Page:Air Service Boys Flying for Victory.djvu/21

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edge of a pilot's tricks in order to avoid being made a victim of this hot fire. He fully expected that, after all, the enemy would get him, but he was grimly determined that it would be only after he had exhausted every device possible.

He kept his head, and while dodging back and forth managed to follow a general course that promised soon to carry him closer to the American front. At one time he found himself above what seemed to be a very inferno of destruction. The air palpitated with the shock of a terrible explosion, as though a great mine had been fired. But Tom knew what it meant.

That must be the Big Bertha which for some days now had played an important part in shelling the rear of the American lines, even to knocking a temporary field hospital into fragments.

How Tom wished just then that his had been a bombing plane. With what savage joy would he have dropped his whole supply of air torpedoes down upon that mighty engine of destruction, forever silencing its thunderous voice and ending its power to do injury to the cause in which his whole soul was enlisted!

After that his way became somewhat easier, for Tom had succeeded in climbing higher, so that he was screened from the gunners below. Then he found himself passing over the American front, with the open field in sight where the