No word ever appended itself to an individual’s name as completely as the word ‘rogue’ to the name Edgar Connors. ‘That rogue Connors’—it was a term of both endearment and mistrust.

Had Connors not held the rules of society in contempt perhaps his name, without ‘rogue’, would have found its way into today’s history books, because his exploits as an aviator were substantial.

But his methods were unconventional and his claims to a number of intercontinental records had been denied because he’d set out on a whim, with no official observers, no logbooks and  no apparent plans. He navigated uncharted territory rather than hopping between colonial outposts the way other flyers did.

Thus his disappearance rated only a passing mention in the newspapers of the day. Connors was soon forgotten.

Until last May. In one of those unexplored places I met a redheaded tribesman and his mother. The woman, in spite of her age, greeted me heartily. By the time we parted the adventurer’s story had a new ending.  She handed me two mementos; a pair of flying goggles and a spear. Connor’s hadn’t died. He’d lived, and lived well, as husband, father and hunter.

‘Was he a rogue?’ I asked (as best I could in the native language).

The woman’s toothless smile broadened and her eyes rolled high.


2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (