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Produced by Mary Glenn Krause, Chris Curnow, Haragos Pál
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net (This book was produced from images
made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)

The Flying Girl Series

The Flying Girl and
Her Chum

[Illustration: "Well, I declare!" exclaimed Orissa, sitting up.]

The Flying Girl
And Her Chum


Author of
The Flying Girl; Aunt Jane's Nieces Series

Illustrated by Joseph Pierre Nuyttens


The Reilly & Britton Co.

Copyright, 1912
The Reilly & Britton Co.

_The Flying Girl and Her Chum_

































"Well, I declare!" exclaimed Orissa, sitting up.

"It - it has run away with 'em, Steve. It's gone wrong, man;
there's danger ahead!" _Page_ 120

Suddenly a huge form filled the doorway, inspecting the
newcomers with a quick, comprehensive glance. _Page_ 184

Madeline, seated at the table, studied the faces before her
curiously, while an amused smile played around her lips.
"We cannot accept our enemy's proposition," she announced.
_Page_ 246

The Flying Girl and Her Chum



Perhaps they call them "parlor" cars because they bear so little
resemblance to the traditional parlor - a word and a room now sadly out
of style. In reality they are ordinary cars with two rows of swivel
seats down the center; seats supposed to pivot in every direction
unless their action is impeded by the passenger's hand baggage, which
the porter promptly piles around the chairs, leaving one barely room to
place his feet and no chance at all to swing the seat. Thus imprisoned,
you ride thoughtfully on your way, wondering if the exclusive "parlor
car" is really worth the extra fee.

However, those going to San Diego, in the Southland of California, are
obliged to choose between plebeian coaches and the so-called "parlor"
outfit, and on a mild, sunny morning in February the San Diego train
rolled out of the Los Angeles depot with every swivel seat in the car
de luxe occupied by a passenger.

They were a mixed assemblage, mostly tourists bound for Colorado, yet
quite unknown to one another; or, at least, not on speaking terms.
There was a Spanish-looking gentleman in white; two prim, elderly
damsels in black; a mamma with three subdued children and a maid, and
a fat man who read a book and scowled at every neighbor who ventured a
remark louder than a whisper. Forward in the car the first three seats
were taken by a party from New York, and this little group of travelers
attracted more than one curious glance.

"That," murmured one of the prim ladies to the other, "is Madeline
Dentry, the famous heiress. No one knows how many millions she has just
inherited, but she is said to be one of the richest girls in America.
The stout lady is her chaperon; I believe - she's a distant relative - an
aunt, or something - and the thin, nervous man, the stout lady's
husband, is Madeline Dentry's financial manager."

"I know," replied the other, nodding; "he used to be her guardian
before she came of legal age, a month or so ago. His name is
Tupper - Martin J. Tupper - and I'm told he is well connected."

"He is, indeed, to have the handling of Madeline's millions."

"I mean in a family way. The Dentrys were nobodies, you know, until
Madeline's father cornered the mica mines of the world and made his
millions; but the Tuppers were a grand old Baltimore family in the days
of Washington, always poor as poverty and eminently aristocratic."

"Do you know the Tuppers?"

"I have never met them. I strongly disapprove of their close
association with Miss Dentry - a fly-away miss who kept Bryn Mawr in a
turmoil while she was a student there, and is now making an absurd use
of her money."

"In what way?"

"Haven't you heard? She has purchased Lord Tweedmonk's magnificent
yacht, and has had it taken to San Diego harbor. I was told by the bell
boy at the Los Angeles Hotel - bell boys are singularly well-informed,
I have observed - that Madeline Dentry is to take her new yacht on a
cruise to Hawaii and Japan. She is probably now on her way to see her
extravagant and foolish plaything."

"Dreadful!" said the other, with a shudder. "I wonder how anyone
can squander a fortune on a yacht when all those poor heathens are
starving in China. What a pity the girl has no mother to guide her!"

