"Now single up all lines!"
As they came in low over the Stockyard, the smell found them, the smell and the uproar of flesh learning its mortality -like the dark conjugate of some daylit fiction they had flown here, as appeared increasingly likely, to help promote.
Darby swung like a regular little monkey hand over hand down the anchor line, gained the ground and, tripping briskly about beneath Inconvenience, adroitly caught each of the mooring lines flung down to him by Miles Blundell.
Meanwhile Miles and Lindsay were off to the Fair.
Meanwhile Randolph St. Cosmo, though out of uniform, was still on duty.
Strolling among the skyships next morning, beneath a circus sky which was slowly becoming crowded as craft of all sorts made their ascents, renewing acquaintance with many in whose company, for better or worse, they had shared adventures, the Chums were approached by a couple whom tehy were not slow to recognize as the same photographer and model they had inadvertently bombarded the previous evening.
No one had offered to take Professor Vanderjuice's hat, so he held it in his lap, as an insecure young actor might a "prop."
Up in his penthouse suite, Scarsdale had moved on to the business at hand.
The Chums of Chance could have been granted no more appropriated form of "ground-leave" than the Chicago Fair, as the great national celebration possessed the exact degree of fictitiousness to permit the boys access and agency.
Spring arrived, wheelfolk appeared in the streets and parks, in gaudy striped socks and long-billed "Scorcher" caps.
Nate showed up at Lew's desk one day with a thick folder that had some kind of royal crest on it, featuring a two-headed eagle.
Lew was just headed out to Kinsley's for a late steak when Nate called him into the office, reaching to fetch down a new folder.
It must have been that Austrian Archduke.
For some reason Lew felt uncomfortable telling the Chums of Chance about his transfer.
The boys gave Lew a gold-and-enamel Chums of Chance honorary membership pin to be worn beneath his lapel, which, upon being revealed at any branch anyplace in the world, would entitle him to all visitors' privileges provided for in the C. of C. Charter.
Later, after closing day, as autumn deepened over the corrupted prairie, as the ill-famed Hawk, miles aloft, invisibly rehearsed its Arctic repertoire of swift descent, merciless assault, rapture of souls-the abandoned structures of the Fair would come to house the jobless and hungry who had always been there, even at the height of the season of miracle just concluded.
Not long after Erlys had gone off with Zombini the Mysterious, Merle Rideout dreamed he was in a great museum, a composite of all possible museums, among statues, pictures and crockery, folk-amulets, antiquated machinery, stuffed birds and animals, obsolete musical instruments, and whole corridors of stuff he would not get to see.
Somehow Merle got the idea in his head that the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Blinky Morgan manhunt were connected.
Merle never did get to use Professor VAnderjuice's letter of introduction to Michelson.
After the closing of the Columbian Fair, once out of Chicago and into the land again, Dally and Merle began to catch sigt of refugees from the "national" exhibits which had lined the Midway Pleasance, all those non-midwestern varieties of human, some teamed up together, some going it alone.
As Merle watched her sleep, an unmanly warmth about the eyeballs would surprise him.
And as if that wasn't enough, one day in Denver Merle had happened to go in a cigar store and noticed there in a rack of magazines a Dishforth's Illustrated Weekly from back east adn months ago, with an article in it about the celebrated magician Luca Zombini and his lovely bride, formerly his stage assistant, and their childrren and their warm and wonderful home in New York.
July Fourth started hot and grew hotter, early light on the peaks dewcending, occupying, the few clouds bright and shapely and unpromising of rain, nitro beginning to ooze out of dynamite sticks well before the sun had cleared the ridge.
For years after, there were tales told in Colorado of the amazing, world-reversing night of Fourth of July Eve 1899.
Word one day was out on the electricians'grapevine that the renowned Nikola Tesla was on his way out to Colorado Springs, to set up an experimental station.
When Kit got back from Colorado Springs all on fire with the news of Foley's offer, Webb would have none of it.
The call had come just a week before, in the midwatch, which the Chums, even in this era of desuetude, nonetheless continued, every night, to stand.
And only hours after leaving behind these de-christened fragments in the sea's reasserted emptiness, they had raised the volcano, dark and ruinous, which was their destination.
Mealtimes lately had been fraught with political instability, owing to an ongoing dispute over the choice of a new figurehead for the ship.
In the U.S.A., it was almost the Fourth of July, which meant that tonight, by standing orders, there had to be a shipboard celebration out there, too, like it or not.
By the time Inconvenience was ready to take once more to the sky, the figurehead dispute had been resolved amicably -the boys had compromised on a draped female personage, perhaps more maternal than erotic- apologies were exchanged, reiterated, eventually at tiresome length, new apologies for these reiterations then became necessary, and the working days became saturated with sky-punctilio.
The orders had arrived with the usual lack of ceremony or even common courtesy, by way of the Oyster Stew traditionally prepared each Thursday as the Plat du Jour by Miles Blundell, who, that morning, well before sunup, had visited the shellfish market in the teeming narrow lanes of the old town of Surabaya.