"Well, let's see if I can send out a distress call. What's our flight number?" "714." "Right. Here goes, then." He pressed the button on his microphone. "Mayday, mayday, mayday," he began in an even voice. It was one signal he could never forget. He had called it one murky October afternoon above the French coast with the tail of his Spitfire all but shot off, and two Hurricanes had mercifully appeared to usher him across the Channel like a pair of solicitous old aunts. "Mayday, mayday, maday," he continued. "This is Flight 714, Maple Leaf Air Charter, in distress. Come in, anyone. Over." He caught his breath as a voice responded immediately over the air. "Hullo, 714. This is Vancouver. We have been waiting to hear from you. Vancouver to all aircraft: this frequency now closed to all other traffic. go ahead, 714."