A novel letter from Lieutenant John Lavalle, Jr., '18, formerly president of the Lampoon, and now in training for the aviation service in England, was received recently by friends in Boston. Lavalle wrote the letter while in actual flight 5000 feet in the air, at the same time managing the controls with his left hand. The letter is also reprinted in the current number of the Atlantic Monthly.
"Where on earth do you think I am? To tell the honest truth, I'm not on earth at all. I am 5000 feet in the air! All alone! The engine is making such a noise that I can't hear myself think, but it is very smooth up here at 5000 feet, so I can run this 'bus with my left hand and write to you with my right! I am beginning to think that I am some aviator now, because I can go up and write letters in the air.
"I just received your chocolates today. They have followed me all over England, and finally got here. There is a little box on the instrument board of this plane, and in it are six or seven chocolate gum-drops which I shall eat.
"The flight commander sent me up and said: 'Ely around for an hour'; so here I am, with a board on one knee to write on. Isn't this a novel letter? I see an- other machine over the town doing circles. I guess it's Tom --. We were told to meet at 2000 feet over the town and fly around together. I'm at 5000, and I'm going to dive to 2000 and wave at him. Whee. Motor off, stick forward, and down we go! Gad, its bumpy down here at 2000! It's Tom all right, because I know the number of his machine. He waved--I waved. I shall climb.
Disliked Bumpy Air.
"I hate this bumpy strata of air I'm in now. Smooth again. I'm now at 6000 feet, still climbing. Tom is about 5000 feet, but passing directly under me. It's colder than all get-out up here now. So I'll have to put on my glove again and write with my left hand and drive with my right. This can't be done, so I'll stop writing for a minute or so.
"I'm now at 8500, and have completely lost sight of the aerodrome. I've lost sight of Tom, also. Engine off, nose down, spiral, look all over the sky for Tom. I see him going down. I'll let him go, because it's too wonderful up here, I guess Tom has had engine-trouble or run out of petrol. He sees me and is waving with both hands. Down I go after him, over 100 miles an hour I'm now at 3000 again. Tom has landed in