Citation

## Material Information

Title:
Jack Wright's air and water cutter; or, Wonderful adventures on the wing and afloat
Series Title:
Pluck and luck
Creator:
Cap't. Tho's. H. Wilson
Place of Publication:
New York, New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
29 pages ; 28 cm

## Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Sea stories ( lcsh )
Treasure troves -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

## Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
033038615 ( ALEPH )
894590977 ( OCLC )
P28-00003 ( USFLDC DOI )
p28.3 ( USFLDC Handle )

## USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Dime Novel Collection
Pluck and Luck Complete Stories of Adventure

## Postcard Information

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serial

Full Text

PAGE 1

The eagle was soaring above the airship. Jack suddenly raised the ship yards. The eagle released the child, which fell, Fritz standing on the roof of eek-house ready to catch it.

PAGE 2

PAGE 3

PLUCJ< 1.:._UCJ<. Complete Stories of r11ued Weekly..:._By Subscription $2.50 per year. JIJnterea as Second Class Matter at the New York, "Y. Y., Post OfTW., November 7, 1898. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1902, in the otrice of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. 0., b11 Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, New York. No. 210. NEW YORK, JUNE 11, 1902. Priee 5 Cents. CHAPTER I. THE EAGLE'S FLIGHT. A most picturesque scene begins our story, situated in a woods bordering one side of Wrightstown Bay, on the Atlantic sea coast. On the other side of the water were great masses of rocks and cliffs, where a lighthouse was built at the entrance to the harbor. The head of the bay was occupied by the township, consisting of fishermen's huts, several thriving streets lined with stores, and a great number of elegant private residences, surrounded by handsome gardens. Several years before the place was made famous by an in Yentor of submarine boats, named Bill Wright, after whom the place was named. His son, Jack, inheriting his talent, had, upon l::\is father's death, invented several marvels for traveling beneath the sea, and at the time we allude to was recognized as the leading citizen of the town. Perhaps it was because he was the richest person in the place and owned half the town, as he had gained several huge fortunes by dragging immense treasures from the dark recesses of the deep with his submarine boats, aided by two friends of his, named Tim Topstay and Fritz Schneider. The woods to which we have alluded were a part of Jack Wright's estate, and as our story opens in the month of August, the trees, bushes and shrubs were in full bloom, dis semi nating a most fragrant odor upon the balmy afternoon air. Thousands of birds twittered in the foliage, little red squirrels darted up the tree trunks, and numberless gray rabbits shot over the velvety greensward at the slightest alarm. Within a glen in the woods there stood a wagon, painted red. blue and white, with a roof that gave it \he appearance of a house on wheels, steps at the back giving ingress to the interior by a rear door, while on the side were painted rows of artificial wind ws. The team of bony buckskins that dragged it were unhitched and browsing the luxuriant vegetation in among the trees, the old patched harness hung on a branch, at one side stood a dirty tent, and in front of it was a camp-fire, with a tripod and kettle over it, around which lounged several swarthy men, women and children. In the ruddy glow of the fire their tattered, but many colored clothing assumed a strange aspect, and their long, black hair and jet eyes were clearly defined as those of the wandering nomads called gypsies. There were a woman anrl a man seated upon the gnarled trunk of a fallen tree, the former thrumming a strange air upon a guitar, and the woman playing a tambourine, while in front of them a boy and girl were gracefully posturing and dancing to the peculiar rhythm. The rest of the gypsies were looking on in amazement and applauding, and in the tent doorway sat the dark-faced queen of the tribe with her tiny infant resting on her lap, with which she was playing. In the sky above the glen several huge birds were circling I around and around at a great height in quest of prey, and in the midst of the revelry a stranger came down a forest path,. and paused to witness the gypsy dance. The keen eyes of the queen quickly detected the gentleman, who was a tall, thin person of forty-five, with a long red nose, long hair, and wearing a high silk hat, and a clerical suit of black. She said something in the Romany dialect, and the music stopped, whereupon she la id her child upon a cushi on at the tent door, and arose to her feet, the big hoops in her ears and trimming on her dress jingling with the silvery tinkle of bells. "Will the gentleman have his fortune told?" she asked in wheedling tones, as she a pproached him with hands extended and a smile upon h e r dusky face. "There is truth in the gypsy's horoscope, and the stars never fail to reveal the past, vresent and future." "Hum!" coughed the stranger. "My good woman, I have but little faith in such nonsense. Clairvoyants, mind-readers, mesmerists and second sight are a humbug in my opinion. But I will give you half a dollar if you will show me the nearest way out of these confounded woods so I can get into Wrightstown." The eyes of the gypsy woman snapped, for she d id not like the skeptical manner assumed by the dignified stranger, and she answered curtly: "The gypsy queen will gladly show you the way, but for the satisfaction of proving to you that phrenology, palmistry, and similar arts that I pretend to have mastered are no myths, if you will cross my palm with your silver, I shall not only show you the way, but shall tell your fortune as well, and defy you to find any errors in what I say." "Well," laughed the stranger, producing a fifty-cent silver piece and placing it in the nettled womans palm, "it will take a pretty strong argument on your part to c onvi nc e me that the lying, thievish, murderous disposition of the g)'.psies ain't all it is cracked up to be. But," he added nervously, as he saw every one scowl at him, "if you keep your word and tell me anything wonderful, I will reward you with ten times as much money." "Good! Let Zobeide study your palm;" said the woman vehemently. The stranger extended his hand, and the gypsy qu ee n intently scanned it for several moments, and then closed her ravishing eyes as if thinking. "Your name," said she, with a is Peleg Hopkins." "Why-bless me!" said the gentleman, with a start. "How did you know?" "Never mind. Your profe ssion is that of a naturalist." "By Jove! You're right--" "Silence! You are an antiquarian, a gatherer of shells and curiosities." "True! True! This is ble--" "To proceed, you have just come from a big city, where you have been living--" "New York, as true a:s you are born--" / PAGE 4 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. "And are about to call upon a youth called Jack Wright, around in affright, and terror struck their souls when they a great inventor. saw what made the noise. "So I am. Go on-go on!" Down the eagle swooped with a terrible cry, its sharp Your obj ect is to make a trip in the sky with him in his eyes fixed intently upon the queen' s infant lying upon the latest invention." cushion at the tent door, where she had left it. "I don't see how under the sun you can guess so well!" In an instant. the powerful talons were fastene d upon the "He was not at home, and you wande red into these woods child, and the terrified mother uttered a wild shrie k, and while awaiting his return, and thus got los t ," continued the rushed forward to save her wailing offspring, h e r dark face gypsy queen. contorted by a look of intense fear. "If anyone had told me of your singular power to know But ere she had taken two steps, up soared the mighty bird things whi c h are entirely foreign to you, I should have said into the sky, with a clutch upon the swaddling c lothes of he was a-a-a-liar! the babe carrying the little gypsy with. it, far out of every Does that satisfy you?" demanded Zobeide dropping his body's reac h. hands. "My child! My child!" shrieked the gypsy woman franti"Amply," r e plied the amazed professor, as he pulled a crisp, five-dollar bill out of his po cket, and handed it to her. "You are certainly a most marvelous creature, and a s I never saw you before and you cannot possibly know anything about me, I give you credit for doing one of the most astonishing things I ever heard of." cally. She held up her arms and spread her fingers to the sky, but the eagle swept up, up, up into the bright sky with the child gradually growing smaller and1 smalle r as it ascended, until at last it looked like a mere speck outlined against the fleecy clouds sweeping across the blue domes of heaven. Another "Then I shall see that you are shown properly into Wrightseagle, striving to rob it of the child, pursued it. town, sir, said the gypsy woman. Queppo," she added, Every one of the gypsies had their merriment turned into turning to a boy of about fift e en lead the gentleman along the most intense anguish, and a wail of woe pealed from every the shore path into the town." throat when the y beheld the strange fate which had overtaken The boy nodded went trotting along, and Mr Peleg Hop-their future king. kins followed him. The distracted mother fEfll upon her knees, tears streaming He had no sooner disappeared from sight, however, when from her eyes, and the loudest lamentations arose from the a merry p eal of laughter rippled from beneath the white, tribe all around her, for it seemed that the child was doomed gleaming teeth of Zobeide and her whole figure was convulsed to a most t errible death. with mirth. The rest of the band had b een looking on silently and curiously, and as soon as h e r hilarity subsided one of the men said, in curious tones: "You seem to have told him point blank truths that time, Zob e ide." "And no wonder, she r e plied, sobering down partially. "In what manne r did you 'SO a ccurate ly reach the facts about him?" "Half an hour ago you know I was gathering herbs in the -woods "Yes, y es," assented the rest interestedly. W e ll, ha, ha, ha! I s aw that man intent uvon what I obEerve d to be his pet hobby and I was about to go on, when I saw him drop a lette r. Whe n he had gone I picked it up and stole away. Upon reading it in the tent, I found that it CHAPTER II. THE STRANGE FLYING FISH. A far .different scene was taking place an hour before this incident occurred at the residence of Jack Wright, the boy inventor, on the outskirts of Wrightstown. The youth