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The St. Charles herald. [volume] (Hahnville, La.) 1873-1993, January 26, 1918, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034322/1918-01-26/ed-1/seq-3/

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Only Cloud on Horizon in Opinion
of Optimistic Leaders of
Teuton Forces.
People of England and Prance Think
United States Will Perform MU
racles in the Very Near
(Copyright. 1917. by the McClure Newspa
per Syndicate.»
London.—Realization of the Impor
tance of the coming efforts of a fully
aroused America came quickly to both
camps of belligerents when It was
known last spring, soon after the break
with Germany, that American troops
would he sent to Europe. But military
events of the past few months have im
mensely enhanced the importance of
the role the United States will be
called upon to play.
Private advices received here from
Germany indicate that the anticipation
of American force is the dominating
note in the present anxiety of Ger
many's rulers to force peace at any
cost before the next campaign has
been fought out.
At tlie beginning of this year's fight
ing, both Germany and the allies were
optimistic. Germany believed so
strongly that the unrestricted subma
rine warfare would bring victory in (
a few months that she did not hesl- j
tute to drag in a reluctant America
against lier. The allies were almost
Loquaily confident that the hammer
^ilows on the Somme could lie followed
up. this year, by decisive strokes that
would send the enemy armies scuttling
for the Rhine. Both sides were wrong.
Berlin Thinks Situation Good.
Aside from the shadow of the Amer
ican eagle that has fallen over Ger
many, the military situation at present
is regarded in the highest Berlin quar
ters as good. Information regarding
recent speeches at the supposedly se
cret sessions of the main committee
of the reichstag, as well as accounts
of views recently expressed in private
by leading men of the empire, indi
cate that Germans would be more cock
sure than ever that they had won the
war, were it not for the treacherous
behavior of the never-to-be-sufficiently
strafed Herr Wilson.
From a competent souree here I have
obtained the gist of a communication
recently privately made to a group of
banking and manufacturing magnates
In Germany, us representing the opin
ion of the general staff, which means
the Hindeuburg-Ludendorff combina
A little over a year ago, this German
summary remarked, the situation was
extremely gloomy. The greut attack
on Verdun had failed; after swallow
ing up, the summary did not add, the
flower of tlie German army. Roumn
nia had just entered the war. Tlie
French and British were dealing blows
on the Somme that caused grave un
easiness. Late In the autumn, Rouma
ulu had been defeated by kalkenhayn
and Mackensen, and the danger in the
east removed, but the British attacks
towards Bapnume, in September, near
ly resulted In a disastrous break
One Cloud on Horizon.
The present position, contrasted
with that of last year, is painted in
bright colors. Thanks to the bri
llant and successful" retreat of Hin
denburg in the Somme area as the
winter drew towards an end, and to
the Invention of new tactics which re
moved the possibility of such defeats
as were narrowly averted on the
Somme, the present year is represented
as one of brilliant strategical success.
The great allied attacks, east of Arras
in April and May, on the Aisne in
April, and in Flanders later in the
year, are declared to have failed. The
only Frunee-British successes admitted
are the "purely local setbacks inflict
ed on the Germans at Viray, the Mes
sines ridge, and Verdun. Russia is
proclaimed out of action, and the west
ern 'allies incapable of undertaking
further offensives on the scale of these
which have failed; the only cloud on
tlie horizon, the summary concluded, is
the army of the United States, whose
strength and prowess are written down
cautiously as an "unknown quantity.
That, in spite of what they believe
to be their improved position on the
west front, and the collapse of Russian
resistance in the east, the Germans
should lie more anxious for peace than
they were a year ago, is due to the
German fear of what they may ha%e
to face from across the Atlantic. So
much I am informed is freely admitted
In the German capital, although the
German press has been ordered to
sneer nt and belittle in every possible
way the new enemy. The process is
a familiar one. It is the same as that
employed towards England, while the
British armies were slowly and pain
fully being called out of the ground
and fashioned into shape. The sneers
stopped when the civilian levies struck
on the Somme, one month less thun
two years after the war began.
Allies Expect Too Much.
But the American pressure on Ger
many is probably more seriously fear
ed because of its financial and block
ade aspects than because of IV ashing
ton's naval and military preparations.
