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I“OVER THE TOP”!
By An American Arthur Guy Empey Soldier Who Went Machine Gunner, Serving in fiance II Copyright 1917, by Arthur Ooy Sapey A ■ ■■■■■■ ~ sr,: ■■ EMPEY LEARNS HOW THE TOMM'ES ARE FED IN THE FRONT-LINE TRENCH AND BACK OF IT. Synopsis.— Fired by the sinking of the Lusitania, with the loss bt American lives, Arthur Guy Empey, an American living in Jersey City, • goes to England and enlists as a private in the British army. After a short experience as a recruiting officer in London, he is sent to train ing quarters In France, where he first hears the sound of big guns and makes tho acquaintance of “cooties.” After a brief period of training Empey’s company is sent into the front-line trenches, where he takes his first turn on the fire step while the bullets whiz overhead. - - lll ' 11 ' CHAPTER Vl.—Continued. — s— dinner I tried to wash out the dixie with cold water and a rag, and learned another maxim of the trenches —“II can’t be done.” I slyly watched one of the older men from another section, and was horrified to see him throw into his dixie four or five double handfuls of mud. Then he poured in some water, and with his hands scoured the dixie inside and out. I thought he was taking an awful risk. Supposing the cook should have seen him! After half an hour of unsuc cessful efforts I returned my dixie to the cook shack, being careful to put on the cover, and returned to the billet. Pretty soon the cook poked bis head In the door and shouted: “Hey, Yank, come out here and clean your dixie!” I protested that I had wasted a half hour on. It already, and had used up my only remaining shirt in the at tempt. With a look of disdain he ex claimed : “Blow me, your shirt! Why in didn’t you use mud?” Without a word in reply I got busy with the mud. and soon my dixie was bright and shining. Most of the afternoon was spent by the men writing letters home. I used my spare time to chop wood for the cook and go with the quartermaster to draw coal. I got pack just in time to issue our third meal, which consisted of hot ten. I rinsed out my dixie and returned it to the cookhouse, and went back to the billet with an exhilarated feeling that my day’s labor was done. I had fallen asleep on the straw when once again the cook appeared in the door of the billet wltlj: “Biime me, you Yanks are lazy. Who in a-goln’ to draw the water for the raornin’ tea? Do you think I’m a-goln’ to? Well, I’m not,” and he left. I filled the dixie with water from an old squeaking well, and once again lay down In the straw. CHAPTER VII. Rations. Just dozing off; Mr. Lance Corporal butted in. In Tommy’s eyes a lance corporal Is one degree below a private. In the corporal’s eyes he Is one degree above a general. He ordered me to go with him and help him draw the next day’s rations, also told me to take my waterproof. Every evening, from each platoon or machine-gun section, a lance corporal and private go to the quartermaster sergeant at the company stores and draw rations for the following day. The “quarter,” as the quartermaster j } Taking Provisions to th* Front sergeant is called, receives daily from the orderly room (captain’s office) a slip showing the number of men en titled to rations, so there is no chance of putting anything over on him. Many arguments take place between the “quarter” and the platoon noncom, but (he former always wins out. Tommy says the “quarter” got his job because he was a burglar In civil life. Then I spread the waterproof sheet on the ground, while the quartermas ter’s batman dumped the rations on it. The corporal was smoking a fag. I carried the rations back to the billet. The corporal was still smoking a fag. How I envied him. But when the issue commenced my envy died, and I real ized that the first requisite of a non commissioned officer on active service Is diplomacy. There were 19 men in our section, and they soon formed a semicircle around us after the corporal had called out, “Rations up.” The quartermaster sergeant had given a slip to the corporal on which was written a list of the rations. Sit ting on the floor, using a wooden box as a table, the issue commenced. On the left of the corporal the rations were piled. They consisted of the fol lowing : Six loaves of fresh bread, each loaf of a different size, perhaps one out of the six being as flat as a pancake, the result of an army service corps man placing a box of bully beef on it dur ing transportation. Three tins of jam, one apple and the other two plum. Seventeen Bermuda onions, all dif ferent sizes. A piece of cheese in the shape of n wedge. Two one-pound tins of butter. A handful of raisins. A tin of biscuits, or as Tommy calls them “Jaw breakers.” A bottle of mustard pickles. The “bully beef.” spuds, condensed milk, fresh meat, bacon and “Macono