dwelt in a magnificent house standing in the midst of an elegantly laidcout garde n, at the foot of which ran a creek, which epiptied into the bay. -upon the bank of the stream, at the foot of the garden, stood a very large and hands ome bric k workshop, in whi c h the boy had been in the habit of constructing his submarine was a letter which he had written in New York to a youth boats. I named J ack Wright, of whom we already know, expressing about all I just told him, but which he had forgotten to mail, and that's how I told his fortune." "Ha, ha, ha! chorus\d the whole tribe. Their m erriment knew no bounds, and the dark queen flour ished. the bill which the professor had given her, and cried, laughingly: "What fools 'SOme men are They scoff at what seems super natural, and yet they are more easily gull e d than anyone." "Hurrah for Zobeid e c h e ered on e of the men. A wild ch eer and a ripple of laughter burst from every dusky throat.. But just then a most startling event occurred that cast the whole rollicking, jolly band into the profoundest depths of blank de s p a ir. There sound e d a fearful whirr of wings, and down from the sky swept one of the birds whi c h had been circling around overhead. It was an enormous gray e agle. Up in the lofty, inacc e ss ible crags acro ss the ilay these kings of the air had built their eyrie, where no man could climb to the m. Sta'I'tled by .the screams of its pinions, the gypsies glanced The building now had a sid e wing added to it, whe r e t h e young inventor purposed to cons truc t a style; of shi p w h ic h differed somewhat from those to which he had be e n a l ways addicted. Since returning from last trip, Jack Wright had made a new and wonderful discovery in regard to aerial nav igatio n, and had been hard at worJi: contriving a m a rvelou s invention, built after a model which he found to work prop e rly. At the time alluded to the boy was in his new workshop putting the finishing touches upon his strange-looking ai r ship. Those who are familiar with the boy will recoll ec t that he was an athletic fellow of less than twenty, with dark eyes and hair, a resolute, nervy disposition, and a quick and ready brain. 1He was now attired in a neat blue suit and c ap, as h e stood off at one side of the shop viewing his singular-looking ves'Sel, and observed that she seemed to be perfect in ev ery de tail. "Navigating the air is a peculiar venture, the boy mut tered, "and although I have studie d ev erything con cerning aeronautics, I expect that I'll find it a far different matter than submarine traveling, to which I have always devoted my PAGE 5 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. 3 attention. At any rate, she is bound to work right, for her "I van't ter kill him!" roared the Dutch boy wildly. model did, and as for traveling, on the water, there can be no "Well, you can't do it here! Drop that club!" question of her ability to go at the rate of fifty knots an "Och, Gott, vy don't yer led me only proke his gollar pone? hour." pleaded Fritz. He turned a lever on the wall of the building and the en"Instead of skylarking this way, I thought you was getting tire roof opened, folding back like the window shutters on a ready to go up in the ship with me said Jack angrily. "1t 'Store, leaving the bright blue sky expo sed, up into which he is almost six o'clock, and we are, as you well know, to give my intended to ascend. boat a trial trip at that hour, so that all the people in Wrights At that moment there came a ring at the door-bell, and town can see the ascent. Now look at the state you are in. the boy answered it, for the place was kept locked to keep Go and clean yourself or you can't go, that's all there is about people out of the shop it." Upon the threshold stood a man with a wooden leg, a The angry young Dutchman went away grumbling because sandy beard and a glass eye, attired in the uniform of a he was denied the pleasure of massacring his tormentpr, and marine, with a long envelope in his hand. Jack turned around and saw Tim peeping out at him from belie was a retired man-o'-war's man, chiefly noted for the hind the boat. enormous <)uantity of plug tobacco he consumed, the out"You had better get aboard and keep out of his way," said rageous lies he manufactured, and his devotion to Jack, with Jack, in warning tones. "He will paralyze you if he gets the whom he resided. Timothy Topstay was this individual's name; he had always accompanied the boy on his submarine voyages, shared Jack's treasures, and had once been messmate on the U. S. frigate Wabash with the young inventor's father. "Hello, old fellow, what brings you here?''. queried Jack, upon seeing who he was. "Lord save yer, I've jest be'n down fer ther mail, my hearty replied the old sailor. "Is this letter for me?" 1 "Aye, lad, an a government envelope, too." Jack opened it, and glanced over the paper it contained. "It's my patent on this boat granted," he commented. "Where is Fritz?" "Ther Dutch lubber wuz in a bar'! ther las' time I sot my pyes on him." "In a barrel?" queried the boy, with a puzzled look. "Aye-a bar'! o' tar," replied the old sailor, with a broad grin. "Yer see, as I hove inter ther garding under full sail wot should ther pot-bellied pirate do but bring me up in ther wind wi' a bombardment o' chicking fruit wot must a-been laid by a polecat. One o' 'em plunked me in ther neck, an' I tried ter run away from myself, when Fritz an' me come tergether two p'ints ter ther wind'ard o' whar ther roofers wuz workin' on ther barn. I gave him a sockdolager in ther mizzen riggin', an' he veered off ter ther le'ward, an landed in ther barrel o'--" "Holy shiminey Christmas!" roared an irate voice just then, Tim's explanation, and into the shop darted the ancient mariner with a hop, skip and a jump. "Where vhas dot oldt glub -foot ed, bandy-legged, glass-eyed son-of-a sea-gooks? Gisf him to me for a minute. Led me shust hit him mit dis bale stick vunct. Yer can haf a free oxcursion to his funeral, und yer don't vhas got ter veep a tear for him alretty!" The speaker rushed around an angle of the building brand ishing a club. He was a dumpy, round, fat Dutch boy, with a broad face, \ yellow hair, anti a costume on that he must have worn over the sea in the steerage, but he was covered -with oozing tar from head to foot, and being of a pugnacious, excitable tem perament, his temper was up to the boiling point. The young Dutchman was Jack's other stanch friend, who had always gone with him as companion, cook and electrician upon his adventurous trips, and he also lived at the boy's house. Jack could not repress a smile at the forlorn, yet comical appearance of Mynheer Schneider, but he assumed a grave look, and shouted: chance." '!'here was an accommodation ladder at the side of the boat, and Tim ascended to the deck without saying a word, and went inside. The airship stood propped up on braces in the middle of the shop, all sorts of tools and the remains of metal and woodwork littering the floor. It was a cylinder, with a slightly flattened top, about one hundred feet long, fifteen foot beam, and twenty feet in depth, the bow running up gracefully, cutter shaped, with a tubular searchlight on the apex, and the stern ended in a point, with a huge propeller on the end and a huge rudder underneath, working on a horizontal rod extending aft of the wheel. Along the sides were rows of deadlights, wheels and wire belts; a metal railing encircled the deck, and -from the circu lar pilot-house forward there ran a deck cabin aft, in which there were doors and windows. Five helices arose on each side. Two braced hollow posts arose on the forward and after deck, with rimmed propellers of twenty feet in diameter, with a smaller screw above to increase speed. Below the catheads on either side of the hull two long, strong rods ran obliquely aft, to which were securely bolted sheets of aluminum, tougher and far 1fghter than steel ; form ing a pair of bat_ -like wings which folded up like a fan when not in use, at the sides of the boat. Aft were two more. By means of the most powerful electrical machinery, within the boat, these wings could be operated exactly after the manner of a bird's flight, while the helices maintained the midship section, keeping the craft upon an even keel. If the boat were upon the water, the same electric batteries revolved the under screw to propel the boat, while in the air it added to her speed in driving her ahead or at backing her, in conjunction with another larger wheel. Upon the bow of .the boat was printed the name Flying Fish, a most appropriate cognomen, as the invention was designed to travel over water or through the atmosphere. But why had this queer device been constructed at the cost of a small fortune, and the expense of much toil, care and thought? We will tell you, briefly, that it was done by Jack Wright merely to gratify a whim, a talent he had for inventing machines that hitherto had seemed to be impossible for mankind to evolve and protect. He had no present particular use for the invention, but having fllenty of money to spend in carrying out his ideas, possessing the inventive ability to create this marvel, and wishing to usefully employ his spare time, he had carried out his plan in hopes that some time in the modern future he might be the means of revolutionizing the tactics of civilized "Here, now Fritz, I want this confounded practical joking stopped. You and Tim wm kill each other yet if you don't It was an amusing pleasure to him to invent these contri'end it. Do you hear me?" vances, and he did it with no actual purpose in view for the PAGE 6 JAC K WRIGHT'S AI R AND WATER CUTTER. present; yet, strangel y enough, he had never yet brought o u t a p a t e n t t hat did not r epa,y his outlay upon it, a,nd give him a b i g p rofit, besides all the good he was fortunate enough to do with the m for suff ering humanity. As far as the boy could see the boat was perfect, yet there were of course, defects in its arrangement whi c h could only b e asc;er t ained and remedied by a trial trip, and this was prec i se l y w hat h e intended to give the boat within an hour. H e went aboard of the craft, en'tered the pilot-house, in which stoo d the rudder-wheel, and glanced up at the wall, w h ere a glass case contained. a number of gauge s, indicators, the rmo me ters, ba.rometers and other instruments of a like n a t ure f o r working the boat. In f r o n t of the wheel stood a binnacle and compass, and o n the box was scre w e d a switch-board, with several levers u pon .it, by which the pilot could control all the working p a rts of the boat by electric wires tha t were in communication between the battery, machinery and levers The c h ronome