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Newspaper Page Text
oring wind," Sharp answered, auto
matically, occupied with his levers.
"Think of it! Think of it!" said
Alice. "In New York this afternoon!"
"Yes," he returned with a sidelong
glance of inquiry. "It's not so dusty
as the train ride and" he laughed
' softly, which made her think that he
might have at least an aero-mecham
cal sense of humor "I should he de
lighted to- have you come along."
"It's very" kind of you and I don't
like dust. I think I will."
For a twinkling the Bolt hung over
the sleepers like a ship's sails bent
taut by a stronge breeze over the
hull, before it drew away from the
Limited as rapidly as on the highway.
It was a giant, supernatural plum
met shot in undeviating flight, steady
and firm, yet so light that Alice felt
herself a loosed spirit, borne on by
the will of another who had elimi
nated time and space from the uni
verse. "What is our speed?" she asked
"About two hundred."
"Miles an hour?"
"Yes, it's a record and only three
years ago sixty was our best. We
have mastered the currents, now, and
we're being pushed by one in our
"How high can you go?"
"It depends on conditions. Three
or four miles," lie answered, steady
ing the Bolt in the air current oppo
site her slip, where the figures pf the
attendants, were seen running to their
"That must be glorious! Oh, I'd
. "You would?" He looked around
at her, smiling, while the Bolt was as
still as if. some Yogi had suspended
it bj& an invisible wire.
"We'll try it," he said. "But we
can't go up like an elevator. We have
to climb a pyramidal, aerial stair
case, as it were," and already they
"If I dropped, it would be death,
jvouldri't it?" she whispered. "My;
reason tells me so, but not my feel
ings. It seems as if I could flutter
down gently or soar to t!e top of
the Custom House, as I choose. Do
you ever feel that way?"
"Yes. That's the trick confidence.
A pitcher must never thfnk he is not
going to strike the batsman out; an
aeroplanist must never think that he
is going to fall. And if something
breaks that's the fight."
She thought of him as a'D'Artag
nan of the air. She wished that they
might be in danger, so that she could
watch him at war with the battalions
"And the confidence that carried
me through " he turned to her with
a smile that had the suggestion of the
self-revelation which is the forerun
ner of inquiry "yes, it came from
what might seem a little thing." He
paused, as if waiting for some word
"Wonderful!" Alice whispered.
"Very wonderful, and mo'st wonderful
of all is " she was going to say
"you," but she made it, "your mas
tery of the air."
"No. If I am to be mentioned, it all
goes back to to Thomsonville. When
I had spent my last cent on that poor,
sorry experiment that cost me a
year's labor and all the village was
laughing, there was a girl in a car
riage looking on with the rest. She
said but do you recall what she
"Yes," she answered. '"I said: 'But
you did fly a little. You flew farther
than you could jump farther than
two big jumps.' "
'It was the only encouragement I
had had," he proceeded. "It stopped
the smarting of peeled shins and el
bows and saved me from trying to
thrash the village bully. That night
I kept repeating 'two big jumps.' It
really seemed a. beginning, and I
rose in the morning determined not
to give up.
"Oh! she whispered, with a supr
pression of breath.
, The mist which enveloped them .