' he cried, wud yez luk at the loikes av tbis, Misther Frank?" In an instant every one was at the rail. The cause of Barney's exclamation was at once seen. It was a mon ster specimen of a grizzly bear, perched upon a ledge of rock, and rending the carcass of a mountain goat. "A grizzly!" cried the professor. "Tbat is so!" exclaimed Frank. What a monsttJr!" "The laraest I ever saw!'' The voyagers gazed dowu upon the wild scene with much interest. "Golly!" said Pomp, "I done think his akin would jes' make a fine rug fo' de main cabin." "You are rigbt, Pomp!" cried Frank. "It would be a great curi osity, properly dressed." "Is it not possible to secure the pelt!" asked the professor. "Wby not, Frank1'' "It shall be done!" cried the young inventor. "Bring out my heavy rifle, Pomp. Hold the ship steady, Barney, aud lower a trifle.'' These orders were obeyed. 'l'he air-ship descended a few hundred feet, and Frank took careful aim at the bear. 1 The rifle wbicb be used carried a very heny ball. His purpose was to aim for tbe base of tt1e bear's brain, whJCh be could do with a fair cbauce of success at that angle. Crack! The rifle spoke sharply. The bullet went true to its mark. Bruin reared aloft a moment pawing the air. 'J'beu he fell in a heap over the carcass of bis victim. Tbe aerial voragers applauded Frank's shot. That was a beauty!" cried the professor. "Now to get the skin.'' Down settled the air-ship. A few feet from tile ledge a rope ladder was tbrown out. Down this Frank aml Barney slid. The other two were to remain and guard the sbip. Barney bad keen knives with him to flay the carcass. He at once began work. The air-ship not having nn anchor out drifted some few hundred yards liway. This left Frank and Barney alone oc the ledge. Both had committed a great oversigbt whi-ch they did not realize until now. { They had in their baste left their rifles behind and bad brought no weapons but lwives. This bad been a natural oversight as neither bad expected to meet any other danger, as no other foe was in sight. But JUSt as Barney ir.serted the knife into tbe bear's carcass a thrill ing incident cccurred. Without warning from beneath a cavity in tbe ledge an immense black form trundled forth. "Ht>avens!" gasped Frank, as he reeled back. "Tare an' 'ounds! Mither Mary save us!" eJaculated Barney. It was a second grizzly, if anytiling larger tban tbe first. Words cannot describe the situation. The two men were facing 11n awful peril. The bear was bel ween them and the higher ledge. Back of them there was no retreat save over a precipice. One iustant the grizzly sniffed the air ar.d glared at his white foes. The fealty ef a grizzly fur its mate is most intense. The scent of the blood taught the brute that harm IJad befallen ils companion. Its fury was tberefore beyond descnption. It emitted a hoarse roar and tben made a sille-long lunge toward Barney. "Luk out, Misther Frank!'' cried tbe Celt. "Shnre he's us! Divil take yez!'' TIJe lrisllman altemp'. ed to dodge, but the bear was too quick. He was upon the Celt instantly, Barney dill not hesitate to meet the pass as a brave mau should. He plunged his knife to tiJe hilt in the bear's side. Frank saw tbe peril of his -.:olleague and rushed to his assistance. He picked up a huge fagot and thrust it Into bear's throat, tllus pre venting the brute from crushing Barney's arm in its jaws. Then the battle began. Tbere was no way but to ply the knives. Again and again they went to tbe hilt. But yet it seemed as if no l'ital part could be reached. Tbe bear now had them botb in its embrace. Its claws were rer:ding their llesh and tearing their clothing from them. 1'be situation was a most critical ene. The air-ship was rapidly drawing down to tbe rescue. But before it could reach the contestants a startliug event occurred. The bear made a fierce lunge, all lost tbeir balance unll over tbe prec ipice they went. It was full a hundred feet to a deep, dark pool below. The three hurtling forms went into this with a terrific splash. "Golly, Massy Lordy! sube us all!" screamed Pomp, "dey am done fo' now, Marse Bulger." Never sny that!'' cried the professor, exciteclly, lower tbe air ship. 'fhey must be sa\'ed!" Down went the air-ship into the depths. Tllree struggling forms were en the surface of the pool. As for tune had 1t, that tumble over tile precipice was tiJe salvation of Bar ney an:l Frank. It released them from the em brace of the bear. 'fo be sure the fall was a severe one, but they bad sul!ere aud Frank was snatched upward just in time to escape the bear's cia ws. Up the rope !udder Barney went, and Frank followed him. A moment later they were on board the air-slljp. Their lives were saved. lt was a happy moment for all; for a br-ief time things had indeed looked dubious. But all was right now and the air-ship sailed back to the ledge; the giizz!y in the pool below crawled slowly out and sank exhausted. Her wounds were beginning to tell. Barney now quickly finished removing the or the dead grizzly and then returned aboard the Clond Cutter. No time was lost In once more gettiog under way. Tbere was no desire to romair: longer in that spot. '.i'he Clout! Cutter went on ber way once more to the westward. For days she helll tbat COIUBe. 1'1le rest of the trip across British Columbia was uneventful. No descent was made nnd the Cloud Cutter made rapid progress. The Pacific Ocean rapidly drew near. "We shall skirt the lower edge of the Aleutians," said Frank, ... that will be a chance for us to see the seals and the island natives." "I shall enjoy a seal hunt," cried the profeesor. Begorra, count me in, sort" shouted Barney.