chie rations” (a can filled with merit, vegetables and greasy water), had been turned over to the company cook to make a stew for next day’s dinner. He also received the tea, sugar, salt, pep per and flour. Scratching his head, the corporal studied the slip issued to him by the quarter. Then In a slow, mystified voice he read out, “No. 1 section, 19 men. Bread, loaves, six.” He looked puzzled and soliloquized in a musing voice: “Six loaves, nineteen men. Let’s see, that’s three in a loaf for fifteen men — well, to make it even, four of you’ll have to muck in on one loaf.” THE STARKVILLE NEWS, STARKVTLLE, MISSISSIPPI. The four that got stuck made a howl, but to no avail. The bread was dished out. Pretty soon from a far corner of the billet, three indignant Tommies ac costed the corporal with: “What do you call this, a loaf of bread? Looks more like a sniping plate.” The corporal answered: “Well, don’t blame me, I didn’t bake it; somebody’s got to get it, so shut up until I dish out these blinkin’ ra tions.” Then the corporal started on the Jam. “Jam, three tins —apple one, plum two. Nineteen men, three tins. Six In a tin makes twelve men for two tThs, seven in the remaining tin.” He passed around the jam, and there was another riot. -Some didn’t like apple, while others who received plum were partial to apple. After a while differences were adjusted and the issue went on. “Bermuda onions, seventeen.” The corporal avoided a row by say ing that he did not want an onion, and I said they make your breath smell, so I guessed I would do without one too. The Corporal looked his,gratitude. “Cheese, pounds, two.” The corporal borrowed n jackknife (corporals are always borrowing), and sliced the cheese —each slicing bring ing forth a pert remark from the on lookers as to the corporal’s eyesight. “Raisins, ounces, eight,” By this time the corporal’s nerves had gone west, and in despair he said that the raisins were to be turned over to the cook for “duff” (plum pudding). This decision elicited a little “grous ing,” but quiet was finally restored. “Biscuits, tins, one.” With his borrowed jackknife, the corporal opened the tin of biscuits, and told everyone to help themselves —no- body responded to this invitation. Tommy is “fed up” with biscuits. “Butter, tins, two.” “Nine In one, ten In the other.” Another rumpus, r “Pickles, mustard, bottles, one.” Nineteen names were put in a steel helmet, the last one out winning the pickles. jOn the next issue there were only *lB names, as the winner is elimi nated until every man In the section has won a bottle. The raffle Is closely watched, because Tommy is suspicious when it comes to gambling with his rations. When the issue Is finished the cor poral sits down and writes a letter home, asking them If they cannot get some M. P. (member of parliament) to have him transferred to the Royal Fly ing corps where he won’t have to Issue rations. At the different French estamlnets in the village and at the canteens Tom my buys fresh eggs, milk, bread and pastry. Occasionally when he Is flush, he Invests in a tin of pears or apri cots. His pay Is only a shilling a day, 24 cents, or a cent an hour. Just Imag ine. a cent an hour for being under fire —not much chance of getting rich out there. When he goes Into the fire trench (front line). Tommy’s menu takes a tumble. He carries in his haversack what the government calls emergency or iron rations. They are not supposed to be opened until Tommy dies of star vation. They consist of one tin of bully beef, four biscuits, a little tin which contains tea, sugar and Oxo cubes (concentrated beef tablets). These are only to be jised w hen the enemy establishes a curtain of shell fire on the communication trenches, thus preventing the “carrying in” of rations, or when In an attack a body of troops has been cut off frohi its base of supplies. The rations are brought up at night by the company transport. This Is a section of the conipany In charge of the quartermaster sergeant, composed men, mules and limbers (two w'heeled wagons), which supplies Tom my’s W’ahts while in the front line.' They are constantly under shell fire. The rations are unloaded at the en trance to the communication trenches and are “carried In” by men detailed for that purpose. The quartermaster sergeant never goes into the front-line trend). He doesn’t have to, and I have .never heard of one volunteering to do so. The company sergeant major sorts the rations and sends them In. Tommy’s trench rations consist of all the bully beef he can eat, biscuits, cheese, tinned butter (sometimes 17 men to a tin), jam or marmalade, and occasional!/ fresh bread (ten to a loaf). When it is possible he gets tea and stew. When things are quiet, and Fritz is behaving Uke a gentleman, which sel- dom happens, Tommy has the opportw* nlty of making dessert. This Is “trench pudding.’