King of the air; or, Lost in the Sargasso Sea


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King of the air; or, Lost in the Sargasso Sea

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Title:
King of the air; or, Lost in the Sargasso Sea
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Haskins, Howard
Place of Publication:
New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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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.
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028874768 ( ALEPH )
07230851 ( OCLC )
B15-00008 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.8 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
Brave and Bold

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L 'ONGER STORIES THAl't CONTAIN E D IN .Fl \JE ANY S:IVE CENT LI BRA AV PUBLISHED CENTS A C0,-,1'1.ETE iSTORT. WEEK As they looked up at the great mass, a dark object shot out of one of t h e cars uown from the sheer height toward the lake.

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' BRAVEBOLD .fl Complete Story Every Week J ssu1d W u llly By S ub scriptio n la.so p e r year. Entered accordinl( to Act of Congress in tlte year 1qo3, in till Office of tlu Libraria1' of Con1rress. Waslu"nr t on, .o., c: STREET & SMITH, 238 WlJliam St.,' N. Y. No. JO. N E W Y O RK, Febr u a r y 28, 1 903. P rice Fi v e Cents. KING OF THE AIR OR, Lost tn .the Sargasso Sea. Ily HOW ARD HASKINS. t CHAPTER I. THE CABIN IN THE CLEARING. "What's t h at?"' asked "th e younge r o f t h e two lads t rudgi n g t h r oug h the sto rm a n d r ain as a flash of l ig h tni n g illu mined a mome n t a ,str etch of water. "Must b e Lake Co n sta nce-we ought to b e about there by this time." 'Lake Constance or Lake Mary Ann, I only wish it was the lake i n Central Park," grumbled t h ) other, the you nger and smaller of the pai r "This is a great tour we're makin-' and no mis take. There 1 If we hadn t had that flash, we might have walked '.nto the wate r and it would h ave bee n all up with us "Couldn't get much wette r t h a n we are, Gid We must look for a shelter or we'll leave 'our bones i n S witzerland Come, get a gait o n yo u ," taking his companion a n d hurrying h im along th r ough t he wet woods "Sup pose we go a little slow; we might break our necks in a hole or tod dle overboard You haven't got to catch a train. "N' o, but I've got to catch a cold, if I don't find a dry spot soon," a s h e proceeded to hustle his companio n along. The t wo American boys were on t h eir way home from Paris, where they had been work i ng, and were seeing what sights they ceuld on the way. Trudging mos t of the distance on foot, they had beco m e l ost in t he woods. Dic k Hen slow, the pilot of the expedition, knew they were on the edg e o f L ake Co n sta n re, but t h at was a small satisfaction, sinc e t h e y h ad been wande rin g for hours wit hout finding a h a b ita ti o n. As the roar of the wind ceased for a m om ent, he drew his c om panion up sho r t wit h a warning "Hist!" ''What's the matter? Got 'em again?" asked Gid Cro s s l y the yo u nge r I tho ught I heard the sound of a v o ice Can't tell, t ho ug h for that wind roars like a catamount with the stomach ache." "Mebbe it was one," and hi s co m panion drew up close r to hi m "Bah! Don t let that frighten you. They don't have suc h things in this part of the country except stuff e d or in a zoo." Though the younge r had confid e nce in the other's su p erior wisdom. he was far from feeling comforted. "Help-help!" The screa m arose above the roar of the storm, and, heard in the depths of that somber wood, struck a feeling of fear eve n in Dick Henslow's heart. I n a moment, however, he had recovered his nerve, and seized hi s companion by the arm, dragging him along in the direction o f the so u nd. "No anim
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' BR AV E AND BOLD. I t was only when they were out of breath and exhausted with 1 heir rapid flight that they halted for a mom e nt. ''How'll we know wh ich way to take?" asked Gid, for it was a s densely black as eve r and the appealing c r y for h elp was n ot r e peat ed. "We can o nl y trust to luck. Root aroun d on the grou nd, Gid, for a club, for we may need it if we w ant to be of any service to that poor de\'il." There was n o trouble in supp l ying themselves w i th such r udc weapons, for .the ground \\ as littered with broken branches. Even in t!ie dark they could find \\'hat they wanted. 'Steady, What's that moving along th e r ight?" Gid, l ooki n g in the direction pointed out, saw a pale light 1110\'ing slowly along. that flashed out at interva ls, and t hen was ob sc ured. ''.