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THE 8EMLWEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
jkjs(? 'Grcai Drive - a How one section of the German line was taken by tie French m a recent advance on the western front T IS lute In tin nftirnouu, a ui,ipuru tlvo calm Ih over the sector, so Unit a dull booming of cnnnonudlng fur over on the left can lie heard. Through the Rector among the thousnnds of soldiers Ih a note of expectancy. They are quieter than usual. Suddenly from near the vlllugo In the rear come several sharp reports In quick succession from a battery. There uro several answering booms farther away ; Immediately more reportH nearer ut hand, and Instantly It Is followed by n crash and tear of sound. The llrst Impression Is that the town Is being blown up In a bomhnrdmcnt. Few liavo over heard anything llico It. The soldiers look nt each other. "It Is the nttack beginning," they say, Later they get their orders. lu a smaller town nearer the trenches, whero there Is oven more artillery, the iioIho Is still great er. IJy tbo sound thero seems to be a gun to every few square foot, one thinks when thinking Is possible. Tho scream of tbo shells passing over from batteries In the rear Is drowned In this din. It In nn Inferno of ear-splitting noise. In tho trenches tho few soldiers cower In tbo dugouts. Heaps of debris fall about them. To them tho nolso of tho guns lu the rear Is drowned lu tho crash of hundreds of shells bursting in tho Germans' trenches before them and tho shrieks of tho shells us they tear nhovo them In the air faster than sound In such numbers that the notsu Is In describable. Where tbo enemy's trenches nro Is now i continuous mnso of spouting dirt that shuta out everything. The whole German lino hero Is be ing beaten to pieces. t Few of tho soldiers have ever experienced any thing llko tills. Tho trenches of the Germans aro Ibut 100 feet away. Now and then a shell falling ishort of Its range comes near tbo French trenches lor tears Into them, but with the Innumerable shells innw tearing about It cannot bo helped, i The Gerimtiis, taken by surprise, do not reply until soma time Inter. They open up their own lartlllery little by little. Their guns, is seems, are jnlmed at Uio batteries of tbo French they know, ifor few of the shells' fall about the trenchen. Hut Jit Is nothing td tho madness of the ilro they aro (lighting against. Somo of tho French guns are aimed at tho Ger liiutn batteries and an artillery duel is on. Tho Ger linan guns nro outnumbered. Other French guns iuro tiring on tho roads of tho enemy to prevent Itroopa and supplies from being hastened up. And now In tho rear of tho French lines no body seems to know where they aro coming from, where they have been concealed all this time still other guns of nil sizes aro being rushed up. They itear through tbo aiuatcd villages drawn by wild Istccds muddened by tho drivers. Efforts of spies luro now In vain. Tho lino boarlng assorted equipment lias ceased In a measure. Instead aro tho guns and the heavy, skidding caissons bearing ammunition. Darkness falls nhd tho whole countryside is covered with Hashes. It 1b Impossible to distinguish sound from sound, but tbo Hashes dart out from everywhere like summer lightning. More guns aro being .rushed up, an Increased number of ammunition 'wagons', and troops countless numbers. The terrific cannonading continues all night. (Soldiers, who uro able, sleep In dozes. Morning ibreaks. Tho soldiers nearer the front begin to inarch up. As soldiers enter tbo rear towns those who were there, equipment ready and waiting, go forward. As tho men march they frequently turn off Into the fields along tho road to avoid tho guns and wagons thundering by. As far ns ono can seo tho whole road, ahead and behind, Is n compact mass of troops marching up. Thu Germans nro now Bholllng tho roads at inany placeB. At llrst tho shells fall among them. Thero aro the usual scones of tho dead, torn tip In ovury manner, wlillo tho chnpinln-prlesta, facing tho almost curtain death of tholr lot, tiro seen through little clearings In tho thick clouds of chok ing sinoko rushing about, somo themselves wound ed, helping those asking for aid. At these points the soldiers following turn oft from the road, take to the fields or other roads until they nro past. IJy this means tho Germans, knowing what Is coming, are making desperate efforts to stop the onrush of troops by shelling the roads. The gigantic shotgun chnrges of their shrapnel break