Author's Disclaimer: All characters, locations, events and situations in this story that are borrowed from the Kim Possible TV series are the property of the Disney company. All aircraft mentioned in this story are the creations of their designers. The plot and other characters are the product of my brain and thus are my responsibility.
Airplanes, Spandules and Widgets, Oh, My! - Part Eight
Saturday morning was clear, sunny and mild, and a fair-sized crowd began arriving at Yesterday's Airport as soon as it opened at 9:00 AM. Kim and Ron kept a low profile and just enjoyed the experience of the day. Neither one had ever attended an airshow like this one, where spectators could get so close to the planes. After a time a large, single-engine biplane was rolled out onto the landing ground and an announcement was made that tickets were being sold for rides in the big biplane. A line quickly formed, and Frank Gifford began taking up four passengers at a time.
As they watched the plane come in for a landing, Kim and Ron were greeted by Tom Murdoch, who said that he'd been looking for them.
"Mister Murdoch, what sort of a plane is this one?" Ron spoke before Tom could tell them what he wanted them for.
"It's a Standard D-25," Tom replied. "It carries four passengers at a time on short hops."
"Did you modify it for doing that?" Kim was curious about these planes and the people flying them.
"No. Back in the 1920s pilots barnstormed around the country giving people rides, and the more they could carry on each flight, the more money they'd make. This plane was designed to carry four people plus the pilot for the same operating cost of a World War One trainer that could only carry one passenger." They all watched as four people got out of the D-25, and four more quickly climbed in.
"It's a rugged, reliable, hard-working ship that's been taking people on joyrides for decades." Tom smiled at Kim and Ron. "I'm ready to wager fifty bucks that when the hundredth anniversary of the first flight of a D-25 comes around there'll still be a couple of them working the airshow circuit." He gave them an inquiring look. "Care to place a bet?"
"I don't think so," Kim grinned in reply.
"In any case, I thought you'd like to know that we can fly you back to Louisville anytime you want. Has your friend laid on transport for you?"
Kim explained that she had talked to Wade that morning, and he had arranged for a flight to take them back to Middleton from the same airport where Flo Lowe had picked them up.
"Well, I can fly you back to Louisville in the 'Duck,'" Tom remarked. "Albert and I checked it over and it's in perfect condition. When do you need to be there?"
Kim told him and Tom's face lit up. "Oh, good! The show will be over by then, so you'll get to see the festivities. I'm flying the 'Gypsy Moth' in the race, and I'd better go check it over before we break for lunch." He hurried off to the hangar marked 'De Havilland,' just as Flo Lowe came up to greet them.
"If I can tear you away from the airplanes for a few minutes, the Sheriff is here and he wants you to check his report about catching that fellow last night."
"Sure," said Kim, "we'd be glad to." As they walked back to the office Flo explained that they had found Jameson's car parked on the road that ran behind the airfield. "It's one of those hybrid vehicles with an electric motor and a small gasoline engine," she explained.
"I see," Kim mused. "If he drove up real slow he'd only be using the electric motor, and hardly make a sound."
"That must be how he could come here and get away without - " Ron broke off what he was saying as Kim nudged him sharply.
"Yes, Ron, that's why we never heard anything the first night he was here, or when he came last night."
The Sheriff had brought a laptop computer that had his report form on it. He asked Kim and Ron a few questions, tapped in the data, and asked Kim to check it. When she said it was correct he saved it and said that he'd e-mail them a copy.
"No need for that," Kim remarked, and handed him a short cable connector. "Plug this into the USB port and you can download a copy to the Kimunicator."
Once this was done Kim asked the Sheriff if he had found out what it was that Mr. Jameson had been looking for. He chuckled for a moment before answering.
"We checked out Jameson's house this morning and found an old diary of a man who lived in this area back in the middle of the nineteenth century. It appears that Jameson was his great-great-great-grandson. Anyway, when Morgan's Raiders came through this area during the Civil War, the ancestor buried an oak chest with his valuables in it to hide them from the Confederates." He shook his head. "Jameson couldn't find where the chest was until he turned up an old letter in some things his great-aunt had left him. It explained where the chest was buried, but the directions were pretty vague. He spent years trying to figure out where the chest was, and only narrowed it down last spring."
"Morgan's Raiders?" Ron asked. "Who were they?".
The Sheriff explained that in July of 1863, during the Civil War, a Confederate Army cavalry force crossed the Ohio River and made a long raid through Indiana and into Ohio before they were finally all captured. "It was led by Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan," he finished.
"Mister Herschel said that you found this box," Kim asked Flo. "Was there anything valuable in it?"
