A BOLD PROJECT
“Pitch in, please!” urged the impatient Jack Parmly.
“Listen, then, boys,” commenced the other earnestly. “You doubtless know that I’ve got more money than is good for any single man to handle? Well, I’ve squandered a small bunch of it in having a wonderful plane made and sent abroad. Of course it’s intended to be handed over to the Government in due course of time, but with the proviso that they allow me to engineer the first long flight in it.”
“That sounds interesting, Lieutenant,” admitted Jack, apparently considerably impressed.
“Tell us some more about it, please,” urged the practical Tom.
“It’s possibly by long odds the largest bombing plane that so far has ever been built, even beating those big Caproni machines of Italy that can carry a dozen in the crew. This Martin bomber can be run by three hands, although several more might be used if the right kind were found. Its possibilities in the way of distance and continued flight can hardly be estimated, since all depends on the cargo carried. The less crew, the more petrol and bombs to make up the load.”
“Yes, we get that, Lieutenant,” said Jack, as the other paused briefly, possibly to get his breath, and then again because he wished the information to sink slowly into their minds.
“With this monster biplane I assure you it will be an easy matter to fly all the way to Berlin, bomb the city so as to terrify the inhabitants even as they tried to do to Londoners, turn around, and return here without touching ground once; yes, and if necessary, repeating the trip.”
Jack showed intense excitement, while Tom too was deeply interested.
“We knew that thing would soon arrive,” the latter said; “and they say the Germans are getting cold feet already with the prospect before them. But it’s come a little sooner than I, for one, expected. What’s your big scheme, Lieutenant?”
“Berlin or bust?” chanced Jack explosively.
“You’ve hit the right nail on the head, Parmly,” admitted the other, with a nod of appreciation. “I mean to show that it can be done. Just as soon as I can get that big bomber here, and the permission to take on the job, well start some fine night for Berlin and give Heine the jolt of his life.”
Jack thrust out his hand impulsively.
“You can count for one on my going, Lieutenant; that is, provided I get permission from the boss!” he announced promptly.
“I’m inclined to say the same,” Tom added quietly, though his face displayed an eagerness he did not otherwise betray.
With that Lieutenant Beverly squeezed a hand of each.
“I mean to start things going shortly,” he told them. “And you’ll surely hear from me, for I must keep track of you boys.”
“Where is the big Martin bomber now, did you say?” asked Jack.