Medium boiled

By Thomson Burtis

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Medium boiled, by Thomson Burtis

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you
will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before
using this eBook.

Title: Medium boiled

Author: Thomson Burtis

Release Date: May 24, 2023 [eBook #70849]

Language: English

Produced by: Roger Frank and Sue Clark


                             Medium Boiled

                Storm flight with the Border Air Patrol
                           By Thomson Burtis

The big De Haviland bombing plane was a little more than eight thousand
feet high, and “Shag” Moran, its pilot, had an excellent view of a
considerable portion of south Texas. His big body was hunched deep into
the front cockpit to avoid the terrific airblast which swept back from
the propeller, and his black eyes alternated the maze of unfamiliar
instruments before him and the unending desert of mesquite below. In
long, gray-green waves the chaparral billowed away to the horizon on
every side, and there was not so much as a wisp of smoke to indicate
that a living thing inhabitated that trackless waste, a mile and a half

It was a sight calculated to make any pilot concentrate on his motor,
for there was no possible landing field below, in case that
twelve-cylinder Liberty ahead should start to miss. To Shag Moran,
however, the very ugliness and desolation of it was a pleasant thrill--a
constant reminder of where he was going, and why. Even the thought of
himself, alone in a world of his own, was delightful, for the time
being. It was the visible evidence of the fact that he had attained
combined objectives for which he had dared not hope, three months

“First Lieutenant John Moran, of the McMullen flight of the Border
patrol--” He mouthed the words with leaping heart us his eyes swept the
wastes below him, which seemed to epitomize all the romance and danger
of the job he was on his way to do. He was bound for the border. More
than that, he was to be a member of the blue ribbon outfit of the Army
Air Service, the Border patrol. And as the last ingredient of what he
conceived to be flyer’s paradise, he was to be one of the McMullen
flight of that patrol--the flight with the finest record along the Rio

The miracle--for miracle it was--was still unreal to him. Of course,
they were ordering extra men to the patrol. The underground gossip,
which was running like wildfire through the Air Service, was that ----
was due to pop along the Border. The smuggling in of aliens had reached
tremendous proportions, and the guarded conversation of higher offices
was to the effect that one of the largest, nerviest and wealthiest rings
which had ever operated in Texas was due for a roundup.

But that Shag Moran had been picked to go to the patrol was purely a
mistake. Moran admitted that. Some slip-up in Washington. Why, he’d only
got his wings a few short weeks before, and had scarcely two hundred
hours in the air. Not enough experience for border service, he
reflected. But he’d bluff it through, and cut out his tongue before he
let anyone know what an amateur he was. And he’d fly with any of them.

He grinned to himself as he thought:

“Boy, what they’d say if they knew that I never flew a De Haviland in my
life before today! But I got this baby off the ground at Donovan and
nobody’ll ever dream I never flew one!”

No more than they’d dream how much his wings and flying meant to him.
The dogged, heart-breaking fight he had waged to drag himself from the
poverty-stricken slime of his boyhood, through school, and then to an
officer’s commission. The ambition of terrible years was fulfilled for
Shag Moran. And nobody suspected that there had been tears in his eyes
when he got his commission. Big, hulking, shambling Shag Moran was
supposed to be hard-boiled. That’s what the carelessly competent young
fliers thought about him, and he was glad of it. He would have cut off
his hand rather than let them know his real love for the air, and of his
perfect contentment, now that he was a flyer. Why, if the border men
knew how he felt about being one of them, they’d laugh themselves sick.
Think he was crazy. They took the job as a matter of course. They hadn’t
worked a lifetime for it.

                   *       *       *       *       *

There was McMullen, and he was going to hit it right on the nose. It
must be, according to his map. There was a dun pocket-handkerchief of a
field, surrounded by buildings, a few miles west of a sizable town.
Surely those big, black blotches against the ground were the two iron
hangars flanking the field to east and west. And that town was McMullen,
all right--it was too big to be an unnoted settlement. Southward a few
miles the Rio Grande was a twisting, silver ribbon, glinting in the
flooding sunlight.

He’d start down, now. Had he been more familiar with De Havilands, he
might have essayed spiraling down closer to the field. He would take no
chances now, though.

He eased back on the throttle, until the tachometer was down to nine
hundred revolutions a minute, and nosed down slowly. He watched his
airspeed meter like a hawk. He kept the speed of his ship at a hundred
miles an hour. The wind was making the wires sing, and there was
considerable vibration.

In a perfectly straight, conservative dive he flashed earthward, his
body tense with the strain. Now he could see tiny figures lounging on
the steps of one of the buildings which formed the southern boundary of
the sandy airdrome. He was going to have an audience for his landing,
which made it worse. With every moment, it seemed, that field was
shrinking in size. The northern boundary of it was a fence. He prayed
that the wind would be from the south, so that he could land in from the
north. It would be impossible for him to bring that big plane down over
the obstacles on the other three sides.

The altimeter read a thousand feet when he pulled the ship up and shoved
the gun all the way on. He was a half mile back of the field as he flew
level toward it. He circled it once, and saw that the wind-sausage on
top of one of the corrugated iron hangars indicated a south-east wind.
Some one had said that the wind was usually southeast--the Gulf breeze.
Yes, there were at least a half dozen men lounging in the shade of a
porch. There were several buildings along that southern rim, and two
long lines of tents.

He drove northward a half mile, circled warily, and cut the gun to seven
hundred revolutions. He fairly felt his way toward the ground, trying to
watch the ground, his airspeed and the tachometer all at once. He must
barely ease over that fence, at the lowest speed possible.

He got too low. He was only fifty feet high, several hundred yards back
of the fence, and the motor barked into sudden life as his hand thrust
the throttle forward. He seemed to be going terribly fast, for being so
close to the fence, and he cut the motor to idling. Downward, bit by
bit, the fence had flashed beneath him. He was going like lightning.

From a height of six feet it seemed that the D.H. dropped out from
underneath him. The wheels hit the ground hard, and the big ship bounced
high in the air. His hand automatically found the throttle as the plane
hung, nose in the air, and jammed it all the way forward.

