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- Frank Zappa - Lyrics Book | Leisure | Entertainment (General)
Now clipless pedals have a specially designed cleat that locks into the pedal, sometimes with some ability to rotate side-to-side so as not to stress knees.
The inner tube is separate. Contrast with tubular tires. Called "clipless" because you can't see the clips when you're clipped in. Contrast with toe clips. Term used in biking, skiing, and snow boarding. A racecourse that is completely closed to traffic. Closed circuits are most often used in criteriums or road races that use a relatively short lap miles. Leader angles towards the wall narrowing the lane thus making it impossible for the stronger sprinter to get past the leader. Usually described by their configuration: "My rear cluster is a These people don't know why their bike always breaks, and often would rather buy new parts than keep their bike in good condition.
Also rear cog or front cog. Also called a pass. Surprise attack in the two last kilometers to detach from the peloton and, finally, win the race. CPSC n. All bicycle helmets made in the US have to meet this standard. Compare with hit the wall. As in, "I cranked so hard on getting out of that little valley, but my tire spun out and I had to walk it.
One of the two arms of a crankset. Each arm connects a pedal to the bottom bracket. It consists of two cranks or arms , one or more chainwheels or chainrings , plus the stack bolts that connect them. Sometimes the bottom bracket is included. Usually painful, as in "One of those death cookies joggled my wheel and I almost cratered on that section that looks down on the river. We locked wheels this morning and she crayoned all over the place. I almost got creamed by a transport there last week. Often but not always a 4-cornered course; often includes primes sho.
The phrase dancing on the pedals is related. So the morning's nice, easy ride turned into a Bataan death march. Get your bike dialed at your LBS. Regarded as only for those too feeble to do the work themselves. Usually louder than MTBs. The rider pulls a wheelie, then moves far forward to pitches his bike down, transferring the wheelie to the rear as an obstacle passes underneath.
This is the only type of hop possible for a rider using platform pedals. Today the term has lost its bad connotation and serves as an acknowledgement of the true nature of racing tactics. See also water carrier. See single-butted, triple-butted. To drop someone is to accelerate strongly with the intent of causing following riders to no longer gain the benefit of drafting. Used when muscle geometry and an aero tuck are important, such as when ascending, descending, or going fast.
Also called doubletrack. See singletrack. It can also be used to designate a crash that is similar to an unintended front flip. Short for "end over end". In BMX riding, "endo" used to be a synonym for front wheelie. So-called because while it may look deceptively flat and easy especially after the steep climb preceding it , it is still a climb. In mountain bicycle racing, a limited section of the course in which riders may accept food from non-racing assistants. Sometimes this is combined with the technical assistance zone if one exists.
This is an impressive sight indeed. The tubes fit together with almost invisible seams, as opposed to the monstrous, caterpillar-like welds on most mountain bikes. Occurs during strong braking on loose terrain. Usually suspended over the road. Following is easier than pulling or setting the tempo and the term can be used in a derogatory manner, e. See horizontal track stand. Can be equipped with a suspension on mountain bikes. It also has places to attach accurate measuring instruments like dial gauges, scratch needles, etc. The frame is clamped to the table and out-of-line parts are yielded into alignment.
Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious" roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. This term is from road touring and, according to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.
Most riders cannot pedal effectively while doing a front wheelie. Time gaps are then calculated back between riders and added to the overall position of riders relative to each other. Riders can attack in stage races for time rather than winning the days stage. They are said to be "riding for G. In such circumstances alliances can form where some riders in a breakaway will work to help others win the days stage despite not contesting the finish as the overall gap the breakaway gains helps them "on G.
It's much easier for a stronger rider to pull ahead of others once a gap has been achieved; without a gap, the others can draft along using significantly less power to sustain the same speed as the rider in front. While gaps are usually achieved through attacks, on mountain climbs, where slower speeds means the advantage of drafting is much less significant, riders are often gapped who simply cannot maintain the tempo of the faster riders. A gap can also refer to the space in between a jump and the landing, which is common in mountain biking.
Southern Californian for Gnarly. Not generally appropriate for singletrack. The smallest chainring on a crank with triple chainrings. See also crayon and cheese grater. A kit is a group, plus everything else a frameset needs to make a complete bicycle. Often used in understatement, as in "Well, I suppose it's a fair grunt, but we used to ride it all the time.
Usually these people are frowned upon and less desirable to ride with. Also to "put the hammer down. Best if done wearing bicycle gloves. Normally the fork steer-tube is inside the head tube and pivots in the headset. See Hillclimbing cycling. Hit the wall To completely run out of energy on a long ride, also known as "bonking". Used when muscle geometry and an aero tuck are important, such as when ascending, descending, sprinting or just going fast.
Most climbs are designated from Category 1 hardest to Category 4 easiest , based on both steepness and length. Much heavier than racing tubulars, which can be two or three times lighter, at as little at grams. See hit the wall. Often chosen by cyclists for its comfort. Ignorant consumers buy bikes with them, although they're no more convenient than braking from the hoods, and for powerful braking the stability, steering, and weight distribution from using the drops is essential.
