Dave Dashaway And His Giant Airship. Or a Marvellous Trip Across the Atlantic - Roy Rockwood - ebook

Dave Dashaway And His Giant Airship. Or a Marvellous Trip Across the Atlantic ebook

Roy Rockwood

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Roy Rockwood was a house pseudonym used for boy’s adventure books, including „Bomba the Jungle Boy”. The Dave Dashaway series focused on aerial adventures. Dave Dashaway continues to explore new horizons and to stay one step ahead of his nemesis! In „Dave Dashaway and His Giant Airship or A Marvelous Trip Across the Atlantic” Dave Dashaway is back, this time trying to beat Jerry Dawson in an airship race across the Atlantic Ocean, avoiding armed gunmen, fire, sharks, and all of the dangers of the open skies. From ghosts to stowaways, you won’t want to stop until Dave’s feet are safely on solid ground. How the giant airship was constructed and how the daring young aviator and his friends made the hazardous journey through the clouds from the new world to the old, is told in a way to hold the reader spellbound.

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Liczba stron: 195

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Contents

I. THE GIANT AIRSHIP

II. "FOR MOTHER'S SAKE"

III. A NARROW ESCAPE

IV. IN BAD COMPANY

V. "THE RIGHT KIND"

VI. A MYSTERIOUS FLASH

VII. AT THE AERODROME

VIII. THE RIVAL AIRSHIP

IX. IN THE LEAD

X. THE HAUNTED AERODROME

XI. A GRAND SUCCESS

XII. ADRIFT IN THE STORM

XIII. A FIRST LANDING

XIV. LOST

XV. "THE TERRIBLE MACGUFFINS"

XVI. IN FRIENDLY HANDS

XVII. A TRUSTY GUIDE

XVIII. IN A BAD FIX

XIX. A MYSTERIOUS FRIEND

XX. THE STOWAWAY

XXI. THE HAUNTED AIRSHIP

XXII. FIRE AT SEA

XXIII. THE FORLORN HOPE

XXIV. GOAL!

XXV. CONCLUSION

I. THE GIANT AIRSHIP

“Is that your airship?”

“Not exactly, but I am in charge of it.”

“The Gossamer, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Belongs to the Interstate Aero Company?”

“You’re pretty well posted, I see.”

“Ought to be. I’m close to the Interstate people, so I’d like to look the machine over. In fact, if you’ve got an expert aviator on hand, I think I’ll take a little flight.”

John Grimshaw, ex-balloonist and battered-up aeronaut, regarded the foppishly dressed young man before him quizzically.

“Oh, you do, eh?” he observed, very dryly. “Well, it won’t be on this occasion. As to an expert aviator, we’ve got Dave Dashaway.”

“Yes, I’ve heard of him.”

“Most everybody has, I reckon. He’s here on business though, and that sign is for outsiders, yourself included.”

Old Grimshaw pointed to a sign on the big gates of the high board enclosure outside of which he stood on guard. It read: “No Admittance.” The visitor had come strolling from the direction of some summer cottages near a pretty lake close by. Grimshaw surmised that he was one of the smart set spending an outing there.

“Humph!” observed the young man, with a shrug of his shoulders and a scowl. “Pretty independent, aren’t you? I think you’ll change your tune shortly.”

“Is that so?”

“I fancy. I’ll bring somebody with me who will do what he chooses with your precious old airship, and send you about your business, if he feels like it.”

The young man turned on his heel, mad as a hornet, as he spoke. Just then the gate was pushed open, and a bright-faced, athletic young fellow stepped into view.

“What’s the trouble, Mr. Grimshaw?” he asked, pleasantly.

“Another of those pestiferous nuisances, who want to pry into other people’s business, and think they own the world,” grumbled the veteran aeronaut.

“What did he want?”

John Grimshaw told his story.

“Oh, you might have gratified his curiosity and let him look around a little.”

“See here, Dave Dashaway,” bristled up Grimshaw, “you’ve seen in the past what taking in a stranger led to. You’re here for a special purpose, and no Jerry Dawson, or fellows of that stripe, are going to get a chance to trick us again.”

“That’s so, Mr. Grimshaw, we can’t be too careful, I will admit,” agreed the young aviator.

He was a rather unassuming young fellow for a person of his merits and record, was this active lad who inside of three months had made his way from humble circumstances to the very front rank of American airmen.