He’d have to go around again. Cursing himself for a clumsy fool, he

“I thought I was flying a Jenny, ---- it! I ought to be pushing baby

Those veterans down there were laughing at him, doubtlessly. Having to
go around twice to make a field--an airdrome--with a perfectly good
motor. He had looked like a cadet, on his first solo.

Again he shot for the field and this time, with his heart in his mouth,
he got to a foot above the ground with the fence only twenty-five feet
behind him, and he held the ship there. Again it seemed that he was
going at express-train speed, but he caught the drop in time. He jerked
the stick back, and although he was a bit late, the ship only bounced
once, and scarcely more than a foot. The buildings seemed a safe
distance ahead, too.

They were, for a Jenny, but not for a heavy D.H., rolling fast on a
hard, sand field as smooth as a floor. Desperately he cut the switches,
and finally, panic-stricken, threw his stick to one side and jammed on
full rudder. The D.H. ground-looped, one wing-skid dragging the ground.
Not enough to cause any damage, though, and as he snapped on the
switches again he told himself:

“I got down--but how? This time I was going too ---- fast, after coming
in too slow the first time.”

Mechanics were waving him toward the line in front of the eastern
hangars, and he taxied toward them, gingerly. He felt that he was
handling the D.H. awkwardly. It was infinitely more responsive, even on
the ground, than a Jenny. Somehow or other he felt uncertain, now, about
his ability to control these bigger ships as he had learned to master
the training planes.

He was grateful for the fact that the mechanics came out to meet him,
and by pulling on the wingtips helped him, into the line straight. At
the same time his quick sensitiveness made him wonder whether they were
doing it because they had noticed his uncertainy in handling his ship.

A short, stocky officer was coming toward him, and on the collar of his
O.D. shirt were the bars of a captain. That was the famous Captain
Kennard--two planes to his credit in France, D.S.C. and Croix De Guerre,
recognized as the best squadron commander on the border.

Moran came to attention, and the square-faced captain returned his
salute nonchalantly.

“You’re Moran, eh?” he said in a raucous voice, and his face, scarred by
innumerable wrecks, split into a genial grin. “Glad to see you. The
boys’ll unwire your suitcase. Come on over and meet the gang.”

Moran relaxed a bit. So the C.O. wasn’t going to hop on him about that
landing right away, he reflected gratefully. He removed his helmet in
the withering heat, baring the coarse, unruly black hair which had given
him his nickname. Perhaps his beard had had something to do with it,
too. Sometimes he shaved twice a day in an endeavor to control it, but
his heavy jaw always looked dark and bristly, nevertheless.

“Sure glad to see you,” repeated Kennard, his bowed legs moving faster
than Moran’s unusually long ones. “They’re flying us ragged, and a new
man’s welcome.”

“I heard something was up, but no one seemed to know much about it,”
ventured Moran.

“We don’t know a ---- of a lot, ourselves,” Kennard told him. “But it’s
pretty plain that they’re watching a gang in Mexico who’ve been running
chinks and other immigrants over. The runners get around a thousand per
man, delivered in San Antone. Army of ’em. Anyway, it’s patrol all day,
and be on the alert all night, with a dozen false alarms every hour.
Must be good and big and tough, this gang, or Washington wouldn’t be
acting as though there was a war on.

“Attention, boys and girls. Here’s the latest victim. Moran, shake hands
with Tex MacDowell, Slim Evans, Pop Cravath, George Hickman, and last,
but not least, Dumpy Scarth.”

Moran recognized all but the last man from things he’d heard about them.
Lean, lounging “Tex” MacDowell; “Slim” Evans, who was nearly six feet
six inches tall and as thin as a rail; big, blond Hickman and “Pop”
Cravath, who were observers.

“Dumpy” Scarth was a new name to him, and he had thought he knew every
member of the flight by name and description. Scarth was a short, fat,
little fellow, with a pug nose, a full moon-face, and boyish eyes, which
looked the big, new man over with a critical air.

“I know of all of you,” Moran told them slowly. “That is, except Scarth
here. I--er--never heard--”

“He just joined the outfit,” Kennard informed him.

“Then you’re new to the border too?” Moran said awkwardly. He was in an
agony of self-consciousness, because of the figure he’d cut on that

“What?” squawked Scarth. “New to the border! Why, I’ve been with the
Laredo flight for years! Didn’t you ever hear of that Caloras case?”

“No, probably he didn’t,” Slim Evans cut in casually. “There really are
a few birds in the world who’ve never heard of you, Dumpy.”

Scarth bridled like a bantam rooster. Now he looked Moran over
scornfully, and Shag was suddenly aware that his shoes were wrinkled and
unpolished and clumsy looking. Kate, his sister and only surviving
relative, cost him a good deal in college. Too much for him to afford
forty dollar boots and hundred and fifty dollar uniforms.

“You sure came in in a burst of glory,” Scarth informed him with relish.
“Two bounces--I thought sure you were a major.”

“I--er--hit an airpocket the first time,” Moran told him.

He was standing at the foot of the steps, shifting from one foot to
another, always conscious of the speculative scrutiny to which he was
being subjected by the men who would have to live on intimate terms with
him for months.

“Air pocket ----!” yapped Dumpy.

“You were coming in too slow! The second time you looked as though you
were trying to break speed records. I suppose the wind shifted on your
tail that time.”

It had come. Suddenly Shag was conscious of an overweening desire to
close Hearth's mouth for him. The others had said nothing.

“Not exactly,” he said with difficulty, moistening his lips. He felt as
if he was on trial. “The throttle stuck a minute, and the motor was
turning up pretty fast--”

“Listen to Alibi Ike!” jeered Dumpy. “Had much time on D.H.’s?”

Moran’s eyes were stormy, his heavy face set. ---- this cocky, nasty
little runt--

“Why,” he began, moistening his lips, “I--”

“Dry up, Dumpy,” drawled Tex MacDowell easily. “Likewise, lay off. What
the ---- are you catechizing about?”