\ li ght be a swam p light! gasped Giel. fear creeping over him again. He had not had th e benefit of ed uc at ion lik e his com panion, and wa:; a littl e superstitiolls, a nd fearful ewn of nat11ral wonders. "Noi o n your lif e! If I'm not mistake n. it's some one carry ing a l a nt e rn. r eplied his companion. ''Come on, let's see what thi s means. I shouldn t \\'Onder if the bearer o f that lantern h{ls so mething to do \\'i t h t h e c r y for help. Folk s don't go wande r ing in the woods for pleasure in this kind of weather." They mad e their w ay slowly a nd cautiously in the directi o n o f the light, which could st ill be seen flickering faintly through the t r ee s In sp it e of their effor ts, they cou ld n ot help making a n oise as t h ey st umbled through th e gloom. Fortunatel y t h e storm was at its he ight, and th e r oa r o f the wind was e nough to d ea d e n a n y so und they might make. They w e re n o w w ry near the m ov in g l i ght, whi ch appeared t o l:ie coming straight for them. Dick pulled his compa nion back among t he bushes. Presently a dark figure appeared, and they saw that it w as indeed a man carrying a lantern. "\Ve must follow that chap," whi spe r ed Dick. "He'll l ead u s to where t h e trouble is." Gid pressed his hand i n acquiesce nce, and sl0\\ly they followe d behind the bllrly figur e through th e dripping woods. they ente r e d a clearing. which they could Lell by rea so n th a t the trees no longer op p osed their progress. The ground S<"em e d plO\\ed up, an d o ncE! th ey went down toget h e r in th e mire. "Bl\t th e light! Where's the light?" gasped Dick, when they had struggled to their feet. The l antern and the shadow of iv bearer had disappeared. "He can't be far away-\\'e must find the begga r ," said Dick, stur dily "I on l y hope we will get there before the Yillains haYe a cha nce. to m ake mincemeat of the p oor fellow, whoever he is. Thafs wh at worries m e most." T h ey m ade their \\ay over the so ft ground with difficulty, in th e d e ns e darkness, \\'ithout e\e n t h e comfort of the lantern to guide t hem. "Hello, what's this for Dick Henslow had collided \\-ith \\ hat appea r e d to be the edge of a building. '' \V e' re at the place. I guess," he a moment later, as th ey saw a g l eam of light through a shutter. But though they h ea rd a confused so und of Yoices. they could n ot see inside building, which appeared to b e a cabin. T h ey felt their way around it o nly to find it was as herm et ically 1ea.led a;. a cashbox. "\Veil, we haven't gained much by getting he re, afte r all," grumbled Di c k Henslow. "Here's a tree, they must get air from somewhe re. Let's shin up and see what we find there," sa id G i d, and it required two suc h expert climb e rs but a moment t o b e astr ide the roof tree. Dick, though h e found no window diocovered a trapdoor, which he pried open sile ntly and they c r awled down into a s mall room their soake d s h oes p rotecti n g the m from discovery. Thro u gh the flooring they caught glean1s o f light, and heard loud voices Selecting a kn ot hole they p ee red down into t h e interior, lying on t h eir sto m ac hs. 'What they s aw was three men grouped around a table on which a b ow l o f punch \\' as st':'a ming and from the b o i ste rou s sounds, the party had n ot been sparing of their attentions to it Off in a co rner l ay a q ueer bundle. "Th e we heard crying for h e lp," wh i spe r ed D i ck, who sa w that it was indeed a m a n trussed up lik e a fowl. Whether de a d o r only gagised, they cou ld not make out. 1t was imp oss ible fr om where th e lad s l a y to see the 0face s of the tri o about th e table, for they sat with their soft hats pulled down ove r t h e ir eyes, puffin g o n c l ay pipe s and alternately drink ing. It w as a noisy. boisterous group. "Harw ood is making rapid progress with his work," said one big m a n .. "From what I've see n of the flyingship w e won't stand a ghost of a chance to beat him there. He'll reach the Sargasso Sea a nd reap the treasure b efo re we are halfway." "No, h e \von 't: for we'll see to it that h e n e v e r start s crier\ a noth e r. dashing his fist dow n o n th e table. "\lv'hat, give up all th ose milli o ns!" "B ut h e's a strong m an, a nd h as s p ent a fortune already. Didn't we capture hi s spy ? p o int i n g to the bundle in the co rner. "\Vhich s h ows h e suspec t s he is watched." "Bah!" r eto r ted a thi rd 111a11. "Aft c 1 t omqrrow, Harwoo d will be out of sight!" and he l aughed in a 1Yay that made the young liste n e r s ;;hi,er. Though they kn e\\' little of what was being said, they knew tha t it meant a plot against th e life of a man named 'Harwood, and that he was going ill search of treasure which they coveted. ''Well," muttered the big man who see m e d t he "I hop e yo u w on't fail to settle the que stio n to-m orrow ." "Not a bit o f doubt a bout it-the thing i s t o save my neck :i fterwarcl," replied t h e man who h a d uttered the fri g htful mu r der ous laugh a moment b efo r<". "And n ow, gents, s uppos e we get rid of that bundle." p o intin g with his pip e toward the b o und pris o n er. "Jesso 1 and the othe r s "'vVai t a bit-not yet!" cried one man, in a sta rtl ed \'Oice. "I hear a n oise. Perhaps so m e of his m e n are after u s." The three waite d for 110 more, but r u s h ed out o f doors. The room was deserted. ":.l'ow's om c h a n ce. if we mean t o do anything!" whisper e d Di ck. as h e crawled along t h e floo r knowing that ti1cre must b e ladder or so m et hin g comm uni cating with the room below. And so it prond. H e found a small trap. r aised it, and went d own the ladder into the room. To rus h over t o the prisoner and cut his bonds was the wor k of a m o m e nt. Jt was no time for words. They ran up the ladder again to th e floo r above, and h a d just tim e to close the t r ap when the rascals entered. "False alarm." grumbled t h e big man ''And now to close ac counts with the prisoner." "\,Yhy, h e s gone!" yelled o ne, with a round o ath. T h e \lpper fioo r-he must be there! No o ther w a y o ut