IMBA n. International Mountain Biking Association. An organization for trail advocacy. Also called a Touriste-Routier or Individuel. JRA n. Also more usually denoting an attempt to bridge a gap from the peloton or gruppetto to a breakaway. For example: "he is trying to jump across". The derny paces the riders for meters and then pulls off the track, at which time the cyclists begin a sprint to the finish line. Keirin racing has traditionally been practised in Japan, where it has been a professional sport for over 20 years, and in which pari-mutuel betting on the riders is permitted.
King of the Mountains The title given to the best climber in a cycling road race. Short for "hunger knock". Lanterne rouge French for "red lantern", as found at the end of a railway train, and the name given to the rider placed last in a race. Riders who collect together in a road race just concerned with making it to the finish "in the time" so as not to be disqualified or "swept up". Members of the laughing group are not concerned with contesting the finish. LBS n. When the lead out man is exhausted he will move to the side to allow his teammate to race in the sprint.
Often a line of lead out men will be used to form a lead out train to drive the speed higher and higher and to reduce the chances of other riders attacking over the closing stages of a race. The purpose of a lead out is for the sprinter to achieve high speed at the sprint approach using as little of his own energy as possible, so he has as much energy as possible for the final sprint.
Also wheelsucking. He took the best line. Hey Fred, hold your line! The seat lug reinforces the connection between the top tube and the seat tube, for example. It is similar to a team points race, as points are awarded to the top finishers at the intermediate sprints and for the finishing sprint. Only one of the two team riders is racing on the track at any one time, riding for a number of laps, and then exchanging with his partner by a hand sling.
The name comes from the original Madison Square Garden, which was constructed as a velodrome. MAMIL Abbreviation of middle-aged men in lycra, a popular bicycle buying demographic for high-end bicycles mandibular disharmony adv. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Hydraulic brakes have great modulation; V-brakes not so much. The motor referee is often primarily responsible for centerline rule enforcement during road races using a rolling enclosure.
Motor officials are also used to keep track of riders where cars and the peloton cannot mix narrow roads, winding roads, etc. Another sport featuring the "because it's there" attitude. MTB n. Or a mountain bike itself. Also v. The bag is designed so that it can be easily grabbed by a moving rider.
The shoulder strap is placed over the head and one shoulder, the contents are then removed and placed into jersey pockets or bottles bidons are placed into bottle cages. The bag is then discarded. A short, steep climb. NCCA n. The NCCA administers, develops, promotes and governs collegiate bicycling across the country. The "victory pose" shows only the winner. National Off-Road Bicycling Association. As part of USAC, they organize most of the larger mountain bike races.sunmitaragad.ml/smash-comics-1.php
Software Packages in "buster"
This is short for "Off Day". Even the best riders have them. It is important to recognize the symptoms and to back off when you are having an O. The road's angle is added to, rather than subtracted from, the lean angle. Take these turns cautiously for, among other things, your tread may not extend far enough up the side. When reintroduced to the UCI World Championships in , six omnium events have been held, while the European Track Championships have a different set omnium events. This type of rider refuses to use any form of doping.
Can also be said of a performance realised while racing clean at the time the result was achieved. Example: "I won the criterium on bread and water but then the big race came and When riding at maximum power output, a road racer often perches on the front tip of the saddle seat , where the shell of an old-style leather saddle would be attached to the saddle frame with a rivet.
Used to inform the rider that you have positioned yourself in their slipstream for optimum drafting. For example: "I'm on your wheel". Generally results in bogging out or needless fatigue. Overlap is potentially dangerous because of the instability that results if the wheels rub, and the simple fact that it allows the trailing rider to turn only in one direction away from the wheel of the rider ahead.
In road bicycle racing, overlap can be a significant cause of crashes, so beginning riders are instructed to "protect your front wheel" avoid overlap whenever riding in a pack. Riders will take turns at the front to break the wind, then rotate to the back of the line to rest in the draft. Larger group rides will often form double pacelines with two columns of riders. Sometimes referred to as "bit and bit".
French, meaning list of achievements or list of winners. Example: "This rider insisted on continuing the race after the crash. After he crossed the line kilometers later, doctors found out that he had 3 cracked vertebrae and 2 broken ribs. Usually a dumb idea. Panniers are used by commuters and touring cyclists in the same way hikers and campers use backpacks, as a means to pack and carry gear, clothing and other supplies and items.
The term derives from the Old French, from Classical Latin, word for bread basket. The french - but not just the french - know this as a col. The mathematicians would call this the saddle point. Pavement polish is the bike equivalent of road rash. May also be called thefield, bunch, or pack. Riders in a group save energy by riding close drafting or slipstreaming near and, particularly behind, other riders.
Example: "What's your sign? Also, for a full-suspension bike to bounce annoyingly and uncontrollably. This is someone that always lingers in the back of the pack. This is not a crime. Usually found near a trail head or coffee shop and never dirty or sweaty. Seinfeld may be an example. Synonym for fred. This usually occurs when a small number of riders attempt to catch up to the leaders, either to join with them or to "bring them back to the pack" by encouraging the main group to chase them down. Measured through a power meter and normally expressed in watts.
