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- The Boy Aviators' Treasure Quest - 1/34 -


THE BOY AVIATORS' TREASURE QUEST

Or, The Golden Galleon

By

Captain Wilbur Lawton (pseudonym for John Henry Goldfrap)

Author Of "The Boy Aviators In Nicaragua." "The Boy Aviators On Secret Service," "The Boy Aviators In Africa," etc.

Boy Aviators' Series

By Captain Wilbur Lawton

Six Titles. Cloth Bound. Price 50c

Uniform With This Volume

1 THE BOY AVIATORS IN NICARAGUA; or, In League with the Insurgents.

2 THE BOY AVIATORS ON SECRET SERVICE; or, Working with Wireless.

3 THE BOY AVIATORS IN AFRICA; or, An Aerial Ivory Trail.

4 THE BOY AVIATORS' TREASURE QUEST; or, The Golden Galleon.

5 THE BOY AVIATORS IN RECORD FLIGHT; or, The Rival Aeroplane.

6 THE BOY AVIATORS' POLAR DASH; or, Facing Death in the Antarctic.

CONTENTS.

Chapter I. The Eagle and the Buzzard II. Billy's Strange Tale III. A Trial Flight IV. Eben Joyce Appears V. A Strange Story VI. The Golden Galleon VII. A Fire Alarm By Aeroplane VIII. Nearly Out of the Race IX. The Grasshopper's Mishap X. The Aero Race XI. Lost in the Fog XII. Billy Hears an Interesting Conversation XIII. Luther Barr's Trap XIV. Mr. "L. B.'s" Dirigible XV. Off for the Sargasso XVI. In Dire Peril XVII. Billy's Narrow Escape XVIII. Into the Sargasso XIX. The Rat Ship XX. The Golden Galleon XXI. Dirigible vs. Aeroplane XXII. On Board Barr's Ship XXIII. Prisoners in Dire Peril XXIV. The Inventor's Treachery XXV. The Fight on the Island XXVI. The Boys Win Out

CHAPTER I.

THE EAGLE AND THE BUZZARD.

"Hurrah!"

The shout went upward in a swelling volume of sound as a thousand voices took up the cry.

"Say, those boys can fly!"

"I should say so."

"Did you see that swoop!"

"Did I? I thought they were goners sure."

"They handle that sky-clipper like a bicycle."

These admiring exclamations came in a perfect hailstorm as the big biplane air-craft, which had called them forth, swept earthward, bearing her two young occupants downward in a long graceful glide, and landing them at the door of their red aerodrome with the precision of an automobile being driven up to its owner's front steps.

The drone of the engine ceased and little spurts of dust shot up from the landing wheels as the young aviator at the helm of the beautiful craft applied his brakes, threw out the spark and cut off the engine. The plane ran about one hundred feet on its wheels and then came to a standstill.

"Hurrah for the Golden Eagle!" shouted a voice. The enthusiasm was echoed all over the crowded field. From the long rows of autos, parked at the edge of the field and crowded with applauding men and women, came the "honk! honk!" of horns in a deafening clamor.

Smilingly making their way through the enthusiasts who swept down on them, Frank and Harry Chester, the Boy Aviators, who had just concluded a tuning up flight for the Hempstead Plains Cup--the contest for which was to take place in a week's time--entered the shed and, making their way to a screened-off room in the corner, shed their leather coats and woolen caps and removed the grime from their hands and faces. Their mechanics, in the meantime, had shoved the Eagle into the shed and closed the doors on the horde of the inquisitive.

The boys' flight had taken place above the aviation grounds of the Aeronautic Society, situated at Mineola, on Long Island, a few miles outside New York city. For several days they, and several others who had announced their intention of competing for the coveted Hempstead Plains Cup, had been making flights that had attracted vast crowds from the metropolis and filled the papers with air-ship news. The city was aviation mad.

The wide sweep of green flats was dotted at the end where the town encroached upon it with the sheds in which were housed the different aerial craft that were to take part in the great contest. Some of them had tents snuggled closely up to them in which the machinists, and others employed on them, made their temporary homes. Some were elaborate structures of galvanized iron, carefully fireproofed and covered with notices warning against smoking; others, again, were plain, hastily erected wooden structures. The Boy Aviators' shed was one of the latter, for they had returned from their adventures in Africa only a short time before this story opens.

In that far-off country, as told in "The Boy Aviators in Africa; or, an Aerial Ivory Trail," they had outwitted a wicked old man named Luther Barr, who tried to steal from them the ivory that they had recovered from the grip of an Arab slave-dealer. In Luther Barr's yacht, which they had acquired in a surprising manner, they had brought the ivory back to America and saved Mr. Beasley, the father of their chum, Lathrop Beasley, from financial ruin. After a short rest, they had announced that they would contest for the Hempstead Plains Cup. There was an interval of impatient waiting and then the freight steamer, which carried the Golden Eagle II from Africa, arrived safely and the work of setting the biplane up for the great contest had been at once begun.

The boys' first craft, The Golden Eagle, had been destroyed in a tropical storm in which they were blown to sea, as described in Volume One of this series: "The Boy Aviators in Nicaragua; or, Leagued With The Insurgents." The Golden Eagle II was the same craft in which, besides their African adventures, they had accomplished the dangerous mission for the Government, with the details of which our readers became conversant in "The Boy Aviators on Secret Service; or, Working with Wireless."

Their hasty toilet completed, the boys donned street clothes of neat fit and pattern and hastened to an automobile, halted at the roadside, in which their father and mother were seated. The two lads, as they leaned against the side of the car and chatted, made a pleasant picture of vigorous, adventurous youth. The eldest, Frank, was a little over sixteen, Harry, the younger boy, was about two years his junior. Both lads had crisp, curly hair and frank, blue eyes. Their faces were tanned to a dark tinge by their African trip.

Mrs. Chester looked eagerly about her at the shifting, colorful scene. There was certainly plenty to be seen and every minute held its own bit of interest. As they watched, another 'plane soared into view, black as a crow against the evening sky; it showed first as a mere speck, rapidly grew larger, and dropped to earth like a tired bird, while the crowd applauded once more.

"Whose 'plane is that?" asked Mr. Chester, as the machine was trundled into its shed--a pretentious affair built of corrugated iron and painted dark blue.

"Why, that's a mystery," laughed Frank, "but it's a dandy flyer. In fact it's about the only rival we really fear."

"What do you mean by 'a mystery,' Frank?" asked his mother.

"Well, mother, nobody knows who owns it. Its black-covered planes have earned it the name of The Buzzard and it can glide like one too, but as to its owner we are all in ignorance, though we should like to know."

"Whoever he may be he has made a lot of money," chimed in Harry.


The Boy Aviators' Treasure Quest - 1/34

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