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 They dashed up the ladder and the three above heard them coming. "To the roof," cried Dick Henslow, as they heard the trap splintered. The others followed him, and they straddled the roof tree, hearing the ruffians raging about on the floor under them. They had just jumped to the ground when, looking up, they saw a fierce face, waving a torch, appearing above the edge of the roof. Dick could not resist the temptation to utter a defont yell. "Scatter now he cried, as the door of the cabin was burst open and the two lads and the man they had saved ran through the woods followed by three yelling pursuers. Half an hour later Dick came up with his companion, lying under a tree. He was panting and exhausted, but not hurt. "And the man we rescued?" asked Henslow. "Lost him in the dark. Hope they didn't catch him," as Gid rose up. "He had a good start, so I guess they'll have trouble laying hold of him again." "It would be too bad if we had risked so much for nothing." They walked on, and saw the lights of a town gleaming beyond. "We'll sleep to-night, if we never did before, ofd pard," said Dick. "We got on the trail of a murderous plot to-night, and we must save the victim if we can." They sought out a little inn, and leaving their clothes to dry, went to hcd to sleep sound in spite of the exciting exp e rience thq had pa$sed throngh, and to dream of the mysterious treasure ;md the owner of the flying ship. CHAPTER II. A CALLER FROM THE CLOUDS. "Got a fit, Giel! What are you up to now?" "Get out of the way of that thing. If it dropped on us, where do you snppose we'd be?" It was the day after their experience in the woods. The youngest of the two boys in the boat said this in a frightem
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BRAVE AND BOLD. such a steer? I'd have a fight every time I tried to spring 'Such a story on 'em. What's the flyin' sausage good for, anyway? Guess she wouldn't have much luck takin' out pleasure parties." "Don't you believe it. We may both of us Jive to see the day 11:hm they will have lines of 'em chasing across the ocean." "Gwan ''Yes, and the North and South Pole won't be mysterious any more. She could go rolling around all the corners of the earth where never a soul had been before," he spoke, enthusiastically, for boy though he was, he saw the possibilities of a ship that could na\igate the air, and he was enough of a mechanic to recognize that at last a practical machine had been di s coYered. ''\Veil. when they have little ones chasin' up and down Broad-' way in the place of horse cars, you bet I won't be sellin' papers on 'em," said Gid. 'If the do-funny got out of order, how would it be when you banged into one of those skyscrapers?" "Oh, I guess it's a long way off till we come to that," with a laugh. "Just the same, I'd like to take a ride on the machine," as he looked longingly toward the distant ship, as it swept through the clear air without a sound. ''I wonder what the birds think of it. Must be considerable of a surprise to 'em." "Here's she's comin' back again!" cried Cid, as the ship tumta about gracefully and seemed to be heading toward them. ''I'O, he ought to float to the top again." repJie
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. / BRAVE AND BOLD. 5 threw me from the flying ship, but now I see that it was a putup job. He went to the door and listened attentively, then returned. "You shall know all about it," he said, as h e sat down. "I have built a flying ship on the model of Count Zeppelin' s, from which I fell to-day But mine has other improvements. I know I can hust you and so I'll tell you all. When in Cuba during the war, a dying Spaniard I befriended gave me a chart whereby I could find the wreck of a treasure s hip wedged among the other wrecks in the heart of the Sargasso S ea, known as The Haven of Lost Ships. I'll tell you about that some olher time. It a soldier in my company who hated me overheard the dying man's words, an d afterward made every effort to get hold of the chart. He didn't succeed, and at the end of the war I losl s ight of him. Hearing of Count Zeppelin's imention, I came here and purcha sed th e ri ghts to build an air s hip on his model." He paused a mom ent, went lo the closet and poured him self 011t a glass of wine, which he drank and returned. 'It seems that the so ldier who overheard about t h e treasure organi zed a syndicate of rascals to find the ship, if pos sib,le. be fore 1 got to the scene. But as I have th e sole rights to the air ship, th e o n e thing he could d o was to try and put m e o ut oi the busine.ss. Twice an effort has been made to burn the ship up an
