Julien Bryan.     "Ambulance 464"

III

IN THE ARGONNE FOREST

April 15th, 1917.

Senard "En Repos"

A great many things have happened since we left Dombasle, yesterday morning. Last night we stayed in a little place named Waly and then this morning we went on through Triacourt to Senard where the Doctor told us we were to stay during repos. We naturally expected that we would remain here two or three weeks. So we unpacked all the cars and spent most of the morning making our sleeping quarters in the barn comfortable. Suddenly, when four of us were playing horse-shoes near our "Salle à Manger" the news came that we were to move in one hour, to join another division in a new sector. This was a shock to all of us for it meant not only leaving our friends the brancardiers of the G.B.D. (stretcher-bearer corps) but also M. Rolland, our Doctor, who had been so good to us, and all the poilus in the division with whom we had become acquainted during the two months we had been with them. Two of the Frenchmen are leaving the section today; Lieutenant Bayart, to go to America on some business with which he was connected before the war, and kind little Monsieur Phillipe who is to be transferred to another service.

I am now writing this in the front seat of my car. We have said farewell to our friends and have formed the cars in convoy along the village street. The order to start will soon be given, and we will leave the old Hundred and Thirty-second forever. Iselin has whistled. I can write no more, for the fellows are cranking their cars, and Number One is already on. its way.

 

April 28th.

Ste. Menehould.

It is almost two weeks since we left our division at Senard. We are now attached to another, the Seventy-first, with our cantonment in Ste. Menehould. We evacuate two front line posts, La Harazee and St. Thomas, about fourteen miles north of here, and one relay which they call Suniat. There are always two cars at each post instead of one as we used to have at Esnes and Post Two. The hills afford wonderful protection for the roads. At La Harazee our cars are only four hundred yards from the Boche lines and at St. Thomas less than half a mile. As far as I can learn, there hasn't been much heavy fighting here for over a year and I am afraid we are in for six, or perhaps eight weeks of easy work.

Craig and I were sent to La Harazee the second day after we arrived here. We started exploring the place as soon as we got out of our cars. The quarters which they had given us we found to be a very comfortable abri, dug into the side of a steep hill, in Pueblo Indian fashion. Directly opposite our doorway stood the morgue and the Regiment refuse heap. We soon discovered the brancardiers' kitchen where we were to eat, and immediately made friends with the cook. Waiting around the post became very dull, and when the sergeant said that he didn't believe we would have a run before noon, we got his permission to take a short walk in the trenches which begin about one hundred feet behind our quarters. In barely five minutes we came to the second lines. While we were standing here, wondering whether we ought to go any further alone, a poilu from a nearby machine post came up. By tactful words and many cigarettes we got him to go with us up to the first line. He took us two or three kilometres along the front, explaining everything as we went from one place to another. I had my first peek through a field periscope at some German trenches fifty yards away, and at a listening post, which the Boches only use at night, twenty yards distant. We learned exactly how the communication trenches intertwine with the first, second and third lines, how there are grenade and observation posts a few yards apart, and where the deep abris are located in which thousands of cylinders of gas lie stored, ready at a moment's notice to be sent over to the German lines. Our guide told us the French had sent over a big attack last week and that the Boches would probably reply as soon as they got a favorable wind. While we were talking at this place a little toy balloon came sailing overhead, from the enemy's lines, apparently to test the speed and velocity of the wind. When we returned to the post, we learned that it had brought over a number of German newspapers commenting upon the war and making various suggestions for peace. There were also several French papers, printed in the Ardennes, which is captured territory. I managed to get one of the latter, and found to my surprise, that three whole pages were devoted to the names of French soldiers in the hands of the Germans. The name of each man, his military and his regiment number, were all given. But of course the whole journal had been very heavily censored by the enemy authorities. It was a poor attempt, however, to conceal their plans for a gas attack. After this he showed us places where there was a network of barbed-wire, above the trench to block the way in case of a German attack; and machine gun positions at the end of certain boyaux which sweep the whole trench if necessary. We then learned how to throw hand grenades, how to send up star shells and to fire rifle grenades, and how necessary it was to talk quietly on account of the proximity of the enemy. Luckily I had my camera with me and I took picture after picture of the things we saw. When we were obliged to return to La Harazee, the guide gave us an automatic revolver, which he had taken from a German officer. We paid him twenty francs for it. It would very likely have sold for a hundred marks in Berlin.

