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HOW THE COMET WON THE HIGH FLIERS' CONTEST members of the Pralrlevllle aero <Jlub were discussing recent fcata of aerial high flying. Jim Spencer, who hod reason to feel proud of his beautiful Blerlot model Silver Klhhli, loudly boasted that she could fly higher thnn any other airship owned by the club. Prank Williams promptly disputed Jim's assertion, and after some hot ar gument a brand new idea took form, aa several other members felt that their fliers could sail every bit as- high as cither Frank's- Wright moild Comet or Jim's Silver Plash. Frank proposed tC*construct a sort of aerial high hurdle, with a crossbar that could be raised to varieus. heights, tho airship flying over the highest mark set to be the winner. The other.mem bers were quick to see the originality .of ''Frank's scheme, but didn't under-* stand; just' how ho intended to carry it out. It was-or.e thing to. prepare for a, high jumping, hurdle where the bar wasn't more than a few feet high and quite another undertaking to build one on the lines Frank proposed. "It can bo done 'easily enough," Ex plained Frank to his puzzled listeners. "But what about the lumber? Won't that cost a great deal?" objected Jinn '•Who said anything about' lumber?" laughed Frank. "As for the cost, I should judge a dollar would cover the whole expense. "What lumber is neces sary would cost about a, dime." * "Stop fooling— -talk sense!" snapped Jim,; nettled at Frank's reply. . ."'.';. "I am," grinned Frank; "and now I'll tell \u25a0 you ? how 'I'm going to do it with nothing. but two big kites." : Jim looked foolish when Frank . ex plained how simple; it all was." Two large kites of equal size were to be sent ; up at "the same time .and so close to gether that the kite "cords would bo within 25 feel of eao.h; other. : Thus a horizontal "aerial crossbar"., in the shape' of a stout cord would be stretched from kite; cord to kite cord and raised or, lowered to any height -by simultaneously; letting: out or winding in. the two kite cords. .; '^ "But how are you going to measure the exact height: of the crossbar when, the supporting, cords are on a slant?" asked Tom , Kennedy. 5" "That will be'done by tying a loose string so it hangs from v the- center of the crosscord. The loose string will be .knotted at every' foot length and will be weighted ,by a -detachable weight to make it plumb. Thus, when, you want to set a .new height detach the lead plumb and let out 1 the two kite cords. :.;"This r means that the loose measure ing string must riso along with; the paying! out of. the kite cords. You can gauge the rise fairly..; well I by. counting the knots: in' the: measuring'string as it rises, . but to -get- the ; exact length ad just .the- plumb, line to tho measuring stririg.at a point so it: will just graze the .ground; ani|, yet keep • the line straight. -Then "count your knots, and their total equals "the height In', feet!" finished; Frank; learnedly. . It-wasonly a matter of ;a day.' or two before all preparations were completed for the great high -fliers' contest, as it was, advertised . to the juvenile world. The* grand event took 1 place in that scene of so .many v of ' •Prairlevllle's aerial ; ! trlumphs, v ,Williams' Aerodrome, before a large crowd. Two beautiful kites ' rode proudly together, tugging, upon. the taut cords, that bound ,them to the earth and ran in two graceful •parallel lines up- Into the sky. One; kite had the name of. that great avi ator, "Curtiss," blazoned on its scarlet surface ; in gold.* letters, while the? "Wright Brothers" kept -it splendid company. In/silver ami blue. Small American flags formed, the long kite tails. A fair breeze gave just enough resistance to keep the. kites steady, while not: hindering, 'the progress of the competing 'airships. , ; The rules of the contest were very simple. The lowest aerial hurdle was to. b0. 20 feet; thenco on the crosscord was to rise 10 feet at a time up to 50 feet, 6 feet at a time from 50 to 70 feet and 1 foot thenco 6n upward. Each competitor had three trials. If suc cessful his airship was eligible to com pote in the next rise; if .unsuccessful he dropped out. Thus the result would be determined by "the natural process of elimination," to quote Frank's scien tific explanation. Every member of tho Aero club en tered for tho contest. The only regret that might be fait over the affair was the absence of any prize. The club happened to be rather short of funds at the "time, and while some riiembers, particularly Jim Spencer, wanted to devote the $4.95 in the treasury to ','tha .purchase of a suitable prize," Frank and tho majority disapproved of < this Idea, .especially after Jim insisted on miming tha prize. Jim was so sure of winning that he had picked out a pretty little watch as tho prlase and strenuously advocated Jts being purchased at the club meeting, which was, as Frank put It, "not par liamentary," to say tho least. So the question of the pris» was voted down. Frank, as president of the club, In augurated the contest at 2 p. m. sharp. First, the kite cord* were paid out suf ficiently to raise tho aerial crotssbur or THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1910.— THE JUNIOR CALL crosscord to a height that plumbed ex actly 20 feat by the knotted measuring line. . ' * The assembled airships made a brave showing as their proud owners lined up with them for- the flrst -trial. Their navigators were permitted to stand in any position. There were only two re quirements necessary— the aero must fly between tha: two supporting' kite cords above the crosscord and it must clear the crosscord. If the aero fouled the crosscord it was not counted as a perfect -trial, ;but earned the aviator an extra "flight. Naturally, all the machines entered were of the aeroplane or "heavier, than air" class, as the smallest balloon, or "lighter than air" craft, may fly 1,000 feet high. "Crack!" The beautiful Silver' Flash flew out of Jim Spencer's upraised arms at the sound of Frank's cap pistol. The 20 foot hurdle was a mere nothing, for she cleared the crosscord by fully 15 j feet more and settled gracefully ' to earth, while the crowd applauded.: ..', ' Of the 12 entries, all but- three suc ceeded in flying over and qualifying for the next height. This left nine com petitors for the 30 foot hurdle. Even the first Increase was enough to dash* the hopes of those who had set such store on the performanca of the Fleetwing, the C. • X... Hamilton, the Wayup and the Blackbird. So when the next rise, to the 40 foot height, was HBCENSUS WONDERLAND Draw upon the map a strip 40 miles by 400 miles linking Boston and Wash ington and there will* He within the pencil marks a region comprising the communities of most rapid growth in eight states and tho District of Co lumbia. This metropolitan- strip of greatest population contains, in an area only a third that of Now York state/ nearly 15,000,000 people ,By 1920 It will prob ably contain more than 20,000,000. It Includes Providence, Hartford, New Ha ven, Newark, tho thriving New Jersey and Westchester suburbs, Trenton, Phil adelphia and Wilmington. Now York is almost its oxuet geographical center. Franco hns no area of dense settle ment to compare witli this. Nor have Belgium and Holland combined. Iv der tnany the Huenlsh mining and manu facturing region la growing as rapidly, but is yet far behind. Provinces In China aro said to have a population half «s dense, but no one knows. Only England for a few years will have a sone of greater population. A broader, shorter strip connecting I^ondon with Manchester and Liverpool has now some 18,000,000 souls. All these human lives of the old world are inland. Those of China are agri cultural. Tliut of Germany has Its out to be flown only five of the' original 12 starters remained. '-."C The Hubert Latham and the Sklhlgh fell out of the contest at this point, leaving Just three fliers to compete for the 50 foot height. They were Jim Spencer's Sliver Flash, Tom Kennedy s Upthere— a fine Curtiss model — and Frank Williams' Cornet.^ It was anybody's race for the "high est honors," as a wit in the crowd said. The onlookers showed intense interest as Jim Spencer launched the Silver Flash for the 55 foot rise and cheered when she cleared It easily., The Comet had no difficulty in repeating her rival's flight, but Tom Kennedy had the 141 luck to wind up his rubber band pro pellers too tightly, .and one snapped. Although time was allowed for repairs, Tom:couldn't reg"ain the Upthere's old form, and his three trials fell short, leaving but two qualified for the next rise. * . So thus it happened that Frank and his greatest rival had to fight It out. Jn the meantime something else was happening in the air. Frank had no ticed a. few rather dark looking clouds hanging low on tho far prairie horizon when the contest started. These clouds had expanded until they, stretched across the whole northern sky, and it didn't take an-experienced eye to tell that a storm was brewing. "Come on, now, let's get this over rsssyri&r- lets by the Rhine and by canals. That of England has two great ports. The American belt has a dozen, ranging from mere Bplendid possibilities to Bos ton, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Now York. It is tied together from end to end' by steamers, railways and trolley routes. Unlike its rivals, it includes many miles of beautiful beaches, with forests, splendid scenery and other pro visions for play as well as work. Its educational provision is unequaled. It is a little corner of the great earth's surface, but as the certain future home of the vastest and most prosperous pop ulation to be brought together any where on earth It Is a census wonder land worth watching — New York World. World's Largest Room Tha largest room in the world under a single roof and unbroken by pillars of any sort is In St. Petersburg. It Is 620 feet In length and 150 feet wide. By daylight. the room is uaed for mili tary displays, and a whole battalion can maneuver Jn It with ease. By night 20,^00 wax tapers give It a beautiful appearance. The roof i.j a blngle