Presta n. These are better, use Presta valves if you have a choice pretzeled 1 adj. Primes are a way to encourage more competitive riding, and also an opportunity for companies to gain publicity by sponsoring a prime. In a criterium, a bell is sounded on the lap preceding the prime sprint at the appropriate line for that prime sprint. The line used for prime sprints need not be the same as the start or finish line. Primes may be either predetermined for certain laps or spontaneously designated under the supervision of the Chief Referee.
All primes won shall be awarded to riders even if they withdraw from the race. Lapped riders are not eligible for primes except in the following situation: when a breakaway has lapped the main field, riders in the main field and the breakaway riders are then both eligible for primes. When primes are announced for a given group, only riders in that group or behind it at the beginning of the prime lap are eligible. Prizes can be cash, merchandise, or points, depending on the race. The road reopens after the race passes.
The passenger may balance on the handlebars or the seat, while the biker stands to pedal. Ideal races for this type of rider are the one day classics in spring. The physique of this type of rider allows them to escape from the peloton through quick bursts usually with the assistance of a teammate. Examples of such racers include Philippe Gilbert, Paolo Bettini, Danilo Di Luca and Peter Sagan, who are able to sprint their way up the shorter climbs to win a stage or a single-day race.
Some riders need to obtain as much of this as possible. It comes in other colors, but they are of no consequence here. Also usually, but not always, the hardest stage of the race. I think I pierced my ear on a tree branch. It is run as a very long recreational event, lasting two or three days. RDS n.
Military term for the very sudden illness that happens when the free-flight following a high-speed involuntary dismount is interrupted by something solid. Ride On! They are the key link between the directeur sportif and the rest of the team. Road captains are normally selected on a race-by-race basis depending on the demands of the event and their relationship with the team leader. Longer in distance than criteriums.
Requires the use of a number to rate the event. The enclosure sets aside a moving part of the roadway in the direction of the race for exclusive use of bicyclists. Racers inside the enclosure are not required to follow the normal rules of the road. Racers are not allowed to cross the center line unless the entire road is traffic controlled. A rolling enclosure is the typical traffic control used to run a road race. ROMP n. It's even on the wrong leg! Or, to stop suddenly. Particularly pronounced on bikes without fenders. Mass near the outside edge of a wheel has about twice the storedenergy of a similar non-rotating mass moving at the same speed.
A bicycle wheel can be considered to be a good approximation of a hollow cylinder with most of its mass at or near the rim. The rotation of cranks, wheel hubs, and other parts are of less significance because both their radius and speed of rotation angular velocity are small. All mass resists changes in velocity acceleration or deceleration due to inertia. This resistance is noticeably greater where rotational inertia is also a significant component, so lighter wheel rims, spoke nipples, and tires will permit faster acceleration or the same acceleration for less expenditure of energy.
This effect is much reduced at lower speeds such as during hill climbing. The rider is well suited for races such as Paris—Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara are examples of this. SAG wagon A broom wagon. What is done when one really can't stand the thought of starting a ride. Schraeder n. See swag. Also referred to as the "scratch bunch" or "scratchies". Also, a straightforward type of track race with a predetermined number of laps except in the case of an "unknown scratch," when officials ring a bell to signify one lap to go until the finish line.
What a screamer! Opposite of clincher tires, which often use an inner tube inside. Can be used in expressive ways: "He's throwing a whole basket of shapes". A rider who is shelled will use up all their energy so they have nothing left for the finishing sprint, drop back out of contention, or abandon the race altogether. It is usually connected to the derailleur by a mechanical actuation cable.
Designed such that one braking surface contacts the rim first, improving brake modulation. See double-butted, triple-butted. Contrast with dual-track or doubletrack. SIS n. Shimano Indexed Shifters, where you click the shifter and the gears change quickly and exactly. Opposite of friction shifting. Often a strategic decision to save energy in races. Can be used as a tactic to tire one's opponent. Usually switchbacks. Named after all the skid tracks left there from previous riders. To get big air. They make some difference, but doesn't fix the aerodynamics, body geometry, handlebar shape, or anything else that matters.
In French terminology a soft break is a "dishonest break". In other words, braking. Opposite of push-push. Pedaling in a labored fashion. Considered dangerous to follow at close range for the purpose of drafting. Stage races commonly include road races, time trials, and criteriums. These races are usually scheduled over a period of two or more days. Order of finish is determined by lowest combined elapsed time or combined points depending on the scoring format.
This lets the rider get some experience at riding a few pro races, and the team gets a chance to assess the abilities of the rider. The stayer, climber and sprinter make up the three types of mass start road racing specialists. The stayer is some times referred to as a time trial-ist, since the qualities of one and the other are similar.
Since a mass start road race is not a time trial, the term stayer is used. They come in two major types, quill and threadless. The angle and length plays a major part in how the bicycle fits the rider. Road bicycles commonly use this technology. It was created to make the bicycle more user friendly vs downtube shift levers on the downtube and brakes on the handlebars. The rider holds on for a variable amount of time to the bottle handed to him by the car occupant, who maintains his grasp on the object, effectively dragging the athlete. This concerted act gives the cyclist a moment to relax.
