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floated into the lounge through the open window. 'It's here!' I cried. The Carousing Custodian was the first to the door. Never at his best before ten-thirty in the morning, he glanced at our equipage and exclaimed pettishly: 'I won't help carry a religious float through London! In Italy, yes; in Spain, perhaps; but in England, never! I thought we were going to Canterbury.' Calming him as best I might, I thrust him into a seat and turned to acknowledge a respectful greeting from the sapient 'Iggins. He was a tall, slender young man in a white linen coat, and there was something just a bit disquieting in his hard, restless eye.

Getting under way, we found that, although the car was perhaps only slightly older than London Tower, it could, to use a pungent phrase, 'go like hell.' Somewhere within its deep, murky interior there dwelt power as constant as polar magnetism, as inexorable as the cycles of planets. Our chauffeur, who exhibited signs of restiveness, a plaintive eagerness in the metropolitan area, upon reaching open country cast discretion to the winds, forsook his staid Anglican ancestry, and thrust the accelerator to the floor. With a great rush of winds, and the whine of protesting tires, we attacked the clear, clean highroad. I looked up to see the Ferial Founder (a staunch Unitarian) crossing himself. Villages flashed by like the sickening whirl of vertigo. The grand old Juggernaut settled into her real pace-anywhere from sixty-five to eighty miles an hour -and the immaculate 'Iggins, free at last from town restrictions, turned his head to call back to us cordially, 'On our wye now, sir!'

As we reached the summit of Wrotham Hill the chauffeur drew over to the side of the road and shut off the motor. Kent in June! Is there any

other place on the face of the earth so beautiful? The deep valley at our feet, smooth-shouldered hills rubbing the horizon, gently modulating fields. of indescribable green splashed with the flame of millions of red poppies! The smell of growing things an incense; the warm golden haze a benediction. God save the King? Ah yes, and God save England!

With a roar we were again on our way. 'Takes your breath away,' I murmured, as I turned for one last look. An inarticulate noise beside me indicated I had been heard.

'Nonsense!' croaked the Carousing Custodian. It was now well past tenthirty, and his spirit was slowly catching up with his body. 'Nonsense!' he shouted as the winds of flight buffeted us. 'Could n't! None of us

have done any breathing - since London!'

For an hour speech was impossible. Our progress was that of an uncharted comet. To be sure, 'Iggins named each hamlet as we catapulted through it, but his way of turning around to do so, with one hand on the wheel while passing another car at fifty miles an hour, rather distracted the attention of the little band of pilgrims who huddled, shuddering, in the rear seat of his car. We slowed down a bit for the village of Maidstone, a queer little place with an inn called The Bear and Bulldog, and the villagers stared at us with big round eyes, little knowing that we were establishing a record run between London and Canterbury, which, like the Roman roads, would stand undaunted for centuries. As we again slipped off into space the only phrase I can use which adequately describes the sensation we experienced as our chariot soared into full speed the Carousing Custodian fought and clawed himself into an upright position long enough to scream into my ear:

'Enjoyed thought going to Canterbury but had n't expected - be canonized so soon.'

Between Maidstone and our destination but one impression survived the kaleidoscopic jumble of flickering country. The Ferial Founder insisted that we slacken our pace as we passed Leeds Castle, for the great gaunt edifice overlooking a pretty lake, half hidden by dense forest, gave life to his casual excursions into the fourteenth century. So thick was the foliage that the shadows beneath the trees were dark as bears' caves, and bright little birds fluttering about the velvet green lawn avoided them as though loath to leave the sanctuary of sunlit spaces.

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We arrived at Canterbury at noon, and, valiant trenchermen all, applied ourselves to the mutton, greens, boiled potatoes, and tarts of rural England with gusto. Then, setting out for the Cathedral on foot, - 'Iggins had disappeared into an alehouse upon arrival, we encountered the shop of one Thomas A. Becket, whereupon the Carousing Custodian insisted that he must shake hands with the proprietor. 'Read about the fellow in college, somewhere. Want to meet him.' Stimulated by our flight through space, he was in the most absurd humor imaginable, and as he emerged from the shop, a moment later, he accosted a passing policeman and asked him where an orange could be purchased.

'An orange?' queried the policeman, somewhat taken aback.

'Wolsey!' whispered our club brother succinctly. Without waiting for an answer, he turned and made for the Cathedral Arch.

