Bates's first story of the second World War, preceding his R.A.F. stories by a year, concerns two privates awaiting action by fishing in the English countryside, the sounds of air battle and machine guns increasingly in the background. Reflecting the air war in the summer of 1940 in southern England (described by Bates in War Pictures by British Artists, No. 3, R.A.F. and in The Blossoming World, 166-168), the story captures the deceptive peace, tension, and impatience preceding full British involvement in the war. In The Listener (January 16, 1941, 25:627 p. 91,) Best Broadcast Stories (London: Faber, 1944, pp. 99-106).