'Green Balls'

'Green Balls'

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Excerpt: ... indicator record in turn, three, four, and then five thousand feet. "Let's push off now!" says the pilot. "We're high enough!" "Make it five thousand five hundred, old Pg 156 man! The wind is with us the whole way! We want to be at six before we cross the lines if we are to get up to nine by Bruges." The patient pilot makes one more wide turn and then faces east, and flies ahead on a direct course. On the left the line of the sand-dunes edges the misty sweep of the sea. In the north a strange sign is in the skies. Great streaks of white vapour, resembling moonlit clouds, stream from the horizon towards the zenith, spreading like the ribs of a fan. This beautiful vision of vast scarves of light, motionless and majestic, hangs over the sea with a splendid nobility, and, as we discover later, it is the sublime Aurora Borealis. Following up the stretch of sand-dunes I see near the lines the twinkling lights in the hutments near Coxyde, and at the Nieuport piers the occasional flash of a gun and the red burst of a shell. Here and there along the floods rise and fall the tremulous star-shells. To the right Ypres flickers and flashes, stabbing the horizon with incessant daggers of flame. When we are about seven miles from the trenches I crawl into the back and press hard forward the fusing lever, which draws Pg 157 the safety-pins from the bombs hanging in rows behind us. I tie up the lever with string to make sure that it will not slip, and resume my seat beside the pilot. We approach Furnes, and, as we expect, we see a pale white beam of light leaping upwards in front of us, and vanish, and leap up again and again
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Product details

  • Paperback | 58 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 122g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1236725751
  • 9781236725752