Now it is well that as one approaches Canterbury one passes through this arch, for the Cathedral develops slowly, which prepares one, as it were, for the full view upon emerging. Were it otherwise, one's credulity could not

stand the strain. The color of the building is indescribable, like the gray of November clouds, and has a queer ephemeral cast which outrages reality. High, high, rise the Gothic towers, embroidered with delicately wrought stone lace. Where other churches present a stark outline against the sky, Canterbury blends with the heavens as though it were in fact a veritable link between earth and the changeless Infinite.

As we entered, the choir, at practice, was singing an anthem of Palestrina's. By what glorious chance had we come upon them as they chanted an answer to our unspoken question?

'Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart.'

It was the Ferial Founder who, with a gesture which embraced the forest of pillars and staggering vastness of the interior, said humbly, 'Perhaps that is the explanation of how lowly monks, hundreds of years ago, were able to build this thing - a task which would tax our foremost modern engineers, with all their clever machinery, to the utmost!' the utmost!' As though confirming the validity of this concept, the organ suddenly boomed and rattled through the nave, and the choir burst forth with a great Te Deum: 'Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory!' Since the days of early childhood, when I piped away in the front row of a boy choir, I have loved, studied, collected Te Deums, but only Canterbury could bring me the real meaning of that phrase!

When the music ceased we wandered into the Cloister, and there we found the Carousing Custodian, missing these ten minutes, seated on a great stone.

'I'm so damned jealous,' he grunted, when we had come within speaking

distance, 'so damned jealous of etchers that I could swear.' Then he added, with a nod toward the daintily chiseled columns and arches, 'Only way you could take it all home with you.'

True and thought-provoking words! The Cloister's fine intricacy of line is too meticulous for the painter, its bulk too extended for the sculptor. I fell to wondering whether it could be reduced to words. There is, of course, the nomenclature of architecture, — which only the initiate can use or understand, - but would not this, subject as it is to the limitations of all exact things, fall far short? In what architect's glossary would one find words to convey the subtle colorings and erosions of time, the stains of winter rains and frosts? To what page could one turn for words to describe the shadows projected by rosettes and mouldings, ever changing, ever beautiful? 'No, we can't find help there,' I mused, 'but in poetry perhaps one might -' ComCommon sense interposed: certain details foreign to poetic form must be present, else our picture would bear the aspect of an ill-focused photograph. I gave up in despair: mere words, however grouped, could never do it.

Time and again we returned to the spot, fascinated by the breath-taking vista of greensward framed in exquisite Gothic apertures. We made marvelous discoveries: if one's eye was allowed to follow the outer lines of each pair of arches, these lines ultimately converged to form a single, larger arch, and then each two of these larger arches, viewed in the same way, merged into a great structural arch to uphold a portion of the roof. What ingenious monk devised this clever intertwining of lines? Each main arch had twelve interstices-four large and eight small. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the lesser Apostles? We pondered; we argued.

Our speculations were brought to an abrupt ending by the sudden appearance of 'Iggins- fidgeting and slightly aromatic. 'H'arfter four, sirs; I fancy you'll be getting back to London?' he said, eyes glued to the ground.

Ah, we questioned one another, where were the tales of 'blinkin' bishops and reekin' s'ynts'? In our enthusiasm we had completely forgotten our chauffeur. What legends might we not have heard, what lore might we not have shared, had we but kept a closer watch upon him!

If the trip down was exciting, the mad homeward rush was almost beyond the resistance of ordinary nerves. Fortified by dark Irish stout, our driver's daring had become epic. Tunbridge Wells and Harrow were to us mere clear areas in an otherwise continuous dust cloud. As we surmounted each hill it seemed impossible that our car, in perfect trajectory, would not leave the earth entirely, to go rocketing through the rarefied atmosphere of intersolar space. The hours of country driving were a bad dream, the suburbs of London a nightmare, the city a delirium.

When at last, with a screeching of brakes, we drew up in front of our hotel, it was several moments before we could collect our faculties sufficiently to alight. Gasping with relief, we made our way into the cozy hallway to see the Carousing Custodian turn and dash back to the curb, where he pressed another pound into the hands of the incredulous 'Iggins.

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FEW subjects interest the world as does the marvel of human flight, no prospect is so alluring as 'the conquest of the air,' and when airmen, greatly daring, cross the wide seas they call forth admiration and wonder at their enterprise and courage, their skill and endurance: yet so narrow is the gulf between amazing success and tragic failure, so far are the determining factors beyond the control of the pilot, that enthusiasm yields to misgiving and even to censure, mingled with increasing skepticism regarding the value of long-distance flights.

