“No, I’m not,” said Frank hotly, “but she’s a good kid and you ought to treat her better.”
“Yes, you are, too,” said Bob. “I know you. But there’s no use getting hot about it. Here comes Dad now,” he added, as a familiar footstep sounded in the hall. “Let’s get at those maps and guides and we’ll dope this out together.”
For several hours the discussion continued. For months the boys had been making their plans, going over routes, selecting landing fields, etc. Now that Mr. Temple had decided to accompany them, they laid their plans before him. He nodded, well satisfied in the main, but making a few pointed suggestions of value.
“And with the radiophone that we carry on the airplane,” said Frank, “we can be in touch with Tom at this end and Jack out in New Mexico all the way. That all-metal body of the plane makes a fine ground, better than hanging wires possibly could. And with that new detector Bob and I have worked out, I’ll bet we can hear all the way.”
“Sure,” said Bob, getting up and stretching, “Well, come on, Frank. Let’s turn in. It’s near midnight. I for one need a good night’s sleep. And I hope there’ll be no trouble to disturb us tonight.”
Alas, poor Bob could not foresee what calamity the night held in store.
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
“Wake up, Bob, you old sleepyhead.”
Bob stirred under vigorous shaking, opened his eyes sleepily, and saw Frank bending over him. His chum had thrown a bathrobe over his pajamas. The door between their connecting rooms stood open. The early morning sunlight of a bright June day streamed in the open windows.
“Whazzamatter?” grunted Bob, and closing his eyes he turned over and prepared to snatch an extra forty winks. But Frank shook him again.
“Come on,” said he. “Stir your stumps. We can slip out before anybody else awakes, grab something to eat in the pantry, and go down to the shed and tinker on the plane. Come on, Bob, we can get in a couple of hours work before going to church.”
Bob was wide awake by now, and pleased at the prospect held out by his chum. Tumbling out of bed, he headed for the shower in the bathroom which the boys used in common, but Frank restrained him.
“Make too much noise,” said Frank. “Anyhow, we can take a plunge down at the beach before going to the shed. Come on, get into some old duds and let’s hurry.”
The boys were dressed in short order. In the pantry, to which they tiptoed, they found cold tongue and ham, bread and butter, with which they hurriedly made several sandwiches apiece. It was not much of a breakfast, but their appetites were those of youth and they enjoyed it. Letting themselves out of the back door of the sleeping house, they started on a trot for the little private beach, a good half mile away. The last few yards were made with the boys shedding garments as they ran. Then with a shout they plunged naked into the rollers coming in from the open Atlantic.