ovtjr the heads of the soldiers, while many are torn to hits by the concussion shells crashing Into the road among them. The soldiers then take roundabout courses. Most of them nre getting through. Fast the last town, where the road terminates because It has been blown Into nothing, It soon be comes Impossible for the soldiers to inurch nlong In masses. They scatter over the ground on their wny onward. The tcrrlllc bombardment of their own side continues without letup. Also German shells fall over nil tho land here and It Is a question of which of tbo soldiers will get through. From be hind como such numbers of troops that thero seems to he no end to them. With a legion ahead and nn endless number be hind, we enter tho ditch nnd continue our way, now In single llle, for there Is not enough room for two to walk abreast. As we proceed tho trenches get deeper nnd deeper and soon our heads aro below the surfaco of tho ground. Casualties aro lessened now. Shells continue to hurst about, even In greater numbers than In tho lnnd we have left. Hut tho most of tho shells tear up columns of enrth nbout, but above us. Uccuusc tho ditches wo are traveling In nre so nnr row few shells explodo there and now for tho most part the men aro caught only by tho debris, that In Rome plnces partly buries them. Thero seems to bo no end to the trenches that branch off, continue to separate until they enter a region of trench network. Tho detachment I am with receives orders which of the boyaux (tho com munication trenches) to take us we proceed. Now wo movo forward slowly, frequently crouch under tho fall of the dirt, stones and things and cringe ugalnst tho all-penetratlug tear, tho mighty explo sions of the shells near us and thu shrieks of others passing overhead. As wo approach tho first lino tho confusion of nolso of the batteries pounding away behind lessens In sharpness, takes on more of n roar, n regular working as though of some gigantic machine, grows loss harsh and a new confusion In front begins to grip the senses. Ono sees nothing except occasionally when ho opens his eyes for n brief period to seo tho direc tion, tho geysers of spouting ground nbout them nnd out above In front. Eyes closed nnd head low ered, ho feels his way, tho same as tho man before him and the ono behind him. Suddenly one bumps Into tho mnn In front and conies to a stop. As soon ns ono is nblo he opens his oyes and sees everyone In front has como to n halt. They are near thu llrst Hue, tho mnn In front shouts. Soldiers thickly crowd the trench In front us far as hu can sec. Other soldiers, still coming tip, nlso como to n halt, soon tilling up the trench In behind. . Onu feels himself to be part of it tightly Jammed mass of men cowering thero In thu trenches under tho spouting of tho land about them, debris falling over all. They aro standing by tholr rltles, llxlug on them their bayonets, all currying Utelr full equip ment ready. There Is a strange primness among thoso stand lug there. No onu In the crowded mass of men tries to speak. Tho din seems more than a human being Is able to stand. Ono fuels like Jumping nvor the trenches nnd, rugardlofes of anything, rushing blindly on. Anything but tho strain or this, hu thinks, action and more action. lie nevor before thought he could be capable of so much action. What is coming, let It happen quickly, he thinks. Ilend lowered and oyes closed, one's thoughts pierce tho musses of flying things that look llko clouds out thero In front, picturing a scene ns ho last knew It his home, his town and tho people hu had grown up with, away off on tho other sldu of that. Uu wondered what has become of them nnd he wonders whether ho will evr know. SHU they wait, minute aftor minute, while tn one's bewildered senses It seems as though many hours uro passing. No wounded lure being passed nlong on tholr wtiy buck. Tho younger men aro wondering why. Thoy nro probably being taken back In nnother trench ruscrved for them and for messengers also. Thuti suddouly, possibly within tho space of only a fow seconds, thoro seems to bo sudden qulut. It Is tho llrst cossatlon lu a bombardment of their guns that has lasted almost "0 hours. It Is a com parative quiet, a tranquil period to the confused senses of tho beings thero; at other times somo might cull it n terrific rucket. For Just now they do not hear the shells of tho Germans crashing above them. It Is thus for only n brief period. As suddenly grows n new confusion In front. At first It sounds llko n murmur, a bnbblc