6 ON 'l'HE GRE.A.'l' MERIDIAN. Pomp chimed in to the same effect. A day or two later the horizon 1 For the love or the aaints, monsieur, give me help!" pleatiecl the eleared aucl the ocean line was seen. suffering wretch. I am stricken with the awful plague, but I may The voyagers much impressed all gatherecl upon the deck and go. zed be saved. Do not turn from me!" upon the wonderful Pacific, wbicll washed the western allures of the Frank braced American cou01tries. No," he said, resolutely, I will not torn from you. I will help It was a wonderful ocean and held much of mystery and charm. you all in my powQr. Have you companions!" The air-ship was to pass directly across its northern part. "All dead, monsieur." replied the fellow, "no help can be given "W> are but a few hundred miles above Vancouver Island," said them I am Demetri NiliOla i the captain of this ves,.el Twelve l!'rank, "beyond the horizon line out therl.' you will find an island months we Bl}iled from the Baltic. This curs e d disease came 1 which is called Queen Charlotte's Island." upon us not four weeks al!;o. One by one our crew was dlilcimated "That is correct,'' cried Bulger. "And if I mistake not, there are and we flung them overboard. 1'wo are dead below now. I had natives upon that i s le." not the strength to bury them. Ah, God, I! ow my fever runs. I "Do you wish to stop there?" shall die, if I do not have h e lp. I shall die." "I think not. I am anxious to go on to the Aleutians. There we The wretch arose partly to his feet and sank back. Frank was in a shall find much of interest." fearful quandary. I "Very well," said Frank. "We will then say good-bye to the Ameri His sense of r.harity forbade his turning from the dying mao; yet it can Continent." was plain to him that he coulcl uot be saved. The air ship stood out across the sound to Queen Charlotte's Island. And would be not carry back the infection to the air-ship with the This was pussP.d later in the day. awful certainty of communicating it to the others! Then the air ship passed out to sea. What was to be done! America was left behind. Foreign lands lay before them, where The poor victim lay groaning upoll the cabin floor. Frank hesitated thrilling adventures were in store. no longer. With varied emotions tbey watched the great northweot territory "Go back to the air-ship, Pomp,'' he said. "Brmg me medicines fade from view. as Bulger will give them to you." Then they turned their faces oceanward, and looked for w!Jat the "A'ri<>ht Marse Frankl" future would bring them out of the Western World. Away Pomp. Frank went boldly down the stairs and beGt CHAPTER V. THE PLAGUE SHIP. "OONALASHKA will be the Jirst of the Aleutians we shall come across," said Frank; "it is beyond the extremity or the Alaska Pen Insula.'' "And then we will enter the Behring Sea," said Bul!:'er. "Yes, and th e nce to Kamtschatka, tile border land or ASia. Beyond that peninsu Ia is the sea of Okliotsk.'' It was a charming sail over the limpid waters or the peaceful ocean. A few vessels were sighted. But it was not uur.il they were nearing Oonalaehka that Frank made out a schooner on their lee which flew a flag of distress. "What ctin be the matter?" asked the young inventor, "it does not look like a wmck.'' "Not at all,'' said Bulgl.'r; "she stands up well in the breeze." There was some hesitation. Then Frank said : "Well, it would not be a Christian spirit to refuse to aiu a distress ed vessel. So here goes." Tho air-sbi;> held down for the vessel. As they drew nearer it was seen that she flew the flag of Russia. Not a soul was on her decks. Even the wheel wns deserted, being lashed to the wind. Her sails llapped idly in the listless breeze. Why, wllnt sort ol a craft is she?" asked the professor in surpristl. "What bas become of her trew? Have they mutinied and deserted, or have they been washed overboard?" "We'll soon lind out," saia Frank. The air-ship sailed down to within speaking distance of the Olga, which was the name of the ship. Then she was For a time no reply came. Then Barney declared that he beard a voice in the cabin shouting in reply. "That settles it!" cried Frank. "My curiosity is sufficiently atroog to tind out what that means. Throw out t!Je rope ladder, Barney.'' This was done and Fmnk and Pomp slid down to the shrouds of the Olga. Thence they de scended to the deck. Plainly now a voice coultl be heard in tho cabin soliciting aid. But it was not in the American tongue. 'f!Je utterances WP.re almost un intelligible. "Golly, .Marse Fmnk!'' said Pomp, "dar am somefing wrong down dero. Shuah's yo' bo'n.'' That's rig11t," ngre>d Frank, "but we'll lind out." With whicl1 he down the little stairs. There at the foot of the stairs reclined the tigure of a man. His face was upturn ed, and al sight of it Frank paused, while a ter rlble chill seizl.'d his heart. "My Ge>dl" hll gasped. The fea1ures were hvid and awfully swollen. Great pustules were thickly spread over it. Pomp halted, ami with a gasp or terror retreattd to the hilad or the "Golly, Marse Frank. Cum out ob dat, fo' de lnb or de Lor'!" "Smallpox!" eJrclaimed the young mventor, in burely auditJle tonea. "How horrilole, my soul, how horrible!" The stench from the cabin was terrible. That others dead or dy ing were there contineu there was no doubt. The unluc R y ship had been smitten with the awful plague and it was certain that it.; crew would bG if they were not already wiped out. The poor wretch nt the foot of the stairs regurded Frcnk piteous ly. He spoke in hurrie1l interjections, but Frank was not very familiar with the Russiun tongue. He ventured to reply in French. To his surprise the fellow answered him. down over the sufl'eriog man. As he did so he saw tllat a great change bad come over him. His faco had swollen friglltfully, anti his tongue protruded. His came in gasps. It needed uot more to tP.ll Frank the truth. Too late!' he He is sure to die!'' It was true. The captain of the Olga was drawing his last breath. Before Pomp returned he gasped his la'llt. Frank at Ol!ee proceeded to administer liberal disinfectants to him self and Pomp. Also he scattered it through the cabin. Two more of the crew lay dead there. ..... The Olga was a line ship, and it seemed a pity that such a curse had fallen upon her. 'i'bnt was to be done? Sllould they leave ller to the will of the wind and waves! This would only make her a derelict to the peril of other ves8els. Yet Frank could nut see any way to take her into a port. He thought some of takmg her to the nearest of the Aleutians. B11t while he '\IllS tllns uebMing the matter he heard a call from above. He rushed upon deck and saw that Bulger was at the air-ship's rail calling him. "Yonder is a Russian war vessel, Frankl" shout.ed the professor. "Shall we not signal her!" "A Russian ve s sel!" cried Frank, eagerly seeing his way out or the difficulty at ouce. "Certainly! Call her up at once-we will turn Olga over to her." The signal was made, and the Russian vessel bore down to the spot. A boat was put out and brought her to the Olga's deck. The Russians were regarding the air-ship wit h wonderment. When the ltenten ant stepped on declt Franlt quickly explained the e ituation to him in l!'rench. "Mon Dieul" gasped the onicer, retreating to the gangway. "The contagion, monsieur-the contagion!" "Nonsense!" cried Frank sharply. "That is cowardice! Proper disinf ectants will prevent that. Something must be done with this vessel-it belongs to your country.'' Petrovski, the lieutenan of tile Great B e ar, saluted and replied: "Right, .Monsiem American. I do not forget my duty. I will send for our They will disinfect the vesaelnnd bury the dead." "1'hen I am relieved from further rt-sponsibility and will turn the Olga over to you! asked Frank. "Oui, monsieur!'' "That settles it,'' said the young inventor. "Let us go back to the air ship, Pomp." Back up the rope ladder to the deck of the Cloud Cutter they went, while the Russians wntctecl them wonderingly. There was no doubt but that the Olga Jiually reached port safely in the charge of the Rus s ian warship. The air ship went on its way, All the voyagers disinfected them selves liberally. No danger at all of taking the infection," enid Bulger, contldent ly. "I will give you a wash which will tix you all right, also an in ward dose which will kill tile germs of any disease on this earth.'' Whether the professor's medicine accomplished this end or not, it is not possible to state, but certainly none in the party became in fee ted. The fate of the Olga's crew comprised a somewhat sad incident, and had a more or less depressing efl ect upon our friends for the balance of the day. Bot the next day Oona\ashka was reached : The long chain or the Aleutians came in sequence. When the lust or these islands were passed over a great sea lay ex tended to view. Beyond this was the great country of Asia.


