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Skyrider   By: (1874-1940)

Book cover

First Page:




with frontispiece by Anton Otto Fischer


[Illustration: Johnny dared a volplane, slanting steeply down at the herd.]

Boston Little, Brown, and Company



I A Poet without Honor

II One Fight, Two Quarrels, and a Riddle

III Johnny Goes Gaily Enough to Sinkhole

IV A Thing that Sets like a Hawk

V Desert Glimpses

VI Salvage

VII Finder, Keeper

VIII Over the Telephone

IX A Midnight Ride

X Signs, and No One to Read Them

XI Thieves Ride Boldly

XII Johnny's Amazing Run of Luck Still Holds its Pace

XIII Mary V Confronts Johnny

XIV Johnny Would Serve Two Masters

XV The Fire that Made the Smoke

XVI Let's Go

XVII A Rider of the Sky

XVIII Flying Comes High

XIX "We Fly South"

XX Men Are Stupid

XXI Mary V Will not be Bluffed

XXII Luck Turns Traitor

XXIII Dreams and Darkness

XXIV Johnny's Dilemma

XXV Skyrider "Has Flew"!




Before I die, I'll ride the sky; I'll part the clouds like foam. I'll brand each star with the Rolling R, And lead the Great Bear home.

I'll circle Mars to beat the cars, On Venus I will call. If she greets me fair as I ride the air, To meet her I will stall.

I'll circle high as if passing by Then volplane, bank, and land. Then if she'll smile I'll stop awhile, And kiss her snow white hand.

To toast her health and wish her wealth I'll drink the Dipper dry. Then say, "Hop in, and we'll take a spin, For I'm a rider of the sky."

Through the clouds we'll float in my airplane boat

Mary V flipped the rough paper over with so little tenderness that a corner tore in her fingers, but the next page was blank. She made a sound suspiciously like a snort, and threw the tablet down on the littered table of the bunk house. After all, what did she care where they floated Venus and Johnny Jewel? Riding the sky with Venus when he knew very well that his place was out in the big corral, riding some of those broom tail bronks that he was being paid a salary a good salary for breaking! Mary V thought that her father ought to be told about the way Johnny was spending all his time writing silly poetry about Venus. It was the first she had ever known about his being a poet. Though it was pretty punk, in Mary V's opinion. She was glad and thankful that Johnny had refrained from writing any such doggerel about her . That would have been perfectly intolerable. That he should write poetry at all was intolerable. The more she thought of it, the more intolerable it became.

Just for punishment, and as a subtle way of letting him know what she thought of him and his idiotic jingle, she picked up the tablet, found the pencil Johnny had used, and did a little poetizing herself. She could have rhymed it much better, of course, if she had condescended to give any thought whatever to the matter, which she did not. Condescension went far enough when she stooped to reprove the idiot by finishing the verse that he had failed to finish, because he had already overtaxed his poor little brain.

Stooping, then, to reprove, and flout, and ridicule, Mary V finished the verse so that it read thus:

"Through the clouds we'll float in my airplane boat For Venus I am truly sorry! All the stars you sight, you witless wight, You'll see when you and Venus light! But then I'm sure that I should worry!"

Mary V was tempted to write more. She rather fancied that term "witless wight" as applied to Johnny Jewel. It had a classical dignity which atoned for the slang made necessary by her instant need of a rhyme for sorry.

But there was the danger of being caught in the act by some meddlesome fellow who loved to come snooping around where he had no business, so Mary V placed the tablet open on the table just as she had found it, and left the bunk house without deigning to fulfill the errand of mercy that had taken her there... Continue reading book >>

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