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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, September 11, 1910, Image 19

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Aeroplane in Crime, as Well as in
War. May Soon Be Seen.
Now that aeroplane companies engage to turn
«rat a machine for anybody at catalogue prices
and skilled pilots are counted by the score and
multiply from month to month those who have
watch«l the growth of aviation most closely are
speculating upon the probable appearance of the
aeroplane burglar, or "sky pirate." as he might
be called. He is not likely to be long in coming
once the noise of the aerial motor can be sup
The aeroplane's best friends have to own that
Its very virtues fit it for a career of crime. It
goes fast and far, it leaves no track behind, it
can escape from any pursuer except one of its
own kin. and even then a chase would be a most
uncrtain one. Worst of all. If the bird-man
is minded rather like a vulture than like an
pair!'' he can strike his prey in Its most vul
nerable part. The easiest access to a locked
house is to be had from overhead, as any city
dweller can see for himself if ha will go up and
Icok at the door in his own roof.
A hinge of strap iron, or at best an iron bar,
fastened with a padlock that would yield like
paper to a skilfully handled "jimmy." is all that
prevents the -::.:-.- trapdoor from being
lifted from without. Indeed, the roof is the
usu*.l route of th* robber of vacant houses, and
it is on!y the difficulty of reaching it that keeps
such crimes from being far more common than
they are.
Only me step more in aviation is needed to
make the aeroplane the burglar's mount. It
must b<* made to alight upon a restricted space,
such as the roof of a house, and to go up from
the same spat without Gitneuity. When that
tin:* has come it is easy to forecast what is
likely to happen.
First the police will hear frequent complaints
that vacant houses have been entered by way of
tie roof. Ferhaps a caretaker will tell of hear
ing strange sounds overhead at night. A silver
p±Vvr knife, which is recognized as part of the
missing plunder, is found by a milkman in a
customer's backyard in Williamsbridge.
" A detective puts forth The theory that the
robixrs fled by aeroplane and dropped the knife
by accident. The newspapers take it up and
orge ■>■ more stringent enforcement of the avia
tion laws. Policemen are ordered to shoot at
aercj.lar.es which fly by ni*rht without the dls
tisg-uishir.g lights required under the statutes.
Then an old caretaker is found with his skull
crushed in. the house looted and the trapdoor
open, and a policeman recalls seeing an aero
plane start from that house the ni«ht before
The whole country is aroused.
There is a new cry of police incompetence.
Wealthy amateurs, taken with the novelty of
the tiling. o!Ter their services to the department,
which sets them to watch from the high hotel
roofs. One night a rocket soars up over the
city. It is the signal which every policeman has
r*-n pn-pared to give, and it points the culprit's
line of flight toward the west.
With a whir of angry engines one of i *
•wkiting machines swoops from her perch.
Swiftly she climbs upward, hunting for her
quarry. Her two mm see the shining double
cb-iin of Broadway lights wink out at one place
x=i Then flash back again. That was where the
l.irais* craft went by. The pursuers swerve
toward her trail, leaping in a terrific downward
jj!i«i«\ The man in uniform sees her first and
points her out to his taut nerved companion.
Th>*y have the upper plane of her. and as they
follow her out above the silent river the man at
the wheel coaxes his quivering mount higher
a:.l higher still.
v; a word from him the man in uniform un
folds the wicked little four-fluked anchor. With
a turn of its silken cord brought around the
aluminum keelpost he lowers 11 until it is
swinging a .-.:.• below them.
Now their prey is outlined against the great
wall of electric sigr.s that blazes along the Jer-
Fey shore. She is flying high, meaning to clear
the Palisades if she can. And even at thai her
pursuer is a good three hundred feet higher than
she is.
The man at the wheel wheedles a few more
revolutions a second out of his groaning en-
Sir^s. "'■:■ gently, he turns down the forward
rut'd'^r. The great signs leap tip at them.
blurred through the tears that start behind the
goggles. The silken anchor cord trails whistling
behiiid them like the tail of a kite. That sicken
ing: plunge overtakes the fugitive as if she were
rtandinrr still.
A scared face looks up at them; •.■■ dark craft
tries to swerve, but it is too late. The pursuer
jrces over her like a whirlwind. The man at the
wheel ramps her upward to take the shock, and
then the assailants hear the crunching of metal
as the little steel anchor sets its teeth in the
pirate's frame.
Their aeroplane staggers and rocks with the
tension. The man in uniform pays out the
silken cord, and bis bands are cut as it runs
through them. But the first shock is safely
over r.ow, and he takes another turn of the line
about - cleat and the great machine tug:; at It
A s:iri»-k comes from below, die line slack
ens suddenly. They see the dark aeroplane reel
end so sidewLse. overturned, hopeless and out of
csrtroL Tue sa; ... us •- cuts toe Use with
one sweep of the knife he had laid beside him
for the purpose. In a fluttering, broken spiral
the wounded machine plunges down four hun
dred feet into the Hudson, and is gone.
