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fail again. Apart from an although the thermometer 000&sional “mies,"
of rarely climbed higher than which sent my heart into my 98 degg. in the shade, the beat, throat, it behaved splendidly, on account of the moisture, was and at last we landed safely very trying. Fully 75 per cent at the aerodrome. Climbing of the mechanios were already out of our seats we shook down with malaria, and it was & hands without saying a word, diffioult business to keep more but there was a look in our than two machines in order. eyes that meant much more Throughout the campaign the than words oould express.
work of our
men had been Good
awaited us. magnificent. Most of them Clowe had landed safely at were South Africans, but this Mikindani, close to the Portu- does not mean that they were guese border and about 100 in any way inured to the conmiles south of Kilwa. He had ditions of tropical Africa. On been unable to identify our account of disease, the work aerodrome on his way down, of the men who were more or and had simply pushed on less fit was freqaently donbled, until his petrol had_finished, and it was no unusual thing He would leave for Kilwa as for one of them to put in twelve soon as he received a supply hours' oontinuous work on a of
fuel which the Naval defeotive engine or a damaged people were sending ashore, machine, so that it could take and we might expoot him that the air in the shortest possible evening.
time, The cause of our engine About four in the afternoon trouble was discovered to be a & wireless message came to oboking of the petrol intake say that Clowe had left Mikito the carburettor. Nearly a ndani for Kilwa. Big smoke thimbleful of a peculiar red mud fires were immediately prewas taken from the gauze-filter, pared and a sharp look-out and the mechanios were very kept for his arrival. About puzzled as to how it had got five o'clock he was sighted, there, for the tanks and pipes well out to sea, and evidently had been thoroughly cleaned endeavouring to keep olear of out several times before the the heavy storm.clouds that flight. They would be care- hung over the land. He disfally examined and recleaned appeared in five minutes, and before we ventured out again. although Very lights were sent
Kilwa Kivinje is a very pio- up at intervals until dark, he turesque old town, and once it was neither seen nor heard was a very busy slaving port. again. It is inhabited chiefly by Swa- Early next morning, Osman, hili fishermen and farmers, but flying the machine we had used there are many pure Arabs for Kibata, was sent ap the and a few Indian traders. At coast to look for him. Three
, this time of the year, a month and a half hours later he rebefore the heavy rains, it was turned with an exciting story. particularly unhealthy; and, He had flown north to the
mouth of the Rufiji, and there it is for a oareless factory had enoountered a very heavy worker to cause the loss of a storm, that had blown him out valuable aeroplane, and posto sea. Suddenly the engine sibly the death of one or two stopped dead, even as it had people. done with us the day before, No sign of Clowe had been and he glided down through seen. Late in the afternoon the torrential rain, expeoting Carey - Thomas suddenly beto crash into the water. At bame ill, and as a thermometer 500 feet, however, the air be- placed under his tongue gavo came clearer, and he discovered & reading of 104 degs., muoh
a that he was over Mafia Island, against his wish we packed where the R.N.A.S. had an him off to hospital. Next day aerodrome. Just he was about a nigger arrived with a mesto land the engine picked up sage from our lost friend. He again, and he decided to turn had missed the aerodrome, and for Kilwa, as the way was now this time had landed just north clear of cloud. He seemed ro. of the Matandu river. Yesmarkably pleased to be back. terday he had made a third The peouliar red mud was attempt, but, encountering found once more in the ear-heavy rain, he had decided to burettor, but it was several return to the river and await days before the mystery of its a more favourable opportunorigin was solved. It was due ity. We were overjoyed to to a defective tank, the in- see him the same afternoon, terior of which had not been flying low along the coast-line, properly treated to resist the and loud cheers rent the air corrosive aotion of the petrol; when he finally landed on the and this demonstrates how easy aerodrome.