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6 BRA VE AND BOLD. "We are rising! We're off," exclaimed Di c k, a nd he felt Gid' s hand steal into his A moment more and they f e lt the cool a ir o f night blowing over their faces, and beyond, the lights of the city of Zurich Once afloat, our boys w e re s urpri sed to find nearly all their nervousness di s appear It seeme d s o ollfe to s i t und e r the pro tecting shadow of the great cylinder that seemed too big for any accident t o befall it. Perha p s if they could have look e d below the y might have become faint but night hid eve rything. "Boys, we have e v erythin g in our favor," said Captain H a r wood who was mana g ing the s teering n o w and then con sulting a curious ins trument at hi s elbow. "Vve have got off safe, and left tho s e rogues b e hind. We couldn t have better weather. Won't they fume and r ag e when they find how I tricked them!" and he laughe"d as if it were the best joke in the world. "But they have the chart," said Dick. "Won' t that show them the way to reach the ship?" "Yes, if they can e v e r get there You see, they have a boat, but it can't pierce through the tangle of weeds that fill the sea, so we have them on the hip, and th e y can sell the chart for a curiosity." He was in such good spirits that they could not but feel en couraged and cheered up "We are pa ss ing o v er the city now ," continued the captain, and looking down they 'aw a soft gl o w of lig ht. The bdys did n o t c a re to look long for it se e med such a di zzy height that th$ y had r e a c hed, so th e y soon dre w back "Just wait unti"l th e morning comes, sa id Harwood, with en thusiasm Then y o u 'll see a s ight that few h a ve ever h a d the privilege of seeing before. "I wouldn t w ant to walk in m y s leep q n this s hebang said Gid, after the h e ad of th e e x pedi t i o n h a d turne d to his work. "Ugh! Just think of gettin' s pitted on o ne of those sharp pointed church spires "But I don't want to think about such things, and you had better not, either," grumbled Dick. "Try and think of pleasan t things. I guess when we get used to the ship we won't feel any more uneasy tha n if we were on s olid gro und ." "Yes, but it's the gettin' used to it that's goin' to jar us," replied Gid. To divert them Harwood gave up his place to one of his men and took the b o y s alon g the long gallery th a t divided the two c a rs, to s how th e m the cabin, which they found fitted up with ev e ry comfort and th e most i nge ni o us devic e s to e con o mize spa ce. The re were folding bunk s t hat vanish e d as if by magic, and tables and chairs that flatten e d ::iut and filled compartment s on the floor. "I can make as many different rooms out of this as a good sized house if nece s sary explained the captain. "Parlor, dining room, bedroom, what you will, just a few turns of the hand and the boys Jost much of their uneasiness in he;ying his explanations. They would have been glad to hear more if had not suddenly exclaimed : "Why, that sounds like rain!" and he looked out on the night through one of the gl a ss bull's-eyes that served for a window to the cabin. He had hardly uttered this remark when they heard a tremendous roll of thunder. "I wish you'd steer a little further away from that bowling alley," remarked Gid, "it's likely to keep me awake." But the captain s face was troubled, and he did not heed the jest. '.'This is bad," his manner betraying nervousness. "A storm at night I don't like, and the weather promised so well. We must manage to descend I don't want to risk it the first day." Gid looked at Dick, gravely; they were beginning to share the captain s anxiety. A silence followed, in which no one s poke. Then came a blind ing flash of lightning that seemed to set the air on fire outside, while at the same time the ship rocked and almost threw them d o wn as they stood in the center of the cabin. "Be calm, it's nothing!" said Harwood, though his face was pale. The boys were both frightened, and Gid clung to his companion, as one drowning to a lifebuoy. "Nothing serious can have happened. I have foreseen every thing, continued Harwood. "You young men remain here while I go and see what has happened and he moved toward the door leading to the gallery. He had hardly reached this door when it was flung violently open and a pale-faced man rushed in "Captain Harwood!" he gasped. "That lightning struck the ship and she is in flames !" CHAPTER V. DICK'S PERIL. The man who had brought the terrible news that the flying ship had been struck by lightning and was in flames, without waiting ran back over the gallery that communicated with the other car. For a moment the three in th. e cabin said not a word Captain Harwoo d seemed to be paralyzed by the intelligente and had sunk back on the cushions wri nging his hands perfectly panic-stricken Gid Crossly a huddled-1..tp bundle in the comer, was muttering unintelligibl e s ounds as if bereft of his reason. "VI/ as ever man so cursed?" moaned Harwood. "All my fortune i s in this ship. I shall lose everything." Dick Hen s low was surprised to see him so overcome; but then the excitement of the past few days, the thought that he was a marked man who might any hour be kill e d, his fall from the flying ship all had conspired to undermine a strong and rugged nature. "Come, this won't do!" exclaimed Dick, shaking him vigor ously by the arm, for he did not propose to get killed without some fight for his life. "You said you were prepared for anything that might happen. Shall we sit here and moan while we are b e ing hurl e d to destruction. There must be something we can do, and we cannot act too soon. Stir yourself, Captain Harwood for H e av e n's sake!" Dick's eager voice seemed to rouse the other up. "You're right, I am acting like a child. At least we can bring the ship down, for in this upp e r air the fire will make more rapid progress. The only trouble is that in this black night there is no telling where we may land." Better risk that th a n let the ship be burnt up in midair." "You are right. Come and we will see what we can do," and he dashed out of the cabin with our hero close at his heels. The y mad e their way along the gallery that divided the two cars s lowly, for in that position the wind had full sweep, and th e y sto o d a go o d chance of being blown over the slight railing into the gloomy abyss below. 'hen they re a ched the open car, they found the men huddled up o n the floor. crouching out of re a ch of the wind and rain The y s eem e d on e a nd all t o ha v e r es igned the ms e lves to their fate. "Up with you all-you lubbers!" cried Captain Harwood, giving the nearest man a vigorous kick. "W'hat do ye mean by skulking?" He seemed to have recovered his presence c:tf. mind

