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首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Tom Swift and his Sky Racer汤姆·史威夫特和空中赛艇 » Chapter Nine A Trial Flight
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Chapter Nine A Trial Flight
 For a few moments after their exclamations1 of surprise Tom and Mr. Damon did not know what else to say. They stared about in amazement2, hardly able to believe that the shed could be empty. They had expected to see some form of aeroplane in it, and Tom was almost sure his eyes would meet a reproduction of his Humming-Bird, made from the stolen plans.
"Can it be possible there's nothing here?" went on Tom, after a long pause. He could not seem to believe it.
"Evidently not," answered Mr. Damon, as he advanced toward the center of the big building and flashed the light on all sides. "You can see for yourself."
"Or, rather, you can't see," spoke3 the youth. "It isn't here, that's sure. You can't stick an aeroplane, even as small a one as my Humming Bird, in a corner. No; it isn't here."
"Well, we'll have to look further," went on Mr. Damon. "I think—"
But a sudden noise near the big main doors of the shed interrupted him.
"Come on!" exclaimed Tom in a whisper. "Some one's coming! They may see us! Let's get out!"
Mr. Damon released the pressure on the spring switch, and the light went out. After waiting a moment to let their eyes become accustomed to the darkness, he and Tom stole to the door by which they had entered. As they swung it cautiously open they again heard the noise near the main portals by which Andy had formerly4 taken in and out the Anthony, as he had named the aeroplane in which he and his father went to Alaska, where, like Tom's craft, it was wrecked5.
"Some one is coming in!" whispered Tom.
Hardly had he spoken when a light shone in the direction of the sound. The illumination came from a big lantern of the ordinary kind, carried by some one who had just entered the shed.
"Can you see who it is?" whispered Mr. Damon, peering eagerly forward; too eagerly, for his foot struck against the wooden side wall with a loud bang.
"Who's there?" suddenly demanded the person carrying the lantern.
He raised it high above his head, in order to cast the gleams into all the distant corners. As he did so a ray of light fell upon his face. "Andy Foger!" gasped6 Tom in a hoarse7 whisper.
Andy must have heard, for he ran forward just as Tom and Mr. Damon slipped out.
"Hold on! Who are you?" came in the unmistakable tones of the red-haired bully8.
"I don't think we're going to tell," chuckled9 Tom softly, as he and his friend sped off into the darkness. They were not followed, and as they looked back they could see a light bobbing about in the shed.
"He's looking for us!" exclaimed Mr. Damon with an inward laugh. "Bless my watch chain! But it's a good thing we got in ahead of him. Are you sure it was Andy himself?"
"Sure! I'd know his face anywhere. But I can't understand it. Where has he been? What is he doing? Where is he building his aeroplane? I thought he was out of town."
"He may have come back to-night," said Mr. Damon. "That's the only one of your questions I can answer. We'll have to wait about the rest, I'm sure he wasn't around the house to-day, though, for I was working at weeding the flower beds, in my disguise as a tramp, and if he was home I'd have seen him. He must have just come back, and he went out to his shed to get something. Well, we did the best we could."
"Indeed we did," agreed Tom, "and I'm ever so much obliged to you, Mr. Damon."
"And we'll try again, when we get more clues. Bless my shoelaces! but it's a relief to be able to talk as you like."
And forthwith the eccentric man began to call down so many blessings10 on himself and on his belongings11, no less than on his friends, that Tom laughingly warned him that he had better save some for another time.
The two reached home safely, removed their "disguises," and told Mr. Swift of the result of their trip. He agreed with them that there was a mystery about Andy's aeroplane which was yet to be solved.
But Tom was glad to find that, at any rate, the craft was not being made in Shopton, and during the next two weeks he devoted12 all his time to finishing his own machine. Mr. Jackson was a valuable assistant, and Mr. Damon gave what aid he could.
"Well, I think I'll be ready for a trial flight in another week," said Tom one day, as he stepped back to get a view of the almost completed Humming-Bird.
"Shall you want a passenger?" asked Mr. Damon.
"Yes, I wish you would take a chance with me. I could use a bag of sand, not that I mean you are to be compared to that," added Tom quickly, "but I'd rather have a real person, in order to test the balancing apparatus13. Yes, we'll make a trial trip together."
In the following few days Tom went carefully over the aeroplane, making some slight changes, strengthening it here and there, and testing the motor thoroughly14. It seemed to work perfectly15.
At length the day of the trial came, and the Humming-Bird was wheeled out of the shed. In spite of the fact that it was practically finished, there yet remained much to do on it. It was not painted or decorated, and looked rather crude. But what Tom wanted to know was how it would fly, what control he had over it, what speed it could make, and how it balanced. For it was, at best, very frail16, and the least change in equilibrium17 might be fatal.
