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 That is Success! Section 6 - Sky and Water


For twelve days Frank and Florian had been making good progress on their voyage in the Atlantic Ocean without their novel vehicle developing one single technical problem. The two globe-trotters thought they could sail forever in the solitude of the seas. The entire cosmos was permeated with electro-magnetic forces. They found it hard to accept that they could not walk upon water, or - as they were tied to the earth - were not able to rise from their seats and fly towards the stars which they could see above them in broad daylight as dark specks or spheres. Picture 145. Among Celestial Bodies The cry of a seagull became quite an event in the silence; they half expected the air waves caused by this penetrating sound to set the celestial bodies in motion. Frank was suddenly torn out of these hallucinations; all of a sudden he again heard the humming and droning of a plane that had constantly accompanied them during the first days of their voyage. And in fact the monoplane was flying over them. But it disappeared just as quickly as it had come. Towards evening, just as the two brave seafarers were about to lie back on their seats to sleep, they sat up with a jerk. With a muffled rumbling as if a hurricane had broken out underwater, huge walls of water towered out of the deep like mountains. Tremors in the bowels of the earth flung fish and monsters as large as houses from the very bottom of the sea up to the churning surface. It was fortunate that these gruesome scaly creatures could not live in air and fell back at once into their element. Otherwise Frank and Florian would have been in trouble, as some of them were aggressive and looked as though they were about to attack. In the morning after an uneasy night, distant voices and calling could be heard over the water. Frank listened intently. He finally discovered that they came from the grid of the bonnet. Picture 146. The Creatures of the Deep Sea Were the bars made of a special metal? Were they right for Marconi's newest radio telephone? Were they S-O-S calls? No! It was... Frank pressed his ear to the thin bars; it was - Mr. Sam Brankwyn's voice! - "Sailor, ahoi! - Attention, please! Attention please! You're taking the wrong course! You are drifting along the tenth degree of northern latitude heading east towards the African coast - Liberia!" "Hallo!" cried Frank into the grid; he wanted to ask something; but all he heard was a monotonous hissing sound vibrating in the shaky rods. Frank stood up on his seat on the look out. How was it possible that he had not yet seen it? A long bright gleaming strip of land lay ahead not too far from them. Sand and palms - that was Africa! And further to the right lay groups of small round elevantions resembling beehives. They were the huts of an African village. "Wonderful!" cried Frank, "the wind is propelling us right in the direction of the village. I would have no objection to a country-style breakfast! And what about you, Florian?" Florian barked excitedly, indicating agreement. His stomach, too, had been rumbling for hours. Frank quickly took off his jacket which had served so well as a sail and attached it to the bumper so as to give 'Old Pluster' still more speed. The wind was behind them and got a good grip on the high balloon tyres. And so they soon heard the typical early morning village sounds which are the same all over the world: lowing of cattle, cackling of hens, rattling of tools, the singing and melodious calls of the villagers.