ter indicated five minutes to six, and the boy g l anced out of the g lass window of the pilot-house to see i f Fritz was coming for he wanted to be punctual, as h e knew that there were thousands of people, who came t h r onging to Wrightstown from far and near, anxiously waiting t o see the ascent of the aerial vessel. Jus t t h e n t he shop door went open with a bang and in rushed Fritz, pursu e d by several po li cemen a n d a mob of citizens all of w h o m w ere drenched and seem e d greatly excited. With a m az ing agility for suc h a stout person, the Dutch boy rus h e d up the ladder. S t a r d 4e r p oat! he yelled, frantically. .. Let her go, or by shingo I v has get arrested! Jack gl).ve a vio lent start, for he saw that something serious had h a p pened to his friend, and h e felt anxious to save Fritz I feel me so kveer as nefer vhas alretty, and if dot poat don't plo' up by idself, or ve don' t fell down, I tink ve vhas go u p by kingdom come, don't id?" "You needn't be alarmed," reassuringly said J ack. "She is going all right. It's just like b allooning. Just hear Timhe's vomiting in the cabin, and yet he never got seasick o n the water in his life." He glanced at the registers and saw that they were at a height of 500 f eet from the earth, ascending at the rate of sixty feet a minute, and were slipping off at an angle with the w ind t o t h e north-eastward. I vis h I vhas back by der landt," groaned Fritz, in scared t o nes. "You'd get arrested if you was. What w a s the reason they were chasing you and trying to arrest you, Fritz?" said Jack. "A crowd vhas bushin' in by d e r yardt, und I tolt 'em ter got o u dt, but dey vhasn't do id, so I crabbed d e r hose oudt er der gar d ner' s handts, und I vhas squated it at 'em, und de r vater smeshed der bolicemans in de eye. Dot seddled id. He vanted to haf me hung righd avay gwi c k, und all der beebles vot I soused voul d a-bulle d by d e r rope if dey vhas caught me vonct, so I skoodeded und dots d e r reason dey vhas s{tased me alretty." Just then the o l d sailo r came limping i n, and rememberiii wh a t he had done to anger him, Fritz s c owled and wobbled toward him. The ancient marine r was deathly p a le from a sort of sickness produced by his strange position, and looked very forlorn. "Wot are yer a-going ter do Dutchy, kill me?" he moaned. "Donner vetter! How yer c a n ask dot questions? Of gourse I vhas!" r e plied Fri t, belligerently, as he doubled up his fist. fro m trouble. A sic ,kly smil e c ro s sed Tim's face. Observing that the whole crowd w e r e about to rush upon He w a s so a wful s i c k he didn' t care much for existing. the boat the boy instantly turned s e v eral of the levers and Taking an axe from a rack he handed it to Schneide r the helices and wings began to mov e, wh e n with a sudden I "Heave ahead, my lad!" said he. "Yer couldn't do me a rus h the I<'lyjng Fish shot up in the air through the opened greater favor." roof of the s h op. "Och, shust-wow-wow-york-york-york!" r e plied Fritz. CHAPTER III. SAVED. The fir s t mo ve ment about the boat had been a sudden spreading out o n either side of the arched, bat-like wings; with a m e t a lli c cl ick they became rigid at a width of twenty feet on eithe r qu a rter and twice that length, and with the first beat they lif ted the boat. The h e li ces revolved so rapidly that they fairly whistled, yet the lifting power was so evenly grate d betwee n the wheels He, too, was turning pale, and suddenly pre ssed one hand over his gagging mouth and the pit of his h eaving stomach. "Wot?" growled Tim, as the Dutc h boy droppe d the a,xe . "I vhas-ugh--york-york-gah-um-wow!" r e plied Fritz. The angry l ook left his bulging blue eye s and a most u n happy pitiful to b e hol9, crept over fat face. It was a bilious startled, what-ailsme sort of an expressio n He then cast an eye on the door and sidl e d toward it, wit h his cheeks puffed up, his stomach heaving up and down and his legs wobbling. The next moment out he rushed, pursued by Tim, and t heYi both leaned over the railing and bega n a duet of gags. Jack laughed, for he was not affected like tha t althoug h e felt rather queer, a tingling s ensation was running through and w ings t h a t not the s l ig htest oscillation, tremor or gyrathim, a roaring sound came into his ears and his sight b e ing mo ve m ent cou l d be felt. came blurred a little. He soon got over thi s feeling, howeve r The bo a t lay as stiff and even as if she w e r e upon the land. So did Tim and Fritz," but animosity was forgotten. Fritz gl a n ced over the raili ng, down upon the policem a n The Flying Fish by that time was a thousand f ee t in the a ir and citi z e n s who had been pursuing him, and saw them gapa nd the people below were apparentl y so small that t hey ing up a t t h e r eceding boat in open-mouthed astonishment. looked like flies, the landscape of coast, land and ocea n lost All the s t reets, windows and housetops in Wrightstown were its natural aspect, and t hey f ound themsel ves among some line d with p eop l e, and cheer after cheer arose from the multi-clouds. tude w h e n the boat was seen; handkerchiefs and flags were It was at this juncture that Jack suddenl y observed seve ral waved. and a scene of the most intense excitement ensued huge birds rising from the earth below them, and taking his Com e i n h ere, Fritz!" shouted the boy inventor, as he glass from the rack he directed it at them. clutc h e d the whee l a n d keenly watched every movement of the Two eagles, and one pursuing the other!" he airship. A moment afterward he observed that the biggest bird in Schn e id e r ob eyed, a n d Jack saw that h e had cleaned himadvance had a tiny infant c lutched in its talons. self of the tar. "Great h eave n, b o ys, loo k there! h e crie d pointing down Och himme l!" h e g as p e d a s ,he g l a n ced around. "Vot iss ? at i t. PAGE 7 P I Tim and Fritz were startled at the sight. I feet a second, and Fritz laid the child d o w n u p o n a c u s h ion in "Lord save us, is it a little kid's corpse?" queried Tim. back of Jack, and tried to stop its yells. e "No! Dqn 'd yer see dot it vhas mofin its arms und legs?" The young inventor kept h is glance fixed upon the gauge s cried Fritz. and indicators,' intently, and said: The birds were sweeping up toward the Flying Fish, but "The boat seems to work like a charm. I'll b ring her to a swerved off as soon as their keen eyes detected what it was. stop in the water of the bay which is just be l ow us n ow and "Stand by to save the child!" shouted Jack, electrifying his we'll go over to the gypsy camp and see if that young one friends. wasn't stolen from ther!l by the eagle. It's a wonder to m e i t He slackened the speeu of the whirling helices, and brought wasn't 'killed! the boat to a pause, the forward wings were stopped, the "Thar wuz another eagle a-chasin' ther one as had t her action of the after. ones was increased, and the cutter made kid," said Tim, "an' that's why ther critter flew so h i g h ter a dive down at a slight angle, when the stern propeller escape its pursuers, I s'pose." began to spin, shooting her ahead at a rate of speed. Down, down, down, lower and l ower went t he boat until at Away she went, skimming, till she was beneath the eagle last it came within fifty feet of the sparkling waters of t h e that held the child, when the bird took fright and sped away bay, when the ieronauts saw the people of the village co m e toward the sea, with a fearful screech. flocking down to the water's edge and heard them loudly Jack sent the boat flying after it like a rocket. shouting anu cheering. An exciting chase followed, the eagle straining every effort At that moment the wheels suddenly stopped. to get away from the boat, and Jack determined to overtake it. A shower of glaring electric sparks shot out from every The other eagle flew away in terror. On swept the bird at the extent of its speed, when Jack turned several levers, and with a whistling of the wings, heli ces and propelle rs, the Flying Fish's speed was increased. "We are gaining!" shouted Jack, excitedly. "Hurroar!" bellowed Tim, delightedly. "In vun minute more ve vhas got him!" yelled Fritz. "Look out the bird don't drop the child!" "Ay, ay, lad!" "Shiminey! put on more speed!" The eagle was now soaring above the airship, and Jack suddenly raised her set;eral yards, when the boat darted ahead, and the child suddenly was released and fell. With one spring Fritz landed beneath it, his quick glance having instantly detected the little one falling. Down it came, the delicate fabric of its clothes having caught for an instant upon the bird's sharp talons, and up went the Dutch boy's arms. With a slight shock the child fell into the arms of Fritz, and, uttering a cry of affright, the eagle circl ed off to the right. "Saved!" gasped Jack, in joyful tones. "Und id vhas alife! chuckled Fritz, for the child screamed. "Bless its heart fer that roared Tim, relieved of his anxiety. The babe was not injured, exdepting for a few scratches inflicted upon its tender skin by the bird's talons' and it now began to bawl and kick lustily as the Dutch boy gently carried it up to the pilot-house, followed by Tim. terminal of the mechanism, and the airship f e ll. Cries of alarm burst from the vast multitude. A sudden shock passed through Jack and h i s frie nd s when they felt the boat falling from beneath them. "Hang on for your lives!" shri eked the startled b o y Their faces b l anched, their hearts throbbed, and their n erve s tingled but they scarcely had time to move, when with a terrible shock the boat struck the water and splash e d it up all around. The next instant the Flying F ish disap peared unde r the bay! CHAPTER IV. A MYSTERY EXPLAINED. Two seconds had scarce l y e l apsed before the airship again arose to the surface and floated as g r acef ull y and buoy antly as any craft. Fritz and Tim had been knocked flying acros s the pilot-house and lay in the corner, hal f stunned; b u t Jack h a d gras p e d the babe ap.d flung himself upon the cushi o n s He was badly shaken up, but suffere d no injury, nor was the child hurt in consequence of his protecting arms. He bounded to his feet, drenched by the water tha t poured in through the open windows, and seeing t h e e l ectricity still escaping he instantly shut off powe r stoppin g i t. Out from the s h ore put every avail ab l e boat, i tl to which "By shiminey exclaimed Fritz, as he went in, "it vhas a many of the spectators of the ca tastrophe c r owd e a and a 'nigger baby'" cheer pealed from every mouth when they saw the Flying Fish "No, it isn't," replied Jack, regarding it intently; "it's a ascend to the surface and float safe l y gypsy." "Get