Usually tolerated by the race commissaire if the bottle is held for second, but may result in a sanction if an exaggeration is perceived. In other words, to be excited. This may result in injury, but when it doesn't, it's really funny for everyone else. When you race, go to bike shows, help put on events, write bike articles, you are often rewarded with swag. Example:"Ivan Basso swings off to let Peter Sagan go! Less commonly, a jump made over a hill that reaches a plateau and goes back down.
Usually one rider will be the team leader and the others will support him, though the team itself will be composed of a mix of riders from the various specialisations. The time of the nth rider of a team counts for the classification for each team member. In the edition of Tour de France, riders who are dropped from their team's group would be scored with their own time, instead of the team time. See also mechanic and wrench. Can also be said of a bend or a series of bends. In cyclocross racing the technical assistance zone is called the "pit". Not all mountain bike races contain a technical assistance zone, instead requiring riders to carry whatever tools and spare parts they may need.
A rider accepting technical assistance outside of the designated zone risks disqualification. Someone who buys lots of gadgets to add supposed iotas of performance to the bike. Greeting a friend whom we haven't seen in a year, I might say "Hi, Marta! A relatively fast tempo can be used by a group or team to control the peloton, often to make up time to a break. The group will ride at the head of the bunch and set a fast enough pace to stretch the peloton out also known as stringing out and discourage other riders from attacking. Setting a slower tempo can be done for the purpose of blocking.
The winner is the person with the most points at the end of the race. Used as a reference point in training, this is the highest level of exertion that a given rider can sustain. Slightly derogatory. Derived from the theme song to "Gilligan's Island. Thus the rider gets a free ride similar to a ticket collector on a train who rides for free. Time trials are generally started at preset intervals and held on an out-and-back or circuit course, and are generally 15 or 40 km, but dozens of lengths are sanctioned.
A race against the clock where riders are started separately ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes apart. The winner of the race is determined by the fastest person across the course. No drafting may be employed in a time trial as it is a solo race event. The perpetrator knows or guesses he has better overall energy than his competitors, presumably after making them suffer with numerous accelerations. The ensuing violent acceleration is referred to as "sticking the knife in" while a number of riders, if not all, are dropped. Toe clips usually don't require special shoes.
Cycling tracks are usually, but not always indoors. Bicycling or cycle tracks are also called velodromes. An Olympic track is generally m long. Track Left! Track Right! Balancing in place on 2 wheels, usually standing on the pedals. Characterized by rolling forward, violent movements of the front wheel, and a distressed expression on the rider's face. See track stand, above. This determines how a bike will steer. Trail angels are closely associated with trail magic. The sprinter's team riders will form a line, usually within 5k of the finish and take turns to build up speed - the last rider in the train will be protected drafting until a short distance from the finish.
These are usually used when the conditions outside are bad. Not to be confused with Time Trials, which is just the opposite. See single-butted, double-butted. A rider who excels primarily in sprint finishes on flat to mildly uphill terrain. Often too heavy to compete in longer or steeper uphill courses. Then he had it. Carefully, he took out his key chain. Was this a warning of some kind? But why? The plane climbed over the coastal mountains of Viet Nam, dropped down to skim over the rice fields of Thailand, then swung out over the Bay of Bengal for its approach to Rangoon.
As the plane banked, Biff could see the many mouths of the Irrawaddy River, spread out like long fingers from the broad, brown arm of the river itself. The plane came low over the bay on its approach to the city, and Biff could see the colorful sails of the dhows , the native craft which dotted the harbor.
Some of the sails were bright red, some dirty brown. Many wore patches of every color of the rainbow. The plane followed the course of the Hlaing River, twenty-one miles inland to the city of Rangoon. Standing out against the low, white buildings, Biff saw the pagoda of Shwe Dagon, rising nearly feet skyward. It was entirely covered with gold leaf which glistened in the setting sun. Then he remembered. Ling Tang had told him this was the important shrine of Buddha where the head of the House of Kwang used to worship.
Biff stretched and twisted.
The long trip had been pleasant enough, but being confined to a plane for three days and three nights had become monotonous. Just as soon as he could, Biff bounded down the ramp from the airliner and ran eagerly to the entrance of the airport terminal. Through the portal into the terminal, Biff was caught up in a swirling mass of figures.
Biff searched the crowds, trying to spot his Uncle Charlie. He was nowhere to be seen. Worried minutes followed. Then Biff saw a tall, very thin Oriental, wearing a long, straight white robe approach. The man came up to Biff. With hands clasped to his chest, he bowed low. He had planned to meet you. However, an emergency arose, and he had to fly to the north. But he should be back at Unhao by the time we get there. Another pilot was dispatched to pick you up when your uncle was unable to come himself. If you will follow me, even now the plane is ready.
Your uncle is a man of much importance and influence. We must hurry before darkness spreads its mantle upon the land. The whole business seemed a bit cockeyed to Biff, but then, shrugging his shoulders, he followed Nam to the northern exit of the terminal. Nam walked quickly, his fast, short steps limited by the skirt of his robe.
Even so, Biff had to step up his pace to stay with the man. Suspicion again came to Biff as they left the terminal building and appeared to be taking a direction away from the airport. Private planes, such as those used by Explorations Unlimited, use a different part of the field. His suspicions dropped still further when Nam reached a jeep, and with a low bow, indicated that Biff was to get in. An American jeep, Biff thought. The small vehicle represented home and safety to Biff. He hopped aboard, and Nam took his place behind the wheel.
