And on each side of the car, constructed and placed with an evident view to balance or trim it, were two balloons, which seemed absurdly small in view of the size of the car. These were connected with the chemical apparatus just mentioned, and were filled by it, when occasion required, with a gas vastly lighter than hydrogen.
Signor Davelli, Jack, and I entered the car, and the Signor took a bottle of liquid out of one of the numbered boxes and poured it into one of the vessels. Then in all the vessels there seemed to be a sound like boiling, and presently the balloons became inflated and raised the car very gently and quite evenly. When we had been thus lifted to a height of about a hundred feet from the platform, he put on a dark-looking pair of gloves and laid hold of a strong thick wire, which I had not seen before, which was fastened to the bar which I had supposed to be of metal on the side further from where I sat. This wire he connected with the batteries of either end, and immediately took off the gloves. Presently the paddles began to move with a wing-like action, driving the car straight forward through the air. All this time we were still rising slowly, but when we had attained a high degree of speed Signor Davelli turned the key of a valve which