OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 04, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 19

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-05-04/ed-1/seq-19/

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Machines which had caught him in
their infernal snare and were hent
on his destruction. And the enemy
was, nowhere in sight
Suddenly a shrill whistle blew. It
was the signal for the attack. Ry
croft leaped to his feet, with the au
tomatism born of his- camp training.
The men had sprung up on either
HA -side of him. The hoot of the bullets
woo Lciiiuic J-u dcuuicu & jjuiKiUG liiau
he had escaped thus far.
He saw men beginto drop on either
side. The sergeant next to him flung
up his rifle, spun around and, col
lapsed upon his face. Stories began
to recur to the lieutenant's mind. He
had heard that men always spun
around that way when shot through
the brain. He saw the blood upon the
sergeant's head.
His knees would hardly bear him.
He heard his voice shouting com
mands to his men, and did not recog
nize il iui ma uwti, fji ruuw xiuw u
issued from his lips. -,He did not know
what he was saying, and listened for
the 'words," "Forward boys," he was
shouting.
He halted and crouched low. The
line had swept, into an exposed angle
among the .Jres and all the fire of
the enemy was concentrated here. It
was hard to go forward, was becom
ing impossible. The men were lying
downt again, kneeling, firing. The
figures of the o'fficers and non-coms
were seen, urging them to rise. But
every man who stood upon his feet
withered under that inernal bullet
x stream. Rycroft saw the' captain go
down. The machines were winning
the -victory.
That was the thought that terror-
m ized turn and stifled nls rising anger,
l1 nf thA pnpmv. at. himself, thfi r.nwarrl
He could fight human "being, as he
had done at school; but how could
any one fight those monsters of steel
belching forth their unending streams
of lead?
He remembered the football rushes
of hi& school days. There was more
"than strength required in these, more ,
ir. ' ''
T than agility; it was will against wuT.
But here all the will in the world
could make no impression upon those
iron monsters. They were unaffected
alike by his panic and by his rage.
And a stifling rage against this des
tiny rose in his heart andvchoked his
throat. He sprang to his feet and
shook his fist in the direction pf the
cannon.
VyFjorward, boys!" he screamed, this
timeVith intent and not automati
cally. Tie began to run forward, his
knees quite steady now. He felt a
sudden new self-poise and self-command
take hold of him.
"Forward! Mark your men! Get
them!"
He heard the whole line rise to its
feet and follow him. He realized that
his anger had communicated itself to
his followers. The same spirit had
seized upon the entire company; and
spread- from company to company, ,
throughout the regiment
They rushed in through the sheets
of leaden "hail. They feared no long
er. They cared nothing for those
'who fell, dying or wounded. Rycroft
rushed before them, waving his
sword.
As he ran he began to see the en
emy for the first time. He saw long
lines of figures leap from the trench
es to repel the attack. And he be
came aware, too, that the shells had
ceased. The lines were too close to
gether and the hostile gunners could
fire no longer for fear of hurting their
own men.
It was bullet against bayonet now.
It was bayonet against bayonet. The
attackers were upon the trenches of
the enemy. The machines had ceased
to act It was the men behind the
machines now, and these were pow
erless. i
Suddenly Rycroft realized that He
saw that the same moral force and
will power were there as on the foot
ball field, as at Crecy and Waterloo.
The machine was, by itself, an impo
tent, dead thing. It was only the man
that counted.
IfiflMyirpjiTOIlLD
MttM

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