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Chapter Nineteen A Nervy Specialist
 There was little time to lose. Every moment of delay meant so much less chance for the recovery of Mr. Swift. Even now the periods of consciousness were becoming shorter and farther apart. He seemed to be sinking.
Tom resolutely1 refused to think of the possibility of death, as he went in to bid his parent good-by before starting off on his trip through the air. Mr. Swift barely knew his son, and, with tears in his eyes, though he bravely tried to keep them back, the young inventor went out into the yard.
There stood the Humming-Bird, with Mr. Jackson, Mr. Damon and Eradicate2 working over her, to get her in perfect trim for the race before her—a race with death.
Fortunately there was little to be done to get the speedy craft ready. Tom had accomplished3 most of what was necessary, while waiting for word from Dr. Hendrix. Now about all that needed to be done was to see that there was plenty of gasoline and oil in the reservoirs.
"I'll give you a note to Dr. Hendrix," said Mr. Gladby, as Tom was fastening on his faceguard. "I—I trust you won't be disappointed, Tom. I hope he will consent to return with you."
"He's got to come," said the young inventor, simply, as if that was all there was to it.
"Do you think you can make the trip in time?" asked Mr. Damon. "It is a little less than a hundred miles in an airline, but you have to go and go back. Can the aeroplane do it?"
"I'd be ashamed of her if she couldn't," said Tom, with a grim tightening4 of his lips. "She's just got to do it; that's all! But I know she will," and he patted the big propeller5 and the motor's shining cylinders6 as though the machine was a thing alive, like a horse or a dog, who could understand him.
He climbed to his seat, the other one holding a bag of sand to maintain a good balance.
"Start her," ordered Tom, and Mr. Jackson twisted the propeller. The motor caught at once, and the air throbbed7 with the noise of the explosions. Tom listened to the tune8 of the machinery9. It sang true.
"Two thousand pounds thrust!" called the engineer, as he looked at the scale.
"Let her go!" cried Tom, whose voice was hardly heard above the roar. The trim little aeroplane scudded10 over the ground, gathering11 speed at every revolution of the wheels. Then with a spring like that of some great bird launching itself in flight, she left the earth, and took to the air. Tom was off on his trip.
Those left behind sent up a cautious cheer, for they did not want to disturb Mr. Swift. They waved their hands to the young inventor, and he waved his in reply. Then he settled down for one of the swiftest flights he had ever undertaken.
Tom ascended12 until he struck a favorable current of air. There was a little wind blowing in the direction he wished to take, and that aided him. But even against a powerful head-wind the Humming-Bird could make progress.
The young inventor saw the ground slipping backward beneath him. Carefully he watched the various indicators13, and listened intently to the sound of the cylinders' explosions. They came rapidly and regularly. The motor was working well.
Tom glanced at the barograph. It registered two thousand feet, and he decided14 to keep at about that height, as it gave him a good view, and he could see to steer15, for a route had been hastily mapped out for him by his friends.
Over cities, towns, villages, scattered16 farmhouses17; across stretches of forest; over rivers, above big stretches of open country he flew. Often he could see eager crowds below, gazing up at him. But he paid no heed18. He was looking for a sight of a certain broad river, which was near Kirkville. Then he knew he would be close to his goal.
He had speeded up the motor to the limit, and there was nothing to do now, save to manage the planes, wing tips and rudders, and to see that the gasoline and oil were properly fed to the machine.
Faster and faster went the Humming-Bird, but Tom's thoughts were even faster. He was thinking of many things—of his father—of what he would do if Mr. Swift died—of the mysterious airship—of the stolen plans—of the fire in the shed—of the great race—and of Andy Foger.
He took little note of time, and when, in less than an hour he sighted the river that told him he was near to Kirkville, he was rather startled.
"You certainly did come right along, Humming-Bird!" he murmured proudly.
He descended19 several hundred feet, and, as he passed over the town, the people of which grew wildly excited, he looked about for the house of the noted20 specialist. He knew how to pick it out, for Dr. Gladby had described it to him, and Tom was glad to see, as he came within view of the residence, that it was surrounded by a large yard.
"I can land almost at his door," he said, and he did, volplaning to earth with an ease born of long practice.
To say that Dr. Hendrix was astonished when Tom dropped in on him in this manner, would not be exactly true. The specialist was not in the habit of receiving calls from youths in aeroplanes, but the fact was, that Dr. Hendrix was so absorbed in his work, and thought so constantly about it, that it took a great deal to startle him out of his usual calm.
"And so you came for me in your aeroplane?" he asked of Tom, as he gazed at the trim little craft. It is doubtful if he really saw it, however, as Dr. Hendrix was just then thinking of an operation he had performed a few hours before. "I'm sorry you had your trip for nothing," he went on. "I'd like very much to come to your father, but didn't you get my telegram, telling about the broken bridge? There is no way for me to get to Shopton in time."
