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Airman - Eoin Colfer - And Another Thing... - Eoin Colfer – Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: 6of3

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

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Airman

Airman

Synopsis

One dark night on the island of Great Saltee, fourteen-year-old Conor is framed for a terrible crime he didn’t commit. Thrown into prison by the dastardly Hugo Bonvilain, Conor is trapped in a seaswept dungeon and branded a traitor. He must escape and clear his name; he wants his old life back – his family, his friends . . . and his princess.

Conor knows there is only one way out. It’s an impossible task, which has never been done before. But Conor is determined to do it. He’ll have to fly.

Extract

Conor Broekhart was born to fly, or more accurately, he was born flying. Though Broekhart’s legend is littered with fantastical stories, the tale of his first flight in the summer of 1878 would be the most difficult to believe, had there not been thousands of witnesses. In fact, an account of his birth in a hot-air balloon can be read in the archives of the French newspaper, Le Petit Journal, available to all for a small fee at the Librarie Nationale.

Above the article, there is a faded black-and-white photograph. It is remarkably sharp for the period, and was taken by a newspaperman who happened to be in the Trocadéro gardens at the time with his camera.

Captain Declan Broekhart is easily recognizable in the picture, as is his wife, Catherine. He, handsome in his crimson-and-gold Saltee Island Sharpshooters uniform, she shaken but smiling. And there, protected in the crook of his father’s elbow, lies baby Conor. Already with a head of blond Broekhart hair and his mother’s wide, intelligent brow. No more than ten minutes old and through some trick of the light or photographic mishap, it seems as though Conor’s eyes are focussed. Impossible of course. But imagine if somehow they had been, then baby Conor’s first sight would have been a cloudless French sky flashing by. Little wonder he became what he became.

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