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Aces Wild

Captain Barry White Takes a Vital Message and Flaunts
It in the Grinning Face of Death

By Peter Barrett
Author of "Flaming Dawn," "Killer Wings," etc.

CAPTAIN BARRY WHITE, acting C.O. of the 38th Pursuits, slowly placed four aces and the king of hearts on the table, and then scooped up the hundred odd francs in the center.

"You see?" he grinned at the four sour-faced pilots seated about the table. "It's simply a question of knowing what to do at the right time. You tramps were just bluffing, and so that was all there was to it."

"Tip" Granger, a flight commander himself, and White's closest friend in France, scowled at the two pair he'd been betting on, and shook his head.

"Of all the damn luck!" he muttered. "A month's pay practically shot to hell, and I didn't even get any fun out of it."

The acting C.O. patted the stack of French money in front of him. "Cheer up, Tip," he said. "If the war only lasts long enough, maybe you'll—"

The sudden opening of the mess lounge stopped the rest. Instantly the five players leaped to their feet as the tall, hawk-faced figure of Colonel Parsons came striding inside. The senior officer started to return the salute, but checked the movement and stiffened. Anger leaped into the man's black eyes as they swept the card- and money-littered table. Then they snapped to White's face and became brittle.

"Perhaps you don't realize there's a war on, Captain White?" the Wing C.O. said tartly. "Or have you suddenly decided that it is an acting commander's privilege to turn his mess lounge into a damn gambling parlor? What the devil's the matter with your phone?"

WHITE looked him in the eye, spoke in measured tones. "Nothing, sir," he said. "At least it was

working all right this morning when I called the Issy Replacement Depot."

"Well, it's haywire now!" the other barked. "I've been trying to get you since noon."

The senior officer stopped short and ...

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