Flags In The Dust.
One <February> <late> June dusk <, one> in 191<7>8 — <one of those <<balm>> treacherous apocryphal days neither spring nor winter> —
a tender drove up to an aerodrome up toward Annas and stopped before the squadron office. It contained a
single <occupant in a> passenger <in a tan-collared trench-coat, who dismounted a little unsteadily with the driver's assistance
talking to the driver in a loud steady voice> who was talking to the driver in a loud steady voice <, and when the
driver> The driver descended first and assisted him <out —> to dismount unsteadily — a huge young giant with
a bleak ruddy face <and a tan-collared> beneath the casual slant of his cap, <and a tan-collared trench-coat,> who
bade the driver a florid farewell and crossed the empty 'drome toward the <officers' mess> sheet-iron edifice
<He pulled himself together and> which housed the officers' mess.
<Here he encountered among others a slight lean> The room was lighted by kerosene lamps with tin reflectors and
<cozy with a tight glowing stove> and it was occupied by several lounging men. The newcomer slammed the
door behind him and raised his voice in a shout and tugged his trench-coat off and threw it <onto a chair> to the floor. An
orderly appeared at another door.
"Whiskey," the newcomer said. "Whiskey for <everybody> everyone. My chit. <Damed;>
[margin: I am Comyn, of the Irish nation, and its bloody <cold> dry driving up from Wing," he stated,]
<Damn cold, driving down from
65."> <Wing," he added,> looking about. "Oh, I say, Sartoris," he said to a <slight lean> tall lean youth with reckless <[illegible]>
<ey> blue eyes and tawny hair, "One of the new Camel squadrons came through Wing today, replacing 65.
There's a Sartoris in it. Any of your people?"
"It's Bayard," Evelyn Sartoris said, springing to his feet. "Hell, I'm going up there." He too raised his voice
but at that moment the orderly returned with <bottles a> a tray of bottles and glasses. "Nip over and tell the
Flight Sergeant of B to <han the> get Mr Sartoris' machine out," he directed.
"Dont be a pukka fool," his <squadron-comma> flight-commander said from his chair, without raising his head from
the French pictorial magazine he perused. "You can't fly up there at this hour."
"Why not? It aint dark yet, is it?" Sartoris demanded of the newcomer, who
[margin: with his cap thrust to the back of his head and the light full on his flushed face]
was unsteadily building himself a a dynamic drink.
"Not yet," the other answered. "Let him go, Mac," he added to the <oblivious> flight-commander, "plenty of light if he hurries."
"And <hav> let him wash out a perfectly good machine?" the flight-commander said. "Plenty more pilots at Pool,
but it takes 4 days to replace a machine. Sit down, Sartoris."
The newcomer blundered into a chair and took a long swallow from his glass. "Damn <cold> dry, driving up from
Wing," he repeated "I tell you what: there's a night-flying squadron up there somewhere: you might get on
up there, and if it's too dark to get down, you might just sort of hang around until they <light their flares.>
turn on their searchlights."
"Or you might ask the Major to 'phone up and have them put out flares for you," another suggested.
"Ah, go to hell," Sartoris snapped. "Let me have the tender, will you, Mac?"
"Sit down, Sartoris," the flight-commander <sa> repeated, "and you other chaps <[be?]> shut up. Oh, steward."
The orderly appeared again and the flight-commander added: "Take that whiskey out. Mr. Comyn's
had enough." He turned to Evelyn Sartoris <again.> "Why not telephone up there, if you can't wait until tomorrow?
<I wouldn't go up there tonight.> It'll take you all night to drive up there." and He <turned to> raised his magazine again.
"Well," Evelyn Sartoris agreed, "I reckon that's what I'll have to do."