of mnny voices. They turn out to bo shrieks. The order bus been given to jump out nnd ndvnncc. They come from men delirious In n frantic haste to rush on after tho strain of It. As tho men In front Jump out nnd rush nlong In advance, titles hold almost nt nrm's length, with tho bayonets In tbo dim smoke clouds sticking out In front, the other crowds back in tho trenches rush out to fill their places and In turn Jump out nnd rush on. It Is all done as quickly as possible ; there Is no times lost and hnrdly a motion. And wlillo tho mass of frenzied men rush on to ward the trenches of tho Germans, falling- by scores, whole groups of them turn this way and that as the Germans concentrate their fire among them, others keep filling in from the rear. There Is no end to their number, apparently. Tho entire rear Is now packed with men nnd more men, while behind them are still more men men without num ber. "There will be a slgnnl when you get out there," we uro told. "It Is nn order to fall on your faces. Fall on them ! No time to lose." The men who first leaped out and started to rush nlong fell In another wny long ago It was but several seconds or so nnd the ranks behind them In turn dissolved. Still others enme on nnd now tho first of the ndvanclng mass aro at the first trenches of the Germans. Comes tho signal. Suddenly in the frenzy men cease to leap from tho trenches, while the advanc ing rnnks rushing blindly on fall Hat. Almost at the same Instant, possibly a couple of seconds later, to the men lying thero comes u nolso thnt Is even greater than the crash of a fow minutes before. Hut It is hnrdly perceptible, for the senses, work ing at capacity, cannot grasp It all. It Is tho French guns opening up ugaln. They nre tearing out a way for the Infantry, tcnrlng away what humanity Is left In the second nnd third line trenches. Even during tho previous hours of bombardment the Germans tried to keep thoso in somo sctnblnnce of holes. Thero cannot be many beings left In them, but re-enforcements probubly nro coming up, A fow seconds later the gunfire of tho French again ceases as though by magic. Immediately the soldiers Jump to their feet nnd again rush on They pass over tho llrst line of German trenches, reach tho second line and on to the third line. Another signal, a loud shouting and they again fall down. Tho guns open up ugaln This tlmo the guns pound away on German works farther in the renr. They stop again nnd tho troops dnsh on. Every mnn knows his place In tho drive nnd every body of men. When one mnn falls another Is thero to do what ha was doing. The soldiers feel tho success of it by this tluiu. They nro instilled with enthuslusm, tho wild joy ot victory. Shells fnll among the advancing hordes, but In the wild din Just passed those who escape hardly know It. Now thero uro fewer guns firing on the German side. Others of the French artillery, when not fir ing nt places ahead of tho advancing soldiers, quickly change their runge to the batteries, The French have now pussed thu first four lines of regulnr trenches and nro running ovur the not work of connecting trenches. Masses of Germans aro In these. Terrified by what they have been through, fow show resistance. It Is usuloss. The French soldiers continue to advance, charging when roslstnnce Is offered, delirious with the wine of u successful drive. They do the feats of super- beings and nre unnwuro of It Hours later, after It has ceased and tho lines are ngiiln deadlocked, soldiers In tho towns of the old sector gather In groups around tho bullotiu boards whero is posted the brief olllclal communique. The soldiers standing around reading are new troops. They nre on their way to tho trenches. Ambulances still rush up from the reur and back again, catching up with tho work. The tnnssos of prisoners nre nlreudy on their way southward. Included In the number taken was a dotiuiiiuent, n crowd of 70 men who wore all that remained of several hundred Gurinun soldUirs. Thoy wero cnught In a trench nnd unable to es cape during the terrlblo bomlmrdinont, explain tho fow ablo to think coherently. Retreat had boon cut off by shells falling behind them, New Legislative Measures Tho following Important moaauroB aro among tho big things dono at tho legislative session just onded: Prohibition legislation, apparently suiting all concerned. People glvon right to say whether thoy want a constitutional con vention to mako over organic law. . Partial woman suffrage women to voto on prostdont, county oftlcors (savo