Frank was amazed at the cool nerve and effrontery of the wretch. For a
moment the young inventor was silent.
Then he said:
“You have one of our men in captivity here. I want him.”
The chief shook his head sullenly.
“Mebbe, yes!” cried Frank, angrily. “Come, I’ll blow you to perdition if
you don’t give him up!”
“No can do dat.”
“White man killed!”
For a moment Frank reeled as if given a terrific blow. He turned ghastly
pale. Then Gaston was dead.
“That is awful!” he thought.
But something in the Esquimau chief’s face caused him to start. He
grasped the situation at once.
“You are lying!” he hissed, leaning over the rail. “Give him up, or I’ll
kill you and all your cowardly crew!”
The Esquimau chief laughed scornfully, and gave a peculiar cry. In a
moment the vicinity was thronged with armed natives.
Frank saw that the crisis had come. There was no use in dallying
He picked up a bomb brought him by Barney and hurled it fairly into the
midst of the murderous horde.
In a flash there was a frightful explosion. Heaps of dead and dying
Esquimaux lay upon the ground.
The survivors fled wildly. Frank leaped from the airship’s deck. He
rushed into the nearest bough hut.
There was Gaston bound hand and foot.
“Thank God! you have come to save me!” cried the scientist. “You are
none too soon!”
“But there is yet danger!” cried Frank. “Follow me quickly!”
To the airship they rushed. The Esquimaux were recovering and seemed
ready to fight. But though he could have annihilated the whole gang,
Frank did not wait for their attack.
Up into the air sprang the airship.
The course was at once set to the southward and for a week was firmly
held. Then evidences of civilization appeared.
Canada was passed over, Lake Erie and then the United States was once
more beneath the aerial voyagers.
Home again! There was an indescribable charm in the words.
The airship descended into Readestown one evening. The next morning
every daily paper in the world was recording the return of the travelers
from zone to zone.
James Spencer returned to his home where he was happily welcomed.
Professor Gaston took the first train to New York and reported to the
committee of the scientific society.
The much-mooted question of the two Poles was settled forever. Professor
Gaston was instantly made honorary member in every scientific society in
Indeed, the honors thrust upon him were most burdensome.
Barney and Pomp were pleased to once more return to their duties in
quiet old Readestown.
“I don’ fink I want berry much to do wif dem Arctic countries!” Pomp
declared. “Dey am a pooty po’ place fo’ a live man.”
“Bejabers, I’m wid yez, naygur!” cried Barney. “Hurroo fer ould Oireland
“And hurrah for America, the queen of all nations!” cried Frank Reade,
Jr., with a laugh, for he had overheard them.
The Dart was at once taken to pieces. The strain of her long voyage
would preclude any possibility of ever using her again.
But the young inventor had plenty of other plans to develop.
For many a day the famous trip of Frank Reade, Jr., and his airship, the
Dart, from zone to zone, rang through the country.