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Newspaper Page Text
before it paused, stood still, and then
began its downward rush.
Durand had planned his descent so
that it should carry him into the
French lines. But to his horror a
sudden breeze drove the parachute
straight toward theinside of the
fortress walls. And then, resigning
himself to the inevitable, he devoted
all his efforts toward saving bis life,
rather than attempting to gain the
camp of the besiegers, which would
mean an instant drop to death.
It was about a minute after he had
pulled the cord of the valve when
Durand dropped, unharmed, at the
feet of the general in defense of Fort
But nobody noticed him, for all
eyes were strained upward to whejre
the great balloon came whirling
down straight toward the fortress.
Here Durand had not miscalculated.
It fell true as an arrow, and the heat
lightning played about it and
The most awful detonation that
had ever been heard since war be
gan filled the whole air with sound.
A coil of cloud enveloped everything
and shut out the sunlight. Slowly it
drifted away. And every one knew
what had occurred. The dirigible
had been struck by lightning during
An instant later the sun disap
peared. And suddenly, with the
sound of a million bullets, hailstones
the size of pigeons' eggs whizzed to
the earth, followed by a drenching
Never had it rained as it rained
that afternoon. The water fell in
torrents. It was as though a million
hoses were turned earthward from
the heavens. In two minutes the
camps were flooded. The streets of
the beleaguered town ran water. Men
flung themselves upon their faces
and wallowed in the precious rain.
From every house buckets, bath tubs,
implements of every kind were out
stretched, to hold the life-giving wa
ter. The cisterns overflowed. The
besieged city was saved.
Durand stood before the general
within the fortress. His hope had
failed, by the interposition of the un
pected element, fate, which send so
many schemes agley.
He expected death. He was not
even in uniform a hopeless, ragged
ex-convict, bearing the stamp of
shame upon his furrowed face.
The general turned to him. "Do
you know what is going to happen to
you?" he asked.
"A firing party, I suppose," Du
"No," answered the general quiet
ly. "You are going to. make a balloon
for us." .
HE WAS INDICTED IN THE NEW
Lewis Cass Ledyard, lawyer. Born
April 4, 1851, in Michigan. Graduated
in 1872 from Harvard and began to
practice law in New York city.
Ledyard specializes in corpora
tions, both as a lawyer and as an
investor. He's director in more than
50 corporations, including the Amer
ican Express Company, U. S. Trust
Company, Atlantic Mutual Insurance
Company, Northern JPacific Railroad
and the American Telegraph & Tele
phone Company. t