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Deja Vu


hue, he noticed that a drip had gathered at the tip. This was certainly a
drinker’s nose he saw the generous mouth and bright blue eyes, and he then
looked at the grey hair for Willie had to be in his forties easily. He was married
with three children and had been an engineer in Berlin before war broke out
Ruger remembered. However when it had come to the time he had been seen
off by his wife and children he was one of the first to join up for he knew his
duty did Willie Shultz. Ruger offered the flask to him and he put it to his mouth
drinking deeply he sighed with pleasure at the taste wiping the to-p carefully
he handed the flask back. He then took his old battered cigarette case out
took one and offered Ruger the case they both lit up and smoke plumed into
the air it tasted good. Willie looked at his friend and Commanding Officer the
fact that he was only a Warrant Officer had never come between them or their
respect for one another. Nor had the fact that Kurt von Ruger was an
aristocrat the son of aristocrats whilst Willie’s father had been a lowly train
driver. He looked again into the handsome face with the piercing blue eyes
and the nose of an eagle the blonde hair swept back a classic look and one
that went down well with the ladies. Looking closer he could now see the lines
etched and scored deeply in his friends face and his heart went out to him. He
knew that Ruger had seen too much for a young man as they all had, too
many friends being killed too much living on the nerves and alcohol. All this
had took its toll and this now showed on the face of Ruger a weariness that
was bone deep and an almost pathological acceptance of what would happen
some day. Though he had to admit that since coming back from leave there
was a sudden bounce in his friends step again and he seemed happier and
more content. All Willie could do was to make sure he kept Ruger’s plane in
the best condition he could so as to give him a better chance when he was up
in the air on patrol.
Ruger looked at Willie and knew that the same pride and euphoria
would not be present should his friend have to enlist now, after what they had
seen happen to friends and comrades there was no glory in war. Willie
scratched his head and spoke. “I have checked out the guns on your plane
Herr Major, they seem to be alright but I have put a heavier hammer in the
cockpit just in case something should happen.” This was used to free a
stoppage in the guns should a cartridge get jammed, you simply banged the
cocking handle with the hammer until you freed it or until you were shot down.
Ruger looked at his fitter keenly something at the back of his mind was
tugging to be remembered but it passed as he replied. “Have you taken a look
at the engine old friend it seemed to be missing a bit on the last patrol?” Willie
had discarded the cigarette and lit an old meerschaum pipe he scratched his
nose with the stem. “I have checked the engine from top to bottom and it is
running alright now, I can find nothing wrong with it though I have had it
stripped right down.” He shook his head then continued. “I have run it up to
full revs and it never missed a beat. Though of course Herr Major the aviation
spirit they send nowadays it leaves a lot to be desired as you well know.” He
puffed on his pipe again. “We filter it again of course but it is in the quality of
the stuff that the problem begins it really is the worse shit they can send us I
recon.”
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