“Hello, here comes Jimmy Jennings, and my ship’s coming out. Come on,
Pop!” Dumpy exclaimed, forgetting everything else.

He ran for his helmet and goggles as Moran watched the incoming
patrolship enter the field. He knew who Jimmy Jennings was. A border
veteran, and an ace.

The big D.H. roared across the airdrome, from the east, circled a
hundred feet north of the field, and suddenly tilted on one wing. Down
it came in a terrific sideslip, its nose parallel to the fence. Thirty
feet above the ground it dived out of the slip, nose coming around
toward the field, and as it came across the fence the pilot skidded it
sidewise to kill speed.

Starting two hundred feet high, only a few yards back of the fence, the
pilot had brought the ship to the ground as lightly as a feather, within
twenty-five yards of the fence, and stopped rolling a little more than
halfway across the field.

“That’s flying,” Shag thought humbly.

“Don’t mind Dumpy,” Slim Evans advised him spaciously. “Dumpy firmly
believes he’s the world’s best flyer, frankly admits it on every
provocation, and the ---- of it is that he’s ---- near right!”

“What are you going to do with a man that brags all night, and then goes
out and proves the next day that he can live up to his bragging?”
grinned Kennard.

“Every new man is a prospective rival to him,” Slim went on, “and he
tries to put said rookie in his place. But he’s a great little cuss when
you get to know him--”

“Watch him prove something now.”

Moran watched, and held his breath. Dumpy took off from the northern end
of the field, cleared the buildings, and then turned back. He swooped
low across the ground on his return trip, and then, for a full minute,
he showed what could be done with a big bomber in the hands of a master.
He chased his own tail like a gargantuan dragon fly, tipping the D.H. up
into vertical banks in which the lower wingtip was only inches off the
ground. One final rush across the field, another zoom in which the ship
stood on its tail and appeared to climb up the side of the recreation
building, and he was off.

“That’s him, himself,” grinned Hickman, who was almost as big as Moran.
“You gave him an opening by springing those alibies.”

“They weren’t alibies--”

“The ---- they weren’t,” Kennard advised him. “We listen to too many of
’em down here. This field’s tough the first few times, and good
flyers’ve ---- near starved to death, they had to go around so many
times. And every ---- one with an alibi, instead of admitting it. Like

Hurt, Moran stiffened.

“Well, alibi or no alibi, that little squirt, Scarth, better not buzz
around too much, kidding people he don’t know,” he said gruffly.
“Captain, can I be shown to my tent to clean up?”

Kennard looked at him curiously for a moment before replying. The
others, it seemed, had been taken aback by his rasping ultimatum. Then:

“You may. Orderly! Show Lieutenant Moran to Tent Six.”

                   *       *       *       *       *

Vaguely miserable, Moran followed the orderly to the small, floored tent
which was to be his border domicile. By the time he had set his things
in order his trunk was brought from the afternoon train, and he was busy
until six, straightening his meager effects and washing up in the
bathhouse, down at the end of the boardwalk which ran between the two
rows of tents. He was tying his tie when Slim Evans poked his long, thin
nose into the tent.

“About chow time,” he said cheerily.

“Come on over.”

Moran, though grateful for Slim’s interest, merely nodded, and in a
moment joined him.

“By the way,” Slim said casually, “if you like I’ll go up with you
tomorrow. There are some tricks about this field in this light air,

“----, does one punk landing put me under instruction again? I’ve landed
in worse fields than this one.”

Slim looked at him, and Moran averted his face to hide what he felt was
a telltale flush. He had been betrayed by his anxiety to hide the fact
that he was a raw amateur who had no business on the border.

“As you please,” the lanky airman said laconically, nor did he speak
again until they entered the dining hall.

The others were already at the table, and a Chinaman was removing the
soup plates.

“Jerry Sims and Tom Daly got it today-- Just got a radiogram,” barked
Kennard from the head of the table.

“What?” yelped Slim. “How?”

“Must have been a forced landing in the fountains within a few miles of
El Paso. In a cañon, crashed, burned.”

“God Almighty.”

The table had been quiet, Moran noticed, when they entered. Those tanned
faces were set, and the eyes somehow old. Kennard directed his gaze to

“Know either one of ’em?” he inquired. “Marfa flight. They were great

Moran shook his head. The death toll of the border flyers totaled one
out of eight, every year, he knew, and that very afternoon two of them
had gone. In the mountains of the Big Bend.

He cleared his throat as he helped himself to bread. Because the simply
told news affected him, he said bruskly--

“Well, that’s what any man in this business has got to expect, and he
can’t kick when he kicks off.”

“The ---- he can’t!”

It was stout, fiery Pop Cravath, his eyes snapping. Daly had been his

“I suppose you look forward to burning to death, eh? Hard-boiled egg we
have with us!” he stormed on.

Moran was in his shell, like a turtle. His eyes met Cravath’s squarely
as he stumbled on.

“Every man knows what to expect--it’s just an incident--”

“You don’t say! We’ll give a dance in honor of it, I suppose, to let the
world know that a few deaths here and there don’t faze our nervy
pilots!” Cravath spat bitterly. “I’m ---- if I’m not sick of these guys
that shoot off their mouths about how little danger means to them--when
hard luck hits somebody else! And how loud they yelp when it hits

“The worst of it is,” Kennard slid in, “that we can’t even go over into
Mexico tonight, ---- it!”

The object of his words had been to cut off the hot-tempered Cravath,
Moran knew, and to ease the tension which had fallen over the depressed

The C.O.’s eyes were very keen and very cold as they rested on his
newest flyer. He went on gruffly:

“It’s the custom to go on a howling drunk every time a man gets knocked
off and sort of forget it. Now we’ve got to stay on duty.”

“They might have picked a better time to get killed, at that,” Dumpy
Scarth remarked.

Moran’s eyes were on his plate. What had he said that they should
disapprove of? Maybe he’d been a little rough for a newcomer. He’d just
wanted to show them that he belonged. Why should they pick on him? Every
move he made was a mistake, as far as they were concerned. Slowly, as he
mulled it over in his mind, his misery congealed into resentment.

