Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 63

“Whiskey Two, I will soon be low and slow. Keep them away from me. Over.” Lecocq rolled into a gentle right-hand turn as his Albatross crossed the shoreline. The two Kestrels still in formation broke the other direction, wheeling to cover him. Out the right side of the cockpit, the shoreline, then Alexandria, came into view. Lecocq squinted. A road ran along the edge of the peninsula, fifty meters from the surf. The depth of the city behind it shrank as it ran toward the breakwater, and it pressed closer to the shore. There the paving stones gave way to dirt, and the road stretched another three kilometers, ending in a jumble of rocks rapidly descending into the sea.

Lecocq cut his throttles and dropped lower, the city crossing from his right to his left, which posed its own problems. From the cockpit in the right-hand fuselage, visibility to the left was poor, blocked by the the other fuselage. He would take one practice pass to get a feel for the distance—

“Whiskey One, I hope you’re ready, because we’re going to need to get out of here in a hurry.”

“Miss Burr?” Lecocq said, surprised.

“No time for that, Marcel—ready or not?”

“If I must.”

“Swell. We’ll need another rope. Our friend took a bullet. We’ll be on the coastal road in thirty seconds.

“Rope, thirty seconds. Out.” Lecocq pulled the flaps lever, and as the plane bucked, fed in left rudder and right stick. The plane slowed as thought it had hit a wall. At the same moment, the guns in the turret chattered, and in his earphone, Emma said, “I had one lined up!”

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