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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 20, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 13

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-08-20/ed-1/seq-13/

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"THE HUMAN SLAUGHTER HOUSE!"
t
' BY WILHELM LAMSZUS
(Copyright, 1913, by the Frederic A.
Stokes Co.)
CHAPTER VIII.
And in the thick of this hurly-
burly of Death, amid these whistling
lungs, amid these painting, red,
panic-stricken faces, the cloud of
shells strikes home, and hurls its hail
of iron 'overhead. The water spurts
up in jets.
And again!
Explosions and screams, and the
hissing of lead, and the shrieks of
men, and blood and water foam up,
till no one knows whether he has
been hit or is still alive; for in front of
me so close that I could clutch it
I see a jugular vein, ripped through,
spurting in an arch like a fountain
and in his blood the fellow hit stag
gers back, and blood and howls sur
feit the black flood, until it is at
length reddened with human blood.
Get on! trnt nn! Dnn't Innlr nrnnnri!
There the other bank over therell
There life is standing and spreading
out his arms toward us. Get on! Be
fore they have murdered all of us in
this swamp! Get up! Get up! Thank
God! The water's falling! Only up
to the hips now only up to the
knees.
And now
Our feet leap on to the dry, blessed
land and" strike forward beyond all
control, and race over -the .field. They
refuse to "obey any orders. They are
racing racing toward the protection
of the forest beckoning us of its
mercy.
There! Headlong in among the
trees, and into the bushes, into the
thorns. There they are falling life
less to "the ground, their faces buried
in the soil, and they are squeezing
their eyes tight, to shut out the sight
of the accursed blue of heaven that
spat down on us so treacherously.
You dogs! You beasts! To shoot us
down from behind it is nothing
more or less, than cowardly assas
sination. And slowly breath and conscious
ness return to 'us again, and when
we have come to our senses we look
at one another-wifh dumb syes, and
these eyes presage nought that is
good.
A great, unspeakable horror that
will never be allayed agam;has risen
in these eyes. ' "
Half-way on the march some one
fell down beside me, flung out bis
arms, clawed himself tightly to the
earth, and, screamed and gasped
against the soil.
Barely half an hour later we saw
another who had fallen into convul
sions. And when we were lying in a
damp ditch waiting for the enemy, a
man suddenly jumped up, and shriek
ed and ran away. He laughed back
at us from afar until he vanished
from qur sight in the rain. The
shrieking and running away had in
fected us all. 'Twon't be long before
it will be your turn.
One night when we were lying in
our trenches, and had fallen asleep
to the thunder of guns, I suddenly
started up confused dazed; and
lo, the stars were tsanding bright in
the dark, rainless sky ,and shone
down solemnly, ah God; how solemn
ly, on the turmoil, as if nothing in
this world mattered. Yet there in
front of me, before my very eyes
glimmered a red reflection that
surely must-be a pool of blood, for the
stars are mirrored in it so redly and
suddenly a blind rage overtook me to
howl aloud and clench my fists, and
to scream in tbe very face of the
great Master up above there. But I
had neither time to howl nor to run.
For in this self-same night it so hap
pened that an uncanny whirr fell on
our ears from out the distance. That
was Death flying toward us on pro
pelfers. The spectres of the night
whirred above us; we shot blindly in
to the air for every moment th?

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