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Army Boys in the French Trenches by Homer Randall

They passed stretcher bearers carrying away the wounded


"It

sure has," agreed Bart.

"We've got there with both feet," remarked Tom.

"And in both trenches," chimed in Billy.

"Yes," said Frank. "I'm glad we didn't stop at the first one. The mine caught the Boches napping there and stood them on their heads. But in the second it was an out and out stand up fight, man to man, and we licked them."

"And licked them good," asserted Billy. "I guess they won't do any more sneering at the Yankees after this day's work."

They passed the place where Bart had so nearly met his death through the treacherous attack of his captive.

"Here's where you nearly went West," remarked Tom.

"Don't talk of it," objected Bart with a grimace. "It makes the chills creep over me to think of it. I could stand being knifed in a square fight, but I'd hate to get it the way that fellow meant that I should."

"One of the Frenchmen was telling me of something like that that happened at Verdun," said Frank. 'Two Frenchmen were carrying a wounded German officer on a stretcher to the hospital. The officer got out his revolver and shot the first stretcher bearer dead."

"That's gratitude for you," remarked Bart. "Something like another German in a hospital, who pretended

he wanted to shake hands with the Red Cross nurse who was tending him, and then with a sudden snap broke her wrist."

"You hear it said sometimes," said Billy, "that 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian.' That's always sounded a little tough on poor Lo. But if the Huns keep on the way they are going, it won't be long before all the world will be saying that the only good German is a dead one."

"I'm beginning to say it already," replied Tom.

They passed stretcher bearers carrying away the wounded, and burial parties engaged in a business still more sad. There was plenty for them to do, for death and wounds had come to many that day, which had been the most strenuous for the United States troops since they had come to the fighting line.

That many of their regiment had fallen and still more been wounded the boys knew well, although the full toll of their losses would not be known until the next day. But the enemy had lost still more, and a large number of prisoners were in American hands. They had taken two trenches on a wide front, and that night American boys were eating their suppers in the dugouts where Germans had breakfasted in the morning. It had been a dashing attack with a successful result, and Uncle Sam had reason to be proud of his nephews.

"One more step on the road to the Rhine," exulted Frank, voicing the thought that stirred them all.

"Right you are," replied Bart "It's a long, long road, but we'll get there."

"Do you remember what old Peterson said just before we left for France?" queried Tom. "'The United States has put her hand to the plow and she won't turn back.'"

"Good old Peterson!" remarked Billy. "He was a dandy scrapper himself in the old days when he wore the blue. I'll bet he's rooting for us every day."

"Sure he is," agreed Frank. "Everybody in the old firm is."

"Reddy's rooting the hardest of them all," laughed Bart, referring to the red-headed office boy. "Do you remember how excited the little rascal got when the old Thirty-seventh went past? He almost tumbled out of the window. And how he cheered!"


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