A little group of naval officers watched an aeroplane at Eastchurch with expressions of impatience and despair. The airman was flying high and in wide circles, occasionally dipping and swerving and obviously enjoying himself immensely. It was excellent flying, and the gloom of the observers was difficult to understand. It was nearly one o'clock, and still the airman flew.
It was past lunch time in the little tin bungalow where the officers take their meals, and the table was not even laid. The minutes dragged on, the airman's engine hummed steadily, and he began to fly in a straight line away from the ground.
This was too much. Expressions of annoyance broke out. "What's the matter?" said one of the officers, in reply to a sympathetic question, "why hang it, that chap up there is our cook. How do you suppose we are going to get our luncheon while he's fooling about up there? I told him, he could go up for a few minutes, and he's been flying for half an hour, and won't come down."
When the first cook who has ever flown (they teach everybody to fly at Eastchurch) did finally descend he wore a smile of triumph; but a few, swift, well-chosen words struck him like an electric shock, and he vanished, almost at flying speed, in the direction of his kitchen.
From the Examiner (Aus) Sat 28 December 1912.