* It Is made from broken biscuits, condensed milk, jam— a little water added, slightly flavored with mud —put Into a canteen and cooked over a little spirit stove known as “Tommy’s cooker.” (A firm In Blighty widely advertises these cookers as a necessity for the men In the trenches. Gullible people buy them—ship them to the Tommies, who, Immediately upon receipt of same throw them over the parapet. Some times a Tommy falls for the ad, and uses the cooker In a dugout to the dis trust and discomfort of the other oc cupants.) This mess Is stirred up In a tin and allowed to simmer over the flames from the cooker until Tommy decides that It has reached sufficient (gluellke) consistency. He takes his bayonet and by means of the handle carries the mess up In the front trench to cool. After It has cooled off he tries to eat It Generally one or two Tommies in a, section have cast-iron stomachs and the tin Is soon emptied. Once I tasted trench pudding, but only once. In addition to the regular ration Is sue Tommy uses another channel to enlarge his menu. In the English papers a “Lonely Soldier” column Is run. This is for the soldiers at the front who are sup posed to be without friends or rela tives. They write to the papers and their names are published. Girls and women in England answer them, and send out parcels of foodstuffs, ciga rettes, candy, etc. I have known a “lonely” soldier to receive as many as five parcels and eleven letters In one week. It 1 Empey realizes for the first time how death lurks in the trenches when a comrade falls by his side. He tells about it in the next installment. * ('to BE CONTINUED.) MOT THEIR FIRST MEETING British Officer and Privates, Home From the Front, Had Same Mem ories of “Tight Corner.” Two privates In “Blighty” blue were limping their way along Ilegent street, London. Each had his badges of hon or —two and three eloquent gold stripes. They were In London town again—in* it, but somehow not of it. Only the accident of war made them ■Regent street saunterers. From the opposite direction there approached a young officer with a lady companion. He, too, had the gold stripes of the twice wounded. Eager and bright, he seemed ab sorbed in ids companion, apparently not noticing the two privates. In deed, ho was almost by them when la a flash he darted from the side of his companion, seized the hand of one of the privates In u hearty grip and ejac ulated : “Great heavens I fancy meeting you here! Bit different when we were to gether before, eh? What a tight cor ner! And only we two left —and here we are again. And how are you, and how are you getting on?” Succeeded a string of other ques tions, culminating In “Getting bet ter, eh? Feel as if you'll soon be ready to go cut again? How do you feel about it? Will you be glad to go?” What the private said may be In ferred from the resumption of the offi cer’s talk. “That’s the right spirit. Shouldn’t wonder if we meet again in anothei hot corner. Well, good luck and cheero!” A Change for the Invalid. If you have a friend lying ill, try taking some daintily prepared edibles next time you make a visit. Nourishing broths and soups, wine jellies, delicately browned custards and light puddings made of eggs and milk are good. Or a small jar of mar malade or half a dozen lightly brown ed biscuit for the invalid’s tea. Or creamed chicken and creamed oysters delivered in a charming blue bowl and all ready to be heated up by the nurse. Grapefruit is always appreciated and mandarin oranges and white grapes in a pretty basket are an appe tizing combination, and there are some invalids who would be delighted with a jar of preserved ginger for occa sional nibbling. “Ki" in the Navy. Navy cocoa, which Princess Mary thought might be good to eat as cho colate, Is known aboard ship as ki. Tt is served out on the first dog watch every Thursday, and it is drunk when ever circumstances (in other words, the ship’s “crusher,” or policeman) permit The men grate down a liberal quantity of It (for ki Is less concen trated than shore cocoa) and drink it mixed In basins with sugar and con densed milk. At sen a special caul dron or ki, prepared by the ship’s cook, Is seqt round action stations In “fan nies,” or large pitchers. Midnight for the guns’ crews of our fleet is the hour when the ki boat arrives.—London Cbronlol*. NO CAMOUFLAGE IN THIS STORYI APPLY A FEW DROPB THEN LlFtj TOUCHY CORNS OFF WITH FINQERB. Don't hurt a bit I Drop a IKtW freezone on an aching corn, instantly, that corn stops hurting, then you lift: it right out. Yes, magic! f s A tiny bottle of freezone costs but ft few cents at any drug store, but Is sufficient to remove every hard corn, soft corn, or corn between the toes, and the callouses, without soreness or irritatiop. 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