Biff looked across the airport where a mile away, several small planes were clustered. He figured that was where they were heading. He heard a rustling behind him and turned abruptly. Both were dressed like Nam. Biff turned to Nam, alarmed. Nam interrupted. His manner was no longer courteous, his voice no longer smooth. His reply was stem and harsh. Any outcry, any attempt to escape, and my men have been told to use those knives. Nam Palung meant business. There was no question about that.
But Biff had no intention of yielding without a struggle. He would make his escape if at all possible. Right now, though, as his mind whirled trying to think his way out of this predicament, it would be best to do exactly as he had been told. Biff promised himself one thing. He had been played for a sucker, a trusting, easy-to-take American, and he had filled the role perfectly. How, he now thought, could he have been so taken in? The jeep rolled across the field. Biff shot a sidelong glance at Nam Palung.
Frank Zappa - Lyrics Book | Leisure | Entertainment (General)
The jeep moved at a steady pace, not fast enough to attract attention. It was headed toward a gate in the high wire fence surrounding the airfield through which service trucks passed. He noticed that the gate was blocked by an iron bar, raised to allow a vehicle to pass underneath it. When raised, the bar on its upright poles looked like a football goal post. He turned to look over his shoulder at his knife-bearing guards. Biff watched the truck ahead pass through. It slowed down without stopping as it passed under the raised bar.
Now the jeep approached the bar barricade. The bar began rising slowly. Biff watched it, his heart in his mouth. Biff leaned slightly forward, placing his weight on his firmly planted feet. He tensed his leg and thigh muscles until they felt like tightly coiled steel springs. Biff waited until the front of the jeep was directly under the bar. His hands seized the bar. Like a trapeze artist, he swung his body forward in a giant arc.
At the top of his swing, when his body was parallel to the ground, Biff twisted his head, looking over his shoulder as his body started a swift downward stroke. At the split second, he lashed out with his feet. One foot struck the left knife-wielder square on the side of his head.
The man shot over the side of the jeep as if jerked by the hand of a giant. Now Biff was propelling himself into the backward arc of his swing. Again his body came swiftly downward. Nam shot forward, his head striking the windshield. Biff swung his body sideways, and dropped to the ground. He ran back toward the terminal building, nearly half a mile away.
After a hundred yards, he slowed to catch his breath. Turning, he looked back at the jeep. There was no need to run. Nam still lay sprawled over the steering wheel. One of the knife-bearers was out of sight, apparently still sprawled on the ground on the other side of the jeep. The other guard was just rising from behind the jeep. Biff saw him stagger, still not fully recovered. There would be no more trouble with those three, Biff said to himself. Not right away, at any rate. The boy continued toward the terminal building at a rapid walk. He might be stopped. Explanations would be demanded.
The gate-keeper might come up and describe what had happened. Had he been waylaid by those same three? Inside the teeming terminal building, Biff mingled with the constantly moving crowds. In his American clothes, gray slacks and open-necked shirt, he was as noticeable as an Oriental dressed in mandarin clothes would have been at the Indianapolis airport. There was only one thing to do, Biff decided.
Go to the airline check-in counter and see if any message had been left him by his uncle. The boy approached the counter cautiously. He wanted to look around before identifying himself. Biff sidled up to the counter. A tall, handsome man, about thirty years old, was leaning over the counter, questioning the clerk intensely. He was wearing white drill trousers and a white shirt open at the collar. A well-shaped, close-cropped head topped a strong neck and broad shoulders. He spoke to the clerk in a voice filled with authority.
Unless he was badly fooled again, Biff felt sure that this man was an American, and there was something about him that the boy liked immediately. Here, take a look at my papers. Right now! The clerk leaned on the counter. He carefully inspected the list of names on the paper in front of him. Hudson swung around. He looked Biff up and down, slowly, carefully, sizing him up, before answering.
Perhaps he had better wait until he got to know Jack Hudson better before revealing all the mysterious happenings that had taken place from that early hour in the morning four days ago, back in Indianapolis. Coming in from Unhao, I ran into a terrific headwind. Should have allowed for it. These winds spring up all the time in these parts. I was late. Jack Hudson, with a forcefulness sharp enough to cut any red tape, literally bulldozed Biff through a maze of inspections, checks, and rechecks.
Come on. Lots to be done. He suddenly remembered who had told him the story. It was arranged for me to pick you up before he left. It was a twin-engine Cessna, a five-passenger, capable of a speed of miles per hour. As quick to action as Hudson was, he was also a sober, careful pilot. He tested the wing flaps. He made a thorough instrument check. Then he called the tower for take-off instructions. The plane moved to its assigned runway. Once more Jack revved up his engines. Then, the brakes released, the plane started rolling down the runway.
Once it was air-borne, Jack put the plane in a steep climb, made a wide circle over the city of Rangoon, then headed north, following the Irrawaddy River. Jack grinned. The plane sped through the night. Jack Hudson put the plane on automatic pilot. He reached behind him and brought out two boxes. He handed one to Biff. But now, he realized he was ravenous. Thanks a lot. Biff did as he was told. He peered intently through the windshield into the night.
