The morning sun broke through the clouds and greeted the Entente pair of scouts. Again an Englishman and a French man head towards the German lines "a hunting" (see below):
As regular as clockwork the Boche appear, two scouts guarding a two-seater. With battle cries of "Tally-ho" and "Merde" the battle commences (see below):
The Englishman is fearless and bold (some say too fearless and too bold) diving into the center of the melee without a passing thought to the killing power of modern industrial machinery (obviously a product of the British class based "gentleman's elite" old school system). Pierre meanwhile hatches a cunning survival plan called "come in from the side" (see below):
The Englishman clashed head-to-head with his foe and mutual "greeting cards" (of damage) were exchanged (see blow):
Pierre for all his fancy planning ended up in a similar position as the Yellow Albatross of "Kev" angled across to meet him (see below):
Pierre suffered a far more dangerous outcome. The "rat-a-tat" greeting from the Spandau (courtesy of Killer Kev's Albatross) is met with a resounding metallic ping from deep inside the N17's engine bock, followed by an conflagration of fire, flame and caustic choking smoke. Pierre is left blinded with the Nieuport 17 losing height rapidly and the whole world swirling around the top of his head. Out of control, helpless and with his life flashing before his eyes Pierre fights ingloriously with the controls. The fire fans out and the immediate risk of explosive oblivion seems to have receded.
Barely managing to level the stricken plane off, the N17 disintegrates upon contact with a small copse of stunted trees, gorse and brush mercifully wet and springy from recent rains. Pierre is flung to a position relative safely amidst the wreckage. The 'Fates' have ordained that this fallen angel to survive once more, even granting him the luxury of falling on the right side of the line. "Nine Lives Pierre" seems to have used a fair few of them up by now. Some five missions to his credit, no kills, but twice 'shot down' and the cruel statistics of war say that the 'third time' usually gets you. Pierre has now earned the right to a "pass" in his commanders eyes to savour a week's respite with Eros in lively Paris, as a stark contrast to his daily dance with Thantos over the Western Front.
A short and not so sweet duel, summed up in a single posting. Still to be continued on Pierre's return from Paris!