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THE MASTER KEY
Copyright, 1901, by the Bowen-Merrill Co.
~"\UR young adventurer never experienced a more grateful
^^ feeling of relief and security than when he found him
self once more high in the air, alone, and in undisputed pos
session of the electrical devices bestowed upon him by the
The dangers he had passed tYvroustv since landing at the
city of the desert and the desperate chance that alone hafl.
permitted him to regain the traveling machine, made him
shudder at the bare recollection and rendered him more
sober and thoughtful than usual.
During the next few hours our young gentleman suf
fered from a severe attack of homesickness, becoming as
gloomy and unhappy in its duration as ever a homesick
boy could be.
Perhaps he himself did not know what gave him this
horrible attack of "the blues," but the truth is he took out
his handkerchief and Cried like a baby from very loneliness
There was no one to see him, thank goodness! and the
tears gave him considerable relief. He dried his eyes,
made an honest struggle to regain his cheerfulness, and then
muttered to himself:
"If I stay up here, like an air-bubble in the sky, I shall
certainly go crazy. I suppose there's nothing but water
to look at down below, but if I could only sight a ship, or
even see a fish jump, it would do me ho end of good."
Thereupon he descended until, as the ocean's surface
came nearer and nearer, he discovered a tiny island lying
almost dxrectiy \mderneath him. It was hardly big enough
to make a dot on the biggest map, Yyut a. clump of trees
grew in the central portion, while around the edges were
jagged rocks protecting a sandy beach ttnd a stretch of
flower-strewn upland leading to the trees.
It looked very beautiful from Rob's elevated position,
and his spirits brightened at once.
"I'll drop down and pick a bouquet," he exclaimed, and
a. few moments later his feet touched the firm earth of the
But before he could gather a dozen of the brilliant flow
ers a glad shout reached his ears, and, looking up, he saw
two men running towards him from the trees.
They were dressed in sailor fashion, but their clothing
was reduced to rags and scarcely clung to their brown,
skinny bodies. As they advanced they waved their arms
wildly in thet air and cried in joyful tones:
"A boat! a boat!"
Rob stared at them wonderingly, and had much ado to
prevent the poor fellows from hugging him outright, so
great was their joy at his appearance. One of them rolled
upon the ground, laughing and crying by turns, while the
other danced and cut capers until he became so exhausted
that he sank down breathless beside his comrade.
"How came you here?" then inquired the boy, in pity
"We're shipwrecked American sailors from the bark
Cvnthia Jane, which went down near here over a month
ago," answered the smallest and thinnest of the two. "We
escaped by clinging to a bit of wreckage and floated to thi3
island, where we have nearly starved to death. Indeed, we
now have eaten everything on the island that was eatable,
and had your boat arrived a few days later you'd have found
us lying dead upon the beach!"
Rob listened to this sad tale with real sympathy.
"But I didn't come here in a boat," said he.
The men sprang to their feet with white, scared faces.
"No boat!" they cried "are you, too, shipwrecked?"
"No" he answered. "I flew here through the air." And
then he explained to them the wonderful electric "traveling
"Why couldn't you carry one or both of us to
America?" said tne elder of the two.
Rob took time seriously to consider this idea., -while the
sailors eyed him with eager interest. Finally he said:
"I'm afraid I couldn't support your weight long enough
to reach any other land. It's a lorig journey, and you'd pull
my arms out of joint before we'ooeen up an hour."
Their faces fell at this, but one of them said: _
"Why couldn't we swing ourselves oirer your shoulders
with a rope? Our two bodies would balance each other
and we are so thin and emaciated that we do not weigh
very much." While considering this suggestion Rob remem
bered how at one time five pirates had clung to his left
leg and been carried some distance through the air.
"Have you a rope?" he asked.
"No," was the answer "but there are plenty of long,
tough vines - growing on the island that are just as strong
and pliable as ropes."
"Then, if you are willing to run the chances," decided
the boy, "I will make the attempt to save you. But I must
warn you that in case I find I cannot support the weight
of your bodies, I shall drop one or both 6f you into the
They looked grave at this prospect, but the biggest one
"We would soon meet death from starvation if you left
us here on the island, so as there is at least a chance of
our being able to escape in your company, I for one am
willing to risk being drowned. It is easier and quicker than
being starved. And, as I'm the heavier, I suppose you'll
drop me first."
"Certainly," declared Rob, promptly.
This announcement seemed to be an encouragement to
the little sailor, but he said, nervously:
"I hope you'll keep near the water,' for I haven't a good
head for heightsthey always make me dizzy."
"Oh, if you don't want to go," began Rob, "I can
"But I do' I do! I do!" cried the little man, interrupt
ing him. "I shall die if you leave me behind!"
