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Newspaper Page Text
THE POINT OF VIEW
By Frank Filson
That devil of a German aviator
how I admired him! The little wretch!
I could nob have f ouitd it in my heart
to kill him, even if I had been able to
do so. Once, indeed, when his Taube
lost its balance in the vortex caused
by a bursting shrapnel, I could have
winged him. But before I had my au
tomatic to my eye he had executed
the most graecful maneuver imagin
able, dipping sheer for 500 yards, so
that I could not believe but that he
had sustained a mortal wound, and
then soaring in spirals back to the
We had exchanged salutations, dip
ping the little French and German
flags at our bows. We knew each
other intimately in the air. I had
long since resolved to take him pris
oner if it were possible not to slay
But this girl, this Belgian girl who
stood before me what was I to do?
The little devil of a Boches had been
making love to her! His exploits ter
rified her! She wanted him safe, a
prisoner in the French camp, if nec
essary, but where he could return to
her after the war.
At first I smiled at her with pity.
"Mademoiselle," I said, "do you not
know that they are all philanderers,
those Germans? Undoubtedly the lit
tle lieutenant has a wife awaiting him
at home, perhaps a child two chil
I was continuing in that strain
when she flew out at me like a wild
cat. "It is not so, and I can prove
it!" she stormed.
"How, 'then, can you prove it, ma
"I know that he is a single man, be
cause he told me so himself," she an
swered. I shrugged my shoulders. What
was I to do? Here was this girl, who
loved him, and she was pleading at
my feet now.
"Ah, monsieur le lieutenant; you
must save him," she begged weeping.
"Consider'how perilous is the life of
an aviator, monsieur. Some day he
will fall and be killed. And every"
body says that it is you whom he sin
gles put to do battle in the clouds.
Help me, monsieur. Make him a pris
oner." She extracted some sort of a prom
ise from me. But it was more easily
said than done. For three months
the young German lieutenant and I
He Had Opened on Me With a Quick
Firer had been exchanging fusillades in the
clouds, and we had never succeeded
even in winging each other. How
ever, my word was given, and I
awaited my opportunity.
I had arranged that, when he was
taken captive I -was to obtain for her
an interview with-liim. That could
be done, for our general was gracious
toward "his aviators, and it would be
my just reward for having captured
J. so daring an adversary. With exul-