Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 54

Marcel Lecocq checked the gauges in Inconstant‘s other Albatross. With a little luck, he wouldn’t have to worry about getting any holes in this plane. His escorts would go a ways toward guaranteeing that—Joe had sent four Kestrels and a pair of Faucons to distract any British anti-air gunners.

Emma Foster lounged in the radio operator’s chair facing the wall behind Lecocq. The Albatross, with its extra radio set, played command plane for this mission. Emma had one set on the mission-wide frequency, another listening to the frequency the captain would transmit on, and the third available to listen in on the escorts or talk to the zeppelin. Lecocq glanced at her over his shoulder. She had hooked one of her legs over the arm of her chair and put her other foot up on the radio console, and she twirled a pencil through her finger.

“Do you have anything yet?”

Emma looked up indolently. “I’ll tell you when I do.” She yawned. “The skipper knows when we left. He’ll wait until we’re closer.”

Lecocq blinked. Eventually, the Australian twang rearranged itself in his head into comprehensible English. “Well, keep an ear open,” he said.

She nodded, then jumped. The pencil fell from her hand and clicked off the deck. Emma strapped on her throat transducer and said, “Whiskey flight here. I read you about one by two, over.”

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