Survival Run

Survival Run by Franklin W. Dixon Read Free Book Online

Book: Survival Run by Franklin W. Dixon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
that second guy coming up behind me. He clobbered me with a kidney punch." Shrugging off Joe's gentle but firm grip, he dashed over to the dirt bikes. "Come on!" he shouted. "We can still catch them!"
    Frank and Joe jumped on the dirt bikes and took off after the Assassins. The ATVs were already out of sight in the dense woods, but the three wide tires left tracks that were easy to follow. Frank led the way, weaving through the trees, ducking under low-hanging branches, and glancing back frequently to make sure Joe was still with him.
    When the tracks dipped down and across a narrow creek bed, Frank gunned the engine, stood up on the foot pegs, tugged hard on the handlebars, and leaned forward as the lightweight motorcycle sailed across the small stream. Joe watched his brother's bike come down in a perfect two-point landing, back wheel first, just as he hit the air himself.
    Joe's brief flight ended with a jarring impact on the other side of the creek. His front wheel hit the ground and turned slightly to one side, and the bike wobbled and bucked, almost throwing him off. Joe grappled with the handlebars and wrestled the bike, refusing to let it crash. The rear tire swerved violently one way and then the other, but Joe stayed with it and brought the bike back under control.
    Frank caught a glimpse of one of the ATVs up ahead and pushed the dirt bike even harder. He rode in a crouch, barely touching the seat, his legs and arms taking the jarring shock as the tires bounced over the rocky, bumpy forest floor. He was gaining on the rear ATV now. He could see the twin back tires churning up the ground and spewing out a spray of dirt and leaves. The rider bobbed his head slightly as he drove between two large pines and then glanced back over his shoulder at Frank.
    Frank wondered why the Assassin had ducked, since there was plenty of headroom beneath the lowest branch of either tree. The rider glanced back at him again, and Frank had the sense that the man was waiting for something to happen.
    The answer came to Frank in a shaft of sunlight glinting off a shiny, thin strand of wire strung between the two pine trees. His eyes widened, and he heaved himself backward off the bike.
    "Trip wire!" he screamed just before he smashed into the ground with a painful thud. The motorcycle rolled under the razor-thin metal strand that would have taken Frank's head off, kept going for another fifteen feet, took a wild hop over a rock, and crashed on its side.
    Joe hit the brakes, cut the front wheel sharply to the left, and skidded to a halt. He jumped off the bike and ran over to his brother.
    Frank waved him off. "I'm all right! Don't let them get away! I'll catch up!"
    Joe didn't argue. He hopped back on the dirt bike and took off on the Assassins' trail. The tire tracks wound through the forest for another mile or so and then headed across a wide clearing.
    The ATVs were nowhere in sight - and the tracks led straight to the edge of a jagged cliff that was near Stavrogin's cabin. Joe got off the motorcycle and stood near the edge. Almost a thousand feet below was a vast canopy of green treetops that extended into the distance. The far horizon was rimmed with mountain peaks.
    He was still standing there when Frank arrived on his crippled dirt bike. The front wheel was badly bent, and Frank had a hard time controlling the bike if he tried to go faster than ten miles an hour.
    "Do you think they rode over the cliff and killed themselves?" Joe asked.
    Frank's gaze swept the trees that crowded the base of the cliff. "It's impossible to tell from here. You could hide a small city in those woods. But why would they kill themselves?"
    "To avoid being captured?" Joe ventured.
    Frank shook his head. "Unlikely. They weren't vastly outnumbered or anything like that. In fact, they probably thought their booby trap sliced me in half. Would two trained Assassins commit suicide if a lone, unarmed teenager was chasing them?"
    "Gee, thanks," Joe grumbled. "You

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