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Chapter Twelve Miss Nestor Calls
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 "What's de mattah? Shall I come in? Am anybody hurted?" yelled Eradicate1 Sampson as he pounded on the rear door of the aeroplane shed. "Let me in, Massa Tom!"
 
"All right! Wait a minute! I'm coming!" called Mr. Jackson. He tried to peer through the darkness, to where a huddled2 heap indicated the presence of Tom. Then he thought of the electric lights, which were run by a storage battery when the dynamo was shut down, and a moment later the engineer had switched on the incandescents, filling the big shed with radiance.
 
"Tom, are you badly hurt?" gasped3 Mr. Jackson.
 
There was no answer, for Tom was unconscious.
 
"Let me in! Let me git at dat robber wif mah club!" cried the colored man eagerly.
 
Knowing that he would need help in carrying Tom to the house, Mr. Jackson hurried to the back door. He had a key to it, and it was quicker to open it than to send Eradicate away around the shed to the front portals.
 
"Whar am he?" gasped the faithful darky, as he took a firmer grasp of his club and looked around the place. "Let me git mah hands on him! I'll feed him t' Boomerang, when I gits froo wif him!"
 
"He's gone," said the engineer. "Help me look after Tom. I'm afraid he's badly hurt."
 
They hastened to the unconscious lad. On one side of his head was a bad cut, which was bleeding freely.
 
"Oh! he's daid! I know he's daid!" wailed4 Eradicate.
 
"Not a bit of it. He isn't dead, but he may die, if we don't get him into the house, and have a doctor here soon," said Mr. Jackson sternly. "Catch hold of him, Rad, and, mind, don't carry on, and get excited, and scare Mr. Swift. Just pretend it isn't very bad, or we'll have two patients on our hands instead of only Tom."
 
They managed to get the youth into the house, and, contrary to their fears, Mr. Swift was not nearly so nervous as they had expected. Calmly he took charge of matters, and even telephoned for Dr. Gladby himself, while Mr. Jackson and Eradicate undressed Tom and got him to bed. Mrs. Baggert busied herself heating water and getting things in readiness for the doctor, who had promised to come at once.
 
Tom was just regaining6 consciousness when the physician came in, having driven over at top speed.
 
"What—what happened? Did the Humming-Bird fall?" asked Tom in a whisper, putting his hand to his head.
 
"No, something fell on you, I guess," said the doctor, who had been hurriedly told of the circumstances. "But don't worry, Tom. You'll be all right in a few days. You got a bad cut on the head, but the skull7 isn't fractured, I'm glad to say. Here, now, just drink this," and he gave Tom some medicine he had mixed in a glass.
 
The cut was soon dressed, and Tom felt much better, though weak and a trifle dizzy.
 
"Did he hit me with the hatchet8?" he asked Mr. Jackson.
 
"I couldn't tell," was the engineer's reply, "it all happened so quickly. In another instant I'd have bowled him over, instead of him landing on you, but I just missed him. He either used the hatchet, or some blunt instrument."
 
"Well, don't talk about it now," urged the doctor. "I want Tom to get quiet and go to sleep. He'll be much better in the morning, but I must forbid any aeroplane flights." And he shook his finger at Tom in warning. "You'll have to lie quiet for several days," he added.
 
"All right," agreed the young inventor weakly, and then he dozed10 off, for the physician had given him a quieting medicine.
 
"Haven't you any idea who it was?" asked Dr. Gladby of Mr. Jackson, as he prepared to leave.
 
"Not the slightest. It was no one Tom or I had ever seen before. But whoever it was, he intended to destroy the Humming-Bird, that was evident!"
 
"The scoundrel! I'm glad you foiled him in time; but it's too bad about Tom. However, we'll soon have him all right again."
 
"I knows who done it!" broke in Eradicate, who was a sort of privileged character about the Swift home.
 
"Who?" asked Mr. Jackson.
 
"It were dat Andy Foger. Leastways, he send dat man heah t' make mincemeat oh de Hummin'-Bird. I's positib 'bout9 dat, so I am!" And Eradicate grinned triumphantly11.
 
"Well, perhaps Andy did have a hand in it," admitted Mr. Swift, "but we have no proof of it, I can't see what his object would be in wanting to destroy Tom's new craft."
 
"Pure meanness. Afraid that Tom will beat him in the race," suggested Mr. Jackson.
 
