The aeroplane had been shipped to New York, to be put upon a steamer sailing for Maracaibo, in Venezuela, and which they expected to take also. From this port they would have to make their way to the mouth of the Magdalena River by means of some smaller craft. But with virtually unlimited means to back them, the boys did not fear but that they could overcome any difficulties that might arise in their path. Indeed, Frank had a disposition that would never allow anything to balk his plans, if it were at all within the power of human nature to accomplish results.
The last thing they heard, just before leaving Bloomsbury, was that Puss Carberry and his crony, Sandy Hollingshead, had gone away, taking their biplane along; and it was said that they expected to do wonderful stunts with their airship somewhere in the South. But our two boys were too deeply interested in their own fortunes to give more than a passing thought to the flitting of their rivals. Besides, it would not seem that there could be one chance in a thousand that they would ever run across Puss and Sandy in all that great country, lying south of the Caribbean Sea, and north of the mighty Amazon.
And one morning Frank and Andy said goodbye to those whose best wishes were wafted after them, taking train to New York City, so as to go aboard the steamer, that was scheduled to sail that P.M.
UNDER TROUBLED SKIES.
“Oh! how glad I am to think we’ve arrived at last!”
Andy uttered these words as he stood at the rail of a small but staunch steam yacht, of rather ancient vintage, that he and Frank had leased when arriving at Maracaibo, the city on the bay of the same name, from whence so much of Venezuela’s coffee is shipped to the States.
It had belonged to some Englishman who, becoming stranded at this South American port while on a globe circling trip, was forced to let it go; and the agents gladly secured a crew for the adventurous young Americans, who were bound up the Magdalena River for some unknown purpose.
“Yes,” observed Frank, who leaned on the same rail close beside him, “there’s the town of Barranquila, all right. We’ve navigated the five hundred miles in this little steam craft” with only a few break-downs of the machinery, and just two days’ delay. And the second step on our journey comes to a close.”
“The third ought to take us to that valley town up the river; ain’t I right?” asked the anxious Andy.
“Sure. As near as I can make it, Magangue must be not over two hundred miles upstream. With good luck we can cover that in a couple of days,” returned Frank.
“But why do you say good luck?” demanded his cousin, suspiciously.
“Oh! well, we are now in the land of tomorrow, you remember,” laughed Frank.
“You mean where they put off everything they can, saying ’no hurry; plenty of time, senors all; the world was not made in a day’? Is that it?” Andy went on.