up, boys, get up! exc l aimed the b oy upon seeing the "Wot! One o' ther gang wot's camped in ther woods by boat floating again. ther bay?" Tim. Neither of his friends answered h im "It must be. Look at its clothing," said Jack. For they senseless. The child was only a few weeks and very small. Its Jack hastened out on deck with the child in hi s arms. skin was almost as dark as a mulatto's; its hair was coarse He cast a glance around and gave a start of d ismay, for he and black, and it did not have very much clothing in. saw that the shock had broken several of the h e li ces, s n a pp e d The little f e llow marvelously enough, did not seem to be the belt and wheels and created other seriou s dam a g e to the much the worse for its perilous adventure, but he cried and boat. screamed, despite Jack saying, "Coochy-coochy -coo;" and A cheer went up from the spectators u po n seeing that he chuckling it under the chin. was safe, and scores of boats came surging a cross to the The eagles disappeared by this time, and having adjusted airship, every one asking if they were hurt and b egging to be the levers Jack sent his boat downward in vast circles toward the sea, which was rolling below where they were now suspended. The driving screws were stopped, the wings stood stiffly out, acting like parachutes, and the helices revolved slower. With a graceful m otion the bo a t went do w n a t about two of service. It was very evident that the mac h i nery was injure d and the boat could not go, so the boy shouted: "Tow us up the creek t o the w orkshop. I'll fling you a hawser.' He sent a line flying o verboard, after l aying the gypsr PAGE 8 6 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR baby down on the sofa in the pilot-house, and made the other end fast to a ringbolt. While his friends were dragging the Flying Fish across the bay he glanced at Tim and Fritz and saw that they were recovering. He then passed back into the cabin. It was a beautifully appointed room, but the pictures were i(nocked from the walls, the table and chairs were upset, the floor was littered with broken articles, and everything was in confusion. Back of this room was a stateroom, equally as much upset, and in the galley, behind it, scarcely a piece of crockery, glassware or tinware remained unbroken in its place. There was a storeroom back of the galley, filled with extra things, such as most vessels carry, a fine assortment 'Of firearms and ammunition of a kind such as the boy had invented, peculiar-looking diving cotumes, canned food and numerous other things. But everything was scattered about in the wildest disorder. The aftmost compartment was an electric machinery room, furnished with a light, powerful engine, run by hydraulic pressure, which operated a beautiful dynamo, from which electricity was generated to work the delicate but complicated machinery which was put into communication with the working parts of the boat by a series of insulated wires, metallic belts and light pistons. As everything here was stationary, nothing was broken by the shock, although when t1:J.e boy looked for the cause of the stopping of the helices he soon found the main shaft had broken. A trap door in the floor led down into the hold by means of a ladder, and as everything was lighted by incandescent electric lights, the boy procured an illumination of the dark hold by pressing a button on the wall. He then descended a light ladder of steel. The entire interior of the hull was empty, excepting for a s mall, light but powerful air pump standing in...the stern. All around were great braces and girders of a shape denoting extrao1'dinary lightness and strength, as if to resist a collapse of the hull from outside pressure, although the pressure employed really was inside, as will be shown presently, when we explain the use of the pumps. There was no damage done to the hull, Jack saw at a glance. He then returned to the pilot-house and found that Tim and Fritz had recovered consciousness and were looking for him. They both had been roughly shaken up and badly bruised, but otherwise had suffered no serious injury by their fall. Jack questioned them and then explained the boat's condi tion. By the time he got through the Flying Fish r eached the foot of his grounds; Jack thanked the boatmen and, explaining that no one was hurt, he had his workmen pull the boat into the shop. "It will take us a week to repair the damage," he told his friends, "but I don't mind that as Jong as we have all come out of the scrape with whole skins. Had we fallen from a greater height or not dropp e d into the water, I cliln't know what would have become of us!" "Keelhaul me if I want ter try it!" said Tim, with a wry look. "This youngster must have been born to get hung," laughed Jack as he picked the dark-faced little fellow up and carried him asliore. They left the workshop and entered Jack's elegant house, when a serv1tnt announced a gentleman named Peleg Hopkins. "What!" exclaimed Jack, in delight. "My old friend, the professor, here? Send him in at once. I'll be delighted to see him! It was the same man the gypsy queen had fooled. AND WATER CUTTER. He had gone on a voyage with Jack and his friends, and wal therefore a very welcome guest among them now. The boy laid the gypsy child on the sofa in his library, int which they'had repaired, and when the professor came in the gave him a most cordial reception. So sorry I missed the trial trip, dear boy," said Hopkin wiping his glasses; "but when I saw the accident which befell you I really cannot say I regretted it much, after all." "Lor', professor," said Tim, with a grin, "don't mention regrets, 'cause yer know very well as we all wishes yer wu2 along with us!" "Oxbecially vhen ve fell into der vater," modestly admitte Fritz. "Ay, now; it made me think o' ther time I was aboard o' the1 cannon-ball express, a-goln' at the rate o' sixty knots an hou a tween Sailors' Snug Harbor an' Tompkinsville," said Tim 'That wuz a ride fer yer. We was a-goin' down grade, an ther engine runned away. We went so fast that ther draught o' ther flyin' train tore up trees an' rocks knocked down houses 'and telegraph poles, an' finally, after traveling two hours, an' leavin' a path mowed down like a cyclone track--' "Two hours, sixty miles an hour between Sailors' Snu Harbor and Tompkinsville?" asked the professor with suspicious look at Tim, and then he made a move to sit dow on the sofa, when a yell from the gypsy child l ying beneath caused him to jump up as if he was shot. ''Great heaven!" he gasped, looking over his shoulder in astonishment at the child. "What's that-where did yo11 get it?" The diversion came just in time to stop Fritz flinging an ottoman at Tim for getting off such an infamous lie, and the all laughed. Jack thereupon explained the matter to1 the professor. Hopkins was very much amazed over the marvelous rescue, and warmly congratulated the boy. "Do you know," sai'd he, carefully examining the waif of the air, "that I have seen that child somewhere b efore?" "Wasn't it among the gypsies in the woods?" "Sure enough!" said the professor, with a start. "Now recollect! It was the queen's child, my Christian i'riend. The last time I beheld the unfortunate little rascal he was lying upon a cushion at the tent entrance, while tne mother told my fortune." "Told your fortune? How superstitiou s of you profes sor! Ha! ha! ha!" "Oh, you may laugh, Wright, but that woman is a wonder!" said the professor; emphatically. "She told me the most wonderful things, which I knew to be true, but of which she could most certainly have had no cognizance previously. Let me explain. Jack listened to his narrative,.attentively. "But I got no letter saying you was coming," said he, when Hopkins finished. "You didn't?" queried the professor in surprise. Then he pondered a moment and burst.out with: ''By Jove! now I recollect, I didn't send it; forgot to mail it, de11,r boy. I remember finding the letter in my pocket and taking it out near the gypsy camp, and-but let me see-where did I put it?" He felt in all his pockets, a blank look upon his face. "It's lost!" he exclaimed, presently. "That explains the mystery, then," laughed Jack. "What mystery?" "The gypsy's knowled&'e of you and your atfairs which she told in your fortune." "How do you mean?" "She must have found the letter, read it, and thus acquainted herself with your name, intentions and so forth, and simply repeated it to you." ._ "By thunder!" gasped the discomfltted professor emphatic- PAGE 9 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. 7 ...... ms lly. "As she told me no more than she could have gleaned "Well," coolly asked Jack of the man, "what do you want?" om the letter, I believe your theory is right, Jack!" "That bundle in your arms and your valuables!" replied ito A general laugh followed this simple explanation of what the stranger. tey f ad seemed a wonderful mystery to the learned professor. "You are one of the gypsies, I see by your clothes, who "We can ascertain the truth when we return her child," said are camped in these woods." 11s, opkins, in deep mortification when he realized how clearly he "That's neither here nor there!" snarled the man. "Shell el ad been duped. out!" "And that will be to-night," said Jack. "I suppose you will tay with us a while, professor?" uz "I came expressly to make an rerial voyage with you in our new invention," replied Hopkins. "Have you planned a ed rip yet?" "And if I refuse you mean to shoot me?" demanded Jack. "That's the alternative." "Blaze away, then!" "What! Do you dare refuse?" "Of course I do." "Then you must remain here," said Jack. "We have no "You seal your own death warrant." efinite views settled for the present, but I have no doubt that "Bosh! you can't hurt me." s soon as the boat is repaired I shall have an object arranged "You'll see! Choar a chauvie!" (Rob t1,1at person!) he or a trip on the wing and in the air. In the meantime make yelled. "Sellah jaw drom!" (Curse you, take the road!) ourself at home, sir." The man uttered a peculiar whistle as he spoke, and out A short time afterward a tasteful supper was served up, from the shrubbery started half a dozen more gypsies, surnd as Jack had changed his clothes he wrapped the gypsy rounding Jack. o hild up in a shawl, and, accompanied by Hopkins, they set Every one of them held a pistol aimed at the boy. out for the gypsy encampment in the woods. "Stop! yelled Hopkins, in agonized tones, as he raised g his clasped hands beseechingly. "Don't fire, gentlemen! I'll give you all I've got!" CHAPTER V. A GYPSY llTHER's GRATITUDE. The moon and stars had arisen in the clear sky by the time [ Jf(Ck and Hopkins reached the woods bordering one side of the bay, with the gypsy child. They pursued a dark, gloomy path bordered with a dense j hedge, as Jack was perfectly familiar with every inch of the ground, and had just arrived at the most lonesome spot when i 1 they became aware that there were stealthy footsteps following them. Glancing back over his shoulder the boy's quick, keen eyes saw the shadowy figure of a mao slinking along in among the bushes, like a phantom, and he nudged Hopkins and whispered: "We are being followed, professor." "Oh, Lord 1 gasped Hopkins, who was a very timid man. "Where is he?" "In back of us, lurking amonglfthose bushes." "Do you suppose it is a robber?" "Very likely a footpad." "What shall we do?" "Pay no attention to him." "But he may kill us. Let us run." "Not on your life! Keep right along with me." The professor's teeth began to chatter, and he turned very pale, while he grasped Jack's coat with one trembling hand, and every few moments he cast a frightened glance backward over his shoulder. 