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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

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As soon as the model was once more resting on the table, the President came forward and, grasping the engineer by both hands, said in a voice from which he made but little effort to banish the emotion that he felt--

"Bravo, brother! Henceforth you shall be known to the Brotherhood as the Master of the Air, for truly you have been the first among the sons of men to fairly conquer it. Come, let us go back and talk, for there is much to be said about this, and we cannot begin too soon to make arrangements for building the first of our aerial fleet. You can leave your model where it is in perfect safety, for no one ever enters this room save ourselves."

So saying the President led the way to the Council-chamber, and there, after the Ariel--as it had already been decided to name the first air-ship--had been christened in anticipation in twenty-year old champagne, the Circle settled down at once to business, and for a good three hours discussed the engineer's estimate and plans for building the first vessel of the aerial fleet.

At length all the practical details were settled, and the President rose in token of the end of the conference. As he did so he said somewhat abruptly to Arnold--

"So far so good. Now there is nothing more to be done but to lay those plans before the Chief and get his authority for withdrawing out of the treasury sufficient money to commence operations. I presume you could reproduce them from memory if necessary--at any rate, in sufficient outline to make them perfectly intelligible?"

"Certainly," was the reply. "I could reproduce them in fac simile without the slightest difficulty. Why do you ask?"

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"Because the Chief is in Russia, and you must go to him and place them before him from memory. They are far too precious to be trusted to any keeping, however trustworthy. There are such things as railway accidents, and other forms of sudden death, to say nothing of the Russian customs, false arrests, personal searches, and imprisonments on mere suspicion.

"We can risk none of these, and so there is nothing for it but your going to Petersburg and verbally explaining them to the Chief. You can be ready in three days, I suppose?"

"Yes, in two, if you like," replied Arnold, not a little taken aback at the unexpected suddenness of what he knew at once to be the first order that was to test his obedience to the Brotherhood. "But as I am absolutely ignorant of Russia and the Russians, I suppose you will make such arrangements as will prevent my making any innocent but possibly awkward mistakes."

"Oh yes," replied the President, with a smile, "all arrangements have been made already, and I expect you will find them anything but unpleasant. Natasha goes to Petersburg in company with another lady member of the Circle whom you have not yet seen.

"You will go with them, and they will explain everything to you en route, if they have no opportunity of doing so before you start. Now let us go upstairs and have some supper. I am famished, and I suppose every one else is too."

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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