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Action Front Boyd Cable

As Others See

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The Towers watched him in some amusement. "'Ere, chum," said Robinson, "you 'aven't put your tuppence in the slot," and 'Enery Irving in a falsetto imitation of a telephone girl's metallic voice drawled: "Put two pennies in, please, and turn the handle after each--one--two--thank you! You're through." The signaler revolved the handle again. "You're mistook, 'Enery," said Robinson, "'e ain't through. Chum, you ought to get your tuppence back."

"Ask to be put through to the inquiry office," said another. "Make a complaint and tell 'em to come and take the blanky thing away if it can't be kept in order. That's what I used to 'ear my governor say every other day."

From his lookout corner the captain called down in rapid French to his signaler.

"D 'ye 'ear that," said Robinson. "Garsong he called him. He's a bloomin' waiter! Well, well, and me thought he was a signaler."

The captain at last was forced to descend from his place, and with the signaler endeavored to rectify the faulty instrument. They got through at last, and the captain spoke to his battery.

"'Ear that," said Robinson. "'Mes on-fong,' he says. He's got a lot o' bloomin' infants too."

"Queer crowd!" said Flannigan. "What with infants for soldiers and a waiter for a signaler, and a butcher or a baker or candlestick-maker for a President, as I'm told they have, they're a rum crush altogether."

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The captain ascended to his place again. A German shell, soaring over, burst with a loud crump behind the trench. The French signaler laughed and waved derisively towards the shell. He leaned his head and body far to one side, straightened slowly, bent his head on a curve to the other side, and brought it up with a jerk, imitating, as he did so, the sound of the falling and bursting shell, "sss-eee-aaa-ahah-aow-Wump." Another shell fell, and "aow-Wump," he cried again, shuffling his feet and laughing gayly. The Towers laughed with him, and when the next shell fell there was a general chorus of imitation.

The captain called again, the signaler ground the handle and spoke into the telephone. "Fire!" he said, nodding delightedly to the Towers; "boom-boom-boom-boom." Immediately after they heard the loud, harsh, crackling reports of the battery to their rear, and the shells rushed whistling overhead.

The signaler mimicked the whistling sound, and clicked his heels together. "Ha!" he said, "soixante-quinze--good, eh?" The captain called to him, and again he revolved the handle and called to the battery.

"Garsong," said Robinson, "a plate of swa-song-canned beans, si voo play--and serve 'em hot"

A German shell dropped again, and again the chorused howls and laughter of the Towers marked its fall. The captain called for high explosive, and the signaler shouted on the order.

"Exploseef," repeated 'Enery Irving, again airing his French. "That's high explosive."

"Garsong, twopennorth of exploseef soup," chanted Robinson.

Then the order was sent down for rapid fire, and a moment later the battery burst out in running quadruple reports, and the shells streamed whistling overhead. The Towers peered through periscopes and over the parapet to watch the tossing plumes of smoke and dust that leaped and twisted in the German lines. "Good old cans!" said Robinson appreciatively.

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Action Front
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