austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Give me a wind that sings / Between two wings

Ace Drummond Chapter Five, ``Bullets of Sand'', opens with the discovery that Ace Drummond is not dead. (The previous installment I covered the 29th of June, and the earlier chapters yet in the days leading up to that..)

Dr Trainor escaped the biplane-dropped bomb by jumping out of the car in a scene I'm sure the editor didn't mean to omit from last week's cliffhanger. But Ace escapes death from the bombing by ... uh ... being lucky, apparently. He just pulls himself up out of the car rubble looking more disappointed than exploded. Comic Relief Mechanic Jerry and Billy rush to Drummond; the ``archaeologists'' rush onto the scene too and reveal Dr Trainor was abducted by The Dragon's men while we weren't looking. Drummond talks Dr Bauer into coming to Bai-Tal airfield and argue with Henry Kee over the pistol, but the ``archaeologist'' has to leave some instructions so he'll be along later. I'm honestly a little impressed they're trying this hard to make us think they're archaeologists, even if they aren't really trying that hard.

The International Airways Commission is shocked that Henry Kee, their Mongolian representative, might be up to something, so he goes lurking outside the commission doorway and nodding to radio guy Ivan (Lon Chaney Jr), if you go by the credits, or Johnny if you go by how everyone speaks of him. So Drummond naturally sings his ``Give Me A Ship And A Song'' tune, at least the first couple verses before he switches to a radio in order to try catching someone sneaking into the commission, but the guy escapes when the record ends. The suspect locks Drummond in the aerodrome, so Drummond works his way to the ceiling windows to break out because, I don't know, there's not a side door?

Meanwhile Billy and Peggy Trainor figure it'd be a great chance to stop in on the archeologists. At the log cabin the locals are spraying ... wood chips? Something? into urns while waiting for The Dragon to issue commands (he orders them to Stop Ace Drummond, for a change of pace), but they wander off because of the the wood-sprayers is doing something wrong. Billy and Trainor get themselves locked in the cabin somehow. Billy climbs out through the chimney, grabs a crowbar, and hides from the returning men in one of the urns. They go back to work, spraying wood chips into Billy's urn and what do you know but that's the cliffhanger.

I don't know what the titular ``Bullets of Sand'' are supposed to be. Maybe it's the wood chips or whatever being sprayed on Billy?

Trivia: President Andrew Jackson and Secretary of State Martin van Buren both signed William Austin Burt's typographer patent on 23 July 1829. Source: The Wonderful Writing Machine, Bruce Bliven Jr.

Currently Reading: Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2011, Editor Sheila Williams.

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