What is enclosed between these covers was written as a series of first-hand impressions during the fall and early winter of 1914 while the writer was on staff service for The Saturday Evening Post in the western theatre of the European War. I tried to write of war as I saw it at the time that I saw it, or immediately afterward, when the memory of what I had seen was fresh and vivid in my mind.In this volume, as here presented, no attempt has been made to follow either logically or chronologically the progress of events in the campaigning operations of which I was a witness. The chapters are interrelated insofar as they purport to be a sequence of pictures describing some of my experiences and setting forth a few of my observations in Belgium, in Germany, in France and in England during the first three months of hostilities.
d aft. One man led the near horse by the bit and two other men walked behind the wagon. All three of them had Red Cross brassards on the sleeves of their coats.
The wagon had a hood on it, but was open at both ends. Overhauling it we saw that it contained two dead soldiers--French foot-soldiers. The bodies rested side by side on the wagon bed. Their feet somehow were caught up on the wagon seat so that their stiff legs, in the baggy red pants, slanted upward, and the two dead men had the look of being about to glide backward and out of the wagon.
The blue-clad arms of one of them were twisted upward in a half-arc, encircling nothing; and as the wheels jolted over the rutted cobbles these two bent arms joggled and swayed drunkenly. The other's head was canted back so that, as we passed, we looked right into his face. It was a young face--we could tell that much, even through the mask of caked mud on the drab-white skin--and it might once have been a comely face. It was not comely now.