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Caught On The Fly

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Georgetown v.'as going to celébrate the Pourth of Jnly, and aniong other attractionswas to have a grand balloon ascensión. When I, George Bates, heard of this, I niacle up my niind that I would go up in tliat b.ill . I will say rigiit here that I never cared for the society of young ladies ; conseqnently I was called a conflrmed old bachelor at the age of 28 years. I had no relativos t o dissuade me from making sncli a fooi of myself as to wish to go up in a balloon, and no one to care whether I came down again or not. I say I did not care for the society of young ladies, but therewas one - Judge Wells' daughter Sallie - who, I thought, was the best looking and altogether the nicest girl I had ever known. I was not acquainted with her, however, and never expected to be, but I liked her all the same. I saw the owner of the balloon, Professor Sears, and he agreed to cacrry me ni for $100. As I was in good circumstances flnancially I did not consider this price too high, and at once agreed to go. The longed for Fourth of July arrived, and about 3 o'clock I stepped into the balloon with Professor Sears. At just five minutes past 3 the signal gun was fired, and Professor Sears leaned out and cut the cable that held us. As he did so the gnipnel slipped out of the car. Hetriod to catch it, but lost his balance and feil to the ground, leaving me, as I supposed, alono in the balloou. -I was toiTïbly irightened, for I had not i tho bY ghtest knowledge of the workings of the hoge gas bag, as I had never seen one closely before. I louked over the cea: to see where I was going, when I noticed that there was a giri hanging Tjy her clothes to the grapm i, tho line of which was atl I to the car, while the baiioon was sailing rapidly tovard the clouds. What was I to do? I made up my miud in a second. I must draw the child up in to the car. I reached out and caught hold of the rope. I could not move it. The speed with which the balloon was ping made it impossible to raise it au inch. Ther? were sonie doublé tackle 'blocks in th car, ;uirt I at once thought of a way to rot tho girlup. Hastily rigging the blocks, I fcied the rope tothe one holding the ;.;irl and found that I could Jioist her up. I had to fusten the rope as :iow down na I could reach and then hoitit till the blocis came togethor. They -were hitohed to the ropea that held the car to the balloon on top, and of course it was slow work. I tliink it took 15 minntcs to get her into the car, when judge of my surprise to flnd that what upposi ;1 to be a iittle girl ;is Jndge Wells' daugh ter, 24 yearsold, and the hai ie of Georgetown. A few moments lí'tor I got her into the car she regained lier senses, and 1 ,v first words were, "Where am IV" "I don 't exactly know, " I replied, ■"but y ou are somewhere bet.wecn heaven and earth in a balloon. ' ' "Howcame I here - oh, I remember now ! I feit myself suddenly pulled up ! into the air, and then I gue&s I fainted " j "I should have thought you would." ( I replied, and then I told her how i fessor Sears had tried to catch the i nel as it feil and had fallen out in iog to do so, and how I got her into tho ar. "Then you have sa ved my life. " "Ko; only prolonged it. " "How is that V ' "We are going rapidly upward, and I Ion t knowanything about the management of the balloon. We shall both be SdUed. " "I don 't think that. Yon surely can flnd a way to stop it. Havo you tried?" "No, I have been so busy gettiug you into the balloon that I havo not thought of it. I will try now. " I examined the j different parts, and flnally found the '; .rope that opened the valve. The balloon ; Saegan to descend very rapidly - too ! jaonch so, I thought, and I found auother j jrope which sould close the valve. With ' tiiese roi)es 1 regulated the descent very .nicely. Af ter getting the thing under ontrol, 1 ïooked down toward the earth. j It was the ürst look since I had pulled Miss Wells into the balloon. We were a ■Jong way up, but we were over the water. I told Miss Wells so, and she j ■edout. "In that case I think we had ! $p down till we strike a different rent of wind, don't yon?" I told her yes, and veiy soon we strnck a different current and supposed we I were beiug carried in the direct) 011 f rom i which we caine. Theu I closed the vajve, bnt the bal loon contiuued to descerní 1 threw out the bags of sand that were in th car, bul still we were goiug (iov.n. "I'm afraid we are going to land in the water, " I said as I gazed out of the CM. "Then we must be drowned, " sho said. '"No, not necessarily, " I said. "If I a&a't cut the balloon f ree froin the car, it may float you till help comes. " "But what w'ill yon do?" "It don't niake so much difference with' ma I am alone in the world, and no oue will care if I do not return. " "I think the car will hold ns both. " "We shall have a chance to find out in a very few müintes. When the car strikes the water, you hold on with all yonr might to this rope. Don't let go if yon can help it, onless the car tums over. Iu that ca. o drop the rope, and I will look out for