Dave Dashaway looked back over the past twelve weeks of his young career with pride, pleasure and satisfaction. There were dark spots, of course. The Jerry Dawson old Grimshaw had mentioned was one of them. Envious rivals there had been, too. Danger, scheming, cunning had more than once threatened.

That bright, breezy afternoon, however, the accredited pilot of the latest monoplane on exhibition, Dave Dashaway felt like a general who had won a hard-fought battle and was resting on his laurels.

Those who have read the first volume of the present series, entitled, “Dave Dashaway, the Young Aviator; Or, In the Clouds for Fame and Fortune,” will recall how humble and difficult was the start in life made by the bright young aeronaut. The father of Dave had been a noted balloonist. Dave was of tender age when he died. For years the boy was made a drudge by a miserly old guardian. The finding of a prize medal and other valuables accidentally lost from an airship, sent Dave on his travels seeking their owner, Robert King, a noted airman, who gave Dave a job.

It seemed as though air sailing was born in Dave. He took to aviation like a duck does to water. The youth did several helpful things at the various aero meets for Mr. King that won his confidence and friendship. Dave studied all the books he could get hold of on airships, and Grimshaw, a crippled and retired balloonist, took him into his school.

From the initial run made on a dummy aeroplane along the ground, to his first aerial flight in a monoplane with Mr. King, Dave showed intelligence, skill and ambition. Then came his first brilliant flight in the Baby Racer, a show biplane. So well did the young aviator manage the Racer, that its owner, the Interstate Aero Company, made a contract with him for regular exhibitions.

Dave did not disappoint his liberal employers in his efforts. He won several prizes, gave a big lift to a chum, Hiram Dobbs, in the aero field, and made old Grimshaw proud of so apt a pupil.

In the second volume of the present series, called, “Dave Dashaway and His Hydroplane; Or, Daring Adventures Over the Great Lakes,” is told how Dave advanced another important step up the ladder of fame and fortune. The company employing him started him at exhibiting their model hydroplane. This was a new venture for Dave, but he industriously mastered its details and made a great hit at an aero meet near Chicago.

All along the line Dave had been forced to oppose the envy and malice of unprincipled business rivals. By thinking straight and acting straight, however, he had won out on every occasion, as an honest, deserving lad always does. He and his young protege, Hiram Dobbs, by making a hundred mile record flight one dark and stormy night, got a big order for the Interstate Aero Company ahead of a competitor. Then Jerry Dawson, his father and a smuggler stole the hydro-monoplane, Drifter, and located across the Canadian border. Dave and his friends began a wonderful chase in another machine. They had some stirring adventures, ending in the discovery of the Drifter.

That incident shut out the Dawsons from later aero meets, but, as they had not been prosecuted, they became hangers-on at circus and county fair exhibitions. Dave heard of them once in awhile, but they seemed unlikely to injure him any farther.

Dave and Hiram were finely rewarded by the Interstate people for their success. The company wanted Dave to make a two-year contract to exhibit their machines. Dave, however, was obliged to decline the offer.

There was a strong reason for this–a reason that was enough to set on fire the enthusiasm of any live, up-to-date boy.

As related in the preceding volume, Dave had discovered an old friend of his dead father, one Cyrus Dale. This gentleman was wealthy, had no family, and had been a fellow balloonist of Mr. Dashaway, years before. A boy who had stolen some papers from Dave had succeeded in palming himself off on Mr. Dale as Dave Dashaway.

Mr. King had unmasked the imposter. The latter, with some friends, had then kidnapped Mr. Dale. The veteran aviator, Robert King, had rescued Mr. Dale from their clutches. The gratitude of the latter for this act, together with his warm interest in Dave, had led to the three coming together in a most friendly way. It was this ideal situation which had resulted in the carrying out of a long-cherished plan of Mr. King.

This was nothing less than a scheme for crossing the Atlantic in a giant airship. It had been the pet idea of the skilled aviator for years–the hope and dream of every ambitious airman in the world.

Of all men in the field, Mr. King had the ability to direct such a project. Mr. Dale was not only willing but ready to supply the capital. As to Dave and Hiram, they talked constantly of the enterprise daytimes and dreamed of it nights.

The plan of the veteran aviator, however, was one that involved time, skill and expense. His plans for building the great airship were very elaborate. A month had now gone by, and only the skeleton of the mammoth air traveler had so far been constructed.

