Ho! For The South Pole!
From: Doctor Jones' Picnic
Silver Cloud, meantime, had been returned to the place of her birth, the
great iron works upon the Potomac river. Another shapely three hundred
feet mast had been manufactured and erected. One morning about the
middle of September, the globe arose above the glittering mast and
slowly settled upon it. The fastenings were soon adjusted, the flag of
aluminum nailed to the peak, and Silver Cloud was herself again, ready
for another trip to the ends of the earth.
Will had made a number of additions and alterations, among which was an
increase in the size and strength of the coiled springs that were used
for hoisting purposes and running the dynamo. A powerful searchlight had
been added, and the electrical appliances greatly increased. Among other
things, he had a two horse power steam engine set up. This was to be
used for winding the springs. Good old John Barton was never happier in
his life than at this period. His interest in the globe was intense, and
he daily spent hours with Will at the iron works. He made several
valuable suggestions, and his hard common sense and experience were of
no little value to the architect.
"If I were not getting so far along in years, and mother was perfectly
well and willing, I should like nothing better than to go with you this
trip," said he to Dr. Jones. "But we will stay and keep house for you
until your return."
"And that will be but a very few weeks, I am quite sure," answered the
Doctor. "It is not likely that we shall be made prisoners three months
this trip. And that reminds me that I received a letter from Count
Icanovich this morning, Maggie, and it inclosed one from Feodora to
The letters were hastily read. They were well, and Feodora had never
been better in her life. The Count had been studying and practicing the
new system of medicine, and, to his unbounded delight, had made some
center shots. His enthusiasm was steadily increasing, and he implored
the Doctor to return to Russia and co-operate with him in introducing
this God-given system into that vast empire. He assured him that they
had everything to hope for. The Princess was getting on quite
comfortably, and the fame of what Dr. Jones had done for her had become
national. Numerous physicians of note had called upon and written the
Prince and himself to ascertain the facts concerning the marvelous cures
that had been reported to them. The Prince and Princess sent their
sincere regards, etc. Feodora wrote in a lively strain to Mrs. Jones and
Mattie, and urged them to return to their castle for a good visit as
soon as possible. These letters were answered promptly, the Doctor
giving advice concerning a case or two that the Count had found
puzzling. He promised them a visit as soon after their return from the
South Pole as possible.
Two or three mornings later Washington was again packed with visitors to
witness the departure of Silver Cloud for the southern extremity of the
earth. Greater enthusiasm than before was expressed by everyone, for now
there were no skeptics, and everybody cheered with might and main.
As on the previous occasion, the hour of noon was selected for sailing.
This gave people from the surrounding country an opportunity to come in
and witness the magnificent scene. It was declared a holiday by general
consent, and it is no exaggeration to say that nearly the whole earth
was represented in the unnumbered hosts that filled the streets, covered
the housetops and surrounding hills, and every spot and place that
afforded any possibility of seeing the ascent of the globe.
The friends and acquaintances that the company collectively and
individually had formed were out in full force. Numerous and hearty were
the handshakings; "Good-bye," and "Bon Voyage," were heard on every
The globe was anchored at but fifty feet from the earth. The cage had
been enlarged so that the voyagers now ascended four at a time. This
they did a few minutes before noon. The organ was taken out upon the
balcony, and "God be with you till we meet again," was sung by our
friends. The three Bartons stood just below and opposite the choir,
tears of friendship and gratitude streaming down their faces. We will
state here (quite privately be it understood) that Will and Jennie had
come to an understanding that seemed to be very satisfactory to them,
and their leavetaking was more affectionate than is usual with mere
acquaintances, or even intimate friends. It is the old story. Cupid has
done his work again. Well, God bless them, and may a parson step in and
complete the love god's work very soon after Silver Cloud shall have
returned. And Fred visited Grace at the mayor's house in New York. There
may be trouble of the same sort brewing there.
But the bells and whistles have announced the hour for Bailing. The
anchors were tripped, and Silver Cloud arose with the majesty of the
Queen of Night, nearly perpendicularly above the city to the height of
three thousand feet; there, to the extreme satisfaction of Dr. Jones, a
brisk breeze from the northeast was encountered, and away sailed the
beautiful globe until the straining eyes of the multitude saw it as a
bright star-like point in the heavens, and then it disappeared--bound
for the SOUTH POLE.
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