Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 65

Hanging onto a framing member in the cargo hold, Emma plugged her headset into the intercom panel, and leaned out through the open cargo door into the slipstream. “Slower!” she shouted into the microphone.

“Merde,” she heard in reply. Hydraulics whined as the landing gear lowered. Emma braced herself against the thump which shook the plane as they locked down. Slowly, the truck gained ground.

Emma pushed herself back into the hold, checked her knots—she’d tied two ropes, one knotted for climbing, through holes in the framing beams—then played the ropes out the door.

Tracers shot past, and Emma caught herself just before she dove for cover. A British plane roared just overhead. “Where the hell are our escorts?” Emma yelled, watching the British fighter bank away. She looked back to the ropes and added, “A little more left!”


Burr reached out for the ropes trailing the plane as di Giacomo emptied a magazine toward the British truck. Tantalizingly, the ropes swung closer, one brushing Burr’s fingertips before it fluttered away again. Splinters flew by as the truck smashed through the barrier at the start of the breakwater, and the truck bounced harshly onto the dirt road. Burr nearly lost her footing, reached out again, and swore as the end of the rope seesawed just beyond her grasp.

“Now wou’ be a guid time,” Iseabail said.

Burr bit back a nasty retort, then her face lit up. She grabbed her borrowed machine gun, spun it around to hold it by the barrel, and hooked the ropes with the stock. “Tie him in,” she said, passing the plain rope to Iseabail. The knotted one she tied around the cab’s passenger window. “Pietro! Go!”

di Giacomo dropped his gun, jumped onto the cab, looped his arms and legs around the rope, and shimmied up.

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