Always taciturn, he did not say a word during the remainder of the meal.
Instinctively he felt that he wanted to be by himself, and he went
directly to his tent. He lay there, thinking. Sensitive to the point of
mania, he felt that he was off on the wrong foot with such speed that he
could never start over again. His own fault, too. Trying to show off.

No, it wasn’t. Why had that fat-headed runt, Scarth, started picking on
him right away?

Toward midnight the flyers, who had been playing cards in the recreation
room, came to their tents, and devil-may-care laughter died away into
quiet. Shag lumbered to his feet, and went out into the starlit night.
The mesquite was murmuring, crackling softly, in the Gulf breeze, and
the sky was like a purple roof over him. Over at headquarters, guards
were at the telephone, and lights gleamed in the radio shack. East and
west stretched the border--hundreds of miles. Southward, Mexico was like
a brooding desert. Somehow all the romance, all the tradition, all the
pregnant possibilities of the Border country seemed to be whispering to
him from the velvet darkness, and his big body thrilled to it and his
eyes glowed.

His imagination leaped from station to station--Laredo, Del Rio,
Sanderson, Marfa--and he could see the ships on the line, looming like
crouching monsters in the darkness, ready to spring into the air after
their prey. Life could hold nothing to compare with this, and he was a
part of it.

No, he wasn’t, he thought as he went to bed with a thousand thoughts
rioting in his brain. But he would be.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Two ships were off on the dawn patrol when he ate breakfast next
morning--Dumpy Scarth and Tex MacDowell, with their observers. The
others greeted him more or less naturally, but he could see that he was
already pegged in their minds as a queer egg. He tried to force himself
out of his customary taciturnity but it was hard.

At the end of the meal he said to the captain--

“If it’s all right, sir, I’d like to practise a few landings.”

“Sure. Your ship’ll be No. 8.”

Moran dreaded the prospect of learning to land a D.H. on that field, but
it had to be done. Why hadn’t he been man enough to admit his ignorance
of big ships, and practise landings up at Donovan?

He knew that the bombers were considered too frail to stunt, so he went
on with assumed carelessness--

“Do you people down here live up to that ‘no stunt’ stuff on those

“Of course!” snapped Kennard. “We don’t make a habit of slapping God in
the face.”

The others grinned, their eyes on Moran.

“Perhaps you twist ’em around regularly?” inquired Slim Evans, and Moran

“Just wanted to know,” he said awkwardly, and went out.

Ten minutes later he was in the front cockpit of No. 8, trying out the
already warm motor. A mechanic held each wingtip, another sat on the
tail and leaned against the airblast as he covered his eyes from the
dust which swirled upward in a dense, cone-shaped cloud. The tires
strained against the wheelblocks as Moran held the throttle wide open,
his eyes sweeping his instruments. Air pressure, three; battery charging
rate, two; temperature, eight degrees Centigrade; tachometer showing,
1750; oil pressure, twenty-five--all was as it should be, as far as he
knew. He turned off one switch of the double ignition system, and
listened. Not a miss. Then a brief tryout of the other switch, and he
eased the gun back to idling. He adjusted his goggles and nodded to the
crew, with a lump in his throat.

They pulled the wheelblocks, and he taxied to the northern end of the
field. He turned safely, and gave it the gun. He knew he could take off
all right. Pressing forward on the stick, feet braced against the
rudder, he sent his ship roaring across the field, nose low to the
ground. It took the air by itself, almost, and he swept across the
buildings with twenty-five feet to spare.

In the cool, smooth morning air he felt some of his confidence return,
and when he felt his way down across the fence at a mere seventy-five
miles an hour he was sure he was going to make the field. He dared a
skid to kill more speed, after he had leveled off and, although he
bounced, the ship came to earth safely and stopped rolling with a bare
twenty-five feet to spare.

Five times he landed, and three times he made it on the first try. He
still felt strange in it, and there was uncertainty in each landing. But
he had self-confidence in the air, and there was no doubt now that
eventually he’d be a capable De Haviland man even on that tiny field.

He decided to go high, and bank and sideslip and stall around a bit to
get more accustomed to his ship. It was a thrill to feel the excess
power in that motor. The air was pleasant to his perspiring face as it
swept by him. He took in the view, avidly. McMullen, a small splotch on
the ground, its paved streets white ribbons with bugs crawling on them.
Fields dotted with patches of mesquite, the airdrome a tiny square
seeming to be within a stone’s throw of the town, really four miles

At four thousand feet he was directly over the field, and started
banking more and more steeply to get the feel of the ship. He did figure
eights, stalled it, wingturned. And with each moment his touch grew more
sure, his heart lighter. That gnawing doubt about his ability vanished
slowly but surely.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Suddenly he looked north, and it was a shock to see another D.H. curving
toward him. It was Dumpy Scarth and Jack Lee, he thought. The ship came
around, diving slightly for his tail. In a moment it had taken position,
fifty feet behind and slightly above him.

“He wants a dogfight!” Moran thought. Well, he wouldn’t get it. He,
Moran, didn’t know enough about D.H.s yet--

“---- if I’ll funk it!” he told himself savagely. “Even if he does show
me up.”

Mock combat was a favorite diversion--good practise. The point was to
get behind and above one’s opponent, on his tail, and stay there.

Moran threw his ship into a diving bank, whipping it around heavily. He
twisted and turned in wild abandon. He was high enough to be safe.
Diving, zooming, going into vertical banks, he tried everything he
dared, but Dumpy rode his tail serenely.

It became almost a battle in Moran’s mind. ----, how he’d like to show
up that little ----, and he couldn’t even shake Dumpy off, much less get
position himself. Down below he caught a brief glimpse of mechanics and
officers watching, and suddenly his heavy jaw set. He’d shake Dumpy off,
anyhow, D.H. or no D.H.

And he went into a dive, motor full on. Let Dumpy follow him now, if he
was so smart. Those fellows below would find out what kind of a nerve
their new flyer had.