Judge), and on municipal officers. City managership system, optional, for cltios of from 1,000 to 100, 000 population. Acceptance of federal aid for good roads, and enactment of legis lation tending to glvo highways movement its most potont boost. Four-year terms for county officers (savo county Judge), thus assuring of shorter ballots. Prosldontlal electors' names stricken from ballots, also a step toward shortening ballot. t ' Nonpartisan election of stnto superintendent, county superintend ents nnd rogonts of tho state uulvorslty, following up nonpartisanshlp in judicial affairs. Reorganization of stnto board of health, putting this on a parity with any stato department in the country, and aiding public health movomont In most offectlvo mannor. Legislation enabling financially embarrassod persons to pay debts Gradually Into court a poor man's bankruptcy. State hall Insurance system, optional for farm localities. Means to allevlato railroad car shortages, by providing for fair distribution of cars. Publicity appropriation and statute giving tho stato tho means of tolling of its resources to tho world. Omaha wator district given right to mako nnd sell Ice. City of Omaha given moans to condemn and acquire public utili ties undor plan fair to corporations and safo so far as peoplo are con corned. Needed irrigation legislation tending to help Irrigators and make more stable districts' financial operations. Laws to encourage lnterurban railway building, thus bringing closer the lntonsivo development of tracts of land in moro populous sections of stnto. Laws to encourago building of railroad branch lines In less popu lous sections of state, thus tending to build up tho remote portions of Nebraska. Extensive amendments to workmen's compensation nnd employers' liability law, these going farther toward holplng tho working men and establishing a closer relationship between capital and labor. Validation of snlo of sallno lands, thus securing hundreds of small homo owners against attack of tholr rights. Double election board legislation, providing means for facilitating count of ballots. Legislation and appropriations for uso of national guard to meet emergencies of present war, also recognition for men who sorved on Moxlcan border. Rural and small town school legislation, aimed to mako school work moro extensive and more effoctlve, and tearing down tho barrier of too tight money bags in smaller districts. Provision for acceptance of federal aid In vocational school train ing. Grant of additional powers to board of commissioners of stato Institutions, and liberal appropriations fc care and housing of stato wards. Liberality shown toward state normal schools, state university and Omaha Medical college. Free uso of telephones for local service or long distance denied to public officials. Consolidation of more state departments, and numerous minor changes In stato departmental laws, tending to moro stato government efficiency. LATE NEWS FROM CAPITOL Items of General Interest Gathered from Reliable Sources Around the State House Western Newspaper Union News Service. George E. Hall, state treasurer, has given out tho following statement: "I want to deny a story which Is being circulated that I as stato treas urer had made tho statement or taken tho position that the appropriation of $60,000 for the uso of tho governor in enforcing tho provision of tho prohlbl- Uon law as passed by this legislature in H. R. 793, was not a valid ono and would not be allowed by me. "On the contrary I have made state ments and at all times taken the posi tion that tho appropriation was and is legal ono for carrying out the provis ions of the law and is available for tho use of tho governor as provided in tho bill. Urges Use of Old Straw. Nebraska straw stacks, usually burned to got them- out of tho way, might have saved a largo portion of the winter wheat crop. A very fow wero saved by last summer's straw and many farmers will hereafter profit from the example ot their moro canny neighbors. A. E. Anderson, Held agent In Ne braska for tho bureau of crop est! mates of the department of agrlcul- turc, said recently that In every case ho had observed whore straw waB spread thickly over the fields a fino stand of wheat resulted this spring, That it was the straw and nothing else which saved tho crop Is Indicated by the fact that floldB nearby, unstrawed, wore perfectly bare. "It 1b a crime to burn straw stacks," he said. "While tho fertilizer value of straw isn't high, tho organic matter which