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 "There ain't nuthin' to be done," said the man who had r eceive d his boot. "Curse you and your ship, anyway I" "What do you mean that there's nothing to be done? We can descend." "We tried it. There's something the matter with the water ballast. All we can do is to lay here and wait till s he burns us. Then we'll descend, don't be alarmed about that," and he sank back in his hopeless position on the floor. "Good God! It's worse than I expected. Even th
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8 BRA VE AND BOLD. out all sorts of lyin' hopes; so, keep a civil tongue. There's no captain here now, and you might get pitched overboard, and be the first to hit the earth." "You're very brave now with your threats," sneered Harwood. "I'll tend to you later, my man," then he broke off and uttered a yell of delight. "The signal! The signal!" he felt a tug at the pipe. "He's reached the top, by the grace of God!" and with trembling hands he fell to pumping with a will, while tears coursed down his cheeks. It was astonishing to see how the three men, who but a moment ago had sunk into a lethargy of despair, awoke when they heard that our hero had reached the top of the ladder, and that the ... water must now be at work on the fire. They even sent up a ringing cheer, and acted like men suddenly roused from a sound sleep, refresh"ed and eager to be doing. "Aye, cheer, ye luLbers !" cried Captain Harwood, scornfully. "Cheer, and take off your hats to one who is a better man than you all put together!" But the captain's jibes were passed unnoticed, they were all too much occupied with thinking of the pleasant prospect of e scaping, for in their hearts they never thought a mere lad could have accomplished such a feat in the teeth of the gale. F rom being sullen, morose, and despairing, they grew cheerful a n d confident, and hustled about helping the captain at the pump, b ustling here and there making wor for themselves. C aptain Harwo9d was not sorry to be of his work, and stood with his hand on the hose near the edge of the car, still anxious regarding his protege. W hat a relief it was when, after what seemed hours, he felt the signal, "Stop pumping." H e fel t light-hearted .enough even to have embraced his men, who m he had been abusing but a few minutes before. B oys, if you ever say your prayers, put in a word for the lad who has brought us through peril to-night. Without him we slro u ld be senseless cloe.s." Had Captain Harwood turned while delivering this speech, he would have caught a fleeting glimpse of a falling body dashing past the car into the blackness below. As time passed the cheerful look on his face gave place to gloom. He hardly heeded when one of his men came to him and told him that they had found the trouble with the ballast, and now might descend if he so pleased. He was standing by the edge of the car, waiting to see Dick's face again, and knew from the delay that something terrible might happen. He was aroused from his reverie by feeling a timid touch on his arm. He turned and faced Gid Crossly. He had forgotten all about the bciy since he left the cabin when the news of the ship being on fire reached him. He would have made an angry remark, if he had not seen that the lad looked pale, and that his shrewd, freckled face was pinche'cl' and care worn. "Well, my boy," not unkindly, "you will not leave the land of the living just yet. So far we are safe, if nothing fresh occurs." "And Dick?" "We owe it all to Dick that we are alive," in a choking voice. "What makes you speak that way?" "The ship was on fire. He climbed up and put it out at the risk of his life." "And where is he now?" insisted the little fellow, and he looked about the car anxiously in search of his friend. Captain Harwood told him as gently as he could what had taken place. That though Dick had succeeded in putting out the fire, he had not descended again. "But he might be up there yet," said Gid, whose face wrinkled up as if he was ready to burst into tears. "It is half an hour since he gave the signal to stop pumping." "Oh laws! then you think--?" "I'm afraid that, v;eakened by the exertion, he slipped coming down." "I'll see about that," grunted Gid, "I won't believe it until I see for myself," and he made a dash for the ladder, if the captain had not held him back. "There is no use-no use," said the latter sadly, "I know that if he had been spared he would have heen with us now." It had been many a day since Gid had given vent to tears, but he saw the force of the captain's reasoning, tind retreating to a corner o the car sniveled in silence. He had ?