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Action Front Boyd Cable

As Others See

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When the fire stopped, the captain came to the telephone and spoke to the battery in praise of their shooting. The Towers listened carefully to catch a word here and there. "There he goes again," said Robinson, "with 'is bloomin' infants," and later he asked the signaler the meaning of "mes braves" that was so often in the captain's mouth.

"'Ear that," he said to the other Towers when the signaler explained it meant "my braves." "Bloomin' braves he's calling his battery now. Infants was bad enough, but 'braves' is about the limit. I'm open to admit they're brave enough; that bombing didn't seem to worry them, and shell-fire pleases them like a call for dinner; and you remember that time we was in action one side of the La Bassee road and they was in it on the other? Strewth! When I remember the wiping they got crossing the open, and the way they stuck it and plugged through that mud, and tore the barbed wire up by the roots, and sailed over into the German trench, I'm not going to contradict anybody that calls 'em brave. But it sounds rum to 'ear 'em call each other it."

Robinson was busy surveying in a periscope the ground between the trenches. "I dunno if I'm seein' things," he remarked suddenly, "but I could 've swore a man's 'and waved out o' the grass over there." With the utmost caution half a dozen men peered out through loopholes and with periscopes in the direction indicated, and presently a chorus of exclamations told that the hand had again been seen. Robinson was just about to wave in reply when 'Enery grabbed his arm.

"You're a nice one to 'act so as to deceive,' you are," he said warmly. "I s'pose a khaki sleeve is likely to make the 'Uns believe we're French. Now, you watch me."

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He pulled back his tunic sleeve, held his shirtsleeved arm up the moment the next wave came, and motioned a reply.

"He's in a hole o' some sort," said 'Enery. "Now I wonder who it is. A Frenchie by his tunic sleeve."

"Yes; there's 'is cap," said Robinson suddenly. "Just up--and gone."

"Make the same motion wi' this cap on a bayonet," said 'Enery; "then knock off, case the Boshies spot 'im."

The matter was reported, and presently a couple of officers came along, made a careful examination, and waved the cap. A cautious reply, and a couple of bullets whistling past their cap came at the same moment.

Later, 'Enery sought the sergeant. "Mind you this, sergeant," he said, "if there's any volunteerin' for the job o' fetchin' that chap in, he belongs to me. I found 'im." The sergeant grinned.

"Robinson was here two minutes ago wi' the same tale," he said. "Seems you're all in a great hurry to get shot."

"Like his bloomin' cheek!" said the indignant 'Enery. "I know why he wants to go out; he's after those German helmets the interpreter told us was lyin' out there."

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Action Front
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