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0100_005E The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The "Ariel"

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"In virtue of that paradox I am able to tell you that the speed of the Ariel in moderate weather is a hundred and twenty miles an hour, and a hundred and twenty into two thousand two hundred goes eighteen times and one-third. This is Wednesday, and we have to be on the Asiatic frontier at daybreak on Friday. We shall start at dusk to-night, and you shall see to-morrow's sun set over the Ourals."

"That means from the eastern side of the range!"

"Of course. There will be no harm in being a few hours too soon. In case we may have a long cruise, I must have additional stores, and power-cylinders put on board. Come, you have not seen the Ariel yet.

"I have made several improvements on the model, as I expected to do when I came to the actual building of the ship, and, what is more important than that, I have immensely increased the motive power and economised space and weight at the same time. In fact, I don't despair now of two hundred miles an hour before very long. Come!"

The engineer and the enthusiast had now come to the fore again, and the man and the lover had receded, put back, as it were, until the time for love, or perchance for sorrow, had come.

He put his arm through Colston's, and led him up a hill-path and through a little gorge which opened into a deep valley, completely screened on all sides by heather-clad hills. Sprinkled about the bottom of this valley were a few wooden dwelling-houses and workshops, and in the centre was a huge shed, or rather an enclosure now, for its roof had been taken off.

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In this lay, like a ship in a graving-dock, a long, narrow, grey-painted vessel almost exactly like a sea-going ship, save for the fact that she had no funnel, and that her three masts, Instead of yards, each carried a horizontal fan-wheel, while from each of her sides projected, level with the deck, a plane twice the width of the deck and nearly as long as the vessel herself.

They entered the enclosure and walked round the hull. This was seventy feet long and twelve wide amidships, and save for size it was the exact counterpart of the model already described.

As soon as he had taken Colston round the hull, and roughly explained its principal features, reserving more detailed description and the inspection of the interior for the voyage, he gave the necessary orders for preparing for a lengthy journey, and the two went on board the Lurline to dinner, which Colston had deferred in order to eat it in Arnold's company.

After dinner they carefully discussed the situation in order that every possible accident might be foreseen, argued the pros and cons of the venture in all their bearings, and even went so far as to plan the vengeance they would take should, by any chance, the rescue fail or come too late.

The instructions, signed by Natas himself, were very precise on certain essential points, and in their broad outlines, but, like all wisely planned instructions to such men as these, they left ample margin for individual initiative in case of emergency.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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