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The Medina sentinel. [volume] (Medina, Ohio) 1888-1961, September 18, 1914, Image 6

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SYNOPSIS
CHAPTER I At their home on the
frontier between the Browns and
Grays Marta Galland and her mother,
entertaining Colonel Westerling of
the Grays, see Captain Lanstron, staff
intelligence officer of the Browns, in
. jured by a fall in his aeroplane.
CHAPTER II Ten years later.
Westerling, nominal vice but real
chief of staff, reinforces South La Tir,
meditates on war, and speculates on
the comparative ages of himself and
Marta, who is visiting in the Gray
Capital.
CHAPTER III Westerling calls on
Marta. She tells him of her teach
ing children the follies of war and
martial patriotism, begs him to pre
vent war while he is chief of staff,
and predicts that if he makes war
1 against the Browns he will not win.
CHAPTER IV.
Time Have Changed.
The 63d of the Browns had started
for La Tir on the same day that the
128th of the Oraye had started for
South La Tir. While the 128th was
going to new scenes, the 63d was re
turning to familiar ground. It had de
trained In the capital of the province
from which its ranks had been recruit
ed. After a steep Incline, there was a
welcome bugle note and with shouts
of delight the centipede's legs broke
apart! Bankers', laborers', doctors',
valets', butchers', manufacturers' and
judges' sons threw themselves down
on the greensward of the embankment
to rest. With their talk of home, of
relatives whom they had met at the
station, and of the changes In the town
was mingled talk of the crisis.
Meanwmie, an aged man was ap
proaching. At times he would break
into a kind of trot that ended, after a
few steps, in shortness of breath. He
was quite withered, his bright eyes
twinkling out of an area of moth
latches, and he wore a frayed uniform
coat with a medal on the breast
"Is this the 63d V be quavered to
the nearest soldier.
"It certainly Is t " some one answered.
"Come and Join us, veteran!"
"Is Tom Tom FYaginl here?"
The answer came from a big soldier,
who cprang to his feet and leaped to
ward the old man.
"It's grandfather, as I live!" he
called out, kissing the veteran on both
cheeks. "I saw sister In town, and
she said you'd be at the gate as we
inarched by."
"Didn't wait at no gate! Marched
right up to you!" said grandfather.
"Marched up with my uniform and
medal on! Stand ofT there, Tom, so
I can see you. My word! You're big
gcr'n your father, but not biggern I
was! No, sir, not bigger'n I was in
my day before that wound sort o' bent
me over. They say it's the lead in the
blood. I've still got the bullet!"
The old man's trousers were thread
bare but well darned, and the holes in
the uppers of his shoes were carefully
patched. He had a merry air of op
timism, which his grandson had in
herited. "Well, Tom, how much longer you
got to serve?" asked grandfather.
"Six months," answered Tom.
"One, two, three, four " grandfa
ther counted the numbers off on his
fingers. "That's good. You'll be in
time for the spring ploughing. My,
how you have filled out! But, some
how, I can't get used to this kind of
uniform. Why, I don't see how a glrl'd
be attracted to you fellows, at all!"
"They have to, for we're the only
kind of soldiers there are nowadays.
Not as gay as in. your day, that's sure,
when you were in the Hussars, eh?"-
"Yes, I was in the Hussars in the
Hussars! I tell you with our sabres
a-gleamlng, our horses' bits a-Jingling,
our pennons a -flying, and all the color
of our uniform I tell you, the, girls
used to open their eyes at us. And we
went into the charge- like- that yes,
;slr, Just that gay and grand. Colonel
Galland leading!"
Military history said that It had
been a rather foolish charge, a fine
example of the vainglory of unreason
jlng bravery that accomplishes nothing,
. ;but no one would suggest such skepti
cism of an Immortal event in popular
Imagination in hearing of the old man
as he lived over that intoxicated rush
of horses and men into a battery of
(the Grays.
"Well, didn't you find what I said
was true about the lowlanders?" asked
.grandfather after he had finished the
charge, referring to the people of the
outhern frontier of the Browns, where
the 63d had Just been garrisoned.
"No, I kind of liked them. I made a
lot of friends," admitted Tom. "They're
very progressive."
"Eh, eh?. . You're Joking!",;, To like
- the people pf the southern frontier wa
- only less conceivable than liking the
people of the Grays. "That's because
yon didn't . see deep ' under- them. '
They're all oa the outsider flighty,
-?tL . jVl7A JM'sfty'd. done thplr .part.
In that Tail war we'd Tiave HcTedTlhe
Grays until they cried for mercy! If
their army corps had stood its ground
at Volmer "
"So you've always said," interrupted
Tom.
