Thursday, July 10, 2003

In the next room lay Eddie Rickenbacker. He looked much weaker and much sicker than when I had seen him last. He no longer was called on to serve as our morale officer and had allowed himself to relax. The same indomitable spirit showed in his eyes, however. I walked over and looked down at him.

"What's the matter, Rick?" I asked. "Been sick?"

He grinned and held out his arms. I marveled again at this man. The world knows him as a daredevil automobile racer who turned aviator and became the nation's greatest ace of the first World War. He is known as a genius at business organization and he is the head of a great air line. He is one of the greatest authorities on aviation.

Out on the trackless Pacific our little band met the Rickenbacker the world doesn't know; the human man, the undoubting leader. I, for one, hope that if ever I have to go through hell like that again, Eddie Rickenbacker or someone like him will be along.

During that afternoon I lounged around while the others rested in bed. Reynolds had been kept on the ship, Lieut. Garrity sent word that he was doing better than had been expected, but that he would have to stay aboard for several days.

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