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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

DAILY DIGEST

Compiled by A.L.B.   THE QUEEN'S SMILE

The Queen spoke to mc today.

I realise, of course, it shouldn't affect me this way. I'm emphati- cally not a British subject. On the contrary, I'm an American corre- spondent, and American correspon- dents are supposed to be hardbollcd, cynical, and thoroughly sophisti-   cated.

Yet it does affect me this way! There's no use denying it. Outside, It's been pouring wet and cold and grey all afternoon. But inside I've felt radiant and warm and sort of bubbly.

It happened at the Palace-yes, Buckingham Palace. The American colony in Lonoon was presenting o, dozen or so "food convoy" trucks to take emergency meals to a badly bombed district. . . I was standing on the edge of the little crowd of spectators. Suddenly the Queen noticed nie, smiled in recognition, and walking over to where I was, spoke to mc and shook hands.

Oh yes! I'm quite frankly bragging now. I admit ¡t. I was Just plain proud and thrilled. ... It stayed lhere throughout the ceremony and for that matter all day.

At first I wondered If I were just ridiculously susceptible. But reas- surance carne almost at once from a particularly satisfactory quarter. At the end of the ceremony, I was standing next to a really hard boiled American journalist, Mary Welsh, correspondent for those blase organs, Time and Life, and a woman at that. To my delight, she was as swept oil her feet as I was by the Queen. "Oh, yes," she said, "It's true-I can't help it. It's" not only men who feel that way-she docs it to women, too. I get that queer, excited, tight feeling in my throat only of course I couldn't put it that way in print, or I'd get fired I"

After that I felt better.- (Malory Browne, In the "Christian Science Monilor," 18/3/42)

SUPERSTITION OF THE AIR

Although the RAF. is the youngest of the services it already has its folklore. Queer things happen miles up in the air. Instruments play tricks, compasses leave the straight and narrow path of north and south. The ground below gives the lie to the map, producing railways where none exist or maliciously hiding a stretch of straight double track which should be a foolproof aid to navigation. To account for these strange happenings the RAF has invented-or discovered, who knows?-the mysterious race of the Gremlins, the malicious spirits that inhabit the upper air.

Gremlins possess the faculty of sit- ting motionless on the wings of an aircraft until it is close to the British coast. They then rush off ahead and reach the aerodrome before the air- craft, where they jerk the runway from under the landing wheels so that the pilot is unable to tell where

he is.  

Gremlins have also been known to incite seagulls to attack aircraft, sometimes with serious consequences to the latter and always to the former. It is probably not too much to say that whenever a seagull docs attack an aircraft, a Gremlin is at the bottom of it. In this form of indirect attack, the Gremlin sits cross-legged between the seagull's wings until a collision becomes in- evitable when it abandons the sea- gull, gains cloud cover, and, chuck- ling throatily, sets, course for base. All air crews are advised to keep a sharp look-out for seagulls suspected of having the Gremlins.

A man must not see Gremlins be- fore becoming air borne. He should never be allowed to enter his aircraft in a Gremlined condition. It gene- rally passes off in about 24 hours. On the next day he will probably not sec any Gremlins at all and his re- sults will be perfect.-(Fl-Lt Roberts, In the BBC "Listener," 3/3/42

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