“Ridiculous!” murmured William Philander.
“Absolute fact, Tubbs,” responded Spud, earnestly. “Come with me, some day, and I’ll show you where the pies made a dent in the street when the flying machine struck ’em.” And then a general laugh went up, and the dudish student stepped back in the crowd, out of sight.
“All aboard!” sang out Dick, as he hopped into the driver’s seat and took hold of the wheel. “Start her up, somebody!”
Sam and Tom got aboard and willing hands grasped the propellers and gave each a twist. Bang! bang! bang! went the explosions, and soon the propellers were revolving swiftly, and then with a swoop the Dartaway ran over the campus on its wheels and suddenly arose in the air. A cheer went up, and the students threw up their caps. Then Dick swung around in a quarter circle and headed directly for Plankville.
It was an ideal day for flying, not too hot or too cold, and with very little breeze, and that of the “steady” kind, not likely to develop “holes”— the one great terror of all airmen.
“Wish we had the girls along,” remarked Sam, when they were well on the way.
“Not for this trip, Sam,” answered Dick, grimly. “We have got our work cut out for us.”
“Why, what do you mean?”
“If old Crabtree hasn’t been caught yet me must see if we can’t round him up.”
A useless hunt
“Say, that’s the talk!” cried Tom, quickly. “I hadn’t thought of that,— but it’s just what we ought to do.”
“It won’t be easy, Tom,” said his younger brother. “The chances are that Crabtree has made good use of his time. He may be hundreds of miles away— bound for the West or the South, or Canada or Europe.”
“Well, we can have a try at finding him, anyway,” put in Dick. “Someti a criminal sticks close to the jail until the excitement is over, Look at those fellows who escaped from jail in New York City not long ago. The detectives thought they had gone to Chicago or St. Louis, and all the while they were on the East Side, right in New York!”
“Oh, my! but wouldn’t I just like to land on old Crabtree!” muttered Tom. “I think I’d be apt to put him in the hospital first and jail afterwards! He certainly deserves it— for all the trouble he has caused us and our— er— friends.”
“‘Friends’ is good, with Dick engaged to marry Dora and you as good as engaged to Nellie,” snorted Sam “Precisely, and you and Grace making goo-goo eyes at each other,” added Tom, with a wink at his younger brother. Then he quickly changed the subject. “Dick, do you think you can strike a straight course for Plankville?”
“I’ll try it,” was the answer. “I don’t think I’ll go much out of the way.”