“Look closer, Frank,” the other boy went on to say, while his disgust deepened; “and you’ll discover that the two fellows in that car happen to be Percy Carberry and his shadow, Sandy Hollingshead. Did you ever hear of such tough luck? Of all the boys in Bloomsbury they are the last we’d want to know that we’d left our new hydroplane out, unguarded, all night, in an open field. Guess I won’t go home tonight, Frank. I’d rather camp out here with Felix. You let my folks know, and turn up in the morning with a new piece for that plane. That’s settled and you can’t change it.”
“Perhaps I’d better stay with you, Andy,” the other Bird boy remarked.
“No need of it,” replied Andy, resolutely. “Besides, you know one of us ought to get busy in the shop, making that new piece we really need so that our job won’t have to be done over again. You go, Frank. Perhaps Mr. Quackenboss would let you have a horse; or if you cared to, you give Percy a hail, and he’d take you back to town, I reckon. Goodness knows he owes you a heap, after the way you saved his life the time he was wrecked up on Old Thundertop.”
What Andy referred to was a very exciting event which had occurred not so very long before, and which was fully treated in the volume preceding this.
Frank shook his head in the negative.
“I never want to ask any favor of Percy Carberry,” he said, resolutely. “And if Mr. Quackenboss can’t let me have a horse to ride, why, the walking is good, and I can make it in less than an hour. So don’t mention that again please, Andy.”
“It’s too late now, anyhow,” remarked the other, drily, “because there they go, spinning down the road like wildfire. Percy never does anything except in a whirl. He’s as bold as they make them, and the only wonder to me is that he hasn’t met with a terrible accident before now. But somehow he seems to escape, even when he smashes his flier to kindling wood. His luck beats the Dutch; he believes in it himself, you know.”
“But some day it’s going to fail, and then he’ll never what happened to him,” declared Frank. “Of all the professions in the world, that of a flying machine man is the one where a cool head and quick judgment are the things most needed. And the fellow who takes great chances, depending on his good luck, is bound to meet up with trouble. But if you are bound to stay, Andy, I’d better be off.”
Upon entering the barn they found that the farmer had finished his task, and was pitching some new sweet hay to the cows.
Frank suggested hiring a horse from him, but Mr. Quackenboss scoffed at the idea.
“You’re as welcome to the use of my saddle hoss as the sunlight is after a spell of rain,” he said, heartily. “Here, Felix, get Bob out; and you’ll find my new saddle hanging on that peg back of the harness room door. And as for Andy, who’s going to stay over with us, we’ll find a chair for him at the supper table, and only hope hell tell us some of the many things you two have gone through with, both around this region, and away down in South America, that time you found the lost Professor.”