Page:Tom Swift and His Airship.djvu/54

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plane feature for sending aloft the ship, as there was hardly room, around the shops, for a good start.

When enough of the vapor had been generated to make the airship buoyant, the big doors of the shed were opened, and Tom and Mr. Sharp, with the aid of Garret and Mr. Swift, shoved it slowly out.

"There it is! There she comes!" cried several voices outside the high fence that surrounded the Swift property. "They're going up!"

"Andy Foger is in that bunch," remarked Tom with a grim smile. "I hope we don't fail."

"We won't. Don't worry," advised Mr. Sharp.

The shouts outside the fence increased. It was evident that quite a crowd of boys, as well as men, had collected, though it was early in the morning. Somehow, news of the test had leaked out.

The ship continued to get lighter and lighter as more gas was generated. It was held down by ropes, fastened to stakes driven in the ground. Mr. Sharp entered the big car that was suspended below the aeroplanes.

"Come on, Tom," the aeronaut called. "We're almost ready to fly. Will you come too, Mr. Swift, and Garret?"

"Some other time," promised the aged inven-