"Well, then, get your ropes, and we'll do the best we
can," said the boy.
They ran to the trees, around the trunks of which were
clinging many tendrils of greenish-brown vine which pos
sessed remarkable strength. With their knives they cut a
long section of this vine, the ends of which were then tied
into loops large enough to permit the sailors to sit in them
comfortably. The connecting piece Rob padded with sea
weed gathered from the shore, to prevent its cutting into
hUl shoulderi^..^.^^ -^^ .
THE JOURNAU JUNIOR, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 19a*
4 ^-j ^ u*. ^., .j,^^ -,& r_, *. ,
"Now, then," he said, when all was ready, "take your
The sailors squatted in the loops, and Rob swung the
vine over his shoulders and turned the indicator of the
traveling machine to "up."
As they slowly mounted into the sky the little sailor
gave a squeal of terror, and clung to the boy's arm but
the other, although seemingly anxious, sat quietly in his
place and made no trouble.
"Ddaon't ggso so high!" stamered the little
one, tremblingly "suppose we fffail!"
"Well, s'pose we should?" ansswered Rob, gruffly.
"You couldn't drown until you struck the water, so the
higher we are the longer you'll live in case of accident."
This phase of the question seemed to comfort the fright
ened fellow somewhat bxit, as he said, he had not a good
head for heights, and so continued to tremble in spite of his
resolve to be brave.
The weight on Rob's shoulders was not so great as he
had feared, the traveling machine seeming to give a certain
lightness and buoyancy to everything that came into con
tact with its wearer. As soon as he had reached a suffi
cient elevation to admit of good speed he turned the indi
cator once more to the east and began moving rapidly
through the air, the shipwrecked sailors dangling at either
"This is awawawful!" gasped the \iu\e one.
"Say, you shut up!" commanded the boy, angrily. "If
your friend was as big a coward as you are I'd drop you
both this minute. Let go my arm and keep quiet, if jou
want to reach land alive."
The fellow whimpered a little, but managed to remain
silent for several minutes. Then he gave a sudden twitch
and grabbed Rob's arm again.
"S'poses'pose the vine should break!" he moaned, a
horrified look upon his face.
"I've had About enough of this." said Rob, savagely.
"If you haven't any sense you don't deserve to live." He
turned the indicator on the dial of the machine and they
began to descend rapidly.
The little fellow screamed with fear, but Rob paid no
attention to him until the feet of the two suspended sailors
were actually dipping into the waves, when he brought their
progress to an abrupt halt.
"Wh-whwhat are jo u gggoing to do?" gurgled
the cowardly sailor.
"I'm going to feed you to the sharksunless you prom
ise to keep your mouth shut," retorted the boy. "Now,
tnen decide at once! Which will it besharks or silence?"
"I won't say a word'pon my honor, I won't!" said the
"All right remember your promise and we'll have no
further trouble," remarked Rob, who had hard work to
keep from laughing at the man's abject terror.
Once more he ascended and continued the journey, and
for several hours they rode along swiftly and silently. Rob's
shoulders were beginning to ache with the continued tug
ging of the vine upon them, but the thought that he was
saving the lives of two unfortunate fellow-creatures gave
him strength and courage to persevere.
Night was falling when they first sighted land a wild
and seeemingly uninhabited stretch of the American coast.
Rob made no effort to select a landing place, for he was
nearly worn out with the strain and anxiety of the journey.
He dropped his burden upon the hrow of a high bluff over
looking the sea, and, casting the vine from his shoulders,
fell to the earth exhausted and half fainting.
TROUBLES OF A MODERN MARTHA.
odor of the roasting turkey told the tale at once, and the
whole party hurried into the kitchen to find out what it
"Oh, father!" I cried, "there is a letter in the basket,
"This will give us the name of the donor," said he, as
he opened it. But no, instead there were only some notes.
"Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five," said father, count
ing them out on -the table, while mother turned away to get
Miss Judith's dinner ready and hide her tears of joy.
"Take this, too, Annie," said father, putting another
five on the waiter.
Of course, I had to stop and tell Miss Judith the won
derful news about the basket, and when I got back again
mother was putting the last dish on the table. We never
knew the secret of the Thanksgiving basket, nor did we
ever motive into it. We all have a notion, however, that
Dr. Armstrong could have thrown Vvgnt upon the subject had
he chosen to do so. Hildur Olson,
Corcoran School. 3132 Longfellow Avenue S.
B Seventh Grade.
Design by Thomas H. Foley, B 8 th Grade,
^^_1524 E Twenty-second Street..% Holy^Rosa^ School.
(To be continued.)
(Continued from Page Five.
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