"It's too big a risk to take," went on the aged5 inventor. "I'm inclined to think it might be one of the gang of men who made the diamonds in the cave in the mountains. They might have sent a spy on East, and he might try to damage the aeroplane to be revenged for what Tom and Mr. Jenks did to them."
 
"It's possible," agreed the engineer. "Well, we'll wait until Tom can talk, and we'll go over it with him."
 
"Not until he is stronger, though," stipulated12 the physician as he went away. "Don't excite Tom for a few days."
 
The young inventor was much better the following day, and when Dr. Gladby called he said Tom could sit up for a little while. Two days later Tom was well enough to be talked to, and his father and Mr. Jackson went over all the details of the matter. Mr. Damon, who had returned home, came to see his friend as soon as he heard of his plight13, and was also a member of the consulting party.
 
"Bless my dictionary!" exclaimed the eccentric man. "I wish I had been here to take a hand in it. But, Tom, do you believe it was one of the diamond-making gang?"
 
"I hardly think so," was the reply. "They would take some other means of revenge than by destroying my new aeroplane. I'm inclined to think it was some one who is in with Andy Foger."
 
"Then we'll hire detectives, and locate him and them," declared Mr. Damon, blessing14 several things in succession.
 
Tom, however, did not like that plan, and it was decided15 to do nothing right away. In another few days Tom was able to be up, though he was still a semi-invalid, not venturing out of the house.
 
It was one afternoon, when, rather tired of his confinement16, he was wishing he could resume work on his air craft, that Mrs. Baggert came in, and said:
 
"Some one to see you, Tom."
 
"Is it Mr. Damon?"
 
"No, it's a lady. She—"
 
"Oh, Tom! How are you?" cried a girlish voice, and Mary Nestor walked into the room, holding out both hands to the young inventor. Tom, with a blush, arose hastily.
 
"No! no! Sit still!" commanded the girl. "Oh! I'm so sorry to hear about your accident! In fact, I only heard this morning. We've been away, mamma and I, and we just got back. Tell me all about it, that is, if you feel able. But don't exert yourself. Oh! I wish I had hold of that man!"
 
And Miss Nestor clenched17 her two pretty little hands and set her white, even teeth grimly together, as though she would do most desperate things indeed.
 
"I wish you did, too!" exclaimed Tom. "That is, so you could hold him until I had a chance at him. But I'm all right now. It was very good of you to call. How are you, and how are your folks?"
 
"Very well. But I came to hear about you. Tell me," and she looked anxiously at Tom, while Mrs. Baggert discreetly18 withdrew to the adjoining room, and made a great noise, rattling19 papers and moving chairs about.
 
Thereupon Tom told what had happened, while Mary Nestor listened interestedly and with expressions of fear at times.
 
"But if Andy had anything to do with it," concluded Tom, "I can't understand what his object is. Andy is acting20 very strangely lately. We can't locate him, nor find out where he is building his airship. That's what I want to know; but Mr. Damon and I, after a lot of trouble, only found his aeroplane shed empty."
 
"And you want to find out where Andy Foger is building his aeroplane which he has entered in the big race?" asked Miss Nestor.
 
"That's what I'd like to know," declared Tom earnestly. "Only we can't seem to do it. No one knows."
 
"Why don't you write to Mr. Sharp, or some one of the aviation meet committee?" asked the girl simply. "They would know, for you say Andy made his formal entry with them, and the rules require him to tell from what city and State he will enter his craft. Write to the committee, Tom."
 
For a moment the young inventor stared at her. Then he banged his fist down on the arm of his chair.
 
"By Jove, Mary! That's the very thing!" he cried. "I wonder why I never thought of that, instead of fiddling21 around in disguises, and things like that? I wonder why I never thought of that plan?"
 
"Perhaps because it was so simple," she answered, with a pretty blush.
 
"I guess that's it," agreed Tom. "It takes a woman to jump across a bridge to a conclusion every time. I'll write to Mr. Sharp at once."

