ns he glanced downward at his mud
, "Extraordinary!" she murmured.
"Wasn't it creditable of both of us
not to scream?" ""-.
"Look at the machine!" he ex
claimed, with a grevious gesture to
ward the runabout, which lay on its
side wedged into the bank. "How are
we ever going to pull it out?"
But he had overlooked the farm
hand, who had dismounted and was
standing beside his horse, which was
in its working.harness.
Appleton leaned against the ma
chine in despair.
"Say," drawled the farmhand, with
"Why don't you both jump on the
hoss an' when you get to Perkins
that's the next house beyond you
can rush into the barn an' get an
other." Alice forgot the aeroplane, now
the size on an eagle and pointing
directly for them, and gave the man
a look that might well make an ogre
"Never! Never! Two of us in that
fashion? Never!" she said.
"By jing! It's that flyin' machine.
She's a-comin' some! An', by jing!
yes, by jing! ef she ain't a-going to
stop!" exclaimed the farmhand,
who was enjoying a most interesting
The propeller was still. There was
the dead silence of the countryside
and of space as the Bolt, with the
dipping swoop of a gull at sight of a
piece of bread on the waters, hovered
over them and lighted on the road a
few yards away, with ease and pre
cision. So familiar was the public
with Rodney Sharp's face from the
prints that he needed no introduction.
A faint tide of color rose in his cheeks
at sight of Alice, and possibly also in
hers. He had not seen her since, as a'
little girl, she had watched his first
experiment. There was no other sign
of recognition on the part of either
as he asked, in the terms of the auto
mobile fellowship of the road, if he I
could be of any assistance.
With an apology for interrupting
Appleton's excited repetition of brok
en, hasty sentences about trains and
steamers to Europe and ten minutes,
he said, when he had- grasped the.
"It's only three or four miles to
the station, isn't it? That's easy in
the time you have. In fact, I expect
to be in New York at three this after
noon. But the Bolt is my racer, and,
while I can take one passenger eas
ily, I can't quite manage two."
Appleton had never been in an
aeroplane. He was a conservative,
with a stagecoach preference for"
automobiles, who regarded Rodney
Sharp as a gallery player. But he .
was ready to show that, in this ter- e
rible crisis he was not afraid to do
"I'll go with him, Alice," he said,
"and you can ride the horse, and I
think I can hold the Limited for a few
minutes. Anyway, your father can."
. Here Alice missed her cue and
probably forfeited all right to sym
pathy. What more could she ask
than to be left to herself to take her
own time to catch the train? This
new development had befogged the
very object for which she had driven
the runabout into the creek. The
awkward country boy the son of the
village blacksmith in a community
where she had known the isolation
of the rich was now 'a courteous
man of the world,, waiting with
polite reserve on her wishes and
piquing her curiosity as to how the
transformation had been wrought.
And she was going to fly, and in the
Bolt, whose fame was linked with
Sharp's. She signaled her decision to
Appleton as she stepped past him.
"No time to be lost! You had bet-.
ter mount your horse and start!"
Alice called over her shoulder.
"Yes. We'll meet you at the sta
tion. Now, all ready!" said Sharp.
"You say you will be in New York
this afternoon?" she asked.
"Easily and early. We have a fav-
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