“Of course I am.”
“There are the marks where we landed and where the locomotive hit the Dartaway,” said Sam. He looked around. “Wonder who took her, and to where?”
“That’s to be found out,” answered Dick, seriously.
“I don’t see any airship,” said Jack Mason, as he came up, having shut off the engine of the touring car.
“Somebody has hauled it away,” answered Dick. He looked on both sides of the track. “This is queer,” he added, presently. “I can’t see any marks in the sand or mud or bushes. She’d make marks if anybody hauled her.”
“I’ve got it!” cried Tom. “They hoisted her on a flat car! The railroad people have taken her!”
“But she is our biplane!” cried Sam, stubbornly.
“Maybe they took her to the freight house in Ashton,” suggested Stanley.
“We’ll soon find out— if you’ll take us there in the auto.”
“Sure!” answered Jack Mason, promptly.
The boys were about to leave the neighborhood when they heard the strokes of an axe, ringing through the woods.
“There’s a wood chopper!” cried Dick. “Maybe he knows something about this. I guess I’ll ask him.”
They soon located the man— an elderly individual who worked for the farmer who owned the woods.
“Yes, I see ’em hoist the airship on the flat car,” said he, in answer to their questions. “Had quite a job o’ it, too.”
“Did they take it to Ashton?” queried Dick.
“No. They was goin’ to fust, but then Jimmy Budley— the section boss— said it would be better to take it up to the freight yards at Rallston.”
“And they took it there?”
“I ’spect they did. They went off that way, anyway,” replied the old wood chopper.
“To the Rallston freight yards!” cried Sam. “What a nerve!”
“I’ll make ’em bring it back!” cried Dick, firmly.
“How far is it to Rallston?” asked Jack Mason.
“About nine miles.”
“Pooh! that’s nothing. Jump in and I’ll take you there in no time— if the road’s any good.”
“The road is O. K.,” answered Dick.
The automobile was backed out of the woods, and turned in the direction of Rallston. Jack Mason was in his element, and in less than twenty minutes they came in sight of the town and turned into a side street leading to the freight yards.
“There she is!” cried Sam, a minute later.
He pointed to one of the tracks in the yards and there, on a flat car, the boys beheld the wreck of the biplane. A small crowd of curious men and boys surrounded the remains of the Dartaway.
“What yer going to do with her, Jimmy?” asked a man in the crowd, of a burly individual on the flat car.
“I guess the railroad is going to sell her,” replied the section boss.
The sale of the biplane