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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 Twenty-Three The Great Race
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Chapter Twenty-Three The Great Race
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 "Well," remarked Mr. Sharp, when Tom and Mr. Damon had called on him, to state that Andy Foger's machine was now on the grounds, and demanding to be allowed to view it, to see if it was an infringement1 on the one entered by the young inventor, "I'll do the best I can for you. I'll lay the case before the committee. It will meet at once, and I'll let you know what they say."
 
"Understand," said Tom, "I don't want to interfere2 unless I am convinced that Andy is trying an underhand trick. My plans are missing, and I think he took them. If his machine is made after those plans, it is, obviously, a steal, and I want him ruled out of the meet."
 
"And so he shall be!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp. "Get the evidence against him, and we'll act quickly enough."
 
The committee met in about an hour, and considered the case. Meanwhile, Tom and Mr. Damon strolled past the tent with its flaring3 sign. There was a man on guard, but Andy was not in sight.
 
Then Tom was sent for, and Mr. Sharp told him what conclusion had been arrived at. It was this:
 
"Under the rules of the meet," said the balloonist, "we had to guarantee privacy to all the contestants4 until such time as they choose to exhibit their machines. That is, they need not bring them out until just before the races," he added. "This is not a handicap affair, and the speediest machine, or the one that goes to the greatest height, according to which class it enters, will win. In consequence we cannot force any contestant5 to declare what kind of a machine he will use until he gets ready.
 
"Some are going to use the familiar type of biplanes and, as you can see, there is no secret about them. They are trying them out now." This was so, for several machines of this type were either in the air, circling about, or were being run over the ground.
 
"But others," continued Mr. Sharp, "will not even take the committee into their confidence until just before the race. They want to keep their craft a secret. We can't compel them to do otherwise. I'm sorry, Tom, but the only thing I see for you to do is to wait until the last minute. Then, if you find Andy has infringed6 on your machine, lodge7 a protest—that is unless you can get evidence against him before that time."
 
Tom well knew the uselessness of the latter plan. He and Mr. Damon had tried several times to get a glimpse of the craft Andy had made, but without success. As to the other alternative—that of waiting until the last moment—Tom feared that, too, would be futile8.
 
"For," he reasoned, "just before the race there will be a lot of confusion, officials will be here and there, scattered9 over the ground, they will be hard to find, and it will be almost useless to protest then. Andy will enter the race, and there is a possibility that he may win. Almost any one could with a machine like the Humming-Bird. It's the machine almost as much as the operator, in a case like this."
 
"But you can protest after the race," suggested Mr. Damon.
 
"That would be little good, in case Andy beat me. The public would say I was a sorehead, and jealous. No, I've either got to stop Andy before the race, or not at all. I will try to think of a plan."
 
Tom did think of several, but abandoned them one after the other. He tried to get a glimpse inside the tent where the Foger aeroplane was housed, but it was too closely guarded. Andy himself was not much in evidence, and Tom only had fleeting10 glimpses of the bully11.
 
Meanwhile he and Mr. Damon, together with their machinist, were kept busy. As Tom's craft was fully12 protected by patents now, he had no hesitation13 in taking it out, and it was given several severe tests around the aerial course. It did even better than Tom expected of it, and he had great hopes.
 
Always, though, there were two things that worried him. One was his father's illness, and the other the uneasiness he felt as to what Andy Foger might do. As to the former, the wireless14 reports indicated that Mr. Swift was doing as well as could be expected, but his improvement was not rapid. Regarding the latter worry, Tom saw no way of getting rid of it.
 
"I've just got to wait, that's all," he thought.
 
The day before the opening of the meet, Tom and Mr. Damon had given the Humming-Bird a grueling tryout. They had taken her high up—so high that no prying15 eyes could time them, and there Tom had opened the motor for all the power in it. They had flashed through space at the rate of one hundred and twenty miles an hour.
 
"If we can only do that in the race, the ten thousand dollars is mine!" exulted16 Tom, as he slanted17 the nose of the aeroplane toward the earth.
 
The day of the race dawned clear and beautiful. Tom was up early, for there remained many little things to do to get his craft in final trim for the contest. Then, too, he wanted to be ready to act promptly18 as soon as Andy's machine was wheeled out, and he also wanted to get a message from home.
 
The wireless arrived soon after breakfast, and did not contain very cheering news.
 
"Your father not so well," Mr. Jackson sent. "Poor night, but doctor thinks day will show improvement. Don't worry."
 
"Don't worry! I wonder who could help it," mused19 poor Tom. "Well, I'll hope for the best," and he wired back to tell the engineer in Shopton to keep in touch with him, and to flash the messages to the Humming-Bird in the air, after the big race started.
 