A temporary aerodrome had been constructed on the edge of a large city about twenty-five miles from Lake Linden, where we find the young aviator at the opening of the present story. There Mr. King, Mr. Dale and some skilled workmen were energetically pushing forward their work. If their plans did not go awry, before the end of August the giant airship would start out on the strangest, grandest trip ever attempted in the field of aeronautics.

In the meantime the Interstate Aero Company had prevailed on Dave to give them a month’s special service. This comprised the exhibition of their latest hydro-monoplane, the Gossamer, at Lake Linden. The district was one visited every summer by men of wealth from New York, Boston and other large cities. The Interstate people had secured what had once been a small private park. Here Dave, Hiram and Mr. Grimshaw had been located for over a week.

The object of their exhibitions was to influence a sale of the Interstate machines among the rich men visiting Lake Linden. Many of them were aero enthusiasts. Besides that, the proprietors of the resort paid the company quite a large fee for making occasional flights as an attraction to popularize the lake.

Dave glanced after the man who had just had the verbal tussle with Mr. Grimshaw. He did not like his trivial looks any more than the old balloonist had. They had many curious visitors at the enclosure, however, and Dave forgot the strange brag of the latest one, as he looked down the road in the direction of the town of Linden.

“It’s strange Hiram doesn’t get back with the carryall,” remarked the young aviator.

“Yes, I heard the train come in half an hour ago,” replied Grimshaw. “Expecting quite a crowd, aren’t you, Dashaway?”

“Why, yes, according to the message the Interstate people sent me,” said Dave. “It seems there is a special party of foreign airmen our New York salesman has interested. Some of them have come over to take a try at the meets in the Southern circuit, and want to buy machines.”

“They’ll find ours the best,” asserted Grimshaw.

“I think that, too,” agreed Dave. “That’s why I’ve got everything spick and span inside there. The Gossamer looks as if she was just waiting to float like an eagle at the word.”

“She’s a beauty, and no mistake,” declared Grimshaw, and like some ardent horseman gazing at a fond pet, he pushed open the gate, and fixed his eyes on the hydro-aeroplane in the middle of the enclosure. “She’s the last word in airships,” boasted the old enthusiast. “That trial flight of yours yesterday, Dashaway, was the prettiest piece of air work I ever saw.”

Intimate as the young aviator was with the Gossamer and every detail of her delicate mechanism, he could not resist the fascination of looking over the most beautiful model in the airship field.

The Gossamer had proven a revelation, even to skilled airmen. It had been constructed in strict secrecy. The public had known nothing as to the details of the craft until it was taken out on Lake Linden to test its balance and speed.

It was equipped to carry four passengers, was driven by a forty horse-power motor, and made the tremendous speed of fifty miles an hour in the water and sixty miles an hour in the air. With its two propellers driven by clutch and chain transmission, and its new automatic starter and fuel gauge, it was a marvel of beauty and utility, as readily sent up from the confined deck of a warship as from the broadest aero field.

“She’s a bird, sure enough,” declared old Grimshaw, admiringly.

“Wasn’t she sort of built for a bird?” challenged Dave, with a smile.

“That’s so. Ah, I hear the wagon. Hiram is coming.”

The two went outside the enclosure, and the man looked keenly down the road in the direction of the village.

“Why Dashaway,” he exclaimed, “it’s Hiram, but he isn’t bringing the party you expected.”

“That’s queer,” commented the young aviator.

“He’s all alone–oh, no, he isn’t. He’s got one passenger aboard–a girl.”

“A girl?” repeated Dave, staring somewhat mystified at the approaching vehicle.

“Yes.”

“That’s queerer still,” remarked the young aviator.

II. “FOR MOTHER’S SAKE”

“Whoa!” sang out Hiram Dobbs, bringing the team to a halt and beckoning to Dave.

“Why, what’s the trouble, Hiram?” inquired the young aviator.

“Crowd didn’t come, that’s all.”

“And no word from them?”

“Why, yes, there was a wire,” and Dave’s friend and assistant handed a yellow sheet to Dave with the explanation: “Operator at the station gave it to me that way. A rush, so I read it.”

“That’s all right,” returned Dave, and he also read the brief dispatch in his turn.

It stated that there had come an unexpected hitch in the arrangements of the New York agent of the Interstate people, and that the party he had in tow would not visit Lake Linden until the following day.

“That’s good,” said Dave. “It will give us a chance to go to the city and see how our giant airship scheme is coming on.”

“Fine!” applauded Hiram. “There’s something I wanted to talk to you about first, though, Dave.”

“What’s that, Hiram?”

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