"Yes, there is!" cried Tom, eagerly.
"The same way I came—in the aeroplane! Dr. Hendrix you must go back with me! It's the only way to save my father's life. Come with me in the Humming-Bird. It's perfectly21 safe. I can make the trip in less than an hour. I can carry you and your instruments. Will you come? Won't you come to save my father's life?" Tom was fairly pleading now.
"A trip in an aeroplane," mused22 Dr. Hendrix "I've never taken such a thing. I—"
"Don't be afraid, there's really no danger," said Tom.
The physician seemed to reach a sudden conclusion. His eyes brightened. He walked over and looked at the little Humming-Bird. For the time being he forgot about his operations.
"I'll go with you!" he suddenly cried. "I'll go with you, Tom Swift! If you've got the nerve, so have I! and if my science and skill can save your father's life, he'll live to be an old man! Wait until I get my bag and I'll be with you!"
Tom's heart gave a bound of hope.


1 resolutely WW2xh     
  • He resolutely adhered to what he had said at the meeting. 他坚持他在会上所说的话。
  • He grumbles at his lot instead of resolutely facing his difficulties. 他不是果敢地去面对困难,而是抱怨自己运气不佳。
2 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。
3 accomplished UzwztZ     
  • Thanks to your help,we accomplished the task ahead of schedule.亏得你们帮忙,我们才提前完成了任务。
  • Removal of excess heat is accomplished by means of a radiator.通过散热器完成多余热量的排出。
4 tightening 19aa014b47fbdfbc013e5abf18b64642     
  • Make sure the washer is firmly seated before tightening the pipe. 旋紧水管之前,检查一下洗衣机是否已牢牢地固定在底座上了。
  • It needs tightening up a little. 它还需要再收紧些。
5 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。
6 cylinders fd0c4aab3548ce77958c1502f0bc9692     
n.圆筒( cylinder的名词复数 );圆柱;汽缸;(尤指用作容器的)圆筒状物
  • They are working on all cylinders to get the job finished. 他们正在竭尽全力争取把这工作干完。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • That jeep has four cylinders. 那辆吉普车有4个汽缸。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 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。
8 tune NmnwW     
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
9 machinery CAdxb     
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
10 scudded c462f8ea5bb84e37045ac6f3ce9c5bfc     
v.(尤指船、舰或云彩)笔直、高速而平稳地移动( scud的过去式和过去分词 )
  • White clouds scudded across the sky. 白云在天空疾驰而过。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Clouds scudded across the sky driven by high winds. 劲风吹着飞云掠过天空。 来自辞典例句
11 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
12 ascended ea3eb8c332a31fe6393293199b82c425     
v.上升,攀登( ascend的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He has ascended into heaven. 他已经升入了天堂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The climbers slowly ascended the mountain. 爬山运动员慢慢地登上了这座山。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 indicators f46872fc1b5f08e9d32bd107be1df829     
(仪器上显示温度、压力、耗油量等的)指针( indicator的名词复数 ); 指示物; (车辆上的)转弯指示灯; 指示信号
  • The economic indicators are better than expected. 经济指标比预期的好。
  • It is still difficult to develop indicators for many concepts used in social science. 为社会科学领域的许多概念确立一个指标仍然很难。
14 decided lvqzZd     
  • 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。
15 steer 5u5w3     
  • If you push the car, I'll steer it.如果你来推车,我就来驾车。
  • It's no use trying to steer the boy into a course of action that suits you.想说服这孩子按你的方式行事是徒劳的。
16 scattered 7jgzKF     
  • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。
17 farmhouses 990ff6ec1c7f905b310e92bc44d13886     
n.农舍,农场的主要住房( farmhouse的名词复数 )
  • Then perhaps she is staying at one of cottages or farmhouses? 那么也许她现在住在某个农舍或哪个农场的房子里吧? 来自辞典例句
  • The countryside was sprinkled with farmhouses. 乡间到处可见农家的房舍。 来自辞典例句
18 heed ldQzi     
  • You must take heed of what he has told.你要注意他所告诉的事。
  • For the first time he had to pay heed to his appearance.这是他第一次非得注意自己的外表不可了。
19 descended guQzoy     
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
20 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。
21 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。
22 mused 0affe9d5c3a243690cca6d4248d41a85     
v.沉思,冥想( muse的过去式和过去分词 );沉思自语说(某事)
  • \"I wonder if I shall ever see them again, \"he mused. “我不知道是否还可以再见到他们,”他沉思自问。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • \"Where are we going from here?\" mused one of Rutherford's guests. 卢瑟福的一位客人忍不住说道:‘我们这是在干什么?” 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史


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