1 "What did I venture to come for?" he groaned. "Silence! Do you hear him coming now?" "Yes-yes. The scoundrel is drawing nearer every moment." "Don't you be afraid. He won't hurt us." "Who's afraid?" said Hopkins, indignantly. "I'm sure I ain't, for-oh, help! Murder! Police! Fire! Thieves! Save me! Spare me!" Just then their pursuer came gliding up behind them and the sharp click of a pistol spring caused Hopkins to yell and fall on his knees. Jack wheeled around and saw their pursuer close behind him with a pistol in his hand aimed at them. "Silence, you old fool!" he hissed. "Do you want me to kill you?" "Not if I know it!" said Jack, grimly. He unfastened the shawl frotii around the child and it began to cry. Holding it up in plain view, at a spot where the moonlight streamed down through the trees, he held a pistol to its head and cried: "If you don't clear out I'll blow this child's head off!" "The queen's infant!" ran from mouth to mouth, as the dark-visaged men recognized it, in deep wonder. Every one of them had seen the eagle carry the infant away, and they were now intensely astonished to see it safe back on land in Jack's hand, apparently uninjured. It was to them a marvelous mystery. At this juncture Zobeide appeared, attracted by the noise, and with one glance ..saw what was transpiring. A wild, piercing shriek burst frantically from her lips when she beheld her child so miraculously saved, in Jack's hands. She and the whole tribe had long before given it up as dead, and she rushed forward into the circle of thieves, screaming: "My child! My child!" With outstretched arms she rushed toward Jack, but the boy recoiled, and aiming his pistol at her, he said, sternly: "Unless you drive those scoundrels away I shall kill it!" "Give to me! It is mine!" she shrieked, fiercely. Her savage ferocity was aroused to the pitch of madness at the fear of harm befalling her offspring, saved, as it was, in a strange manner, from an almost certain death. "Hold!" ringingly answered Jack. "Obey me, and you shall have it." She paused, her bosom heaving tumultuously, her large, dark eyes glaring like live coals and a terrible look on her face. -"Harm it at your peril!" f:'he yelled, in a mad paroxysm. "Listen! replied Jack. "I just saved it from death, and I was bringing it back in safety to you when your men tried to rob us!" That brought her to her senses. She was stung by her followers' base Ingratitude. Knowing, there. fore, that the babe was safe, she turned In a fury upon the men and raved like an insane person "Away with you! Away, I say, or my curse shall fall on every one! By the '.lawn of day ye shall all lie with throats cut from ear to ear! The awful tones she assumed sent a chill through Jack, and the men seemed to f eel sure her dire threat would be "Mercy on my soul!" gasped the professor. murder, dear boy!" "He means, kept, for like whipped dogs the slunk away, and one by one they disappeared into the bushes as mysteriously as they came. PAGE 10 t 8 JACK WRlGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. ==-=======================\=--=:::...::._.:.=.._==---------' I In a moment -Jack and Hopkins were alone with Zobeide, there are millions of dollars worth of gems yet lying at tll . ii.n the woman bounded forward with a glad cry; the boy bottom of that extinct crater." h e r wailing child in her arms and she smothered it '1And you' have the secret of its location?" queried Jae w i t h k i sses, and the most extravagant terms of eneagerly. de'!!,rm13nt, i n the delirio u s joy pervading her over recovering "I have; and if it will show you my gratitude in a sma lo ved offspring. way for what you have done, you may have it, and here L t was s ome time before her impetuou!j overflow of exhila r a t e d f eelings abated, and the profes$or gingerly arose to his f eet a n d kept warily and uneasily. glancing furtively a r bund at t h e rustling bushes, as if he half expected to see the robb e r s return. ' f As s o o n as the wild gypsy queen's joy had abated somet urned to J ack, and kissing his hand impulsively, again and a g a i n, while tears of gratitude streamed from her eyes, she said : I recogn i ze y o u as the Wizard of Wrightstown, and while I a m g lad t o t h e heart's core for the great good you have don e m e, I can o n l y reward you with a mother's wondrous Jov e and thanks." Don't me n t i o n it," bluntly said Jack . ,. "But, I pray you tep me," sJ:ie pleaded, greatly mystified, "ho w was it possible that my child, carried into the heavens by a thievish eagle, and disappearing from our view in the is." As Zobeide said this she unfastened a large locket of gol from around, her neck, handed it to Jack and glided away. "But, I say, my good woman," said the professor, "how abou the fortune Y.ov. told me this even--Ha 1 She's gone! ."And left a secret with rile worth millions!" said Jack. CHAPTER VI. THE MOUNTAIN MINE OF INDIA. It was too dark to examine the locket which the gyps queen had placed in Jack's hand, until they got out of th woods, and as they had no desire to m eet the thieves agai they hurried away. air, was saved?" The professor was an old traveler, and as they went alon You p e rhaps a r e aware that I invented a flying machine?" he said: A y, t o-day we saw you ascend. "Durin g our flight we the eagle, and wrested your child from its grasp in mid-air, after a battle. -.'Wonderfu l Strange! A miracle!" murmured Zobeide "It was unbecom ing of your men to trespass upon my own ground, a n d here try to rob us," said Jack, "more especially as we were bent u pon an errand of good to them. By to-mor row yo u must leave these grounds. If you are not gone by m idday I s h all have tb.e men put under arrest." "Pardo n implored the queen, deeply mortified. "They a r e the worst of my tribe, and I b lush with shame for them. B e assu red that by to-mo r row we will leave in shame and sorr ow. I allow no r obbery among my people if I can help it. But t h e m en, unwatched, are bound to transgress. I deeply regret that we brought them from Indi a with us." "Then you come from India?" "We are Egyptians, but we have been all over the world.' a m e ducated. I had to be to tell fortunes; but it reminds me"If such a diamond mine exists outside of that nomad' imagination, my boy, you can depE;!nd that it will yield the big gest, purest and finest gems in the world, if it is located India." "Why," said Jack, "do you know anything about them?" "I ought to, as I've been all through the diamond fields o the eastern side of the Deccan, from the Pennar River in 1 degrees north latitude to near the Sone, in Bundelkund, a 25 degrees north latitude. When I was there the souther mines were at Cuddapah, Karnul and Ellore, near the Kishna in Madras presidency. In this district some of the larges diamonds ever obtained were procured." "How about the famous Golconda, sir?" queried Jack. "It is only a fortress and ruined city, dear boy, situated in the Nizam's dominions, seven miles west of Heyderabad city. It was once a powerful kingdom, which arose on the downfall of the Bahamani dynasty. The diamonds of Golconda obtain ed great celebrity; they were, however, merely cut an(;j polish-ed there. The fortress is situated on a rocky ridge of granite, i f yo u are going to India with your strange balloon ship I might show you how you could there gain a most wonderful fort u ne.,, is very extensive, and contains many inclosures. It is strong and in good repair, but is commanded by the summits of the "A f ortune?" questioned Jack interestedly. enormous and massive mausoleum of the ancient kings about "Buried far down out of reach of mankind within the crater GOO yards distant. These buildings are grouped in an arid, of an extinct volcano, at the top of an almost inaccessible rocky desert. The fort is now the Nizam's prison and treasmoun tain. " With m y new boat access to such a place wo;uld be easy. But this fo rtune?" I t i s a great diamond mine, exposed by the action of the vol cano in a ncient times. " Ho w do yo u k n ow, if it isn't accessible to mankind?" sharp l y asked Jack. M y fat her, now dead, once ascended the crater top, and drq p ped by accident a piece of raw meat down into the vol cano. A b ird carried it up from the bottom, but, frightened b y m y father, dropped the meat. Adhering to it were a numb e r o f precio u s d i amonds, uncut, but valuable. By repeating the expe riment he gathered many more. Glancing down on a brig h t sunny day, he saw that the volcano bed was strewn with many more gems. He then left there." "By why didn't he return for the rest?" "Because a convulsion of nature by an earthquake made it impossib l e for mankind to reach summit of the mountain again without some s u c h contrivance as your airship, though ury." "How do they get these Indian diamonds?" "Chiefly in the recent deposits, beds of sand and clay, and in some places a ferruginous sandstone-very few in the original matrix. The upper strata of the beds is 18 inches of sand, gravel and loam; next there is a stiff deposit of black clay or mud, about four feet thick; and next the diamond bed, which is distinguished by a mixture of large, round stones, two or three feet thick, closely cemented together with clay. Hollow pits are there excavated a few feet in diameter, in such spots as the practice of the miner dictates. He sinks a few feet, searches the bed, and if not encouraged by a find, shifts his position to dig again." Talking thus, they soon reached the town, and restraining their curiosity they proceeded at once to Jack's house. Finding Tim and Fritz in the parlor, they told them what occurred, and Jack withdrew the big golden locket. It looked very much like a plain, polished watch case, on which was engraved in old Egyptian characters:

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' JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. 21 came rushing helter-skelter and fired a volley with their l ong Arabian muskets and long-barreled pistols. The shots struck our friends and hit the boat, but did not do the least damage to anyone or anything. Then Jack and his friends opened fire upon tl:.em with their repeaters, and each one fired twenty rounds before he stopped. With the explosions of th.e shells in their midst, and seeing the havoc it created, the robbers fled lik1 e the wind, leaving half thdr horses and men lying dead on the desert. They raced away against the strong wind that was blowing, and soon were hardly to be seen in the far distance. "Now get to work," said Jack. "Let us get the rain falling and fill our water casks ere they return, boys." They laid aside their weapons and got the implements out. The mortar was planted, and Fritz began firing explosive bombs up in the sky, the professor sent up the huge rockets, Jack inflated several hot-air 1 11lloons, to which bombs were attached that burst at a certain llltitude, and Tim helped where he was needed An hour of continued firing followed, but no rain came. It looked as if the experiment was a failure, and they stop ped. The Parsees looked on in wondering amazement from the deck, and the apparently useless implements were returned to t he boat. A black cloud suddenly arose from earth to sky away to the windward. "Fer ther Lord's sake, h ow i s we t e r do it?" groaned Tim, as he felt a ho t wave of air f rom the fir e c om e rushing upon them. "You f orget the vacuum!" crie d t h e boy A t hrill of joy passed ove r the m There was no time to replen i s h t h e batte ries. So Jack set the for ce p ump wor king, and the air was sucked out of the hold of the F l y in g Fish in great blasts. Faster and faster wor k e d t h e pump. Then the airship began t o draw upward and bump on the ground; then she suddenl y a r ose. Up, up it went, as lightly as a feath e r whe n a dark shadow fell acr6ss the deck, and Jack gla n ce d upward. Something spattered do wn u pon his face through the open window. The boat was then fif t y feet from tlie earth approaching a dark cloud. "Rain!" he shouted. Everyon, e was elect r ified, and gl a n ce d down The poor Hindoos, m ou nted on their e l ephants, w ere hastening away from the roaring fla m es as fas t as they c ould go, yelling with fear, and praying for s alvation. Momentarily the rain i ncreased, and in a few mom ents it was pouring down i n torrents. "Thank God!" gasped H opkins. "Our apparatus worked, after all." "Und see! citedly. It vhas puttin' oudt dot fire! cried Fritz ex-"The desP.rt grass is afire!" exclaimed "It must have been the work of those p rofessor. Jack, aghast. He pointed off to the w i ndward, w h e r e onl y half a mile Khonds!" cried the away the great fire was being beaten dow n and tre m e ndous clouds of dense black smo ke arose as it was s ubdu e d "Send ther boat aloft! Send her aloft, lad!" yelled Tim. Jack darted into the pilot-house to do so, for the wind was blowing the great fire directly toward them at fearful velocity. He turned the lever to raise the boat, but the Flying Fish d id not move. The batteries had been exhausted from constant use and needed recharging. On rushed the fire toward them with a .fearfu l r o a r that mo mentarily grew louder. CHAPTER XV. FLOATING UNDER STRANGE POWER. A cry of despair pealed from Jack's lips, for by glancing u p at the gauge he saw that the battery supply was at zero. "Och, Gott!" groaned Fritz. "Vhe vhas been roasted ter d'e't'!" "Look at those Hindoos! Stop them! They're jumping verboard cried Jack. Frightened as they were, the poor wretches were all spring g to the ground upon seeing the fire, for they feared it a s going to envelope them, and cause them to die. One after the other they sprang to the fround, despite the y's cries to arrest them, until they were all gone Nearer and still nearer ca10 the fire. Great clouds of smoke and inimense tongues of flame were king up to the sky from the ignited desert grass, while the d <:_aught thousands of sparks and wafted them along above fierce conflagration in showers. 'What shall we do, Jack?" wailed the terrified Hopkins. ll:ust we rem'ain here to passively be devoured by that raging "No!" promptly replied the boy "We can save ourse l ve s, t if we to do so we must let those poor wretches, the a rsees, sacrifice themselves in the fiery element which their r efather.s, the fugitives of Persia, once worshiped." "Hurroar!" chuckl ed Tim. "It take s us ter control ther elements." He gave a hitch at h is pants, took a c h e w of plug, and squirted som!l of the juice in Bismarck's eye, w h e r e upon Fritz danced up to him wrathil y, pull ed his no se, and a s crap be gan, which might have ended seriously h ad no t J ac k s houted: ."Fritz, go back fn the battery roo n and r echarge the jars." Ther e was nothing for it but to obey, as t h e r e was no time for play, and the young Dutchman went r eluctantly, hurling a challenge back at T i m to m ee t him i n a d u e l with clubs in an h our. Jack stoppe d the pump. The boat remained stationary at sixty f eet height, but the w ind kept drifting it, a most enormous s u ction contracting t h e outer she ll again s t t h e massive s k e leton. Harder beat the rain dow n lowrr we n t t h e fir e, and t he grass ahead of the flames being d a mpe\ned fa il e d to ignite, and the onward progress of i t was suddenl y c h ec k ed. "rn five minutes mo r e t h e fir e was entire l y extinguished. Everyone was delig h ted. They saw the Parsees come t o a p a u se and spread their blankets1 to catch the rai n w h e n t h ey the fir e put out, and the water that beat down o n t h e roo fs of the d ec k hous e s tri ckled with a merry tink l e do w n the l ea d e rs, filling the wate r casks. A scene of. general rejoic in g follo we d among the a i r navigators and the poor wretches dow n o n the d esert. You have saved their lives, dea r boy," said t h e r e li eve d pro fessor, "and you have save d u s a great i nco n venie n ce Jac k Wright, you are, I may say, a wonde r of the Nin eteenth C en tury, by Jove!" "Now you can see the efficacy of m y vacuum the ory. "Aye; and, if need have bee n it c o u ld have sav e d our Jives They heard the pounding o f t h e e n gi n e and d y n a mo generating e l ectricity, and p retty s oon F ritz s h ou t e d through the tube: "Dot v has a ll r i g hd. Ma ke d e r vhee l s g oin' alretty. She

