Of course it's a new air-ship, and of course it's of Frank's own design, and of course it was made of the lightest materials, and was richly appointed. It's been a while since we had an ice-planet level, so Frank shows up to shoot wolves and do some Science Adventures.
They got stuck in a comet's tail, and the ship was ruined, so they had to walk from the Arctic Circle to civilization. Piece of cake! No trouble at all for intrepid men. No one believed them until they explained their story to Notable Men of Science, who realized Frank wouldn't lie about these things, he being Frank Reade Jr. and all. Where would you draw the line with this guy?
So, I was up in my 17th airship. And might I add no one on the planet has managed to build one, let alone two, let alone 17 with richly appointed interiors.
This we know, good sir; a credit on the race you are.
And I took it up above the atmosphere -
But - but how did you breathe?
Oh, an ingenious air-recirculation system of my own design. Would you like to examine the schematics? (unrolls some plans) Here you see the charcoal screens to remove impurities; this circuit here ionizes the air for freshness.
Most impressive! It - it surpasses anything mankind has invented!
Thank you. As I was saying, we chanced into the tail of a comet -
Here now, sir, do you take us for fools?