you. ' ' I had no chance 1 o say more, for the balloon dr' 'p:xdv.'irh a bumpthat threw Miss Wells out into the water. She held to the basket, however, and I soon had it freed from the balloon by cutting the üords. The car or basket would hold one of us nicely, so 1 got Miss Wells into it and swam alongside myself. "If I only knew which way land was lying, I would swim that way," I said, "but I ha a where we are. " "We are . for. " "Oh, yes; we :;, and onr only chance is that some vessel will piek us np." "I shan 't give tip till I amobliged to. STou know wlio I ain, of ceñirse?" "Yes; you are Judge Wells' daughter." "Sadie, yes, and you are Mr. Bates. " ' ' George Bates ;t your service. Rather i queer place and way to be introduced. ' ' "Unforrui::iiely, yes, hv.i it ■v"ill help to keep each other in niind if we ever get back to land. ' ' Just before dark a sliip was seen in the distanee, but it did not come near enough for us to hail it before night shut in, and in themoming nothing waa Been of it. I don't know how we did get fchrough the night. Miss Wells was so afraid that I wonld let go the car and be drowned that slio held mo by the hand all night. I was s-o exhausted before momiug that I should undoubtedly have been drowned but for her. Soon after sunrise we saw smoke curling up in the distanee, and I feit sure that a steainer was coming and malled Sadie 's attention to it. Someliow we had dropped fche formal Mr. and Miss during the night, and she was tíadie and I was George. When we did it, or who called ñrst ñames first, neither of us could teil when we spoke of it afterward. Sadie stood up in the car and waved lier handkerchief as soon as we thought the people on the steumer could see us. We soon caught their attention, and in less than an hour from the time wo saw the snioke a boat from the ontward bound European steainer Atlantic pi( ked us up. When our story waa known, it seemed as if the passengers could not do enongh for us. StateroomR were provided for u.s and dry cío he ' food, and by the doctor 's orders we were both sent to '...'d. I slept i ght hours, and when i a oke I feit as well as etc-r, and I ■ I oude;!:. MÍB3 Welle sieyfc two hours loiiger, bai at 7 o'clock we both sal down to a . er wl had 1 een pr , i ::; honor of onr wcnderfnl reseno. Wep ■..■- ed a very pleasant evening, . the conrpany seenied abont to I ik up Captain Windsor, a genuino Y cu J a tleman, spoke up and said: "Mr. Bates, of cour. o yon will not feel hurt if I givo you Üiia roll of bill. We have talked the matter over among us and concluded that yoawould need a little ready nioney, as yon started in stich a hurry that you certaiuly couiíl not have provided for a Etiropean trip. We don't appi'ove of a yonng man running away with a girl iu this manner, bnt yours ie a very peculiar case, and we have decided to help you out. I am an oíd man, and I want to give you a little advice. Get married before we get to Europe, for should you delay youi' efforts ■will be in vain, for Judge Wells will no doobi cable to London to have you aiTested on your arrival. We have a clex'gyman on board, and tliere ai-e several Vi'itneases here, besides plenty of be.sC men and bi-icie.sinaid,s. Everything is ready, and I should be delighted to have a wedding on my steanier, and when a couple are tlu'own at me as yon seem to have been I think it is flying in the face of Providence not to take advantage of it. " As he flnished speaking he thrust a roll of bilis into my hand, and amid a storm of applause the crowd began to separate, for their staterooms. Whai was I to do? I was so taken aback by t he captain's words that I knew not what tosay, and so I said nothing. I kntjv he was in fun, but the rnoney waa a reality. I looked over to where Sadie was standing and caught her eye. Thcrcwas a peculiar expression on her face, but she was laugbing, so I thanked the captain as best 1 could, but told him that when I got my thoughts collected I would try to got even with him. ïhe next day every one was joking us. We could not get angry, for they had been too good to us. Toward night Sadie and I were walking about on deck, apart from the rest of the passengers, when I said : ' ' Sadie, v, i' eiiftll we do when we get to Enrope?" ' ' Cable to our f olks that we are alive. ' ' ' "Yes, I will do that the first thing. Then what?" I osked. "It seerns ahnest too bad to get over hen; and thon ;iot see Komethiug of the old worldj doesn't it?" "Ii does indeed, and I wish we might stay awhile. Do you think your father would let you if yoix asked him?" "Ho-w raid I do that?" "Iwill cable him thewhole story and teil him you will stay a few weeks wjth friends. " "That will cost too ïnuch mouey. 1 dou't think papa will feel that he eau afforrl to let me stay. ' ' "But I can ali'ord it. I am alone in the world aud have no ono. to care for me, and I have more money than I need, : aside from what oirr generóos friends have given us. " "Wait u moment. You say you have uo friends or any one to care for you. : Where do I come in?" I turned and looked her in the face. Some' told me to say what was in my Kiiüd, and I said:


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News