"Now I'll go out and see if I can catch a glimpse of what that sneak20 Andy has to pit against me," said Tom.
 
The Foger tent was tightly closed, and Tom turned back to his own place, having arranged with a messenger to come and let him know as soon as Andy's craft was wheeled out.
 
All about was a scene of great activity. The grand stands were filled, and a big crowd stood about the field anxiously waiting for the first sight of the "bird-men" in their wonderful machines. Now and then the band blared out, and cheers arose as one after another the frail21 craft were wheeled to the starting place.
 
Men in queer leather costumes darted22 here and there—they were the aviators24 who were soon to risk life and limb for glory and gold. Most of them were nervously25 smoking cigarettes. The air was filled with guttural German or nasal French, while now and then the staccato Russian was heard, and occasionally the liquid tones of a Japanese. For men of many nations were competing for the prizes.
 
The majority of the machines were monoplanes and biplanes though one triplane was entered, and there were several "freaks" as the biplane and monoplane men called them—craft of the helicopter, or the wheel type. There was also one Witzig Liore Dutilleul biplane, with three planes behind.
 
Tom was familiar with most of these types, but occasionally he saw a new one that excited his curiosity. However, he was more interested in what Andy Foger would turn out. Andy's machine had not been tried, and Tom wondered how he dared risk flying in it, without at least a preliminary tryout. But Andy, and those with him, were evidently full of confidence.
 
News of the suspicions of Tom, and what he intended to do in case these suspicions proved true, had gotten around, and there was quite a crowd about his own tent, and another throng26 around that of Andy.
 
Tom and Mr. Damon had wheeled the Humming-Bird out of her canvas "nest." There was a cheer as the crowd caught sight of the trim little craft. The young inventor, the eccentric man, and the machinist were busy going over every part.
 
Meanwhile the meet had been officially opened, and it was announced that the preliminary event would be some air evolutions at no great height, and for no particular prize. Several biplanes and monoplanes took part in this. It was very interesting, but the big ten-thousand-dollar race, over a distance of a hundred miles was the principal feature of the meet, and all waited anxiously for this.
 
The opening stunts27 passed off successfully, save that a German operator in a Bleriot came to grief, crashing down to the ground, wrecking28 his machine, and breaking an arm. But he only laughed at that, and coolly demanded another cigarette, as he crawled out of the tangle29 of wires, planes and the motor.
 
After this there was an exhibition flight by a French aviator23 in a Curtis biplane, who raced against one in a Baby Wright. It was a dead heat, according to the judges. Then came a flight for height; and while no records were broken, the crowd was well satisfied.
 
"Get ready for the hundred-mile ten-thousand-dollar-prize race!" shouted the announcer, through his megaphone.
 
Tom's heart gave a bound. There were seven entrants in this contest besides Tom and Andy Foger, and as announced by the starter they were as follows:
 
      CONTESTANT                   MACHINE
      Von Bergen.................Wright Biplane
      Alameda..............Antoinette Monoplane
      Perique.................Bleriot Monoplane
      Loi Tong..........Santos-Dumont Monoplane
      Wendell....................Curtis Biplane
      De Tromp...................Farman Biplane
      Lascalle.............Demoiselle Monoplane
      Andy Foger.................    ----------
      Tom Swift..........Humming-Bird Monoplane
 
"What is the style of the Foger machine?" yelled some one in the crowd, as the announcer lowered his megaphone.
 
"It has not been announced," was the reply. "It will at once be wheeled out though, in accordance with the conditions of the race."
 
There was a craning of necks, and an uneasy movement in the crowd, for Tom's story was now generally known.
 
"Get ready to make your protest," advised Mr. Damon to the young inventor. "I'll stay by the machine here until you come back. Bless my radiator30! I hope you beat him!"
 
"I will, if it's possible!" murmured Tom, with a grim tightening31 of his lips.
 
There was a movement about Andy's tent, whence, for the last half hour had come spasmodic noises that indicated the trying-out of the motor. The flaps were pulled back and a curious machine was wheeled into view. Tom rushed over toward it, intent on getting the first view. Would it prove to be a copy of his speedy Humming-Bird?
 
Eagerly he looked, but a curious sight met his eyes. The machine was totally unlike any he had expected to see. It was large, and to his mind rather clumsy, but it looked powerful. Then, as he took in the details, he knew that it was the same one that had flown over his house that night—it was the one from which the fire bomb had been dropped.
 
He pushed his way through the crowd. He saw Andy standing32 near the curious biplane, which type of air craft it nearest resembled, though it had some monoplane features. On the side was painted the name:
 
SLUGGER
 
Andy caught sight of Tom Swift.
 
"I'm going to beat you!" the bully boasted, "and I haven't a machine like yours, after all. You were wrong."
 
