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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Osgood participates in a daring airship rally

The grappling line flew out and caught on the first airship's railing. There was a sudden surge of speed, to Osgood's delight, but both his airship and that of his new friends dipped with the added weight. Osgood heaved a couple of bags of ballast overboard before they could be dragged down together. Yes: perfect. The two ships bobbed through the sky at a speed that seemed wonderful to Osgood.

When his grappling line had hooked onto the other craft its passengers had gestured urgently at him; now, however, they were looking behind and below. They seemed even more excited. Osgood looked back to see that the second airship had fallen suddenly away, tumbling with what looked like great daring and skill.

Now Osgood's new friends were waving again, pointing forward. Yes! He thought. Let's see how fast we can go!

They went very fast indeed, changing their course so that they skimmed low over the wilderness beyond the city. When they'd passed over a ridge Osgood's friends signaled that they should descend into a pleasant green valley.

The two strangers moored their airship next to Osgood's and came down their boarding ramp. They examined his craft with great curiosity. "We are somewhat confused at first, when you throws us that line," said one of them. "But we are extremely impressed with the way you bean them bulls, which puts them completely out of the picture. Which it was looking like they are almost certain to catch up to us. What was it you drops on them, anyway?"

Osgood was confused by the talk about beaning and bulls. Could the language have changed so much, so soon? He covered his embarrassment by introducing himself to his new friends. They, it turned out, were called Noodles and Meatball. Incredible!

Noodles looked over at Meatball and shrugged. "There is no doubt that you do us a very good turn and we, because we are honorable gents, could not live with ourselves if you was not to profit by what you done. Which is why we are giving you a share."

Meatball seemed less convinced but he offered a fistful of jewelry to Osgood, anyway. "Oh, no, I couldn't," Osgood exclaimed. "Still... I'm on my way to recover something of great value. I do not exaggerate when I say that it an object that is beyond price. But I'm not sure that I know my way, here, any more... could you possibly help me?"

Noodles and Meatball nodded together. "You bet. We are just the guys to give you a hand with that, pal.

Reader Comments
There are 2 reader comments on this page.
Snapbrim says:
October 6th, 2011 at 9:37 am

I love the Damon Runyon.

Bradley W. Schenck says:
October 6th, 2011 at 10:03 am

Damon Runyon and Ring Lardner: breakfast of champions!

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