31To Sandy, the fault for their dismal failure lay at his own door.
“He could start his motor and taxi while it warmed up, and be half across the Sound before he took off if he wanted to, in that ‘phib,’” the pilot said. Turning, he called that he would get going, and returned beyond their view beyond the trees.
The tender, its engine missing badly, turned its attention to the man in the water, but before it could get to him or near him Sandy, Dick and Larry saw that he caught the tail assembly of the amphibian and scrambling over the fuselage as the craft picked up speed, fell flat on his stomach just behind the pilot’s place and clung tightly while the craft got “on the step” and went into the air in a swift moil of foam and a roaring of its engine.
“Captain Parks came up later with the real stones and while he waited for my wife to finish her costume, he examined the fire escape window and was sure that someone had entered and left by that.They watched, breathlessly.Also, Larry meant to try to draw the stick backward at the same time, coordinating both corrections; but Jeff, a little less calm than usual because of the superstitious fears that kept riding him, neglected to speak the words by which he would inform Larry that he was “taking over” until the correction was made.
“It would take him some time,” argued Dick.
“Still—” Dick began, and then, looking down the street, he became alert. :
For the answer they had to wait till dark.“Can’t tell by the gauge.” Ruefully Jeff upbraided his stupidity in forgetting to see if they had to gas up before the take-off from the estate.
Once started on his troubles and their cause, the caretaker needed no more prompting. Jeff, he went on, had met Mr. Whiteside and said that if he wanted to fly he’d have to go in that other thing that they put in the water——】【 “You’re getting worse than I am,” grinned Sandy.
“Man swimming ashore with life belt.”。
And that ended it!。