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Newspaper Page Text
through with training, under orders
to go "out there."
The old gentleman raises an un
steady hand and removes his hat.
For a moment he stands bareheaded
before an officer observes him. There
is a sharp order, "Eyes right!" and
youth gives the marching salute to
age as the battalion goes past to
"somewhere in France."
"This war will do us all the good
in the world," comments an English-
"In an almost empty bus a hag
gard looking man is reading a letter
f(pm the war office to a weeping
woman at my elbow, making no at
tempt to explain.
Into the corner tea shop clump six
men in khaki, some lame, some one
handed, evidently just back, from
Flanders. A calm, capable little nurse
decides where they shall sit and what
they may have to eat
All of them except Eve's daughter
act uncomfortably aware of the
friendly faces turned toward them.
Tea over they rise to leave. And as
they pass between the tables the oth
ers present, inspired by the primitive
respect for the fighting man, rise and
give three rousing cheers.
The big soldiers change their cau
tious walk to a reckless run, every
man blushing furiously.
Only the little nurse is quite com
posed. "It is not that we English are
becoming emotional," we hear her
say to the manageress, "but we are
learning to be less ashamed of show
ing our emotions. The war is teach
ing us to confess ourselves to our
selves." Four girls taking tea together eat
rye bread without butter, smiling as
they break the unsavory slices. Their
talk is of speed in typing or the
charge for carbon copies, of the bul
lets Janie's brother brought home '
and of intimate details of camps.
"Three pense (6c) each," says the
waitress, eyeing the empty plates.
Each girl worker lays down a six
pence. "I'll credit you with two
loaves," says the businesslike wait
ress, "we are sending the poor fellows
French bread packed .in oiled paper
and cartoons. It reaches the prison
camp in 10 days still fresh and
Silent and satisfied the girls return
to their work.
In the almost empty bus a haggard
looking man is reading a letter to a
weeping woman. The war office en
velope lies between them on the floor,
"Dear dad," some lad had written,
"this is my first chance to let you
know all's serene. Ours is a slow
life. Nothing doing. Never call this
the danger zone again. Not one of
our bunch has seen even a dead Ger
man. In my opinion there is more
danger to a square inch of Picadilly
Circus than in all these trenches. Tell
mother" but "mother" is beyond lis
tening. The man's anguished glance
meets mine. "Ted was killed on
Thursday," he whispers, "shot
through the head and throat and