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1892 — Three Accidents

by Susan Marie Brown, © 2014

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Everyone who cowers at home is just as sure to die in the end as anyone who doesn’t. Margaret Graicie’s husband senselessly worked himself to death at a desk. What was the point of that? She always encouraged the children to pursue the joys of adventure. They especially loved to fly.

But then one stormy day James landed his balloon in the wrong pasture and was trampled by a bull.

William soared away above a desert canyon along the Colorado River in the heart of an American wilderness, in the heat of a summery day, and was never seen again.

After James met that deadly bovine, John always avoided cattle but one morning he launched from the beach at Leith, aiming for the peak of Arthur’s Seat, but a windy tempest blew him against the spire of a church. He fell to his death.

That was the day Ann declared her aeronautic years complete and locked her balloon in the stables. But flight is not the only danger. Four years later she went speeding toward London in her new motorcar, stopped to visit relatives in Galashiels, and influenza caught her.