Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Le Mans, November 10, 1908

I have never had such a time trying to attend to correspondence in my life. Three fourths of the letters that come cannot be answered. About one sixth I answer by means of Mr. Berg's secretary and the balance I reserve for myself with the result that they have fallen into the first class. For three months I have had scarcely a moment to myself except when I take my bicycle and ride off into the woods for a little rest. How I long for Kitty Hawk!

Yet I have been received in France with a friendliness scarcely to be realized. I never hoped for such treatment. In the reaction from former abuse they seem trying to make up for lost time. No American would think of giving so much time and trouble to assist a stranger as MM. Bollee and Pellier have given me here. I have come to believe that the French character outside of the city of Paris is more to be admired than I had supposed. The Parisians are a class to themselves, and yet I have found many nice people there. Archdeacon and Ferber make much more noise than their real importance justifies.

I have been much delayed in training the three operators as required by our contract, because so much time is taken up with demonstrations and rides for various representatives of the army, navy, and government of France, and prominent men of other countries. This is running me into the winter season. I had hoped to be in America by Thanksgiving day. But now I only hope for Christmas.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, March 9, 1909