"Tell me about the beautiful girl seated next to Madeline."

"I do not know who she is. Some stranger to the rich young lady, I
imagine. They're not speaking. Yes, she is really beautiful, that girl.
Her eyes are wonderful, and her coloring perfect."

"And she seems so modest and diffident."

"Evidence of good breeding, whoever she may be; quite the opposite of
Madeline Dentry, whose people have always been rapid and rude."

The fat gentleman was now glaring at the old ladies so ferociously
that they became awed and relapsed into silence. The others in the car
seemed moodily reserved. Mr. Martin J. Tupper read a newspaper. His
stolid wife, seated beside him, closed her eyes and napped. Madeline
Dentry, abandoning a book that was not interesting, turned a casual
glance upon her neighbor in the next chair - the beautiful girl who had
won the approval of the two old maids. Madeline herself had a piquant,
attractive countenance, but her neighbor was gazing dreamily out of the
window and seemed not to have noticed her. In this listless attitude
she might be inspected at leisure, and Madeline was astonished at the
perfect profile, the sheen of her magnificent hair, the rich warm
tintings of a skin innocent of powders or cosmetics. Critically the
rich young lady glanced at the girl's attire. It was exceedingly simple
but of costly material. She wore no jewels or ornaments, nor did she
need them to enhance her attractiveness.

Perhaps feeling herself under observation, the girl slowly turned her
head until her eyes met those of Madeline. They were gloriously blue
eyes, calm and intelligent, wide open and fearless. Yet with a faint
smile she quickly withdrew them before Madeline's earnest gaze.

"Will you have a chocolate?"

"Thank you."

The strong hand with its well-shaped fingers did not fumble in
Madeline's box of bonbons. She took a chocolate, smiled again, and with
a half shy glance into her neighbor's face proceeded to nibble the

Madeline was charmed.

"Are you traveling alone?" she asked.

"Yes. I am to meet my brother and - some friends - in San Diego."

"I am Miss Dentry - Madeline Dentry. My home is in New York."

"And mine is in Los Angeles. I am not straying very far away, you see."

Madeline was piqued that her hint was disregarded.

"And your name!" she asked sweetly.

The girl hesitated an instant. Then she said: "I am Miss Kane."

Mr. Tupper looked up from his newspaper.

"Kane?" he repeated. "Bless me! That's the name of the Flying Girl."

"So it is," admitted Miss Kane, with a little laugh.

"But flying is not in your line, I imagine," said Madeline, admiring
anew the dainty personality of her chance acquaintance.

"At present our train is dragging, rather than flying," was the merry

Mr. Tupper was interested. He carefully folded his paper and joined in
the conversation.

"The idea of any girl attempting to do stunts in the air!" he remarked
disdainfully. "Your namesake, Miss Kane, deserves to break her
venturesome, unmaidenly neck - as she probably will, in the near future."

"Nonsense, Uncle!" cried Madeline; "Orissa Kane, so far as I've read of
her - and I've read everything I could find - is not at all unmaidenly.
She's venturesome, if you like, and manages an aëroplane better than
many of the bird-men can; but I see nothing more unwomanly in flying
than in running an automobile, and you know _I_ do that to perfection.
This Flying Girl, as she is called, is famous all over America for her
daring, her coolness in emergencies and her exceptional skill. I want
to see her fly, while I'm out here, for I understand there's to be an
aviation meet of some sort in San Diego next week, and that Orissa Kane
is engaged to take part in it."

"Flying is good sport, I admit," said Mr. Tupper, "but it would give
me the shivers to see a girl attempt it. And, once a machine is in the
air, you can't tell whether a man or woman is flying it; they all look
alike to the watcher below. Don't go to this aviation meet, Madeline;
you've seen girls fly. There was Miss Moissant, at Garden City - - "

"She barely got off the ground," said Miss Dentry.