It leaves in tho boII 1b of im mense value. Last winter's experience would Indicate that It may mean the dlfforonco between success and ruin, when used as protection for winter wheat" State Auditor W. H. Smith has com pleted a statement showing thnt tho expenses of tho stato government the past three months aggregated $1,577, 672. This 1b unusually large, but It Includes $109,689 for legislative ex penses, $349,000 semi-annual school ap portionment, and $122,000 for perma nent improvements at state institu tions. It includes a total of $422,703 spent for tho maintenance of state in stitutions and improvements at insti tutions. For food the state board spent $94,400. Tho following recapitulation of the auditor's statement shows tho differ ent purposes for which state funds wore expended: Salaries and wages $ 414,341.44 umer services and expenses.. Books and printing Telegraph and telephone Transportation, telegraph and teiepnone (tmecn institu tions and board) Postage Mileage and traveling expenses Office supplies Furniture, repairs and equip ment Articles of food and clothing.. Fuel, light and power Machinery, toots nnd supplies Permanent improvements, new . buildings and land 122,057.74 Aid of school districts 1,538.00 School apportionment 349.S50.41 Use In prosecutions 705.55 aiaie nia oruige Y.uva.ia Support of national guard, ar mory rental and emergency. 7,174.85 University departmental ex penses 33,'17.4U Physical plant improvements, normal schools 9,843.08 Single miscellaneous items... 3,644.37 Fire commission (no reports). 3,931.85 Procuring nbstracts ot land... 281.90 Miscellaneous 135,445.80 Next to Longest In History. Tho one just closed waB next to tho longest legislative session in Ne braska's history. Whon tho gavol fell for the last time tho 1917 session had excoeded all others within tho last forty-flvo years by ton days, and will Iiryo been surpassed only by tho 1871 sosslon, when the lnwmak ors gathered January 6 nnd did not adjourn until Juno 7. This record was not ovon approached until 1913 whon tho loglslattiro convened Janu ory 7 nnd went homo April 16. Postpone Rural Life Conference. Owing to tho present national emer gency, It Is announced that tho annual rural life confoionco, set for Juno 5 to 15, will be postponed. "Wo felt that tho Rural Llfo conference, doalrnblo as It Is, Is socondary to war problems that roqnlro action," snld Prof. C. W Pugsloy, dlroctor of tho agricultural i I I Of fl ...imhor vet nllvn nr .mml,,,..., ... Mansion survico, in uipiuiuinK iniS ..vi.. iWntiv. '1't.nvnr.. ' L drolslon. "Wo conclwlod that tlmo Willi, mi f. Mnrtln. in New Ynrlf Nun wmui - - ii, linen. 51,898.00 35,505.62 2,702.92 4,170.01 11,830.67 10,742.46 12,233.14 46,073.29 109,987.77 76,052.58 15,852.28 Stato institutions, libraries.. n. No. Legislature 109,689.25 uenei or tne unnu, xi. 50 240.97 Grand total $1,577,672.17 The auditor's report Includes the following expenditures for fifteen state institutions undor the state board of control: Salaries and wages $ 99,219.47 Transportation, telegraph and telephone 4,170.01 Articles of food 94,100.46 morning ii,xs7.;ii Postnge 1,210.28 Stationery, books and paper.... 1,934.71 Fuel. Ucht and power 76.052.58 Machinery, tools and supplies.. 15.852.28 General repairs 4,840.95 Miscellaneous 74,016.18 Furniture and equipment 8,794.5b. New buildings and land 21,718.97 Permanent improvements to buildings and grounds 4.624,60 Relief of the blind 240.97 Grand total $422,703.33 Clears Title to Saline Lands Title to 10,000 acres of saline lands around Lincoln was cleared and quiet ed by the passage In the Nebraska senato by H. R. 799, Introduced by Govornor Neville. This land Is mostly hold by small farmors, and tho quos tionabllty of title only arose within tho last fow weoks. Tho land had boon Bold by tbo state In tho 80's nnd tho 90's. Land Commissioner Shumway raised tho question of legality, holding to a technical Interpretation of tho law, which forbids the Bale of sallno lands except under certln conditions. Tho legislature adopted without dls sont n resolution petitioning Presi dent WIlBon and congrosB to paBs a law "that will prohibit tho manu facture salo and transportation of malt, splrltous, vinous, alcoholic and Intoxicating liquors In the United States during tho period of tho war." Tho spreading of Btraw, from stacks that ordinarily are burned, over tho fields during tho winter resulted In saving many crops of whoat, and tho department ot agrlculturo urges tho gonoral adoption ot tho Idea.