Explanation of Figures

1. French "citron" hand grenade. The cap, which has been removed, is screwed on to one end; before throwing the grenade, the cap is struck with the hand or knocked against some hard object. It explodes six or seven seconds later, and breaks up into as many pieces as there are squares. It is quite similar to the English "Mill's" grenade.

2. French rifle grenade, which has become very popular at the front. It is placed in a little funnel-shaped steel cylinder which fits over the barrel of a rifle; the bullet passes through the center, explodes the cap projecting from the knob on the right, and flies off into the air. The grenade itself is propelled by the escaping gases, and, travelling anywhere from 50 to 200 or 300 yards, is exploded a few seconds afterwards, by the time fuse ignited by the cap.

3. The time fuse and head of a French "75" ( inch) shell. The fuse is ignited by a cap and trigger within the fuse at the moment the shell leaves the gun. This ignites the powder, wrapped in a spiral coil running from the top of the fuse to the screw on the left. This burns until it comes to the hole punched at the second (time unit mark on the brass covering) at which the shell is to explode. Then the flame passes into the shell itself and explodes the "B. S. P." or high explosive powder by igniting the last big cap.

4. A two pound French trench torpedo which is shot out of a small gun by means of compressed air and hurled a distance of 200 or 300 yards. It is exploded by the fulminate of mercury cap, A, which in turn is set off by the trigger. The ring regulates the position of the latter and the spring keeps the cap and trigger separated.

Two days later I went to La Harazee again. I had gone about half way when a poilu stopped me and asked for a ride. We are not supposed to carry any persons except wounded, but sometimes we take pity on a poor fellow and give him a lift. This particular man was returning to the front from his leave of absence; he had been walking all day and I thought it wouldn't hurt to carry him a few miles. He was a very interesting fellow and turned out to be connected with a still more interesting service. He was one of the operators of a new device for receiving the enemy's telephone messages by means of sound waves through the earth. They have a sort of wireless outfit stationed half a mile behind the first lines, and to this are connected several long copper wires which extend to the German "fil de fer" (barbed-wire) out in No Man's Land, which is about as close as they can get to the German telephone system without being detected. With this apparatus they are able to hear the Boche messages very distinctly. But he told me that both sides now send all of their important news by courier, for the Germans have recently discovered a similar device and they blockade each other's moves very successfully. However, it was used for several months by the French and English before their friends across No Man's Land knew anything about it.

I carried the biggest load I have ever had in the car when I came back to Ste. Menehould the next day. Besides five blessés including a captain, a couple of artillery men and a poor fellow with the measles, were Williams who had come along to show me a new post in the woods, the rifles, helmets and packs of every soldier and the officer's trunk, an empty pinard barrel and four ravitaillement boxes. It was not a simple task to load this into a little Ford ambulance and climb those long hard hills on the return journey. However the car stood up to her task like a real automobile and I am proud of her. As soon as I got to Ste. Menehould I took the Captain to "I-71," as the big hospital in the main square of the city is called. Then I left three of those remaining at the H. O. E. near the railroad station; and had to lug Monsieur Measles five miles further on, to the contagious hospital at Verrieres.

 

May 2nd.

Quarters at Ste. Menehould.

Gilmore and I have been printing pictures since dark; we have rigged up a temporary dark-room in our barn and do all our photographic work here. We use a candle behind some colored paper for a red light, and an old carbide auto lamp instead of a Mazda bulb for printing. Naturally, we have no running water but carry all that we use for two blocks in our radiator buckets. Of course we might send our films into Paris to be developed but then there is the chance of losing them in the mails or at the overworked "Kodaks" office. And especially since some of the photos are mighty valuable to us, we prefer to do them ourselves.