ON THE GRE.A 1 .MERIDIAN. The trip of the airs hip h a d now be e n well entered upon. Th e na tive l a nd of the voyag e r s w a s l eft b e hind th em. And they be g an to look forward to the sce nes and incidents to come with much W e shall strike th e low e r part of th e peninsul a of Kamts chatka1 s a id Frank. T h e c a pit al, I b e lieve, is the city of P

8 ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. "II it does we are certainly lost!" "Never give up," replied Frank. For a moment there came a lull. It seemed as H the first onslaught or the gale was spent. The air-ship came to her bead and rode level and steady. Then Frank brought ber up closer to the wind. But the respite was brief. \ The next moment it seemed as if a thunderbolt had struck the ship. She went almost Instantly over upon her beam ends, and not one on board but e-1pected death was at band. CHA;Trl VII. THE BRIGANDS. EvERYONE in the party wa11 thrown violently over and knocked half seuseles8. What followed was like a terrible mixed up dream to the voyagers. It seemed as if they were being hurled and whirled, they knew not whither and there was no power to prevent, neither could they regain even a momentary equilibrium. Frank regretted in tllat instant his attempt to outride the storm, He saw that it would have been much wiser and safer to have mounted into a higller altitude above the tempest. Ir l:.e could have reached the key board aL that moment, he woald have quickly sent the air-ship up. But lie was unallle to do so. My soul!" he gnsped in llorror, we are lost. 1 rear tlle worst.'' Every instant he expected to feel the air-ship dashed into the sea. But this did not happen. A lucl;.y accident occurr e d to prevent. As good fortune bad it, I he wrenching of the air-ship threw open the rotascope lever to its fullest width; the result was that the air ship shot upward. Up it went like a rocket. Up and up, whirling and tossing, buffet ed and hu: led, but yet up. Soon terrible to abate. The Cloud Cutter once more rode on an even keel. The mnchinery was buzzing frightfully. Frank regained his feet half stunned and reached the pilot-house window. Tb:e search-light sent a glare l.nto the depths below. This revealed the fact that they had risen above the storm. Is-is it over?" gasped the professor, as bruised and and exhaust-ed he regnined his feet. I Yes!" replied Frank. 'fhank Heaven!" At IE!ast we are out'or the storm!" Where are we now?'' Well on our way to Heaven if the machinery is not chec:Ced soon," said Frank. "Turn off the main dynamo, Barney." All rolght, sor," came back a rueful voice from the engine room. "Shure, I've nigh broke me bead fer it.'' The upward ascent or the airship was cbecked, however. She hung in mid air far above the clottds. Overhead the stars twinkled brightly In the azure dome. The thunder and roar of the storm came up plainly from below. The voyugers now realized what & narrow escape they had. On my word," cried tbe professor, "I wouldn't go through that experience again for anything!" "It was a rocky oue," agreed Frank, but we are out or it all right, and we must congratulate ourselves." "We certainly have reason to. But what will the move be now?'' All we can do is to wait for the storm to pass.'' Exactly!'' "In daylight .we can tell much more clenrly what to do. That is certainly beyond dispute.'' "Do you think the ship is badly Injured?" "I hope not. We of course cnn tell little about it just now." "What makes it so cola!" crieu the professor, blowing his fingers. "Golly! l'se nigh froze up!'' averred Pomp, dancing a jig. "It is the altitude," said Frank. "Why, certainly,'' agreed Bulger. "Why did I not think of that! Only see, the windows are already covering with thick frost.'' "We will do well to keep inside where it is warm," said Frank. There was an electric heating device on board the air-ship. This was culled into requisition. The result was that the cabin was soon as warm as one could de sire. As the danger was now over, and things were once more comfort able on board the air-ship, the question of sl e ep was brought up. As it was past ruiduight the necessity or at once turning in was ap parent. Barney offered to stand on guard until daylight, so the ot hers turned in. When day came at last the storm had passed, and the Cloud Cutt .er de&cended to a more comfortable level. So tar as could be ascertained no harm had occurred to the ship, beyond a straining or her hull and the slight springing of the rota scope shaft. But Frank was decided upon one point. He would never risk another storm. It was better always to be on the safe side. This was the only Incident which befell tile travelers upon I their voyage across the Sea or Okhotsk. The first land sighted brought all on deck. The Island of Saghallien,'' declared Bulger, beyond it is the Gulf or Tartary where so many Japanese pirates have strongholds, auu beyond that is Amour, a prolice of western Asia." "Then we shall sojourn WiLli the Tartan and Upper Mongolians for a long while!" said Frank. "Yes.'' "Wdl, I am not anxious to make their close acquaintance. II we do not descend, we need apprehend no trouble from them.'' "Exactly! There is no very good reason why we should descend." "None, whatever. Our purpose is to accomplish the circumference or thll earth upon the Great Meridian?" ,. Just eo!" The coast of the Island was a wild and inhospitable one. The time in crossing the island was not The narrow body of wat'lr known as the Gull of Tartary was be yond; Across this the air ship sailed. There were nJmbers or lateen-sailed craft seen upon the sea below and Bul)!:er declared: "No doubt they are Japanese pirates This is a favorite rendezvous for them.'' But when the coast or the Continent or Western As1a really burst into view then our travelers were vastly interested. The coast was strewn wilh little quaint fishing ports and hamlets. Curious Tartar craft sailed the sea. The airship sailed over the high cliffs inland. The country spread to view was not or tbe most fertile or yet the most barren. There were grain fields and mnr:y signs of profitable agricnlture. But the cities were walled, and armed bands of men were com moil. Like any barbarous co)lntry it was plainly accursed with petty war fare and brigandage. For a whole day tile air-ship sailed over Amour. There was much to watch in the quaint villages and the odd cos tumes of the people. Professor Bulger profited by this. lila sntistied his mind up.