Page:Germ Growers.djvu/257

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were still higher this time, and the pursuing car still held its place nearer to us. And now the pursued car seemed to give up the contest, for it held its way westward until we lost all trace of it, and the pursuing car stopped and turned, and came towards us until the shadow was all but over us, and then out of the shadow, as it seemed, there fell a long white streamer. It waved one moment backward and forward, and then disappeared. We swung off our hats together, and gave a lusty cheer.

Then the shadow of the car passed away westward and was lost to sight.

So we had been pursued, and the pursuit was over and our lives were saved. So it seemed, and our joy was great; but it was very soon changed for something very like despair. The car in which we rode had canted over to one side, so that it was becoming difficult either to sit or stand straight in it. We soon saw why.

One of the balloons was slowly collapsing, and on examination we found that it had been slightly grazed by the missile which had passed through the car. It was clear that we must lower the car to the ground as quickly as possible, and it was very doubtful if we could raise it again. A closer examination revealed a far