The struts were shaking in their sockets, and the wires were screaming
with the speed as the motor’s roar rose to a veritable bellow. The
airspeed went up slowly--a hundred and seventy, a hundred and ninety,
two hundred--

Every instant he was going to pull it out, but with a sort of ferocious
joy he held his ship in the dive, second after second. He was hunched
deeply into the cockpit, his eyes on his instruments. He’d come down
fifteen hundred feet. Now, if Dimpy was on his tail, he’d give up.

He looked around as he started to pull out, using both hands. It was all
he could do to move the stick backward. Slowly the ship started to
level, vibrating in every spar and strut. Dumpy was nowhere to be seen.
He hadn’t dared to follow.

The ship was just leveling off, finishing its swoop out, when Moran
stiffened. Suddenly the stick seemed to have gone limp in his hands. It
came all the way back without resistance.

He had cut the motor to pull out of the dive, and in a panic he shoved
the throttle all the way on again. For a moment the ship had wavered,
but now it resumed its gradual leveling process. As it came level the
nose started to go up into a stall, and Moran, his heart feeling as if
it were encased in ice, shoved the stick forward.

The ship did not answer.

He eased the throttle back, and the nose settled. Slowly the frantic
pilot looked around. The cabane struts, on the elevators, to which the
control wires from the stick were attached, were both leaning toward
him. The terrific strain of pulling out of that dive had pulled them
loose, and his elevators were useless. He could neither dive nor climb
his ship. If he flew until the gas gave out and the propeller stopped,
the ship would go into a nose dive which would not end until it hit the

Suddenly Moran’s brain seemed preternaturally clear and cool. The fact
that sure death apparently awaited him was in the background, merely, of
his consciousness, as he methodically thought things out.

The motor was his only hope. The ship seemed perfectly rigged, meaning
that at a certain motor-speed it would fly level without the use of
stick or rudder. It was flying level now, at fifteen fifty r.p.m. If he
cut down the speed of the propeller, it would start diving. The point
was that if he sent it into a dive, could he pull it out by turning on
full power? Or would the weight of that thousand-pound motor hold it in
the dive?

There was but one way to find out. Funny, how little he really felt as
his steady hand eased the throttle back to twelve hundred. He seemed to
be experimenting for some one else, to be off in another ship, watching
a man fight for life.

The nose dropped slowly below the horizon, and he shot the throttle all
the way forward. For an agonized moment the D.H. remained in an
ever-steepening dive. Then, ever so slowly, the nose came up, and he
brought the throttle back slowly to fifteen-fifty.

A chance to wreck, now, in a way that might not kill him. His ailerons
and rudders were all right. He sent the ship into a shallow bank,
speeding up the motor a trifle to offset the loss of lifting surface,
and then straightened it out and headed north. The field adjoining the
airdrome north of the fence was rough, but unwooded, and at least three
hundred yards long. Then another fence, and a cultivated field. North of
this last clearing was mesquite.

Ten miles north of the field he turned again, and headed for the
airdrome. He brought the throttle back to fourteen hundred. In a gradual
dive the ship sped downward, the airspeed meter crawling up to a hundred
and fifty miles an hour. At five hundred feet he was still four miles
north of that first cultivated field. Now he brought the throttle back
further, and the dive steepened. He let it go for a while--he was about
three hundred feet high now--and then shoved it all the way on.

He waited like a statue. Would it level off in time? Two hundred feet, a
hundred and fifty, and then the nose started up. The ship was level, a
mile back of that first field, and a hundred feet high. Again the
throttle crawled back to fourteen hundred. His face was covered with
sweat, his feet jumping on the rudder bar. In a series of brief steps he
brought it down, and when he leveled the last time his heart leaped as
the undercarriage brushed the mesquite. The ship darted across it, and
as it cleared it he again inched the gun backward. The dive was so
gradual this time that leveling off was almost as easy as doing it with
the elevators. The stabilizer was already back, the tail as heavy as it
could be made. Three feet above the ground he was rushing along level.

He crashed through the first fence, and the airdrome was close ahead. A
wild rush across the intervening field, and the D.H. went through the
boundary fence like a cannon ball through paper. He snapped the switches
off, and the roar of the motor gave way to the singing of the wires.

He had been going more than a hundred miles an hour. A second after the
motor died, the nose dropped suddenly. The D.H. bounced twenty feet in
the air. For a second it hovered, stalled, and then crashed as its nose

Moran threw his hands in front of his head. A terrific jar, the
splintering of wood and rending of linen. For a second all was blank,
and then he found himself tearing his way out of the debris as the odor
of burning gasoline assailed his nostrils. Bloody, dazed, only half
conscious, he was running, thirty feet from the crackup, as a mass of
flame burst from the wreckage, and died into a huge bonfire.

He slowed to a walk, and reason returned to him. Men were rushing from
everywhere. Captain Kennard was in the lead, two other flyers behind

Moran stopped, his knees wobbly in the reaction. There was but one
thought in his mind. He had proved himself a flyer worthy of his trust.

“What happened?”

His eyes met the captain’s. The men were fighting the fire, but the
officers were gathered about him, Dumpy Scarth in the front.

Moran gathered himself together, and essayed a grin.

“Elevators went wrong on me, that’s all,” he said with elaborate
carelessness. “Brought her down with the motor. Wasn’t that a ---- of a

The overwrought C.O. went into eruption--

“You’re ---- right it was a ---- of a note! Think you’re smart because
you got out by a miracle, do you? You’re a De Haviland stunt man, are
you? What the ---- do you mean, diving a D.H. like you did up there,
against my orders and against good sense? By ---- I don’t care whether
you kill yourself or not, but ships are ---- valuable down here!

“Wipe that sickly grin off your face, ---- you! You’re entirely too
smart for the border, and I don’t give a hoot how good a flyer you are.
Get that? You’re confined to the post for a month, and if the boys
weren’t flying themselves to death I'd ground you besides. Just as quick
as the ----’ll let me I’m going to get you transferred and swap you for
somebody I can use.”

