“Lieutenant Kurt. Luft-lieutenant Kurt, at your service.”
“No fear,” said Kurt. “Nobody’s got more than the clothes they wear.
He said something to Kurt about his head, went up the steep ladder from the swaying little gallery into the airship again, and so, as if it were a refuge, to bed.
To-morrow, Kurt had told him, the Prince’s secretary, the Graf Von Winterfeld, would come to him and discuss his flying-machine, and then he would see the Prince.
Presently he opened the drawer in which Kurt had put paper and writing-materials.
Kurt, like the greater number of the men upon the German air-fleet, had known hardly anything of aeronautics before his appointment to the new flag-ship.
Now he saw far above him the backbone of the apparatus and its big ribs, “like the neural and haemal canals,” said Kurt, who had dabbled in biology.
He was passing between Manchester and Liverpool, Kurt told him; a gleaming band across the prospect was the Ship Canal, and a weltering ditch of shipping far away ahead, the Mersey estuary.
Kurt and he fell talking of aerial tactics, and presently went down to the undergallery in order that Bert might see the Drachenflieger that the airships of the right wing had picked up overnight and were towing behind them; each airship towing three or four.
Kurt was not very clear upon that himself, and was still explaining when Bert was called to the conference we have recorded with the Prince.
The soldiers ceased to salute him, and the officers ceased to seem aware of his existence, except Lieutenant Kurt. He was turned out of his nice cabin, and packed in with his belongings to share that of Lieutenant Kurt, whose luck it was to be junior, and the bird-headed officer, still swearing slightly, and carrying strops and aluminium boot-trees and weightless hair-brushes and hand-mirrors and pomade in his hands, resumed possession.
Kurt came and stood with his legs wide apart and surveyed, him for a moment as he sat despondent in his new quarters.