\ scorn naturally of a cry baby, but the loss of his dearest friend touched him too deeply and so he indulged in a good cry. The members of the crew were too much delighted over their escape to mourn much over the loss of the young fellow, whom they had' only seen a few minutes before they started on the voy age. They proceeded cheerfully about their work unmindful of the captain's frown, for it angered him to see how calmly they took the loss of Dick. The morning had begun to break, and the sun cast a cheerful glow over the green fields and the towns below. Though bowed down with sorrow Captain Harwood gave orders for breakfast, but sat off in moody silence, eating nothing. After the meal w;i.s over they passed over a large body of water; and owing to the burning up of they knew not how many balloons that made up the lifting power of the machine, they were not more than fifty feet above the surface. As soon as they passed over a large field Captain Harwood gave the order to descend, and never was an ordel' obeyed with greater alacrity. The ship obeyed admirably, and they sank down on a new ploughed field as softly as a bird might rest there. They clambered out with a wild hurrah over thei r emancipa tion, and went to work driving pegs and arranging for the anchor age of the 2hip. They would never have been recog n ized as the same sullen creature& who crouched in the bottom of the car the night before, when the ship was in danger. Captain Harwood examined the ship carefully to see what dam age the storm had wrought. He had even a faint hope that per haps Dick might have got caught in the rigging, but \\'as soon compelled to giye up that idea. "A few hours and we can make her all right again," he said to the engineer. "Two of the balloons burned out and a big tear in the cover. We have the things to repair within the lockers." One thing they had lost that could never be made up for-the loss of Dick Henslow. He had only seen the engineer by night since they started, and now he looked at the latter's smudgy face in surprise. "Why, you are not Griggs-how came you m the ship?" he asked. "Griggs was took ill at the last minute, and so he sent me in his place, sir," said the other, awkwardly. He was a thin, wiry man with a hatchet-shaped face and keen, beady eyes. "\Veil, I like that! Sending a new man in his place to wreck us all if the storm had not come near doing it." "Bless ye, sir, I worked in Count Zeppelin's shops and know all about the benzine engines. He know'd I'd do just as well, aud bcin' of your own land you wouldn't be likely to turn me out." The captain continued to eye him keenly.

PAGE 10

I BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 "And what is your name?" "Jo b Hendricks, and if you don't want me, why of course I can go," and he turned away. ''Stay where you are. Of cou r se I want you, though I don't like this method of proceed ing. If you worked for the Count vou know your business. I must hold on to you any way. Can t li,e left here without an engineer, or' we shall never get off. You can stay." "Thank ye kindly." pulling his forelock, for his hat was in his hand. You want to continue with the expedition?" ''\-es, sir." ''\.\'di, then, don't act Ii e such a child as you did last night." The engineer bowed, but sa id nothing and then slunk away. Though it pleased Captain Harwood to think that his ship, in whid1 he had invested hi s fortune, had s uffered little damage, ht: s ill worried over Dick. The craven behavior of the men made the !a
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IO BRAVE AND BOLD. Cnptain Harwood preferred to keep at a moderate height ram the earth, so as to avoid the dangerous currents of the upper air. r!1c second day, after they had reached the North Atlantic, they were startled by the lookout calling out: "A wreck! A wreck!" Not having seen any craft for some hour5, they all crowded about the edge of the open car. Every available glass that could be mustered out was in use. It was a gray, cold day, and the w:n es below, as they skimmed albng, were rnrtning high. There was no doubt that it was a wreck, for one of the masts was hanging over the side, and the waves were dashing over the bows. "Is there anything more nielancholy than a dcsertrci wreck/' exclaimed Captain Harwood. 'Dul are you sure she is deserted?" a sked Dick. "v\lhy, no crew would remain on snch a boat." ''I think I sec something moving about in the shadow of the forccabin," said our hero. "Give me your glas s,'' and as the captain took it he uttered an exclamation. "By the Lord Harry! we must look into this, ior I do see something moving about." He turned and gave some orders to the engineer. "\Vhat do you mean to do?" asked that worthy, a little sullrnly. 