Dayton, May 27, 1904
Your letter of 26th rec'd. Can you find out whether entries in St. Louis contest positively close June 1st? If so we would be glad to know by telegraph. We wish to enter but not just yet.
We took the machine out Monday but just as we were ready the wind died out to 1 meter per second and, as we only had a little over a hundred feet of track, of course we were unable to obtain supporting speed. On Wednesday we again took it out but were driven in by rain. Again on Thursday we took it out and again the rain compelled us to take it in, but in the afternoon we again took it out. Once more a rain came up but before it broke we made a start. The engine was not working right but there was no time to see what the trouble was then. The machine rose six or eight feet but the power was insufficient and it came down. We found today that one of the iridium spark points had become detached and only three cylinders were working.
We broke several pine spars, which we had been compelled to use on account of not being able to obtain spruce in time. It will take a week to make repairs. We had the luck to get the machine under cover just as the storm broke upon us. We will inform you when we are ready again.
If Mr. Smith is in St. Louis please inform me
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, May 28, 1904