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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 Fourteen The Great Test
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Chapter Fourteen The Great Test
 "Bless my gizzard!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, who hardly knew what to do. "We'd better be getting out of here, Tom!"
"Not much!" exclaimed the young inventor. "I never ran from Andy Foger yet, and I'm not going to begin now."
He assumed an attitude of defense1, and stood calmly awaiting the onslaught of the bully2; but Andy knew better than to come to a personal argument with Tom, and so the red-haired lad halted some paces off. The man, who had followed young Foger, also stopped.
"What do you want around here, Tom Swift?" demanded Andy.
"You know very well what I want," said the young inventor, calmly. "I want to know what you did with the aeroplane plans you took from my house."
"I never took any!" declared Andy vigorously.
"Well, there's no use discussing that," went on Tom. "What I came here to find out, and I don't mind telling you, is whether or not you are building a monoplane to compete against me, and building it on a model invented by me; and what's more, Andy Foger, I intend to find this out, too!"
Tom started toward the big shed, which loomed3 up in the moonlight.
"Stand back!" cried Andy, getting in Tom's way. "I can build any kind of an aeroplane I like, and you can't stop me!"
"We'll see about that," declared the young inventor, as he kept on. "I'm not going to allow my plans to be stolen, and a monoplane made after them, and do nothing about it."
"You keep away!" snarled4 Andy, and he grabbed Tom by the shoulder and struck him a blow in the chest. He must have been very much excited, or otherwise he never would have come to hostilities5 this way with Tom, whom he well knew could easily beat him.
The blow, together with the many things he had suffered at Andy's hands, was too much for our hero. He drew back his fist, and a moment later Andy Foger was stretched out on the grass. He lay there for a moment, and then rose up slowly to his knees, his face distorted with rage.
"You—you hit me!" he snarled.
"Not until you hit first," said Tom calmly.
"Bless my punching bag! That's so!" exclaimed Mr. Damon.
"You'll suffer for this!" whined6 Andy, getting to his feet, but taking care to retreat from Tom, who stood ready for him. "I'll get square with you for this! Jake, come on, and we'll get our guns!"
Andy turned and hurried back toward the shed, followed by the evil-looking man, who had apparently7 been undecided whether to attack Mr. Damon or Tom. Now the bully and his companion were in full retreat.
"We'll get our guns, and then we'll see whether they'll want to stay where they're not wanted!" went on Andy, threateningly.
"Bless my powderhorn! What had we better do?" asked Mr. Damon.
"I guess we'd better go back," said Tom calmly. "Not that I'm afraid of Andy. His talk about guns is all bluff8; but I don't want to get into any more of a row, and he is just ugly and reckless enough to make trouble. I'm afraid we can't learn what we came to find out, though I'm more convinced than ever that Andy is using my plans to make his aeroplane."
"But what can you do?"
"I'll see Mr. Sharp, and send a protest to the aviation committee. I'll refuse to enter if Andy flies in a model of my Humming-Bird, and I'll try to prevent him from using it after he gets it on the ground. That is all I can do, it seems, lacking positive information. Come on, Mr. Damon. Let's get back to our hotel, and we'll start for home in the morning."
"I have a plan," whispered the odd man.
"What is it?" asked Tom, narrowly watching for the reappearance of Andy and the man.
"I'll stay here until they come, then I'll pretend to run away. They'll chase after me, and get all excited, and you can go up and look in the shed windows. Then you can join me later. How's that?"
"Too risky9. They might fire at you by mistake. No. We'll both go. I've found out more than enough to confirm my suspicions."
They turned out of the lot which contained the shed, and walked toward the road, just as Andy and his crony came back.
"Huh! You'd better go!" taunted10 the bully.
Tom had a bitter feeling in his heart. It seemed as if he was defeated, and he did not like to retreat before Andy.
"You'd better not come back here again, either," went on Andy.
Tom and Mr. Damon did not reply, but kept on in silence. They returned to Shopton the next day.
"Well," remarked Tom, when he had gone out to look at his Humming-Bird, "I know one thing. Andy Foger may build a machine something like this, but I don't believe he can put in all the improvements I have, and certainly he can't equal that engine; eh, dad?"
"I hope not, Tom," replied his father, who seemed to be much improved in health.
"When are you going to try for speed?" asked Mr. Damon.
"To-morrow, if I can get it tuned11 up enough," replied Tom, "and I think I can. Yes, we'll have the great test to-morrow, and then I'll know whether I really have a chance for that ten thousand dollars."
Never before had Tom been so exacting12 in his requirements of his air craft as when, the next day, the Humming-Bird was wheeled out to the flight ground, and gotten ready for the test. The young inventor went over every bolt, brace13, stay, guy wire and upright. He examined every square inch of the wings, the tips, planes and rudders. The levers, the steering14 wheel, the automatic equilibrium15 attachments16 and the balancing weights were looked at again and again.
