Eagle in the Sky (90 стр.)



I don't know where he has gone, the Brig answered, his own concern

aroused by the possibility which Debra had hinted at.

There is only one place he would go when he is hurt like this, Debra

told him.  He will be in the sky.  'Yes, the Brig agreed readily.

Get down to Air Traffic Control, they'll let you speak to him.  The Brig

turned for the door and Debra's voice urged him on.

Find him for me, Daddy.  Please find him for me.

The Navajo seemed to come around on to a southerly heading under its own

volition.  It was only when the sleek, rounded nose settled on course,

climbing steadily upwards towards the incredibly tall and unsullied blue

of the heavens that David knew where he was going.

Behind him, the solid flat-topped mountain with its glistening wreaths

of clouds fell away.  This was the last of the land, and ahead lay only

the great barren wastes of ice and cruel water.

David glanced at his fuel gauges.  His vision was sully blurred, but he

saw the needles registering a little over the half-way mark on the


Three hours flying perhaps, and David felt a chill relief that there was

to be a term to his suffering.  He saw clearly then how it would end

down there in the wilderness below the shipping lanes.  He would

continue to bore for height, climbing steadily until at last his engines

starved and failed.  Then he would push the nose down into a vertical

dive and go in hard and fast, like the final suicide stoop of a maimed

and moribund eagle.

It would be over swiftly, and the metal fuselage would carry him down to

a grave that could not be as lonely as the desolation in which he now


The radio crackled and hummed into life.  He heard Air Traffic snarl his

call sign through the static crackle, and he reached for the switch to

kill the set, when the well-remembered voice stayed his hand.

David, this is the Brig.  The words and the tone in which they were

spoken transported him back to another cockpit in another land.

You disobeyed me once before.  Don't do it again.  David's mouth

tightened into a thin colourless line and again he reached for the

switch.  He knew they were watching him on the radar plot, that they

knew his course, and that the Brig had guessed what he intended.

Well, there was nothing they could do about it.

David, the Brig's voice softened, and some sure instinct made him choose

the only words to which David would listen.  I have just spoken to

Debra.  She wants you desperately.  David's hand hovered over the


Listen to me, David.  She needs you, she will always need you.  David

blinked, for he felt tears scalding his eyes once more.  His

determination wavered.  Come back, David.  For her sake, come back.  out

of the darkness of his soul, a light shone, a small light which grew and

spread until it seemed to fill him with its shimmering brightness.

David, this is the Brig.  Again it was the voice of the old warrior,

hard and uncompromising.  Return to base immediately.  David grinned,

and lifted the microphone to his mouth.  He thumbed the transmit button,

and spoke the old acknowledgement in Hebrew.

Beseder!  This is Bright Lance leader, homeward bound, and he brought

the Navajo around steeply.

The mountain was blue and low on the horizon, and he let the nose sink

gradually towards it.  He knew that it would not be easy, that it would

require all his courage and patience, but he knew that in the end it

would be worth it all.  Suddenly he needed desperately to be alone with

Debra, in the peace of Jabulani.

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