My three long runs.
wheeled away, within a cordon of policemen, I hand in my log book and give myself over to the sportsmen gathered around me. Lord
Northcliffe, the proprietor of the Daily Mail, presents his congratulations to me, the memory of which I shall always value. Soon
afterwards, the crowd carries me into my hangar. A steward cries, “Quiet! I have an announcement. All the pieces of the machine and
the motor are intact!” Cheers welcome his declaration. The words “speech, speech!” ring out. I understand. I am brought a step-ladder,
deposited on it, and I say a few words of thanks in a version of English that is personal to me but that everyone tries hard to
[In the rest of the chapter Beaumont goes on to describe in some detail the official visits and banquets of the following days.]
… So finished this “Tour” so uncertain at the outset, so dangerous in Scotland and towards Carlisle, and so well acclaimed after the victory. I would not wish to conclude this account without acknowledging the eminently sporting spirit of the English. I was aware of it, very strongly, in the most varied circumstances.
In all questions of sport, the English see only the man and his performance. They clearly separate considerations of nationality and personality: and I do not speak of race. They love inner courage and a difficulty overcome too much not to applaud these things wherever they may be found. Their sympathy lies, instinctively, with the best man, with the winner. There exists there a deep sentiment of innate justice, which manifested itself in a very special manner during the Circuit.
The Circuit was held in England; it was organised and endowed by an English newspaper; almost all the competitors were English; and many English machines had great financial interest in winning. Despite that, the success of two Frenchmen received an enthusiastic welcome. The country-dwellers, the spectators at the aerodromes, the press, and the authorities all fêted them unreservedly.
Do you not believe that in this respect all nations should seek to imitate the English?