A serious danger exists that the Brit
ish and French publics may come to
expect altogether tor, much from our
new armies. A feeling is growing up
here that In some miraculous way
America is going to do very startling
things in the very near future. That
hope is, of course, baseless.
Ttie man in the street in London
gives vent to most extravagant figures
•m tlie subject of the American army.
He seems to feel that the hundreds of
thousands of recruits he reads about
Gaily will fall upon the Germans in a
few months. The danger undoubtedly
exists that when he finds that ills ex
pectations are unfounded, his present
mood towards America will undergo
a great change. Men here who know
tlie facts about what America is doing,
and \yhat France and England are do
ing and have done, ure alive to the
danger that extravagant hopes may
lead to reactions that will Imperil the
good relations that are so greatly de
Secrecy Gives False Perspective.
On the other hand, the present sys
tem of making everything public in
America regarding American war
preparations, and continuing to con
ceal the facts In France and England,
prevents Americans from learning the
truth about tlie achievements of their
allies, and by the time our troops are
fighting in France, may throw the
whole war into false perspective.
The difficulty is due to the Ameri
can habit of trusting tlie people with
tin* facts, or with most of them. Amer
icans art* told how many men are train
ing, and where; how many guns and
airplanes are being built; what the na
val program consists in; almost every
thing about the war excepting the ac
tual sailings of troops for the front,
and even those apparently become pub
lic property very quickly. What
Americans know about war prepara
tions in the United States quickly cir
culates in Europe, in inflated form, be
cause itéré the wildest rumors and
most optimistic reports are credited.
Here, on the contrary, from the tie
ginning of the wnr people have been
told nothing about their army or lltjet.
Tlie man in tlie street lias no idea how
many divisions Britain lias in the field;
the very names of her twenty newest
battleships, even the whereabouts of
till' licet, are unknown to him; the
whole war is being eondueted in ab
solute secrecy. (Deleted by Censor).
More Publicity Needed Abroad.
That such a distorted view of the
war should become current is obvious
ly most unfortunate and undesirable.
The cure would seem to lie In more
publicity in Britain and France, rath
er than less in the United States; if
it were possible to toll the world what
is being done here, in the same graphic
way that people are being informed
about the preparations in America, the
German staffs might get some valu
able information, but the German peo
ple certainly would be plunged in de
If the United States is able to place
in the battle line in France, when the
campaign gets fairly under way next
spring, one—(Deleted by Censor) the
number of British and French troops
that will be standing in tlie trenches,
allied military experts will be delight
ed. They do not expect »o much help
in so short a time.
The only precedent for the efforts
of America to play a part in the war in
France lies in the transport overseas,
in 1915, of Canadian and Australian
troops. The Canadians had one regi
ment of Boer war veterans, the Prin
cess Pat's, in line during the first win
ter, but a Canadian division was not
able to take over a sector of Its own
until April, 1915, eight months after
war began. The Australian and New
Zealand army corps reached Egypt, on
the way to the Dardanelles campaign,
about the same time that the first Ca
nadians disembarked in France.
It is not thought possible here that
the United States can greatly better
the record of the British Dominions,
because the Dominion troops had the
advantage of the existing war machin
ery In London, and were at first placed
under British staffs. The American
army is being compelled to improvise
its own machinery and its own staff
out of a war establishment not more
than one-fifth ns big as, and with far
less wnr experience than, tlie one exist
ing in London In 1914. (Deleted by
Tactic« Changed Since 1916.
When, in the distant future, the
American armies do charge upon the
enemy, the science of war will bear lit
tle resemblance to the 1915 and 1916
fighting which the phrase "over tlie
top" conjures up to the average read
er. A great bombardment, while lines
of men wait in trenches with fixed bay
onets to charge upon tlie enemy at
dawn ; a wild bayonet melee among
spluttering machine-gun bullets; then
tlie feverish organization of captured
trenches against counter-attack—this
was war, in the old days of the Somme.
Such war is almost obsolete now. By
the time Pershing's men "go in," it will
be as out of date as the tactics of
Shiloh or Gettysburg.
When I went over the captured
ground on the Vimy ridge and beyond,
during the battle of Arras, and again
when I saw the Flanders battlefields,
my main Interest was in the signs and
portends visible of the kind of war
the American army will have to wage.
