“It was my mistake, Frank!”
“How do you make that out, Andy?”
“Simply because I was using the little patent Bird monkey-wrench last in our shop, and should have put it back in the toolbox belonging to the aeroplane. The fact that it isn’t here shows that I mislaid it. Give me a bad mark, Frank.”
“Well, I must say it’s a queer stunt for you to forget anything, Andy Bird. But with dark coming along, and home some miles away, it’s plain that we’ll have to let the mending of that wing go till morning.”
“But do you think, Frank, it’s just safe to leave our pet hydroplane over night in this field on the Quackenboss farm?”
“Why not, Andy? Sky as clear as a bell; little or no wind promised; and then we can hire the farm hand, Felix Boggs, to keep an eye on it. Looks as easy as falling off a log.”
“And all because I didn’t put that little wrench where it belonged! Kick me, won’t you, please, cousin; I deserve it.”
“Well, I guess not. Didn’t I make just as bad a break last week? I guess now, no boy’s perfect. And I don’t mind the walk home a bit. Fact is, it ought to do us both good, because we don’t stretch our legs enough, as it is.”
“You’re the boss chum, Frank!”
“Then you’re another. See what you get for calling me names. But when you’ve fastened down that plane so it can’t get into trouble, if the wind should rise in the night, perhaps we’d better be hunting up this Felix Boggs, and then start for home.
“Well, I’m glad we’ll get there in the night-time, Frank, even if the moon does happen to be nearly full.”
“What makes you say that, Andy?”
“Because, when an aviator leaves his wounded machine in a field, and walks home, it makes him feel like a dog with his tail between his legs, sneaking along back of the fences.”
Frank Bird laughed merrily at the picture drawn by his cousin and then stooping again, with a few deft turns of a heavy cord, helped Andy secure the broken plane so it would not get into trouble during the coming night.
After which the two boys headed toward the barns belonging to the farm, which just showed their tops above the adjacent rise.
While they are walking there it may be a good time for us to introduce the pair of young aviators to such readers as have not had the good fortune to meet them in previous volumes of this series of stories.
The cousins lived in the town of Bloomsbury, a thriving place situated on the southern shore of Sunrise Lake, which was a magnificent body of water, said to be nearly seventeen miles long by three wide, in places.
This lake having hilly shores that were heavily wooded in spots, and with numerous fine coves, afforded grand sport to the young people of Bloomsbury, both winter and summer.
The railroad skirted one shore and then passed through the town. Some miles off arose a lofty peak known as Old Thundertop, which had a road running part way up its side. The summit was believed to be utterly inaccessible to mortal man until one day the Bird boys managed to accomplish the wonderful feat by the aid of their aeroplane.