He could tell you of the vanished estate of Sir Peter Bone, long since cut up for building, and how that magnate ruled the country-side when it was country-side, of shooting and hunting, and of caches along the high road, of how "where the gas-works is" was a cricket-field, and of the coming of the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace was six miles away from Bun Hill, a great facade that glittered in the morning, and was a clear blue outline against the sky in the afternoon, and of a night, a source of gratuitous fireworks for all the population of Bun Hill.
But his gardening made him attentive to the heavens, and the proximity of the Bun Hill gas-works and the Crystal Palace, from which ascents were continually being made, and presently the descent of ballast upon his potatoes, conspired to bear in upon his unwilling mind the fact that the Goddess of Change was turning her disturbing attention to the sky.
And then one bright day Bert, motoring toward Croydon, was arrested by the insurgence of a huge, bolster-shaped monster from the Crystal Palace grounds, and obliged to dismount and watch it.
Alfred Butteridge from the Crystal Palace to Glasgow and back in a small businesslike-looking machine heavier than air--an entirely manageable and controllable machine that could fly as well as a pigeon.
Then one day he wrote to all the London papers to announce that he had made arrangements for an ascent from the Crystal Palace of a machine that would demonstrate satisfactorily that the outstanding difficulties in the way of flying were finally solved.
And now the day of the Final at the Crystal Palace approached, and all England was alert, confident of a record-breaking contest.
Houndsditch Wednesday met Manchester United at the Crystal Palace, and for nearly two hours the sweat of agony trickled unceasingly down the corrugated foreheads of the patriots in the stands.
As the friends topped each rise which leads up to the Crystal Palace
, they could see the dun clouds of London stretching along the northern sky-line, with spire or dome breaking through the low-lying haze.
These exercises were held in the Crystal Palace
, and the presiding officer was the late Duke of Westminster, who was said to be, I believe, the richest man in England, if not in the world.