"And the way they cook tripe!
couldn't stomach it, could you? And
if there's anything I am partial to it's
a good dish of tripe! And their light
beer like drinking froth! And their
bread why, it ain't bread! It's chips!
'Taint fit for civilized folks!"
"But I sort of got used to their
ways," said Tom.
"Eh, eh?" Grandfather looked at
grandson quizzically, seeking the cause
of such heterodoxy in a northern man.
"But I Won't Fight for You I"
"Say, you ain't been falling In love?"
he hazarded. "You you ain't going to
bring one of them southern girls
home?"
"No!" said Tom, laughing.
"Well, I'm glad you ain't, tor they're
naturally light-minded. I remember
'em well." He wandered on with his
questions and comments. "Is it a fact.
Tom, or was you just Joking when you
wrote home that the soldiers took so
many baths?"
"Yes, they do."
"Well, that beats me! It's a wonder
you didn't all die of pneumonia!" He
paused to absorb the phenomenon.
Then his half-childish mind, prompted
by a random recollection, flitted to an
other subject . which set him to glg
rling. "And the little crawlers did
they bother you much, the little crawl
ers?" "The little crawlers?" repeated Tom,
myetlfied.
"Yes. Everybody used to get 'em
just from living close together. Had
to comb 'em out and pick 'em out of
ycur clothes. The chase we used to
call it."' , ,. . '
"No, grandfather, crawlers have
gone out of fashion. And no more epi
demics of. . typhoid and dysentery
either," said Tom. "
"Times have certainly changed!"
grumbled Grandfather Fraginl.
Interested in their own reunion, they
had paid no attention to a group of
Tom's comrades nearby, sprawled
around a newspaper containing the
latest dispatches from both capitals.'
"Five million soldiers to our three
million!"
"Eighty million people to our fifty
million!"
"Because of the odds, they think we
are bound to yield, no matter if we are
in the right!"
"Let them come!" said the butcher's
son. "If we have to go, it will be on a
wave of blood."
"And they will come some time,"
said the judge's son. "They want our
land."
"We gain nothing if we beat them
back. War will be the ruin of busi
ness," said the banker's son.
"Yes, we are prosperous now. Let
well enough alone!" said the manufac
turer's son.
"Some say it makes wages higher,"
Bald the laborer's son, "but I am think
ing It's a poor way of raising your
pay."
"There won't be any war," said the
banker's son. "There cant be without
credit. The banking Interests will
not permit it"
"There can always be war," said the
judge's son, "always when one people
determines to strike at another people
even if lt! brings bankruptcy."
"It would be a war that would make
all others in history a mere exchange
of skirmishes. Every able-bodied man
in' line automatics a hundred shots a
minute guns a dozen shots a, minute
and aeroplanes and dirigibles I" said
the manufacturer's son. " "
-mi the death, tool"
"AnJ not ff iJoryl Wi of thf l$A
;wh(THve on fneTfrbntier will be flgh
ing for our homes."
"If we lose them we'll never get
them back. Better die than be beaten!"
Herbert Stransky, with deep-set
eyes, slightly squinting inward, and a
heavy jaw, an enormous man who was
the best shot in the company when
he cared to be, had listened in silence
to the others, his rather thick but ex
pressive lips - curving with cynicism.
His only speech all the morning had
been in the midst of the reception in
the public square of the town when he
said:
"This home-coming doesn't mean
much to me. Home? Hell! The
hedgerows of the world are my home"
He appeared older than his years,
and hard and bitter, except when his
eyes would light with a feverish sort
of fire which shone as he broke into
a lull in the talk.
"Comrades," he began. -
"Let us near from the Socialist!" a
Tory exclaimed. :
"No, the anarchist!" shouted a So
cialist. .. ; ,
"There wont be any war!" Bald
Stransky, his voice gradually rising to
the pitch of an agitator reliehing the
sensation of bis own words. "Patriot
lam la the played-out trick of the ruling
classes to keep down the proletariat.
There won't be any war! Why? Be
cause there are too many enlightened
men on both sides who do the world's
worn. we or tne 53d are a pro
vincial lot, but throughout our army
there are thousands upon thousands
like me. They march, they drill, but
when battle comes they will refuse
to fight my comrades In heart, to
whom the flag of this country means
no more than that of any other coun
try!" '
"Hold on! The, flag is sacred!"
cried the banker's son.
"Yes, that will do!"
"Shut up!"
Other voices formed a chorus of
angry protest.
"I knew you thought it; now I've
caught you!" This from the sergeant,
who had seen hard fighting against
a savage, foe in Africa and there
fore was particularly ' bitter about
the Bodlapoo affair. The welt of a
scar on the gaunt fever-yellowed
cheek turned a deeper red ae he seized
Stransky by the collar of the blouse.