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JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. 27 ye, aye, Jack!" ere's the way your yarn sounds to u s, only what I say to is true in every particular. I once sat on a ray of light traveled at the rate o! 186,000 miles a second into space rd the sun--" Ah, git out! Who ever heard o' goin' at sich speed as t?" So you doubt it, eh? Well, sir, that is the rate light els at. I went from the earth to the sun, 'ill million miles y, in less than ten minutes. Holy jingo! Avast thar! I say--" Don't you believe it?" asked Jack, with a broad smile. No, I don't!" blrlntly answered Tim. Well, it's the truth, and that is more than you have as a is for your stories. Where are you going to now?" I'm a-goin' outside ter think about it, answered Tim, with ook of intense disgust sweeping oyer his face. verybody laughed at the way Jack dosed him with his own !cine. he boat continued its rapid descent, and in a few minutes went plunging through the cloudbank.1... own it went, and clearing the clouds it ran into a rain rm underneath, and the temperature increased. he wind was blowing a gale, and the darkness of night was reased by the gloom of the storm. resently the boat got down among the foothills, and sailed ay to the southwest at an easy rate of speed. hey were now free of the mountains. t afforded them a sense of intense re ief to be out of that rful height among the dread convulsions of nature, and y were glad enough to get down within a thousand feet of "Exactly, sir." "Very well." When day dawned the boat was a hundred miles from Mount Everest, and went sweeping along over Khatmandu again, and a bee line was made across Delhi to Punjab. Toward evening the Flying Fish reached a' point close to the capital of Delhi, on the Jumna River, the city being inclosed on three sides by a lofty wall of solid stone, the eastern side along the river having no wall, but was-faced with high ma-, sonry. It was, they saw, a large and handsome city, containing many large and beautiful buildings and imposing mosques. But at the time referred to the place wits in a state of siege. There had been an outbreak of mutineers in Meerut, when the officers there were murdered, and the rebel soldiery there set out for DE)lhi, entered the city, and there were joined by a mob. The British troops stationed there consi _sted of native in fantry and a battery of artillery, who cast.their lot with the mutineers and began by jdlling their officers. The Delhi magazine, the largest in northwest India, was in charge of Lieutenant Willoughby, with whom were two other commissioned officers and six non-commissioned officers. This magazine was attacked by the mutineers just a s the airship 11pproached, and the little band of soldiers desperately resisted. Jack knew the state of revolt the country was in, and upon seeing the gallant white men struggling hopelessly to defend the enormous accumulation of mu'nitions of war stored there, he cried: "See, boys; can we go by without aiding those brave fel-earth again. lows?" Millions of dollars' worth of diamonds were destroyed by eruption of the volcano, but the four aeronauts had ough of them to satisfy any man, and were not disappoint'What do you estimate the value of that treasure, proor?" asked the boy, a few hours later, as he sat in the cozy in with Hopkins, with the richly laden kegs between them. 'It all depends upon the cost of cutting and th'ei-r loss and ight, my dear fellow," answered the tall, thin professor, eeping hie long hair back from his hight brow. "The kegs weigh about a hundred pounds apiece." 'But half of that weight may be lost in cutting the gems. en you can't get nearly as much per carat for them in the de state-in fact, they won't bring more than forty dollars "No, no, no!" cried his companions. "Then let us descend and lend them a helping hand!" They eagerly assented to this proposition, and attiring them-selves in their suits of armor they armed themselves to the teeth. Jack then sent the boat down into the city near the magazine, and the mutineers fled in horror before its approach. CHAPTER XX. THE SIEGE OF DELHI. carat at the utmost." As the boat was de scending Tim ran the glorious stars and "At that rate we will have about one hundred pounds to stripes up at the flagpole, and as soon as the cutter came to I?" "Just about-now we can figure on four grains to a carat, d 1, 750 carats to a pound; 40 times 1, 750 amounts to $70,000 pound, and if there are 100 pounds of diamonds sold at$40 a at the amount we will get will be about $7,000,000!" Jack was amazed and delighted, One million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars lece. .-It wa s a magnificent sum. we will get more than I bargained for," he remarked. But we may have trouble to sell them," said Hopkins. "Why?" "The brokers will fear a flooding of the market maY depreci e the value of the stones they have in stock, and refuse buy them." "True, sir; but if that should prove to be the case I have plan whereby we can force them to buy," said Jack, after a oment's thought. "Have you decided where to sell them?" "In France." "Then we will go straight there?" a pause, our friends hurried ou.t on deck. They had hardly appearej when a hail came from the maga-zine, to which they replied, stating who and what they were. A cheer pealed from the besieged men. "And you will aid us?" eagerly aske d Willoughby. "With our lives!" said Jack, watching the mutineers, who were assembled in a great body up t'he street, raising a furious uproar with their cries and invectives. "There is no hope of saving the magazine, said the lieu tenant. "All we can do is to prevent the mutineers getting it by blowing the whole thing up." "Then fire a train and board my boat," answered Jack. They got a ladder ready, and 1.he magazine was fired. Unfortunately, it exploded before five out of the nine brave soldiers got out, and only four escaped alive to the cutter. As they came rushing towards the cutter a volley came from the mutineers, and the lieutenant fell, wounded. The other three got upon the boat. Lying in the street the brave lieutenant might have fallen into the hands of the furious mob had not Jack sprang to the ground, rushed over and picked him up. PAGE 30 28 JACK WRIGHT'S A I R AN D WATER' CUTTER. The gall ant boy starte d on a run fo r t h e boat. None of the flying particl es f r om the exp l osion had hurt the Flying Fish or h e r c r ew, b u t W ill o u g hby and his men had b ee n b a dl y w ound ed. Many of the Hindoos were killed outright. As soon as t h ey r a ll ied and saw Jack saving the life of the lieute n a n t a hun d red r i fles we r e a i med at t h e boy. B e fore a s h o t cou l d be fired his friends upon the cutter open e d fir e upon t h e d usky n atives. The r e came a terribl e exchange of shots, in which the. suits worn by our frie nd s amply p r otected them from injur y while the bullets faile d to pen etrate t h e hull of the air ship. R eaching the ladde r with his se n se less bur den, Jack got him up on the dec k of t h e c utter a nd l aid h i m inside. D espite the heavy fus il ade poured in at them, the savage Hindoo s charge d toward the boat to ove r whe l m ou r friends. They c a m e surging thro u g h t h e street called S handni Chank, or Stree t of Silve r a fine, wide avenue lined with n i m and pipal tre es running from the fort to the Lah o r e gate. It was like t h e impetuou s onslaught of a tidal wave, and it se e m e d as if the thousands of human beings must sweep 'up and o ve r the b oa t i r resistibly, despite all obstacles, for upon seeing human beings o n t h e boat their fear s of i t ceased. At this juncture J ac k dragged the repeating gun out of its closet in t h e wall of the pilo t-ho u se, and brought it to the bulwark. It was alrea d y lo a d ed, and training it to bear upon the horde, h e fir e d it at the rate of one hundred shots a second, the t errible projectiles d r i v ing tJi e mob back in h orror over the f earful carnage it c r eate d i n thei r r a n ks. The b oy said not a w o r d Nor did he s t o p until every shot was fired. The sce n e o f t e rrol'. and that prevailed among the mutinee r s b affles all d esc ription . In the mids t of i t Jack se n t t h e c utter up in the a i r. "Are there a n y m o r e w hite peop l e in troubl e here who are in n ee d of our assistance?" queried Jack. Yes," wa s the f eeb l e rep l y, for Willoughby was so bad l y injure d tbat h e a fte rward died. "In the palace there are about fo r t h e pitiful sight spread before their view angered them the utmost, and made them feel bitterly toward the Hind A box full of grenades was brought out on deck, and the pelted the fiends below with them, arousing a fearful din, a n lef t but few alive to boast of their rascality. The boat then shot across the city. Sir H. Barnard, who had succeeded Gen. Anson as com mander-in-chief, had routed the mutineers at Badli-ka-Saral with a handful of European and Sikh soldiers, afte r a :;eve action. He then encamped upon a ridge overlooking the city. This force was too weak to capture Delhi, as he had siege train or heavy guns. All he could do was to hold his position until the arriv of reinforcements and a siege train. When the boat began to descend upon the camp the Briti soldiers became alarmed until they saw the American fl" upon the cutter, when their native intelligence told them wh the F lying Fish really was. Willoughby was anxious to get into this camp, for he reali that he was fast dying, and wanted to be among his frie n when his soul left his body. Jack brought his aerostat to a1pause on the ground, and t h English soldiers came flocking around it curiously. Among the first was the baronet. "In Heaven's name, what is this machine?" he asked. "A flying ship, as you can see," replied Jack. ''American, too?" "Of course-that's where most of the best patents original sir." "And what brings you here?" "A very sad duty," replied Jack. "I have some friends yours-and here they come. They can t e ll their own story." The men he had saved left the cutter, carrying Willoughby and the baronet's grief knew no bounds upon seeing the sa fate which had overtaken the gallant lieutenant. Explanations followed. The nobleman warmly