“Frank, I’m in a peck of trouble,” he said, with a whimsical smile, “and I wish you could help me out, though I dislike putting you to so much trouble.”
“Oh, don’t mind that, dad, one little bit; you know I’m only too glad to be of any assistance to you. What’s gone wrong now? Machine laid off again and garage closed? But you won’t need it till nine tomorrow, will you?”
There was a world of affection in the very way Frank used that word “dad.” It might seem disrespectful coming from the lips of many boys, but to the ears of the good doctor it was as sweetest music.
“That’s the trouble, Frank. I do need some means of getting around tonight the worst kind. Fact is the car broke down just as I got it in the yard. Same old trouble, and will take an hour to fix it up. And all at once it dawned on me that I had forgotten to take the medicine out to Farmer Lovejoy, which I surely promised tonight. It lies under the seat of the machine. Slipped my mind entirely when I was out. And Frank, there may be a serious turn to that child’s sickness unless that medicine gets there within the next hour or so.”
“Don’t say another word, dad,” declared Frank, jumping up and getting his cap. “My wheel is in fine shape and with a good lantern I can make the run in a jiffy. Only too glad to be able to help out. The packet is under the seat in the car and you left that in the side yard? All right, I’m off!”
A STARTLING DISCOVERY
It did not take Frank many minutes to get started on his little trip.
As he had said, his wheel was in good shape, with neither tire needing any pumping up. And even his acetylene headlight had only to be attached, which task took but a short time.
“I declare!” he exclaimed, as he rested his wheel against the gate and turned back, “that would have been a rough joke on me if I’d gone spinning off and only remembered after I’d almost got there that I forgot to take the package of medicine out of dad’s little runabout. So much for having my brain full of that wonderful scheme of Andy’s.”
He found the medicine, and as the packet turned out to be small enough to be stowed away in one of his coat pockets, Frank so disposed of it. Then wheeling his machine out into the road he took a last look at the lantern, to see that the water might not be dripping on the carbide too rapidly to combine the greatest efficiency. After that he swung into the saddle, starting off with the perfect freedom that proclaims the rider a master of his wheel.
Once he passed out of town Frank made good progress. He had a ride of several miles before him, ere he could expect to reach the farmhouse of Jason Lovejoy, one of his father’s oldest customers and friends.
There was no help from the moon, because the sky had clouded up and screened the young queen of the skies. But Frank needed no other light than the brilliant glow that spread out along the road ahead of him coming from his lamp.