As for the engine, had it been a delicate watch, Tom could not have scrutinized17 each valve, wheel, cam and spur gear more carefully. Then the gasoline tank was filled, the magneto was looked after, the oil reservoirs were cleaned out and freshly filled, and finally the lad remarked:
"Well, I guess I'm ready. Come along, Mr. Damon."
"Am I going with you in the test?"
"Surely. I've been counting on you. If you're to be with me in the race, you want to get a sample of what we can do. Take your place. Mr. Jackson, are you ready to time us?"
"All ready, Tom."
"And, dad, do you feel well enough to check back Mr. Jackson's results? I don't want any errors."
"Oh, yes, Tom. I can do it."
"Very well, then. Now this is my plan. I'm going to mount upward on an easy slant18, and put her through a few stunts19 first, to warm up, and see that everything is all right. Then, when I give the signal, by dropping this small white ball, that means I'm ready for you to start to time me. Then I'll begin to try for the record. I'll go about the course in a big ellipse, and—well, we'll see what happens."
While Mr. Damon was in his seat the young inventor started the propeller20, and noted21 the thrust developed. It was satisfactory, as measured on the scale, and then Tom took his place.
"Let her go!" he cried to Mr. Jackson and Eradicate22, after he had listened to the song of the motor for a moment. The Humming-Bird flew across the course, and a moment later mounted into the air.
Tom quickly took her up to about two thousand feet, and there, finding the conditions to his liking23, he began a few evolutions designed to severely24 test the craft's stability, and to learn whether the engine was working properly.
"How about it?" asked Mr. Damon anxiously.
"All right!" shouted Tom in his ear, for the motor was making a great racket. "I guess we'll make the trial next time we come around. Get ready to drop the signal ball."
Tom slowly brought the aeroplane around in a graceful25 curve. He sighted down, and saw the first tall white pole that marked the beginning of the course.
"Drop!" he called to Mr. Damon.
The white rubber ball went to the earth like a shot. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Swift saw it, and started their timing-watches. Tom opened the throttle26 and advanced the spark. The great test was on!
The Humming-Bird trembled and throbbed27 with the awful speed of the motor, like a thing alive. She seemed to rush forward as an eagle dropping down from a dizzy height upon some hapless prey28.
"Faster yet!" murmured Tom. "We must go faster yet!"
The motor was warming up. Streaks29 of fire came from it. The exhaust of the explosions was a continuous roar. Faster and faster flew the frail30 craft.
Around and around the air course she circled. The wind appeared to be rushing beneath the planes and rudders with the velocity31 of a hurricane. Had it not been for the face protectors they wore, Tom and Mr. Damon could not have breathed. For ten minutes this fearful speed was kept up. Then Tom, knowing he had run the motor to the limit, slowed it down. Next he shut it off completely, and prepared to volplane back to earth. The silence after the terrific racket was almost startling. For a moment neither of the aviators32 spoke33. Then Mr. Damon said:
"Do you think you did it, Tom?"
"I don't know. We'll soon find out. They'll have the record." And he motioned toward the earth, which they were rapidly nearing.


1 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
2 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。
3 loomed 9423e616fe6b658c9a341ebc71833279     
v.隐约出现,阴森地逼近( loom的过去式和过去分词 );隐约出现,阴森地逼近
  • A dark shape loomed up ahead of us. 一个黑糊糊的影子隐隐出现在我们的前面。
  • The prospect of war loomed large in everyone's mind. 战事将起的庞大阴影占据每个人的心。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 snarled ti3zMA     
v.(指狗)吠,嗥叫, (人)咆哮( snarl的过去式和过去分词 );咆哮着说,厉声地说
  • The dog snarled at us. 狗朝我们低声吼叫。
  • As I advanced towards the dog, It'snarled and struck at me. 我朝那条狗走去时,它狂吠着向我扑来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 hostilities 4c7c8120f84e477b36887af736e0eb31     
  • Mexico called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. 墨西哥要求立即停止敌对行动。
  • All the old hostilities resurfaced when they met again. 他们再次碰面时,过去的种种敌意又都冒了出来。
6 whined cb507de8567f4d63145f632630148984     
v.哀号( whine的过去式和过去分词 );哀诉,诉怨
  • The dog whined at the door, asking to be let out. 狗在门前嚎叫着要出去。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • He whined and pouted when he did not get what he wanted. 他要是没得到想要的东西就会发牢骚、撅嘴。 来自辞典例句
