Page:Air Service Boys Flying for Victory.djvu/43

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33
STORY OF THE LORRAINE WAIF

while Tom took Jeanne by the hand and led her toward the air squadron's camp kitchen, or "chuck-wagon."

Erastus, the cook, was as usual about that hour as busy as a bee. With so many hungry men to provide for when meal time came around, he hardly found a minute to call his own.

It chanced, however, that Tom, as well as Jack, had become a favorite with the cook, and he always had a cheery word for either of the young air pilots.

"Ah, there. Sergeant, where'd you get the skirt?" he remarked, giving little Jeanne several winks, though the red of his face was only indicative of good-nature.

It smelled so good around the steamer of coffee and the piles of fresh bread which Erastus and his helper had piled up that even the timid child smiled back at the one who seemed to be the "boss" of all that vast array of good things—much more than she had ever seen before in all her life.

For Jeanne was very, very hungry, having eaten almost nothing since the previous afternoon.

"Jack came across her, you see, Erastus, and—" bending forward so Jeanne might not hear what he said—"she's lost her sister, and the mother has died, a victim of the Huns. Erastus,