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caught fire and fell to earth in a blaze
of flame. So that left three.
They flew alongside, firing stead
ily. The bullets escaped me by a
miracle. My motor must have been
pierced, for a steady drip, drip of oil
pattered into the chassis. However,
at this moment, when all seemed
- lost, one of the enemy machines de
veloped some fault with her steering
gear and went gracefully to earth,
leaving me only two antagonists.
Then, to my -astonishment, after
circling about each other, I heard
above the sound made by my leaking
motor, one of the airmen bid the
other leave him to me. The other
obeyed. Of my five antagonists only
It was the machine of the redoubt
able Lieutenant Hansen. I knew that
by the red flag with the skull which
it was his privilege to carry. He
came so near to me that I could see
him salute me. Then, with an iron
ical cry, he let loose" a volley from
I answered with my rifle. I did not
injure, him. He rose, following me.
We dodged and veered and played
about each other. Then he dived in
a straight swoop, coming so near me
in his calculated drop that I felt sure
he would crash interne and send the
machines crashing to earth. And
then he aimed point blaflkat me
with his revolver.
The ball went through my leg. I
swayed in the seat; but the next mo
ment he was far in the distanct, -returning
to continue the battle.
Hansen, the most chivalrous of en
emies, had chosen to encounter me
upon equal terms. He had no aid
with him; hence he had nothing but
a revolver with which to fight. I
dropped my rifle and drew mine. As
he passed me he blazed at each other.
The bullets went wild. Again we drew
And now I had almost crossed the
apex and was nearing Sarcy. I knew,
from the distant end in the long line
of the intrenchments, and from the I
shining river, that my course was al
most at an end. Hansen knew, too,
that his last chance had come. He
flew straight for me; I evaded him
by a hair's breadth, and I realized to
my horror that he had determined to
ram me in air and bring both our
machines to earth rather than let
me escape him.
I flew madly toward my goal. Han
sen, in his light Fokker, was clearly
my superior in maneuvering. He
could bide his time. He dropped like
an arrow. I twisted and turned in
vain. I saw the machine approach
ing me, gave him-my last shot and
flung the revolver into his face. Next
instant he was upon me.
The crash wag fearful. The ma
chines seemed locked together in air.
For an instant I had a view of the
ironic face of Hansen; the next min
uje we were falling to earth together.
Somehow we became disentan
gled. Above the noise of the raging
battle below I heard the -halting
thump of my motor. The sound was
like musip in my ears. By great good
fortune I was falling right side up.
How I contrived it I do not know, but
I righted the machine, steadied her
and volplaned downward, to land be
hind our advanced lines and, by a
strange chance, before the tent of
General Dufour himself.
Then, as they helped me out of the
wrecked machine, I became con
scious of another aeroplane upon the
ground. It was the Fokker of Han
sen, smashed to pieces. Hansen him
self but I draw a veil over that He
was a brave antagonist and it was
an honor to have met him.
Lsaluted General Dufour and hand
ed him the roll of plans. He took it
and looked at me in astonishment
"You flew across the salient of the
enemy's lines?" he asked in incred
ulity. "Yes, my general," I returned mod
estly. "And fought oft- five aero
planes, of which I have brought one
back as a trophy."
"You fool!" he bilrst out angrily,
-' . .ALul