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Newspaper Page Text
"THE HUMAN SLAUGHTER HOUSE!"
BY WILHELM LAMSZUS
(Copyright, 1913, by the Frederic A.
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" The laugh is
full of horror, and mingles with the
dying whine beyond. The
laugh grows even louder, and even
wilder, and laughs in triumph at the
naked, pitiful dying, Uttering the
"Drummers! Strike up!' shouts
"Uncover for prayer!"
We recognize him; he is a reserv
ist belonging to some pious sect A
sergeant has Seized him, and tries
to hold him the captain has
run up, but the madman tears him
self away and runs ahead of them to
a rifle-pit he stands aloft, a
black, wild silhouette against the
pale sky, and spreads out his arms in
blessing over the sick night
he stands there like a rapt priest, and
raves, and is blessing the mangled
darkness. "In the name of the"
Father, and of the Son, and of the
Then arms seizevhim from behind
and pull him down they drag
him to the ground "Our
Father" he howls aloud, and strikes
and kicks out allTOund him. and goes
on praying from his raging body un
til at length breath fails him
they have tied him hand and foot,
and have gagged him.
But now the Thing-that-couldn't
happens that none the less was
bound to happen.
And when the voice calls out of
it comes over me as' if I had lived it
all once before.
"Captain!" shouts the hard, naked,
impudent voice we all know.
"Haven't you got any cotton wool
for us to plug our ears with?"
We have all turned "round as if at
the word of command. It is' the
militia-man, the yokel, standing fao
ing the captain and gesticulating at
him. "I only wanted ask if those are
wild beasts, or if they're what we call
human beings you've, torn to pieces
But curt and sharp, as we knew it,
the rasping note of command re
sponds: "What the devil's the matter with
you? Pull yourself together. Can't
you hear? Get back to your place at
But then it bursts out, the voice of
Nature, and responds so harshly, and
tears down all barriers.
"Murderers!" roars a blasphemous
"Murderers of men! We shall have
to knock them all on the head like
We all start as if under an electric
shock that was what was on
the tip of the tongues of all of us
that was the climax that was
bound to come we can not en
dure to go on lying in this charnal
house any longer.
' "You mind what you're about."
The other's wrath breaks out' once
more and then we know it for
certain, the captain is a fool
he has lost the game from the very
start and now it is like
a shadow play before my eyes
like a ghostly kinematograph.
I see that the militia-man has drawn
his bayonet the captain is
standing facing him with his revolver
in his hand, and gives him an order
e promptly gets a blow with
the butt end of the rifle on his head
that fells him to the ground without
a sound and they leap up from
all the trenches. "Murderers!"
they cry. "Murderers! Kill them!"
There is no stopping it now.
I feel I have gone mad. I do
not know where I am. I see
wild beasts all round me distorted
unnaturally in a life-and-death grap
ple with bloodshot eyes, with
foaming, gnashing mouths, they at-