Stransky raised his free hand as if
to strike, but paused as he faced the
company's boyish captain, slender, of
figure, aristocratic of feature. His in
dignation was as evident as the ser
geant's, but he, was biting his lips to
keep it under control. -
"You heard what he said, sir?" !, .
"The latter part-enough!"
"It's lncltation to mutiny I An ex
ample!" . , , ...'
"Yea, put him under arrest"
The sergeant still held fast to the
collar of Stransky's blouse. Stransky
could have shaken himself free, at. a
mastiff frees himself from a puppy,
but this was resistance to arrest and
he had not yet made up his mind to
go that far, Els muscles were weaving
under the sergeant's grip, his eyes
glowing as with volcanic fire waiting
on the madness of Impulse for erup
tion. ;
"I wonder if It is really worth while
to put him under arrest?" said somo
one at the edge of the group In amiable
inquiry. , '
The voice came from an officer of
about thirty-five, who apparently had
strolled over from a near-by aeroplane
station to look ait the regiment. From
hie shoulder hung the gold cords of
the staff. It was Col. Arthur Lanstron,
whose plane had skimmed the Gal
lands' garden wall for, the "easy
bump" ten years ago. There was some
thing more than mere titular respect
in the way the young captain saluted
admiration and the diffident, boyish
glance of recognition which does not
presume to take the lead in recalling
a slight acquaintance with a man of
distinction. , , , , ' .
"Dellarme! It's all of two years
since we met at Miss Galland's, isn't
It?" Lanstron said, shaking hands with
the captain. -
"Yes, Just before we were ordered
south," said : Dellarme, ; obviously
plsaset! to be remembered.
"I overheard your speech," Lanstron
continued, nodding toward 8traneky.
"It was very informing."
A crowd of soldiers was now press
ing around Stransky, and in the front
rank was Grandfather Fraginl. 1
"Said our flag was .no better'n any
other flag, did her piped the old man,
"Beat him to a pulp! That's what the
Hussars would have done." ' r .....
"If you don't mind telling it in pub
lic, Stransky, I should like to "know
your origin," said Lanstron, prepared
to.be as considerate of an anarchist's
private feelings as of anybody's. i ;
Stransky squinted his eyes down the
bony (ridge of his nose and grinned
sardonically.
' "That wont take long." he answered.
"My father, so far as I could identify
him, died in Jail and my mother of
drink.",,; ,
! "That was hardly to the purple t" ob
served.. Lanstroo thoughtfully, ,
"No, to the red!" answered Stra&sky
1 mean that it was hardly inclined
to make you take a roseate view of life
as a beautiful thing in a well-ordered
world where favors of fortune ; are
evenly distributed," v continued '.. Lan
stron,; :. ',.' ;. ?'
"Rather to make me rejoice In the
hope of a new order of things the
recreation vof society!" Stransky ut
tered the sentiment with the trium
phant pride of a pupil who knows hie
text-book thoroughly.
By this time the colonel command
ing the regiment, who had noticed the
excitement from a distance, appeared,
forcing a gap for his passage through
the crowd with sharp words. He, too,
recognized Lanstron. After they had
shaken hands, the colonel scowled ?.s
he heard the situation explained, with
the old sergeant, still holding fast to
Stransky'e collar, a capable and in
sistent witness for the prosecution;
while Stransky, the fire In his eyes
dying to coals, stared straight aheftd.
"It is only a suggestion, of course,"
said Lanstron, speaking quite an
spectator to avoid the least indication
of Interference with the colonel's au
thority, "but it seems possible that
8transky has clothed his wrongs in a
garb that could never set well on his
nature If he tried to wear it in prac
tice. He is really an individualist. En
raged, he would fight well. I should
like nothing better than a force of
Stranskys if I had to defend a redoubt
in a last stand."
"Yes, he might fight." The colon!
looked hard at Stransky's riM profile,
witn lis tight lips nd chin as firm as
if cut out of stone. "You never know
who will fight in the pinch, they say.
But that's speculation. It's the ex
ample that I have to deal with."
. "He is not of the insidious, plotting
type. He spoke his mind ppenly," sug
gested Lanstron. "If you give him the
limit of the law, why, he becomes a
martyr to persecution. I should say
that his remarks might pass for barrack-room
gassing."
"Very well," said the colonel, taking
the shortest way out of the difficulty,
"We will excuse the first offense."
"ies, sirr said tne sergeant me
chanically as he released his grip of
the offender. "We had two anarchist
in my company in Africa," he observed
is loyal agreement with orders. "They
fought like devils. The only trouble
was to keep them from shooting inno
cent natives for sport" '
Stransky's collar was still crumpled
on the nape of his neck. He remained
stock-still, staring down the bridge of
his nose. For a full minute he did not
vouchsafe so much as a glance upward
over the change in his fortunes. Then
he looked around at Lanstron glower
ingly. : "I know who you are!" he said.