Clouds had obscured the moon, and all was darkness. Not a light could be seen anywhere. It was so startling that Biff gasped in amazement. We have two runways. One from southwest to northeast. The other from southeast to northwest. The plane swooped out of the dark, flashed over the landing field, circled and entered its final glide path. Biff felt the lurch which told him they had touched down. Jack taxied the plane toward the hangars. He was just plain, dog-tired. It had been four nights since he had slept in a bed.
Oh, he had slept. But sleeping in a sitting position, he told himself, would never replace the good, old stretch-out type of snooze. Native servants swarmed around the plane. Biff and his gear were deposited in a jeep standing by. Jack hopped behind the wheel. The jeep, with natives clinging to every possible foot and hand-hold, headed through the night toward Headquarters House, a quarter of a mile away. Headquarters House was a combination office, communications center, and living quarters for the staff of Explorations Unlimited.
Into one of these went Biff. Moments after his head hit the pillow, he was in a deep sleep, in spite of the murky heat that was unrelieved by the lateness of the night. These were followed by others. The whole building seemed to spring to life. Something was up. Biff jumped out of bed. First he went to the window. Looking out, he saw a tremendous animal faintly outlined in the morning mists not more than thirty feet away. Just as he was about to call out, he saw the floppy ears and the swaying trunk of the animal raise toward the sky, and let go with a trumpeting that rattled the windows.
Biff had to smile at himself. What was an elephant doing wandering around loose at that time of the morning? Biff dressed quickly. He hurried down the hallway toward the center of Headquarters House. Sounds of activity came from the communications center. He paused in the doorway. Jack Hudson and two other men were bunched together around a short-wave receiver.
Static crackled throughout the room. One of the men picked up a hand microphone. This is Happy Harry One calling X Come in X Repeat: Come in X We were beginning to read you. Do you read us? Jack Hudson shook his head. His concern and the intense looks on the faces of the other men told Biff they were troubled. The radio operator, Mike Dawson, shook his head. I think it must have been. But the voice was so faint. Mike shook his head worriedly. And getting nothing. But nothing. Mike and the other man looked at Jack Hudson. Jack looked at Biff. Then, having reached his decision, he answered.
Is my uncle in danger? He shook his head as if trying to rid himself of unpleasant thoughts. You might raise him. In the mess hall, the servants had already set the breakfast table. Two of them padded about the room silently on their bare feet. Biff sat down to a plate containing an oval-shaped, reddish fruit, streaked with white.
Try it. The taste was like nothing Biff had ever eaten before. There were more important things than breakfast fruit right now. Jack sipped some coffee. I know where he went, and I think I know why. Always dangerous crossing the border. But Charlie should have been able to handle it.
He left early in the morning. He needed the cover of night to fly across the border. It carried extra fuel tanks. With the extra tanks, he had fuel for about twelve hundred miles. So, since he had to return, he must have expected to find what he was looking for not more than five hundred miles inside China.
Jack hesitated. Your uncle was at Cape Canaveral, as you know, and he must know a lot about guided missiles. Well—put your thinking cap on. Maybe between us we can come up with something. Biff thought hard. There were many parts to this puzzle. He thought he himself was probably one of them. But fitting them together into an answer—that would take more than minutes, hours, or even days to do. Too many important parts of the puzzle were still missing. Biff thought that perhaps now he should fill Jack in on his own small mystery. His hand went to his key chain and touched the jade ring.
He made a decision. He would only tell Jack about what had happened when he arrived at the Rangoon airport. Quickly he told Jack the story. Describe the man again. Biff sketched the three men in as best he could. He said he was the Number One man here at Explorations. And the border guards shoot to kill.
Man and boy sat in silence, both deep in thought. The silence was suddenly broken. The native boy raced across the open compound toward the group of low buildings where the servants slept. Jack and Biff ran side by side, ten feet behind the boy. What is it? There he stopped, gasping for breath, and turned to Jack and Biff. His face was contorted with fear; his eyes were opened wide and filled with terror. They come. They come to punish Chuba and the father of Chuba.
What are you talking about? Biff watched the boy. He felt sympathy toward him, yet it was hard for Biff to believe that such superstitious beliefs could still cast their spell in these modern days. You and your father are not slaves. You are honorable workers. Without your help, we could not live here. You are well paid, and you hold positions of responsibility and dignity. Enough of this. Just what is inside your cabin? But is bad. Very bad.
It is voices of the evil ones, casting spell on Chuba and his honorable father. Jack and Biff entered the one-room cabin. It was small, but comfortably furnished. Beds stood against the walls on either side of the room. At the rear there was a small, compact kitchen. Biff and Jack inspected the room quickly. They saw nothing unusual. As they watched, a low growl came from the box. The growl grew louder. It became a wail. Then it turned into the high, piercing scream of a siren. It held this chilling, blood-curdling pitch for about ten seconds.