>n many points which had hitherto been knotty problems. The great range or Joblannoi mountains were visible far to the North. A spur of these were to be crossed by the airhip. Their high summits and deep, dark passes marked the real boundary line Manchuria. Thus far no incident of n thrilling sort had occurred. "I declare," exclaimed the professor, "don't tuose mountains look like the resort of thieves and llrigandst" "I'll wager they are such." declared Frank. "I would not be a bit surprised. Nature certainly designed them for just such a purpose." "One might expect to see Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves appear.'' "Just sol" The air-sbip hung over a deep and rock pass, wllen the professor caught sight or a curious scene llelow. Laboring up a steep and narrow bighw-:" was a train or people. In the lead was a very curious looking draw!: .JS horses. In the vehicle there reclined upon si::;E' cnsn;ons & -very tleauLilul yonng lady, evidently a Russian of noble I H th. Heigho!" cried the professor; here n ecene !rom a fni!"' ale. The princess and her retinue Where is the gay young ]()ver1" Instantly the others crowded to the ail and regarded the scene with interest. "Sue is certainly a person or distinc t / m," said Frank; "there is no doubt of that." The droshky, or whatever sort or vehicle it might w11s a good load for the four Bnrbary ponies. They tugged and pante

ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. t CHAPTER VIIi. BROUGHT TO EARTH. ALREADY the brigands and the soldiers of the Tartar princess' train were crossing swords. That the latter were half hearted in their de fense, however, was v e ry certain. 1'he certainty of their defeat and the hope of amnesty was doubtless responsible for this. In fact it was not improbable bot tllat some of them might be in league with the robbers. 1'he princess tlerseH seemed distraught. She was shouting excited and hysterical commands to her followers. Up to tllis mowent none in either party had perceived the air-11bip alJove them Now, however, Frank placed a small trumpet to ilia lips, and gave a quick, harsh note. Instantly those below looked up in amazement. Tlle result was not easy to depict. The appearance of such a spectacle in mid air over th e ir beads was such as might well have aroused every supersti t ious element in their ignorant minus. For a moment the Princess and her men gazed spell-bound. The attacking brigands reined back their Barbs 10 sheer amazement which merged into terror. The great ship swooping down upon them throagb the air was a spectacle which tbey could not uo' kin bet we will!" cried Pomp hilariously. Begorrn, at tbtm !" cried Barney. It was lively work for a time. But the Tartars, seeing that they could not cnrry the air-ship by open assault, retreated. They fell behind the cover of an elevation near. "Hurrah!" cried Bulger, "we have whipped them!" "It is a point in our favor," said Frank cautiously, "though we haven't done with them yet." Don't you bellete it?'' "You shall see." And at that moment Barney gave a sharp cry. "Shure, Misther Frank, they are bound to bent us! It's all qp us now, for shure!" My soul!'' exclaimed the young inventor. "We are doomed!" There was good reason for this exclamation. All beheld an astounding and demoralizing spectacle. From the fvrtitications near the mouoted cannon bad been rolled forth. It was drawn up within range and trained upon the air-ship. It was a thrilling moment. Never bad defeat nod death been nearer our voyagers than now. It seeme:l certain that they were to meet it this time. The gun was trained, and a guard stood by it with lighted fuse. One shot from the cannon would be sufficient to ruin the air-ship. Frank gave a groan. This is a sad ending or our pinnal" he said, "yet, what more can we do?" "Awalt our late with fortitude," said Bulger, heroically. I


10 ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. CHAPTER IX. IN THE POWER OF A FIEND. I The professor only bowed seriously. Then he and Fr!ink took tue captain in cuarge, and began to show him over the air ship. BuT the word was not giv e n to lire. The captain of the Tartar soldiers made a few flourishes sword and then walked boldly forward. his The six big eunuchs kept close behind their master. But Frank Frank saw that u. truce was meant and accepted it. Certainly there was no hope left now but to temporize with the 'l'artars. So he stepped out on the deck and said: Sprechen sie Deutsch?'' The Tartar looked puzzled "Parlez vous Francais?'' No intelligible sign, "Haban y' E s paool!" Again no reply. "Professor!'' cried Frank. "You know the Turkish language. Try that on him." The professor bad spent years in Arabia and 'l'urkey while pursuing nrchreological researches, and understood various Semetic tongues. He stepped forward nod addressed the fellow in plain Turkish. Bat though the Tnrtar captain looked more intelligent, yet he did not seem to understand. But the prufessor varied the language with a number of dialects nsed by various tribes or Asia. As a result he hit upon the right one. only smiled gnmlv. Tbe young inventor pretended to describe to the captain all tue mechanism of the ship. The professor acted as interpreter. But tue captain of the Tartars found the electric problem something deeper tban a nything be bad ever to fntbom. He wus befogg ed. 'l'here was nothing like it in the Koran or in tbe writings of his fathers This mysterious unseen element must be linked with the devil. And for a moment his supere : itious fears asserted themselves. But be overcame his religiOus scruples in Ins anxiety to become master of the air ship. So he demanded tbat be should be sbown bow to make the air sbip rise. Frank took him the key board. "Press that," be said, putting his band on the lever. The captain did so. Tbe machinery buzzed. Sparks leaped from the dynamos. But the ship did not rise. An angry gleam shone in the captain's eyes. Ha gave a guttural exclamation. Instantly the six eunuchs brandished their scimeters. "I salute thee, Effendi!" cried the Tartar captain, eagerly. "In the name o! Mohammed, you must surrender to Beoi Sbirl, Captain MaKe the ship rise or you die!" hissed Bani Shirl, there shall be Why no treachery here!" or the Sheik's Guard and apostle or the Prophet!" Are those your terms, Beni Shirlf" asked the professor. do you moles t us!'' "You forget, noble sir," said Bulger, obsequiously, "the ropes you Why do 1 molest thee, dogs of Christians!" cried the Tartar, an grily. How canst thou ask that question when thou mayst SflB about thee the handiwork of thine, the noble followers of tile Propbet thou hast done to death!" "You forget that you opened the warfare, great captain," replied a bit crestfallen, Enough!" he cried to one of the eunuchs, remove the ropes!" The order was instantly obeyed. 