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Newspaper Page Text
tack and kill one another, and try to
mangle one another. I leap to'
my feet. I must get away, to
escape from myself, or in another
minute I shall be in the thick of this
maddened, death-doomed mob.
I stumble over the rifle-pits. I
race out int othe-night, and tread on
the quaking flesh step on hard
heads, and stumble over weapons
and helmets something is
clutching at my feet like hands, so
that I race away like a hunted deer
with the hounds at its heels
and ever more bodies breathless
out of one field into another.
Horror is crooning over my head
horror is crooning beneath my
feet and nothing but dying,
Something trickles oddly across
my hand something like warm
water. I raise my hand to mv
it is red and moist
blood is flowing over my white hand
then I realize it, the white
thing under me is not a heap of sand.
I have been sitting on a corpse
horror-stricken, I rush about
and one is lying over there, too
and there, and there!
Merciful Cod!. I see it plainly now;
there are only dead tonight
the human race died out this very
night. am the last survivor
the fields are dead the woods
dead the villages dead the cities
dead the Earth is dead the Earth
was butchered tonight, and I, only I
have escaped the slaughterhouse.
And it comes over me as a great
thing, a pathetically great thing
now I know what my destiny is
lowering, I watch my own actions,
and wait to see how I shall accom
plish it I mark how I am slowly put
ting my hand in my pocket before I
left home I took my pocket-pistol
with me. I am holding the toy in
my hand the steel is looking up at
me and blinking at me I am gazing
with a smile into its black, confiding
muzzle I am holding it against my
temple I pull the trigger, and fail
over backward the last of mankind
on this dead earth! J
They have now covered up our hot
breath with earth. Why are you
blinking at me with your bleared
eyes, my brother? Are you not glad ?
Don't they envy jus our sweet death?
They have laid us out in a pictur
esque row, and you need only turn
your head to rub against human
flesh at once, and if you turn your
yellow eyeball you can see nothing
but corpses in the twilight. One be-)
side the otner, tnat is now tney are
sleeping. And corpse upon corpse,
ever more of them, through the
whole length of the loose soil of the
potato-field, and we even fill the
whole adjoining field of roots.
We "poor dead heroes! So do not
disturb our last sleep any longer. We
had to die to enable the others to
live. We died for our native land in
its straits. We are victorious now,
and have won land and fame, land
enough for millions of our brothers.
Our wives have land, our children,
our mothers, our fathers have land.
And now our poor native land has
air to breathe. It need no longer be
stifled. They have cleared the air of
Us. They have got rid of us, of us
who were far too many. We are no
longer eating the bread away from
other folks' mouths. We are so full
fed, so full-fed and quiet. But they
have got land! And ore! Iron mines!
Gold! Spices! And Bread!
Come, brother philosopher, let us
turn our faces to the earth. Let us
sleep upon our laurels, and let us
dream of nothing but our Country's
"Do you know the parables, my
boy?" said a bishop once.
"Yes, sir," he replied.
"And which of the parables do you
"I like the one," he answered, after
a moment's thought, "where some
body loafs and fishes."