Before taking his place in the operator's seat Tom started the motor, and by means of a spring balance tested the thrust of the propellers19. It was satisfactory, though he knew that when the engine had been run for some time, and had warmed up, it would do much better.
"All ready, I guess, Mr. Damon!" he called, and the odd gentleman took his place. Tom got up into his own seat, in front of several wheels and levers by which he operated the craft.
"Start the propeller18!" he requested of Mr. Jackson, and soon the motor was spitting fire, while the big, fan-like blades were whirring around like wings of light. The engineer and Eradicate20 were holding back the Humming-Bird.
"Let her go!" cried Tom as he turned on more gasoline and further advanced the spark of the motor. The roar increased, the propeller looked like a solid circle of wood, and the trim little monoplane moved slowly across the rising ground, increasing its speed every second, until, like some graceful21 bird, it suddenly rose in the air as Tom tilted22 the wing tips, and soared splendidly aloft!


1 exclamations aea591b1607dd0b11f1dd659bad7d827     
n.呼喊( exclamation的名词复数 );感叹;感叹语;感叹词
  • The visitors broke into exclamations of wonder when they saw the magnificent Great Wall. 看到雄伟的长城,游客们惊叹不已。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • After the will has been read out, angry exclamations aroused. 遗嘱宣读完之后,激起一片愤怒的喊声。 来自辞典例句
2 amazement 7zlzBK     
  • All those around him looked at him with amazement.周围的人都对他投射出惊异的眼光。
  • He looked at me in blank amazement.他带着迷茫惊诧的神情望着我。
3 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
4 formerly ni3x9     
  • We now enjoy these comforts of which formerly we had only heard.我们现在享受到了过去只是听说过的那些舒适条件。
  • This boat was formerly used on the rivers of China.这船从前航行在中国内河里。
5 wrecked ze0zKI     
  • the hulk of a wrecked ship 遇难轮船的残骸
  • the salvage of the wrecked tanker 对失事油轮的打捞
6 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 hoarse 5dqzA     
  • He asked me a question in a hoarse voice.他用嘶哑的声音问了我一个问题。
  • He was too excited and roared himself hoarse.他过于激动,嗓子都喊哑了。
8 bully bully     
  • A bully is always a coward.暴汉常是懦夫。
  • The boy gave the bully a pelt on the back with a pebble.那男孩用石子掷击小流氓的背脊。
9 chuckled 8ce1383c838073977a08258a1f3e30f8     
轻声地笑( chuckle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She chuckled at the memory. 想起这件事她就暗自发笑。
  • She chuckled softly to herself as she remembered his astonished look. 想起他那惊讶的表情,她就轻轻地暗自发笑。
10 blessings 52a399b218b9208cade790a26255db6b     
n.(上帝的)祝福( blessing的名词复数 );好事;福分;因祸得福
  • Afflictions are sometimes blessings in disguise. 塞翁失马,焉知非福。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We don't rely on blessings from Heaven. 我们不靠老天保佑。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
11 belongings oy6zMv     
  • I put a few personal belongings in a bag.我把几件私人物品装进包中。
  • Your personal belongings are not dutiable.个人物品不用纳税。
12 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
13 apparatus ivTzx     
  • The school's audio apparatus includes films and records.学校的视听设备包括放映机和录音机。
  • They had a very refined apparatus.他们有一套非常精良的设备。
14 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
15 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
16 frail yz3yD     
  • Mrs. Warner is already 96 and too frail to live by herself.华纳太太已经九十六岁了,身体虚弱,不便独居。
  • She lay in bed looking particularly frail.她躺在床上,看上去特别虚弱。
17 equilibrium jiazs     
  • Change in the world around us disturbs our inner equilibrium.我们周围世界的变化扰乱了我们内心的平静。
  • This is best expressed in the form of an equilibrium constant.这最好用平衡常数的形式来表示。
18 propeller tRVxe     
  • The propeller started to spin around.螺旋桨开始飞快地旋转起来。
  • A rope jammed the boat's propeller.一根绳子卡住了船的螺旋桨。
19 propellers 6e53e63713007ce36dac451344bb87d2     
n.螺旋桨,推进器( propeller的名词复数 )
  • The water was thrashing and churning about under the propellers. 水在螺旋桨下面打旋、翻滚。 来自辞典例句
  • The ship's propellers churned the waves to foam. 轮船的推进器将海浪搅出泡沫。 来自辞典例句
20 eradicate Ui1zn     
  • These insects are very difficult to eradicate.这些昆虫很难根除。
  • They are already battling to eradicate illnesses such as malaria and tetanus.他们已经在努力消灭疟疾、破伤风等疾病。
21 graceful deHza     
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
22 tilted 3gtzE5     
v. 倾斜的
  • Suddenly the boat tilted to one side. 小船突然倾向一侧。
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。


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