thanked Jack and his friends for wh they had done in their behalf. fifty Eur op eans and Surasians, nearl y all females,' who were "Can I be of any further service to you? the boy asked. captured in try ing to escape from t h e town on the day of the "None," replied Barnard, '3haking his head. "I mean to ke outbreak. They h a v e b ee n c o n fin e d in a s t ifling chamber for my present positiorl, with the help of God, until I can ge t fifteen days, and it i s t h e intention of t h e mutineers to bring large enough force to attack the city and capture it." them out into the courtyar d and massacr e the whole party." "I will leave you, then," said Jack. "We have got to trav "In Heav e n s n a m e direct m e to the spot at once, and I back to America, and as the journey will occupy considerab will make a n e ffort to save t h ei r lives," sai d Jack. time we cannot waste any of it remaining here." The lieutenant did so T h e British encampment cheered our friends as Jack se As the boat s wept over to t h e palace, to the amazemen t of the cutter up into the air again, and our friends waved the the rescue d m e n o ve r the i r situ ation, they heard the sound bats and handkerchiefs in response. o f fir earms a n d t h e m os t ago nizing s hrieks. The boat mounted to an altitude of a thousand feet, w h The blood coursed like fir e in Jack's ve i ns. the helices were graded to keep her there, the screw was p H e realiz e d that the awful sce n e o f carnage had begun, and in motion, and away. as the boat came to a p a u se fif t y feet above the pal ace and Over the city she fled, her crew dropping do they glanc e d d own they b e h e ld a h arrowi n g sigh t. eve r y explosive bomb they had in passing, and in a short ti Th t 1 t Delhi was left far astern. ey w e r e oo a e ' I The unfortunate p rfsoners all lay str e t c h ed upon t h e ground, Thtel before tthheir view, and with the da man e o mg rawn upon e scene like some monstr o brutally murde r e d a n d among them were swarming a large b' d th Fl F' h d ir e ymg is spe on. number of the H i n do o s who had c on s ummated the atrocity. A shudde r of h orror passed o ve r Jack and his friends upon witnessing t h e r evolting 'Spect ac l e "You look a gitated," s aid Willo u g h by, i n suspici o u s tones. "We have cause for appre h e n s ion. We a r e t oo late!" an-swered Jac k. A groan burst from t h e lieute n a nt's lip s. "Avenge the m! he cried. "I shall. Arm yourselv es w i t h g r e n ades, b o ys, and b om bard the cowardly scoundre l s down in y onder cou rtyard! His friends availed the msel ve s of this order with a r e li s h Fritz was steering her. In the cabin Jack, Tim and the professor sat at the sup tabl e enjoying an excellent repast. "Our journey out is at an end now," said the boy, in cheer tones, "and if nothing delays us we will soon make Paris, the wonderment of her populace, and get rid of our diamo n there. Then ho! .for Wrightstown." "Have you got your course mapped out, dear boy?" as k Hopkins. O f course. We go over the Hindoo Koosh Mountains i Turkestan the n across the Caspian Sea, along the Cauc a PAGE 31 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. 29 nntains to the Black Sea. Then on we go through Austria, many and into France. An' here's success ter our makin' port in Paris safe an' nd," said Tim, .:;wallowing his allowance of grog without a k. CHAPTER XXL SELLING THE DIAMONDS. lrhen the airship had arrived within s ight of the city of is, our friends kept it in suspension until after nightfall, brder to make a siescent without attracting attention. he was brought to a pause in a woods on the outskirts of ntainebleu, and, with several samples of his gems in his ket and accompanied by Fritz, the boy inventor made his IY into the city, and they quietly registered at a hotel. Dn the following morning the boys sallied out, and called the greatest dealer in diamonds in the gay city. Ile was an enormously wealthy man, who controlled most the Parisian market, and, upon Jack requesting an interw with him upon important business, he politely ushered I two aeronauts into his private office, and asked the boy in What, sir, may your business with me be?" I wish to sell you one hundred pounds of uncut diamonds," olied Jack. The diamond broker gave a violent start, put on his eye sses, viewed Jack from head to foot in utter astonishment, said: 'Eh? What did you remark?" I have one hundred pounds in uncut diamonds to sell you," peated Jack coolly, in the French language, with which he s familiar. 'Are you jesting with me, sir?" 'Not in the least." "One hundred pounds-pounds, did you say-of uncut dialond' s? '" "Exactly so, monsieur, and here are my samples." Upon saying which the boy placed a handful of the gems !Pon a table separating him from the dealer in precious stones. The look upon the Frenchman's face was that of blank H e picked up the specimen s one after the other, closely ex them, laid them down, gingerly, and then gasped: 'They are really genuine." "Will you buy them?" the boy a sked. "Do you mean to say you have as you claim?" "Monsieur, I am here strictly on business." "It does ;ot seem natural; but where, pray, did you get.'Such vast lot of these large, magnificent stones?" "From a mine in India." "And how much do you want for them uncut?" "Forty dollars a carat." "That is a fair estimate-eight hundred franc!." "Do you wish to see the entire lot?" "-No." "Then you will not buy?" "Not to the value of a sou." "Why not?" "BecaU'se the quantity would depreciate values here." Is your answer final?" "It is, monsieur." "Very well. I shall retail them myself at fifty cents on the kollar." "What!" gasped the broker. "You would ruin us." "I h ave five hundred pounds of these diamonds, and I shall retail them in Paris. If you will buy but one-fifth of them I lhall not flood the country and paralyze your trade," coolly -.Id Jack. 'But no matter where you sell the rest, diamonds will be a drug on the market for a long time, and you w ill cause the fail ure of some of our most thriving houses here--" "Wait! I will make you a proposition. If you will purchase one hundred pounds of these diamonds, I w ill fling the rest into 'the river Seine and depart content wiith$7, 000 000 On the other hand, if you fail to buy, I will have to sell theII\ myself at such a low figure that you merchants will lose heavily. The boy's cunning device worked like a charm. "Wait," said the dealer hastily. "Give me time to think." "I shall return for your answer this afternoon at three o'clock," replied Jack, arising. "By that time," said the br<>.ker, I shall have a conference with all the leading dea lers in the city and give you an answer." Jack and Fritz then left the office. The boy then provided himself with a dozen stout valises, and had all but four of them filled with glass crystals pur chased at a glass factory, while the empty bags were carried to the boat. They were there filled with the pracious stones. Jack then went to the custom house authorities with the gems, and declaring the diamonds h e gave the appraisers a check covering the amount of duty on the stones. Promptly at three o'clock he was again in the broker's office, a,nd found it thronged with ex pert dealers. The genuine diamonds were brought in and examined, and the glass crystals were shown. at long range, the boy scar" ce ly giving 'them a chance to see them ere he locked the valises again. By so doing he led the brokers to imagine he had an enormous lot of diamonds, as the glass greatly resembled the gen uine stones. The diamonds were examined and carefully weighed. Then the broker told t h e boJ that they would form a syn dicate and buy one hundred pounds of them, i f he agreed to get rid of the rest in order not to lower the value of what they had and might buy. To this Jack readily agreed, and within an hour he had their checks for the specified amounts, .and accompanied by the whole party and carrying the valises of false stones they wen. t down to the river, and boarded a boat that crossed it. It was night, and Jack and Fritz opened the valises and emptied their glass contmts into the rive r, satisfying the brokers, who did not dream of what a shrewd trick was being played upon them. Then the two boys returned to the airship. On the following day the checks were turned into drafts on New York, and they made preparations for their journey home. CHAPTER XXII. CONCLUSION. 'Th e Flying Fish darted up into the air, her helices and screws spinning with a loud buzz, and the strange ship float ed 'away in the sky over the broad Atlantic, homeward bound. Every one on board was glad, for they h a d undergone so many privations and hairbreadth escapes that they were becoming tired of it, and wished for the serene lives they lived at Wrightstown again. Their cruise had thus far been a glorious success; they had enjoyed an unlimited amount of adventure and pleasure, and were burdened with riches enough to last a lifetime. On the th"rd day out Jack went through the boat and closely examined the machinery to see if everything was in proper working order, as was his custom, when he made a startlin g discovery. The extremely cold atmospliere into which the boat had I

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' I 30 JACK WRIGHT'S AIR AND WATER CUTTER. gone over Mount Everest had cracked several of the shafts, ing and snapping, as if different parts of the boat were bei and they were now working all right, but were liable to break rent to pieces in the clutches of the whirlwind. at any moment and cause the boat to fall Then down 1t was beaten to the sea, and the In order to avert a dangerous catastrophe, the biiy decided broke. to keep the Flying Fish no higher than one f eet from It fell, burying the hapless boat in its midst. the water, for if she fell from the air she was bound to float in the water. Returning to the deck, where the profes sor and Tim were skylarking with Bismarck and Whiskers, he explained their peril. "Lord!" gasped Tim. "We mighter had another fall an' got killed, if we wuz up too high, had yer not seen that, Jack. "Fritz," said the boy, "lower the cutter to one hundred feet." "I vhas lower it to a dousand feet, if you l
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