Reading an old story about a demon flying between galaxies, the following sentence is unclear to me:

Checking the speed of my interstellar flight, I followed its equator with a poised and level wing, above

Does checking here mean "stopping" or just inspecting? The first would make a bit more sense to me. Also, the phrase "level wing" is not really clear to me, maybe it expresses he was flying in a horizontal position, without tilting?


The source of the quote:
yankeeclassic.com "Sadastor"

The demon has come across a planet that he wants to inspect. He can't do that while moving at "interstellar speed", so he slows down (checks his speed).

American Heritage Dictionary "check" verb 2 a. To arrest or slow the motion or progress of

That book may not be the best kind of English literature for a student. It seems to be an example of this:
Lexico "purple prose"
"Prose that is too elaborate or ornate."

  • 1
    Thanks, frankly I do not consider myself a student anymore, I have been using English quite a lot and speak more or less fluently. However, reading Lovecraft of Smith, one realizes that there is still a vast room for improvement ) – John V Sep 1 '20 at 13:35
  • Even for native speakers, there's always more to learn. – Jack O'Flaherty Sep 1 '20 at 13:40

First the second question: In aviation there is a term called flying straight and level which i am assuming this is a reference to. It indeed means flying with your wings horizontal.

As for the first question, the demon seems to be using aviation jargon, this probably refers to another aviation term for looking at, inspecting your speed dial and/or literaly checking in with the local air traffic control.

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