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"OVER THE TOP"
BY ARTHUR GUY EMPEY ff>nvrighr 1917 by Arthur Guy Kmocv - J ι Tommy admires Albert of Belgium be cause he Is not a pusher of men ; he leads them. With him It's not a case of "take that trench," It Is "come on ami we will take It." It is nrauslng to notice the different characteristics of the Irish, Scotch and English soldiers. The Irish and Scotch are very impetuous, especially when It comes to bayonet fighting, while the Englishman, though a triflo slower, thoroughly does his bit ; he Is more methodical and has the grip of a bull dog on α captured position. He is Slower to think ; that is the reason why ho never knows when he is licked. Twenty minutes before going over the top the English Tommy will sit on the fire step and thoroughly examine the mechanism of his rifle to see that It Is In working order and will fire prop erly. After this examination he is sat isfied and ready to meet the Boches. But the Irishman or Scotchman sits •n the Are step, his rifle with bayonet tixed between his knees, the butt of which perhaps is sinking info the mud —the bolt couldn't be opened with a team of horses it Is so rusty—but he spits on his sleeve and slowly polishes %ls bayonet; when this Is done he also & ready to argue with Fritz. It is not necessary to mention the colonials (the Canadians, Australians and New Zealenders), the whole world knows what they have done for Eng land. The Australian and New Zealander is termed the "Anzac," taking the name from the first letters of their of ficial designation, Australian and New Zealand army corps. Tommy divides the German army ;Into three classes according to their fighting abilities. They rank as fol lows: Prussians, Bavarians and Sax ons. 1 When up against η Prussian rt'gi nient It Is a case of keep your nepper below the parapet and (luck. A bang bang all the time anil a war Is on.r The Bavarians are little better, but the Saxons are fairly good sports and are willing occasionally to behave as gen tlemen and take It easy, but you can not trust any of them overloug. I At one point of the line the trenches were about thirty-two yards apart. This sounds horrible, but In fact it was easy, because neither side could shell the enemy's front-line trench for fear shells would drop Into their own. This eliminated artillery fire. In these trenches when up against the Prussians and Bavarians, Tommy had a hot time of it, but when the Sax ons "took over" it was a picnic ; they would yell across that they were Sax ons and would not fire. Both sides would sit on the parapet and carry on a conversation. This generally consist ed of Tommy telling them how much he loved tho kaiser, while the Saxons informed Tommy that King George was a particular friend of theirs and hoped that he was doing nicely. : \Vhen the Saxons were to be relieved by Prussians or Bavarians, they would yell this Information across No Man's Land and Tommy would Immediately tumble into his trench and keep Ills head down. If an English regiment was to be re lieved by the wild Irish, Tommy would tell the Saxons, and Immediately a vol ley of "Donner und Blitzens" could be heard and It was Fritz's turn to get a crick In his back from stooping, and the people in Berlin would close their windows. Usually when on Irishman takes over a trench, just before "stand down" In the morning, he sticks his rifle over the top, aimed in the direction of Ber lin, and engages In whaf Is known a· the "mad minute." This consists of firing fifteen shots Ια a minute. Be Is not aiming at anything la particular —Just sends over each sliot with β prayer, hoping that one of his atraye will get some poor unsuspecting Fritz in the napper hundreds of yards be hind the lines. It generally does ; that'· the reason the Boches hat* the man from Erin's Isle. The Saxons, though better than the Prussians and Bavarians, have a nasty trait of treachery In their makeup. At ooe point Ôf the Une where the trenches *7ere very « lose a slake was driven Into the ground midway be tween the hostile Unes. At night when It was his turn, Tommy would crawl to this jtake and attach some London papers to It, while at the foot he would place tins of bully beef, fags, sweets, and other delicacies that he had re ceived from Blighty In the ever looked for parcel. Later on Fritz would come out and get these luxuries. The next night Tommy would go out to Bee what Fritz put into his stocklne. The donation generally consisted of a paper from Berlin, telling who was winning the wnr, «orne tinned sausages, cigare, and occasionally a little beer, but a funny thing, Tommy never re turned with rhe beer unless It was in side of him. Hie platoon got a whiff of his breetb one night and tbe offending Tommy lost his Job. One night a young English sergeant crawled to the Btake and as he tried to deta<h the German paper a bomb ex ploded and mangled lilm horribly. Fritz had 8»t » trap and gained another vic tim which was only one more black mark against him In the book of this war. From that time on diplomat!'