After supper we had a regular rough and tumble circus out behind the "Salle à Manger." Frazer and Ray Eaton were feeling happy after a bottle of pinard apiece and we were all in for a good time. Somehow or other Eaton got the idea that he was a young Hercules and for a good quarter of an hour stood with his head through the center rung of a ladder and tried to swing the thing around with a fellow on each end. Of course it was a strain on him and after three or four rounds he would fall to the ground exhausted. Then Frazer bet me a bottle of champagne that he could pull his foot up over his head before I could. I was somewhat soberer than he was, and managed to beat him to it. But he kept stubbornly at it and finally got his foot over and several inches further down his back than I had. The judges called the affair a draw. After this we tried climbing a ladder without support, crawling all the way around a table without touching the ground and jumping over a broomstick held by both hands. A large and interested crowd of townspeople and soldiers collected to watch these queer, rough games in which we Americans seemed to delight.

1. The shelter of the little gun which shoots small trench torpedoes by means of compressed air.

2. A gas attack this evening? This poilu is learning, by means of his weathervane and an instrument for recording the velocity of the wind, whether or not he can launch an attack.

3. Gilmore in the steel turret of an observation post, twenty yards in front of the first lines.

1. An American made ten ton truck, so camouflaged with cubist painting in green, brown and yellow that it is rendered invisible at half a mile.

2. A gunboat on the Châlons-Prunay canal. It carries two five-inch cannon and a number of machine guns.

3. A machine depot in Champagne, where 60,000 shells are stored; each pile is carefully camouflaged with pine boughs.

I spent thirteen cents this afternoon to have my hair clipped and get a shave. The latter was the first one in three months and took off a fairly respectable mustache. Then, to make the overhauling complete, I took an eighteen cent bath at the Hospital "Mixte," where all the Algerians and Moroccans go This is really the first time I have seen a tub since I left the Espagne at Bordeaux almost four months ago.

"Montzie" committed suicide this morning. He carelessly stepped into an open sewer near the cantonment shortly after he had left the dining-room and that was the last time he was seen alive. It was rather an untimely ending after his hairbreadth escapes on the Esnes road, and after his sleeping on stretchers oozing blood in the old abri at Post Two. Montzèville, I wouldn't have thought it of you, you ugly little mongrel pup.

The fine "Ecole des Garcons" here in Ste. Menehould has been requisitioned by the government for hospital purposes and school is being held just at present in a wooden shack behind our cantonment. Every morning at recess forty or fifty of the little fellows flock around our cars, playing marbles and spinning tops. One would think that they were girls, in their funny little black aprons. They seem rather fond of me for I have taken a number of pictures of them at play; then the other morning I threw down to them, from the loft in the barn, about fifty tiny American flags which father sent to me. There was one grand scramble for them and of course some went away with more than their share. Now I can hardly walk to the Epicerie without some little fellow asking me for a petit drapeau. And if I ask him what he did with the one he got in the scramble the day before, he says he tried to keep it, but his little sister cried for it so when he got home that he had to give it to her . . . . They are always eager to talk. Several days ago one little chap came up to my car in which I was sitting, reading a letter from home, and asked me how old I was. He was rather surprised when I told him seventeen and couldn't understand why I had come over at that age. He had a brother eighteen, who wasn't to join the army for three months yet.

We aren't nearly so busy as we would like to be. Three days of the week we loaf around Ste. Menehould and then we are on duty for the next twenty-four hours at one of the posts. At times we work on our cars or hammer out souvenirs from Boche bullets and pieces of shell. A few of us are fond of quoits and play every day on a little island in the Aisne, across from our quarters. In the afternoon we drop around to the Patisserie near the Hôtel de Ville, if we have any money, and get Marie, the attractive little waitress there, to bring us a tray of cream tarts and lemonade---occasionally we experiment on something stronger. But on Tuesdays and Wednesdays it is closed, as are all the Patisseries and candy shops in France; we cannot even buy milk chocolate at an Epicerie, so we have to be content with our regular fare.

