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PAGE TWO. . . on their way to the South Pacific and a civilian connected with a commercial airline. They were all nice chaps, and those you flyers were tops. One of them at least has since been killed, and doubtless others of whom I have not heard. I have all their autographs, as well as those of the members of the crew.
Flying to the South Pacific: December 5
Incidentally, I have had a lot of fun autograph collecting since I started it last November. Knowing that I was going to be sent on an assignment by United Press and having practically no memory at all for names, I conceived the brilliant idea of carrying an autograph book with me and having all those whom I interviewed write their names and home towns in it. I just hand the book to a victim, opened at the fly leaf, on which is typed the following:
For more than a quarter of a century, I have been giving autographs.
Thousands of them.
And I have never asked for one.
The worm has turned.
He wants your autograph.
Edgar Rice Burroughs United Press Honolulu.
And it had never failed to work. I have filled two books and half of a third. I have autographs of soldiers of every grade and rank, and of Navy personnel up to captain. I haven't an admiral, as I haven't bumped into one yet at a psychologically correct moment for asking for an autograph. However, I have two governors and many pulchritudinous wahines.
The first day's flight was interesting to me as I had never flown so far before. It was otherwise monotonous as the scenery in one place looked just like the scenery of every other place. It was just the same damned scenery that Noah looked at for seven months. But Noah couldn't read detective stories and play contract, as I did.
We flew between 8000 and 9000 feet; and it was darned cold. Fortunately, I had a leather jacket along; but my hind legs shivered. Khaki is not so warm.
The captain invited me up to the pilots' compartment and even offered to let me fly the ship. Having got lost once while trying to fly from Clover field to Pomona, I thought it only patriotic to decline. After all, those C-87's cost a lot of money; and I'm a tax payer. I asked him when we would cross the Equator, and he said he would let me know. I had never crossed it before.
About noon, one of the fighter pilots stood about the center of the ship and tossed sandwiches around. I caught four. There are no attractive stewardesses to bring one dainty lunches with steaming cocoa or coffee. Nor a single serviette.
Late in the afternoon the ship began to buck and roll. It reminded me of the antics of those big, fat steers you've seen the cowboys riding at rodeos. I looked out, expecting to see that we were in the midst of a terrific tropical storm. But the air was clear and the sea smooth. It occurred to me that the pilot had lost control. I also considered the appalling fact that I had no Mae West nor any parachute. Then I remembered that the captain had promised to let me know when we crossed the Equator. I looked down, but was greatly disappointed. The Equator is either not what it has been cracked up to be, or it has been removed for . . .
Mae West and her Namesake
AUTOGRAPHS FROM FELLOW PASSENGERS ON THIS FLIGHT
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