OCR Interpretation


The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 31, 1910, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-07-31/ed-1/seq-6/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for 6

6
RACE BETWEEN THE COMET AND THE SILVER FLASH
ARTHUR MORGAN LANGWORTHY
C.XPERT aerial opinion was divided
ns to whose model aeroplane was
'the queen of the Pralrleville air.
Some held that Frank Williams' Wright
model Comet " should be awarded tho
palm, while others maintained that Jim
Spencer's Blcrlot model Silver Flash'
was entitled to the glory 'of being the
swiftest flier. \u25a0\u25a0•.'.'
When Frank Williams learned of
this state of the public's mind he was
greatly nettled. lie knew that the
Comet, proper condition, was equal to
- the Silver Flash "any old" time," and
to settle the dispute forever he' boldly
' challenged Jim Spencer, builder and-!
owner of the Silver Flat^h, to a special
match race. •""' ;;.luU-
The. formal ; arr«ngcemnts were con
ducted with po^.p and solemnity, ns be
fitted such arijmportant occasion! The
negotiations took place : in Frank's
aerial workshop down in the .balloon
'park and aerial trial grounds =in the
cow pusturo. ..Thn Pralrieville areo'
club attended in a body and watched
the/ two principals gravely evolve the
\u0084. Bet of articles governing the contest..
The race was to be run off in ten ,
-{flights, the neroplane making the great
.esf total distance being the ' winner.
When it came to pitching on' the proper
'place-to fly Frank had one' of his in
spirations."^ ' .' . v ? '
; "Such an important sporting event
as this should be worth something; to
look at. Now, if we could only ralso
.a little money for tlie^ bene/lt of the
club for. it," lie suggested. > •
: "But how are you going to make nny
\u25a0\u25a0j,thing pay outdoors when all the fences '\u25a0\u25a0
; around -the big lots are barbed wire ,
you can See through, and the roads are
- free," interrupted Jim contemptuously.
; , "We might, get the track," went on
Frank, alluding to the large trotting
course at the fair grounds. "My dad
belongs to. the County Fair associa
tion «o"nd. I guess he could "get it for us
/'for one iday, before the fair opens, ten
days from now." ,
"My father belongs, too," added Ned
Wilson, ; "and mine also," cried Toni
•Kennedy. , ..'...• . "
' "That's fine. With a 'pull' as big as
this" we ought to land It, and the track's
a bully place to fly in," exclaimed
\u25a0 Frank enthusiastically. : idea was ,
t Quickly adopted. The ' meeting .broke
'\u25a0;•\u25a0;, "P. and the \ various members - went
home to enlist their fathers in the plan
,to secure the track. . \u25a0^.;- > ""* ;
.-. The • next meeting of the Aero club
. was not quite so dignified, and most
of the pomp had departed. For it
:: developed that, the boys', arch enemy, -
old John Turner, owned a majority of
• the Fair 'association's stock : jand he
"turneddown" the request of the boys'
' fathers absolutely.
: , ; "GJuess "we'll have to hold the race
' ln ,< * ne ba V loon park here and give up
charging anything,", remarked Frank
gloomily, !which resolution was finally
/.adopted, the date , of the match being
made subject tojhe weather and the
'anemometer. Tho anemometer was the ;
club's latest acquisition— -a little ma
chine equipped : with movable "vanes,
with cups attached to the" ends, that
V measured the velocity of the wind. You
can see just what It's llko by' looking
. In the dictionary for Its picture.
And then the weather, got cranky. It
rained for the next few days, and then
\a Btrong hot blast set across the praJrio
that made a race impossible, and some
of the oldest inhabitants began to keep
a fatherly eye, on their cyclone- cel
lars, as It rolled blinding dust oloudg
over the plains.- But nothing serious
happened,; though the anemometer reg
istered some high marks. And what
with Frank going to the city to visit
hia cousin Joe for a week end, nearly
ten', days elapsed before the great
match was flown.
Everybody who, was not helping to
gut exhibits. ready for the county fair
name to th« balloon park that eventful
afternoon. Ned Wifson acted as referee,
and when he blew his whistle at 2 p. in,
both rivals lined up at one end of- the
36 foot starting platform of smooth
boards laid at the edge of the field.
As both model aeroplanes had wheel 1
bases they started themselves. They
were set side by side at tho starting
point and their wound up propellers
released at the game time. This caused
them to glide along the smooth runway
on their wheel bases until the propell
ers had speeded up' fast enough to make
thn machines leave the ground and
"take tho air," with the cheering crowd
after them.
While the efficient Aero club police
force shoved the crowd back the oltlcial
THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL', SUNDAY, JULY 31, 1910.— THE JUNTOR CALL
measurer performed his duty. The re
sults left no doubt that both airships
had been brought to. the limit of perfec
tion:. The Silver Flash was found tfl
have made a scant two feet more than
the Comet and took the honors for the
first "flight with 212 feet 1 inch.