The other evening, Bradley who comes from Berkley, California, and Tenney, the only fellow in the section who has a smaller moustache than my own, set out with me for a stroll in the moonlight when it was really time to be in bed. We talked of the war, of section life and many other things; and when an hour had passed we were still going on. We reached the summit of a high hill overlooking Ste. Menehould some three miles away, and sat down on a grassy bank, to rest and to watch the star shells breaking in the Champagne Sector. Just as we arose to begin our return journey the searchlight on the hill in the city threw its great shaft of light into the sky and played it back and forth across the heavens. Then a shot from the anti-aircraft gun beside it broke the quiet of the night. We could not locate the enemy aeroplane for it never rested in one place. We were on top of a little knoll and could see very clearly the flash from the gun in Ste. Menehould, followed by the report twelve seconds later and then immediately after this, the bright glare from the exploding shrapnel a mile above us. They fired only a few shots, however, for they were unable to locate the plane on account of its great height. As we walked home the nightingales were singing. They make one forget about the war and think of France three years ago, when men instead of women were plowing in the fields, when Dombasle and Esnes and St. Thomas were happy villages, not dull piles of stone. The poilu too, dreams of those days and hopes and prays for the time when he can return to his family and again resume his normal life.

 

May 7th.

St. Thomas.

This is my first time on duty here. I have been twice to La Harazee and once to Suniat. They call the place St. Thomas because of a little village of that name which used to be here. I guess it has been totally destroyed by German fire, for I have never seen anything of the houses. There is, however, part of a wall standing near the post, which looks as though it might have belonged to a church. The post itself is one of the best we have ever had. It is an old gravel-pit in the side of a hill, and is very well protected on three sides. Next to us is the abri of a colonel of the two hundred and twenty-first regiment. It is a fine one, reinforced with cement and has an attractive flower garden in front of it. The latter contains a lot of unexploded Boche shells, which have fallen nearby and which some generous soul has brought to the colonel to use as boundary marks for his garden. Then not far from the spot where I left my car is a deep well of fine cool water. I mean to take a couple of gallons back to Ste. Menehould with me, for the water there comes from the Aisne and is very poor.

After I got acquainted with the brancardiers who seemed to be "midis" from the South of France, I set out on a walk in the trenches, and was gone about three hours. At one place in a first line trench I got a wonderful view of No Man's Land and the Boche trenches. In the background stood the ruins of Servon, through which their third line runs.

A heavy bombardment began as I was leaving and shell after shell whistled overhead, apparently going toward St. Thomas. Sad to say, it was all over before I arrived and a lot of new holes around the post and everybody sticking pretty close to his abri were the only signs that anything unusual had happened. While we were eating lunch a blessé came in who had lost the thumb and first finger of each hand half an hour before while attempting to unload a Boche grenade. He suffered terribly but never made a whimper during the long ride into Suniat. After I saw this fellow I thought of what one little grenade had done to him and wondered why it was we take chance after chance in unloading stuff, just for souvenirs. A couple of fingers missing or a scarred face makes a more lasting souvenir than an old shell, but one you wouldn't be so proud of.

We had a lively time at supper tonight, in our abri next to the post. Instead of cooking their own food the lazy brancardiers get it all prepared from one of the big kitchen sections just a few hundred yards from here. One of the dishes was fried potatoes. There weren't enough forks to go round, so we ate them with our fingers. One old fellow from Toulouse who told me afterwards that he was forty-eight years old, bragged that he hadn't tasted a drop of water for ten years. They joked all during the meal about their wine and told me I'd never be a real poilu (the word really means "hairy one") if I didn't drink pinard. So finally I let them pour me out a glass and we gave a toast to the speedy ending of the war.

 

May 15th, 1917.

Hotel Continental, Paris.

