Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 67

Cannon caught sight of Masaracchia through the windshield, holding on for dear life as Emma and the others jerkily pulled him toward the plane. The cab’s roof bowed inward as Burr mounted it, then popped back to normal as the rope took her weight.

Two hundred yards. Cannon held the wheel with his left hand, put his left foot on the accelerator, and slid right so that the gearshift stuck up between his knees. One hundred yards. With his right hand, he worked frantically at Burr’s knot.

Over his shoulder, a British fighter slowed down and lined up for another try at the Albatross. The British truck, no longer harried by covering fire, pulled up closer. Bullets snapped past Cannon’s head.

Fifty yards. The knot came free at last, and Cannon grabbed the rope with both hands just before it snaked out the window. The truck drifted to the side, and slowed as Cannon’s foot came off the accelerator. Tires screeched behind him as the British truck’s driver slammed on the brakes.

Time seemed to slow. A sign reading ‘Danger’ spiralled past the windshield as the truck smashed through the barrier at the end of the road, then flew through the air. Cannon felt himself falling, then launched himself desperately out the cab’s passenger-side window. Searing pain shot up his arms, joined by a burst of agony in his ankle as his foot hit the window frame on the way out. Somehow, he managed to hold on, watching as his truck bounced on the rocks at the end of the breakwater, turned sideways, and rolled into the harbor. Turning in the wind, he saw tracers shoot all around the British fighter. It caught fire, trailing oily black smoke as it turned over and fell into the sea, launching a pillar of spray a hundred feet in the air. A pair of Falcons painted in Cannon’s blue and white thundered triumphantly by.

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