To try to predict what war will be like
in 1919. or even late next year, would
be madness; but it is safe to say that
it will be, first and foremost, a war of
concrete. And there will be, in the
zones of the offensives, no trench sys
tems. Trenches cannot exist, they be
come mere death traps, under the
weight of metal poured out during an
up-to-date battle.
Pill Boxes Replace Trenches.
The first evidences of the concrete
war were available last spring. Profit
ing by the lessons of the Somme, the
Uermuns Installed thousands of mix
ing machines behind their lines, and
began constructing the little "pill box*
es," us the troops call them, or ca
mouflaged blockhouses built of blocks
of concrete ten and twelve feet thick,
big enough to hold garrisons of twenty
or thirty men, with narrow slits to per
mit machine-gun tire and flame throw
These pill boxes are the backbone of
the German defensive system today.
They are so strong that nothing but a
direct hit from the heaviest kind of
shell will demolish them. They shed
ordinary field gun and howitzer shells
like raindrops. Next to the pill box,
the ruined house now proves the hard
est nut to crack. Steel girders ure
placed across the cellar, then upon
them are poured many feet of concrete,
und below crouches the garrison, safe
against bombardment, with machine
guns, bombs, and emergency rations in
ease they are cut off. Whole days are
sometimes required to reduce these re
doubts, unless eases of high explosive
can be brought up to settle them.
Shell holes are also concreted, and con
nected by underground passages, invis
ible, unlike the trenches, from hostile
Trench Systems Easily Destroyed.
It is by Increasing the depth of the
defensive zone that the enemy is able
to hold out under the bombardments
to which lie is subjected : Trench sys
tems of the old kind could he entirely
destroyed, the old-style deep dugouts
broken in or filled with poison gas,
while today it is next to impossible
to smash all the hidden blockhouses or
discover which among thousands of
shellholes, over a devastated area sev
eral miles deep, are filled with defen
When the Americans attack, they
will go forward in small groups, behind
an artillery storm of such intensity
that in all probability at least one can
non will be firing behind every infan
tryman who advances. Already, in
the last Verdun attacks, more gunners
than infantrymen were employed. If
tactics develop along the present lines,
it will not be more than a year before
cannons are more plentiful than sol
Poison gas, boiling oil drums, flame
throwing machines, are increasing in
effectiveness on both sides. The rille
bullet, once tiie prime weapon of de
struction, gave way at tlie beginning
of tills war to the machine-gun stream
and the shell. Many soldiers have
told me that they think the new weap
ons of scientific deviltry will have su
perseded tlie machine gun and the
bomb before another campaign has
American Power Already Felt.
If Germany fears American military
prowess and wants peace before the
American array is in the field, she is
taking a long view. But the blockade,
and the financial power of the United
States, are already making themselves
felt. The popular feeling in France
and England that our soldiers and
ships are going to do great tilings in
a few months is too optimistic; but it
is probable that Britons and French
men do not sufficiently realize what
has been done by American bankers,
and by the stoppage of supplies to neu
trals which during the whole war have
filtered into Germany In enormous
"America," said a member of the
government recently, "is doing about
three times ns much as we thought, last
spring, would be possible at this date.
If Americans are annoyed that our peo
ple expect them to perform impossible
miracles, let them remember that such
hopes are tlie highest expression of
confidences and appreciation that we
can give their great country."
Bordeaux Is Not at All Like the Capi
tal City but Has a Quality and
Culture of Its Own.
"Paris Is France," the American
traveler id fond of remarking, but
Paris is far from being all of France.
There are numerous independent mind
ed French cities, which persist in main
taining not only a commerce but also
a quality and a culture of their own.
There Is nothing nt all Parisian about
Bordeaux. The southern city is a lit
tle world in Itself.
The native of Bordeaux does not
yield reverently to the judgment of
Paris in matters political and artistic,
as many of the French provincials do,
writes a traveler. lie is rather reti
cent for a native of the south of
France, but after a time it may dawn
on you that he actually considers Bor
deaux superior to Paris in most ways.
Paris is all right for a vacation, he
will say, but not for a place to live.
Bordeaux is quietly and solidly self
satisfied. prosperous, kindly, conserva
tive and mild.