This heading certainly must look funny in my diary. The last entry was written while eating lunch with a crowd of brancardiers about a half a mile from the German lines and this one, in an actually civilized room at the Hotel Continental. It happened that my permission fell due the day after I came back from St. Thomas and I left the Section at Ste. Menehould to spend eight happy days in Paris. It was a long hot ride into Paris and we had to stand up all the way. But it was wonderful to get there and even more wonderful to take a hot bath at the hotel and then sleep between a real pair of linen sheets for fourteen hours.

Paris is happier than when we left. There are no coal worries now and the markets are overflowing with fresh spring vegetables and fruits. Our entry into the war seems to have cheered the people immensely. Everywhere you go there are American flags hanging from the windows. They think about it so much and talk about it so much that one would suppose we had a million men over here already.

I have had a wonderful time ever since I arrived. For when I am not playing tennis with some most attractive English girls at their country club on an island in the Seine, I am chasing out to Versailles for an afternoon or promenading with some friend in the "Bois de Boulogne." Every evening Anderson and I get together and, starting out with a marvellous meal at Foyots or Drouants, we end up with the opera and a café afterwards. The authorities are very strict about meats, sugar and certain vegetables in the restaurants; but you can't go hungry if you are willing to pay the price.

The field service is growing very rapidly and has taken over an annex in Rue Le Kain. Instead of receiving fifteen or twenty new men each week as they were doing when we came last February they are getting one hundred now. Since it is impossible to send them all out in Ambulance Sections, Andrew and Galatti have organized a group of truck sections which will handle ammunition and supplies behind the lines. It won't be quite as exciting as our work but it will be very interesting and certainly very helpful to the French army.

Andy and I went to the Gaumont Palace in Clichy tonight. They had advertised a big movie called "L'Invasion des Etats Unis." We thought we were going to see a remarkable picture, but it turned out to be the old "Battle Cry of Peace," which I had seen in New York two years before. The French audience, however, thought it quite wonderful and applauded continually throughout the show. They understand, far better than we do in America, its real meaning. Andy had to leave early and since the Metro had stopped I walked back to Rue Raynouard afterwards. It was long after midnight when I got there. The door was locked at Twenty-one, so I had to climb over the wall. Two other permissionaires who had been down in the Latin Quarter came up while I was struggling to get in and the three of us managed to get over together.

I will probably go back to the Section tomorrow with Williams and Allen. We are to get our "Ordre de Movement" from the office of the Army Automobile Service, next to the Gobelin tapestry works, in the morning and leave from the Gare de l'Est at noon.

 

May 22.

Ste. Menehould again.

There was a big package from home awaiting me at the bureau on my return from Paris. I found a wonderful lot of eatables inside when I opened it. A few of the contents I could have bought in France but the maple sugar, grape-nuts and peanut butter were purely American. The sugar was delicious and enjoyed by everyone in the Section. Even the rats got their share. Last evening I put a lump at the head of my bed and Gilmore says he was awakened several times during the night by their clamor as they played on top of me. But I wasn't disturbed by them at all. I was sound asleep, dreaming of the good times I'd had in Paris. I had a lot of fun, too, with the Frenchmen over the peanut butter. I told them that it was American mustard, very expensive and much superior to their own, and let one of them try a little on a piece of bread. He threw it away in disgust after one bite and said we could eat it if we liked, but that it tasted rotten and he would stick to the French variety. They couldn't make out the grape-nuts either and seemed to think it was made from the crumbs of some hard material like their Army bread.

Benney had a remarkable escape one day last week, while I was away. He was driving one of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney's cars, Number 78, through Vienne la Ville, on his way home from St. Thomas when a Boche shell exploded ten feet from him. Luckily it was at the rear of his car or he would have been killed instantly. As it was, his klaxon was torn off and the whole back of the Ambulance was filled with éclat.

Eaton has finally come back from the hospital at Ville sur Couzances. That little scalding at Dombasle last March laid him up for two long months. He tells lots of funny stories about his treatment there and claims to be the champion endurance wearer of winter flannels of the American Ambulance. He wore the same pair of woolen underwear for three months.

