« PreviousContinue »
FRANCE, JUNE 1, 1918. with gardens full of roses and all sorts of Dear Townie:
pretty flowers; and the French ladies and This is all about the trip we made in girls would run out and throw the flowers big trucks across a lot of France to stop into the trucks, and bring milk and red the wicked old Germans from coming to wine and cheese, and loaves of bread as Paris. You never could have dreamed long and round as the biggest bat that Ty there were so many trucks in the world, Cobb has; and the dear little old ladies and there must have been easy more than would smile and wave their handkerchiefs, a thousand. They came to our four pretty and the little bare-legged boys would come little towns at four o'clock in the morning. flying out to the road and hop up and down It was a beautiful day, and yet it sounded and yell, "Les Americains! Voila les bons like thunder when they rolled in; so we soldats!" So everybody was happy and lined up all the Marines along the road, smiling, because they knew the Marines and, as soon as the first truck rolled in, it were going to kill and capture all the turned right around and started back till Germans they could and stop them from it came to the end of the line; and then coming to Paris. And as far back as you the first twenty-two Marines hopped in, could see on all the roads were trucks and and then the next, till a whole battalion of such dust that pretty soon all the Marines a thousand had hopped in, and away they and the infantry and signal corps and arwent. They were great, big, heavy trucks tillery were just gray, like mummies. But with a long wooden seat on each side, but they were all happy and having a fine time. most of the Marines sat backward, with And we came to some big towns with rivtheir feet hanging outside, so they could ers, and pretty soon to the nicest little see things, and the old trucks looked like towns we 'd seen in all France; and we big, gray spiders with forty-four brown were only 15 miles from Paris, and you legs. And they all had funny marks and could almost see the Eiffel Tower. And pictures, about as big as a big water the nearer we got to Paris, the gayer the melon, painted outside in gay colors, near people were; and of course the Marines where the driver sat. The one we had were smiling at the pretty French girls and first had big grasshoppers, blue and red, having a time, and the old trucks rolled and there were camels, soldier heads, a big along, and pretty soon we saw some bad cannon on a snail's back, and a donkey's sights. The Germans were driving back head, a clock face, flowers, a funny old the French soldiers, and all the French darky with great, big, white
people had to leave their teeth, and a rooster, and all
homes, where they 'd lived all sorts of funny things. And
their lives, the GerDaddy rode in a little auto
mans would have whipped mobile with a French officer
all the little children, and who had been wounded in
made their mothers work Belgium and could n't fight,
for them, and burned their but who could boss the THIS IS A LITTLE. little towns; so they were trucks; and he was just like
FRENCHER CHEERING coming into Paris. Some of a man running a big circus,
them were walking, and they because sometimes a truck
had little donkeys hitched up would break down, and then we d Ay to little carts, and great big horses down the line and bring up a little truck with wooden collars painted in red with tools; and when it was all fixed he 'd and blue, and big white oxen-all blow his horn, and we'd fly back and he'd pulling big loads, with beds and chairs and yell “En route! En route!”—and that 's mattresses and things piled away up. And just the way the old horn would sound. the dogs were walking along; and under “En route!"—and away we 'd go! And the wagons were chickens and ducks and pretty soon we came to the prettiest towns, geese in crates covered with chicken-yard
wire. And nearly all of them had goats, the French and American armies and genbecause it 's easy to feed goats on old tin erals flying by in cars. And every road cans and paper and get good goat's milk. that we crossed was full of soldiers and And there were little tow-headed boys and horses, all hurrying up to stop the Gerfat little girls with curls and blue eyes and mans, and so much dust that you could such short little legs that every time their eat it. It was getting late, but it does n't mothers took a step they had to take four. get dark over here until nearly ten o'clock. And they were going away to find a new So everybody was tired and sleepy, for the home. And at night their wagons would old trucks bumped and bounced because stop and they'd camp alongside the road. And Daddy never saw one of them cry, although they were very unhappy. And it made the Marines terribly mad to see them so sad, and they just wished they could find those Germans and drive them away. And there was one big wagon piled up so high that it looked like the big ladder that Jack the Giant-killer climbed (or maybe it was a bean-stalk), and right on top was a beautiful old lady all dressed in her nicest black dress with a little white lace cap on; and her hair was white as
