Despite the speed of his Black Tom powered rocket we believed that we were far enough ahead to be still in with a chance of getting there first.
The ignominy of having our anniversary celebrations being marred by Beaver’s victory was too much to bear thinking about.
Then, Professor Hismouth declared that there was a fault in his navigation device – he calculated that we were already drifting off course.
He felt that it was also clear that sabotage had taken place. The extending gears on the telescope element had been deliberately jammed. The only way that this could be fixed was for a volunteer to take a spacewalk and carry out repairs. This would be very a difficult and hazardous operation as the gears were contained within a confined space.
“I’ll do it, Sir, I’m small, it’ll be easy for me and I have always wanted to do a space walk!” piped up the Old Monkey.
I was most impressed that the dwarf, Diggory Stigneev, volunteered that, as he was short of stature as well, he would be happy to accompany the OId Monkey as his partner. I thought this very brave of him and began to regret my earlier suspicions of him as the saboteur.
The Old Monkey and the dwarf went into the airlock and were soon on the exterior of the rocket hard at work carrying out the repairs.
At this point, A.B.Fox came rushing into the cockpit. He informed me that he had discovered the dwarf’s pickaxe hidden in the navigation room. It had clearly recently been used and the residues of paint on it matched those on the gears of the telescope. So, my suspicions were confirmed…and the Old Monkey was alone in space with the saboteur!
Before we could alert him to the danger we heard a cry from the Old Monkey. I looked out to see him spinning off into space!