"You were born in the purple. You
have had education, opportunity, posi
tioneverything that you and your
kind want to keep for your kind. You
are smarter than the others. You
would hang a man with spider webs
instead of hemp. But I won't fight for
you! No, I wont!"
He threw back his head with a de
termination in his defiance so Intense
that it had a certain kind of dignity
that freed it of theatrical affectation.
, "Yes, I was fortunate; but perhaps
nature was not altogether unkind to
you," said Lanstron. "In Napoleonic
times, Stransky, I think you might
even have carried a marshal's baton in
your knapsack."
"You what rot!" A sort of triumph
played around Stransky's full lips and
hie Jaw shot out challenglngly. "No,
never against. my comrades on the oth
er side of the border!" he concluded,
his dogged stare returning.
, Now the colonel gave the order to
fall in; the bugle sounded and the cen
tipede's legs began to assemble on the
road. But Stransky remained a statue,
his rifle untouched on the sward. He
seemed of a mind to let the .regiment
go on without him.
"Stransky, fall in!" called the ser
geant , . , . .
Still Stransky did not move. A com
rade picked up the rifle and fairly
thrust It into his hands:
Come on, Bert, and knead dough
with the rest of US'!" he whispered.
rifle down oa tne ground" with a Heavy
blow. , f ' V
, Then impulse broke through the
restraint that seemed to characterize
the Lanstron of thirty-five. The Lan
stron of twenty-life, , who had met
catastrophe because, he was "wool
gathering,", asserted himself. He put
hie hand on Stransky's shoulder. It
was a strong though slim hand that
looked as If it had been trained to do
the work of two hands In the process
of its owner's own transformation.
Thus the old sergeant had seen a gen
eral remonstrate with a brave veteran
who had been guilty of bad conduct in
Africa. The old colonel gasped at such
a subversion of the dignity of rank.
He saw the army going to the devil.
But young Dellarme, watching with
eager curiosity, was sensible of no
ifamiiiarity in the act It all depended
on how such a thing was done, he was
thinking.
"We all have minutes when we are
more or less anarchists," said Lan
stron in the human appeal of one man
to another. "But we don't want to be
Judged by one of those minutes. I got
a hand mashed up for a mistake that
look only a second. Think, this over
tonight before you act. , Then, If you
are of the same opinion, go to the col
onel and tell him so. Come, why not?"
j "All right sir, you're so decent
about it!" grumbled Stransky, taking
his place in the ranks. -
Hep-hep-hep! The regiment started
on its way, with Grandfather Fraginl
keeping at his grandson's side.
"Makes me feel young again, but it's
darned solemn beside the Hussars,
with their horses' bitsa-Jlngllng. Times
have certainly changed officers'
hands in their pockets, saying 'if you
don't mind' to a man that's insulted
the flag! Kicking ain't good enough
lor thai traitor! Ought to nang 11m .
yes, sir, hang, and draw him !M
Lanstron watched the marching col
omn for a time.''
"Hep-hep-hep! It's the brown of the)
Infantry that counts In the end," he
mused. "I liked that wall-eyed giantJ
He's all man!" f
Then his livening glance swept the
heavens inquiringly. A speck in thel
blue, far away in the realms of atmos-j
pheric infinity, kept growing in size
until it took the form of the wings V
with which man flies. The plane vol-i
planed down with steady swiftness,.
till its racing shadow lay large over!
the landscape for a few seconds before,
it rose again. with beautiful ease and.
precision.
"Bully for you, Etzel!" Lanstronf
thought, as he started back to th
aeroplane station. "You belong in th
corps. We shall not let you return to
your regiment for a while. You've a
cool head and you'd charge a cburchv
tower if that were the orders."
(To be continued)
It you want clean hands-
use
Nl
IN
all anocins.
LOST Pair of eye-glasses in case)
Sunday afternoon near B. 0. track
south of town on Ryan Road. Return .
to P. W. McDowell and receive reward.
u
H.A.WAITE
v.-'.,. . , ' "
Funeral Director
anii " .
Embalmer
North Side Public Square Office Phone 4080
CLEAN TO HANDLE
HOT
LASTING
Try a Ton For the Open Fire and
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Well Worth the price $5.50 per ibon
Medina Coal Co.
Pho:
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I - ' mtMa v-
the Blue Far Away.
"Come onl Cheer up!". Evidently bis
comrades liked Btransky.
"No!" roarei Etrtsskj, pringjaf the J
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