After George had flagged down a bemused motorist to sign his landing card, everybody worked rapidly to disassemble the ship, literally untaping the wings, and stuff it in the trailer. The field's mosquitoes had double rows of teeth.
And then came the long ride home. George, who had been in the air for 10 hours, who had flown 439 difficult miles, who would be at Stead at 8:30 tomorrow morning for another long task, drove all the way. He did not mind, he said. He probably would not have minded even if he had known then that his lead, based on that day's come-from-behind 991 out of a possible 1,000 points and the first of the day before, would slowly dissipate through the last days of the contest, leaving him second place in the Nationals behind Dick Schreder. He was at this moment too happy a man to mind much of anything.
He drove across the moonlit black-and-silver landscape, joking about soaring ("hawks cheat; they flap") and about the scarcity of open service stations ("we can always empty gas-station hoses. Many's the time I got back lo college that way") as long as anyone was awake enough. Then he fell silent, thinking.
At length he spoke again. "I like a life with a lot of margin to it," he said. "And I," said Suzanne sleepily, "love to hear things put right."