Jericho's Morane bounced a few times before it came to a stop at the end of the field. After switching off he laid his head back and closed his eyes. He could still see Jenkins observer falling like a torch from the burning Morane. "You OK?" asked Gomm, his gunner. Jericho sat up and pulled himself upright and stepped out of the machine. He pulled his leather helmet and flying coat off. "Yea, I'm OK" he answered. Gomm climbed out from the rear seat and joined his pilot on the ground. Arnold's Morane was coming to a stop not far from them. Arnold and his gunner jumped out and ran over to Jericho and Gomm. Arnold was the first to speak. "Did you see what happened?! Did they make it?" Jericho turned to him like a Rattlesnake. "Hell no they didn't make it!" he said. At that he grabbed his coat and helmet and walked swiftly to debrief.
After dinner Jericho was on his cot when Richard's, his old gunner and now hut mate entered. "Heard you had some bad luck today old boy" he said without looking at Jericho. Jericho didn't say anything for a minute then spoke up. "My lucks fine Pard. That poor son of a B#@ch Jenkins and his gunner had a barrel full of bad luck." Richards sat down on his cot and poured himself a drink. "Want one ol boy?" He asked.
"No thanks Pard. It would just add a headache to a pissy mood is all." As Richards sipped his night toddy Jericho spoke up again. "Just after we dropped our eggs 3 of the bas#@ds hit us. I was looking back to give Gomm a shot and he drove the Hun on our tail off. I turned back around to size the situation up and Jenkins Machine was flaming. Just as I looked, his gunner, don't even know the boys name, stood up and fell out of the Morane. He looked just like a burning match head with arms and legs still trying to beat out the flames. Bad thing is, I got so pissed off I dove at the one we drove off and followed him down to 2000' before I got my wits about me and broke off. Could have ended up going west myself." Jericho raised his 45 to the light. He cocked it and eased the hammer back down before replacing it in it's holster.
Richards took another sip. "It's a bad way to go that's for sure" he said. Jericho sat up in his cot. "Well I ain't goin' out that way. No godd#@m way and I'm telling you straight up!"
"You can't dwell on it. All we can do it get up in the morning, do our job and hope we come home" Richards said swirling the last of his drink. Jericho looked at him. "Oh I'm gonna do my job. I"m gonna kill the sons of bi#@h's".
Jericho was up at sunrise with C Flight. They were to do some Artty spotting southeast of Cappy. He told Gomm, "If we get attacked, don't just count coup on the sob, kill him." Gomm looked at Jericho, "Count what?" While climbing into the Morane Jericho said, "I'll explain later. Just remember what I said." It was a beautiful day for flying and the spotting went off without a hitch. "I recon nothin's coming our way with these 2 DH2"s up above" Jericho thought. Just as they turned west to go home 3 Fokker's dove down head on at them. The two escorts took care of 2 and Cochran's gunner knocked one out of the sky with one burst. When they landed Jericho told Cochran's, " Hey Hoss, would you mind showing Gomm here that trick!"
That afternoon they were headed to Bertincourt. Before the flight Gomm had asked Jericho what counting coup meant. "Well, this was before my time. The plains indians in America were some of the bravest warriors around. To show their bravery one would touch the enemy with his hand and escape unharmed. Don't really see the point in it myself. Kinda foolish if you ask me but it sure meant big medicine to them. My point is, don't just put a few holes in his machine. Knock the sob down.!" Gomm shook is head. "I'll do my best."
Archie over Bertincourt was as accurate as Jericho had seen. It was close. Too close! Once they dropped their eggs Jericho turned the Morane around and headed back west with the Archie following them. Just before getting to the lines Gomm signaled him. An Eindecker was coming from behind. As soon as the Fokker got close the other 2 machines opened up followed by Gomm. Jericho looked back just in time to see the green Hun belch smoke from his engine and turn away. He instantly dove and turned back to catch the Hun. It was not long before they pulled up beside the Eindecker with it's prop coming to a stop. Gomm did not hesitate and let loose a burst which sent the machine spinning to the ground. Jericho reached back and patted Gomm on the arm and gave him a thumbs up.
That night at mess the Major announced that Jericho's Fokker had been confirmed. This was met with cheers all around.
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!