THIS IS THE FRENCH snow and just like silver, and she must have been just one of the kindest and pret- OFFICER YELLING tiest grandmothers in the world. And then we came to a big city that had a big "EN ROUTE! EN ROUTE !” river-just full of dams and bridges. And there was one bridge with a lot of dams nearly all the rubber was worn off the running under it, and on top of the bridge wheels. And all the truck drivers were were a lot of the funniest houses that were French soldiers who were too old to fight, more than 400 years old. And the city and they had been driving nearly all the had the queerest name, Meaux-like a night before and all day long; and somepussy-cat. And the river was the most times, when the trucks would stop somefamous river in the world, because it was where down the line, we 'd go back to see the river where Papa Joffre beat the Ger if one of them was broken down; and mans so bad that he is called the Hero of there would be a truck with a red grassthe Marne. And I guess the day you had hopper painted on it, and the poor old on your navy suit and were with Grandma Frenchman would be fast asleep; and and saluted Papa Joffre in New York that you could hardly see his face for the gray you did n't think Daddy would be seeing dust on it. So the French officer would his river so soon. And the city was full have to hop out and jump up on the truck of the poor French refugees. We kept and shake him, and then hop down and right on going and turned to the left, up blow his horn. Only he did n't blow it, the valley of the Marne; and we were only but turned a handle on it, like the one on a 20 miles away from the Germans. And coffee-mill and just like the way they the road was just as busy as Fifth Avenue give the gas alarm in the trenches. And the time Daddy tried to drive a Ford up the horn would yell in French, "En route! it the night he did n't know how to run it; En route!: En route!" which meant: “Huronly instead of busses and automobiles and ry up! Hurry up! Hurry up! The Gernice-looking people, there were trucks full mans are coming and the Marines are here of Marines and soldiers and big guns and to stop them!” So we 'd fly back, and the ambulances and wagons full of food for horn would go like mad, and he 'd holler,
"En route! En route! En route!" And were about 200 of the biggest and gayest the old drivers would wake up and rub butterflies you ever saw.
And most of their eyes, and the old truck wheels would them were still as could be, with their groan and cry, "En route! En route! En great blue and orange and green and red route!" And the Marines would turn and gold wings spread so that the field over and wake up, all packed like sardines looked like a fairy garden. And some in a tin can, some with their legs lying were Aying back to rest for the night; and on another Marine's tummy and a drum they had the biggest eyes, and they just mer-boy all curled up with his head on the circled and dipped and stood on one wing tummy of a nice old sergeant; and they and then on the other; and then Daddy 'd growl a little, because they 'd been up could see that they all had big red-whitemost all the night before and were sleepy. and-blue circles under the tip of each And all the time the poor refugees were wing; and they flew so fast that he just
knew they were not butterflies, but French aëroplanes! And after we 'd gone about 2 or 3 miles Daddy saw the general and a lot of officers and orderlies sitting on the side of a little hill, looking at a map; and Daddy got out and saluted and told the general where the Marines were, and that the colonel was back of them, but coming up in a fast car. And the general saluted back, and said: “Major, our orders are changed. You go back just as fast as your
little old car can run, because you must THIS IS A FRENCH CAVALRY- get back to the cross-roads ahead of the MAN JUMPING A DITCH
trucks, and send the Marines down the
road to the right." And back we went, going by; and when we heard that our and saw lots of soldiers getting out of their big trucks would give them a ride after trucks to march against the Germans; and they left us at the front we were glad, be it was getting dark, but we got back to the cause they must have been so tired! And cross-roads in time to catch the ist Batyet not one of them would cry, not even talion. And the 6th Regiment kept its the little girls; so you know, Sonny, the trucks and rode in them, while all the bad Germans can never lick the French other regiments walked; and it was about ers. And pretty soon a whole fine regi 10 o'clock when we saw some German ment of French cavalry galloped by, and prisoners on the road, and we could hear then another; and the road was so crowded the big guns and see a few rockets; and with trucks and guns and wagons and am we could look and see the sky light up bulances and refugees that the cavalry had where the big guns were firing. And then to jump their horses across the dite es by we saw a French town that we had passed the road and ride through the fields, be burning like a big bonfire, and the Gercause now we were only 7 or 8 miles from mans must have dropped a bomb on it. the fighting. And they wanted the cavalry And it was exactly midnight when the right away. They all had little short trucks stopped just at the edge of a big rifles and long blue sticks, about twelve town. So we all got out, and the ist Batfeet long, and on the end was about a foot talion marched into a big field and went of nice sharp steel. And then the little right smack to sleep; and the colonel and automobile Daddy was in went flying all the rest of us laid down alongside the ahead to see the place where the Marines road, and we all went to sleep and never were to get off; and we just few and heard any guns, because we were too tired. went right past a big field where there And in the morning all the Marines were
