Stepping into the building, the lad switched on the lights, and he could not repress an exclamation of chagrin as he looked toward his trim little monoplane, the BUTTERFLY. Now it was a BUTTERFLY with broken wings, for Andy had slashed the canvas of the planes in a score of places. "The scoundrel!" growled Tom. "I'll make him suffer for this! He's all but ruined my aeroplane."
Thus, as a sample of my rovings: in a single interval of fifteen minutes of subconsciousness I have crawled and bellowed in the slime of the primeval world and sat beside Haas further and cleaved the twentieth century air in a gas-driven monoplane.
Another bad boy Dave had run across was named Jerry Dawson. From the start in his career as an airman this youth had been an enemy. Dave had succeeded him in the employ of Mr. King, Jerry having been discharged in disgrace. Jerry tried to "get even," as he called it, by trying to wreck Mr. King's monoplane, the Aegis. He also betrayed Dave's whereabouts to his guardian.
He heard the man beside him exclaim "Ostrog," and turned to ask a question. But he never did, because of the startled exclamation of another of those who were with him and a lank finger suddenly pointing. He looked, and behold! the monoplane that had been rising from the flying stage when last he had looked in that direction, was driving towards them.
Der Grasshopper is a goot leedle monoplane, but I am afraid dat some of der principles I have worked oud in her iss all wrong. Some day I break mein neck by der outside I am afraid much." "Why you've done some good flying in the Grasshopper," consoled Harry. "Ches, she is a goot leedle ship, bud she vont vin dees race, I dink. By der vay, boys, I have been meaning to warn you aboud dot Frenchman."
When the monoplane had passed swiftly on its way, the placid and apparently unmoved animals stood gazing after the airship. Within another hour, the first storm of the season had turned into a blizzard. With the provisions they had on hand the boys would have made a landing to get what protection they might from the blinding snow and the now-piercing wind had they dared.
The motor in his cross-Channel monoplane was an experimental one of low power, air-cooled, and prone to over-heat and lose power after only a short period of running. To cross the Channel, even under the most favourable circumstances, he knew this engine must run without breakdown for thirty-five or forty minutes. This it had not done at any rate in the air before.
Those in the house must hear; yes, and the neighbors, too. He might not be able to master the flames alone and single handed, and would need help. Besides, it was only right that Andy, being part owner in the monoplane, should be made aware of its sudden peril.
Directly above the troops, flying as straight for Brussels as a homing bee for the hive, went a military monoplane, serving as courier and spy for the crawling columns below it. Directly, having gone far ahead, it came speeding back, along a lower air lane and performed a series of circling and darting gyrations, which doubtlessly had a signal-code meaning for the troops.
It was a monoplane school; and the monoplane, unless a man is careful and very patient, is not an easy machine to learn to fly. This beginner was not patient; he was indeed more than usually impetuous. His landings, in particular, were often abrupt. He broke propellers, frequently, to say nothing of wings and of alighting gear. And of all these breakages a note was made.