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b.ing victory to the Allies in the
great war. I moved about freely from station to station wherever our men were at work. During that time I came in daily contact with French local officials and with some of the multitudes of French soldiers going and coming. At last, on November 23, I was detached from the Ameri can regiment and transferred to work exclusively among French soldiers. I am located in a camp in the forest a few miles behind the battle line, where no other American Is in evi dence. I am par excellence "L'Amer lcain" in this camp, as they know no other. It occurs to me that friends at home may have some interest in my surroundings and daily experiences in so far as they are typical of life in the great army of France. I am not in the trenches and have never seen any actually occupied by the troops. But I am in a camp but a few miles to the rear, where the men from the trenches come back for rest, and where a few officials and men sojourn for weeks and months while forward ing ammunition and supplies to the front in great lorries ? a conveyance ever in evidence in all the war zone. On the highway passing the camp I would say that at least two lorries or automobiles on the average pass ever minute of the twenty-four hours possibly more in the darkness of the night than during the day. Great processiona of artillery and cavalry vary the scene at frequent intervals, while almost daily groups of prison eis right from the trenches and muddy to the neck are being escorted to the zone of safety. The camp itself ;s spread over a considerable area of forest, as it is highly desirable in the war zone not to bunch buildings, men or supplies too much lest a hostile aviator at night or a well-directed shell from a long-range gun play havoc with the camp. At suitable points in the camp the Y. M. C. A. (called by the French Foyer du Soldat") has two barracks. Over one of thest, a Frenchman pre sides, assisted by an orderly (called 'planton"), who has passed the age of forty-five. There are tables and seats for about 300 men in this bar rack. It is open from noon till 6 p M. and again in the evening from 6:30 to 8:30. Here the men write letters and cards in abundance, read the papers and the magazines, play table games of all kinds, listen to the phonograph (which never plays the "Marseillaise" for fear of excite ment), and once a week a moving Picture show is put on for an hour and a half at 2 P. M. and again at 7 P. M. by the military authorities. The director or secretary of the Foyer stays at the desk, hands out papers, games, etc., to the soldiers. He keeps a record of every man who takes a game or book. If either is to be taken out of the barrack the soldier must make a deposit equal to the value of the game or book. In this matter a much stricter practice pre vails than in American work. Three days after I reached the camp the French director took a long-promised furlough of eight days, which he spent at his home in Paris ? a young man of twenty-eight, disqualified for active military service by reason of slight deafness, but anxious to serve his country, it fell to my lot to take his place during his absence. The work was relatively easy except re cording names. When a DuPuy or Lefevre or a Castelane came along I was all right; but, alas! many of them were Moors from Alberia. When a Moor came along I would general ly call the orderly, who would write down in French style the Arabic name as It sounded to him. I was soon of the opinion that the pure Algerian should limit himself to writing let ters, in which case no record of his name was necessary. Native Alge rians and also many regiments of real Frenchmen who were stationed in Al geria dn Tunis for military training all wear the red turban with a gol den crescent in front, along with a greenish brown uniform. It is a pretty sight when the Foyer is full of these troops. Several dozen crowd up around the phonograph and it is a poor French melody that does not set the foot of the "pollu" (as the French soldier is called) in motion. In ordinary cold weather there is no heat in the Foyer, until the crowd warms up the place, to which the smoke of the strong tobacco of France contributes no little. Fuel is extreme ly scarce, but fortunately the poilu seems able to endure far more cold and discomfort than American peo ple would think possible. At the moving pictures one always finds a full house and the carpenter usually has some repairing of benches to do the following day. The walls of the Foyer are decorated with about fifty flags of the Allies, and with large posters giving views of interesting scenes in all parts of France which I have had the pleasure of visiting during peace times. It is a point of no small interest that the French Foyer is in most cases better equipped and more attractively decorated than the Y. M. C. A. in American camps, due in no small measure to the co operation of the French Army. The other barrack of the Foyer is devoted to the canteen, and over it the American secretary presides. It was my lot to arrive here in time to supervise In part the completion of the interior of the barrack and se cure the equipment. We have not yet opened the canteen, but hope to be able to do so next week. My own room in the rear part of the build ing is completed and I am living in It. Beside it is the much larger room in which we shall keep our supplies, have our stove in which we shall make our cocoa, tea, coffee, bouillon, etc., to sell to the pc'lu at v. nominal price. Sales of various articles the soldiers need will be made from the two windows opening into the main part of the barrack. There we shall have sufficient tables and benches, with customary decorations on the walls, and be prepared for certain in door games such as valley ball. We shall also conduct certain classes here, have some addresses and no doubt religious services. There is little op portunity for public services, but I find abundant opportunity for per sonal work, and many of the men seek conferences on moral and re ligious problems that concern them. Our whole work is a work of Chris tianity in practice, and there is no doubt but that many of the soldiers of France will show themselves to be soldiers of Jesus Christ. I take two meals along with the French secretary, with a group of eleven soldiers, three of whom are permanently identified with the camp in some official capacity, while the other eight are artillery officers here for a few weeks, busy forwarding mu nitions and supplies to certain sec tions of the battle line and perhaps soon to return thither themselves. We assemble at 11 and at 5 for meals. Our dining-room is the little shack occupied by four of these officers, where they sleep and work. The floor was provided by nature. Camouflage protects from discovery by any chance hostile aviator. The stove heats fair ly well when the roots which serve as fuel are not too green and wet. The two windows are carefully cov ered at the evening meal, for In the camp there must be no light in evi dence. Each time we assemble we Bhake hands all around, each inquir ing diligently and graciously after the health of the other. The hand shaking is repeated an hour and a quarter later, when the meal is fin ished, with a kindly "au revoir," or "tout a 1* heure," or other phrase of the kind. But some reader will say, "I don't like all that ceremony." Well, I pity you, that is all. From a sort of dug-out shack near by, serving as a kitchen, comes the cook with a piping hot soup that is simply unsurpassed. Possibly the next course is a side dish or two (appe tizers), then a meat course, then veg etables, perhaps a salad, then a spe cial kind of cheese (Cameinhert), and a jam or "confiture." This, with light wine for those who want it, al ways diluted further with water, con stitutes the repast which is always concluded with coffee, which is sipped for a long time. The men vary in age from twenty-eight to forty-six. Seven of the twelve are from Paris, one from Bel' . and one from Tou raine, one frc St. Etienne, one from the Midi and one from here in the war zone. Conversation flows freely, sometimes flippant, sometimes argu mentative, sometimes literary and historical (for there are educated men among them), sometimes teas ing, never about the war, always con siderate and deferential, all with a cheerful tone. Each is always eager to serve the other at the table, al ways "in honor preferring one an other." All the men are married ex cept one, speak often of their fami lies, and I have never heard a word of vulgarity or profanity from any one of them. O, that this could be said of all the officers of our Ameri can regiments. The meal with a French officer is a dignified social event at which he appears at his best. The courtesy and kindness of these men in taking me, a foreigner with foreign ways and manners and speaking something of a "brogue" no doubt, into their little circle and mak ing me feel that I am a fellow-com rade, is a stunt that men of no other nation would be able to pull off so successfully in so brief a time. The truth is that the cultivated French man who has real character to back him up is just about as attractive a personality in all his bearing as the world lias ever known. Mingling with these men and serving the sol diers of France in their heroic strug gle ought to make any American a larger and better man. I have failed to speak of the un speakable mud in camp during the rains of autumn and winter until the north wind turns the ground solid; of the excessive dampness and chill of the air; of cold feet in shoes cov ered high with the cold mud; of the almost total absence of fuel; of the short gloomy days at this season; of the incessant roar of artillery day and night; of the great amount of aviation we witness; both scouting and fighting whenever the sun comes out for an hour or two. But time fails me to make the pic ture complete. Suffice it to say that we are in a great struggle with al lies abundantly worthy of the best service we can render; and when at last the era of peace shall dawn and the nations begin to take stock, we Americans will find that one of the greatest debts we owe is the one that we owe to the soldiers of France. Camp D, France, Dec. 18, 1917. THE WAY THE MONEY 18 COMING IN FOR WAR WORK. A missionary in Brazil has sent us $20. This is in Bome respects the most significant gift we have received. It is from one who has devoted a long life of great usefulness to Chris tian missions, and whose name 1s and has been for a generation honored In our Church. If she deems the war work sufficiently important to lead her to send her offering across three thousand miles of sea for the work, surely the average member of the Southern Presbyterian Church may feel that his contribution to this cause is not misplaced. Some churches are responding with a generosity that is as surprising as it is encouraging. They are giving above measure. A church largely made up of working people was asked by the pastor to give $50. When the collection was counted it amounted to $143. Of course there are churches of the other kind who give less, and occa sionally one that declines to attempt anything; but we think of our sol diers, and try not to think of these. The Synod of Louisiana, in propor tion to the expense incurred and the amount raised, deserves the first place among the Synods. But there are others close behind her where the work is being splendidly and enthu siastically done. The receipts by Synods, as report ed by our Treasurer, Mr. A. N. Sharp, 1522 Hurt Bldg., Atlanta, Ga., up to and including the receipts for Mon day, January 28, are as follows: Alabama $ 378.25 Arkansas 132.64 Florida 604.80 Georgia 473.86 Kentucky 415.52 Louisiana 2,476.22 Mississippi 257.26 Missouri 2,210.36 North Carolina 1,071.21 Oklahoma 104.20 South Carolina 1,473.70 Tennessee 1,506.44 Texas 798.67 Texas (New Mexico) 5.00 Virginia 1,346.00 Virginia (Maryland) 24.00 West Virginia 663.85 (Miscellaneous.) Montana 1.00 Chicago, 111 15.00 Lavras Minas, Brazil 20.00 Presbyterian of the South. 112.50 Christian Observer 29.22 Presbyterian Standard .... 22.88 Total $14,142.58 As fast as the receipts warrant, we are placing camp pastors and giving aid where it is most urgently needed. So far seven camp pastors have been assigned and four cars authorized for the use of local War Work Councils and their camp pastors. We confine ourselves to Ford cars because the initial cost is modest, the mainte nance cost small, and their market value as second-hand cars fixed. The cars remain the property of the War Work Council, and when no longer needed in the work for the soldiers will be sold and the money covered into the treasury. As the work develops it is appar ent that $100,000, instead of being too much, is not enough. We cannot get along on less now, and If the war is prolonged the amount must be in creased. James I. Vance, Chairman. Instead of the legal sacrifice the true worshipper must bring that which the victim represents, namely, praise from a grateful heart, all duties Jo which he is bound by the terms of his covenant. ? Speakers' Commentary. He who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when he may have for gotten the cause. ? Beech er.