Jock, infuriated by Juan’s obvious inability to fly the airship, gets him in an arm lock and tries to throw him out of a window. While they brawl, I cling on to the wheel and, spotting Mahalath’s emergency smoke signal ahead, I try to steer towards it.
Escaping from the arm lock by smashing a bottle of Vintage Lagavulin over Jock’s head, Juan, looking out of the window, says that there don’t seem to be any guards and it seems to be a simple matter of landing, grabbing Mahalath, and leaving. Jock, wildly throwing punches, says that, once he’s on the ground, he’s not getting back into this stupid machine. I tell him that that won’t be a problem as, after landing, the airship will probably be a mangled wreck.
Unfortunately, before hitting the ground, trying to engage the landing gear, I accidently put the airship into reverse gear instead. Suddenly flying backwards over Humperdinkem, we wrestle with the wheel and slam levers backwards and forwards, but nothing works and, the next time we look out of the window, Humperdinkem is out of sight and we are skimming along a cliff, staring at two Gannets, one of whom, startled to see us, falls off its perch in surprise.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary