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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 22, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-12-22/ed-1/seq-14/

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It's worn by Eleanore Painter, once
a grand opera singer, now singing
title role in "Princess Pat" The gown
is of white liberty satin with over
dress of silver lace. Notice how short
the waist is and how closely it fits
and this is one of Hickson's spring
London, England, Dec. 5 (Delayed
in Mail.) The French corporal just
back from the trenches sat polishing
pawns for a game.
"These are for Christmas," he told
me, smiling, " a gift for Rosaline
from her good St. Nicholas."
His boyish manner radiated friend
liness. With a stiff little bow he
offered for my inspection a short
torn kepi half filled with tiny armed
workmen, soldier priests and gun
carrying peasants of the Lost Prov
inces. "I am from Alsace, myself,"
he announced cheerily, with a whim
sical glance at his, French uniform
The reservist station-master lean
ing on his rifle in the doorway nod
ded discriminating approval. "Your
train is two hours late, mon Brave.
How came you to make those toys
'up there'?"
The corporal ceased polishing an
armed cure; his attitude conveyed
the easy comradeship of a camp fire.
"Voyez vous, mon Vieux, since this
business began I have not known one
day's leave. A year cut off from the
world by sandbags. 'Nous irons jus
qu' about we shall fight to the fin
ish; for the present we endure a great
deadlock. The beginning of victory
is not yet. Therefore, I, being a phil
osopher, make for myself occupa
tion. Else after this war it will seem
strangely difficult to be human. En
fin, these playthings? Well, you shall
hear. Attendez.
"When the Germans bombarded
Arras our battery was billited in the
bovi (enormous cellars) of the Mai
son Rouge; that is the most sinister
house in the world. With us at first
were a dozen women and la petite
Rosalind. Mesdames les Refugees
cooked and cleaned, keeping our cel
lars tres chic. And Rosalind? Ah,
what should we have done without
that very small person?
"When she was good one of us
would hold her to the parapet for an
instant that she might observe our
guns giving voice or enemy batteries
replying fortissimo. When she was
naughty it was her penance to play
dolls all alone under an arch.
"One morning a giant howitzer bu
ried 'the safest' of our cellars that
cellar where Rosalind played dolls.
Helas! our poor little one was abso
lutely desolated. In two minutes
there remained no doubt what she
thought of the Germans. 'It was the
sniper,' she cried, 'the bad, wicked,
cruel Nuremberger. He has killed all
my dollies.'
"Entre nous, the battery found it
tres serieux to hear a child sobbing.
Though we did what we could, even
offered to let her pat our Seventy
Five (the belowed gun of the French
army) , Pitchoune would not be com
forted. Suddenly came an inspira
tion: Given wood I could carve many
dollies toua-a-fait chic. Hardly
twenty yards off stood the yew. Came
night 1 hauled over the parapet to
creep to the tree. Shells whimpered
through the dark. No Man's land
was a charnel house littered with
abandoned dead. A colossal cannon
spoke; under the echo ran the tinest
of sounds. It might be a rat or a bird.
In pitch darkness I lay prone upon
the earth. Again the rustling. Some
thing lurking near me squelched in
the mud. Mon Vieux, man dies un
willingly; I slid into a fold of the
ground. Then I saw him the Ger
man sniper shaking, grey-faced,
creeping toward the yew. He, too,
carried a hatchet

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