"So I see," stammered33 Tom, hardly knowing what to think. "What did you do with my plans then?"
 
"I never had them!"
 
Andy turned away, and began to assist the men he had hired to help him. Like all the others, his machine had two seats, for in this race each operator must carry a passenger.
 
Tom turned away, both glad and sorry,—glad that his rival was not to race him in a duplicate of the Humming-Bird, but sorry that he had as yet no track of the strangely missing plans.
 
"I wonder where they can be?" mused the young inventor.
 
Then came the firing of the preliminary gun. Tom rushed back to where Mr. Damon stood waiting for him.
 
There was a last look at the Humming-Bird. She was fit to race any machine on the ground. Mr. Damon took his place. Tom started the propeller34. The other contestants were in their seats with their passengers. Their assistants stood ready to shove them off. The explosions of so many motors in action were deafening35.
 
"How much thrust?" cried Tom to his machinist.
 
"Twenty-two hundred pounds!"
 
"Good!"
 
The report of the starting-gun could not be heard. But the smoke of it leaped into the air. It was the signal to go.
 
Tom's voice would not have carried five feet. He waved his hands as a signal. His helper thrust the Humming-Bird forward. Over the smooth ground it rushed. Tom looked eagerly ahead. On a line with him were the other machines, including Andy Foger's Slugger.
 
Tom pulled a lever. He felt his craft soar upward. The other machines also pointed36 their noses into the air.
 
The big race for the ten-thousand-dollar prize was under way!
 