As the others wind their way to the shore, not
fifty yards from the spot where the pirate fell,
they hear a hail. Aground they find the rob
bers held by three watchmen, who, having seen
the struggle in the air, hurried up to take a
Just Men a chase may never be seen in the
skies of Manhattan. Certainly it will not until
there are aeronauts of a different stamp from
the fellows who take up the great flyers of to
day. A burglar alarm is a mighty good thing to
have on that roof door, anyway. J. 8.. Jr.
Heroic Captains Who Hare Upheld
Un-jcritien Late of Seas.
• The captain of the vessel shall be the last to
Sumo westling. the method peculiar to the
Japanese, may fee described as almost a religious
csrer-icnv. From early eh; Shood boys are
trained to devote their lives to this form of
spo^-t. They are not permitted to sit taiior
fashion, the favorite attitude of the Japanese,
sc that the:- iegs may grew ionger, and they are
■fed more I'seraily open rreat than their fellow
countrymen. The best west!e-s belong to a
sort of reiigicus brotherhood, and the proceeds
of their wresting go toward the upkeep of the
ar.estnood of the Ekoin Ternp : e. near Tokio. In
This heroic sentiment was vividly exhibited
a short time ago when Captain Isby of the
ill-fated Re] lie refused to leave his hip till
every man, woman, child and member of his
crew had been saved.
One of the bra st of these heroes was Chief
Officer Paterson, of the British King. One day,
a couple of winters ago. he sailed from New
York under the command of Captain O'Hagan.
Great storms impeded the passage of the ship,
and so stupendous was the violence of the waves
that they stove : -. the bow plates, and before .':.■
leakage was discovered tons of water rushed
into the hold. Captain O'Hag-an told his men to
shift the cargo, bat barrels and cases were hur
tling this way and that, and one of them, driv
ing the captain back against the wall, crushed
his leg so severely that he had to be carried to
the lifeboat.
For a brief space there was no captain. Then
Paterson took command. At a critical moment
bis strong personality and calm assurance saved
the crew from panic Three beats. Oiled with
sailors of the British King, were launched in
safety while the new commander stood in.
silence on the bridge. Lower and lower sank
the 111-starred ship, and as she heaved and took
her final plunge Paters., n Mow ,1 farewell blast
upon his whistle to the fast departing crew.
Quite d iff* rent, but no less heroic, was the
manner in which Captain Griffith of the At
lantic Transport Line steamship Mohegan faced
death. Though it was scarcely darker than twi
light, he had run his vessel on the rocks near
th«? Needles in October. 189S, and it was rapidly
sinking. The last glimpse of Captain tlriffita
showed him standing on the bridge ordering the
boats to be lowered in order to save his crew.
Heroic in death, too. was the captain of the
oil ship Loodiana, which several years ago was
burned at sea. Before thinking of his own
safety he saw every man of his crew clear of
the doomed vessel — and then it was too late.
Foot by foot he was driven forward by the
flames, till at last he hung over the bow. A
tramp steamship came up, but the waters were
too rough for the lowering- of the boats. Finally
the flames compelled him to loosen his hold,
and while his ship burned fiercely on he was
dashed into the angry seas beneath.
But still more dramatic was the death of Cap
tain Deloncle of the French liner La, Bourgogne
deed, each wrestling bout may be said to be an
act of worship to assist the dead toward Nir
vana, the ultimate hops of the Buddhists. A
peculiar custom is the strewing of salt, kept in
a small receptacle to be seen on the pillar in
the background of our drawing, before each
bout. The referee may also be seen in the back
ground carrying a fan, on which is written the
legend, 'Peace to the world." The v.-restier who
throws his opponent off his feet on to the
ground, or off the "mat,' 1 gains the victory.
— Illustrated London News.
sunk in the summer of IS9B. As he stood one
night upon the bridge a tall bark suddenly
loomed out of the darkness, and, dealing La
Bourgogr.e a fatal blow, steamed hurriedly
away. The men en board went frantic. In a
scramble for safety firemen and crew lest their
wits and people ran up and down the deck in
wild despair. Delor.oie stood calm amid the
tumult. Suddenly he abandoned himself to the
dramatic horror of the scene, and, seizing the
whistle rope, sent into the skies one lons, wild,
wailing groan. It was Delonc] '.- last salute.
Perhaps the noblest death of all was that of
Captain Craven of the monitor Tecunisch at
the attack, in August, ISG4. en Mobile. The
ship v.as fast sinking; there was net a moment
to be lost. At the foot of the ladder leading to
the manhole above, the turret of safety, two
men Captain Craven and his pilot. There
would be time for but one to mount. The cap
tain knew it; the pilot knew it. But there was
no hesitation. With a smile Captain Craven
stepped to one side.