'l'be ropes were removed. Frank drew a deep breath, He knew that the critical moment bad come. He !eaned forward aud placed the captain's band upon the electric lever. Instantly tbe ship began gently to rise. Up abe went gracefully and wi:h a thrilling motion. For a momen& Beni Shire forgot himself in his delight and excitement. Up for a thousand feet went the air-ship. Frank all the while was endeavoring to explalD tbe mechanism to the Tartar chief. But Beni Shirl only comprehended part. He rushed out upDn deck and took a look at the earth. In the kllO\Yledge of his mastery at that moment he grew inflated and begau to give grandiloquent orders. 1 One of these wus that the eunuch s should throw one of the menial soldiers over the rail. The tyrannical ond despotic Tartar capta in with true Nero-like spirit wanted to see tbe effect of his journey to the earth. The order was oheyed. The poor wretch, ecreaming and struggling, was carried to the rail. My soul! that Is awful!" gasped Frank. What an Inhuman monster." He is a fiend!" cried Bulger. But no help could be accorded the unfortunate wretch. Over the rail he was launched and down he went to a fri(!htful death. Complacently the monster watched his subj ect vanish in space. Tben be gave a guttural command for the air-ship to be put to her speed. This was done. The ship was maile to go around in a wide circle. Then, fully satisfied of his supremacy over the air-ship and her crew he walked profoundly up to Bulger, and announced: Beni Shirl spol;e to a number of the soldiers, who advanced. What is this!" asked the professor "Only a matter of form, Effendi," said the captain, suavely. shall be compelled to treat you as prisoners until after you have tilled your part of the bargain." "1 have changed my mimi, sire. You are too valuable subjects to "I depart from my country You are made subjects of mine and I will ful reward you well for faithful service. But if you 1leceive me-" a. frightful grin" I will make you wish you had nenr bad a mother!'' Jupit er! !Je is a keen rascal," said Frank, with a smile. "Well, let him have his own way. We will make him dance a hornpipe yet." "It is our only hope." Certainly! resistance would be the height of folly! Watch and wait!'' Bulger conveyed this information to Frank. The young inventor said: "We will tame the Tartar. There is no better time to act thaa now!'' The armed guards were placed on the air-ship's deck and were stationed about it. Then Frank began work on the disarranged cogs of tho rotascope, CHAPTER :l.. It WaS DOl a long task. ACROSS THE URAL. In a few hours he bad all in good working order again. THE very moment that the air-ship left the earth and got out of His first hope had been to give the Tartars a surprise and suddenly range o! tbe cannon, Frank knew that he had the game in his own send the air-ship up and leave them. But this was not feasible, hands. They had passed heavy ropes over the deck, evidently foreseeing His plan to oust the rartars was a very simple one. this possibility. The decks of the air-ship were o! 'l'bey were equipped with a But Frank was not baffled yet. device which Frank had conceived witll the very idea in view of no "I'll tix them!" be muttered. invasion on her decks by a foe. Word was now Aent to Beni Shirl that the air-ship was repaired and He could have employed the device before, while the air-ship was wns at his disposal. on the earth. An immense tbroog of Tartar people were congregated about. The But she was while there under the muzzle of the deadly cannon. soldiers were drawn up in n deep square. Now there was no bar to its use. The captain of the guard came ostentatiously in response to the He, therefore, wasted no lime in making use of it. summons. Wherever he went two of the armed eunuchs accompanied him, As he aboard the air-ship he was accompanied by RiX This was a warning against treachery. brawny eunuchs all armed with keen edged sci meters. But Frank only smiled at this. At a convenient moment lae gave a "Treacbery will meau death,'' he intimated gr1mly tn Bulger. private sigual to the others. Instantly action wae made


I ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. 11 Barney and Pomp were at the wheel. They instantly stepped upon a little dais which rested upon glass legs. Bulger by the rail <:id the &arne. Frank at the keyboard also step ped upon a glass plntrorm. Then he instantly switched the full force of the dynamo current into the steel deck of the air-ship. Simultaneously the Tartars all gave a leap in the air and fell less. Frank switched the current off. At his feet lay the two eunuchs who bad followed him with their drawn scimeters. All bad been done in the twinkling of an There was not time for even an outcry. The entire murderous gang were hors do combat, and wholly at the mercy or their erstwhile prisoners. Beni Shirl lay by the pilot house door in a senseless heap. It was safe to say that none of them knew what had struck them. "Whurroo!" cried Barney, leaping down from his perch. "That's the way to fool 'em: Shure, they're not in it now at all, at all!" "Golly, dey jes' guv up de ghostis like little lambs," chimed in Pomp. "::5nah dey amn't so ferocious as dey was!" As for Frank and Bulger, they were much gratified. But the ques. tion now arose as to what it was best to do with tbe senseless Tar tars. of them were dead. At any moment they might come out of the spell upon them. Frank hit ppon an idea. "Bind each one securely," he said; "I'll see that they do not trouble us again!" fate would be to throw them overboard," said Bul ger. "Right," Frank, "and yet I hardly car e to do that. 1 do not wish to needlessly take life, even of murderers." Barney and PQmp bound the Tartars securely. Then they were placed In a row by the rn1l. 