No flying today due to snow and wind, so after breakfast 2nd Lt. Swanson went over to the machine sheds to get a primer on the Le Rhône 9C from the camp's resident expert on such matters, Sergeant James McCudden. The man was a wizard when it came to things mechanical and was a fair teacher to boot, and Swany learned a great deal from him in a few brief hours. Sgt. McCudden at one point produced a oddly shaped bit of metal which he explained had been a ball in one of the main bearing races in the 9C that had propelled him and his pilot over the lines two days earlier. James went on to say that the engine had developed a knock just as they were about to return home, and as they weren't sure what it was they had no idea how long the thing would hold together. Despite wanting to take a direct line back to camp they were forced to make a small detour along the way so that James could fire upon a Fokker monoplane that was giving chase to a returning B.E.2c. The Hun broke off when the bullets began whizzing about him, after which James and his pilot, Sergeant Toni Bayetto, returned home and landed without incident. After a bite to eat, James had torn down the engine and found the offending ball, which was now far more cube-shaped than round. Swany was a bit surprised, and more than relieved, to learn that the Le Rhône was capable of hanging together and serving its intended purpose for quite some time even after such an integral part had gone wonky. He joked with James that, based on the young pilot's track record concerning engine reliability in the various mounts he'd flown to date, the apparent ruggedness of the powerplants in the Moranes would serve to boost his confidence.