Thursday, July 10, 2003

Chap 11, part 7

If some of us didn't weep it was only because there was not enough moisture available in our bodies for tears. Tomblike silence and gloom shrouded our group. But it didn't last long. Rickenbacker was at least two jumps ahead.

I think the cussing Rick unleashed now was the masterpiece of his career. In about a minute he had most of the gang roaring mad. Then he got under their skins individually.

He finished up with a broadside at the whole bunch. The psychological effect he produced was just what he had been hoping for. It didn't improve his personal popularity then, but that wasn't his aim. The morale of his companions was all that interested Rick.

With the blankety blanks deleted, here is what he said in effect: That if a plane had come once it would come again. That if there was one plane there were many. If we had moved this close to their base we would move closer. Good things were coming. A MAN would have the courage, the patience, the faith to wait for them.

As if to back up his words there was a puff of wind and then another. A strong, steady breeze followed. Bill Cherry hoisted his undershirt on the two oars. We moved. We were out of the doldrums.

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