"And there was Blanche Scott - - "

"They're all imitators of Orissa Kane!" declared Madeline impatiently.
"There's only one real Flying Girl, Uncle, and if she's on the program
at the San Diego meet I'm going to see her."

"You'll be disappointed," averred the gentleman. "She's a native
of these parts, they say; I presume some big-boned, masculine,
orange-picking female - - "

"Wrong again, sir! The reporters all rave about her. They say she has
a charming personality, is lovely and sweet and modest and - and - - "
She paused, her eyes dilating a little as she marked the red flush
creeping over Miss Kane's neck and face. Then Madeline drew in her
breath sharply and cast a warning glance at her uncle.

Mr. Tupper, however, was obtuse. He knew nothing of Madeline's

"Have you ever seen this dare-devil namesake of yours, Miss Kane?" he
asked indifferently.

"Yes, sir," she answered in a quiet tone.

"And what did you think of her?"

Madeline was powerless to stop him. Miss Kane, however, looked at her
questioner with candid eyes, a frank smile upon her beautiful face.

"She has a fine aëroplane," was her reply. "Her brother invented it,
you know. It's the Kane Aircraft, the safest and speediest yet made,
and Stephen Kane has taught his sister how to handle it. That she flies
his Aircraft successfully is due, I am sure, to her brother's genius;
not to any especial merit of her own."

Mr. Tupper was staring now, and beginning to think. He remembered
reading a similar assertion attributed to Orissa Kane, the Flying Girl,
who always insisted on crediting her brother with whatever success she
achieved. Perhaps this girl had read it, too; or, perhaps - -

He began to "put two and two together." Southern California was the
favorite haunt of the Flying Girl; there was to be an aviation meet
presently at San Diego; and on this train, bound for San Diego, was
riding a certain Miss Kane who answered to Madeline's description of
the aërial heroine - a description he now remembered to have often read
himself. Uncertain what to say, he asked haltingly:

"Do you call it 'aviatrix' or 'aviatrice'? The feminine of 'aviator,'
you know."

"I should say 'aviatress,' now that you appeal to me," was the laughing
reply. "Some of the newspaper men, who love to coin new words, have
tried to saddle 'aviatrice' on the girl aviator, and the French have
dubbed her 'aviatrix' without rhyme or reason. It seems to me that
if 'seamstress,' 'governess' or 'hostess' is proper, 'aviatress' is
also correct and, moreover, it is thoroughly American. But in - in the
profession - on the aviation field - they call themselves 'aviators,'
whether men or women, just as an author is always an 'author,'
regardless of sex."

Mr. Tupper had made up his mind, by this time. He reasoned that a
girl who talked so professionally of aviation terms must be something
more than a novice, and straggled to remember if he had inadvertently
said anything to annoy or humiliate Miss Kane. For, if the little
maid so demurely seated before him was indeed the famous Flying Girl,
the gentleman admitted he had good reason to admire her. Madeline
was watching his embarrassment with an expression of amusement, but
would not help him out of his dilemma. So Mr. Tupper went straight
to the heart of the misunderstanding, as perhaps was best under the

"Your first name is Orissa?" he inquired, gently.

"It is, sir."

"Won't you have another chocolate!" asked Madeline.

Orissa took another chocolate, reflecting how impossible it seemed to
hide her identity, even from utter strangers. Not that she regretted,
in any way, the celebrity she had gained by flying her brother
Stephen's Aircraft, but it would have been so nice to have ridden
to-day with these pleasant people without listening to the perfunctory
words of praise and adulation so persistently lavished upon her since
she had acquired fame.

"I knew Cumberford some years ago," continued Mr. Tupper, rather
aimlessly. "Cumberford's your manager, I believe!"

"Yes, sir; and my brother's partner."

"Good chap, Cumberford. Had a queer daughter, I remember; an impossible
child, with the airs of a princess and the eyes of a sorceress. She's
grown up, by this time, I suppose."

Miss Kane smiled.