Payne came in from La Harazee this noon, grouchy as old Scrooge himself. And it was not until the happy-go-lucky Frazer ambled into our apartments an hour later with a broad grin on his face that we learned what was troubling Payne. It seems that the two had been at La Harazee together and Frazer started out for town with two malades and one couché when the relief man came at ten-thirty. He had a close shave at Vienne la Ville where, as usual, the Boches were shelling the main street of the village. He would have gone through at top speed if he had not noticed a poor beggar, with a bad cut in the arm, lying in the gutter. Of course he stopped to pick him up. While he was trying to lug the fellow over to his ambulance several more shells landed in the road in front of him and Frazer hardly knew whether he ought to run off and leave the man there or not. Just then a cloud of dust appeared in the distance which turned out to be Payne, trying to imitate Dario Resta. Frazer yelled at him when he got closer, to stop and help him with the blessé. .

But Payne didn't notice him at all. He was too busy trying to keep the car on the road. Frazer had to get along as well as he could by himself and it took him five or six minutes to get his case arranged on a stretcher and loaded into the car. The Boches were still shelling the place when he left but he managed to get his load out safely. He found Payne waiting for him on the top of the next hill. And when Frazer asked him why the devil he hadn't stopped to help him down in the village, the other replied that he thought it would make such a wonderful picture with Frazer loading in wounded, with shells breaking on all sides, that he had just gone on about half a mile further, and then turned around and photographed it. I presume Payne is peeved because he did such a crazy childish trick. He certainly ought to be.

Almost every day a Boche aviator flies overhead. This morning one dropped seven bombs in the town but fortunately no one was killed. Two fell very near the cantonment, and as we were awakened by the explosions, we heard little pieces of éclat come pattering down on the roof. A soldier in one of the neighboring houses had his pillow torn away and the wall above him pierced in fifty places by steel splinters. He received only a couple of scratches, however. Everyone, especially the little fellows in the school, delight in watching such a fight. They clap and shout "très bien" if a shell bursts near the enemy's plane and if it finally escapes they console themselves with "Just wait, we will get him the next time."

Lundquist and I visited the aviation field today, hoping to get a short trip in an observation plane. The officers were very polite and told us everything about the machines but couldn't allow us to go up on account of orders, which they apologized for not being able to break.

I spent several hours this afternoon grinding down 464's valves and scraping out the carbon from the cylinders. It was a dirty job and a rather long one but well worth the effort. Now she runs fifty per cent better, and when I gave her a trial run afterwards, she took the worst hills around here on high.

Sammy Lloyd told me tonight about the three American girls who were here while I was away on leave. They had been connected with a clearing house in Paris, and wanting to see a little of the front before they returned to the States, they got papers from some high official allowing them to take a three days' tour along the front, and started out for the war zone. They came to Ste. Menehould on the second day, and one of the fellows offered to drive them out to one of our posts. They went to St. Thomas, had a peek at the trenches and No Man's Land and rushed back to the city again. Possibly, they intend to lecture at home on conditions in France and life in the trenches!

 

May 28th.

Suniat Relay-Post.

Suniat is a queer place, sort of a hospital and yet for most cases, merely a relay post. Tom Orr and I have been on duty here since yesterday at noon. We had one run apiece during the night with some blessés from a little "coup de main." This is a very small attack where a patrol of fifteen or twenty men are sent over to the enemy's lines to bring back prisoners. Later these men are questioned and much information, such as the movement of troops and the location of machine-guns is obtained.

It is a beautiful Spring day here. The trees are covered with leaves once more and the fields seem brighter than they were two weeks ago. I was talking to the "Mèdecin Major" this morning, bragging about the huge apple-trees we grow in America. I carelessly used the expression "Pomme de terre" for the word apple, and he laughingly told me that there weren't any potato trees in France. Several of the officers here have asked me if I knew of any attractive American girls who would be willing to correspond with them. This seems to be an old custom among the French soldiers, and a very good one.

