The geyser climbing down from the Storch was dressed in a long, leather coat and a canvass flying helmet.
"Watcha mate! That's a splendid specimen you were flying there!"
"Oh. What? Ach, you mean my Feiseler? Ya! Gut plane."
"German eh? Thought you'd all been grounded."
He took off his hat. The hair was short and blond. There was a scar above the right eye.
"Only ze ones they caught!"
He barked with laughter at his own joke.
He held out his hand.
"Prattebourne. Lord. But everybody calls me Billy."
"Pleased to meet you Billy."
Then he did the whole 'bow and heel-click' thing.
"Say, Max, we're just off to get something to drink. If you're looking for directions, we can fix you on the way."
"Not directions, Billy. I'm after drink too."
We must have given him a strange look.
"For the gold prospectors? Up at the Linford seam?"
"Well you've come to the right place!"
Max laughed when he heard the reason for our business.
"Also? A dance you say? Maybe I can come?"
"Doubt you'd like it. But I'm sure they'd allow one more. Over West at Murrayville."
Max took off, with a crate of Schnapps. Didn't seem odd at the time.
Robbie and I were pissing ourselves with suppressed laughter anyway. Murrayville was thirty miles in the wrong direction!
I put the booze on the back seat and started up.
Within the hour I was back at the field, and put the crates into the old jeep Doc Ellis had lent me.
I was really surprised at what I saw when I got to town.
But first to Shirley's.