Friday, August 3, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 30

< Chapter 29                                                                                               Chapter 31 >
Princess Callan slips farther away with each passing minute as David works with Tartegian airmen to build...something.

            Admiral Hamlan looked at Rob, "He's crazy, right?"
            "No," Rob replied with confidence.  "I'm sure this...  What is it, David?"
            "Call it a sand schooner," I said.  "Wide wheels to ride on the sand and sails to catch this desert wind.  As long as the wind keeps blowing, we'll keep moving."
            "It's hardly more than a frame!" protested Hamlan.  "And shouldn't there be two front wheels?"
            "It'll work, sir," I said.  "And, with this wind, it'll be fast."
            Rob and I climbed into the seats on the frame as the sail flapped loosely in the wind.  I trimmed the sail, it filled with wind, and the sand schooner began to roll.  The men raised a cheer as the admiral shook his head in disbelief.
            "Good luck," Hamlan called.  "and bring my prince back in one piece!"
            Then the sand schooner cleared the ruined buildings.  Catching the full force of the wind, she picked up speed quickly.
            Rob said, "Incredible! It does work!"
            I cocked an eyebrow at him.
            "You didn't think I would express doubts in front of Tartegians, did you?" he asked.
            Soon, the sand schooner was sailing along at a steady twenty to twenty-five kilometers per hour.  I taught Rob how to handle the schooner, so we'd be able to take shifts at the helm and wouldn't have to stop for rest.
            We sailed beyond the sunset and into the night, steering as much by luck as moonlight.  A few hours past midnight, our luck ran out.
            We crested a huge dune to find the other side dropped off steeply.  The sand schooner flew off the edge and plunged toward the sand a hundred meters below us!

Can our heroes survive such a fall or is this the end?  Find out in Chapter 31, coming Monday!