Lt Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
March 1, 1916

When Jericho and Christian landed, Christian had exclaimed with excitement, "We got him Mark!" Jericho turned to Christian with his head down. As he raised his eyes to meet his GO, Jericho said, "That was murder Pard, pure and simple." Christian was stunned. "Murder! "What are you talking about man!"
Jericho stood up straight. "Don'd get me wrong Robert, I would do it again right now, this was for James." The two stood looking at one another. Jericho continued," Look, that Morane he tangled with sent him packing trailing smoke. That crew will make a claim. Those archie boys who banged away at him, with no regard for us I might add, they will make a claim. That Hun most likely would have sat his machine down and been captured if not for us. Don't fool yourself Pard. We killed the b#!tard in cold blood and I'm glad for it. Now if you want to make a claim and give those office types something to argue about, go ahead, I will back you up and say what I saw. But for me, this was personal."
"I see your point Mark" Christian said. After a pause he added"The next one will do you Yanks say it, Fair and Square?"
Jericho smiled, "You got it Pard"

That night Swany and Jericho had talked a bit about the today's events. After everything was said and done nether were happy, nor were they sad. It just was. Finally in the silence Jericho sat up and said, "Get your fiddle out Swany, lets do a tune."
"What do you want to hear" Swany asked.
"I want to hear myself sing Pard!" Jericho replied. "Now here's how she goes." Jericho hummed the tune and Swany picked it out on his fiddle. It took about 30 minuets for Swany to play the tune through. "You got her Pard" Jericho said. "Now here we go"

Let me tell you buddy
There's a faster gun
Coming over yonder
When the morrow comes

Let me tell you , buddy
And it won't be long
Till you find yourself singing
Your last cowboy song

"Now join in the Chorus" Jericho said and they both sang

When the round up ends
And the campfire dims
When a cowboy trades his spurs for wings

When they wrap me body
In the thin linen sheet
And they take my six irons
Pull boots from my feet

Unsaddle my pony
She'll be itching to roam
I'll be half way to heaven
Under horsepower of my own.

The both joined in again on the chorus and on it went.

When finished, Jericho looked at Swany and said, "Been a h@ll of a day Pard." Swany nodded and they spent the rest of the night in silence.

March 2,
C Flight was to bomb Loo's Junction at 1300. When told there would be no escorts Jericho and Griffen protested. "I thought the rule that came down was no missions across the lines without escorts Sir?" The Major did not blink. "There are no escorts available and this is war. If you spot any Huns, make a retreat. Is that clear."
"Yes Sir" They said as one.

They need not have worried. It was a clear day and the Huns did not come up to protest. A little light Archie was all they encountered. They plastered Loo's Junction. "Excellent work" as the Major called it.

The field was abuzz at the news of Swany's last claim being confirmed. When Jericho had asked about James at debriefing the Major had told him to ask Swany as he had been filled in and was too busy to tell a story twice. Once he found Swany and was told of James's injury Jericho said, "Whooo-we. I hope its not to bad, just enough to make the women swoon." Then Jericho added, "Speaking of making the lady folk swoon, I hear your the new fancy pants around these parts!" Swany smiled. Jericho put his hand out to Swany, "Congratulations Pard. Seems you got it all figured out."
"Ya" said Swany, "Right up to the part where we don't get killed." They both laughed.

Note: The song is "When a Cowboy trades his spurs for wings" by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. Not exactly period but I like the song and it's my story.

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!