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Catherine Called Birdy Pdf Download Online Free Book Chapter 2

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Social Studies - History.

Catherine, Called Birdy is the story of Catherine, the daughter of a moderately well-off baron in the years andwhen Catherine is thirteen and fourteen years old. The book takes the form of a journal Catherine is keeping to please her brother Edward, who is a monk and thus knowledgeable about the importance of reading and writing. Catherine, Called Birdy Summary.

Catherine, Called Birdy

By Paul Dowswell. Harry Friedman had been in England less than half an hour when the bomb group he was joining returned to Kirkstead. That was the moment Harry realised volunteering for the air force would probably cost him his life. The day had started well, and Harry and the crew of the Macey May had arrived at their new airbase in good spirits, despite the dreary weather that greeted them when their B bomber descended through the clouds.

When they spotted Iceland looming in the distance, he felt like an excited kid. Their navigator, Warren Cain, had directed them all the way from Newfoundland safely across that great void and landed them exactly on time to refuel for the last leg of their journey.

Iceland had looked extraordinary from the air and it did on the ground too, like something from the time of the dinosaurs, all craggy black rock and steaming geysers. By the time the B touched down at Kirkstead, Harry was desperate to get off the plane, stretch his legs, and get away from the deafening drone of those four Wright Cyclone engines.

Yet, despite its duration, it had been an easy flight — ten thousand feet most of the way. No need for oxygen or cumbersome flying suits. Holberg parked the Macey May on the eastern edge of the newly built airbase, and that constant roar of engines ceased with a judder and a cough.

The short silence that followed was pure bliss; now they could talk without shouting. One by one the crew wriggled out, either from the small rear exit or the hatch beneath the cockpit. Here they were — replacement crew for the th Bombardment Group, Bombardment Squadron.

It was supposed to be one of the safest planes in the United States Army Air Force — as safe as any plane could be that was built to fight in a war. The B was bristling with thirteen powerful machine guns.

Of the ten men aboard, everyone apart from the two pilots operated these guns. No wonder they called it the Flying Fortress. It had been hot inside the B Now Harry found himself shivering as a thin wind ruffled his curly black hair. We might all be dead by then. They laughed uneasily. He always made them laugh. Harry looked around the flat landscape. A jeep arrived at the hardstand to take them to their barracks. Corrales shrugged and clung to the side, like the other non-commissioned boys.

All the gunners, and Clifford Skaggs on the radio, were sergeants. The distant hum of aero-engines drifted over the airfield. They got off the jeep and stood scouring the eastern sky. They all took one. It was a crew tradition after every flight. He was a tall Texan, with darkly handsome features, not unlike the Hollywood film star Clark Gable. Stearley cultivated the resemblance and had even grown a similar moustache.

When the crew had gone out carousing, in a break from their long months in training, Harry had noticed girls seemed to fall for his easy charm. Harry smiled to himself. Maybe he was just jealous.

The driver looked uncertain and Harry imagined he could almost see him thinking. The leading B was now visible in the sky, getting bigger by the second. It made a perfect landing along the main runway and swiftly taxied over to the hardstands on the western edge. At once the air was full of noise and the acrid smell of aviation exhaust. Bs continued to land in a steady procession and Harry could see some of them had been shot up pretty bad: a tail with struts beneath its metal fabric bare to the world; a feathered propeller and a blackened engine; a gaping hole in a fuselage.

One B arrived trailing smoke from the outside right engine and fired a red flare as it approached the runway. Harry watched the smoking curve of the flare and instantly understood its meaning.

There were badly injured men on board. It was the signal for ambulance crews to attend the stricken aircraft. The B touched down with a squeal of brakes, bouncing back into the air twice before it settled on to the ground and came to a halt at the very far end of the runway. Harry realised not one of his own crew had moved or spoken as the bomber made its descent. Now they were cheering. Another bomber followed. This one too was trailing smoke from a left engine, but as it grew nearer they could see the inside right engine had also stopped.

