The Solar Magnet Part 2

If you are looking for The Solar Magnet Part 2 you are coming to the right place.
The Solar Magnet is a Webnovel created by Sterner St. Paul Meek.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

“Can’t I go, Doctor? I’m a good deal lighter than you are.”

“You’re not as strong or as agile, Carnes, and you haven’t the mechanical ability to make the repair. Hand me that line.”

He fastened one end of a coil of manila rope which Carnes handed him to his waist, while the detective fastened the other end to one of the safety belt hooks. With a word of farewell, he climbed out of the c.o.c.kpit and onto a wing. In the pocket of his flying suit he carried a tool kit and repair material. Carnes shuddered as the doctor’s figure disappeared under the plane. He snubbed the rope about a seat bracket and held it taut. For ten minutes the strain continued. It slackened at last, and the figure of the doctor reappeared on the wing. Slowly he climbed into the c.o.c.kpit.

“I’ve made a temporary repair, Lieutenant,” he called into the speaking tube, “and the leakage has stopped. How much gas have we left?”

“Enough for about an hour of flying, including the emergency tank.”

“Thunder! No chance to get back to the _Denver_. Better head inland and follow the course of the Dwina. If we can locate the place we are looking for we may be able to drop a few eggs on it before we are washed out. In any event, it will be better to come down on land than on water.”

McCready headed the plane south and followed the winding ribbon below him which marked the channel of the Dwina. He kept his alt.i.tude well over eight thousand feet. For a few minutes the plane roared along.

Without warning the motor sputtered once or twice and died.

“Gas finished?” asked Dr. Bird into the speaking tube.

“No, there is plenty of gas for another forty-five minutes. It acted like a short in the wiring. Maybe another fragment got us that we didn’t know about. I can glide to a safe landing, Doctor. Which direction shall I go?”

“It doesn’t matter,” replied Dr. Bird as he looked over the side. “Wait a minute, it does matter. See that long low building down there with the projection like a tower on top? I’ll bet a month’s pay that that is the very place we’re looking for. Glide over it and let’s have a look at it.

If I am convinced of it, I’ll drop a few eggs on it.”

“Right!”

McCready glided on a long slope toward the suspected building. Dr. Bird kept his eye glued to the bomb sight.

“It’s suspicious enough for me to act,” he cried. “Drop one!”

Carnes pulled a lever and a hundred-pound high explosive bomb detached itself from the plane and fell toward the ground.

“Another!” cried the doctor.

A second messenger of death followed the first.

“Bank around and back over while we give them the rest.”

“Right!”

The plane swung around in a wide circle.

“Volley!” cried the doctor. Carnes pulled the master lever and the rest of the bombs fell earthward.

“Now glide to the east, McCready, until you are forced down.”

McCready banked the plane and started on a long glide toward the east.

Carnes and the doctor watched the falling bombs. The doctor’s aim had been perfect. The first bomb released struck the building squarely while the other landed only a few feet away. Instead of the puffs of smoke which they had expected, the bombs had no effect. The volley which Carnes had discharged fell full on the building as harmlessly as had the two pilot shots.

“Were these bombs armed, Lieutenant?” demanded the doctor.

“Yes, sir. I inspected them myself before we took off and they were fused and armed. They had always fused and should have gone off, no matter in what position they landed.”

“Well, they didn’t. That building is our goal all right. Saranoff would naturally expect an air raid and he has perfected some device which renders a bomb impotent before it lands. How far from the building will you land?”

“A couple of miles, Doctor.”

“Get as far as you can. If you can make that line of thicket ahead, we’ll take to our heels and hope to hide in it.”

“I don’t think we’ll have much luck, Doctor,” said Carnes.

“Why not?”

“Look behind.”

Dr. Bird looked back toward the building they had tried to bomb. Across the country, a truck loaded with armed men followed the course of the plane. The plane was gaining slightly on the truck but it was evident that the plane’s occupants would have little chance of escaping on foot.

Dr. Bird gave a grim laugh.

“We’re cornered all right,” he said. “If we did elude the men in that truck, we would have a plane after us in no time. You might as well turn back, McCready, and land fairly near the building. We are sure to be captured and our best chance is to have the plane near us. They’ll probably patch it up and if we get a chance to escape later, it may be a lifesaver. At any rate, we’ve lost for the present.”

McCready turned the plane again to the west. The truck halted at their new maneuver. As the plane pa.s.sed over, it turned and again followed them. The ground was approaching rapidly. With a final dip, McCready leveled off and made a landing. The machine rolled to a stop about a mile from the building. The truck was less than three hundred yards away. It came up rapidly and disgorged a dozen men armed with rifles who hurried forward. In the lead was a tall, slight figure who carried no gun. Dr. Bird stepped forward to meet them.

“Do you understand English?” he asked.

An incomprehensible jargon of Russian answered him. The men raised their rifles threateningly. Dr. Bird turned back to his companions.

“Resistance is hopeless,” he said. “Surrender gracefully and we’ll see what comes of it.”

He faced the Russians and held one hand high above his head. The Russian leader stepped forward and confiscated the doctor’s pistol. He repeated the process with Carnes and McCready, frisking them thoroughly for concealed weapons. At his command, six of the Russians stepped forward.

The Americans took their place in the midst of the guard and were marched to the truck. The balance of the Russians moved over to the American’s plane. The truck rolled forward and approached the low building. The projection which Dr. Bird had noticed from the air proved to be a metal tube projection from the roof, fully twenty feet in diameter and fifty feet long.

“A projection tube of some sort,” said the doctor, pointing. An excited command came from the Russian in command. A rifle was leveled threateningly at the doctor. He took the hint and maintained silence while they climbed down from the truck and approached the door of the building.

It swung open as they approached. As they entered a strong garlic-like smell was evident. The hum of heavy machinery smote their ears.

They were led down a corridor to a flight of steps. On the floor below they went along another corridor to a heavy iron-studded door. The guide unlocked it with a huge key and swung it open. With a shrug of his shoulders, Dr. Bird led the way into the cell. The door closed behind them and they were left alone. Dr. Bird turned to his companions.

“Be careful what you say,” he whispered. “I am not at all convinced that there is no one here who knows English and we are probably spied upon.

There is almost sure to be a dictaphone somewhere in this room. We don’t want to give them any more information than we have to.”

Carnes and McCready nodded. Dr. Bird spoke aloud of inconsequential matters while they explored the cell. It was a room some twenty feet square, fitted with three bunks on one side, built into the wall like the berths on shipboard. The room was lighted by a single electric light overhead. A door opened into a lavatory equipped with running water.

“We’re comfortable here, at any rate,” said the doctor cheerfully. “They evidently don’t mean to make us suffer. I’d like to know why they took the trouble to capture us, anyway. It would seem to be more in line with their usual policy to have shot us on sight. It must be that they want some sort of information from us.”

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