austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Making a song / Rushing along

Ace Drummond Chapter Six, ``Evil Spirits'', opens with the discovery that Billy is not dead.

He escapes the wood chips (?) being sprayed in his urn by whacking the side with the crowbar, spooking all the workers because they're Mongolian and are scared by self-whacking urns. Billy breaks in the log cabin where Peggy Trainor's found her father's diary, and a page written in Chinese or something, plus that bar thing used by The Dragon to transmit to spinning things. They overhear how ``Dr Bauer'' is on his way to the airport and must be stopped, as The Dragon commands.

Trainor has Billy sneak into her car, and tells the other ``archaeologist'' that she was just waiting for ``Dr Bauer'', who wasn't there, and now she's really got to rush back to the airport. The other guy doesn't believe this but guides her back to her car, where Billy's hiding on the running board on the far side because if he were to see Billy it would be awkward somehow. On the road they hear gunshots and find ``Dr Bauer'' badly hurt on the side of the road. While Billy drives off, chasing the shooters (!) for a little, ``Dr Bauer'' urges Trainor to ``Tell Ace Drummond --- Henry Kee'', and that's that. I guess this means he actually was an archaeologist and I shouldn't have been using such scary quotes.

So what else has Ace Drummond got to do but sing his ``Give Me A Ship And A Song'' to a worshipping Jerry? Peggy Trainor reports the killing of Henry Kee to the International Airways commission and his cryptic message, just as Henry Kee drives in, in the car Billy says he chased. Kee insists there are several cars that look like his, and denies all knowledge of Bauer's killing and insists he's not The Dragon and are you ready to swear out a warrant for his arrest? In case we don't suspect him enough, he storms out, then lurks at the door and nods to Ivan/Johnny in what I think is the same lurk-and-nod shot from last week.

Dr Trainor's diary is in an obscure Chinese dialect, which is apparently how he wrote his most top-secret observations, since how better to keep a document from prying eyes in Inner Mongolia except by writing it in Chinese? But the writing is very old-fashioned and only our friends at the Monastery could decipher it. The Dragon commands Drummond be shot down before he gets there, of course. They force Drummond's plane down, but Drummond runs off, sets The Dragon's men's plane in motion, and tries to take off again while they chase the runaway plane, which totally solves something.

I guess it does, though, since they get to the monastery. The High Lama says only his disciple Chang Ho, fresh from discovering the New World in 1421, can decipher it and he seems glad for the work. As Ho translates, an underling tells Drummond that the High Lama wishes to see him, and since it's time for a cliffhanger he falls for this. Gas clouds start billowing out of a rotating table lamp, and a mysterious figure enters to rip the page out of the diary while Ho passes out. Finding the High Lama didn't send for him, Drummond rushes back to get knocked out by the poison gas too and there's our cliffhanger for the episode.

Again, I'm not sure what the titular ``Evil Spirits'' were.

Trivia: On 24 July 1930 Walter Chrysler announced that the French were considering adding enough height to the Eiffel Tower to make it taller than the Chrysler Building. Source: Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City, Neal Bascomb.

Currently Reading: Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011, Editor Gordon van Gelder.


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