7 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
8 bluff ftZzB     
  • His threats are merely bluff.他的威胁仅仅是虚张声势。
  • John is a deep card.No one can bluff him easily.约翰是个机灵鬼。谁也不容易欺骗他。
9 risky IXVxe     
  • It may be risky but we will chance it anyhow.这可能有危险,但我们无论如何要冒一冒险。
  • He is well aware how risky this investment is.他心里对这项投资的风险十分清楚。
10 taunted df22a7ddc6dcf3131756443dea95d149     
嘲讽( taunt的过去式和过去分词 ); 嘲弄; 辱骂; 奚落
  • The other kids continually taunted him about his size. 其他孩子不断地耻笑他的个头儿。
  • Some of the girls taunted her about her weight. 有些女孩子笑她胖。
11 tuned b40b43fd5af2db4fbfeb4e83856e4876     
adj.调谐的,已调谐的v.调音( tune的过去式和过去分词 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
  • The resort is tuned in to the tastes of young and old alike. 这个度假胜地适合各种口味,老少皆宜。
  • The instruments should be tuned up before each performance. 每次演出开始前都应将乐器调好音。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 exacting VtKz7e     
  • He must remember the letters and symbols with exacting precision.他必须以严格的精度记住每个字母和符号。
  • The public has been more exacting in its demands as time has passed.随着时间的推移,公众的要求更趋严格。
13 brace 0WzzE     
n. 支柱,曲柄,大括号; v. 绷紧,顶住,(为困难或坏事)做准备
  • My daughter has to wear a brace on her teeth. 我的女儿得戴牙套以矫正牙齿。
  • You had better brace yourself for some bad news. 有些坏消息,你最好做好准备。
14 steering 3hRzbi     
  • He beat his hands on the steering wheel in frustration. 他沮丧地用手打了几下方向盘。
  • Steering according to the wind, he also framed his words more amicably. 他真会看风使舵,口吻也马上变得温和了。
15 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。
16 attachments da2fd5324f611f2b1d8b4fef9ae3179e     
n.(用电子邮件发送的)附件( attachment的名词复数 );附着;连接;附属物
  • The vacuum cleaner has four different attachments. 吸尘器有四个不同的附件。
  • It's an electric drill with a range of different attachments. 这是一个带有各种配件的电钻。
17 scrutinized e48e75426c20d6f08263b761b7a473a8     
v.仔细检查,详审( scrutinize的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The jeweler scrutinized the diamond for flaws. 宝石商人仔细察看钻石有无瑕庇 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Together we scrutinized the twelve lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop. 我们一起把甜食店里买来的十二块柠檬蛋糕细细打量了一番。 来自英汉文学 - 盖茨比
18 slant TEYzF     
  • The lines are drawn on a slant.这些线条被画成斜线。
  • The editorial had an antiunion slant.这篇社论有一种反工会的倾向。
19 stunts d1bd0eff65f6d207751b4213c4fdd8d1     
n.惊人的表演( stunt的名词复数 );(广告中)引人注目的花招;愚蠢行为;危险举动v.阻碍…发育[生长],抑制,妨碍( stunt的第三人称单数 )
  • He did all his own stunts. 所有特技都是他自己演的。
  • The plane did a few stunts before landing. 飞机着陆前做了一些特技。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 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。
21 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
22 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。
23 liking mpXzQ5     
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
24 severely SiCzmk     
  • He was severely criticized and removed from his post.他受到了严厉的批评并且被撤了职。
  • He is severely put down for his careless work.他因工作上的粗心大意而受到了严厉的批评。
25 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。
26 throttle aIKzW     
  • These government restrictions are going to throttle our trade.这些政府的限制将要扼杀我们的贸易。
  • High tariffs throttle trade between countries.高的关税抑制了国与国之间的贸易。
27 throbbed 14605449969d973d4b21b9356ce6b3ec     
抽痛( throb的过去式和过去分词 ); (心脏、脉搏等)跳动
  • His head throbbed painfully. 他的头一抽一跳地痛。
  • The pulse throbbed steadily. 脉搏跳得平稳。
28 prey g1czH     
  • Stronger animals prey on weaker ones.弱肉强食。
  • The lion was hunting for its prey.狮子在寻找猎物。
29 streaks a961fa635c402b4952940a0218464c02     
n.(与周围有所不同的)条纹( streak的名词复数 );(通常指不好的)特征(倾向);(不断经历成功或失败的)一段时期v.快速移动( streak的第三人称单数 );使布满条纹
  • streaks of grey in her hair 她头上的绺绺白发
  • Bacon has streaks of fat and streaks of lean. 咸肉中有几层肥的和几层瘦的。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
30 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。
31 velocity rLYzx     
  • Einstein's theory links energy with mass and velocity of light.爱因斯坦的理论把能量同质量和光速联系起来。
  • The velocity of light is about 300000 kilometres per second.光速约为每秒300000公里。
32 aviators eacd926e0a2ed8e8a5c57fc639faa5e8     
飞机驾驶员,飞行员( aviator的名词复数 )
  • Analysis on Sickness Status of 1149 Aviators during Recuperation. 飞行员1149例疗养期间患病情况分析。
  • In America the whole scale is too big, except for aviators. 在美国整个景象的比例都太大了,不过对飞行员来说是个例外。
33 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。


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