The doughty captain whirled on Scarth. As if in a dream Moran heard him
say savagely:

“As for you, Dumpy, the same thing goes. This is no time for your
grandstanding, either. Couldn’t resist raising ---- with a new man, eh?
What do you know about his flying, or what might have happened up there?
You save your flying for patrol, understand, and mind your own business
in the air and on the ground!”

Scarth flushed, and his mouth opened, but one look into the C.O.'s
steely eyes was enough. Kennard took a last shot at Moran.

“A few crashes mean nothing to you, eh? Well, they mean something to me,
right now. Hard-boiled egg, are you? Well, I’ve got no time to take that
out of you down here. You’ll have a chance to alibi your transfer in
just about a week!”

Moran stood there, for a moment, like a dumbly suffering dog. Then,
abruptly, curtains seemed to close over his eyes. They were muddy and
opaque as he saluted stiffly, and stumbled blindly toward his tent.

He was to be transferred. The subconscious admission that his
arraignment had been justified made matters no better. Dumpy Scarth

                   *       *       *       *       *

He lay on his cot, forgetting to go to lunch, and gradually his aching
misery gave rise to unreasoning hatred for the cocky little flyer who
had been his Nemesis.

As the taut days passed, the feeling grew in strength. He was utterly
alone, brooding in his tent when he was not forced to appear in public.
Dumpy, the irrepressible, had been hurt by his public tonguelashing,
too, and he lost no opportunity to razz the black-browed Moran on his
landings, which were still far from perfect. Moran rarely answered the
taunts of the younger man, but often his eyes were not good to see.

He flew regular patrols, each one a nightmare. That they would soon
cease, for him, was only part of the reason. Since that unforgettable
landing he had lost all confidence in the De Havilands. A vibrating
wire, or a momentary miss in the motor, caused by an air bump, made him
tense and uncertain. He was afraid of those big ships which he could not
control, as yet, and the memory of his escape from fire awakened him
nights, his body covered with sweat and his brain numb.

The occasional efforts of some of the flyers to be sociable, he met with
brush rebuffs, and they soon ceased. Every man of them was laboring
under a strain. Five, sometimes six, hours of nerve-racking flying each
day was their portion, and the waiting for something to break along the
Border put the finishing touches on their overwrought condition. Moran,
a veritable skeleton at the feast, was relegated to the role of
“sorehead,” and he knew it. He knew, also, that he was deliberately
making his own lot harder, and perversely increasing his own
unpopularity as he waited for the ax to fall.

It was not in him, however, to do anything but suffer by himself, and no
torture could have dragged a word of admission from him. He lived
through the days in dogged silence, masking his bruised spirit behind an
impregnable armor of hard self-sufficiency.

                   *       *       *       *       *

It was just before dawn of the fifth day following his wreck that he
awakened to find the light on in his tent and Captain Kennard shaking
him by the shoulder.

“Listen, Moran,” Kennard barked rapidly. “We just got a call, and I’m
taking five ships down toward Laralia. Big gang reported coming over the
river an hour ago. I’m leaving you and Dumpy Scarth here and taking all
the others. Patrol in turn, one of you at the phone all the time. Get
up--we’re taking off, _pronto_!”

Moran shivered as he dressed. A norther had been brewing for twenty-four
hours, and now the wind was strong and chill. The Libertys were roaring
on the line like gargantuan hounds on trail, and dark clouds were
scudding across the graying sky. The helmeted flyers were like hooded
demons of the night as they got into the cockpits and the ships left the
ground in single file, gathering above the field at a thousand feet and
hurtling eastward in V-formation like a flock of geese.

Naturally, they’d leave him behind, if anybody, Moran reflected
bitterly. Dumpy Scarth had raved because he couldn’t go. Moran tried to
scotch the ugly knowledge which was in the back of his head. He was not
glad that he hadn’t been called on to take off in the dank darkness, and
fly formation down the border. He was not afraid of De Havilands--

But he knew he was.

The dark, cold day dragged to a close. Three times he went out on
patrol, alone, fighting the rising wind every mile of the way and
returning to the field a nervous wreck. Some times the ship was thrown
about like a leaf, and the tight-lipped, pale Moran lived eternities
above the mesquite which seemed reaching upward to drag him down to
destruction. The landings were nightmares, in that wind, but he got down
safely each time.

He and Dumpy did not speak to each other. When one landed, the other
took off. There was no word from the other ships until seven o’clock, as
the quick darkness was falling. They had rounded up their prey, but
reports of the ground men were that it probably had been false alarm. A
bunch of Mexican vaqueros, riding north after some cattle. The ships
would stay at Brownsville rather than fight the gale and the darkness

Dumpy returned from his last patrol us the call came in.

“Want the first watch tonight, or the last?” he inquired briefly.

“Either one,” Moran told him sullenly.

He was ready to drop. The strain of the day had nearly broken him.

“Then I’ll hit the hay. Wake me at twelve,” Dumpy told him tersely.
Then, characteristically, “Congratulations on the miracle.”

Moran looked up quickly to meet the snapping eyes of the younger man.

“Just what do you mean?” he snapped. “What miracle?”

“----, you got down safe, didn’t you?” inquired Scarth, with elaborate

Moran’s eyes seemed to thicken, and there were red spots in them as he
rose to his feet. He bent over, like some heavy-shouldered bear, resting
his ham-like hands on the desk as he glared into Dumpy’s face. He felt
as if he was about to explode--every nerve was raw and jumping. His
words were blurred, seeming to come from his lips with difficulty us he

“Scarth, I swear that if you don’t quit shooting off your mouth--”

“What?” Scarth shot back, perverse enmity in every line of his fat face.

Moran straightened, and his fingers were moving jerkily, his fists

“That I’ll ram your teeth down your throat, ---- you. Now you get the
---- out of here before I throw you out--and don’t let me get started on
you, do you hear? You’ve picked on me from the start, and I’ll put you
in a hospital if you say another ---- word!”

Hate was in the air. The indomitable Scarth held his ground, for the
moment, before the dark, grim giant whose face reflected black fury and
tortured, helpless wrath.