The second flfght reversed the:stand
ing, the Comet going to the front with
a few feet -lead. Flight No. 3, an un
usually long one,,; brought the two
aerM fliers ."wing and wing" .to the
end of the field. As it had been agreed
thai the ..trial was to be straightaway
instead of turning back down the other
side, of the balloon park the two rivals
flew ; over : the /fence on flight No. 4
down the road that ran near the field. .
: So perfectly were the two aeroplanes
handled, that, but a few feet separated
them. \when. the' referee Whistled Cfor
No. 5. It happened that Jim's
machine had lit In the middle of the
road ; in 'landing .from the previous
flight, while the Comet had come, down
in the grassy footpath. , Now, according
to .the rules the machine must be
started on; the next flight from the
exact; spot "where it lit at the end of
the previous flight. . • •
Jim> wound: up the, single propeller
the llO^revolutlons to give its connect
ing.' rubber ..//.-band* motor the proper
tautness, walked-., over.; to the jspot
markecT by the official measurer in the
center, of the road and wa« about to
release the propeller; when a team ap
peared around a little curve ahead of
him: \u25a0..:\u25a0\u25a0 ;;. ,\u25a0••;••."/>
The clump of tall bushes growing
along the - curve hid. the team's ap
proach, and when 'the boys saw. whose
it was; they all let. out a surprised yell,
which;, startled [the big farm ho*ses, al
ready trotting; at a smart pace down
the slight grade. .Old man Turner
handled the reins and he was engaged
in a \u25a0 very important proceeding — es
corting: his famous"*- blue ribbon sow
Empress and her seven young shoats
over to the fair. . The boys could see
Empress* large pink nose sticking out
over, the side of -the straw bedded farm
wagon, and a chorus of derisive grunts
followed up their yells.
And at that nothing would have hap
pened if Jim Spencer had stepped out
of the road as he should have done.
AN OLD HUNGARIAN TALE
Once upon a time the creatures living
with ;a farmer grew tired of serving
him, and one and all deserted him. Cow
ami horse, cock and hen, duck- and
goose, left his dwelling. Only the dog
remained behind, faithful to his master.
They wandered about all day long in
company and when night came, finding
a 'deserted hut In the forest, they en
tered In and took possession of it.
The cat laid herself down in the still
warm ashes on the hearth. Horse and
cow stretched themselves out on some
loose straw in one corner. Tlje duck
waddled under a bench, the goose under
a table, the hen flew up on top of a
cupboard, the cock on the chimney
piece. Just as they had comfortably
settled themselves for the night a pack
of wolves came prowling about the hut,
and sent the oldest and strongest one
among them into it to see who it was
who had taken possession there.
When the wolf came. ln at the door ha
saw the cat's eyes glowing In the dark
and took them for live coals on the
hearth. Rut when he came up closer
the cat tlnw at him, nearly scratching
his eyes out. The horse got up from
the straw and gave him ,i kick In the
ribs. And when the wolf turned to
flee from the hut the cow butted him
"Don't let 'er go! You'll scare the
horses!" cried Frank warningly as ho
saw what Jim was about to do.
"Serve him right, the old kill-joy!"
answered Jim, whose mischevious spirit
was now fully aroused, and before
Frank could stop him he launched tho
Silver. Flash into, the air almost in the
faces of the approaching horses.
The whirring of the, rising air craft's
propeller was drowned by the fright
ened whinnies of the maddened horses.
They reared in* the air, then swerved
violently to the right and bolted!
Tlie heavy wagon wheels struck a
big bowlder by the roadside and cata
pulted old Turner right off "his seat
upon the soft turf, while tne spectat
ors stood paralyzed at this sudden dis
aster. '\u25a0 Xi':^-i ;-v ;' •
.Tnrner scrambled to his feet unhurt
anß started after the runaway team, as
did everybody, else, although you may
be sure the boys were mighty careful
not to get within reach of the infur
iated old farmer, whose pigs were the
pride of his , life.
And things looked tough for the Em
press and; her "royal 'family, for. the
team traveled faster every minute as
the grade Increased. Turner groaned
as. he saw the flying horses approach
the creek road and Frank heard the old
man pant to, himself. "That's what I get
for not lettin' them'young whelps have
the track. It's all up with Empy If
they take the creek road."
Empy was Turner's pet name for his
illustrious pig, and a cry of horror
rose from him when the team promptly
turned into the creek road. .* Thence
on it was downhill to the ford at Dutch
creek, an ordinarily shallow stream
knee deep, but now swollen by the un
usual rainfall and annual summer
freshet from tho melting snows of the
distant mountains. .