It is a rich city, with an immense
foreign trade in times of peace. It has
one of the greatest harbors of France,
where 1,500 ships may lie at anchor. It
is a stately city, with great buildings
and noble residences; even its poorer
houses are built in an individual style
differing from that of the rest of
France. It has a southern speech that
practically gives it a dialect of its own.
It is in closer touch with England, with
I he United States and with Smith
America than any other French city.
Its cooking amounts to a native art.
It Is the center of one of the most
famous wine growing regions in the
world. Finally, its climate is a most
disagreeable thing to live with.
His attlVide toward the climate is
the shibboleth by which the native of
Bordeaux may be recognized. Strang
ers may admire the architecture, tlie
boulevards, the wine, the cookery and
the harbor. But if a man has a good
word for the climate of Bordeax it is
a sign he was born and bred there and
got to like It before he was old enough
to know better.
Bitter Arraignment of Hohenzol
lernism Written to Be Read
by Germans.
Senseless and Extravagant Lu6t for
War Plunges World Into Ssa of
Blood and Tears—Soldiers
Urged to Join Entente and
Wrest Land From Claws
of Destroyer.
This article was written by a g
German to be read by Germans. ^
It was circulated in Germany C
through the efforts of German q
republicans In Switzerland who *>
are working for the overthrow ,j,
of Hohenzollernlsm and the es- v
tablishment of a German re- n
■Ö public. A copy has just been »
received in this country and ;>
has been translated for the use
^ of the press. i>
* £
Comrades in wnr!
Three years have passed since the
German emperor plunged the world
and His people into tills most ground
less, senseless and impious of all wars.
Into a sea of blood and tears.
Trained from childhood to be a sol
dier, brought up amid tlie perverted
views of the junker and officer caste,
dreaming of the laurels of tlie con
queror as tht* highest ideal, counseled
by generals, befriended by war con
tractors. and even with a financial in
terest in their profiteering, he has since
1905 systematically paved the way for
the war. He desired this war, he per
mitted the systematic cult of war in
Germany by the Pan-Germanists, anil
he has encouraged it. lit' supported
and fomented the almost daily quar
rels of the other powers through the
Pan-German press by His inflamma
tory speeches. Last of all he affixed his
signature to tlie various declarations of
war; he is fully and entirely responsi
ble for them.
For nine years the diplomacy of our
neighbors, consistently anxious for
peace, succeeded in averting this dis
aster from tlie world. This was the
policy which was falsely presented to
your ignorance ns the "isolation
policy," in reality, a peace policy in
which Germany was always most
heartily invited to participate. Ger
many was not isolated, but the German
government, and in its wake the Aus
trian government, deliberately and ma
______ „ _______
liciously withdrew from the circle of
civilized nations, as criminals from hu
man social circles.
But not only the diplomatic circles
of foreign states, but also German inen
of insight and lofty Ideals have placed
themselves firmly in opposition to the
emperor's senseless and extravagant
lust for war, in spite of his wrath, und
have sacrificed their positions rather
than their convictions. This was true
in the case of tlie president of the
Reichsbank, Doctor Koch, and even of
the emperor's brother, I'rlnce Henry of
Prussia. On the 31st of July, 1914, he
urged the emperor to desist from the
war. and when he failed in his attempt
he flung at the emperor's feet his com
mission as grand admiral and com
mander in chief of the German navy.
Up to the last moment (England
even held out until noon of the 4th of
August, 1914, when the German army
had already swept like a torrent over
the boundaries of the neighboring coun
tries on every side) the rulers, minis
ters and diplomats of England, Russia,
France and Serbia did all that lay
within human power, even to the ut
most self-abnegation, in order to pre
serve peace for the world. This fact
Is clearly manifest ; the documents con
corning it set it forth in black and
white to the gaze of the world. They
are acknowledged as authentic by the
German government, hut they are nat
tiruily withheld from the German poo
pie. No one wished to attack us, either
then or at any later time. All that Aus
tria could ask of Serbia with even the
slightest semblance of justice was free
ly granted.
Thus from the very beginning of the
war the sympathy of the entire world
belonged properly to our neighbors
who had been so wantonly attacked.
But it did not stop at sympathy; the
scoundrels who govern you and control
you, by th» colossal atrocity of their
methods ol %/nrfare, by such brutality
ns In itself to be a menace to the whole
neutral world, by disregard of nil es
tabiished treaties, managed step by
step to enrage all civilized humanity
to wnr against us.
