melodrama’s very modern modernity
May 19, 2008 § Leave a comment
“Wait!” the latter admonished in a half-whisper. “Look there!”
Barcus followed the direction of his gesture, and
was transfixed by sight of a rocket appearing into
the night-draped sky from a point invisible beyond
the headland. The two consulted one another with
startled and fearful eyes.
As with one voice they murmured one word : “Judith!” (p. 103)
A little later (p. 131), Alan climbs up an unfinished skyscraper:
a colossal apartment structure, the gaunt iron skeleton rearing a web of steel stencilled against the shining sky. (…) The ladders were
crazily constructed and none too securely poised,
but at length he gained the gridiron of girders on
a plane with the lighted window across the way, and
crept along one of these, gingerly on his hands and
knees, until he came to its end, and might, if he
cared to, look down a hundred feet to the sidewalks.
And still later (p. 159), Alan is picked up by a plane:
Out of the very sky dropped a hydroplane, cutting the water with a long graceful curve that brought it, almost at a standstill, directly to the head of the swimmer. and at the same time forced the police-boat to sheer wildly off in order to escape collision.
And though the first transcontinental flight had been achieved a mere three years before, this does not seem to bother our Alan Law:
Promptly Alan called up the Aviation Fields at
Hempstead Plains and got into communication with
a gentleman answering to the surname of Coast,
the same bird-man who had come to Alan’s rescue
with his hydroplane. Their arrangements were
quickly consummated, Coast agreeing to wait for
Alan with his biplane in Van Cortlandt Park from
midnight till daybreak, prepared if need be to undertake
a trans-continental flight.