Eight years have elapsed since Sir John Alcock, an Englishman, and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, of American birth, crossing the Atlantic in the first nonstop flight, won the Daily Mail prize of £10,000. They started from St. John's, Newfoundland, on June 14, 1919, and landed at Clifden, Ireland, after 16 hours and 12 minutes. They had crossed the ocean at 118 miles per hour, which is still the speed record for Atlantic flights. Since that time millions have been spent on the development of the aeroplane, on the improve ment of the engine, on navigational and other instruments, in order to advance and encourage the art of flying; and much also has been expended on the study of meteorology. It was therefore natural to assume that, if continuous and definite progress or startling advance in aeronautics was possible, long-distance flights could now be


undertaken in more efficient machines, with engines of much higher performance, with more reliable instruments of navigation, more accurate forecasts of wind and weather, with greater certainty of achievement, and in less discomfort.

The £5000 New York-Paris nonstop prize offered a test of progress in aeronautics and of the practicability of long-distance ocean flights; and when the events of the past season are examined and weighed against earlier efforts it will be seen that they show no real advance in performance, no further 'control over the powers of Nature,' no nearer approach to commercial transport. In truth the only essential difference between the successful effort of 1919 and the recent flights is in the load of fuel taken for the voyage. Much more petrol is now taken aboard than would then have been attempted, special and longer runs have been arranged in the direction of the prevailing or favorable wind, enormous tires and other aids are unsparingly supplied; all 'comforts' are reduced to their lowest limits to allow the last drop of fuel to be carried. Yet, in spite of these preparations, the start is more perilous. In September 1926, when Captain René Fonck, the ace of the French airmen, essayed the flight, disaster was immediate. The pilot took off, but the plane was overloaded, and in a few seconds it crashed to the earth in flames. The two mechanics, Clavier

and Islamoff, were burned to death, and the fourteen-ton Sikorsky was utterly destroyed. In the next venture for the same prize, two more victims were claimed. On April 26, 1927, Commander Davis and Lieutenant Wooster of the United States Navy made a test flight with too heavy a load and, failing to clear a line of trees, fell into a marsh.

Lindbergh loaded up to his limit and took off with difficulty, Chamberlin carried so much fuel that the plane would not leave the ground at the first start, Byrd took as much as he dared. The hazards from dangerously full loading present themselves at the start of all long-distance flights; ambulances are placed at points where trouble is feared, and fire fighters are held in readiness for the critical moment. Yet, though a safe start be made, the load may still prove overmuch and entail misfortune or disaster. The second attempt of R.A.F. pilots to fly to India ended after one and one-half hours. Excessive heat had been engendered by the engines running at full throttle to support the great load, and a leak developed in the oiling system. The flight had to be abandoned, and Flight Lieutenant Carr made a skillful landing at Martlesham aerodrome. Had such a trouble developed over the ocean, tragedy would have been well-nigh inevitable. When the Old Glory left Maine on a nonstop flight to Rome it was so heavy with fuel that it ran along the hard-packed sand of the beach for nearly two miles before it could rise in the air, for it carried ‘a heavier load than any single-motored monoplane ever tried to lift before.' The wireless message received some hours later, "The ship is heavy, but everything is going fine,' supplies the only clue to the disaster that ensued.

Thus the most difficult mechanical problem in these long-distance flights

VOL 141-NO. 1


is the suspension of the great loads in the air against the natural force of gravity. Reflection shows that in no other form of transport is the propelling power expected to lift the vehicle and its load, in addition to propelling it forward. This being so, it is not surprising to find enormous horsepower installed to transport what is relatively an insignificant load. For a long nonstop flight much fuel is necessary; all the available load to the last pound must be taken in petrol, and vigilance and scrupulous care must be exercised to discard everything that is not essential to success.

When the Marchese di Pinedo started from Trepassey, Newfoundland, on May 23, 1927, on his flight of 1500 miles to the Azores, he loaded up with petrol, and at the last moment decided to discard his wireless equipment, weighing 400 pounds, judging it safer to take the weight in fuel. Nevertheless it was not enough, for on the voyage he encountered such an adverse air current that his progress over the sea was reduced to 60 miles per hour and he saw his petrol would not last out. Fortunately before it was spent he sighted a schooner and was taken in tow.

Before the two Junker monoplanes Europa and Bremen started on their attempt to cross the Atlantic in August, 'everybody and everything belonging to the expedition was carefully weighed, and nonessential articles destined to comfort or sustain the airmen had reluctantly to be abandoned in order to keep the weight down to 3800 kilogrammes, of which some 2400 represent fuel.' Nevertheless the Bremen, which alone reached the Atlantic, was obliged to turn back, for as time went on Captain Köhl realized that his fuel would not take him to Newfoundland. 'It was useless to continue the struggle,' for the wind was westerly and he was

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