XIII. A TWENTIETH-CENTURY FATHER CHRISTMAS.
On the following morning matter to land on the beach, Clowe and I left together for where help would have been Kibata, and as there were fewer fortbooming from the numerclouds than asualweexperienced our natives. How wonderful it little diffioulty in finding the was to gaze down through the way. Flying low, we carefully air and then through the sea at examined the various German the sunken white coral-reefs positions, and made a rough and sea-gardens many
fathoms sketoh-map of the area within below. So clear was the • two-mile radius of the fort. water that the tiny little native On the return journey we fishing - oraft seemed to be struck out first of all for the hovering in the air. The sea coast. This route had the and the white beach sparkled advantage of being more inter- at a million glittering pointe, esting, and also of being more and even the dark olive of the safe in case of engine trouble. land seemed drenched with It would have been an easy champagne.
There is some
thing in this powerful tropical and had long since sun - bath that infects one's abandoned all hope of ever blood, and its effect in an seeing a mail again. aeroplane where the unpleasant That night we dreamt of warmth is not experienoed is roast turkey, Christmas most exhilarating.
pudding, iced champagne, and We flew immediately over port, but the dawn of day the mouth of the Matandu brought no solution to our river, and for several miles out soul-depressing problem. Our from the coast we could see spirits rose somewhat in the the extensive submarine sand- afternoon, however, when the banks that its waters are slowly faithful Maganga returned depositing. With my glasses, from a nature ramble with two here and there in the river fine geese, for whioh be said he itself, I could make out groups had paid the sum of 12 rupees. of hippopotami and occasionally By this time I knew Maganga orocodiles. The Germans had pretty well, and immediately I declared the Matanda river a had a mental picture of some hippo reserve, and so numer- poor nigger searching his fowl.
these formidable house in vain for the geese that monsters, that when we came would never return. to use the river for transport Just as we sat down to tea, purposes several of our supply Grant, our very able and unboats were attacked and sunk, tiring Flight-Sergeant, oame affording another striking proof in to say that an aeroplane of Germany's wonderful mili. had been sighted making this tary forethought.
as we rushed out At dinner the same evening of the mess & wire arrived, Osman staggered the company “Machine left Daresalam for with the announcement that yours 15 hours.” Before we the day after next would be reached the aerodrome it had Christmas. The mathematioal landed, and we soon identified process by which he had arrived in the pilot's seat the Old 'Un, at this profound discovery was wearing a very wide grin on not at first obvious, but later his face. we learnt that since his arri. “Merry Christmas, Jads!” val at Kilwa he had kept a he shouted as he got out; "see tree calendar, Robinson Crusoe what Father Christmas has fashion, Lest perohanoe he brought you!” We lost no should have registered two time in olimbing up to the notohes for the day of his observer's cookpit, which we adventure over Mafia Island, found to be crammed full with we called in the orderly-room mysterious-looking cases and olerk, who after some hesitation paroels. Never did aeroplane agreed that the date must be carry a more heavenly oargo. the 23rd of December.
There was a huge mail, ChristThe prospeot was a tragio mas puddings, minoe-pies, páté
There had been no de- foi - gras, whisky, sherry, supplies in for weeks, there was port, and a whole oase of pricenot a drop of liquor in the place, less champagne of the Old
'Un's own choosing. The Old ready by 3.30 P.M. The weather 'Un, it appeared, had come did not look too promising, but down to take command of the the rain rarely came on seriFlight in the absence of Carey- ously until after sundown. A Thomas (who had been sent sandbag was prooured, a short down to South Africa), and a and seasonable note soribbled, few minutes later we were sele- and the oigarettes and all the brating his appointment in a latest papers (the latest being most suitable manner,
Oetober) pushed in and sewn Opening the mail was a up. thrilling operation, and rip- We left the ground at 3.45, ping open the travel-stained and in spite of the clouds and envelopes and sorting their heavy rainstorms, sighted the contents into chronological fort by 5 P.m. There was no order a joyous experience. It time to lose, and in order to was now two months since I make certain that the bag fell had heard from England, and in the British trenohes and even the bills were good read- not the German, the
the Old ing. Amongst the parcels was 'Un commenced to volplane
' a box of nearly 6000 oigarettes down. Thoughts of my first sent out by the 'Daily Sketch' experience over this place for distribution amongst the rushed to my mind as the fort troops.
