"Mes trois grandes courses"
My three long runs.
Page 10

  However, I land without incident at 8 h. 10'. On my departure from Stirling, a quick call to Paisley had told me of very fine weather there. On my arrival, I am astonished that the call was made only forty-five minutes earlier. The locals assure me that the rain which is falling represents “very fine weather” as far as they are concerned. The exodus of Scots to warmer climates seems fully justified to me.

I get away at 9 h. 3', without having seen Védrines, who lands at 9 h. 4'.

Glasgow - Carlisle : 137 kilometres. - The sky is threatening. Rain alternates with fog, and strong eddies make my monoplane bounce along [font cahoter mon monoplan]. Nevertheless, I attack the steep, winding valleys to the south of Lanark with determination. Although I have a great deal of trouble staying on course through the gusting wind, I am powerfully struck by the beauty of the landscapes which quickly unfold one after the other. For a few seconds here and there, I forget my immediate problems, and my fears for the coming minutes. Many times, I find myself admiring the castles perched on the flanks of the mountains; and yet I am never able to take my eyes from the compass and altimeter for long.

The farther I go, the more the valley closes in. The wind which hits me here causes me to slip [dérâper] to the right and the left. My arms hurt from the sharp flying manoeuvres [les manoeuvres brusques du volant], and the wind and rain increase. I am compelled to fly very low, in the bottom of the valley between two great sheer walls, in order to follow the railway. At a bend, I suddenly emerge from the hills onto a plain, crossed by the Solway. An express train passes by, with handkerchiefs waving from the doors. Instinctively, I enter into a trial of speed with the engine driver - which I win by cutting the corners in the line. A marshland to cross, and I am in Carlisle, where a dense crowd is gathered (11 h. 16'). I am taken, with difficulty, to a hotel. My aim is to snatch some very necessary rest; but I congratulate myself too soon.

All the rooms are taken. My friends negotiate, and obtain a little untidy cubby-hole, where I stretch out on a mattress with great delight. Indeed the manager decides to lock me in. In this way, I am protected from those enthusiastic spectators who want to see me, and above all to touch me. During the journey from the aerodrome to the hotel, I constantly had hands on my jacket, on my hat - and often those touches were far from gentle.

Two raw eggs, a cup of tea and I leave again at 12 h. 11' - little suspecting the serious error that has been made when my machine was refuelled.

Carlisle - Manchester : 165 kilometres. - The propeller does not turn in its normal manner, but no doubt it is only something minor. I head South without attaching any importance to this warning. And yet I will need to pass through valleys no less dangerous than those around Lanark: the narrowing passes of the Penine Chain are ahead. My initial observations concern me. I have difficulty climbing. A train overtakes me and I try to catch it up. I am only able to do so with a great deal of effort. When I finally succeed, not far from Langdale Fell, I prepare for the assault on the awesome gorge [le terrible défilé] ahead. Above all it is necessary to gain altitude. I attempt to climb. Alas! it is impossible for me to go above 800 metres. There I am, stuck in the violent currents low down. Suddenly, the motor stops for six to ten seconds: I drop. And under me there is nothing but ravines and jagged outcrops. It seems inevitable my machine must be lost. I must crash-land on the earth as late as possible. I try, therefore, to steer my glide to the deepest side of the valley to thereby prolong my descent. [J'essaie, en conséquance, de diriger mon vol plané du côté des parties les plus profondes de la gorge, ma descente se prolongera

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