austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Up in the clouds / Far from the crowds / Below, looming along with a song

Ace Drummond Chapter Eight, ``The Sign In The Sky'', opens with the discovery that Ace Drummond and Comic Relief Mechanic Jerry are not dead.

Sure it's an explosion of the ammunition depot in a cave, but that doesn't mean Drummond and Jerry are killed; again, they just look a bit ruffled and kind of disappointed. The Dragon's henchmen go running off and find the homing pigeon Drummond used to track them; and, on top of that some of The Dragon's men are landing in an International Airways plane, ready to take Dr Trainor away.

So now on to a gunfight. Jerry has a scheme of outflanking them by grabbing a tree branch, walking about ten feet off to the right, and then getting all itchy over ... something? Bugs? Maybe? I don't know; he just starts swatting a lot and runs back to Drummond having wasted half a minute of screen time. The Dragon's men run off as The Dragon reports a new International Airways clipper ship heading for Bai-Tal Airfield and, going against character, he orders it destroyed. This is pretty good timing since I was starting to wonder whatever happened to The Dragon's airplane-destruction technology.

The clipper goes into radio silence for final approach, as Drummond ordered when he found The Dragon's death ray goes through radio headsets. Henry Kee, of course, wants the order countermanded, and told that only Drummond can do that, asks why Drummond isn't there to do the countermanding.

Peggy Trainor, feeling guilty that Drummond went off to the Monastery and isn't there to defend his utterly sensible order, takes Billy and drives towards the Monastery. Henry Kee follows, delivering a warning that the audience should not stop suspecting him, but Trainor goes on to the Monastery and points out the plane wreckage from several episodes ago. Chang Ho explains that Peggy Trainor can't enter the Monastery since she might menstruate all over it or something, but the High Lama is cool about coming out to see her.

The High Lama doesn't know where Drummond and Jerry went, but Billy points out the signal pistol from the earlier crash should still be there. They shoot it off and Jerry observes they're in Mongolia and ``this ain't the fourth of July'' (although this episode happened to air on Turner Classic Movies on the 2nd). Drummond and Jerry rush to the Monastery, and are fully aware of the clipper due in, so as far as I can tell all the flare did was waste their time. But they've got a car to deliver them the last stretch.

The Dragon orders the clipper shot down, and according to his henchmen has plans to take care of Drummond. As Drummond's car races down the twisty paths, a horse-drawn cart kind of stumbles across the road and ... no, that's not the cliffhanger! Drummond easily evades the obstacle and gets to the airport in the next scene cut.

But Drummond gets on the radio, ordering the clipper to turn back, and The Dragon shoots his radio-speaker death rays out, knocking out Drummond and his party, and that's the cliffhanger.

I'm not seeing what sign this was supposed to include.

Trivia: Boeing was originally incorporated as the Pacific Aero Products Company. Source: The Boeing 247: The First Modern Airliner, F Robert van der Linden.

Currently Reading: Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2011, Editor Gordon van Gelder.

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