As there was oamo nearer and nearer, present shortage of tobacco, We were not more than 400 we decided to reserve these in feet from the ground and 200 case we might meet some one yards from the fort when the whose need was greater than Old 'Un shouted for the bag ours.
which I was carrying. SwingWhether it was the smell of ing it olear of the fuselage, the champagne or not I cannot be let go, and we watched it say, but immediately after our sink swiftly earthwards, the Christmas luncheon I was momentum taking it with anseized with a very bright erring acouraoy towards the idea, which I promptly pro- little white building. pounded to the Old 'Un. Why could see our people standing shouldn't we put the parcel of out of their trenohes and cigarettes into a sandbag, fly waving their hands, and then out to Kibata, and drop them suddenly run helter-skelter for on our gallant little garrison, cover as they oaught sight of who for the last two months the bag falling rapidly through had been having a perfeot bell the air; evidently they thought of a time? The rain had out that we were bombing them. them off from all supplies, the They soon discovered their Han had shelled them with- mistake, however, and as we out remission, and there could turned for home we could see be no doubt as to the accep- them enthusiastically waving tability of the tobacco. The their appreciation of Father Old 'Un was enthusiastio, and Christmas in his latest disorders were sent down to guise. On the way back the the hangars to have a maobide Old 'Un broke the monotony
by indulging in numerous had crawled in for shelter,
exoellent lunch. something wet and clammy, Things have a habit of com- whioh must have been a frog; ing back to one on oooasions at any rate, it was too much like these.
for me, and I rushed out into Maganga had built, under the storm without waiting to my directions, a little grass dress further. The rain was hut. To make it water-tight coming down in solid sheets, I had placed on the roof the and the lightning illuminated fly of an old tent. I know the oamp in a most terrifying of nothing more cheerful than manner. In my bare feet I to lie on & nice soft bed and staggered across to the mess, watoh the lightning playing which, possessing & Canvas aoross the heavens, to hear awning, was moderately dry; the orash of thunder and the here I found the remainder of pelting of the rain on the the Flight picking the bones of ground, and to feel absolutely the geese and drinking wbiskyimpervious to it all. That and-rain. We spent a cheerful was how I felt that night night together. Next morning when, olad only
only in silk we found that the aerodrome pyjamas, I sank on to the had beoome a lako, as I had luxurious softness of my bed anticipated, and it was deand tucked in my mosquito- cided to set to work immedinet.
ately and clear a space on the The rain soon commenced, hillside. It was also decided and I could hear the big drops to move our quarters into a spattering on the roof. The large Arab house in the town, lightning became more vivid which was now available owing and blue, and the thunder to the departure of some unit louder and louder. By 12.30 for the front. Flying would A.M. the whole raging elements be verboten for some days at were let loose, and the noise least, and we spent the time of the storm was terrifio. I making the house as comfortsmiled gleefully as I thought able as possible. I managed
I of the less provident members to make a trip down to Kilwa of the Flight, whose wioked Kissiwani, where I explored swear-words were now outvy- the island with its interesting ing the storm in fury. Again Persian, Arabio, and PortuI congratulated myself—and guese arohæological remains. then suddenly it happened : & Presumably Kilwa was known column of ioy-cold water burst to the ancients, for coins and forth from the darkness above pottery of great antiquity have my head, and fell with a hor- been found here. rible gurgling noise on to my
The most important personthinly -clad chest. Leaping age in the Kilwa distriot is an out of bed, I simply shrieked old Arab gentleman known as in terror as I placed my foot the Liwale, and although in
an enormous lizard that his younger days he enjoyed