Then the lid of the box slowly raised. A yellowish hand emerged. It bent over the front of the box. One finger touched a small button. The high scream dropped down to a wail, then to a growl, then stopped. The hand withdrew into the box. The lid closed. All was silent again. Biff put a restraining hand on Chuba, keeping the boy from fleeing in terror. This was a serious thing to Chuba. Chuba would feel Biff was laughing at him, insulting him.
Jack stared at the box in amazement. Biff started across the room toward the box. Now Biff did laugh. Even Jack was concerned. Not terror-stricken like Chuba, but the weird performance of the box had undoubtedly alarmed Jack. Biff reached for the box, bent over, and picked it up. Chuba cowered behind Jack. It was the newest thing out. Caused a sensation. A great feeling of relief had come over Biff.
When Chuba had come rushing in, crying out in a voice filled with fright, Biff had figured that another in the series of strange happenings had taken place. To discover that all the excitement was only about a toy relaxed Biff completely for the first time since he had arrived in the Orient. Biff took the box back. He was taking no chances with evil spirits even if the Americans did. This was too much for Chuba. He had to see, too. He cautiously poked his head forward for a closer look. The toy has two small batteries, like the ones used in a transistor radio. They power this small motor, and it does the rest.
Raises the lid and makes this hand snake out. Biff looked at Chuba and smiled. Biff set the toy in motion. The siren reached its high pitch. The hand, attached to the end of a small iron rod, snaked out, flopped over the front side of the box, and touched the cut-off button. Jack laughed. I can also see why it scared the daylights out of Chuba. It would scare me, too, if it woke me from a sound sleep. I sleep deep. This thing start screaming. Chuba jump, run fast, plenty scared, for help.
You turn it off here. Biff started laughing, too, partly from relief, and partly because when Jack laughed everyone joined in. Chuba, his eyes darting from Jack to Biff, decided his worries had passed. He giggled shyly at first, then added his high laugh to the chorus. The little white cabin shook with their hilarity. Biff slapped his thighs and doubled up again with glee.
A plan was beginning to shape up in his head. It would work, too, with the help of Chuba. But first off—cut out that sahib stuff. The friendship between Biff and Chuba developed rapidly. He had long, black, wiry hair, usually plastered down with smelly hair tonics. These he got from Muscles. The burly mechanic tried every new hair conditioner that came along, in an attempt to control his unruly light brown hair.
He looked more Burmese than Chinese. His daily clothes were a pair of hand-me-down brown shorts and hand-made sandals, ideal for the heavy, humid weather which turned the jungle-enclosed camp into a smoking oven. The shorts Chuba got from the Americans in the camp. Chuba did his own alterations on the shorts to cut them down to his size. He was far from an expert tailor.
One pair had the left leg six inches longer than the right. Another pair, handed down from a man with a forty-four-inch waist, gave Chuba a laughable balloon effect in the rear, particularly when he ran. Biff hurried through breakfast. He left Headquarters House, stepping into a blazing sun already sending heat waves up from the brown dirt surface of the camp. Help my father. Now I can show you rest of camp. The boys roamed around for more than an hour. Chuba chattered on as fast as any of the monkeys scampering about the trees which fringed the camp. Much elephants. Wild ones. She dig it here big.
Biff smiled to himself. So—who can make an elephant go when he no want to? They stay on. Jive talk is American slang. Some boys use it more than others. He has many magazines come to him by the mail from United States. Many books of the comics, too. You like to meet up with Muscles? He come back from Rangoon early this morning.
There was no mistaking Muscles. Biff spotted him as soon as they entered the hangar. Big was the word for Muscles. Biff could only compare him with some of the giant linesmen he had seen play for the Chicago Bears professional football team. He and his father went to the games in Chicago every now and then.
As the boys approached the plane Muscles was working on, they saw the powerful man heave an oil drum off the floor as if it were made of tissue paper. The drum could have weighed anywhere from one hundred to three hundred pounds. He up-ended the drum, and a heavy stream of thick oil flowed smoothly to the intake pipe. Muscles held the drum steadily for a couple of minutes. He looked at the boys. Hey, did you have a visitor yesterday morning? It was clear that Muscles had a great liking for the Chinese boy.
They make with strange noises, like wild animals howling. Did the evil spirits send you? Gosh, and that thing cost me twenty bucks to have it sent out from the States. Biff grinned. Chuba had carried the thing off well. Particularly from Chuba. Then he hurried on rapidly. Charlie Keene can take care of himself. He always has. I was with him in Korea, and I know. After a few more minutes of talk with Muscles, Biff and Chuba left the hangar.
Biff was silent as they walked across the hot field to the shade of a small coconut palm grove. Biff seated himself against the leaning trunk of a palm. Biff frowned. I know just where Red border patrol guards strong, and where they guard weak. Afraid to guard some places. Black bears—fierce, big, kill a man with one big swipe with paw. Also tigers and leopards. Snakes, too. All kinds. They hang from trees.
Biff swallowed hard. Is safer to go into China that way. Sometimes they let kids like me through. They shoot you or catch you and make you work like slave. Once you in slave labor camp, you never come back. Put snatch on him from Red baddies? His thin face was screwed up in thought.