· re lations were severed. Returning to Tommy, I think his spirit Is best shown In the questions he aske. It Is never "who Is going to win" but always "how long will It take?" CHAPTER XX. Λ '* V" *Ijifp, "Chats With Frita." We were swimming in money, from the receipts of our theatrical venture, and had forgotten ail about the war, when an order came through that our brigade would again lake over their sector of the line. The day that these orders were is sued, our captain assembled the Όΐη· pany and asked for volunteers to go to the Machine Gun school at St. Omar. I volunteered and was accepted. Sixteen men from our brigade left for the course in machine gunnery. This co'.irse lasted two weeks and we rejoined our unit and were assigned to the brigade machine gun company. It almost broke my heart to leave my company mates. The gun we used was the Tickers, Light .808. water cooled. I was still a member of the Suicide club, having jumped from the frying pan Into the fire. I was assigned to section 1. gun No. 2 and the first time "In" took position in the front-line trench. During the day our gun would be dismounted on the Are step ready for j Instant use. We shared a ûugout with the Lewis gunners. At "stand to" we would mount our gun on the parapet and go on wot'li beside It until "stund down" in the morning. Then the gun would be dismounted and again placed In readiness on the fire step. We did eight days In the front-line j trench without anything unusual hap pening outside of the ordinary tren<!i routine. On the night that we were to "carry out." a bombing raid against 'I. German lines was pulled off This raid ing parly consisted of sixty company men. sixteen bombers, and four Lewis machine guns with their crews. The raid took the Boche? by surprise and was a complete success, the party bringing back tweu'y-one prisoners. The Germans must have been awful ly sore, because they turned loose a barrage of ?hrnpnel, with a few "Mic nies" and "whizz bangs" intermixed. The «hells were dropping into our front line like hailstones. To get even, we could have left the prisoners in the fire trench, in charge of the men on guard and let them click Fritz's straffing but Tommy does not treat prisoners that way. t'ive or them were brought into my dugout and turned over to me so that they would be safe from the German tire. t In the candlelight, they looked very ; much shaken, nerves gone and chalky ! faces, with the exception of one. a great big fellow. lie looked very much at ease. I liked him from the start. I got out the rum Jar and gave each a nip and passed around some fags, the old reliable Woodbines. The other prisoners looked their gratitude, but the big fellow said in English, "Thank you, sir, the rum is excellent and I ap preciate it, also your kindness." He told me his name was Carl Schmidt, of the Sixty-sixth Bavarian Light infantry ; that be had lived six [ years in New Tork (knew the city bet· j ter than I did), had been to Coney I island and many of our bail games. He was a regular fan. X couldn't make him ' believe that Han« Wagner wasn't the best ball player in the world. I· rotn New York h* had (tone to Lon· ! don where h..· v,or d ne h waiter in the Hotel Russell. Just before the war lie went home to Germany to see hi» ! parents, th·; war cam* and he was con scripted. lit· told me he was very sorry t* I henr that London was In raius from li" Zeppt-lln ra.'ls. I could not <on ; Tin· e h ; ι : otherwN. for hadn't h<> seen ι moving ι : tures in one of the Oertriaiii • .'.es of st Pant'** ·mhetira! la ruin.*. I changed the subject because he ι Tas βο stubborn in hN belief. It vra* my intention to try end pump him for information an to the methods of the German snipers, who had been caus ing us trouble in the last few days. I broached the subject ami he shut up like a dam. After a few minutes he very Innocently said: "(lem on snipers get paid rewarrte for k . :.g th" Kngllsh." I eagerly u«Lcd. "What are they?" lie answered : "F - kiiliry or wounding an English private the sniper gets one mark. For klliinn or wounding an English officer he ge"> five murk' hut if lie kills a Red ''up or Knglish general, the sniper g"ts twenty-one days tied to the wheel of it limber as punishment for his careless ness." Then h<> paused, waiting for me t·» bite, I suppose. I bit nl! right and asked him why the sniper was punished for killing aa English genera!. With a smile he re plied : ; "We!!, you see. if all the English gen erals were killed, there would be no ! one left to make costly mistakes." I shut him up. he was getting to<^ fresh for a prisoner. After a while he winked at nie and I winked back, then I the