For a cheerful letter from their marraine, as they call her, is a great treat to these men.

Two days ago, when I was at La Harazee, I visited the trenches at night and spent several hours in the first lines. I had promised Amulot, who belongs to the "Sappers" and lives in an abri near ours, that I would go to his mine the next time I was on duty here and take some flashlights of him working underground. He called for meat eight o'clock and from then on I had a most interesting evening. We took the same communication trench to the first lines which I had used before and then walked some distance along this before we came to the entrance of the mine. Here he said a few words to the guard. After this we went down a long series of steps, until we were fully thirty feet underground. It was very cold and damp and water trickled down in little streams from the ceiling. Then he took me through a long passage in the direction of the Boche trenches, and finally stopped in a little room which seemed to be the end of the tunnel. By the light of the pigeon lamp which he held in his hand I could see two poilus, one piling up powder in a great stack in a corner and the other who had a pair of microphone receivers on his head, listening to something very intently. Amulot whispered to me that the Boche trenches were only twenty feet above us here and that one of their counter mines was just ten feet away. The man with the phones, he told me, was trying to learn what the Germans were doing across the way; he could hear them digging and even talking, with his apparatus. If they continued to work there much longer the French would soon set off their mine and blow up every Hun within a hundred yards. I got a photo of them at work, with a sack of earth for a support for my camera, and my gas. mask held in one hand above my head as a tray for the flashlight powder. It was pitch-black when we emerged into the open again. In front of us a couple of Frenchmen were repairing barbed-wire out in No Man's Land and to the left a hand-grenade duel was in progress. I thought it was time to get back to the post but Amulot said no. He was picture-crazy and had to take me to two other mines, and also to a place where they had a new trench gun which shoots funny little torpedoes by compressed air. This took up fully an hour more and when I again remarked that I had better be leaving, he said that he wanted me to hear a Boche machine gun first. And what did he do but dash out into No Man's Land and pound on some stones with a pick so that the enemy would hear him. Luckily no star shell went up very close to him while he was out, or he would surely have been potted. I heard the, machine gun very distinctly, however. I think he had had more pinard for supper than was good for him. It was long after midnight when I got back to La Harazee. To my surprise I found Haven had been sent to Suniat with three couchés, and not ten minutes later they brought down a load for me. I thanked my stars that it had not come while I was out with Amulot. On the way down I learned that the blessés I was carrying had been wounded in an outpost near the mine in which I took the last picture and at the very time we were down in it.

1. An admiring group of officers gathered around Guynemer, the peer of all aviators who was killed September, 1917, just after downing his 53rd adversary.

2. An American tractor, used for hauling big guns, being carried to the front.

3. A German aeroplane bomb, exploding in front of a French aerodrome.

1. The mill at St. Etienne au Temple which the Boches destroyed in 1914, during the battle of the Marne.

2. Eighty years old, and doing her bit in the garden.

3. A group of Boche prisoners. The man in the center is a stretcher bearer, and will have to he returned.

There is great rivalry in the section to see who can do the most exciting thing in the trenches at La Harazee. Several days ago I hung around an observation post about fifty yards from the enemy's lines until I finally got a glimpse of the steel plate of a Boche post and apparently the eye of a sniper behind it. It disappeared after a while and a minute later I saw the smoke from his cigarette floating upwards some distance further down the trench.

Then on Saturday, when Ott Kann and Harrison were there, they yelled over to a Boche and had a short conversation with him and ended with the heads of both sides above the trench . . . . Gilmore and Payne thought they would go them one better, and the next time actually go over with a lot of bread and chocolate; of course they intended to make arrangements beforehand to meet him halfway; and since they both speak German this would not be hard. The idea may seem absurd but it has been done a good many times by the French and they thought they could work it too. However, I am afraid they can't for if they told the officers they would be stopped, and if they should go without their knowing it, they might be brought up as spies when it was found out.

Hang it all! It's ten o'clock, and all the lights have gone out.


Chapter Four
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