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Page 67 text:
KWH ANNUAL ...
lating. The force of his weight in falling had pulled open the valve which his fingers had been
clutching. All was well in the silver sphere!
Slowly they regained consciousness and began to breathe normally. Although very weak,
they began to catch up with their work. Precious minutes had been lost. So for eight hours
they worked like Trojans! They were now beginning to descend with nothing but that one
harrowing experience to mar their flight. They were bringing down with them data, priceless
to Compton and men of that profession. To themselves they were bringing fame!
Thirtyffive thousand feet! Thirty thousand feet, now twentyffive thousand! Soon they would
once more be on the good "terra firmaf' Their weary smiles were those of knowledge of a work
well done. Their smiles were suddenly erased from their faces as a terrinc lurch of the gondola
sent them sprawling. The metal cabin was being whipped about like a toy in the teeth of this
terrific gale. By an occasional flash of lightning, black clouds could be seen churning all about
them. Suddenly---a sickening snap!
"God," cried Ken, "we're breaking loose from the gas bag!"
His eyes were wide with horror as he grasped the hand rail in the crazily tilted cabin. Rol
was as white as snow, but kept a grip on himself.
"Don't give up the ship yet. old man," He yelled above the wind.
Now they were hovering lower over the earth and the storm had abated, but almost instantly
it sprang up again in all its fury.
Soon, two more snapsatwo more cables broken! The remaining moorings would not hold
the heavy metal ball for long in the storm!
just as dawn was breaking the storm abated as quickly as it had arisen, and they were
once more being gently lowered to earth.
Wliei'e had the storm carried them? Exhaustedly crawling to a portfhole, Rol made ready
to feast his eyes, once again on soil, but with a gasp he sank back. Curiously Ken gazed below
and to his amazement saw nothing but miles of rolling waves-the cold, dark waves of the At'
lantic. Dashing to the other side he looked hopefully down. Disappearing in the distance could
be seen land, the good old U. S. A. Were they after their experiences in the air to die the death
allotted a sailor? Only a few hundred feet above the water, in the early morning light they
could see no craft of any description. Donning the life preservers, carried for such an emergency.
they prepared to jump when the metal ball struck the water. But what were their chances? Until
some fisherman picked them up they would surely be dead, for they could not live long in that
open, choppy sea in their weakened condition.
But back along the shore an old fisherman sat mending his nets in the early dawn, Hap'
pening to look up, he thought he saw something drifting overhead. Then the rays of the rising
sun caught the silver of the ball and reflected its message. The old sailor gazed at this strange
apparition wending its way seaward, then he thought of the smiling faces of the two stratosphere
explorers in the previous day's newspaper. Hurriedly knocking the ashes from his pipe the old
sea dog warmed up the engine of his motor boat. Then headed out to the open sea, following
the huge balloon. Wlieii almost a mile distant, he saw the two airmen jump and the heavy metal
hall settle slowly beneath the waves. Down into the sea went the priceless data and equipment
for which the young pioneers had risked all in the stratosphere to gain. Gnce more the elements
had conquered man's ambition to solve the mysteries of the world beyond the clouds.
GLIQNN Sou Nifnifrtx l'R.
Page 66 text:
l1 V 1 illli
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Strife In The Stratosphere
The morning of April 4, l93-1, dawned bright and clear! All was in readiness! The scientific
instruments were installed and the sealed altimeter was in place. ln another twentyffour hours
would it register a new record --or a new failure?
This was a question Kendrick Dalton and Roland Cromwell had been spending days in
preparation for answering, They had checked and rechecked their instruments, they had labored
over the installation of the cosmic ray machine. Each day adverse weather reports had brought
disappointment. But with the tragedy of the Russian air explorers fresh in their minds, these
two sons of America, the pioneer nation, were without fear, to pioneer in the air. Accompanying
almost superfmechanical preparations went silent and fervent prayers for suitable weather.
And this April dawn seemed to be the answer to the two youths' prayers. The huge gas
bag swayed in the breeze, dwarfing the aluminum ball beneath it, in which Rol and Ken hoped
to live for a day. Wi:i'd had gone out that the day of days had arrived and people were swarming
to the held some because of curiosity, others because of keen interest.
Finally, the two young scientists crawled into the stratosphere balloon. The crowd was tense.
This flight would herald either fame or death. Slowly the balloon arose from the earth, then
faster and faster it ascended, as the gas expanded in the thinning atmosphere, until the blue
and rose of the Spring dawn seemed to envelop this now toyflike balloon, silver. mixing with
greying mists, was wafted towards infinity!
Inside the aluminum ball tense excitement reigned as the young adventurers busied them-
-.elves in their miniature laboratory. The altimeter registered l0,000 feet, then 2o,ooo feet!
Now Rol and Ken were living by means of their artificial air system. Quickly the altimeter
clnnbed 25,000 feet, 3o,ooo feet! All the various machines were in operation. Steadily clicked
the cosmic ray machine, recording facts that had baffled man for centuries. At 35,000 feet, they
were still rising, but a strong Southwest wind was buffeting them.
Suddenly. Roland shouted excitedly, "Ken, we're making it! We're MAKING it!"
All human operations seemed to cease as they riveted their eyes on the altimeter, which
was recording their height. Simultaneously they shouted, "We'x'e broken the record!"
Radio flashed the message to thc waiting world. Eagerly they gazed out the port holes! Wlirit
a thrill! Below, huge banks of rolling, white. fleecy clouds parted now and then to give them
.i view of Mother Earth---its curvature being plainly visible. Above, surrounding them, was
nothing but space a blue'gray expanse of emptiness!
But there was not time for such unscientific observations. Important work must be done.
Rol took reading after reading from scientific instruments and pictures with their sensitive cam'
eras. Bob kept in radio contact with the earth and entered observations every fifteen minutes into
their history-making diary. So absorbed were they that both failed to notice the quick passage
of time. Ten hours had elapsed since their takefofi. Suddenly Rol 'he could scarcely breathe!
His lungs were on fire and his head seemed bursting! A great weight was pressing him down-
down. . . Something was wrong with the air system!
Consciousness began to go, but Bob weakly lifted himself to the oxygen tanks. Threeffourths
full! Vv'hat could the matter be? They could only survive a few more minutes. lvfaking a great
effort he succeeded in opening the small door to the valves and tubes. A veil of mist seemed to
be covering his eyes, but through the fog of his brain, habit and his thorough knowledge of
the apparatus, led him to the most likely places of trouble, the nitrogen and oxygen lines. He
tested the nitrogen lines. All OK.: valves working: tubes open: and plenty of pressure! Next,
the oxygen tubes open: valves "But what was this?" Witli weak. nervous fingers Ken fum'
bled at the valve. lt was stuck! Unconsciousness at this time overtook him and without a sound
he fell in a heap! But a soft hissing sound began to fill the ball and air once more began circu'
Page 68 text:
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Jokes and Advertisements
Please remember our advertisers while shopping. The
Class of 1934 will appreciate your patronage of them,
for they have helped to make this book possible, for
which we are duly appreciative.
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