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Inside this Book – In 1926 I was enrolled as student airline pilot by the Latécoère Company, the predecessors of Aéropostale (now Air France) in the operation of the line between Toulouse, in southwestern France, and Dakar, in French West Africa. I was learning the craft, undergoing an apprenticeship served by all young pilots before they were allowed to carry the mails. We took ships up on trial spins, made meek little hops between Toulouse and Perpignan, and had dreary lessons in meteorology in a freezing hangar. We lived in fear of the mountains of Spain, over which we had yet to fly, and in awe of our elders. These veterans were to be seen in the field restaurant—gruff, not particularly approachable, and inclined somewhat to condescension when giving us the benefit of their experience. When one of them landed, rain-soaked and behind schedule, from Alicante or Casablanca, and one of us asked humble questions about his flight, the very curtness of his replies on these tempestuous days was matter enough out of which to build a fabulous world filled with snares and pitfalls, with cliffs suddenly looming out of fog and whirling air-currents of a strength to uproot cedars. Black dragons guarded the mouths of the valleys and clusters of lightning crowned the crests—for our elders were always at some pains to feed our reverence. But from time to time one or another of them, eternally to be revered, would fail to come back.
Inside this book –Wind, Sand and Stars PDF Book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery – A handful of pilots, of whom Mermoz was one, surveyed the Casablanca– Dakar line across the territory inhabited by the refractory tribes of the Sahara. Motors in those days being what they were, Mermoz was taken prisoner one day by the Moors. The tribesmen were unable to make up their minds to kill him, kept him a captive a fortnight, and he was eventually ransomed. Whereupon he continued to fly over the same territory. When the South American line was opened up Mermoz, ever the pioneer, was given the job of surveying the division between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. He who had flung a bridge over the Sahara was now to do the same over the Andes. They had given him a plane whose absolute ceiling was sixteen thousand feet and had asked him to fly it over a mountain range that rose more than twenty thousand feet into the air. His job was to search for gaps in the Cordilleras. He who had studied the face of the sands was now to learn the contours of the peaks, those crags whose scarfs of snow flutter restlessly in the winds, whose surfaces are bleached white in the storms, whose blustering gusts sweep through the narrow walls of their rocky corridors and force the pilot to a sort of hand-to-hand combat. Mermoz enrolled in this war in complete ignorance of his adversary, with no notion at all of the chances of coming forth alive from battle with this enemy. His job was to “try out” for the rest of us. And, “trying out” one day, he found himself prisoner of the Andes.
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery PDF : eBook Information
- Full Book Name – Wind, Sand and Stars
- Author of this Book – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Language – English
- Book Genre – Non-Fiction, Memoir, Cultural, Classics, Adventure
- Download Format – PDF
- Size – 1.6 MB
- eBook Pages – 148
- Price – Free