For a long moment their eyes cocked. Suddenly it seemed that Dumpy
realized that Moran could have picked him up and broken him in two, and
was about to do it. There was a semi-madness in the bigger man’s gaze,
the fruit of strained days and sleepless nights.

Dumpy’s eyes dropped, and he turned toward the door.

“---- foolishness to stay at the phone at that,” he mumbled uncertainly.
“Wind’s getting worse every minute. Nobody could go anywhere if they had

He went out, and Shag settled down into the chair in front of the desk.
The tiny office seemed hardly large enough to contain his huge body. His
dull eyes looked into space, and time was non-existent. He had reached
the point of physical and mental exhaustion where life itself was merely
a bad dream.

He hardly realized that three hours had passed when the shrill of the
telephone cut through the howl of the wind. He was a bundle of nerves as
he answered its summons.

“Yeah, McMullen flight. Moran. Lieutenant Moran! What the ---- does that
matter? Kennard’s not here. Who? Crosby? Yeah, go ahead.”

For a moment he listened to the barked sentences coming out of the
night. Automatically his mind registered the facts.


“We’ll see. Try to. ’By.”

He rushed to the door, and out into the darkness. The clouds had broken,
but fleets of them hurried across the sky, periodically blotting out the
moon. The wind came in great gusts, alternating between comparative
quiet and the proportions of a gale. As stark fear gripped him he fought
it down, cursing himself for a yellow dog as he ran for Dumpy’s tent.

The fat little flyer was writing a letter. He looked up in startled
surprize as Moran burst into the tent.

“Ever hear of a customs man named Crosby?” Moran rasped.

“Sure. I know him.”

“Is there a stool pigeon named José down at Carana--”

“Yes. Keeps the store. We’ve had trouble before, there. Little Mexican

“Crosby just called up and said he landed in Carana and that there’s a
big bunch of aliens due over within an hour. It’ll take a couple of
hours before he can get help. Wants us--”

“To fly down!” shouted Scarth, leaping to his feet. “It can’t be done!
Listen to that wind.”

Moran’s eyes glittered suddenly.

“He says there’s a field down there we’ve landed in before--”

“Sure there is. But we can’t go. Are you crazy? I--”

Moran’s contempt for Scarth, his utter contempt for his own yellowness,
the fact that life was a hateful thing, all combined to force the words
from his lips:

“We could make it. It’s our business to. Scared, are you? The famous
Dumpy Scarth, who can do so much showing off when there’s somebody
watching, is scared to death when the real pinch comes, huh? A ---- good
fair-weather pilot, eh?”

Scarth’s curiously boyish eyes gleamed, and his face was white.

"It's--it’s suicide, I tell you! At night, this wind--”

“All right, stay here and write your letters!”

Moran stopped at the door, his smouldering eyes playing over the tense,
uncertain Scarth. And his tongue flayed the youngster mercilessly as he
dared him to come on, until the beleaguered Scarth, his own eyes ablaze,

“All right. ---- you! I can go anywhere you can!”

A moment later stunned mechanics were warming up the ships in the
flooding illumination of the huge landing lights, set on top of the
hangars. Moran got into his cockpit in a daze, and was the first to taxi
out. Mechanics stayed at each wingtip to help him in the wind. Certain
that he was going to his death, and scarcely caring, he gave the motor
the gun, and fought his ship into the air.

It seemed barely moving against the wind as he cleared the buildings.
When be banked to make his turn, the wind almost turned him over, and
the D.H. was blown a hundred yards, tipped up steeply, before he could
force it level again. Crabbing into the wind, the ship pointed southwest
as it flew due west, he looked around for Dumpy.

The other flyer was two hundred yards back of him. Shag, tight-lipped
and tense, turned his eyes ahead. The earth was like a shadowed sea,
turning from silver-green to black as the clouds continuously blotted
out the moon.

The wind caught the ton-and-a-half bomber and played with it exultantly.
Often it took all his strength on the stick to hold it level. It shot up
and down in the scrambled air currents like a dried leaf in an autumn
gale. Should the motor cut out, there was nothing but maiming or death
in store for him below. He was breathless and physically sick under the
strain. He really expected the ship to go to pieces at any moment, but
he fought his way westward doggedly.

It was only a thirty minute flight to Carana, but it took an eternity of
time. Twenty miles out the wind seemed to rise, shrieking its resentment
at the puny mortals who were defying it. The D.H. was like an outlaw
bronco, bucking and pitching in a mad effort to throw its rider. Moran,
heavy jaw out-thrust, was suddenly aware of a sort of ferocious joy in
fighting it. A lone rider of the storm, he yelled a blasphemous
challenge which he could not hear himself, above the devil’s song of
motor and wind and screaming wires.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Carana, a small collection of lights on the bank of the river, lay ahead
only two miles. Dumpy was a mile south, the flames from his motor’s
exhaust pipes like two fiery red tongues. Moran was looking for Crosby’s
flashlight signal. Three flashes, and the alien runners were over; four,
they were on their way; five, no action as yet and to land on the field,
which Dumpy knew, but which Moran did not.

Dumpy was diving for the river now, and Moran, flying in a dream, turned
south into the teeth of the storm and labored toward the Rio Grande. Had
Scarth seen something below? If he had, it was the job of one ship, at
least, to hold the smugglers with its machine guns.

The other one would land, conserving its gasoline supply for the time
when the first ship ran low on fuel.

Dumpy was low over the river, a mile west of the settlement. Lights were
winking on as Moran, five hundred feet high, looked down at Scarth’s
ship. The full moon had emerged temporarily from the clouds, and Moran
saw what was happening as clearly as if it had been noonday.

Dumpy’s ship seemed to stand still in the air, for a moment, as a
tremendous gust of wind threw Moran’s own plane on its side. As if
slapped by the hand of some invisible giant, the left wing of Scarth’s
D.H. flipped high in the air.

Half on its back, the lower ship plunged into the river in a short
upside down dive, and a shower of spray hid it momentarily from the
stunned Moran’s straining eyes.

It came into view as the water fell. It floated, apparently, in tragic
quiet, the motor submerged and the tail high in the air.

