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After futile attempts at ordinary revision, Salter elected to begin with a blank page, to compose an entirely new novel based upon the characters and events of his second long unavailable novel, The Arm of Flesh. The result, Cassada, is a masterpiece.
he’d just received in his hand. He stood there, flicking the envelopes with his thumb. “We just barely beat it in here, Captain,” Cassada told him excitedly. “You could see the snow, big wall of it, right out to the west.” “I don’t know about beating it in,” Wickenden said, “but when you pulled out of here you blew stuff all over the place. You must have been using ninety percent.” “No, sir,” Cassada said. “Don’t say, ‘No, sir.’ I was watching it. I saw a pair of chocks go flying twenty
the clipboard and was marking down the hits as Harlan called them out. Blue. Red. Blue. Three reds. Blue. When they had finished, Isbell had forty-six and Harlan forty. A crowd had gathered around to watch the scoring. It was the best target thus far. “Damn fine shooting,” Wickenden commented. Dunning strolled up with a cup of coffee in his hand. They were unhooking the target. “Just a minute, gentlemen, just a minute. Let it hang up there for a while. Give these other squadrons a chance to
confusion and heading off in the wrong direction. Through the doorway then, holding in front of him a single bag as taut from things inside as a sausage skin, came Cassada, the bag hitting his knees as he moved. He reached out in passing and switched on the light. Dumfries straightened up, startled. Cassada looked from one of them to the other. “What are you doing, saving electricity?” he said. He dropped his bag. “This is great, being down here, isn’t it?” He began to pull things out of the
wearing the colonel’s hat, grinning, the silver streaks of lightning visible in the dark. The colonel slapped the passenger seat beside him. “Sit down,” he said. “Aye, aye, sir,” Piebes said, pulling himself in. His head hit the canvas roof. Somebody picked the hat up for him. The colonel stiffened to find the starter with his foot and pushed down. The engine turned over a few times and caught weakly. “Great equipment,” he said. “Get aboard,” he told Isbell. The back was crowded, Isbell
him establish himself and then began a turn, and another. Cassada stayed in position. Grace made them steeper. Eventually they were vertical, even beyond. Then he pulled up so Cassada was looking into the sun and held it there while the airspeed drained away. He rolled onto one wing and headed down. At about five hundred knots he began a hard turn, steady and solid. Cassada stayed in close. “Let’s try some trail,” Grace said. He watched as Cassada dropped back and swung in behind. “Closer.