esi-ort come to take the prisoners ι to the rear. I shook hands and wished him "The best of luck and a safe Jour Dey to BUghty." I liked tiiat prisoner, he was a fine fellow, had an Iron Cross, too. I ad·' vised him to keep It out of sight, or some Tommy would be sending It home to his girl in Blighty as a souvealr. One dark and rainy night while on guard we were looking over the top from the Are step of our front-line treDch, when we heard a noise lmme-' dlately In front of our barbed wire. The sentry next to me challenged,! "Halt, -who comes there 7" and brought his rifle to the aim. His challenge was, answered in German. A captain in thai next traverse climbed upon the aaad bugged parapet to investigate—a bra*· but foolhardy deed—"Crack" went a bullet and he tumbled back into tb· trench with a hole through his stomach and died a few minutes later. AlaiKt^ corporal in the next platoon was so en raged at the captain's death that he chucked a Mills bomb In the direction of the noise with the shouted warning ; to us: "Duck your nappers. my lucky lads." A sharp dynamite report, a flare in front of us, aud then silence. ! We immediately sent tip two star «hells, and in their light could see twe dark forms lying on the ground close to our wire. A sergeant and four stretcher-bearers went out In froat and soon returned, carrying two limp bodies. Down in the àsgojl, !U "Old flickering light of three candles, w· saw rhat they were two German οβ cers, one' a captain and the other aa "unterofflzler," a rank one grade higher than a sereeant general, but below the grade of lieutenant. The captain's face had been almost -ompletely torn away by the bomb's "xplosion. The unterofSiier woe alive, breathing with difficulty. In a few min utes he opened his eyes and blinked in the glare of the candles. The pair had evidently been drink ing heavily for the alcohol fume· were sickening and completely pervaded the dugout I turned away In disgust, bating to see a man cross the Great Di vide full of booze. One of our officers could speak Ger man and he questioned the dying man. In a faint voice, interrupted by fre qneut hiccoughs, the unteroffliier told his story. :'SaMr ■: ·'' 1 here had been a drinking boot among the officers in one of the Ger man dugout*, the main beverage being champagne. With a drunken leer he informed us that champagne was plen tiful on their side and that it did not cost them anything either. Abotit seven that night the conversation had turned to the "contemptible" English, and the captain had made a wager that he would hang his cap on :he English barbed wire to show his contempt for the Enslish sentries. The wager was accepted. At eight o'clock the captain and hi· had crept out into No Man's Land to carry out this wager. They had gotten abotit halfway across when the drink took effect and the captain fell asleep. After about two hours cf vain attempts the unttr offlzler had at Inst succeeded in wak ing the captain, reminded him of his bet. and warned him that he would be the laughing stock of the officers' mess If he did not accomplish his object, but the captain was trembling all over and insisted on returning to the German linos. Γη the darkness they lost their hearings and crawled toward thi' Eng lish trenches. They reached the barbed wire and were suddenly challenged by our sentry. Bring too drunk to realize that the challenge was in English, the captain refused to rawl back. Finally the unterofflzier convinced his superior that they were in front of the Eugilsh wire. Realizing this too late, the cap tain drew his revolver and with a mut tered curse fired blindly toward our trench. His bullet no doubt killed oor captain. Then the bomb cam·· over and there he was, dying—and a good job too, we thought. The captain dead? Well, his men wouldn't weep at the news. Without civlng us any further infor mation the unteroffizier died. We searched the bodies for IdentlB cntion disks but they had left every thing behind before starting on their foolhardy errand. (To be Continued.) Justifiable Curloaity. It huppeued last, night that Oc«*7 Wattles dropped onto (he same »eat he bel.I the lunlit t . fort) at the icovia show. But the gun: he left attclcta· under the scat the first night was gttue lust night. Mr. Wattles doeao't want the gum, but he docs con fete to a vetf naturel curiosity to know who <Hd gtt Meeting a Gat and infantry Attack. <1 aui ΤΙΤΕ Μ Ο jj Ε R Ν C REDIT 8TOR Ή I STYLISH SUMMER CLOTHING For Men, Women and Children On PAY YOUR BILL GRADUALLY Every garment in our enormous stock bears our unqualified guar antee—-7he assortments are greater by far than can be found in any other credit clothing store in the state Ο IN Ε DOLLAR PAYS THE BILL w onderful V alues in Clothing for Wo men, Misses and Children All Wool Suits for Men and Young Men. 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