"Just stock certificates and bonds for companies and banks in the area," Flo answered. "It was valuable stuff in 1863, but not any more. Except for a few shares in the Wabash and Erie Canal Company," she added.
"I thought the Erie Canal was in New York state, not Indiana," Ron remarked.
"This was a different canal," Flo explained. "It was a big project in the early 19th century for a barge canal from Lake Erie to the Wabash River." Flo shrugged. "It made a profit for a few years, but once the railroads came in the canal system went broke."
"So, all the stuff in this box wasn't worth anything? Now that really tanks!" Kim, Flo and the Sheriff all looked at Ron quizzically.
"I mean, this guy Jameson spent a long time hunting for a treasure, and then it turns out to be worthless," he explained.
"Not entirely worthless," said Flo. "When we found that box and what was in it we went to the Indiana Historical Society and asked if they'd want some of the certificates. They were all in perfect shape, so the Society put some in their files, and then we had an auction to sell the rest. Some people collect old stock certificates and stuff about the Wabash and Erie Canal."
"Let me guess," Kim said with a smile. "They went for high prices?"
"The profits from the auction helped us start that wind farm of ours."
"When Jameson hears that, he'd probably flip out," said the Sheriff, "if he wasn't flipped already." He shook his head and grinned. "He keeps saying that hundreds of little people tripped him up and swarmed all over him in the hangar last night."
"Flying blind without instruments," Flo remarked. "Pretty sad."
The Sheriff folded up his laptop and rose from his chair. "Well, thanks again for everything Miss Possible . . . Mr. Stoppable." Rufus poked his head out of his usual pocket and gave an indignant squeak.
"Oh, yes, thank you, too, Rufus," the Sheriff added.
"Our pleasure, sir," said Kim.
The rest of the day went quickly, with both Kim and Ron enjoying the airshow. Once it was over and the spectators were leaving, Walt, Frank and several of the ground crew brought the 'Duck' out of its hangar so Team Possible could be flown back to the Louisville airport.
As the 'Duck' was wheeled out to the runway, all six of the pilots gathered around Kim and Ron offering their thanks for solving their problem. "Now remember, if you ever need some flying help from a bunch of old-timers, be sure to call on us," said Walter Herschel. He was echoed by the other four men. Then Flo Lowe stepped up and handed Ron a sweatshirt from the rack in the gift shop.
"I noticed how you kept eyeing these, Ronald, so this is both a 'thank you' and a souvenir."
"Gee, thanks, Miss Lowe . . . I mean, Flo."
Ron shook it open and Kim smiled when she saw that the sweatshirt had 'It Ain't Worth A Thing If It's Just Got One Wing!' printed on it.
Clyde and Frank stowed Team Possible's bags in the lower compartment of the 'Duck,' while Tom climbed up the side of the big amphibian plane, followed by Kim and Ron. As soon as all three had their seat-belts fastened Tom started the plane's engine, went through the takeoff checklist, and then signaled for the wheel chocks to be pulled away. The plane taxied to the downwind end of the runway, and after a final check Tom took off and headed toward the Louisville area.
The cockpits were noisier than the 'Staggerwing' had been, so Kim, Ron and Tom all wore headphones and spoke into microphones for conversation. Tom told them some things about the 'Duck,' and some of the things planes of this type had done in the 1930's and 1940's. But as they neared the Ohio River, Tom excused himself so he could contact the airport. Kim and Ron could hear what Tom said, and the answers from the control tower.
Tom cleared his throat and put out a call: "Bowman tower, Bowman tower: Quack! Quack! Quack!"
To the surprise of Kim and Ron the control tower at Bowman Field calmly replied, "Duck aircraft you are cleared to land on runway 14. Be alert for the Learjet now landing ahead of you."
Tom keyed the microphone again and answered, "Quack-Quack!" He brought the plane in for a smooth landing and taxied up to the same building where Kim and Ron had met Flo Lowe. After their bags were unloaded, Kim asked the pilot, "How is it the control tower knew who you were?"
"We're in and out of this field three or four times a week, and usually with the 'Duck,'" he explained. "After five years of that, the control tower knows us pretty well." He shook hands with all three of them (Rufus just shook Tom's finger), and went back to the plane.
As they watched the 'Duck' take off, Kim asked what Ron had thought about the 'air race' at Old Time Airport. "Three pilots dropping their pants before going to their airplanes seemed a bit more impressive than the times you've lost your pants on a mission, Ron."
"I don't know, KP," Ron drawled lazily. "They haven't got my experience at that sort of thing. When I do it, I do it with style."
[End of Story]