When Bert's sense of security was sufficiently restored for him to watch the battle again, he perceived that a brisk little fight was in progress between the Asiatic aeronauts and the German engineers for the possession of Niagara city.
More and more of the Asiatic flying-machines came into the conflict.
It had fallen among the grounded Asiatic aeroplanes that lay among the turf and flower-beds near the river.
The flat Asiatic airships kept high above the Germans and behind them, and fired unanswered bullets into their gas-chambers and upon their flanks--the one-man flying-machines hovered and alighted like a swarm of attacking bees.
Then, regardless of cover, regardless of the Asiatic airship hovering like a huge house roof without walls above the Suspension Bridge, he sprinted along towards the north and came out for the first time upon that rocky point by Luna Island that looks sheer down upon the American Fall.
Their secrecy and swiftness and inventions had far surpassed those of the Germans, and where the Germans had had a hundred men at work the Asiatics had ten thousand.
It was not in their airships, but, as I have said, in their flying-machines proper, that the strength of the Asiatics lay.
At first, only what was called the Southern fleet of the Asiatics was visible to him.
Bert saw nothing then of the second fleet of the Asiatics, though probably that was coming into sight of the Germans at the time, in the north-west.
The Asiatics went far away into the east, quickening their pace and rising as they did so, and then tailed out into a long column and came flying back, rising towards the German left.
The greater numbers of the Asiatics and their swifter heeling movements gave them the effect of persistently attacking the Germans.
Bert could see men on the lower galleries of the Germans, firing rifles; could see Asiatics clinging to the ropes; saw one man in aluminium diver's gear fall flashing head-long into the waters above Goat Island.