Here Frank is set upon by a Hover-Cat of some other scientist's devising. That'll teach you to meddle in the affairs of Central America, kid.
Actually, it's Frank's friend, who went missing in Central America and required steam-related intervention. Read the exciting conclusion, if you wish, and marvel at the way the author makes no attempt to hide how bored he is with this thing.
Haste was made to relieve Barney from his irksome position.
Like the writing coaches say, show, don't tell.