But we smart. Most patrol dumb. His mind was made up. If they had a fifty-fifty chance of finding Uncle Charlie, then that was all he wanted. Biff found Jack Hudson in the communications center, pouring over a large map of China. Biff moved to his side. He pointed to a position on the map. About two, maybe three weeks ago. Right after that, he went into Rangoon for a few days. In the foothills of Mt. Minya Konka. And some of those foothills would be called mountains back where you come from. Enough for about 1, miles. As I told you, I figure he planned on about miles in, and back, of course.
That would give him a mile safety factor. Charlie had a portable radio transmitter with him. A good one, battery operated. Its maximum range would be about miles under ideal conditions. Transmission is greatly reduced if your wave has to bend over hills or mountains. Jack nodded his head. Biff picked up a drawing compass. He adjusted its opening to fit the five-hundred-mile mark on the scale of miles at the bottom of the map.
Then, placing the steel point on the dot marking Unhao, he swirled the compass. The pencil end cut right through the area Jack was describing. Natives, sure—but you—never. A light-skinned boy could never make it. Biff remembered stories he had read of Americans captured in Red China. Biff left Headquarters House deep in thought. He walked slowly across the compound.
Chuba was waiting for him in the palm grove. Maybe you just can. See what you think of it. For fifteen minutes Biff spoke to Chuba. At first, the native boy kept shaking his head. Negative shakes of his head became excited head shakes of agreement. Biff was a hard one to resist when he became enthusiastic about anything he wanted to do. And this he meant to do. There was no holding the boy now. Have much ideas. But will take time. Then you come to the house of my father. You know, where you saw Evil Spirit Box.
Chuba be all ready. Toward late afternoon, Jack Hudson ran his hand over his forehead. He was tired. He hated paper work. All afternoon, he had been poring over files, checking bills, answering letters. The work had to be done, but he wished there was someone else to do it. Not sitting at a desk in a hot room. As cluttered as his mind was with facts and figures, the thought of his missing friend, Charles Keene, kept coming back again and again.
Jack thought of Biff, too. Too risky, of course. But, he told himself, this sitting around, just waiting, was getting him down too. With an impatient sweep of his arm, Jack shoved the papers away from him. He stretched, got up, and made for the front entrance of Headquarters House.
On the raised platform, six steps above the ground, Jack stopped to light a cigarette. As he did so, his attention was caught by a beggar boy coming at a run across the compound. The boy reached the foot of the steps and sprawled on the ground. Jack Hudson looked down at the boy, his feeling of disgust mingled with one of sympathy.
These poor kids, he thought, trained to beg from the day they could walk. Baksheesh, the word for a tip, a present, was used in many places in the East and Far East. No beggars allowed in the compound. How did this boy get in? Ti Pao shrugged his shoulders. You know that twice a week, we hand out food and alms to the beggars.
They are not to come inside. Not even Coke money? Jack whirled around. The beggar boy was already heading for the gate. Jack scratched his head. I must have been hearing things. He shook his head and went through the door. The beggar boy neared the gate, then cut to the left. He raced through the palm grove, then carefully, stealthily, made his way to the cabin of Ti Pao. There was just a flash of brown, ragged clothing as he slipped through the door. Biff shook his head.
I fooled him completely. I even spoke some American words. Course, I said them low, just as I was leaving. Biff turned slowly around as Chuba made his inspection. Biff looked as much like a native boy as Chuba did. The tattered shorts and torn shirt that he wore had been dug up by the always astonishing Chuba. This had been done with the juice of betel nuts, mixed and thinned with still another liquid, to lighten the blackish fluid crushed from the betel. Chuba took out a piece of charcoal. He stepped back to view his handiwork. Then he went into a gale of laughter. Chuba looked puzzled.
He shrugged it off. No border guard ever spot you. Never tell you American boy. Biff had passed his test. Neither Jack Hudson nor, even more important, Ti Pao, had penetrated his disguise. But by then, it will be too late, too dark, to start a search. What about food, and other stuff? Chuba has everything. Even bottle of juice in case you start turning back into white boy. We got food for two days. After that, Chuba get more wherever we are. Chuba be right after you. Not look good for me to leave here with lowly beggar boy. Night turned the Burmese jungle into a frightening enemy.
Towering trees, teak, acle, ironwood, shot straight upward, so close packed and dense that they blotted out the starlit sky. What bothered Biff most of all was the sickening smell of the jungle. Rotted vegetation gave off a rank, stifling odor. Biff had been in the jungles of Brazil, but they were nothing compared to the one he and Chuba were forcing their way through.
During the two hours they had traveled in the waning daylight, their progress had been swift.
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Chuba knew the trails well. Sometimes, moving at a trot several steps ahead of Biff, the native boy would seem to be swallowed by hedges of low, thick brushwood. But he would reappear, parting the thick growth so that Biff could follow. Moving swiftly, silently, without talking, to conserve their breath, Biff was suddenly startled.
From directly overhead came a chorus of angry screams. Biff stopped and looked up. Once again Chuba took up his steady pace. Ugly scratches marked his legs. Most upsetting was the unexpected change from dry land into dank, oozing swampland. Chuba never stopped, or gave any warning of what lay ahead. Time and again the native boy plunged into a narrow stream. As he neared the opposite bank, he halted a moment to look back.