Automatically Moran shoved the stick forward. There was no movement
below--not an extra ripple on the smooth, turgid water of the river.
Dumpy had been knocked out and was helpless beneath the water.

At that second, something within Moran seemed to break. Each taut nerve
snapped, and the reaction left him quiet, almost weak, but with his mind
clear. He was like a man who has just awakened from a nightmare into
reality still more horrible. So much so that the climax of terror left
him calm, fatalistic, hopeless.

Motor full on, he sent the frail D.H. hurtling downward in a power dive
which made the wires shrill madly and the ship tremble from nose to
tail. He was without fear, and his hand was steady as a rock on the

In that brief moment, with the roar of the overspeeding motor dinning in
his ears and the peril of the storm surrounding him, he kept his eyes on
that wreck below, and saw himself for what he was. He realized what he
had done when he had forced Dumpy into this mad trip.

He was calling himself a murderer as he leveled his ship above the
water. He was a hundred feet back of that sinister mass, floating so
peacefully. He was possessed of a great calm, and he handled his great
ship with a sureness he had never known before.

He cut the throttle, and nosed the D.H. upward. It lost speed, and as
the stalling point came he threw it into a steep bank, left wing down.
He jammed on right rudder at the instant when flying speed was about to
disappear, and the De Haviland shot downward on one wing, with scarcely
a mile of forward speed.

He gathered himself as the water rushed up to meet him and the airblast
flayed his left cheek. The left wing cut the water five feet from
Scarth’s wreck. The motor plowed into the river, and the ship flipped
over, half on its back, as the left wingtip smashed into the bottom of
the shallow stream and the entire structure of linen and wood crumpled
in a series of ripping, tearing reports.

He was unhurt, and he had unsnapped his belt buckle at the instant of
crashing. He was out, wading through the water, which was to his
armpits. He took a long breath, and plunged under the other ship.

His groping hands found the body, hanging limply, head downward. His
lungs bursting, he heaved upward on the unconscious Scarth, to keep the
weight from the belt, and tore at the buckle. It was an eternity before
it unfastened, and as he got Scarth above the water he fell limply
against the soaked fuselage.

For a moment he had to stay there until his laboring lungs and bursting
head grew more normal. Then he stumbled through the water toward the
shore. He had scarcely laid Dumpy down when three riders came galloping
madly through the mesquite along the river bank.

It was Crosby, with two Mexicans. The customs man took in the situation
at a glance, and went to work on the unconscious Scarth with no comment
other than a curt:

“If anybody was comin’ across tonight they won’t now. They’ll have heard
the ships.”

The crude first-aid methods did their work, and Dumpy revived. When his
nausea was over Crosby put him on his horse.

“José here can give you a bed to dry out in,” the customs man told him
cheerily. “Here, Moran, get on José's pony. We’ll walk alongside.”

As they started slowly up the trail alongside the river Moran ranged his
pony alongside Scarth’s. There was a great peace within him.

“Scarth,” he said slowly, "I was a ---- fool tonight. We had no business
trying to fly and I--just horsed you into it because we hated each
other, I guess. I--”

“’T’sall right,” Dumpy mumbled awkwardly. "I was a bigger fool than you.
I didn’t have to come. And--thanks for pulling me out.”

But Moran would not be headed off. He felt that he had to talk, to
explain himself to someone.

“I wasn’t myself,” he went on doggedly. “I got kind of scared of these
D.H.s in that wreck, and I was so yellow I just had to fly. I was so
scared I wasn’t scared, if you get me. I never flew D.H.s before, but
razzing you into pretty near a sure accident was--”

“Huh?” grunted Dumpy, his eyes probing Moran’s with a curious glitter in
them. “You never flew D.H.s before you came down here, you mean?”

Moran nodded.

“I hated to admit it--I wanted to stay, and so I lied and bluffed. I’m
just telling you this so that you’ll know I wasn’t--I didn’t mean all
that stuff. I was just cuckoo, between one thing and another.”

“Well I’ll be ----,” Dumpy repeated softly, as if musing to himself. He
shivered, and seemed to rouse himself from reveries.

“It’s all right. Couple o' things got under my hide too, I guess.”

“Thanks. Just wanted to--sort of let bygones be bygones before I leave.
That’ll be in a day or two, I guess.”

They relapsed into silence. Moran’s face was serious and composed. He
did not notice the continuous looks which the impulsive younger man
threw at him. He was wrapped in his thoughts. He had burned his bridges
behind him in admitting his amateurishness as a flyer, he knew, and any
lingering hope that he might stay on the Border was gone. Nevertheless,
the bitterness had been purged from him, and he was glad.

                   *       *       *       *       *

At McMullen the next afternoon Dumpy, who had been very thoughtful all
day, was first to report to Kennard. Moran changed his clothes, and went
to headquarters later. The little captain had one dusty boot on the
desk, and he cocked a keen, gray eye at Moran, while he dragged on a

“I learned all I had to know from Dumpy,” he stated in his husky voice.
“Still breaking up my ships, huh?”

Moran’s lips widened a trifle in reponse to the twinkle in the C.O.’s

“So you tried to put across a bluff down here, eh? What a ---- fool you
are! Well, I’ll tell you, Moran. I sometimes like guts more than
experience, and I guess if you want to stick around the Border that
much, we can stand it. You can get experience here.”

Moran’s dry mouth opened, but no words came as he saluted and walked out
into the flooding sunshine which had followed the storm.

[Transcriber’s Note: This story appeared in the August 1, 1927 issue of
Adventure magazine.]


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the
United States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following
the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use
of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for
copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very
easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation
of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project
Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away--you may
do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected
by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark
license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the
Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country other than the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work
on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the
phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at If you are not located in the
  United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where
  you are located before using this eBook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg™ License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format
other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain
Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
provided that:

• You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation.”

• You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™

• You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

• You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of
the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set
forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you “AS-IS”, WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™

Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™'s
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's business office is located at 809 North 1500 West,
Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up
to date contact information can be found at the Foundation's website
and official page at

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without
widespread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our website which has the main PG search

This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.