Today's flight was to bomb the front lines near Armentieres. "At least we have some escorts this trip" Jericho thought as he checked over his Morane before takeoff. Another day of rain and sleet but it was supposed to clear over the target. Jericho was getting a belly full of rain and cold. In the air the three machines were being thrown all over the skies by the wind. Jericho was constantly pulling or pushing on the stick and going back and forth on the rudder bar. By the time they made it to the target Jericho was exhausted. They dropped their eggs and circled once then Gridder headed the flight back to base. Jericho had been eager to see a Hun machine a month ago but now he was happy if they never saw another. After an hour and a half in the air they were back at Auchell. All Jericho wanted to do was to get dry and warm up.The major had given them a hardy congratulations for their efforts.
That night as Jericho and Swany lay in their cots the rain started to come down hard. "Reckon we will be grounded tommorrow?" Jericho asked. "That would be my opinion" replied Swany. "You still got that letter to my mother Pard?" asked Jericho. "Sure do" replied Sway. "Why don't you write her yourself? I have't seen you write a letter since I've known you." There was a few minutes of silence before Jericho slowly tossed his blankets to one side and sat on the edge of his cot, his eyes staring into nowhere. "My Father was a smart man. Worked hard and made us a fine living. He passed away a few years back. Well, my uncle came to live with us. It worked out good for a while. He kept the farm running and was good to me and mother. Then he started drinking. He was one mean SOB when he was in his cups. Then I went off to the University of Mississippi to get an education. That's something my father always said. Get you a degree and you can do what you want." Jericho got up to put a few more sticks of wood in the heater and sat back down. Swany was not really in the mood to hear Jericho's family history but listened anyway.
Jericho continued,"Well I came home for Christmas my first year. I could tell something wasn't right but Mother would not say anything, Then one night my Uncle got into the whisky again. He was really on a tear that night. He was badgering my mother about this not being right and that not being right." I told him he needed to go to bed. When I said that, he got up and came at me. D#@mned fool was so drunk he tripped over his own feet and fell to the floor. My mother went to help him up and he slapped her across the face. Now I knew what had been going on and why mother had been acting so strange." Jericho stared into the dim light as Swany sat up on his cot looking at Jericho.
"Well that just would not stand. I pulled my 45 and told him get out and never come back. He got up and told me he was going to teach me a lesson" Jericho paused, "Then I shot the b@*$A=ard right between the eyes."
"You shot your Uncle?" Swany asked with wide eyes.
"I don't stutter Pard" Jericho stated matter of fact. "I didn't want to stay around see how it would come out as he was unarmed. I sure wasn't going to jail for that SOB. Mother and I got our stories straight and I lit out west on our best horse. I told her I would get in touch with her when I thought it safe. That was 4 years ago."
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!