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The Missing Aeronauts

The Missing Aeronauts image
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[B'rom the Chicago Journal, 19Ui.] Tho last lingering hope to which tho friends of Donaldson and Grimwood have clung so earnestly, despite the stern ïacts whioh almost forbade hope, has (lied avay, and tho two must now be given up for lost. Por foiir dnys we liave boen listcning intently to every click of tbo telegraph, anxiously inHuiriug of every incoming vessel, assiduously huntiug down eveiy rumor, no matter how idle, and tenaciously cherishing evory theory of snfety and deliverance to them, only to be confronted at last with the sorrowful rcality which must now, we fear, be acknowledgcd as such, that thoy met their dcath in the terrilie hurricane of Thursday night, and ave buried beneath the watera of the lake. Exactly how they met their doom it is impossible that wc should ever know. Undoubtedly in the storm, which a i'niil airship like the one which oarried tliom oould by no possibility withstand. But how long and dospcrately they struggled for life, how they cheered each other so long as they remained together in the basket in which they ware borno on their journey, how they rccalled their friends on tho land, and regretted the venturesome spirit that induccd them to tike their lives in their hands and go out on such a perilous journey, are all matters of the merest conjeeture. The balloon, caught in the gale, driven hither and thitlier, like a desperate creature gone mad, could not have made a long resistance. When that bocamo useless to them, either by being torn in picces or boing ent loose by themselvcs, it left the two men engaged in a fcarfully unequil struggle lor life ; a hard and valiant stmgglc no doubt it was against wind and ware, They could hear only the thundeiiiigs of the storm and the soreaiuing and hissiug of the waters ; they saw only tho vivid flashes of the liglitning and the foaming heads of the waves. T!io wiklncss of suoh a scène can only be iinagined. The struggle eould not have cont inued long - the odds wore too gfeat. There is good cause to believe that for some reason or other, Donaldson intended, before süirting on this last fatal trip, to attompt a voj'age across the lake. Whcther it was because he had been npbraided for not making a more sen sational trip on the previoun day, as is círcuiiisliintinüy asserted, is unknown. But il' lio ouly óontemplated in aüccnt similar to that 01 Wi-dnes'.lay, why was it that ho insiated that ouly 011e of the fiewspaper men sliould aecoinpany him 't Two j were intimiüiifi to go ; tliey wei'e actually in the car, but at the last moment oue was compclled to get out and remain bchind. They had 800 pounds of sand, 160 poundk of which might have j been left and nnother passenger taken, had the aeronaut not ' been intent on makmg an unusual performance. lïut of that intent his companion, ( rimwood, and his friends had no knpwledge. lic and they only knew that the day before fonr nerwspiftper men went up, remained an hour or two and descended in s-afety. There was apparentlj noivason svliy this sliould not 1.' fopé.ïted witli the same resultó. And it was with this rpeciation, and in no spirit of recTdessness, and with no thought thal any imusitil fcat was to be ait'Miipli'il, thal (irinnvi).i(l vas induccd to go on this journey OÍ disaster and deal h. liowcvei-unjust this wus to Orimwoodt poor Donaldson, bo far as he was rcsponsiblc, is as tav lieyond thercaeh of censure, as thevictim is bevond recaUing tho resolutiou, inade in ïgnorance of facts which should have liccn divulgod to him. '1'ni', Savannah Aotveriüer remarks : " Alter all the street car oonduotors who havo committed suicide ba taikiM tHeir honesty wasdoubted, the Now York oom lin.l llmt tlicy hav.i savi'il over i a million dollaM ly tli; uk "f tbe Ml punohi"


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Michigan Argus