friend oihfs companion -was getting
ready a miniature Zeppelin. It was
of the dirigible-type, but the aerilons,
wings and control mechanism were
those of a monoplane. When the
operator had finished the inflation of
the gag bag he carried out a dozen
or more rough canvas sacks and
loaded them into the airplane.
There were two seats, and having
received the $100 from Adrian the
operator motioned him to the one be
"I make no guarantee as to time or
location," he spoke sententiously. "I
am to land you anywhere on French
"Yes, that is the bargajn," assent
ed Adrian. )
"I have. my own businessto, attend
to as I take you along.'continued
the aviator. "Close your' eyes ifi its
details disturb you." '
The dirigible was shortly afloat. It
was a model of beauty and efficiency
and its operator 'seemed to under
stand his business thoroughly. Then,
way aloft, Adrian noticed something
that convinced him that things were
not what they seemed. Bis. compan
ion might have once been a smug
gler. If he was one now he was cer
tainly enrapport with the army en
camped directly beneath them. Every
once in a while he touched an elec
tric button with his foot Immedi
ately there would shoot out from the
tail of the airplane some quick,
snappy flashes of deep yellow light.
There was little doubt,, to Adrian's
way of thinking, that he Neva's show
ing his colors to watchers among the
army, for the flashes ha4 the system
and continuity of a code.
It was a moonless night. As the
machine got beyond the" soldier
guarded distriqt no more signals
were shown. It sailed forward
swiftly and noiselessly. Once, in a
cloud of mist, they caught the whir
ring sound of the propeller of some
other airship near to tliem, 'but.
passed on their way unchallenged
Once, too, -of a sudden, as they
were taking a lower level to skim a
valley between two lofty ranges,
there suddenly blazed out from below
a fusillade from some thicket. No
missiles reached the dirigible, how
ever, and its operator put on speed
with a derisive laugh.
Adrian experienced some curiosity
as to the sacks thatlitered the bot
tom of the balloon.
. "You seem to have quite a load
here," he observed.
''Yes egg plantsVwas the brief
reply, accompanied by a dry chuckle.
Adrian,knew better, but said noth
ing. The easy flight of 'the machine
was soothing. They had proceeded
about twenty miles and Adrian was
about to question his companion as
to location and the chances of a land
ing when a sudden brilliancy envel
oped them. , m
A giant searchlight somewhat be
HindHhem had been suddenly set in
operation. It swept the sky, it fo
cused them. With a swift, daring
movement the Intrepid airman vol
planed to a lower level. Coming
nearer to earth, below the fog drifts,
Adrian could make out lights, towns,
Abruptly the operator steadied his
machine. Then hurriedly he groped '
into one of the sacks. It was to draw
out one of the "egg plants.'.' He
took an' automatic light from his
"A bomb!' breathed Adrian, athrilL
"I understand now!"
A quick series of reports below, a
scream ensued. .Just about to light
the fuse, the airship operator re- '
ceived a bullet in some vital part.
He went over the edge of the ma
chine and headlong through space.
The airplane, left without a guide,
began drifting on a dangerous slant. "
Adrian sprang over the back of the
operator's seat. He sprang to the m
wheel, but he did not know how to "
manipulate It. He had to hold to an
upright to prevent losing his balance
and apparently unseen. J
and falling overboard.
xml | txt