■'Afttir you, pilot," he said.
The man sprang up the ladder, and his life
' was saved; but the captain was swept under and
carried t« destruction.— Tlt-Elta.
Gigantic Industry That lias Been
Built on the Craving to Slide.
The male American, from the time when his
first trousers make him feel proud, has just one
passion that is stronger than his love for at
tending; fires. It is his desire to slide down hill.
If during those early years he finds a cellar door,
banister, haymow or hillside of snow or slippery
i grass and does not try it? friction on hi 3
trousers, then there is a good and painful rea
son for his temperance ten rimes out of every
ten. The female American, who at a tender
ape makes herself as much like the male as she
can. follows his example in this matter and
slides whenever she dares to. minding her
mamma only when she is afraid.
And even in grown-up days, when you see a
particularly fine mahogany stair rail sweeping
down from top to bottom of a house, with a
graceful, rounded on* spiral at the end and not
a post or an obstruction anywhere — you kno^r
what is the first thing you think of. And if you
were quite sure that nobody could possibly see
you, and that you wouldn't fall off. and that
! you could catch yourself at the end. and that
I your stomach wouldn't get in the way and youß
glasses would stay on — well, of course you can't
be sure of any of these things. Only if you
could, who knows what might happen?
That longing to "let her rip," to surrender
yourself unresistingly to the force of gravity,
goes very deep into your being. It is civilized
' human nature crying out for contact with an
essential force, crying to be set free, if only for
an instant, from the paths of every day. hum
drum existence. The longing is none the less
deep because it seems ridiculous. It is a real,
strong, primeval instinct. Now, in any strong
human desire there is a great deal of money for
the man who knows how to satisfy it and i 3
willing to sell satisfaction at reasonable rates.
Hence the roller coaster. It stands in Scot
land, in Coney Island, in Brazil, in Yucatan.
It is numbered in tens of thousands, and mill
ions ride In it every year. It has made its in
ventors millionaires. Yet they took only tha
essence, the spiritual part, of the cellar door,
freed it from its homely surroundings, exalted
it. elaborated it, capitalized it and made it a.
mint to coin the cellar door impulse into good
currency. The mint works on a grand scale.
The first roller coaster was 4.» feet Ion:;, an{
the highest drop on the line was one of ten feet.
The thrill was somewhat more intense than that
to be gained from a parlor rocking chair; it was
rather more like the sensation of working 4
wooden lawn swing. To-day there is a rolle?
coaster at Brighton Beach where the track is
11G feet high at one point, and there is a drop
of eighty-five feet. "When the car plunges down
that descent the passenger literally leaves his
scat for an instant, and a3 he sees Coney Is!a:r4
leaping up to meet him he knows how a base*
ball feels when a .400 batsman swings on if t
with the bases full.
That first roller coaster cost $1,500. The bisj
3cenic railways at Toney Island to-day coa|
about $00,000 each. The smaller ones, such a3
are shipped cut to Rio de Janeiro or Yokohama,
represent an Investment of S-K>,<">oo each before
they have carried a passenger. It is estimated
that 550,090,000 is invested in sliding- amuse
ments of one sort or another in the United
States alone. More than half the population o?
the country lives within an hour's ride of ons
or ancther of them, for they are in a thcusan 1
of our clues. If the cellar door impulse is not
turned into hard dollars it is certainly not for
lack of the machinery to do it or of willingness
to furnish the machinery. A single firm, tha
same which operated the first ••switchback' in
1884, now has $8,000,000 Invested in the busi
ness. Its profits are enormous.
In one season a roller coaster frequently pays
for itself. Earnings of loss than CO per cent for
a season are rare. Two thousand dollars is a
good figure for a Sunday's receipts. The- fare 13
10 cents a ride. That means that twenty thou
sand thrills of cellar door satisfaction have be< a
mint, d into hard cash.
Go to Coney Island and sec how natural the
process is. When you have felt the cushion* d
seat plunge down from under you and have
caught your breath to tide yourself over the bis
drop that is coming; and have felt tho car
charge up the next steep slope with a rear :.r.l
1 !-:.<h that is good to hear, and when you have
giuwu supercilious at the easy motion with
whi( h it takes the later undulations, and then
have had the whole ride all over again, you '.vill
come out at the c nd and be quite ready to own.
that it is well worth 10 cents and that you will
ride again, to-day or next week, as circum
stances may fall out. You have it firmly ;L:c:i
in your mind that it is worth 10 cents.
Continued on lonrtii p:>.£:\
IHnnyadi Janos
M Avoid Substitutes

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