Mac MacKinnon and the Race for El Dorado

Chapter 2: Jenny and the Roadster

By Dwayne MacInnes

Mac removed his leather helmet and jacket and tossed them onto the table next to the radio. He poured himself a cup of water and chugged it down in one go.

"When will you take me to see father?" Rebecca asked as the pilot seated himself down onto a chair near the table.

"We can leave in just a few minutes. All I need is the agreed upon payment," smiled Mac.

"I can't believe that you are charging $10 to take me to my father's camp," Rebecca said with a little disbelief. "I could buy a bus ticket for that amount or pay someone else to take me there for far less."

"Well, that is true," Mac chuckled. "But I am the only one who knows where your father is, and it is my business to transport cargo quickly and safely and that comes with a price."

"Cargo! I am just cargo to be transported quickly!" Rebecca angrily responded. Her sudden outburst caught herself by surprise. Yet she was even more surprised to hear Mac laughing.

"Not just quickly, but also safely," he pointed out. "As far as I am concerned, I've never been asked to deliver better ‘cargo'."

Rebecca blushed even though she still felt a little offended by the concept of being cargo. She was about to say something when Dan came walking into the hangar carrying a wooden crate. The sound of clinking bottles could be heard rattling around inside. Dan sat the crate down against a far wall next to the locker.

"Mac, I'll have the Jenny ready to go for your trip in the morning," Dan called over to the pilot. Mac only smiled and nodded toward Dan.

"Jenny?" Rebecca could not help ask. She knew that Mac's affairs were none of her business.

Mac laughed again, "I'm sorry. The Jenny is my plane. We used them as trainers during the Great War. It had a top speed of 75 miles per hour, but Dan wasn't happy with that." Mac pointed over to the bowing mechanic. "No, he modified her until she can do over 100 miles per hour. In fact, he did the same with my car over there." Mac pointed over to the yellow roadster. Dan just beamed with pride over Mac's praise.

Jenny Bi-Plane

"Speaking of which, I believe I have a delivery to make. But first..." Mac cut himself off and winked at Rebecca.

"Yes of course," Rebecca pulled out ten dollars and handed them over to Mac. Mac handed them over to Dan, who in turn stuffed them into his front coverall pocket.

In less than a minute, the yellow vehicle sped out of the hangar. Mac had the top down so that the air would flow over them. Rebecca felt the wind rush past her skin. It still felt quite hot, but it was not nearly as bad as when she was standing in it a few minutes before.

Stutz Roadster

Mac sped the vehicle down the dirt road at an astounding clip. Rebecca doubted that she had ever traveled this fast before. Not even on the train that brought her to Santa Fe from Chicago. The silence was becoming ominous as Mac drove along the desert road.

"How is father?" Rebecca asked watching the scrub grass and tumbleweeds fly by the side of the road.

"He appeared to be in quite good health the other day," Mac responded as he took a quick glance in his rearview mirror on the driver's side of the windshield.

"I mean has he gone back to drinking?"

"I don't believe he has."

"Mr. McKinnon, I know what your side business is. Please, I will not tell the authorities, but it is important that my father isn't involved in anyway. He almost lost his job because of his drinking after mother died."

Mac chuckled a bit, "You know I did offer him a beer once, but he turned me down. I swear I've never seen him drunk nor have a drink."

Rebecca's sigh of relief was audible over the purr of the Roadster's engine. Mac looked over at her and smiled. As he continued to drive, he looked in his rearview mirror again.

"Say, how would you like to see how fast we can take this car?" Mac asked cheerfully.

Before Rebecca could respond she was not interested in going any faster, Mac stomped on the accelerator. The yellow Roadster shot off like a racehorse leaving the gates at the Kentucky Derby. Rebecca held onto the door with a death grip. The blood completely left her face as Mac took turns at breakneck speed and shot down side roads that were merely trails.

How long they drove like this Rebecca did not know. Eventually Mac slowed the car down and his own sigh of relief became audible over the engine.

"Mr. McKinnon I thought you were to deliver your cargo quickly and safely," Rebecca commented sarcastically.

"Trust me I have your safety on my mind and please call me Mac."

It was not long before they pulled into a cavernous valley. Large pillars of rock, some with boulders on top of them, littered the landscape. The view was quite stunning and Rebecca swore she had never seen anything as breathtaking as this before. Mac pulled the yellow car up to a cliff that contained some pueblo houses inside its huge cavern.

At the base of the cliff was pitched a medium sized tent in front of a fire pit. Boxes of supplies were stacked near the tent. Shovels and pickaxes rested against the boxes. Rebecca's heart raced with excitement. She jumped out of the car before Mac had the Roadster a full stop.

A man with gray hair wearing a beat up brimmed hat stepped out of the tent. His closely trimmed gray beard made him look even more scholarly. Rebecca ran up to him and threw her arms around the old man's neck.

"Father, it's great to see you," she cried as tears ran down her cheeks.

Hugo Strong hugged his daughter tightly with a huge smile on his face.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on May 10, 2006 7:38 PM.

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