Reading - T.E. Lawrence The mint

The mint, Lawrence, T.E., (1888-1935), Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1955.

Like arrows the tiny flies pricked my cheeks: and sometimes a heavier body, some house-fly or beetle, would crash into my face or lips like a spent bullet. A glance at the speedometer: seventy-eight. Boanerges is warming up. I pull the throttle right open, on the top of the slope, and we swoop flying across the dip, and up-down up-down the switchback beyond: the weighty machine launching itself like a projectile with a whirr of wheels into the air at the take-off of each rise, to land lurchingly with such a snatch of the driving chain as jerks my spine like a rictus.

T.E. Lawrence died at age 46 from head injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident - he was not wearing a helmet. Lawrence's accident deeply affected one of his attending surgeons, Hugh Cairns. Cairns went on to study the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle riders. This research led to the implementation of motorcycle helmets for both military and civilian riders.