BETWEEN THE LINES
By Frank Filson
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
A baby between lines of trenches!
The troops had advanced by night
under the searchlight; they had tak
en up a new position within a hun
dred yards of the enemy, on what
had been a farm. And at dawn they
could all distinctly see the child sit
ting up in the hole made by a 10
inch shell, one hand extended toward
the rumed buildings.
It was a raw and foggy morning
and presently, while the men still
gaped, the mist came down and hid
the child from sight To show a head
above the sandbags ordinarily meant
instant death. But now a dozen men
leaped from the trenches and ran
There came a fusillade from the
enemy and half of them fell dead in
their tracks. The rest staggered on
ward, wounded, to collapse, one by
one. Only one man reached the edge
of the crater before he collapsed,
shot through the heart.
The fog lifted. By a miracle the
child had escaped injury. She was
still seated there in the shell-hole.
Prom the opposing trenches a dozen
men came crawling forward through
the wires. Those of their opponents
opposite them forbore to fire. But to
the1 right and left were soldiers who
were ignorant of the situation. A
fusillade rang out and of the dozen
men only three were left to work
their way forward.
"Cease firing!" came the order.
'But it is hard to control a body of
troops that stretches away for .un
known miles on either side. A sep
ond volley, and not a man remained
to rescue or fly.
The child was still uninjured. The
bullets passed over her head and
none had struck her. Both sides,
each distrusting the other, waited
until nightfall. All through the after
soon, at intervals, the baby could be
seen, when the fog lifted. Each slcft
formed a volunteer party of half a
dozen to make the rescue after night
The two parties started simulta
neously, crawling through their wire
entanglements and working their
way across No Man's Land. They
met in the middle. There was no
chance for explanations. The rifles
Carrying in His Arms an Enormous
spoke, the bayonets did their quick
work. Star shells shot up, revealed
the twelve in deadly grapple.
Buoyed up by the sense of their
mission, neither side would yield.
They fought each other to death in
that desolate waste of water-filled
craters. Not one man returned.
On either side the soldiers waited
in increasing apprehension until
morning showed the heap of bodies
ii r i rrtf i if inri i
xml | txt