arch of iron, and the architecture is con *>ider*Mi one of the wonderu of the world. before tho storm hits us!" exclaimed Frank, who then proceoded to fly tho Comet over tho 60 foot rise. She cleared it by several feet. Jim's first attempt missed the crosscord by four foot. His next try was even poorer, and then he procoeded carefully to ad just every part of tho Silver Flash. Tho resulting flight Just fouled tho crosn cord, and, being allowed a fourth at tempt under the rules', Jim finally suc ceeded in just sailing over the cross cord. It was so close, though, that opinion was equally divided as to whether the aero really touched the cord with one of her planes as sho tipped to one side. Frank said, "Give him the benefit of the doubt," and Just then tho storm broke, leaving the con test a draw. For one of the blj- kites swept away In the wind, thus wrecking the aerial hurdles. Everybody scurried under cover, while the Aero club rushed for its clubhouse, at the corner of the aero drome. Jim made things unpleasant during the short rain by boasting more loudly tlmn ever of how he would have won if the storm hadn't come up. Frank, did not retort, but Jim's conduct started him thinking, and when the squall had passed by, half an hour later, and the sun shone again he turned suddenly to Jim and said: "Now, I'm going to give you a chance to prove all your statements right oft. Don't ask me how, but if you're 'game' you'll come with me!" Jim couldn't exactly back out in the face of the crowd, who jeered him when he tried to make Frank 'reveal his mysterious plan. For the others were as heartily tired-of Jim's boasting as was Frank. So, telling^Jim to brink his aero, Frank picked up his own machine and, ac companied' by -the rest, proceeded — straight into Pralrieville! v He marched over to Main street and down it "until he reached the business section. There he stopped before the two highest buildings in town. "Can't you guess what I'm going to do?" laughed ' Frank. The crowd looked puzzled, while Jim protested against "this long tramp for nothing.", "It isn't for nothing that my uncle's law office is on the sixth floor of the Belvidere block!" cried Frank, point ing to that noble example of Main street architecture, "and I guess we won't find much trouble In getting the man ' ln the opposite office to let us'set up our hurdle either!" concluded Frank, and then. they saw his now scheme, for directly .opposite the. Merchants' ex change reared its imposing front fully seven stories high. Frank' left his - escort downstairs while he briefly- explained' to his uncle what he wished to do. The old gen tleman entered delightedly Into the plan, and even wrote a note to the .neighboring tenant in the opposite of fice, whom he^knew, . s Frank had left Instructions for- the boys. below to be on the watch for him at his uncle's window. "He opened it, tied one end of the ball of twine he carried to a chair and, leaning out, shouted to Jim Spencer to catch, the twine. The ball unrolled as it. fell. and Frank's work on this side .of the "hur dle" was done,' He now descended, rejoined the boys, gave them a few instructions and then presented his note to the other man in the' Merchants'- exchange opposite, who good humoredly acceded to Frank's re quest. The street was much too wide to tos3 the unraveling twine, across it accu rately, so Frank leaned out of the win dow and dropped, atiecond ball of twine to the boys bolow, after first securing it' to a chair. The end of the first ball dropped on the other side, was spliced to the end of the . new ball; Frank pulled it up, hauled the string taut and the new "aerial crossbar," or, rather, crosscord, stretching horizontally from wlldow to window, was ready for busi ness. Only one thing now romained to do — that was to plumb the exact height. Frank had remembered to bring the plumb line and the figures from tho street pavement to tho window ledge showed 74 feet. By this time a crowd had begun to collect, all of which lather gratified Frank's "P. T. Barnum" Instincts, as ho jeered at Jim: "Now right here is where you either win tho contest or where you swallow your word 3 after wo made It a .draw this afternoon. We'll toss a penny to see who flies first — same condition as in tho other trials." Frank won the toss and elected to let Jim fly first. Perhaps this extract from the next morning's PruirievlUe Clarion will tell the result best: "Main street was blocked for 10 min utes yesterday afternoon when the great high fliers* contest pulled off its final event" — (Here followed a short description of the contests) — "Jim Spencer made three unsuccessful ef forts with the Silver Flash. Frank Williams' Comet, a wonderfully well constructed Wright model, succeeded on her first trial." "And succeeded on the strength of Jim's bragging!" added Frank to himself with a chuckle as he reud it. "Just because Jim couldn't be happy with a draw he had to keep on with his boasting, and that Bet me thinking up the new stunt. If ever a chap defeated himself out of Ills owu mouih Jim Spencer di'J! "