Carrick, I'm not sure if one Airco and its pilot is a fair trade for a few fires at a Hun railyard, but then who said war was fair, eh. Also, that is one scary Hun.

MFair, can't wait to meet your new pilot. Sweet anticipation.

Fullofit, I believe it's time Toby put both Alford and his gun to good use by yanking the Lewis from its mount and beating the witless G/O with it.

Wulfe, a wonderful episode, very filling but leaving us wanting more. Poor Mac. And hard luck on those claims.

Lederhosen, who can understand why the General Staff does what it does, pulling the DIs like that. Love the screenshots.


2 September 1916
Fienvillers, France

It was shortly after three in the afternoon and Captain Swanson was sitting at a small cafe situated on the west side of the Rue des Tilleuls. While the day had started out rainy the storm clouds had moved off by mid-morning allowing for some fair flying. Swany had taken his flight out for a contact patrol to Delville Wood and back before noon, and then on an egg delivery to the Boche aerodrome at Hervilly shortly after lunch. With the day's sorties completed and the gray clouds replaced by a bright September sun the young airman had decided to run an errand and have a bite to eat in town. On his little table, situated on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, sat a freshly refilled steaming cup of dark coffee and a plate with the crumbs from what had been a wonderfully delicious raspberry tart he had just finished up. Also on the table was a brown paper-wrapped parcel containing two jars of rose-hip syrup from the elderly woman who had found Swany along the canal nearly a fortnight ago and given him the sage advice on how to cure his headaches. As promised, Swany had stopped by her cottage and purchased some of the finished product rendered from the cuttings she had been gathering the day they met. The lady insisted that he take a taste of the syrup before settling on a price and thrust a spoonful of it at him. The Captain, being careful not to spill the thick, amber-colored liquid on his tunic, placed the spoon in his mouth and drew off its contents. It was marvelous and not at all what he was expecting. It tasted of almonds and apples and rose petals, or at least what he imagined rose petals might taste like. He gave the woman double what she was asking and would have taken all she had, but two jars were all she would allow him. Swany thanked her and asked if he might visit again sometime and see what other produce she may have available to which the woman replied, "Come back at the end of the month, I will have blackberry and blueberry preserves put up by then." With a large grin of approval Swany announced it was a date.

As the Captain sipped at his fresh cup of coffee he read an article in a four-day-old Paris newspaper about Italy declaring war on Germany and how this would now push their military activities well beyond the Italian-Austrian Front. He wondered if it would really change things much at all down in that theater. He doubted the Italians would or could send troops to a German front, nor was it likely Germany could spare any additional troops to further support its Austrian ally in that region, at least not given the current Somme push. It seemed to him to be more political posturing on Italy's part than anything else. It was a this point in his pondering that Swany was interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Well hello Captain Peppermint, out sampling the local fare I see."

He lowered the paper to find his friend, Lieutenant William K-C-Patrick, standing across from him.

"Hi Patty. I am for sure, and it's delicious. Join me." Captain Swanson folded the paper and set it aside as he motioned to the waiter.

"I think I will, thanks. Just out for a stroll myself after that go-round I and the rest of B Flight had over at Péronne. Those damnable Rolands again. No one hurt on our side but we did get some perforations. Sent one of the Hun off trailing smoke but that was all that came of it. Lucky really"

"Yes you were - I hate those tings." Swany grimaced as he made the statement, touching the spot above his right ear where the Roland bullet had creased his skull weeks ago.

"As does the rest of the RFC mate, but you more so than most I dare say", William agreed, giving his chum an acknowledging look. "So what are we having?"

"Try the raspberry tart, it's amazing. And the coffee is rich and black, cut it with cream if you must."

"Do you?"

"Nope, it's just the way I like it." The Captain took a long, full sip to prove his point.

"Strong and sans cream it is then, and a tart to go with it", the Lieutenant proclaimed.

The two men sat and talked about nothing in particular for the remainder of the afternoon as they dined together, the sun and camaraderie warming them both. It was a welcome respite from the war, albeit a short one.


Back from an egg delivery to the Boche aerodrome at Hervilly.

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