Page:Air Service Boys Flying for Victory.djvu/22

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temporary aerodromes could be seen, looking like dingy patches of yellow earth.

Of course there was nothing to do but to return immediately. His observer was injured, if not dead, and would need looking after; while Tom felt that his machine could hardly be called in trim for further work, as it needed a thorough overhauling after the recent rough treatment accorded to it by the fighting Boches.

Despite his crippled machine, the young air service boy managed to make a fairly good landing, with the help of several orderlies and attendants. They had come on the run, understanding that something was wrong, because the observer hung part-way over the side, and it could be seen that the plane itself had been in action.

Tom's first thought was of his comrade. He himself had received only one small cut in the arm from flying shrapnel splinters, though it persisted in bleeding profusely, and would have to be tied up at the nearest field dressing-station.

He breathed easier when he discovered that his observer, while badly injured, would have more than a fighting chance to pull through. A doctor was quickly on the spot, and managed to give temporary treatment, so as to stop the bleeding. The poor fellow waved his hand to Tom as he was being taken away on a stretcher to the nearest field hospital for treatment.