CHICAGO TO PEKING

The possibility of a tunnel under the Bering Strait has been brought up again. In speaking before a branch of the American Asiatic Association, Julian Arnold, Commercial Attache of the United States to Peking, advocated the construction of this connecting link between America and Asia,--a step which would make possible a railroad from Chicago to Peking, and eventually from New York to Paris and Berlin, via Nome and Omsk. Should this plan ever be put into effect, the globe-trotter would no longer be forced to endure the hardships of any voyage save that across the Atlantic. The Peterkin family, which is fabled to have crossed Bering Strait on ice to avoid the discomforts of shipboard, could have accomplished its purpose much more easily by means of Pullman sleepers under the sea.

A little less stupendous in conception, but more certain of execution is the newly-undertaken automobile tunnel beneath the Hudson River in New York. But this does not seem a startling project, because of the subway tubes which have already been built, and of which more are constantly being proposed as the best way of meeting the problem of transportation.

Subways, of course, are always open to attack by doubters because of the danger of collapse and the difficulties of construction; but, as in the case of the Hudson River, Bering Strait, and the English Channel even, they would furnish the only possible way of bringing about land communication. Tunnels fifty miles in length are not built in a day, but it seems more and more probable that they will sometime be as familiar as the Brooklyn Bridge is now. Although man may never realize Jules Verne's imaginative story of a "Journey to the Center of the Earth", he may succeed in the first stage of it. "Air" has been "conquered" recently, "Water" long ago, but it remains for the engineers of the future to complete the conquest of "Earth".