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smile because you still lower your head each time. Until you remember: We greet Death, and he greets us.

"Near the church tower southeast of L. where the railway bridge can be seen, are hostile riflemen, strength several companies."

Our cavalry patrol disappears againa French machine gun fires at it without hitting and the battalion commander calls to me:

"Company left across the road, right and left of the farmhouse, developing a column on each side, with wide intervals between!"

Quickly the right wing column darts across. My Turkish professor, the Chief Lieutenant, manages it beautifully. One sharpshooter always darts ahead, throws himself on his belly, creeps on; a second follows. At one, two kilometers, scarcely a headpiece is visible. The left column is less successful. Over the heads of the sharpshooters there at once whistle shells. They feel the air pressure; the tremendous noise grips them.

"Dodge! Lie down! Forward only one at a time, with long pauses! You'll betray our positions, fellows!"

And at this moment there is a clattering sound in the air above. A French airman!

"An airman, Captain!"
"Yes, yes, I have heard him.”

The only thing that can help us is to keep from looking up. Only the rows of flesh-colored oval faces, that immediately turn up to greet each flight of an airman, permit the strength of forces to be estimated at such great distances.

Beyond any doubt the foe has overestimated our strength tenfold. Otherwise he would not have put forth these tremendous efforts. His strength, in such fortified positions, would have sufficed to hold an entire army corps in check. And our poor, weak brigade?

I lie on my belly, creeping forward.
To remain standing would be suicide.
Ss-t-sst-teewheet boom-buzz-tsha!
Tacktack-tacktack-tack!

It's a bad music. We are being rained upon with iron. We hear it whistle past our ears, we fell it whizz over our hel

mets.

Our artillery covers us in front, so that we cannot fire at the single bodies of advance riflemen. They are drawing to the left toward the entrance to F. Soon the infantry bullets are striking close among us.

Nothing to be seen! Nothing to be seen!

"We must advance further!" I shout into the line of sharpshooters. The battalion commander shouts it at the same time. He wouldn't let any one rob him of the honor of advancing in the foremost row of riflemen. We crawl forward on all fours. After thirty meters, halt. Still nothing to be seen. The land rises in front of us. Fifty meters further; eighty; a hundred. At last we have a clear view ahead. Rifles are advanced. "Half way to the left, at the entrance to F., sharpshooters, stand!"

The

A few shots from our ranks. blue figures falter, fall. But at the same time we have betrayed our position. And now the hail begins anew.

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They all shoot too high! Aim well, men! Every shot a bullseye!"

My voice reaches only the rows of riflemen nearest to me. The clatter and crashing is tremendous, but even more horrible is this singing and whizzing past of shells, especially when the enemy's machine guns sweep us.

"Are those some of our men?" my bugler beside me asks. "They are already standing half way down the road back of us!"

us.

A shiver of horror creeps over Yes, they have enticed and held us fast in the midst of their artillery-and on the left their infantry, well protected, has advanced under cover to our flank. And now the French machine gun patters on our right, in monotonous rhythm, in this concert of hell.

Behind us there is no longer a sign of life. Our battery is gone; it must have shot away its ammunition.

"Order of the Brigade Commander: Company retire slowly!" A man at the end of our serried line near the roadside has called the order to me. The order travels by word of mouth along our line. It is a long time before it reaches the

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riflemen furthest left. And as soon as the slightest movement is noticeable in the beet fields, the deadly hail rattles down upon us again.

My eyeglass is covered with sweat and dirt. I tear it away. Now, as the shells strike, clouds of dirt fly into my eyes. I close them. At my left, a rifleman, crawling along, nudges me:

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"The dogs! he mutters: "Now they've got us in a hell of a pinch!"

I can speak no more. We go crawling along another 500 meters. My revolver bangs along on the ground at my left; my fieldglass at my right. For a moment I think of the droll problem given to the officer at the military examination: "What would you do if you saw artillery unfold before you, infantry on your left, and artillery against your flank on the right? Answer: "I'd order: Take off helmets and pray!

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Take off helmets and pray! Yes, there is now no help for it. Now it's a case of dying decently like gentlemen.

"No running away, men! We're no Frenchmen!

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A minute's stop to take breath, at yon hay-rick on the left. So, there they're advancing, in a gay company, the bluefrocks!

"Left, riflemen, along the church yard wall, stand! Rifle fire!"

And two groups are daring enough to stand upright and fire, although the machine-gun fire is sweeping us again. The man next to me is loading his gun; suddenly he throws up an arm:

"Hell! That's pretty warm!" A bullet has passed midway through the cover of his rifle barrel.