'If there's a human being on that wreck, rescue them," was the prompt reply, which drew forth some murmursJrom the crew. "We'll be swamped, if we go near her," growled Bill Siggins. "Obey orders I" replied the other, sternly, and they began to discharge ballast. The flying ship was brought about, and floated on the top of the waves. It required fine manipulat;ov to bring the great structure near to the wreck. "Out with the life raft," ordered Harwood, and this was done mid very pronounced grumbles from the men. "Any volunteers?" called the captain. Bill Siggins made a motion forward, but the engineer pulled him back, after saying somectlting to him in a low voice. "I sec you are as brave as ever I" contemptuously. "Very good! I'll go alone." "I guess not," replied Dick. "I'll go to keep you cpmpany." "And I'll go to see no harm comes to Dick," piped the shrill voice of Gid. "Ain't goin' to let you get out of my sight, old pard," he. said bravely, and jumped bn to the raft'. Harwood would have spared Dick, but he saw his heart was s1:t on going, artd it would be useless to keep him back. ''.Don't let any one harm you men while we are gone," said Captain Harwood with a sneer directed at the crew now watching ilim i11 sullen silence. Then the raft swept away, in a !Vhirl of 11ray water towards the wreck. CHAPTER VIII. AT THE SEA'S MERCY. "I wonder if we did well to go off and leave those men there," said Dick, as he turned to look back at the King of the Air resting like a huge snake on the gray water. "Oh, 110 great harm done, I fancy," was the rejoinder. "Hi.t I d o n't see anything liYing on the deck, straining his eyes toward thscmed a dismal spectacle. They could not see any on e on the deck, which rather surprised captain and Dick, for the y were S\ll"C they had ccn SO!M :hing living. They not going away, though, u1 ti! p(decily satisfied. lJick, who was steering, managed to bring the raft about, so that they were under the ship's lee, where the force of the waves did not break over them with such violence. From the appearance of the sunken bow the ship was stove In, and would possibly ha\e sunk if she had not been loaded with lumber, or some cargo that helped her to float. \Vaiting for a good sized wav(', Dick, with Gid's hdp, sent the raft up oyer the partly submerged bow, and then making a lcnp with a line, dragged the raft forward bl.'fore the retreating waters could. drag it back. 'Well done!" exclaimed Captain Harwood, as he jumped off on die deck holding his companion by the hand. "l\ry, wouldn't this draw a cro.wd in a Bowery drama," said Gile Still there may be others," moving here <1.nd there about the cabin. "I don't see any other human being living or dead." It was a grewsome task examining the premises, for they knew not what startling revelations that gloomy place might disclose. Suddenly both started, and looked at each other in alarm. ''Is that the rising wi.nd-that whirting sound?" asked the cap tain. for a plaintive noise reached them, that sounded very weird. "Not the wind, that ia certain,'' murmured Dick.

PAGE 12

BRAVE AND BOLD. II Gid had gone out on the deck, unable to stand the horrors of the place. The sighing ,,sound arose almost to a wail. It was !jke the mourning sound of a troubl e d s pirit, and, though they were not superstitious heard on the wreck, it made them shiv e r "It sounds like a wom a n's," added Dick. "But that don't seem possible "We shall know for certain," and, so s aying the captain m a de a dash toward a door at the end of the cabin, and threw it op e n. The sound as louder now. There was no mistaking that the voice was a woman's And singing s oftly in such a place at such a time! Harwood walked into the room, which wa s dimly lit. He was gone spme minutes, while Dick lingered on th e threshold. Presently the captain came out, bearing a limp figure in his arms. It was a young girl, perhaps sixteen years old. Her eyes were closed, her face a fr-Q_zen white, while her dark, loosened hair almost covered her like a mantle. The captain carried her outs ide, and da shed some of the sea water over her, for she was breathing heavy, though very ex hausted. Her clothes, bedraggled and soiled, were wet as if she had been in the water. They worked over her sil e ntly, and at la.st had the satisfaction of seeing her open her eyes and look about her in a startled way. There wa s a wild expression in her dark eyes that showed her mind must be wandering:--that the horrors of the situation had affected her brain. It was just then that Gid suddenly cri e d out in his piping voice: "Look at the flying ship! Look at her!" They turned, to see the King of the Air rise from the surface of the sea, d es cribe a circle, and then, with a majes tic sweep, soar away toward the west! CHAPTER IX. WHAT HAPPENED ON TllE WRECK. "Des erted I Left to perish on this hulk I" cried Captain Harwood, hardly willing to believe that the flying ship had left them to their fate. They watched the great ship grow gradually smaller in size, until it became a mere speck on the edge of the horizon, and then vanished entirely in a fog that was ri s ing the gray wate'l's. '"Dpn't give up all hope, captain," said Dick Henslow, affect ing a cheeriness which he was far from feeling. You see, a storm is coming up, and it may be they thought it best to try and find some shelter They may c15me back for us when the weather clears." Captain Harwood laughed bitterly. "No f ear of that! The rascals have gone for good. Even if \Jley do com e back, they would have small ch a nce of finding us here, for I doubt if this wreck could ever weather another storm. No, no, my boy, they have gone, and we are deserted, and we may ::is well make the best of it, or, rather, the worst." Dick could not but see that he took a right view of the matter, but he had the courage and hope of youth, and was no t going to let despair get the better of him. They certainly were in a deplorable position, deserted in' mid ocean, with a storm coming up. "And the young girl-what of her?" he