Frank was delighted; his car, "Old Pluster", had so far surmounted all obstacles. He was full of courage and set off without hesitation with Florian and the black gentleman into the endless desert in order to see this golden city and its black queen.
He had been driving for days through the hot desert sand, but the horizon remained empty. Frank drove on and on, not noticing that the sky was becoming overcast with yellow sulphurous streaky clouds. Then pitch darkness descended. A samum arose, churning the sand from one end of the desert to the other, burying "Old Pluster" together with her passengers. As he lay there under the heavy weight of the sand wondering whether it was all a bad dream, Frank heard a soft sound of cymbals; the volume increased and soon filled his ears with the music of blaring trumpets and thunderous drums. He managed to get his head out from under the sand and looked around in amazement. He saw a most beautiful fairy tale city bathed in strange spheric light. There were domes and minarettes made of marble, gold, diamonds; he saw a procession of hundreds of elephants, horses and camels and a black queen bedeckt in glittering jewels riding a white tiger. Frank leapt up and walked towards the procession. But what was this? He walked straight through all the animals as if they were merely colourful cloud formations. When he cried out, everything vanished from sight as it had been a spectre. Frank heard Florian panting behind him and the fat gentleman grumbling. Where was he? He felt around to the right and to the left - he was still sitting imprisoned in his sanded-up car. Loud, clear words tore Frank out of this sonambulent state: "Take hold of the hook and tie it on firmly!" It was Mr. Sam Brankwyn's voice. Somebody set a propeller in motion and the engine of an aircraft began to clatter and rattle. "Old Pluster" felt a jerk, she was hauled out of the sand and shimmering dust, and suddenly took off into the air, being attached to the dragrope of a single-decker plane. -