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Over the Front in an Aeroplane and Scenes Inside t

There were uninteresting looking big gray ammunition lorries


It

was remarkable how much we were able to crowd into an hour's inspection. Great meat-lorries, each carrying enough fresh carcasses to stock a city butcher-shop, secured ventilation yet guarded their contents against flies by close-meshed steel netting instead of solid sides. But to protect the meat from dust science had had to bow to nature, for to the netting in its turn were attached pine boughs which admitted air while excluding dust more efficiently than any artificial contrivance. Enormous repair-lorries were each a perambulating garage fully equipped with machinery for repairing broken parts or making new ones. Some of these lorries ran on their own power. Others were towed along by a big motor. In either case they made their own power to run their repair machinery, and their own brilliant electric light by which to work at night. They had almost hermetically sealed curtains to keep the light from leaking out, for in mobile war they are often called upon to do their work in sight and range of the enemy. But the trench warfare has rooted them to the spot for a weary time.

"But wait!" said the Captain. "When the advance begins just watch us keep up with the procession."

There were autos with a steel frame running from the radiator, overhead to the back seat, this frame having razor-edged knife-blades attached. In open warfare while scouting along strange roads these were useful in shearing through any wires

which the thoughtful foe might have strung across for the decapitation of speeding visitors.

There were uninteresting-looking big gray ammunition-lorries, ambulances, post-offices on wheels and hundreds of ordinary autos for the use of officers, messengers, etc.

I was informed that the life of the average car in active service was very far from being as short as was popularly supposed. "Why," said the Captain, "we have many cars coming in which have been working hard for eleven months, and now for the first time are compelled to come in for repairs."

I noticed with what fastidious care all the cars were painted and varnished. "Yes, that is the way we apply psychology to motor-repair work," chuckled the Captain. "Experience has taught us that when a soldier is given a beautifully finished car to run he takes pride in it. And he not only keeps the outside well cleaned, which greatly postpones the date when it must come back to us for doctoring, but he also bestows much more care on his motor. So it is not only aestheticism which prompts that beautiful finish. But talk about aestheticism, here is a real example of it."

He showed me a car from whose front lamp-brackets some artist had wrought in iron two very beautiful palm fronds.

"The man sacrificed much leisure time to making those branches from sheer love of his art and of the beautiful. The French people are like that, Monsieur."


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