in, and we were on the side of a beautiful Marine and praying every night with valley; and there was no one in the big pretty little Mother that the Marines will town but French soldiers. And then came win and that Daddy's tin hat will just our orders to go in the line just behind the bump off all the German bullets. And Frenchers, and we took the trucks again then when you see the general out at the and jumped out of them a mile from the club and give him a snappy salute he 'll battlefield; and Tommy Holcomb, who take you up on his knee again, and you had the 2nd Battalion, gave the orders to can tell him all about the war. But when his captains while they were hopping out you salute him, you must look him straight of their truck, so you see we were right in the eye, as the Marines do. And Daddy on our toes. And the Frenchers are out hopes that we 'll lick the old Germans so in front of us. And they have had about 3 bad that you won't have to come over to
FO, OODLES MORE' 要路路路路路密密密的密密密跑跑路路路路路路路路
THESE ARE SOMG OF THE TRUCKS. THE KISSES ARE MARKED "K" AND THE HUGS "H'
Germans to i Frencher, but as soon as fight with the Foreign Legion and the they fall back and the wicked old Germans French and Britishers and the Scotchers bump into the Marines, they 'll think it is and the Canadians and the Australians, the Fourth of July, because you know one but that you can marry an awful pretty Marine can easy lick 3 Germans. So the girl like Mother and just be happy and be next letter Daddy writes he 'll tell
a Marine officer in the tropics. So goodabout how the Marines got the best of the by, Sonny, with 1000 truck-loads of hugs old Kaiser and his silly son.
and kisses for you and pretty Mother. So keep right on being a good little
Your DADDY PAT.
In one respect, this month's exhibit is the most remarkable performance yet achieved by the LEAGUE, for it was all sent to us within a single week-or less! As our readers will remember, a strike at the printers just as the November number of St. Nicholas was going to press made it impossible for the publishers to bring out that issue until November 20th, instead of on Novem. ber ist, the regular date. Consequently League members, who usually have more than three weeks in which to prepare and send in their contributions, found themselves on this occasion limited to only the few days before November 24th (or November 29th for far Western States). We sincerely regret that many ardent young contributors were thus debarred from entering upon this competition at all; and of course the list of offerings sent in, as a whole, was reduced to
about a third of the number usually received by the grateful editor.
Right zealously, however, did those who could compete set to work to make up for lost time; and so successful were their efforts that the general appearance of the LEAGUE pages shows no sign of haste and gives hardly an evidence of diminished supply, but, on the other hand, seems to measure quite up to the usual standard, both in text and picture.
Our cordial thanks are due to every one of those who so earnestly and promptly shouldered the task of helping out their beloved LEAGUE in this emergency, and who saw in it only a spur to greater effort and achievement. It was a fine illustration of the spirit and enthusiasm that animate the members of the LEAGUE, each and all, and make them proof against every discouragement.
PRIZE-WINNERS, COMPETITION No. 229
In making the awards, contributors' ages are considered. PROSE. Silver Badges, Duane Squires (age 14), N. Dakota;. Julia H. Wiley (age 13), New Jersey; Katherine E. Marshall (age 12), Canada; Frances Mallory (age 13) Florida; Dorothy Hughes (age 13), New Jersey; Charlotte Frobisher (age 14), New Jersey, VERSE. Gold Badge, Mary R. Evans (age 15), Indiana. Silver Badges, Idella Purnell (age 17), California; Jeannette L. Gelb (age 12), New York; Marguerite Anderson (age 16), Wisconsin. DRAWINGS. Gold Badge, Margaret Hebblethwaite (age 15). Silver Badges, Ursula G. Sanders (age 14), New Hampshire; Winnifred Macdonald (age 12), Canada; Hortensia Lucas (age 14), New Jersey. PHOTOGRAPHS. Gold Badges, Kathryn K. Eckbert (age 14), Pennsylvania; Dorothy White (age 12), New Jersey. Silver Badges, Ruth M. Lake (age 13), New York; Gertrude Nott (age 13), Massachusetts; Myrtle Hill (age 14), Nebraska; Eunice Dissette (age 9), Indiana; Florence E. Finley (age 16), California.
BY GERTRUDE NOTT, AGE 13. (SILVER BADGE.) "IN UNIFORM”