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$_ FRENCHWOMAN RIDES A BICYCLE THROUGH THE AIR. Of all the various phases of the loop" which, have thrilled audiences in Great Britain, there has 'been nothing so terribly heart-gripping as the feat of " flying tho flume/ which Mile Dutrien. performs twice daily at the Crystal Palace. There is usually a catastrophe when the bicycle of a " looper of a loop " leaves the track,, but Mile Dutrien " jumps the track " when going at break-neck speed,^ as a part of her regular performance. Altogether, it is a most dramatic affair, arranged with duly dramatic detail. Mile Dutrien, a slim little slip of a Frenchwoman, sweeps on to the scene with an, air that La Grande Sarah might be proud to study, and wealing' a Parisian confection that even the fastidious. Mme Rejane might envy. She bows a low i sweeping bow, reminiscent of La Duse, and takes the audience into- the all-enfolding embrance of her darkeyed gaze. ' The clinging draperies fall from her tiny shoulders, and she stands out like the Prince Charming of a pantomime, dTessed in white saitin knickerbockers and jacket. Another bow, and she turns, and, with the agility of a cat, climbs up the steep track from which she, makes her flight. Then, before one has had quite time to realise what is happening, she has bestrid-' den her bicycle, and is rushing down seventy feet of narrow board to what appears to ibe certain destruction. Down she comes at an appalling speedj and then the bicycle and rider hurtle up the little ascent at the bottom of the long descent. ' . Here the track breaks off altogether, and j Mile Dutrien and her spider-wheeled, solidj tyred velocipede leap' high into the air. For | one-fifth: of a second, as time is measured i \>y the stop-watch, the bicycle stops and ! ihovers like a hawk abovo the break in the track. Mademoiselle throws all her little J weight on to the handle-bars, and down 1 jumps the machine, front wheel foremost. i It alights with' a -jar that makes one shud- ! I tier on the continuation of the track, and rushes down into safety. On the level, Weighted ropes stay the lightning-like flight of the human arrow. j It is the most breathless business. The : swiftness and the daring of' it leave the audience almost stunned. They have not recovered the power of applauding before the white satin and now panting little figure is back ajrain, bowing and trying hard to smile. But the applause, when ifc does come, shakes the big glass roof so far overhead. ! Tt is not surprising that when Mile Du4 trien first put her scheme into execution in Paris M. Lepine, the Prefect of PoKoe, was horrified. ".But," explained' Mile Dutrien on Boxing Day, "I said to him, you must come and J<ee." Well, the outcome of it was that M. Lepine went, saw, >nd ! was conquered, and allowed the brave little rider to continue to . "fly the flume," provided she were (hedged ' •'about with nets. There are not, however, it must be said, many nets to be seen at the Crystal Palace. * ■ • "But I'm not iafraid, not I," declared Mile Dutrien, as she patted her trusty iron steed! with one hand and snapped her fingers at the fates with the other.

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Bibliographic details

"FLYING THE FLUME.", Star, Issue 7941, 20 February 1904

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"FLYING THE FLUME." Star, Issue 7941, 20 February 1904