'l'he air-ship once more beaded to tbe westward. The little Tartar town over which Beni Shirl had been the despot was left far behind. They now began to approach the mighty Altoi Range of mountains. The country became less densely settled. Steadily onward the air-ship sailed until iL hovered over a mighty wild gorge. Here Frank it to be brought to a bait. "Do you see that sbelf or rock down below there, jutting out from the mountain wall," he said, "there is where we will leave our birrtitied towns over which we pass." Thnt.is the best way to do,'' said Bulger. "We cannot afford to take too many chances!'' Over the Alto! Mountains the alr-shio sailed into the land Of the Kurds. Once this mountain range was passed it seemed as if Europe had alreadv hove into view. The "Province of Tomsk was beneath them, and beyond this wou!J come the wonder!ul valleys of the Irtish river and then the Ural Mountains, the real boundary line between Europe anrl Asia. By next week we sbnll be in Russia!" declared Frank. "Barring accidents," suggested Bulger. "Certainly!" Siberia, the land of the exile aud or interminable winters, lay far to the northward. The days passed without special mcident, for no descent was made. Tbe air-ship passed over many villages of the Krighiz Tartars, over many wild fastnesses, some or them unexplored by man. At last, one bright morning a distant mighty range of mountains was sighted in the west. "The Ural at last!" cried Bulger, wildly. Hurrah! We are bound to win success!'' "Europe!" said Frank, with a thrill. "Indeed we are half our journey over." There was a general jollification over the fact. Then the air-ship swung high over the mighty Ural Range. Night carne on dark and cloudy. It was evident that a storm was rapidly brewi'lg. Frank remembered his last experience and said: Keep your eye open while on wat ch to-night, Barney. If it looks like a bad storm, he sure and call me up." "All right, sor!'' agr(>ed the Celt. A little past midnight the wind did blow so stiffly that Barnev found it impossible to keep the Cloud-Cutter head on to the gale. So he did not hesitate to at once call Frank, who responded quick ly. Windows and doors were closeo, the electric heatmg app a ratus was turned on, and the air-ship made its ascent into upper regions. Far above the storm it hung until daylight. The next day at sun rise the Cloud-Cutter passed from Asia into Europe. The whole Russian Empire lay beneath the aerial voyagers. The change in the country was inten9e, Neither tbe topography nor the character of the country wns the same. Quaint, hrifty little villages, with their curious inns took Lhe place of the wild mountain camps and dens of the Asiatic people. "Let me see," said Bulger; "have you figured out, Frank, through what important Russian cities we shall pass!" "None until you get beyond the Volga,'' said Frank, then we shall Jlass in turn, Saratof, Kourek, Tcheringeff, Pinsk and War s aw. That will bring us to the German boundary." Warsaw," exclaimed Bulger, "that is the city over which I h ave a desire to pass. It is the old time capital of Poland." Poland became merged into Russia-yes," replied Frank, we will pass directly over that cit]." The nirhip, as the voyagers could see, created no little sensation among tbe country people below. Whole towns could be seen in a state or wildest uproar. What the thoughts of these people must have been It is not easy to gU "BS. Frank bad no intention of descending, but when near the city or Saratof, be saw a great stir below. There wera heavy fortifications upon a hill here. The RllBsian soldiers thronged the ramparts. Suddenly as the voyagers watched them, a cry went up from Prof. Bulger. "On my word, Frank!'' be cried, "they have a balloon!" A balloon?'' This was seen to be a fact. It is a well known fact t11at in Russia tha war b!.lloon is a thing of practical use and value. The Russians have mastered the art of sailing au

I 12 ON THE GREAT MERIDIAN. "You re,fuse!" I "I do!" Ah, but the Czar's orders--'' Hang you anti your Czar. II you were not a blockhead you would aee the American tlag floating at the stern of this ship I The Russian ollicer was singularly obdurate . "Ah, but anybody can tly the American flag," be sa id, suspiciously, I that does not make them Americans.'' "You doubt us?" "I do, monsieur. We must call upon you in tae name of the Czar to d e scend and submit to an inspection." Frank laughed scornfully. "Do you think you can compel me to do that?" he said. "W!Iy I ca!l run away from you with the great est of ease. You :.re helpless." "Perhaps we are," said the Russian officer, grim i y, "but we are under orders and must fire upon you unless you ob<:.f." "Fire upon this flag at your peril," replied Frl!.o:.k, warningly. 'l'hen be ceased speaking. For some inexplicable reason the be gan to sink. Down it went rapidly below the level of the ballo',o. And at the same moment Barney r A1ed out of the cabin, crying: "Shure, Misther Frank, the machint::ry is out av order agio!" "The macllinery out of order!'' exclaimed Frank, witll amazement; "shut of!' the dynamos the.n, Barney! Let it fall easy." "All roight, sor.'' "What is this!" cried the professor, in dismay. "We have got to falllnto the hands of the Russians a!ter all," said Frank, with a smile. "Yon don't seem to dread it much," said the professor. "The case is very different now,'' said Frank, with logic. "We are in a civilized country, and not among lJarbari aus. 'l'hese Russians are bound to respect the law of nations. They will make UB a little trou ble, but they will be compelled to let us alone." The balloonists evidently thought that the master of the air ship had concluded to comply with their demands and descend. They accordingly began to lower the balloou. A guard of Cossacks was seen far below, waiting the descent of the Cloud Cutter. Frank went below and examined the machinery. One of the small electric coils had given out. It would have required scarcely an hour's work to repair it but it V[OU!d be necessary to descend to do it. \ However, Frank did not feel at all doubtful as to the result. He knew that he was safe. Instantly, as the ship touched the eartb, armed Cossacks laid hold of the rail. Heavy ropes were passed across the decK to hold the ship down. lt was somewhile before an officer appeared upon the scene. Then military gYard was established upon the air-ship's declt. A tall, fierce-lookiug Russian, with a staff of officere, rode down pomp ously to the spot. He leaped from the saddle and upon the air-ship's deck. Frank met him coolly Tbe Russian