“Ohio Rain Wizard” Frank Melbourne
RAIN TO ORDER.
An Interview With Frank Melbourne, the Rain King.
CINCINNATI, July 3. — An evening paper publishes the following interview held with Frank Melbourne, the rain wizard, at Canton, O., Monday evening:
Late this evening, during a drizzling rain, your correspondent called on Frank Melbourne, the storm wizard, at his quarters in the Hotel Yohe. Melbourne, who is the busiest man in Ohio just at the present, could not be seen at the noon hour, being then engaged in the undertaking of bringing a storm, he said, and too busy to spare time for an interview. To the patter of the rain upon the roof, the wizard bid the correspondent be seated.
As a prelude to the conversation, and no doubt indicative of his powers, Melbourne pointed his finger upward, where the rain was playing a tattoo upon the roof, and said: “This is the rain I was advertized to bring. It was booked for Tuesday, but, owing to the condition of the atmosphere it came a day sooner than expected. It takes from a day to two days to bring a storm. I began on Sunday to start this one, expecting it to be here on Tuesday, but you see it got around a little in advance.”
“How do you produce these rains?”
“That is a secret I hardly dare divulge beyond saying it is the infusion of certain chemicals in the air through a machine of my invention.”
“How long have you been engaged in this occupation?”
“I began to work on my machine twelve years ago last September and soon after brought the first rain. I was then in Australia. I made twelve experiments in Queensland and New South Wales, all of which were successful. A rain can be brought there more rapidly than here, being closer to the sea and not so hilly.”
“The formation of the land there has something to do with the bringing of a rain?”
“Oh, yes, considerable. The nearer to the sea and the more level the land the sooner a rain can be started. One day was all the time needed there.”
“What are your charges for bringing a real good shower?”
“Three hundred dollars is all I ask, and that not to be paid until the rain is produced. This is much cheaper than most experiments of the kind are made.”
“How large a territory can you cover?”
“About two hundred and fifty thousand square miles.”
“Are your storms all electrical and accompanied by thunder and lightning?”
“Not at all. That depends upon the condition of the atmosphere at the time it is produced.”
Mr. Melbourne at this time felt that his presence was required at his office, where the rain machine was then at work, and begged to be excused, handing the correspondent the accompanying circular, which, he said, would throw some light upon his invention.
Mr. Melbourne is a rather tall and slender man, decidedly nervous and thoroughly in earnest regarding his experiment as an actual fact as he regards it now. Whether there is any truth in his assertions or not, he is the biggest Roman of them all at present, and managers of picnics and outdoor sports consult this modern oracle before determining upon the date.