"Go on! Slowly! One at a time! Don't crowd!"

On the road we find a man of the second column, pressed against a tree. "Where is the battalion?

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boiling more fiercely. The machine guns are nearer there. After a short consultation with the leader of the division I order: "Retire. Singly."

The narrow road through which we retire is swept continually with fire. I climb up to the ridge. Now nothing further matters. Only not to fall alive in the hands of those over there! To die! I stumble over a ridge in the field. A few moments of unconsciousness. Then again the tacktack-tacktack of the machine guns. God, our Lord, Thou art our refuge forever and aye! I pray Thee, I pray Thee, let me die an honest soldier's death. And not suffer long. Now, dear Lord, please; now! If only my fellows don't begin to run!

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"Go ahead without me, boys. Greet my people for me. God with you. You've fought well. Damn you, fellow, run, I tell you! Down on your faces! Take breath. Fire!"

When, long ago, I went to my confirmation lesson, the Superintendent once said-ah, what a remarkable man that was! "I would like only to take a single look at my little garden. I'm a city child, and have grown so fond of the flowers, this little bit of earth!"-Hui! hui! there it whistles over our heads again. I greet Death. And my lips touch the ridge of the field furrow.

Of dust thou art; to dust thou shalt return.

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1206

THE NEW YORK TIMES CURRENT HISTORY

"Don't run! Keep halting! Fire!" From the village a hail of shrapnel. From the opposite side, the same. But now nobody runs with lowered head. We are now used to the benediction of bullets. Further on, further on!

Of the brigade there's not a trace. When the artillery had shot away its ammunition, the order was given: "Retire, all!" It reached me, in front there with the rifle lines, fully an hour later than the rest.

Scattered stragglers join me.

"Where is our Chief Lieutenant? "Wounded in the neck; only a glancing bullet. Has returned slowly on an artillery horse. Midway among the shrapnels. Great fellow."

Nobody knows where the point of reunion is. I lead the rest of the battalion after the other companies. Night is falling. Somewhere a cavalry patrol tells us: They're to bivouac over there at the fort.

We march toward that. Bicycle men come to meet us. We hear from themno one believed that a single man of us could escape that devil's caldron alive. My orderly (Bursche) comes riding to meet me. His eyes are wet.

"My Captain! My Captain!"

I must press many hands. I warm myself at the bivouac fire. The Quartermaster has brought me a half flask of champagne. There's red wine for the

men in the baggage division. It has already been mulled. A plate of rice soup. The earth-crumb is still sticking to my lips. I swallow it down with the first draught of foaming wine: "I greet thee, Life! I greet thee, Earth!" And comrades come up and are glad to see me, old monster, again.

Thank God, my company has suffered only few losses! When I order the Sergeant Major to read the list, only a few are missing. But this one or that one has been seen by some one of his comrades after the fight. Well, then they are only scattered, and will find their way back by and by. The battalion in these two days of fighting lost thirty-eight dead and sixty-six wounded. That includes some light wounds from glancing bullets.

It all lies behind me like a confused dream. We are bivouacking in the casemates of the fort. I awake several times in terror. Deep, deep silence. Only the pacing to and fro of the sentinel on guard. To and fro, to and fro. He is cold.

I creep deeper into the straw. Poor fellow, the sentinel. How soft I've got it! So warm here! I have hot eyes and hot cheeks, but ice-cold hands.

I pity all those who know life and death only from books. War is a great teacher. We learn to love the earth. And thus our homeland becomes sacred to us.

Damp Humor of the Night Watch

From a field postcard written by a German soldier in the Franco-Prussian war and sent home by one who recalled it under similar circumstances in the present one.

I guard this shed,

But who guards me?

Around my head

But night I see.

This only comfort sweet is mine,
To soothe my graveyard cough:
"This town will pay a lovely fine
If some one picks me off."

SO

Z

War Correspondence

The Place of Tombs

By Perceval Gibbon

YRDDOW, Poland, Received in London Jan. 19, 1914.-There is a spot above the river which must not be indicated too explicitly, but whose name signifies in Russian the place of tombs. It is thus christened by the troops who camp in a great forest which shadows the whole position. It is a point at which the new German plan of thrusting toward the railway instead of as hitherto toward the road has produced fighting of more than Homeric quality.

The Russians, who never misjudge the value of ground, were established here in well-made trenches, with the shelter of the forest at their backs for reserves and supports. Upon this iron front the Germans spent themselves in fruitless attacks, incurring crippling losses. It was only after repeated and disastrous failure of these tactics that they began a different method of approach.

