“Great game, Frank! Suppose you let me have those messages, and I’ll be amusing myself getting the same ready to heave, when you say the word. We c’n play that this is a war game, and we’ve been sent out to drop bombs on the fortifications of the enemy. We’ve done it with rocks, and we can throw pretty straight; so it seems to me we ought to get some sort of fun out of it all around.”
Frank told him where he could find the written messages in his outer pocket; and for some time Andy was quiet, busying himself in fastening some sort of anchor to each piece of paper, sufficient to carry it earthward, despite the breeze that at the time might be blowing.
All at once Andy noticed that they were going quite slowly in comparison with the pace they had lately been “hitting up.”
“What’s happening, Frank?” he exclaimed, almost alarmed lest some accident had befallen the reliable little motor, which up to now had never failed them, no matter how great the call upon its resources. “Why are we slowing up? Is there something gone wrong, and must we own up to being beaten?”
“Look ahead at the biplane!” was all that Frank replied.
DROPPING A “BOMB!”
“Oh! we’ve started to swoop down on them! Honest to goodness, I don’t believe they’re more ’n half as far ahead as they were, Frank!” cried Andy, thrilled by the sight of the other biplane being so near.
“Just about that,” said Frank, quietly, the busy motor having decreased its merry hum, so that they could talk without raising their voices very much.
“Then you must have let out an extra kink, did you, Frank, when I was busy with my bombs?” demanded the other.
“Oh! no,” came the answer, “the fact of the matter is, Andy, they have dropped off a lot of their speed, and that’s how we covered space quicker.”
“Something gone wrong with Percy’s new Gnome engine, then, has it; and he blew his horn so about what wonders it was going to do? Huh!” and Andy chuckled in his boyish delight.
“No, I don’t believe that is the reason they’ve slackened their speed, Andy.”
“Trying to save gasolene, then?” pursued the other.
“Hardly that, either, Andy.”
“Oh! now I see what you mean, Frank; the poor old greenhorn’s got cold feet, and is making Casper slow down. He thinks that there’s less chance of a tumble if the speed is reduced; just as if that could make any particular difference.”
“I reckon you’re away off yet,” persisted Frank.
“Then, for goodness’ sake won’t you tell me what they have cut notches out of their speed for; because I’m all balled up, and blessed if I can think of another thing! Oh! look at that, Frank! Sure as anything I saw a puff of smoke then. There must be something the matter with their engine, and they’re getting scared. I wouldn’t be surprised a mite to see them settle right away, and try to land.”