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 eradicate Ui1zn     
v.根除,消灭,杜绝
参考例句:
  • 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。
2 huddled 39b87f9ca342d61fe478b5034beb4139     
挤在一起(huddle的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • We huddled together for warmth. 我们挤在一块取暖。
  • We huddled together to keep warm. 我们挤在一起来保暖。
3 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
参考例句:
  • 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》
4 wailed e27902fd534535a9f82ffa06a5b6937a     
v.哭叫,哀号( wail的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She wailed over her father's remains. 她对着父亲的遗体嚎啕大哭。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The women of the town wailed over the war victims. 城里的妇女为战争的死难者们痛哭。 来自辞典例句
5 aged 6zWzdI     
adj.年老的,陈年的
参考例句:
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
6 regaining 458e5f36daee4821aec7d05bf0dd4829     
复得( regain的现在分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
参考例句:
  • She was regaining consciousness now, but the fear was coming with her. 现在她正在恢发她的知觉,但是恐怖也就伴随着来了。
  • She said briefly, regaining her will with a click. 她干脆地答道,又马上重新振作起精神来。
7 skull CETyO     
n.头骨;颅骨
参考例句:
  • The skull bones fuse between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.头骨在15至25岁之间长合。
  • He fell out of the window and cracked his skull.他从窗子摔了出去,跌裂了颅骨。
8 hatchet Dd0zr     
n.短柄小斧;v.扼杀
参考例句:
  • I shall have to take a hatchet to that stump.我得用一把短柄斧来劈这树桩。
  • Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet.别用斧头拍打朋友额头上的苍蝇。
9 bout Asbzz     
n.侵袭,发作;一次(阵,回);拳击等比赛
参考例句:
  • I was suffering with a bout of nerves.我感到一阵紧张。
  • That bout of pneumonia enfeebled her.那次肺炎的发作使她虚弱了。
10 dozed 30eca1f1e3c038208b79924c30b35bfc     
v.打盹儿,打瞌睡( doze的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He boozed till daylight and dozed into the afternoon. 他喝了个通霄,昏沉沉地一直睡到下午。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • I dozed off during the soporific music. 我听到这催人入睡的音乐,便不知不觉打起盹儿来了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 triumphantly 9fhzuv     
ad.得意洋洋地;得胜地;成功地
参考例句:
  • The lion was roaring triumphantly. 狮子正在发出胜利的吼叫。
  • Robert was looking at me triumphantly. 罗伯特正得意扬扬地看着我。
12 stipulated 5203a115be4ee8baf068f04729d1e207     
vt.& vi.规定;约定adj.[法]合同规定的
参考例句:
  • A delivery date is stipulated in the contract. 合同中规定了交货日期。
  • Yes, I think that's what we stipulated. 对呀,我想那是我们所订定的。 来自辞典例句
13 plight 820zI     
n.困境,境况,誓约,艰难;vt.宣誓,保证,约定
参考例句:
  • The leader was much concerned over the plight of the refugees.那位领袖对难民的困境很担忧。
  • She was in a most helpless plight.她真不知如何是好。
14 blessing UxDztJ     
n.祈神赐福;祷告;祝福,祝愿
参考例句:
  • The blessing was said in Hebrew.祷告用了希伯来语。
  • A double blessing has descended upon the house.双喜临门。
15 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
16 confinement qpOze     
n.幽禁,拘留,监禁;分娩;限制,局限
参考例句:
  • He spent eleven years in solitary confinement.他度过了11年的单独监禁。
  • The date for my wife's confinement was approaching closer and closer.妻子分娩的日子越来越近了。
17 clenched clenched     
v.紧握,抓紧,咬紧( clench的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He clenched his fists in anger. 他愤怒地攥紧了拳头。
  • She clenched her hands in her lap to hide their trembling. 她攥紧双手放在腿上,以掩饰其颤抖。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 discreetly nuwz8C     
ad.(言行)审慎地,慎重地
参考例句:
  • He had only known the perennial widow, the discreetly expensive Frenchwoman. 他只知道她是个永远那么年轻的寡妇,一个很会讲排场的法国女人。
  • Sensing that Lilian wanted to be alone with Celia, Andrew discreetly disappeared. 安德鲁觉得莉莲想同西莉亚单独谈些什么,有意避开了。
19 rattling 7b0e25ab43c3cc912945aafbb80e7dfd     
adj. 格格作响的, 活泼的, 很好的 adv. 极其, 很, 非常 动词rattle的现在分词
参考例句:
  • This book is a rattling good read. 这是一本非常好的读物。
  • At that same instant,a deafening explosion set the windows rattling. 正在这时,一声震耳欲聋的爆炸突然袭来,把窗玻璃震得当当地响。
20 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
21 fiddling XtWzRz     
微小的
参考例句:
  • He was fiddling with his keys while he talked to me. 和我谈话时他不停地摆弄钥匙。
  • All you're going to see is a lot of fiddling around. 你今天要看到的只是大量的胡摆乱弄。 来自英汉文学 - 廊桥遗梦


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