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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 18, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-08-18/ed-1/seq-13/

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"THE HUMAN SLAUGHTER HOUSE!"
BYWILHELMLAMSZUS
(Copyright, 1913, by the Frederick A.
Stokes Co.)
CHAPTER VI.
Our subaltern, lying a bare five
paces away from the grass, raises
himself on his elbows and gazes in
tently through the field-glasses. I
know what is vexing his soul. He is
a handsome, splendid Jad, for whom
even w,e grizzled old-timers would go
through fire and water, for he meets
you as man to man, without sniffing
or swagger as it becomes a young
ster. And the other day, when I was
marching with the rear guard, we
discussed Lilliencron's novels. Since
then he has always appealed to me as
if he had stepped straight out of one
of these romances of war. He is all
ablaze to glean his first laurels. But
however much he may twiddle the
focus of his glasses up and down and
crane his neck, he cannot discover a
trace of the enemy, and we blaze
for all we know be bringing down
leaves or birds from the trees there.
"Close to the big oak. To the
right in the undergrowth," some one
of the rank and file sings out.
I strain my eyes to the spot, and
fail to see anything.
And again I hear the guns growl
ing all around us. But somewhere
out of the far distance a clear, long
drawn bugle-call rings. out amid the
iron brass. It thrills like nerve and
brain against an iron wall.
Behind there, to the right they
are on the run there! And from afar
the rifle fire rattles like mad.
"My men! Up with you! At the
double!"
That came from our lot our
subaltern is racing on with his drawn
sword in his hand. I am still
prone, and have, almost automatical
ly, drawn my right knee close up un
der my body they are rising
to their feet to the left and right of
me, and dashing on after him
a wrench! and my knapsack slides
lop-sided up the back of my neck
then I jump up with my rifle in
my right hand, and am running for
all my legs are worth.
But as we rise to our feet the
machine-guns in the woods begin to
buzz, and to rain lead into our ranks,
until right and left of me men yelp
and drop twisted and tumbled to the
ground.
"Down! Rapid fire!"
The line is prone and again we are
blazing desperately into the wood,
and can catch no glimpse of our
enemy. Never a single arm raised
against us, never the eye of a single
man to challenge us. The wood, the
green wood, is murdering us from
afar, before a single human face
comes in view.
And while to the right and left
of me the rifle fire chatters inces
santly, the grim mockery of it mad
dens my blood, and makes me see red
away foolishly at the wood, and may, f before my eyes. I see scale-armor
and visors high in their stir
rups the knights burst blazing out of
the wood, and I, a reckless horseman
of the past, I leap into the saddle
my broad sword flashes clear and
kisses the morning breeze and now
up and at them like a thunderbolt.
Then eyes are flashing into mine and
hands are raised for the melee and
stroke for .stroke, breast to breast,
the pride of youthful, virile strength
Ha-ha-ha-ha' What has hap
pened? Where have horse and rider
vanished? Where is my sword? We
are not even charging men. Machines
are trained on us. Why, we are only
charging machines. And the machine
triumphs deep into our very flesh and
the machine is draining the life-blood
from oiir veins, and lapping it up in
bucketful. Those who have been hit
are already lying mown down in
swathes behind us and are writhing
on their Wounds. And yet they are
racing up-behind us in their. hundreds

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