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aeroplane. The aviator thinks he is at the zenith above the battleship and detaches the missile, which may hit the battleship or it may not; most likely it will not, for the bomb is very prone to be deflected from a vertical course even were the airship directly above the vessel-which he has no means of knowing, only estimating or guessing. It would seem unnecessary to elaborate much argument adverse to the probability of destroying a ship by a bomb dropped from an airship; primarily, because of the instability of the airship; secondly, because of the absolute, indecision

upon the thunderbolts of Zeus falling from a clear sky via an airship. Nevertheless, we can rely fairly confidently upon our 13-inch guns, their ten-mile range, and the microscopically accurate method of range-finding.

To consider the alternate efficiency of the airship as a destructive mode of annihilating the factors of a census or a cosmopolitan city: Ignatius Donnelly, in "Caesar's Column," depicted airships sailing over doomed cities, dropping bombs charged with stifling fumes (a modern form of the old Greek fire or the Chinese

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of a vertical line from the bomb suspended from the airship to the deck of the ship, and thirdly, because of the uncertainty of the law of gravitation, compelling the descent of the bomb in an absolute perpendicular line. Also, the ship might have "stood from under," and although the bomb might "rock the Golden Gate" with its detonation, it would not feaze the battleship. Therefore, with the kind permission of the enthusiastic prophets, we will pass the feasibility of the navy being afflicted with any fatal eruption consequent

stinkpots), which asphyxiated the people, while other bombs knocked the buildings galley-west. Donnelly's vaticinatory successors have ignored the mephitic part of the programme, and have contented themselves with one comprehensive bombswoop; to the engendering of excessive timidity in the minds of dwellers in large cities lest Japan (or some other spectre) should suddenly declare war against us, turn loose a covey of airships laden with bombs and make of us such fragmentary remains that bottles or demijohns would

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be the appropriate receptacle for the mincemeat whereto we should be reduced.

To quiet our trepidation, which, at first glance, seems much more rational than the concussion of a dropped bomb with an unquiet battleship, let us calmly consider the reasonableness of this project.

It must be conceded that the projectile must be of some high explosive, whose dynamic activity is engendered by percussion or violent contact. How are these dangerous implements to be carried by the airship? The practicable and reasonably harmless way would be to suspend them under the airship in concave carriers lined with cotton or wool; they could be turned out of the cups by a mechanical contrivance or the attaching cord could be cut, when the pendant bomb would descend and strike the target. The detaching of the projectile might be successfully accomplished by the aviator, but the apprehension arises as to whether all his time and skill must not be devoted to aerigation of his machine, especially when the untimely climax to their lives and aeronautic career of many aviators is remembered. For the proper attention to the detachment of the

1. Parmalee in a Wright biplane. 2. Latham monoplane.

suspended bombs the services of a sort of warlike valet might be requisite, one who could devote the whole of his time to the severing of the deadly severing of the deadly weapons. This would, presumptively, make the assumed task more efficacious; as to the task being capable of accomplishment is now the enigma to be solved.

Suppose the runway of the airship to have been made without any of the dangling bombs having been maltreated and exploded, and the airship careering in the higher altitudes with the aviator at the steering wheel and the valet grooming his projectiles. The currents of air are propitious, and the ship approaches the longitude of the doomed city. The inhabitants are alert for the aerial danger and are training their vertical guns (whose utility has been demonstrated by the German army) and the imminence of their danger is apparent to the occupants of the airship, who have a very natural desire to avoid being hoisted with their own petard. They realize that the detachment of and demolition by their bombs is a remote accomplishment; their own danger is unpleasantly close, so they veer off and await a more favorable opportunity. Another contingency may confront them, and prevent the fulfillment of their mission; that is, the vertical gun or guns may be trained upon them, and their own dangling bombs be exploded when aviator, valet, airship and bombs become an eddying mass of smoke, bent wire and fragmentary mementoes. Still another obstacle to the accomplishment of their object may, and probably would, confront them, and that would be an airship picket or vidette, which, on perceiving them, would discharge a horizontal gun loaded with either a time or percussive shell that, at the moment of impact, or at the expiration of the time fuse, would find the large target the aeroplane would present, and with the result that a heterogeneous mass would take the place of the homogeneous airship, its occupants and its cargo. It is hardly presumable that the inhabitants of the town or city would calmly await their possible doom with the resignation of a man with his back against a wall and a firing party in front of him.

High explosives are extremely dangerous to any one in their vicinity; the gen

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