Lt. Mark Anthony Jericho
June 18th, 1916

The morning mission had been a rough one. Jericho's shoulder ached like the dickens but he was glad to be out of that hell hole of a hospital. If his soul was not hardened yet it was now. He wanted to see Camille, being so close, but there was no way he was going to have her come and see and hear the sights where he was. He was eating breakfast with Richards after the flight. "What's got you so long in the face old boy, I hear you knocked down another Hun?" Richards remarked. Jericho continued spreading jam on his toast and replied. "It cost Wurdon, my old gunner his life" Jericho replied.
In his calm English manner Richards said, "Its war my friend. It happens" as he sipped his tea. Jericho looked at him and added "Yea, well, this was my fault. Pure and simple." Richards lowered his cup and looked back at Jericho, "And how is it your fault eh?"
Jericho took a bite of toast before speaking. "Crossing over the mud, still on our side though, I spotted 3 Fokkers in the distance. I started to turn for home and when I did it seemed they did the same so I made a circle and they started back toward us." He took a long sip of coffee and continued, "We did that little dance 3 times and I decided to call their bluff and on they came. By the time they hit us we were on our side of the lines. The one that was on me and Jordan, well, our gunners gave him pause and he high tailed it back over the lines. I looked around to find Griffen and didn't see him. then I spotted him a mile or two south. Actually, all I saw was 3 specks doing a dance and knew at once the other two had cut him out as clean as you cut a calf from the herd. Me and Jordan headed to help. Just before I got there I saw Griffens machine going down smoking and the two turned their attention to us. One was on Jordan's tail and I saw my chance. I cut between him and the Hun and a little above. Bet he wasn't 10 yards away when Wickham hit him with a full burst. Saw the b@#stard fold up like an old coat in his cockpit and he went down pole axed." He paused and took another sip of coffee. "If I would have scrubbed the mission and come on home he would be alive today."
Richards pushed back his chair and put his hand on Jericho's shoulder. "Good God man! If everyone turned back at the sight of a Hun we will never win this war! You did your Job."
"Yea I guess. I'm going to get some rest before we go up again today. Thanks Pard." Jericho said.

At mess after dinner that night, The major tapped his glass with his spoon and silenced the room. "Gentlemen. I have a few announcements to make. First, I would like to address.......Captain Jericho!" The room went up in a roar. His old friend James slapped him on the back. "Well done Pard!" he said.
The Major tapped his glass again and silenced the room once more. He looked at Jericho. "Congratulations Captain, it is well deserved. I wish more of your countrymen had your courage and skill. Also, Congratulations on your 6th victory!"
The celebration that took place took some of the sting out of his old gunners death. He was getting used to it.

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Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
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