saluted and Frank returned it stiflly. "Well, monsieur," said the officer, jauntily. "Your little game does not work. You are our s and your clever flying machine as well. It is well that you surrendered.'' ''Indeed," replied Franl(, coolly. We did not not descend, Mon-sieur, in response to your summons." The lieutenant looked aatouisted. "You did not!" he EIKClaimed. "Non, Monsieur.'' "Lieutenant, sir, if you please,'' said the Russian with dignity. "Ve ry well, Monsieur Lieut e nant," said Frank, with aggravating calmness. The Russian was nettled. Do you mean to say that you have surrendered!'' he asked. Why stonld I surrender!" asked l<' rauk, sharply. What do you take me for?" A German dog spying upon our fortifications, retorted the lieutenant; the Czar shall set upon your case!" Hang you and your CzarI am an Ame rican!'' An American!" Certainly; do you not know our flag!" T h e lieutenant looked steadily and dubiously at Frank. It was evi dent that be disbelievetl him. "Your dtlfense is quite clever, monsieur,p he said. "Mayhap you are not German but French.'' "You are mistaken." But why should the military service of America send you over here! What reason have they for spying upon us! The lieutenant asked this question as if he believed that it could not possibly be answered. But it was not such a poser as tllat. Frank replied quietly: You are under a fog, sir, in regard to this matter. 'l'h i s air-ship is not in any military serv.ice nor does it belong to any government." W -what!'' exclaimed the Russian; to waom does it belong then!" "To me, sir!" "To you, a private man! Zounds, sir! l will never believe that. And who are you! An American prince!'' "Princes are unknown in my country,'' said Frank, coolly, "that is where you err. A private citizen in America may own an air-ship without fear of its being confiscated by the government." The lieutenant drummed upon his sword hilt, rellectively. My name is Carlos Prevoski," he said, and yours--!'' "Frank: Reade, Jr.'' "You have passports!'' "No." Then the lieutenant gave an impatient exclamation. "How can you exvect to escape being detained under suspicion!'' he said sharply. "You have no passports and nothing to approve your identity. You are under arrest!"' Frank saw that it was useless to argue with the fellow. "There is au American consul at Saratof," b e said. "Will you send a message to him? He will prove my idP.ntity and satisfy your government that we are not spi e s or suspicious characters." Prevoski hesitated. Hut he could not refuse so reasoable request. So he said somewbat ungraciously: "Very well. monsieur, you shall have the chance to prove your identity-! will send the messenger. It may require a day or two to get an answer.'' That will suffice. I am under your protection until then.'' You are under arrest." 11 As you please.'' Prevoski salute d and rE!turned to his horse. He galloped away with his brother officer!!. Then the Cossacks reJoubled their l )ne of guards about the air-shfp. Well," said tb(' professor, this is amazing to say the least. Can you not reason with that fool!" No,'' re]:Jlied Frank; we are booked for a day's stay here.'' Perhaps longer.'' No-not if we get a prompt answer from the consul at Saratof. He will of course clear us. We can then go on again." "But it makes it awkward to say the least," growled Bulger. 11 We ought to be on our way to Warsaw now.'' We will reach Warsaw in due season," said Frank. Have no fears on that score, my dear professor.'' It was dreary work waitmg for the return of the messenger from Saratof. The hours seemed years, but twenty .. four of them finally slipped by. Then a mounted guard rode down to the air-ship. Foremost was Prevoski, who had a written mesRage in his band, and who had a light or exultation upon his bronzed face. "I have the reply, 1nonsieur," be said, with mock politeness. "Well,'' said Frank, impatience, "of course yon know that we all right.'' The lieutenant shook his head slowly, and with a derisive smile. The American Consul at Saratof," he sa1d, does not know of any Frank Reade, J1., or any American air-ship. He is unaware of this.'' The blockhead!'' cried Frank, angrily, he does not read any American papers. Confound his insolence! Why don't b.e give us ou1 voucher? He !mows we are all ril!;ht." Tbe lieutenant shooK his h(;lall slowly. 11 It may be all rigbt, monsieur," be said, 11 but our suspicion-all, you must await the order of the Czdr!'' Frank's face fell, and Bulger gave a low whistle of dismay. On my won!!" be luguoriously, 11 there is not a particle or dqnbt iu it. We are stuck!" CHAPTER XII. HC!IIEWARD BOUND--THE END. FRANK was exceedingly angry. "Confound these blockheads of Russians!" be muttered, 11 they cannot see through glass. It is strange that he does not see at once that we arP. Americans and all right." But tl;e Russian lieutenant did not see this. He had his obstinate i d eas of duty and clung to them. He would await the oraers of the Czar. This would be, no doubt, incarceration in prison, and perhaps exe cution; worse than all, Siberia. It was of no use to argue with Prevoski. He intimated that his orders were strict, and disobedience would cost him his bead. "The Czar is merciless!" he said, with a shrug of his sn.oulders. This was the unfortunate state of affairs when a lucky incident dis pelled all trouble. A party of horsemen came dashing down the steep into the place. A glance was enough for our friends to soe that one of them was an American. "Our consul!" exclaimed Frank. "We are saved!" 1 This prov e d to be the truth. The Saratof Consul, whose name was Wilkins. had come in person to identify the prisoners as Americans. This was qnJckly done and the Russian commander made profuse apologies which terminated the episode. 'fhe breakage in t!Je air-ship's machinery was repaired and she once more went on her way. All in the party were glaq when the boundary line into Germany was crossed. Warsaw was viewed from a convenient height and Professor Bulger was made happy. A most interesting .part of the tour now begun though it was neces sarily devoid of incident. The great cities and towns, the picturesque valleys and great rivers or Germany were all passed over in wonderful panorama. lt was a scene to be long rememb e red. Next came Belgium, and the air ship for a time hovered over the beautiful city of Brussels. Then the llight across the channel was begun.


