Books: Burma Girl A-Waitin'

THE PURPLE PLAIN (308 pp.) — H. E. Bates—Little, Brown ($2.75).

"Quite a wrap-up," the boy said. "Two kites in one go."

"Careless sod," said Squadron Leader Forrester.

A Mosquito fighter-bomber, landing, had crashed into a parked Dakota, transforming both into a ballooning cloud of orange fire and black smoke. Out of the cloud ran the pilot, streaming flame, to shrivel and die before their eyes. At that moment Forrester realized an important fact. Ever since he had lost his wife in a bomb blast in London he had been trying coldly to get himself killed in combat. Now he knew that he didn't,...

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