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 infringement nbvz3     
n.违反;侵权
参考例句:
  • Infringement of this regulation would automatically rule you out of the championship.违背这一规则会被自动取消参加锦标赛的资格。
  • The committee ruled that the US ban constituted an infringement of free trade.委员会裁定美国的禁令对自由贸易构成了侵犯
2 interfere b5lx0     
v.(in)干涉,干预;(with)妨碍,打扰
参考例句:
  • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我们干预的话,可能弊多利少。
  • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 别人一卷入这一事件,棘手的事情就来了。
3 flaring Bswzxn     
a.火焰摇曳的,过份艳丽的
参考例句:
  • A vulgar flaring paper adorned the walls. 墙壁上装饰着廉价的花纸。
  • Goebbels was flaring up at me. 戈塔尔当时已对我面呈愠色。
4 contestants 6183e6ae4586949fe63bec42c8d3a422     
n.竞争者,参赛者( contestant的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The competition attracted over 500 contestants representing 8 different countries. 这次比赛吸引了代表8个不同国家的500多名参赛者。
  • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency. 两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 contestant qp9zR     
n.竞争者,参加竞赛者
参考例句:
  • The company will furnish each contestant with a free ticket.公司将为每个参赛者免费提供一张票。
  • The personal appearance and interview of the contestant is another count.参加比赛者的个人仪表和谈话也是一项。
6 infringed dcbf74ba9f59f98b16436456ca618de0     
v.违反(规章等)( infringe的过去式和过去分词 );侵犯(某人的权利);侵害(某人的自由、权益等)
参考例句:
  • Wherever the troops went, they never infringed on the people's interests. 大军过处,秋毫无犯。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He was arrested on a charge of having infringed the Election Law. 他因被指控触犯选举法而被拘捕。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 lodge q8nzj     
v.临时住宿,寄宿,寄存,容纳;n.传达室,小旅馆
参考例句:
  • Is there anywhere that I can lodge in the village tonight?村里有我今晚过夜的地方吗?
  • I shall lodge at the inn for two nights.我要在这家小店住两个晚上。
8 futile vfTz2     
adj.无效的,无用的,无希望的
参考例句:
  • They were killed,to the last man,in a futile attack.因为进攻失败,他们全部被杀,无一幸免。
  • Their efforts to revive him were futile.他们对他抢救无效。
9 scattered 7jgzKF     
adj.分散的,稀疏的;散步的;疏疏落落的
参考例句:
  • 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。
10 fleeting k7zyS     
adj.短暂的,飞逝的
参考例句:
  • The girls caught only a fleeting glimpse of the driver.女孩们只匆匆瞥了一眼司机。
  • Knowing the life fleeting,she set herself to enjoy if as best as she could.她知道这种日子转瞬即逝,于是让自已尽情地享受。
11 bully bully     
n.恃强欺弱者,小流氓;vt.威胁,欺侮
参考例句:
  • 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。
12 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
13 hesitation tdsz5     
n.犹豫,踌躇
参考例句:
  • After a long hesitation, he told the truth at last.踌躇了半天,他终于直说了。
  • There was a certain hesitation in her manner.她的态度有些犹豫不决。
14 wireless Rfwww     
adj.无线的;n.无线电
参考例句:
  • There are a lot of wireless links in a radio.收音机里有许多无线电线路。
  • Wireless messages tell us that the ship was sinking.无线电报告知我们那艘船正在下沉。
15 prying a63afacc70963cb0fda72f623793f578     
adj.爱打听的v.打听,刺探(他人的私事)( pry的现在分词 );撬开
参考例句:
  • I'm sick of you prying into my personal life! 我讨厌你刺探我的私生活!
  • She is always prying into other people's affairs. 她总是打听别人的私事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 exulted 4b9c48640b5878856e35478d2f1f2046     
狂喜,欢跃( exult的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The people exulted at the victory. 人们因胜利而欢腾。
  • The people all over the country exulted in the success in launching a new satellite. 全国人民为成功地发射了一颗新的人造卫星而欢欣鼓舞。
17 slanted 628a904d3b8214f5fc02822d64c58492     
有偏见的; 倾斜的
参考例句:
  • The sun slanted through the window. 太阳斜照进窗户。
  • She had slanted brown eyes. 她有一双棕色的丹凤眼。
18 promptly LRMxm     
adv.及时地,敏捷地
参考例句:
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
19 mused 0affe9d5c3a243690cca6d4248d41a85     
v.沉思,冥想( muse的过去式和过去分词 );沉思自语说(某事)
参考例句:
  • \"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
20 sneak vr2yk     
vt.潜行(隐藏,填石缝);偷偷摸摸做;n.潜行;adj.暗中进行
参考例句:
  • He raised his spear and sneak forward.他提起长矛悄悄地前进。
  • I saw him sneak away from us.我看见他悄悄地从我们身边走开。
21 frail yz3yD     
adj.身体虚弱的;易损坏的
参考例句:
  • 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。
22 darted d83f9716cd75da6af48046d29f4dd248     
v.投掷,投射( dart的过去式和过去分词 );向前冲,飞奔
参考例句:
  • The lizard darted out its tongue at the insect. 蜥蜴伸出舌头去吃小昆虫。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The old man was displeased and darted an angry look at me. 老人不高兴了,瞪了我一眼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
23 aviator BPryq     
n.飞行家,飞行员
参考例句:
  • The young aviator bragged of his exploits in the sky.那名年轻的飞行员吹嘘他在空中飞行的英勇事迹。
  • Hundreds of admirers besieged the famous aviator.数百名爱慕者围困那个著名飞行员。
24 aviators eacd926e0a2ed8e8a5c57fc639faa5e8     
飞机驾驶员,飞行员( aviator的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • 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。
25 nervously tn6zFp     
adv.神情激动地,不安地
参考例句:
  • He bit his lip nervously,trying not to cry.他紧张地咬着唇,努力忍着不哭出来。
  • He paced nervously up and down on the platform.他在站台上情绪不安地走来走去。
26 throng sGTy4     
n.人群,群众;v.拥挤,群集
参考例句:
  • A patient throng was waiting in silence.一大群耐心的人在静静地等着。
  • The crowds thronged into the mall.人群涌进大厅。
27 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 )
参考例句:
  • 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》
28 wrecking 569d12118e0563e68cd62a97c094afbd     
破坏
参考例句:
  • He teed off on his son for wrecking the car. 他严厉训斥他儿子毁坏了汽车。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Instead of wrecking the valley, the waters are put to use making electricity. 现在河水不但不在流域内肆疟,反而被人们用来生产电力。 来自辞典例句
29 tangle yIQzn     
n.纠缠;缠结;混乱;v.(使)缠绕;变乱
参考例句:
  • I shouldn't tangle with Peter.He is bigger than me.我不应该与彼特吵架。他的块头比我大。
  • If I were you, I wouldn't tangle with them.我要是你,我就不跟他们争吵。
30 radiator nTHxu     
n.暖气片,散热器
参考例句:
  • The two ends of the pipeline are connected with the radiator.管道的两端与暖气片相连接。
  • Top up the radiator before making a long journey.在长途旅行前加满散热器。
31 tightening 19aa014b47fbdfbc013e5abf18b64642     
上紧,固定,紧密
参考例句:
  • 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。
32 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
33 stammered 76088bc9384c91d5745fd550a9d81721     
v.结巴地说出( stammer的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He stammered most when he was nervous. 他一紧张往往口吃。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Barsad leaned back in his chair, and stammered, \"What do you mean?\" 巴萨往椅背上一靠,结结巴巴地说,“你是什么意思?” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
34 propeller tRVxe     
n.螺旋桨,推进器
参考例句:
  • 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。
35 deafening deafening     
adj. 振耳欲聋的, 极喧闹的 动词deafen的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • The noise of the siren was deafening her. 汽笛声震得她耳朵都快聋了。
  • The noise of the machine was deafening. 机器的轰鸣声震耳欲聋。
36 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。


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