The Bertincourt unit awoke to yet more bad news on the 27th. Zander gathered his men together, looking somber as he read from the piece of paper he held.
"Men, sadly I have to inform you that our friend and colleague, Max Ritter Von Mulzer, was killed while testing a new plane type yesterday. His loss will be be deeply felt here. Max was an excellent pilot and a personal friend of many of you here. Indeed, this is one more tragedy for our Jasta, the latest in a string of unfortunate incidents. All I ask of you, men, is that you hold our fallen brothers in your hearts, as we continue our work to honour the Kaiser and rid the skies of our enemies".
Lazlo felt the sadness deep in his heart. Von Mulzer had been one of his favourite fellows here. Another departed friend. He walked out of the briefing room in a daze, when Klingsman, the chief mechanic tapped him on the shoulder from behind.
"Hey, Lazlo", he smiled, "we have a little surprise for you, to cheer you up!" He led the big man across the field to where his new machine stood waiting. "It turns out that we have a budding artist in our ranks. Kirchner here thought this might be better than just having a boring letter painted on the side of your machine. What do you think?" Lazlo's jaw dropped almost to his chest. Wide eyed he stared at the wonderful artwork that now adorned the side of his Halberstadt. Where the other had plain letters painted, Lazlo now had a large, red ogre painted.
"It's me!" he declared in amazement. "How did you mange this wonderful painting piece. It's big surprising!" He beamed at the image and walked forward to gently run his fingers over the paintwork. "Marvellous!" he whispered to himself. Little Kirchner stood nearby, looking pleased with himself. Lazlo turned to the artist and expressed his thanks. "You one day will be famous painter!" Thank you thank you for this wonderful gifting!" Lazlo gave the man a hug, causing him to cough a little as the air was quickly squeezed out of him.
"Careful, Lazlo, we might need Kirchner for some more painting jobs once the others see his handiwork!"
To be continued.....
I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!