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Newspaper Page Text
"Did yoU .say he was an American,
madam?" demanded Colonel Boi
"Assuredly. His father and I went
to America when he was a baby, and
he obtained citizenship at twenty
one. But a FrenchnSaa never forgets
Prance. Now take me to him, colo
nel!" Colonel Boileau sat staring into the
little old lady's face. She was typi
cally French, so smartly attired, de
spite her widow's weeds. Captain
Jaequevel coughed in a melancholy
manner and looked down at the
"My son is only a private now,"
continued Mnie. Marchand. "But
soon you will see him a corporal and
then a sergeant. He will be pro
moted for gallantry upon the field
and made lieutenant, then captain,
major who knows but that the end
of the war may see him a colonel?"
Colonel Boileau could find nothing
to say. For a long while he sat star
ing at the little old lady. At last
"Captain Jacqueval, you will offer
our hospitality to Mme. Marchand
until I return," he said, and, leaving
the tent, went to the guard tent.
Inside, between two corporate, sat
Jean Marchand. He was seated bolt
upright, staring out into the dark
ness. The terror had not yet come
upon him, for it all seemed like a
disordered dream all the incidents
gince his enlistment.
Colonel Boileau led the prisoner
outside the tent. The corporals,
springing to their feet, saluted their
officer. It did not, seem strange to
them that he should have come for
Marchand nothing seemed strange
in times like these.
When they had gone a little way
Colonel Boileau shouted, "Halt!"
The prisoner faced him expectant
ly. He did not know that the hour of
execution had not been advanced.
"Marchand," said the colonel,
''your mother is here."
Jean Marchand's hand went up to
his hat brim mechanically1, in the
manner he had learned.
"Marchand, you' will die at sun
rise," said Colonel Boileau. "But you
will appear before your mother and
tell her that you are a free man. She
will think that you have been killed
in action. Do you understand?"
The young man nodded, and Colo
nel Boileau brought him to the tent
door and conducted his mother out
Half an hour later a wagon drawn
by four horses and escorted by a file
of soldiers conveyed Mme. Marchand
back to Nancy. Her eyes were brim
ming with tears of happiness at the
thought of her son's future.
Jean Marchand stood at the colo
nel's door. He was awaiting the sol
diers who were to conduct him back
to the guard tent
Colonel Boileau took him by the
shoulders and pointed southward.
"Yonder lies Tourville," he said.
"The Army of the East is recruiting
there. Your future lies there. Offi
cially, you die at dawn. But Jean
Marchand is not a unique name, and
it is possible that another Jean Mar
chand may win honors in war and
serve the army of his mother land."
Kl-YM SOME GUYS etovlt.
AMD BARK AROUND ABOUT
HARD "PMES AKiO THEM
YELP PPCAUSE THEY HAVe
TbT,Y AM 1NCCMS.TAK.
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