If a bloodthirsty maninc should be
let loose on the streets those whom he
attacked would defend themselves. All
peace-loving men would hasten to their
rescue; only cowards would slink tim
idly away. This is today the attitude
of the world toward Germany. There
will be. no peace, and Justly so, until
the murderer is imprisoned and thorn
of his power to harm.
Comrades in wnr. this murdeter Is
the German emperor and his govern
mont; that is to say. the men whom lie
himself has chosen for his infamous
plan, without consulting the people
and without regard for their wishes;
and these are accomplices he has se
iectcd after men of honor have refused J
tHeir services. In the spring of 1914. I
by an overwhelming vote of lack of
confidence, the reichstag showed its
distrust of the only man whose signa
ture tilt* emperor needed for mobili
zation and declaration of war, Betli
man:--Holweg, his imperial chancellor.
In no modern civilized state would it
be possible for a minister to remain in j
office after being openly branded by
tlie representatives of the people as un
fit. tait in Germany any criminal may
become and remain imperial chancellor
at the will of fhe emperor nlone. Pun
ishment tins already found him out. An
other lackey has been promoted to
lackey-in-ohlef. without consultation J
with the German people and their rep
This murderer is the German em
peror with his accomplices; but not
the German people, the poor people
defrauded and exploited by their gov
ernment; not tiie poor soldiers, who
art' driven to slaughter by these knaves
under tlie iron shackles of military law.
like the miserable galley slaves of old. j
Comrades, how long is it your wish
to put up with this? When will you
rouse yourselves? When will you take
arms on the side on which every man
of honor must now fight; on the side of
humanity and civilization against this
gang of slayers? When will you fret*
our poor, down-trodden, famished peo
ple from Its tyrants, and again estab
lish justice, liberty, morality, reason
and civilization in Germany?
Why nor come over to fight on tlie
side of justice, of truth, of freedom, all
of y<
ii ; the side on which all civilized |
the noblest and
your own people
nations as well at
most far-seeing of
have taken their stand?
I know tlie reasons which hold you !
back :
1. Your ignorance; the false doc
trines with which you were inoculated
in your school days in all matters of ;
history, civil lift' and politics; the pro- j
tentions lies of fhe German press,
whipped into line by a military dicta- j
tor: your implicit confidence In your
"<bid-given" leaders.
2. Fear of your masters, especially
of the officers. But these hangmen of
tlie icaiser are cowardly and hide them
selves in time of danger behind cover.
Shoot them down like mud dogs if they
get in your way. Rather that they
die than the hundreds of thousands of
honest, industrious fathers of fami
lies whom they have already hunted
into the jaws of death; a hunt which
day by day goes on.
3. Fear of committing an unpardon
able crime, and of being unable to re
turn home even if you escape punish- 1
... , . , , , .. , , ,,
4. Fear of injuring our fatherland if i
. „
von go over to fhe trench and Eng
. , .. ...... „ "
Ish, and more than that if you fight 1
. . , , . , .. "
on the r side, which is a matter for ,
vour own choice.
Comrades, I pledge you by all that
we hold holy, I am a son of the (»er
man people, I love them with every
fiber of my being, more than ever a
llohenzollern loved them; and the
honor and welfare of my fatherland
stand above all else, and are the only
v • : 5
$ ^ i
England's titled men and women are
in this war to win, and are actuated
by tlie same motives and feelings as
the humblest Tommy. The noblemen
uf England have as a whole gone into
the army or navy and have proved
their courage and sacrifice as evi
deuced in the day's citations and ensu
alty lists. The women are also doing
their bit. Few of England's prominent
women are not enrolled and actively
working in the various service leagues
assisting the government. The Duchess
of Abercorn inis two daughters in war
service. One is working in a munition
factory and tiie other is In the Red
Cross service.
lodestars of my dstlny. I know the
war. the events biding up to it, its
causes, and its pn^ress—more than
the kaiser's governing likes. I assure
you that the welfanof the German
people demands that'ou come over;
aye, that you turn yoiu-.annon around,
that you join the entete and march
with them to the Rhin and over it.
and wrest our land fronthe claws of
its destroyer, for now aftfor all time.
