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The Challenge of the Dead

A vision of the war and the life of the common soldier in France, seen two years afterwards between August and November, 1920

Cover image for


Author: Stephen Graham
Published: 1921
Language: English
Wordcount: 42,963 / 129 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.3
Downloads: 853
Added to site: 2015.04.09 32015

ble. "Take Bertha!" she says continually, suggestively making signs. Poor war-children! When the war began Martha was ten and Bertha was eight. Martha was corrupted in it; pale, sickly, weak-lipped Bertha, with the shrapnel wound, perhaps not actually corrupted. When the wound had been examined and their nails cut they concluded they had met a doctor.

They scamper away at last. The dark water of the canal flows peacefully between banks of untarnished green. Nature is unqualified loveliness. At Somerghem, however, behind this veil there has been war, there has been something of the curse. One begins to notice in old walls patches of new brick where shell-holes in human habitations have been cobbled. Re-pointing is going on. The splash where the splinters of iron rived a whole house has been sought to be gently erased. The most virtuous work in the world! But it splashed on to the children too, and who can re-point the Berthas and the Marthas?

Enfin, the fair-sized town of Thielt, would-be picture



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