"They'll drown! It's too deep to ford!"
walled the old. man as the team ap
proached the creek on a dead run, with
the chasing crowd not far behind.
Frank overheard Turner's cry of . grief,
and the, boy's quick brain grasped a
brand new idea.
•Splash! The horses struck the water,
dragging the wagonload of squealing
freight In after', them. A few feet
from the water's edge they went over
against the wall with her horns. The
hen sprang, clucking loudly, on his
back, while the duck and goose nipped
his legs with their bills, and just as he,
frightened and bewildered with the re
ception he had got, managed to escape
out of the door, the cock on the chim
ney piece burst out with loud, jubilant
crowing. Master Wolf came back to
his comrades In a very sad plight.
"That was a. nice task you gave me,"
he said reproachfully. "The hut is ten
anted by witches. When I came In and
went up to* the hearth, where I saw
some coals burning, the vixen of a cook
flew at me and nearly scratched my
eyes out, tho groom got up from the
corner where he had been lying and
almost broke my ribs with a blow of
his flail, while the farmer himself,
seizing a pitchfork, thrust, me rudely
against the wall. His wife struck me
on the back with her distaff, and two
of her maids, crying 'Back, back,' stuck
me again and again In the legs with
their shearH. And just as I was fleeing
from the house, another maid, from a
room under the roof, cried out in a ter
rible voice, 'Bring him to me — to me.' "
On hearing this tale of their scout
the whole pack of wolves took to their
heels and ran off as fast as they could.
their heads and began to swim, while
the water poured into the cracks in the
-wagon box and tho squeals echoed with
the combined protests of those -blue
blooded porkers as the water rose.
The crowd reached ther bank as the
first, pigs, were washed out of the,
wagon. And then Frank proceeded, to
carry out his new idea. He turned to
the old' man, who was helplessly be
wailing his loss, and spoke a few words.'
Turner looked at him in wonder— and
then nodded. Frank called the . boys
around him- and" said:
"If those pigs have to swim any dis
tance they'll cut their own throats with
their sharp forehoofs! We're all good
swimmers. Some of you chaps go after
the shoats, while Jim, Ned'and Greggy
try to keep Empress from going over
board from the wagon body. Tom. you
and I'll steer the horses ashore.' Come
on, now! Take- my word, there's a
mighty good reason, if you don't like
Turner," and he pulled the club to one
side while he whispered something to
them.
No turning back after that! Frank
dived into the; creek, clothes and all.
and struck 'out for the struggling
horses. --The others followed him, and
the struggling piglets were all easily
rescued before they'd harmed "them
selves. 1 The "royal life savers" also
managed to keep Empress from throw-
Ing: her huge bulk out of the water
filled wagon body, \u25a0" which stlir floated
however. And finally Frank and Tom'
managed to steer the swimming horses
back to shore, where they scrambled
up on the bank. They came to a
halt;: "with the wet, and
squealing Empress still in the wagron
behind them. Eight : pigs, two horses
and one wagon were thus restored to
*old man Turner, all safe *nd * sound,
and not a bit worse for their unex
pected bath.
Frank now dispatched Bill to Tur
ner's farm for another wagon and then
the two rival fliers and the "gallery"
that had witnessed these .tremendous
events walked back to the scene of the
race. When the official measurer had
procured the 'figures of that mo
mentous fifth flight of Jim's Frank
proceeded to take his own fifth flight.
Then he consulted earnestly with Jim
and the, other members, and turned to
the "gallery" while he announced:
• "The first section of the great match
race has now been flown! The Silver
Flash leads, with a total for the five
flights of 1,161 feet 4 Inches. The
Comet has flown 1.148 feet flat.". (Cheers
at the announcement, which suddenly
change to great cries of disappointment
as Frank continues.) "I also wish to
announce that the second, section of the
great match, which Includes the re
maining five flights, will be run off to.
morrow at 2:30 p. m., .at the County
Fair trotting track. Admission, five
cents."
That was thren days before the fair
opened and It would not Interfere with
the fair •preparations, anyway, as tho
track had a direct entrance from the
outside.
"Don't you worry," said Frank after
ward. "Old Turner'll keep his word.
Well, If he don't we'll only have to fly
it off In the old place. I'm sure some of
us would have tried to save the pigs,
anyhow. I know I would, but it juat
struck me he might 'fall' for a bargain
to save 'cm — and it worked!"
You'll be glad to know that Turner
did keep his word, the "second section"
was flown at the traok. and that $11.65
was taken in at the gate for the bene
fit of the Aero club.
And who finally won? Why, the
Comet, of course, but not until the lust
flight, when she succeeded In distancing
her rival by Just three feet.

xml | txt