Snoopy, Ernie, and Easy ran up the stairs to Squeaky Toy Tower, just as the rain started pouring down. From his seat by the Window, Walter watched debris flying through the wind, and raindrops pounding the glass, and said, "Nothing's going to be taking off or landing 'til this storm clears."
"Not even a blimp?", Snoopy asked.
"Especially not a blimp", Walter answered. "You should know that better than me. You fly those things. Speaking of which, where is the blimp?"
Snoopy pointed out the window. Walter squinted through the darkness, and said, "Oh my Dog! Anybody aboard?"
"Tasha and Shasta!", Snoopy said. "They were on board when Puddles tried to steal the blimp. For some reason, when the wind blew it away, the blimp went straight up. We think one of them must have got caight on the elevator wheel."
"Can you get them down?", Easy asked.
"All we can do is try", Walter said. "Is the radio on?"
"It was when I left the control car", Snoopy said.
Walter grabbed the microphone, and said, "Badyear one, this is Squeaky Toy Tower. Do you read? Over."
Only static. He tried again, but to no avail. Walter shrugged, and said, "It's probably the weather. Look at that lightning."
After a thunderclap, Snoopy said, "Maybe they don't know you're calling them. Let me try."
Snoopy grabbed the microphone, and said, "Badyear one, this is Squeaky Toy Tower. Tasha or Shasta, if you can hear me, get those headsets on, now!"
High above the field, Tasha and Shasta were hanging on to the control panel, trying to keep from falling out the open door. Suddenly, Tasha thought she heard someone call their names, far off, and very faintly, but she could hear "Tasha."
Shasta heard it, too. Quickly, she looked up, and realized the sound was coming from the headset. But she couldn't reach it without letting go. She turned to Tasha, and said, "Can you reach those earphones?"
Tasha swatted the air with her paws, then found some firm footing, and jumped up onto the control panel. She grabbed the headset, put it on, and said, "Snoopy?"
Down on the ground, they all cheered. Snoopy looked skyward, and said, "Are you two okay?"
Through the phones, a static-laden voice said, "No. Shasta is hanging on, and can't reach the controls."
"Okay, listen carefully. Just before the blimp went up, did you move that big metal wheel next to the pilot's seat?"
"I didn't mean to. My paw got caught, and I spun it by accident."
Easy breathed a sigh of relief. "Great. Now all they have to do is spin the wheel back......."
"It's not that simple", Walter said.
"Why not? I saw Snoopy do it a zillion times."
"Because the blimp was moving through the air", Ernie said.
"It still is", Easy said.
Walter shook his head. "It's moving with the air, not through it. It's drifting, like a boat with the motor turned off. The rudder and elevator won't work, unless the blimp is moving faster than the wind."
"Ooh", Easy said. "What'll we do?"
"Tasha, listen to me", Snoopy said. "Look over to the left hand side of the panel. Do you see the two big black handles sticking up?"
"Yeah. I'm scared."
"It's okay, just do what I tell you, and we'll bring the blimp down together. First, push both handles forward, slowly. When the engines start to spin, throttle up to speed, and slowly spin the elevator wheel forward. As the speed of the blimp increases, you should level out. Got it?"
"I think so."
"Okay, start the engines!"
They all looked skyward.