There are only two pttpie ways
of ending this war: Eitha| urimn ity,
without you. without the '%)urntion
uf the German people, will «ihilute
Prussian junkerdom, and v*| starve
out tlie German people that tl, they
may free mankind, for now ft. f or .
ever, from a curse which rest»^, un
them with the weight of Alpine sa N .
from any insane criminal on a th v .
who, by a stroke of the peu, ly
change millions of men into oorp,
and cripples, and ruin tiie industry ai
welfare of a nation; either tills or yo
yourselves will assist In the task o.
freeing mankind. PEACE WILL NOT
HOUR LATER But if tliis goal should
lie reached without you and in spite of
you you will he ground down inti
ruin, arid wlmt is more, the people of
our German fatherland will be given
over to the will of the conquerors.
Then your intellectual and political
leaders, the true leaders who are not
the lackeys of the emperor, will have
no right and no opportunity to inter
pose a word concerning the future or
der of the world and of Germany. But
if >ou co-operate, and that with all
your might, to carry out this purpose,
the honor of the German people, which
is today scorned as merely an insen
sate tool in the hands of murderers,
will be restored: and more than that,
you will have a voice in tiie establish
ment of tiie new order of the world
and of Germany. And take my word
for it we shall have peace, and we can
have it on such terms that the German
people will be happier in the future
than they ever were before the war. But
leave us in the lurch, and we must rec
ognize witli sullen rage and scorn that
we are the fellow countrymen of hope
lessly deluded slaves, upon whom wilt
rest tin* blame for their own ruin und
for tiie annihilation of Germany.
Comrades in war, you have taken an
oath of allegiance to your flag. But the
emperor, too. took an oath nt the be
ginning of ids reign, an oath of al
legiance to the German constitution.
Tlie confederation which forms tlie
German empire was established ac
to this constitution, "TO PRO
To K,lan! !t ,H tfu> foremost, indeed the
,mly ' ,,uty ot ' the Germun emperor. If
this purpose cannot lie accomplished
without war, then the emperor may de
clare war, hut not until then. But th®
emperor wickedly, wantonly, by deceiv
ing the German people, by mlsrepre
„ T . - . . ,
senting facts and by forging officia
. . . , ,, .
documents, by breaking sacred treaties
.... . . ... . . , .
which he as the defender of lustice
. , . . , . . .
should have observed, has overthrown
„ , . , . . _
Belgium, declared war on Russia,
fr rance and Serbia, and has thereby
violated the laws of iustir» «u.
violated the laws of justice and th«
constitution; has hurled the German
empire down to ruin and has wrecked
the welfare of the German people. Tic
oath which you have taken means al
egiance merely to an emperor who Is
the protector of the German people,
the guardian of their constitution, the
true preserver of their welfare; it does
not mean allegiance to burglars, mur
derers, rascally drummers for greedy
cannon makers. But you took no oatli
against the German people whom It
was this emperor's duty to protect ;
whom you must now protect without
him and against him, a miserable
I wretch who betrays his country In the
hour of greatest danger, who either
from stupidity or from cowardice
works against the good of his people.
I Let every man who loves the Ger
: man people and the German fatherland
come over ! Tlie password which is to
lie given at the French posts is:
He will meet not only French and Eng
lish and Americans, but also German
patriots, whose concern it is that our
fatherland, the fatherland so shame
fully and treacherously sold by Its
rulers by divine right, should not be
annihilated; and lie will be welcomed
with honor by the French if he gives
this password, and will be well treated
Comrades In war, the knife Is at tin
gullet of the scoundrels who rule you
and they would rather starve and bleed
the German people to death to the last
man than make peace, or even make
known the object «if their war. For
I hey know very well that the hour of
reckoning 1ms struck for them when
they can no longer suppress tin 1 truth
j beneath their martial law, and trample
freedom in the dust. Before we make
peace, therefore, and in order to make
peace, we must first reckon with them.
Dog Saves Three.
Altoona. 1'a.—A barking dog saved
| Mr. and Mrs. Scott Steele and their
baby from probable cremation recent
; !y, when their home at Lakemont was
I The dog barked, whined and
i jcratched nt their bedroom door until
the family was awakened. Tiie lower
portion of the house filled with sinon®,
Steele had just time to guide tis fum
j ily to safety when flames cut o.*f 'h«
> stairway.

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