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Professor Sherman, having insisted on telling the amazing tale of his balloon adventure to the Western American Explorers' Club first, is on his way to San Francisco on the Presidential train. In preparation for his arrival, the city is decorating with balloons of all shapes and sizes, with some hilarious results. For example, the large balloons adorning the cupola atop the Explorers' Club building pull the dome right off the building and carry it to an Indian Reservation to the East, where it is made into a new house for the chief! A young boy notes that the Professor may have beaten the longstanding record for circumnavigating the world in eighty days by half, multiplying the atmosphere of speculation and excitement. The chapter ends when the train finally arrives with its long-awaited guest.
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