[From The Barrovian #120]


I awoke, wondering where I was, and became conscious of my servant shaking me, saying " The Colonel sends his compliments, sir, and you are detailed to go to Paris this morning, starting about 9 o'clock." I looked at my watch. Gracious! it's eight o'clock; I must, be up and doing! Nine o'clock arrives, and I have inspected my machine, a D.H.4 with a 375 h.p. Rolls-Royce engine in it, and find she is all correct. At that moment an orderly dashes up to me and says " You are wanted in the office, sir." I look heavenward and decide that it is fit to fly, so I proceed to the office, where the Colonel is conversing with a gentleman, who turns out to be one of my passengers. We walk towards my machine, discussing nothing in particular, and find the engine ticking over, so all is in readiness for a start. I help my passenger and his lady secretary into their seats, which are behind me and are totally enclosed by glass windows. They sit opposite one another, with a table in between, which has a typewriter outfit and a telephone. Their luggage is stowed away, so I get into my seat and strap myself in. With a, final test of the engine, I wave the mechanics away from the wing tips. She gathers speed with the engine roaring, and in a few yards we are off the ground. I circle the aerodrome, gaining height, then I proceed off across town, steering south-east for the coast. I throttle down my engine to about 105 miles per hour, and I begin to think again of my passengers, so I speak into the tube and ask how things are going. They are both very busy, I suppose, carrying on the affairs of State at 4,000 feet, proceeding at a little over 100 miles per hour through the air. I let down my aerial, so that my passengers may converse with London by wireless telephone if they wish! Then I look down at my compass, and find I am going in the right direction, and then at my watch. It is now 9-45: where am I ? I look over the side, and far below me is Folkestone, with a few boats scattered about the Channel. Ah, there is the Channel leave boat, I wonder what sort of a crossing they are having. Rough, I bet! A thin dark line can be seen in the distance, which I know is France. Ah, there is a small cluster of fishing smacks; this must be Boulogne ! I alter my course to south, and, now that I have the wind behind me, I ought to get to Paris in no time! The engine. is humming its merry tune, which lulls me to sleep. I awake! I wonder where I am; I look down. A town with a large cathedral in the centre; a river running through it; a railway junction. This must be Amiens. I look at my watch, 10-25. , Yes, that must be the place. I take an interest in the country, remembering the days when a war was on. There are the old trenches and the wood which used to be the end of our patrol, where we nearly always met some " Huns," not to mention " Archie !" But those stirring days are over, alas' Still, we did have a good time! Whilst these thoughts speed through my brain, the machine speeds on its inevitable course. Where am I now ? Woods are numerous. I see a large river winding its way through a town. Ah ! this must be Compiėgne ! We are nearing Paris! There are some hangars in the distance.. An aerodrome: French or English. On getting closer, I distinguish British machines. My destination, for a cert! So I shut off my engine and start gliding in large spiral turns towards it. I speak through the tube, and tell my passengers that we have arrived at the end of my flight. They can hardly credit it. Surely I have made some mistake! But no ; they see the Eiffel Tower on the right, which proclaims our arrival in Paris. We are getting closer now A few feet off the ground. I pull back my "joy-stick " ; a slight shock; the tail and wheels touch together. I rum along towards the hangars. Gradually losing speed, we pull up within a few feet of the Commandant's office. I look at my `watch, 11 a.m., just two hours from London. Not a bad trip. And so my passenger, Mr. Bonar Law, and his secretary, arrive for the Peace Conference without loss of time.

To-night I am in Paris: to-morrow, perhaps, London--who knows but the " Gods " and my Rolls-Royce engine.

E. B. JEFFERSON, Captain.

[Since writing this article, Capt. Jefferson has created a record by flying from London to Paris in 75 minutes. P.S.-A notice of his sad death will appear in our next issue.-Ed.]


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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