My three long runs.
Edinburgh - Stirling : 50 kilometres. - I am welcomed by some violent eddies [des remous impétueux], which nevertheless hardly give
me the impression of an irresistible force. Rather, I am conscious that I have the power to master them. That difficult moment did not
surprise me - I was expecting it. I climb to 300 metres to avoid the trees bordering the aerodrome and go to look for some calm air
above the large estuary of the Forth. I find it in abundance, as I always seem to whenever I fly over the sea. A little further on, 600
metres above the bridge spanning the river, the tranquillity ends and the wind starts to blow with such violence that I am unable to
make any further progress. I descend to find a current that is easier to handle. I only partly attain my goal, and it is at a very slow pace
that I overfly the meandering bends of the river. At this point, the bumps [secousses] surpass everything I have endured up to now.
However, I do not seriously consider landing, because I now make out the picturesque castle at Stirling sitting on its rock. The
aerodrome, a meadow, runs along the back of the houses of the town. Very large, with few undulations or trees, this meadow would
have made an excellent landing field in any event. Unfortunately, a narrow space in the middle has been marked out by means of
stakes and ropes! One must land in between the ropes! In my haste to get down, I do not at first pay attention to this novel and
misconceived obstacle. I hit something. The sharp crack sickens me. Have I damaged some part of the machine? I jump to the
ground, examine each part of the monoplane and can see nothing amiss. Instead, I notice at my feet a stake cut in two. 'Bravo' for my
machine, which is as well behaved on the ground as it is in the air! Overjoyed to have come out of this incident at so little cost, I look
around for the pilot of the Morane-Borel. Védrines is not there (3 h. 56').
Dawn is pale, the rain redoubles it efforts, and an indefinable melancholy hangs over everything around me. But an inner joy compensates for the sadness of this dreary countryside. I lie down contentedly in a tent. Then, a character out of Dickens appears before me. Small, dry, soberly dressed, with sparkling eyes, grey hair, and mutton-chop whiskers, a man of about sixty comes forward with smiling face. He speaks volubly and gesticulates rapidly. Friendly and amusing in equal measure, he welcomes me warmly and leads me to understand that his fellow citizens of Stirling have appointed him to give me a "un present". He offers me an object carefully wrapped in paper. Taking back this somewhat mysterious parcel, he unwraps it, carefully removes the protective wrapping, and shows me… a crystal inkstand, chased with silver. A detail attracts my attention: when the stopper is lifted to draw the ink, a clock is revealed. I would never have dared hope for so much… The delegate of Stirling, the honourable town-clerk, asks me whether I would consent to a public presentation. I acquiesce. He re-wraps the packing with care, we go out of the hangar; and there we are before the wet, soaking crowd. The excellent town-clerk delivers a second address to me, officially this time, and expresses the great pleasure which the people of Stirling feel in presenting a souvenir to the first aviator to visit their town. Once again, he unwraps the package, raises the artistic inkstand above his head for all to see, and begs me to entrust it to him so he can have my name engraved.
During this ceremony, Védrines arrives, worn-out by the crossing [très éprouvé par la traversée]. He asks me whether I intend to continue the course or wait for a less wrathful sky. I reply that I will get under way at the first bright spell. As the rain continues to fall in torrents, we doze in the tent where the time keepers spent the night. At 7 h. 25' into the air!
Stirling - Glasgow (Paisley) : 35 kilometres. - The eddies have not left this part of the world. I am strongly jolted about until the rain, becoming even heavier, comes to absorb my attention. The Glasgow field, located at Paisley, seems to hide from me.