Here, as everywhere else, they have a large amount of artillery, and under incessant shellfire they proceeded to sap their way toward the Russian trenches. Incidentally they expended shells enough to last an army through the whole of a small war, and where formerly six acres of trees projected from the main forest there are now no trees at all.

The parapet of their trench is only thirty-five paces from the Russian parapet, and the men crouching behind their shelter can hear the voices of their enemies. None dare lift head or hand to even the loopholes on the breastworks, since the worst shot in the world can send bullet after bullet through any loophole at that distance. The Russians are able

to throw hand grenades, with which their trenches are supplied, clear into the German trenches, while the German shelling has had to cease since their own men are in equal danger from any shell aimed at the Russian trenches.

I rode down through the forest in an effort to reach one of the trenches two nights ago, passing from the pale shine of the snow upon the bare fields to sheer darkness. I found the staff established in a spacious dugout some 400 yards behind the actual first line. Here, as always, was a straw-padded, candle-lit interior, with an orderly waiting, with telephone to ear, and all those rough-andready contrivances by which men live who have death forever at their elbow. Here, too, their faces disguised by weeks of beard and grimed with the smirch of war, were burly Russian officers, those adequate and quietly confident men who are the strength and inspiration of the Russian Army.

In all the gloom, where all life was balanced on a hair, one thing was steadfast and cordial, and that was the unshaken assurance of these cheerful, expert fighting men in their power to hold the Germans and presently to resume the offensive, to which each one of them looks forward, and advance at last toward the frontier of Germany. None underestimates the enemy. They criticise him in a spirit of absolute professional impartiality, admiring quite frankly the organization and courage of the German infantry, but condemning the artillery and pooh-poohing the cavalry.

Yesterday morning the Germans re

newed their bombardment of the positions at Radziwillow, where the fine Russian trench is practically impregnable, and has already cost them huge losses in their attempts to assault it.

I had an illustration of their lack of system in artillery fire while returning along the rear of this position. Their shells sailed up across the woods to the south of the railway, bursting on an empty stretch of fields about a thousand yards away, and turned seven or eight hundred acres of virgin snow into an inferno of smoke and torn earth, but no single shell fell nearer than a thousand yards to any living soul.

During the last day or two I have seen a change in the nature of the fighting on this front. The German procedure has no longer its old character of desperate

decision, but has become more desultory, and their pressure flickers up and down the line as though in a panic of effort to find some point at which the defense is weak.

I learned here from prisoners that the Germans lately have been celebrating victories. Berlin and other cities are said to be gay with flags, and Gen. von Hindenburg has been acclaimed as a national hero. I can only keep my eyes on the small portion of the long front limited by Socahczew on the north and Msczonow on the south, but in regard to this region I can offer my personal testimony that at no point have the Germans gained anything in the nature of a success nor made any attack which has not been immensely more costly in lives to them than to the Russians.

Shelled Tsing-tao With Wireless Aid

T

By Jefferson Jones

Staff Correspondent of The Minneapolis Journal and Japan Advertiser

OKIO, Dec. 15, 1915.-Far out in the Yellow Sea busy gunners on a Japanese battleship aimed a 12inch gun at one of the German forts in Tsing-tao. Opening the breech, they removed the smoking cartridge case, put in another loaded one, and waited to learn whether the projectile had scattered death among the enemy or exploded harmlessly in soft earth. They were five or six miles from their target.

The gunners gazed toward the battleship's wireless masts. Presently came a sputter and crackle of electric sparks. An officer appeared in the turret and said, perhaps, “Very good. Put some

more in the same place," or, "That one was fifty feet to the right or sixty feet too high." He had received a wireless message from the shore telling exactly where the shell had struck, probably for

the first time since naval warfare began. At the rear of the Japanese lines, where a naval lookout had been erected, I saw several marines focusing horned telescopes on the besieged forts. As soon as a shell landed one of the men would telephone the exact location to the naval wireless station at Sesheco, which relayed the message to the warships.

The fourth day of the siege was the most severe of the whole siege of Tsingtao. Gen. Johoji on the extreme left, with Gen. Barnardiston of the British expeditionary force, was pressing the intrenched Germans near Moltke Fort. Early in the morning Gen. Johoji had sent a detachment against the triangular pumping station fort, as it was deemed wise not to turn the siege guns on the place, because the fort might be destroyed and the supply of water be cut

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