Another automobile journey, this time through war-devastated France and Belgium. Along the route traveled by their slain aviator son, James, travel the millionaire Becketts leaving benefits as memorials. With them travels the reprehensible Mary O'Malley, who in order to care for her war-blinded brother, is posing as the fiancée of James and who writes the story. Of course the report of James death was a false one.
eave and orders for the front had both been advanced. The delay at sea had cost a day, and that seemed like hard lines, as we should reach Paris with no more than time to wish the lad God-speed. But in the train, when we came to look at the date, we saw that we'd miscalculated. Unless Jimmy'd been able to get extra leave we'd miss him altogether. His mother said that would be too bad to be true. We hoped and prayed to find him at the Ritz. Instead, we found news that he had fallen in his first battle."
The interviewer went on, upon his own account, to praise "Jimmy" Beckett. He described him as a young man of twenty-seven, "of singularly engaging manner and handsome appearance; a graduate with high honours from Harvard, an all-round sportsman and popular with a large circle of friends, but fortunately leaving neither a wife nor a fiancée behind him in America." The newly qualified aviator had, indeed, fallen in his first battle: but according to the writer it had been a battle of astonishing glo
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