said to Harwood, for in the excitement of the moment they had forgotten all about the poor creature they h a d come to r e scue. "You're right. We must look after her, no matter what hap pens and the captain hurrie d back toward the fore cabin, where he had left the girl before the disappearance of tlie flying ship had driven all other thoughts frq_m their minds. They found that she had relap se d again into unconsciousness. .But the c a ptain s f ee lings of huma nity, now fully aroused at the sight of h e r face, he forgot for the time the d e sperate predica ment of him s elf and his companions, and with true fatherly tenderness did everything to make h e r comfortable. He made her up a cou c h in the cabin, fished out a bottle of spirits and s ome bis cui t s from a locker and, a f t e r half an hour's labor, had th e s a tisfaction of seeing her sit up and look around her in a fri g htened way. "Don't be alarmed; y o u are among my child," said Har wood, in a kindly voice; and he proce e ded to tell her how they had seen something moving on the wreck, and had come to the rescue, only to be deserted by the crew of the flying ship. Still in a dazed condition, it was necessary to go over the brief story several times before she could be m a de to understand. But, though she had evid e ntly passed through great suffering, her youth came to the re srne and after Harwood had forced her to take some of the biscuits and a sip or two of the s pirits, some in telligen c e returne d to her fright e ned eyes, ahd she lost much of the distracted look her features wore when they first saw her. "Now, if you are able to tell us bow you came to be here alone on the hulk," said the captain, after she had recovered somewhat. "What i s this boat-what name-and where does it hail from?" "The Morning Star of Philad e lphia, on its way to Lisbon, with a cargo of oil; Jam e s Welford, master. I am his daughter, Mary, and then she cov e red h e r face wit h her hands as if the re citat wer e too painful to continu e The y waited until she had rec o ver ed. "A few night s ago-I don't know how many; it seems years," sh e went on, we were called on deck in the middle of the night. The ship had struck a rock, or a piece of wreck. 'The boats were manned, the Star was des erted. I was in the boat with my father and the first mate and 0thers. As we pushed off, a great wave drove us a ga inst the sid e s of the ship. It stove the boat in, and the next thing I knew we were struggling in the' water. I lost my senses, and then when I came to I was lying out there on the deck." "I see," nodded Captain Harwood. "A wave must have carried you back on the wreck again. "That must have b e en the way of it, "And of the other boats?" "I'm afrai d they all went down," s adly. "Since I came to on the deck I suppose I have b e en a little out of my mind, for I c an't r e m e mber anything clearly until I opened my eyes and you were dashin g water in my face . "Poor child! Poor child!" murmured C a ptain Harwood. "Well, be comforted, for your father may have picked up by the other boats. They may l;iave been driven away in the storm. We won't gi v e up hope yet and now y ou h a d best take a little rest, while we see what can be done to keep this boat afl o at until help arrives." The girl had sunk b a ck, and was asleep almost before he had fini sh e d talking "Come with me, Dick," making a sign to our hero, and they went softly of the c a bin togeth e r. "Do ) J U think there i s any chance of her finding her father again?" a s ked Dick, when they w e re al o ne. Captain Harwood sho o k his head gloomily. "The faintest ch a nce in the world, though things quite as curi ous have happened I said that merely to comfort the poor thing!" Gid Crossly was hovering about, with a doleful look on !:is face. "Give that lad something to do; it will prevent him from think

PAGE 13

12 BRA VE AND BOLD. ing about ou: deserted condition," aaid the captain, in a low lf'':lCI.!. "Right!" replied Dick. "Here; Gid, if you want to help, you can go rooting for eatables. I dare say when the captain's daughter wakes up she can help you. Vile must eat, I suppose, if we are up against it." "All right!" exclaimed the boy, as he ran into the cabin, eager to he near the morning,'' said Dick, who had been watch ing for the first signs of daylight, and thought it was getting lighter without, as he peered through one of the cabin windows. "Then it is time we were up and doing," was the captain's answer, as he got up and gave himself a shake. "Come, Dick, we have weathered the night, and we have work b efore us." Just as he said this, a terrible grinding sound was heard, the crash of planks being splintered, and then a tremendous wave burst open the cabin door, throwing down Dick and the captain and flooding the floo\' with green water. CHAPTER X. DESERTING THE MORNING STAR. "We've struck a rock I There's' no mistaking that sound and jar I" exclairned Captain Harwood, as he struggled to his feet. The water that had invaded the cabin had retreated, leaving only a few puddles on the floor as a reminder of its visit. "Calm yourself,'' said Harwood to Mary Welford. "If we have struck a reef, it may be all the better for us, for it may hold the wreck firm as if she were anchored. Come, Dick, we m<1y as well know the worst a s soon as possible,"
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