Page:Air Service Boys over the Rhine.djvu/36

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about to go up and search above the clouds for some Hun to attack.

"Yes, and I wish I was with them!" said Jack.

"Waiting isn't much fun," agreed his chum. "I'm sure I can't understand why dad doesn't send some word. If this keeps up much longer—Say, Jack, look at Parla!" he suddenly cried. "What's the matter with him?"

Jack looked. The men, in their machines, had started off to get momentum for a rise into the air. But there had been a rain and the ground was soft, which kept down the speed. All the pilots seemed to get off in fairly good shape except one, Parla by name, who had only recently secured the coveted designation of "ace."

And then occurred one of those tragedies of flying. Whether he was nervous at taking a flight in such distinguished company, or whether something went wrong with Parla's machine never would be known.

He was the last in the line, and as it was rather misty he might have been anxious not to lose sight of his companions. He did not take a long enough run, and when he reached the end of the field he was not high enough to clear the line of hangars that were in front of him.