The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, August 09, 1902, Page 3, Image 3
THE COURIER ttwel I$mge Tindw jih aid to Itlarksmanship An instrument which will enable the soldier to tell how far away the enemy is at whom he wants to shoot Is a very useful thing. The elevation of his gun in aiming is controlled by the distance. In a practice range a man knows what the Interval Is between himself and the target, and governs himself accordingly. But In the field, In actual warfare, It is pretty much guesswork. For heavy ordnance, either on shipboard or In coast defences, range finders have been common for several years. The need of apparatus that will perforin the same service for infantry had not been well met until recently. There has been, to be sure, the "mekometer" of the British army. This consists of a piece of string fifty feet long, and having various devices and a man at each end. But Professor George Forbes, on Englishman, thought that he could improve greatly on it, and tried last year. He let the public know a little about it early In the winter, went to South Africa a lit tle later to try it, and recently he told the .United Service Institution in Lon don the result of his task. The Forbes range finder is much simpler than the "mekometer," and can be manipulated by one man. who is himself shielded from the enemy's fire. There Is a light staff or rod six feet long, jointed In the middle, so that it can be folded up when not In use. The rod is held- horizontally, and. at right angles with the direction' in which the man is looking that is, crosswise in front of his face. At each end Is a small prism which catches an image of the enemy, reflects it along the rod to the middle, where another prism bends it again, and sends it Into one barrel of a big field glass. There are two prisms at the middle of the rod. Each barrel receives a different image. A certain amount of adjustment Is necessary in order to secure a good, sharp' image. That adjustment is ef fected with a screw having an enor mous flat head which Is subdivided like a scale. The device is known as a "micrometer screw," and is com monly attached to microscopes for fine focussing and to telescopes for measur ing angles. On the Forbes range finder one can determine the distance of the enemy by noting the position of the micrometer screw when he has ob tained a perfect focus. Near the graduated periphery of the screw head is a stationary index with a sharp point, and the numbers extend around the entire circle. Rotation, therefore, changes the number opposite the in dex. To assist the eye in focussing. Pro fessor Forbes puts Into each barrel of his field glass, where it will not ob struct the view too much, a transparent photograph of a balloon with a short tall rope. If the centres of the two barrels are exactly in line with the cen tres of the pupils, the two images will coalesce and appear as one, and the balloon will seem to be suspended In midair. One photograph can be shifted sideways with a micrometer screw. It can be pushed inward toward the other "barrel or withdrawn. This lateral mo tion makes the balloon seem to move toward or away from the observer. When the tail rope Is thus made to hang directly over the column of trocps or the tent on which the instrument Is trained, the focus Is perfect and the scale may be read off. Professor Forbes declares that he found It easy to get within 2 per cent of the actual distance by means of his range finder, when the range was as great as three thousand yards. A convenient posture for the man who uses the range finder is to lie on the ground, chest downward, resting both elbows on the earth and holding the staff up before the face at a height' of a foot or fifteen inches. The head must be thrown back a little in order to look Into the field glass. Since the Images of the enemy are picked up by the prisms, out at the end of the rod, and inasmuch as 'these are six feet apart, the operator's head may be concealed behind a tree or boulder. Professor Forbes rode about for a week with the troops, and carried the range finder with him. At. night it was left with the saddle. On one oc casion his horse rolled over it, but MR. GATES AND HIS COUP ON CORN Copyright, 1902, by Falk, N. Y. Exactly how much John W. Gates realized by the recent attempt to corner the corn market is not yet known. It is estimated, however, that he and his syndicate netted a cool J4.000.000. The syndicate pro poses to transfer Its operations from July to September and another big Gates coupe may be expected in the latter month. without doing any harm. .The device could be manipulated so quickly that it was possible to get the range with it while other men were making their preparations to use the "mekometer." Besides, every person or ordinary ln 1 telllgence could learn in a few minutes how to operate the new instrument. What is Roosevelt doing now? He Is working himself to death tak ing a rest. Mtmarkabk lftactel Teuds WORLD'S EYES TURN TODAY ON BRITISH MONARCH i nmrllBy QUEEN ALEXANDRA. THE CORONATION CORTEGE. KING EDWARD VII. (Berlin letter to the London Leader.) Hardly a day passes but the news papers contain striking evidence of the antagonistic spirit which Is being en gendered between the Poles and the Prussians. Last week It came to the ears of the publishers of a Polish paper cir-. culatlng In Westphalia that one of their compositors was about to marry a German girl. They considered that this stamped hi as a traitor to Po land, and although he had served them faithfully for many years they dis missed him on the spot. A large number of Poles work In the Westphallan coal mines, and in order to further the amalgamation of the races the authorities have issued reg ulations to the effect that no person shall be employed underground who Is not proficient In the German lang uage. The Poles obstinately refuse to know a word of German when they happen to be called up to make state ments in public. A few days ago a Polish miner had to give evidence In a Westphallan po lice court. He was of course, as inno cent as a newly born babe of any knowledge of German until the magis trate threatened to report the case to his employers, who would have been compelled to dismiss him. Thereupon his German came back, and he replied fluently to all the question put to him. His wife had been present during the hearing of the case, and was wait ing for him in the passage just out side the court room door. As soon as he appeared she bitterly reproached him for having given away, and to render her arguments more forcible soundly boxed his ears. She then kicked him with such vigor that he had to race down the corridor Into the street to escape the attentions of his "patriotic" better half. Thougn two is said to be company, maidens are often happy with a soli taire. 2- She I am afraid that mother saw you kiss me Lost night. He 'What makes you think so? She Well. I know that she passed the conservatory some time between eight and eleven.