"Sybil Cumberford is my best chum," she replied. "The description still
applies, so far as the airs and eyes are concerned; but the child is a
young lady now, and a very lovable young lady, her friends think."

"Doubtless, doubtless," Mr. Tupper said hastily. "If Cumberford is in
San Diego I shall be glad to renew our acquaintance."

"You are bound for Coronado, I suppose," remarked Orissa, to change the

"Only for a few days' stay," Madeline answered. "Then we expect to make
a sea voyage to Honolulu."

"That will be delightful," said the girl. "I've lived many years on the
shores of the Pacific, but have never made a voyage farther to sea than
Catalina. I'm told Honolulu is a fascinating place; but it needs be to
draw one away from Coronado."

"You like Coronado, then?"

"All this South Country is a real paradise," declared Orissa. "I have
had opportunity to compare it with other parts of America, and love it
better after each comparison. But I am ignorant of foreign countries,
and can only say that if they excel Southern California they are too
good for humans to live in and ought to be sacred to the fairies."

Madeline laughed gayly.

"I know you now!" she exclaimed; "you are what is called out here a
'booster.' But from my limited experience in your earthly paradise I
cannot blame you."

"Yes, we are all 'boosters,'" asserted the younger girl, "and I'm
positive you will join our ranks presently. I love this country
especially because one can fly here winter and summer."

"You are fond of flying?"

"Yes. At first I didn't care very much for it, but it grows on one
until its fascinations are irresistible. I have the most glorious sense
of freedom when I'm in the air - way up, where I love best to be - but
during my recent exhibitions in the East I nearly froze making the high
flights. It is a little cold even here when you are half a mile up, but
it is by no means unbearable."

"They call you a 'dare-devil,' in the newspapers," remarked Mr. Tupper,
eyeing her reflectively; "but I can scarcely believe one so - so young
and - and - girlish has ventured to do all the foolish aërial tricks you
are credited with."

Mrs. Tupper had by this time opened her eyes and was now listening in

"Yes," she added, reprovingly, "all those spiral dips and volplaning
and - and - figure-eights are more suited to a circus performer than to a
young girl, it seems to me."

This lady's face persistently wore a bland and unmeaning smile, which
had been so carefully cultivated in her youth that it had become
habitual and wreathed her chubby features even when she was asleep,
giving one the impression that she wore a mask. Now her stern eyes
belied the smirk of her face, but Orissa merely smiled.

"I am not a 'dare-devil,' I assure you," she said, addressing Mr.
Tupper rather than his wife. "I know the newspapers call me that,
and compare me with the witch on a broomstick; but in truth I am as
calculating and cold as any aviator in America. Everything I do is
figured out with mathematical precision and I never take a single
chance that I can foresee. I know the air currents, and all their whims
and peculiarities, and how to counteract them. What may seem to the
spectators to be daring, and even desperate, is often the safest mode
of flying, provided you understand your machine and the conditions of
the air. To volplane from a height of five or ten thousand feet, for
example, is safer than from a slight elevation, for the further you
drop the better air-cushion is formed under your planes, and you ride
as gently as when suspended from a parachute."

Madeline was listening eagerly.

"Are you afraid?" she asked.

"Afraid? Why should I be, with my brother's wonderful engine at my back
and perfect control of every part of my machine?"

"Suppose the engine should some time fail you?"

"Then I would volplane to the ground."

"And if the planes, or braces, or fastenings break?"

"No fear of that. The Kane Aircraft is strong enough for any aërial
purpose and I examine every brace and strut before I start my
fight - merely to satisfy myself they have not been maliciously tampered

Then Madeline sprung her important question:

"Do you ever take a passenger?"

Orissa regarded Miss Dentry with a whimsical smile.

"Sometimes," she said. "Do you imagine you would like to fly?"

"No - no, indeed!" cried Mr. Tupper in a horrified voice, and Mrs.
Tupper echoed; "How absurd!" But Madeline answered quietly:

"If you could manage to take me I am sure I would enjoy the experience."