He trailed off mid-sentence. This B was now in its final approach and the landing gear had still not been lowered. Landing without wheels, flat on your belly, was just about the most dangerous way to come back to earth. The bomber lurched unsteadily as it approached the main runway, the left wing dipping and almost touching the tarmac. He hoped the gunner had got out. The pilot tried to level off, but instead his plane tilted to the right side and the wing caught the ground.

With an awful grinding of metal on concrete the Fortress lifted again, then landed hard, sliding down the runway almost sideways, sending up sparks. The right wing cracked between its two engines, and for a moment there was a spurt of aviation fuel, then a fireball so fierce they could feel it on their faces.

The blazing bomber continued to hurtle along the runway at speed, getting nearer to the spot where their jeep was parked. Instinctively Harry and his companions started to sprint for the shelter of the trees that lined the eastern perimeter. They heard another loud explosion and all dived to the ground.

A few seconds later, debris of all shapes and sizes rained down around them. Harry looked back to see a great flaming pyre, maybe a hundred yards away. The heat was intense, and the crackle of the billowing orange and black flames almost drowned out the sirens of the approaching fire trucks. The crew of the Macey May sat there on the concrete. Harry was glad no one else had tried to get up. He looked around at the Macey May. It seemed untouched by the explosion. That was good.

An ambulance arrived at the blazing wreckage just after the fire trucks. But the medics could see at once there was nothing for them to do. Ten lives had been lost in an instant. They returned to their little vehicle and sped off to another stricken aircraft. The firemen rapidly unrolled their fire hoses and began to spray the flaming wreck with bright white foam. As the fire died down, the Tennessee corporal broke the horrified silence. The jeep was close to the fire, but not close enough to have sustained any damage.

The crew of the Macey May picked their way through metal shards, coughing away the harsh stench of burning metal and fuel. As Harry approached the jeep he saw a tattered bundle of fabric lying on the tarmac.

As he got nearer he realised it was the sleeve of a leather flying suit with a thick padded glove at one end. He looked at his own sleeve and his own glove and turned around to spew his guts over the runway. No one said anything.

There was a single pot-bellied stove at the far end of the corrugated iron Nissen hut and bunks for twenty men. All the non-coms had been placed in the same hut, so he would be with Corrales, the waist gunners, Hill and Dalinsky, and Skaggs, the radio operator.

The commissioned men — the officers — were all sharing in another hut. The place smelt of damp, woodsmoke and sweat. Each man already resident had tried to personalise his own little corner. All of a sudden he felt a very long way from his cosy family apartment in Brooklyn. He could still smell the greasy smoke from the runway explosion on his hair and clothes and longed to get under a shower to wash away the horror of the afternoon.

But Holberg had said they had ten minutes to unpack before they had to report their arrival, then sit through a briefing on what awaited them. They had several weeks of acclimatisation ahead of them — night flights, more training — before they would be considered combat-ready.

Harry was grateful for that now. He had arrived over England feeling excited and ready to go. But that had vanished the second he saw that horrible yellow and black explosion — like an obscene rotting cauliflower. He realised then and there that Kirkstead might be the last place he would ever live, and his life might be over before he reached his eighteenth birthday.

For the first time he wondered if he had done the right thing in coming here. Harry had a stocky, muscular build. He spent most of his school vacations teaching local kids gymnastics and baseball. He had plenty of confidence too and people always assumed he was older than he was. His parents were upset when he volunteered, but they knew there was no point trying to dissuade him.

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By Paul Dowswell. Harry Friedman had been in England less than half an hour when the bomb group he was joining returned to Kirkstead. That was the moment Harry realised volunteering for the air force would probably cost him his life. The day had started well, and Harry and the crew of the Macey May had arrived at their new airbase in good spirits, despite the dreary weather that greeted them when their B bomber descended through the clouds. When they spotted Iceland looming in the distance, he felt like an excited kid.

Grades Find this book: Amazon. The scene is a manor house in England in and fourteen-year-old Catherine, the willful, stubborn and delightful daughter of Sir Rollo and Lady Aislinn, has been asked, by her brother the monk, to keep a journal--these are her daily entries for one important year in her life. Birdy has been promised in marriage to a richer knight than her father.

Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present

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