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Newspaper Page Text
DURBOROUGH TELLS OF FIGHT, FRIGHT AND
FUN IN VERA CRUZ KILLED A MULE
BY W. H. DURBOROUGH.
Vera Cruz, Mex., May 7. It's great
to have a few minutes of quiet safety
in Vera Cruz af teethe exhilarating
trip across the enenfys lines that I
just experienced. Dodging bullets is,
far from being as pleasant as it
sounds, and when those bullets are
the long, pencil-like Mausers that go
through one as a piece of barb wire
much of the pleasure of avoiding con
tact with them is lost in contempla
tion of the possibilities.
Vera Cruz was too quiet for me this
morning. As I write this in the even
ing it seems to be the nicest place
In the world. For this has been the
most exciting day of my life.
I made a trip yesterday to our out
posts six miles from Vera Cruz and
crossed over the Federal lines under
a flag of truce. Lieut. Fletcher of the
Florida was in charge of our party
and we were all unarmed.
We went by train to the end of the
track and then hiked two miles over
the roadbed where the. Federals had
torn up the track to frustrate an
There we met Major Joe Hernan
dez, and for once the Mexicans re
spected bur flag of truce (in this in
stance an old bath towel). With the
Mexicans it's a regular and bloody
pastime to draw out a party under a
flag of truce and then proceed to
massacre them where they stand. But
I think in the past few days we have
shot quite a little horse sense into
It -was enough to make one's hair
stand on end, though, to see an occa
sional head, with savage eyes in it,
appear from out of the swamp, when
it was understood that the owner of
the head was just dying to take a pot
shot at us. We could see the Federals
in ambush on all sides, but not a
shot was fired.
We took a trainload of Mexican
refugees out and let them cross the
lines established by Gen. Maas. I sup
pose by the time you read this they
will all be carrying rifles against us.
On the return I left the train while
still four miles out and crossed over
to our battery outposts among the
sand hills, where almost every night
there is some firing.
Hot? Why, it is so hot in that sand
that eggs could be friend in the sun.
And all the insects in the world have
been mobilized there. The men are
suffering severely from the vermin. ,
The soldiers feel the lack of ina'
keenly. Ensign L. B. Ard of the Ver- $I
mont was fired on from the ice plant- m
oetore we captureti the city and or-" 1
dered his men to let go with the 3-' i
mch field piece on the building. The
first shot went through the boiler. "So
we won't get any ice cream or any-'
thing cold for a few days until it is
I hear a lot of funny stories from
the soldier boys here. . You know it
requires a lot of nerve to stand up on
the firing line, especially when the
enemy is rarely seen and sometimes
only located by the flash of,-agun"
from a window. Just because ;iPboy
belongs to the navy he is expected :
to have sufficient nerve for anything.
The boys talk freely to me, and
many of them have told me they were
nearly scared to death that first day,
but wouldn't show it. With their offi
cers standing aver them, they dared -not
show a "yellow streak."
Two of the boys last night were f&
telling me of their first experience on ,
sentry duty. They were patroling the
railroad yards, and, having adjoining ' 3
beats, were to meet at intervals o34 , j
few minutes. '
When they met at 2a. m.t amid the q
terrible darkness of the tropical night, 4
Martin, the very nervous boy, said to . i
"Don, listen! Don't you hear, some-
thing?" - I
1 "No; shut up," quickly exclaimed- 1