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'Brother Bosch', an Airman's Escape from Germany   By: (1894-)

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"BROTHER BOSCH"

AN AIRMAN'S ESCAPE FROM GERMANY

BY

CAPTAIN KNIGHT, R.A.F.

1919 LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN London: William Heinemann, 1919

To the Memory of

CAPTAIN MORRITT, LIEUT. MEDLICOTT, LIEUT. WALTERS,

AND ALL OTHER OFFICERS, N.C.O.'S AND MEN, WHO, BEING LESS FORTUNATE, GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE ENDEAVOUR.

Belovèd Country! banished from thy shore, A stranger in this prison house of clay, The exiled spirit weeps and sighs for thee! Heavenward the bright perfections I adore Direct, and the sure promise cheers the way, That, whither love aspires, there shall my dwelling be.

Longfellow.

NOTE

"The spelling of the word 'Bosch' was the customary one in the German prisoners' camps from which the author made his escape, and is retained for the sake of local colour."

ERRATA

P. 25, line 6 from bottom, for " weis " read " weiss ."

P. 43, line 14, for "balolaika" read "balalaika."

P. 47, line 10 and p. 55, line 16, for " Weiswein " read " Weisswein ."

P. 51, line 7, for "Hammelin" read "Hameln."

P. 126, line 20, for "Pupchen" read "Püppchen."

P. 159, line 16, for "Briefeasten" read "Briefkasten."

"BROTHER BOSCH"

(An Airman's Capture and subsequent Escape from Germany)

CHAPTER I

CAPTURED

It was November 9th, 1916. I lay in a state of luxurious semi consciousness pondering contentedly over things in general, transforming utter impossibilities into plausible possibilities, wondering lazily the while if I were asleep. Presently, to my disgust an indefinable, yet persistent "something" came into being, almost threatening to dispel the drowsy mist then pervading my brain. The slow thought waves gradually ceased their surging, and after a slight pause began to collect round the offending mystery, as if seeking to unravel it in a half hearted sort of way. They gave me to understand that the "something" recurred at intervals, and even suggested that it might be a voice, though from which side of the elastic dividing line it emanated they were quite unable to say. With the consoling thought that voices often come from dreamland I allowed the whole subject to glide gently into the void and the tide of thought to continue its drugged revolutions. The next instant a noisy whirlwind swept the cobwebs away. I knew that the voice was indeed a reality, for it delivered the following message: "A very fine morning, sir!" Obviously my dutiful servant desired me to rise and enjoy the full benefit of the beautiful day. Agreeing with Harry Lauder, that "It's nice to get up in the morning, but it's nicer to stay in bed!" I am sorry to say I cunningly dismissed the orderly with a few false assurances, turned over on my side and promptly forgot all about such trivial matters. Conscience was kicking very feebly, and just as sleep was about to return, the air commenced to vibrate and something swept overhead with a whirling roar an "early bird" testing the air. Galvanised into action by this knowledge, I sprang out of bed, and seizing whatever garments happened to be the nearest, was half dressed before I had even time to yawn! Then snatching up my map, coat, hat, and goggles, I burst from the hut and began slithering along the duck boards towards the hangars, at the same time endeavouring to fasten the unwilling hooks of my Flying Corps tunic and devoutly hoping that I should not be late for the bomb raid... Continue reading book >>




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