“Don’t want to turn back yet, do you?” he asked.
“We must turn soon,” Patty managed to reply, but Jack scarcely heard the words.
The big moon was setting when Bill turned the car inland, and shouting, “We’re going to drive straight into that moon!” made a mad dash toward it.
“Hurry up!” cried Patty. “Catch it before it drops below the horizon. Speed her!”
The Worst storm ever!
Patty’s gay words added the final spur to Farnsworth’s enthusiasm, and with a whoop of glee, he darted ahead faster than ever. Though his manner and appearance gave the effect of recklessness, Big Bill knew quite well what he was doing. He was a magnificent driver, and however seemingly careless he might be, his whole mind was alert and intent on his work. The road, hard and white, glistened in the moonlight. Straight and clear, it seemed truly to lead directly into the great yellow disk, now dropped almost low enough to touch it.
“Whoopee!” shouted Bill. “This is some going! Sit tight, Daisy, and hold on for all you’re worth! Are you people in the back hall all right?”
“Right we are!” returned Jack. “Are you going straight through the moon?”
“Yep! If we catch her in time! Hallo, she’s touched the earth!”
It was a great game. The road was so level and so free of obstruction that they kept the centre, and seemed to be shooting, at whistling speed, into that enormous yellow circle.
But, already, the horizon was swallowing up their goal. The laughing quartette saw the circle of gold become a semi-circle, then a mere arc, and soon only a glimpse of yellow remained, which immediately vanished, and save for a faint reminiscent glow, the western sky was dark.
“Where are your stars?” queried Farnsworth, gazing upward. “Nice country, this! No stars, no moon, no nothin’!”
“The lamps give enough light,” cried Daisy. “Don’t slow down, Bill! Go on, this flying is grand!”
“Come on in,—the flying’s fine!” laughed Bill, and again they went at highest speed.
But with the setting of the moon, Patty’s spirit of adventure calmed down.
“Oh, do let’s turn back,” she begged. “He doesn’t hear me,—make him hear, Jack.”
“I say, Farnsworth,” and Jack tapped the burly shoulder in front of him, “we’ve gone far enough. Back to the old home, eh?”
“Back it is!” and the driver slowed down, and picking a wide, clear space, deftly turned the machine around. But at sight of the eastern sky, every one exclaimed in dismay.
Though the moon had set clearly, and the west was a dull grey, the eastern sky was black. Turbulent masses of clouds climbed, rolling, to the zenith; faint lights appeared now and then, and a dim rumble of distant thunder was heard at intervals.