I I ON THE GREA'l' MERIDIAN. 13 It wns a beautiful warm July morning, when the Cloud Cutter sailed over the mouth or the Thames, with all its shipping and its muddy wate r. Bonny England, with its great mass or humanity, lay beneath, and the professor exclaimed: "We tave met in no country such thick s e ttlement. Every inch of English soil seems to be occupied.'' Frank laughed. When I was at school," be said, "I used to wonder how long it would be b e fore the Englisb people would lim1 their little islnnd so small, thnt they would be crowded in thousnnds from it into tt.e sen." "Indeed I do not wonder when its limited area is considered. Y e t the island has had a population for thousands or ye a rs, wh1ch despite its increase has never yet sufficed to overrun its area. Nor do I be iieve that it ev e r will." This queetion settled, Frank and the professor turned their atten tion to their charts. A very interesting event was close at baud. Greenwich, the astronomical center upon the line or which the great meridian is laid, was near !lt hand. '!'hough the hour was early, the voyagers felt sure that there should be some learned savant in the great observatory who would salute them. So the air-ship bore down for the quaint building from whicb so much learn e d star-gazing has been d

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Every boy .Price 10 oouts. For sale by a.H i n the Uui Jlera and also relatee some ad ventures and eiperieoces of who can enjoy a good subnantial joke allouldobtain a copy :States. or we will send it to you b7 mail. po.t:aae wellkoown detocthee. Price 1!) cents. immdiate u on rcei t of tha rice. p p p Funny Stories b y t h e Great "Bricktop.'' Handsome Lithogr aph Cover s i n Col ors. Worth. Each Story Complete. Stories Fully lllustr a ted Price 10 Cents Each. by 1 Mulligan's Boarding-House. S To Europe by Mistake. 14 Dodging a Creditor. 15 My Wife's Mother. 3 Joining the Freemasons. 4 Our Servant Girls. 5 Ze b Smith's Country Store. 6 On a Jury. 7 Mrs. Brown's Boarding-House. 8 Henpecked. 9 Columbus, the Discoverer, by Duke Bagbag i o 11 12 13 A Bachelor's Love Scrapes. 'Uncle Josh. Bunting tor a Wife. 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It contains full instructions about guLB, bunting w1tll descrip No.22. HOW 'l'O DO SECOND SlGH'f. I Heller's second sil(ht explained bv his former ass;stant, also giving all the codes and signals. J'he on ly authentic explanation of second sicht. Price 10 cents. No. 23. HOW '1'0 EXPLAIN DREAMS. Everybody dreams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. 'l'bis httle book gives the explanation to all cents No.24. HOW TO WRITE LE'l"l'ERS TO GENTLE HEN. Cotltaining full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; &lao giving sample letters for 1nstruction.. Price 10 cents. No.25. liOW 'l'O BECO!\IE A GYMNAST. Oo!ltaining full instructions for aB ldnds of KYmnastio StJOrts and athletic exercises. Embracing thirty-five ilJustra.tions. Hy Professor W. Macdouald. A hand,and useful book. Price 10 cents. No. 26. HOW '1'0 ROW, SAIL AND BUILD A BOAT. Fully illustrated. Every boy should know bow to row and sa.il a boat. Fu11 instructions are given in this little book.., together with instructions on swimming and riding, com pan ion sports to boating. 10 cents. No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECI 'l'A l lONS. pieces, toget.her with maa.y standard readings. Price 10 cents. No. 28. HOW 'l'O 'l'ELL FORTUNES. Every one is desirous of knowing what his future life will bring fortb, wbetbe r happiness or misery, wenltll or po,... erty. You can tell by a glance at this iittle book. lluy one and be convinced. .rell your own fortune. Tell the f

---------------------------------------------------------------------...---------------------Latest Issues of Latest Issues of La test Issnes of THE 5 cENT Frank Reade Library YouNG ITOMIIT LIBRARY. By"Noname." SLEUTH LIBRARY, No. 45 The Short7s Out by Pete r Pad Pad by Peter Pad 48 A 51 Dandy Diek, the Doctor's Son; or, 1.'be Villa$te '!'error, by l'om 'J'easer 5'l Sassy Slfm Sumner, A Sequl to" Sass, :Sam. by Commodore Ab-J.ook 63 The Jolly Travelers; or, Around the \Vorld for ..Fun, by Pete r Pad West, 66 Cheeky and Ohipper; or, Through 'l'hic k and Tbin, by Commodore Ab-Look & 7 'f"o Hard Nuts; or. A 'l'erm of Fun at llr. Orackfllm'e Academy, by StLm Smiley 68 The Sbortya' Country Store, by Peter Pad li9 Muldoon' s Vacation, by ro m Teaser :f Left, 82 Joseph jump and His Old Blind Nag, by Pet&r Pad 63 'l'wo in a Box; or, The Long and Short of It, by Tom Teasdr 6' The ShortJ Khls; or, Three Chi p s of l'hree O l d Blo cko, by Peter Pad e& Mike Mcnuinriess; or, rraveline for Pleasure. 86 The Shortya' Christmas Snaps, 81 'l'he .Bounce 'fwins, o r, l'he Two Worst Boya 10 the World, by Snm fSrniley 68 Nimble Nip, the Imp of the School, by Tom Teaser 69 Sam Spry, the New York Drummer; or, Business 70 b 71 'l'h ose Quiet' Twins, b"' Peter Pad Ready's by Pet&r Pad 74 An Old Boy; or. Maloney After Education, by Tom 'l'easer 76 Tumbling Tim; or, Traveling With a Circus, br. Peter Pad 76 Judge Olea ry s Country Court, b,y rom Teuer 79 Joe Junk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere for li'un, by Peter Pad EO The Deaoen's Son; or, 'fhe Imp ot the 81 Behind the Scenes; or, Out With a Com.bination. by Peter Pad S'l The Fuooy Four, by Pet&r P1

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