What is a quick summary of Chapter 3 in "Twenty-One Balloons"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 3 of "Twenty-One Balloons", Professor William Sherman arrives in San Francisco aboard the Presidential train.  He is taken immediately by carriage to the Western American Explorers' Club, where he will at long last reveal the details of his amazing, record-breaking trip around the world in a hot-air balloon.

The audience at the Explorers' Club receives the Professor with enthusiasm, and at one point has to be told to hold their applause so that the Professor can tell his story.  The Professor relates that he had originally undertaken the trip for the purpose of enjoying some solitude.  Having been a "teacher of arithmetic for forty years", he had been ready for some quiet time, and had looked forward "to be(ing) where no one would bother (him) for perhaps one full year".

The Professor had studied the construction of balloons used by other great adventurers, and had come up with a unique design of his own to suit his purposes.  He had wanted his balloon to be big, both in order to "keep (him) in the air for a long time", and to support an extra-large basket in which he could live in comfort.  The Professor carefully calculated the weight of every item to be placed in his balloon house, and after a year, his balloon was made to his specifications.  After a short test flight, the Professor was ready to embark upon his journey.

Although he had notified the press about his planned undertaking, no one had been very interested at that time.  As he sailed up into the air one August day, "only four of (his) closest friends were on hand to see (him) off" (Chapter 3).