"I will consider it and let you know later," said the Flying Girl,
thoughtfully. "My chum, Sybil Cumberford, has made several short
flights with me; but Sybil's head is perfectly balanced and no altitude
affects it. Often those who believe they would enjoy flying become
terrified once they are in the air."

"Nothing could terrify Madeline, I am sure," asserted Mrs. Tupper, in a
rasping voice; "but she is too important a personage to risk her life
foolishly. I shall insist that she at once abandon the preposterous
idea. Abandon it, Madeline! I thought your new yacht a venturesome
thing to indulge in, but flying is far, far worse."

"Oh; have you a yacht?" inquired Orissa, turning eagerly to the other

"Yes; the _Salvador_. It is now lying in San Diego harbor. I've not
seen my new craft as yet, but intend it shall take us to Honolulu and
perhaps to Japan."

"How delightful," cried Orissa, with enthusiasm.

"Would you like to join our party?"

"Oh, thank you; I couldn't," quite regretfully; "I am too busy just
now advancing the fortunes of my brother Stephen, who is really the
most clever inventor of aëroplanes in the world. Don't smile, please;
he is, indeed! The world may not admit it as yet, but it soon will.
Have you heard of his latest contrivance? It is a Hydro-Aircraft, and
its engines propel it equally as well on water as on land."

"Then it beats my yacht," said Madeline, smiling.

"It is more adaptable - more versatile - to be sure," said Orissa.
"Stephen has just completed his first Hydro-Aircraft, and while I am
in San Diego I shall test it and make a long trip over the Pacific
Ocean to exploit its powers. Such a machine would not take the place
of a yacht, you know, and the motor boat attachment is merely a safety
device to allow one to fly over water as well as over land. Then, if
you are obliged to descend, your aircraft becomes a motor boat and the
engines propel it to the shore."

"Does your brother use the Gnome engines?" inquired Mr. Tupper.

"No; Stephen makes his own engines, which I think are better than any
others," answered Miss Kane.

By the time the train drew into the station at San Diego, Madeline
Dentry and her companions, the Tuppers, knew considerably more of
aëroplanes than the average layman, for Orissa Kane enjoyed explaining
the various machines and, young and unassuming as she appeared,
understood every minute detail of their manufacture. She had been
her brother's assistant and companion from the time of his first
experiments and intelligently followed the creation and development of
the now famous Kane Aircraft.

At the depot a large crowd was in waiting, not gathered to meet the
great heiress, Madeline Dentry, but the quiet slip of a girl whose
name was on every tongue and whose marvelous skill as a bird-maid had
aroused the admiration of every person interested in aërial sports. On
the billboards were glaring posters of "The Flying Girl," the chief
attraction of the coming aviation meet, and the news of her expected
arrival had drawn many curious inhabitants of the Sunshine City to the
depot, as well as the friends congregated to greet her.

First of all a tall, fine looking fellow, who limped slightly, sprang
forward to meet Orissa at the car steps and gave her a kiss and a
hug. This was Stephen Kane, the airship inventor, and close behind
him stood a grizzled gentleman in a long gray coat and jaunty Scotch
cap. It was Mr. Cumberford, the "angel" and manager of the youthful
Kanes, the man whose vast wealth had financed the Kane Aircraft and
enabled the boy and girl to carry out their ambitious plans. This
strange man had neither ambition to acquire more money nor to secure
fame by undertaking to pilot the Aircraft to success; as he stood
here, his bored expression, in sharp contrast to the shrewd gray eyes
that twinkled behind his spectacles, clearly indicated this fact; but
a little kindness had won him to befriend the young people and he had
rendered them staunch support.

On Mr. Cumberford's arm was a slender girl dressed all in black, the

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Online LibraryEdith van DyneThe Flying Girl and Her Chum → online text (page 1 of 15)