London, April 18, 1903
Just before I left Paris Capt. Ferber advised me that he had rebuilt his apparatus and was about to use it from a higher mountain and to attempt longer glides. I at once wrote and telegraphed to dissuade him, and now have a letter which I translate as follows:
April 16, '03 Dear Sir.
I have heeded you and have made no glides on the mountain. Today I receive your letter of 11th and I note that Mr. Wright cannot build me a machine until next winter. This does not matter, for I care for only one thing: it is to receive lessons from him and to make a few glides upon his favorable ground. Ask him whether he is to go this year to Kitty Hawk, and whether he sees any objection to my coming to see him and to take lessons from him. If he consents we can discuss on the ground the purchase of a new machine.
I believe that it will be reasonably easy to obtain leave of absence to go to America; but we must always reckon upon the possible caprices of the military authorities.
Yours very truly,
17th Batterie Alpine
If you think it best, you can write to him direct, for he reads English, although with some difficulty, or we may talk it over when I see you, and I will then write to him.
I have engaged passage on the North German Lloyd Kronprinz Wilhelm which sails from Southampton on the 29th.
I am getting in touch with British aeronauts, and finding out
what is going on. Having already done so in Italy, Austria, Germany, and France,
I shall have a good survey of the whole field. I do not now believe that any
nation is ahead of our own.
Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute, May 11, 1903