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Over the Front in an Aeroplane and Scenes Inside t

We strode away to the shooting box and the lunch


They

jumped to attention.

"Show us the piece," said the General to their non-commissioned officer.

The groups of soldiers hustled over to a big object bundled up in tarpaulins, which stood a few yards off. Stripping off the coverings, they showed us a heavy field-piece standing on treadled wheels with its muzzle pointed apparently aimlessly up the green-wooded hillside at some clouds which floated in the blue sky just above the hill-crest.

"That gun," explained the General, "is aimed at the village of ----, about eight kilometres distant, behind the German lines. Their reserves have to pass through the village to reach the front; so whenever we hear that they are bringing up their reserves we start this gun shelling that little village. Usually an important village is shared by several guns, but that village is the particular property of this gun.

[Illustration: Page 71

"AS WE HIKED ALONG AT THE GENERAL'S FAVORITE PACE"]

[Illustration: Page 72

"A HEAVY FIELD-PIECE STANDING ON TREADLED WHEELS"]

"Show the gentlemen how it works," he ordered. The artillerymen leaped into position, swung open the breach, lifted a heavy shell, and thrust it into the chamber.

"Careful there; don't

shoot it off!" exclaimed the General, and added to me, "There's no use damaging our own French villages more than is indispensable."

As tenderly as a thoroughbred is blanketed after a race the big gun was bundled up again by its crew, and, leaving them to resume their picnicking under the pine-tree, we strode away to the shooting-box and the lunch.

And a very excellent lunch it was to which the General, some eight of his staff-officers and our party of four sat down in the dingy old dining-room of the shooting-box.

"You certainly mobilized an excellent chef," laughed Captain d'A---- as we reached the entree.

With white wine mixed with water to drink during the lunch, champagne served in the French fashion with the dessert, and cigars, coffee and liqueurs to follow, the commissariat department undoubtedly deserved congratulations.

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MENU

du 1er Aout 1915

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DEJEUNER

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Hors-d'oeuvres

Oeufs poches a la Rossini


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