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BY JEAN BROOKE BURT
Wild geese out of the southland,
Cool, glad mornings of April,
BY LIEUTENANT CHARLES C. LYNDE
AME?” asked the captain, as he glanced up at the
“ I’se been a car-cleaner on the railway for seven years, and Ah denim-clad Negro on the other side of the desk. knows Ah's gwine scrub me one nigger clean, effen he ain't
gor ' Tass,” the man replied, shifting uneasily from one respect ’nough for the United States Army to do hit hisse i: foot to the other as the officers in the registering line looked at And he did. him.
Many of the darkies evidently had never before met a shower“ 'Tass who?” queried the lieutenant at the service record bath, and after the ablutions were finished one of them approached desk.
the lieutenant in charge to ask if he might take one of “ Po-Potassium Aceta' Smith, Cap'n.”
them there shower pipes” every day. In the course of the conAt the full name the lieutenant laid down his pen
with versation which followed the man admitted that he never before hearty laugh.
had been wet all over at once, except the time he fell off a “Potassium Acetate Smith,'” he repeated, slowly.“ We ought gangplank into the Mississippi River. to transfer that boy to the medical department, if only on Following mess call, for what, from the avidity displayed at account of his drug-store name."
the tables, must have been the first square meal in several days. The officers were a part of the force enrolling the draft quotas bed sacks were issued to the men and they were instructed to fill in the Negro division being formed as a portion of the National them with straw. Thirty pounds per man was the allowance. Army. All day they had been struggling with incomplete and bales were divided to approximate that amount. It was dark registration records, improperly filled out designations of at the time the ticks were filled, and supervision of the stuffing beneficiaries, and slighted physical examination cards. The was difficult. At inspection of barracks the next morning beri weather was unusually cold for the time of year, and the sacks of all descriptions were found—some filled at one end. incoming men were thinly clad and sluggish from two or three others in the middle, and a few in which the owners had merely days' ride in day coaches. In consequence, their answers to the stowed away the sections of bale as given them, and had used the questions of the registrars were vague, and the officers' tem. lumpy tick thus formed. pers were worn down to the breaking-point by the time “ 'Tass” At sick call that morning, blown immediately after reveille, was enrolled.
one recruit reported severe pains all over his back-“misery." The general laugh that followed Potassium's assignment re he called it. On the theory that sick-call malingering could be lieved the tension, and the waiting list was all properly recorded checked only by examining personally each case up for medical and sent to temporary quarters before dark. Qualification attention, the lieutenant ordered the man to take off his shirt. cards, involved forms covering almost every possible civilian It was removed, revealing a back crisscrossed at regular interoccupation, were left over until the company organizations were vals by ridges and furrows. completed, at which time they would be filled in with a detailed “How long have you been this way?" asked the commandhistory of the man's labor over all of his bread-winning life ing officer. the card to be used by the personnel office in fitting the man to “All night, suh lieutenant,” was the reply; “ didn't get no the branch of the service where his qualifications and experience rest 'tall, mah back was a-hurtin' me so. Anyways I try to would count for the most to the Government and the soldier. sleep, 'pear to me like dat misery 'd get worse. I ain't used to All other records, however, were cared for as the men entered, dese here army beds nohow !" and a complete physical examination given each recruit to The last remark, about the army bed, solved the puzzle. The determine the accuracy of the Draft Board doctor's findings. man had filled his bed sack properly, and then had spread a
Potassium Acetate, together with some fifty-odd of his fellows, blanket over the wire springs of his cot and crawled under the was marched over to one of the outlying barracks, and his mili- tick to sleep. Naturally the springs left their imprint on his tary training begun. Single file the men marched past the door body, with some two hundred and twenty pounds of avoirdupois of the supply room and clean underclothing, soap, towels, and a to counteract the slight padding effect of one blanket. suit of blue denim overalls-fatigue uniforms, in the service The first two meals were prepared from anything that was nomenclature were issued to them. The line entered one door available, and the men were fed much as they would have been of the barracks and was ushered out through the other to the cared for on the march. At the first opportunity kitchen equip bath-house. A shower-bath, with plenty of hot water, was ment and supplies were taken over from a company
whose men required of each recruit. Most of the men welcomed the oppor had all been transferred, the lieutenant personally supervising tunity for bathing, though the cold shower ordered at the finish the checking of material from one kitchen to the other. Among was slighted as far as possible under the deterrent eye of the the articles listed was one bottle, pint size, of lemon extract
. It watchful commanding officer.
was noted as being loaded on the transfer truck, but failed to There were those, however, who refused to bathe, alleging put in an appearance when the property was checked into the pains, sickness, weak hearts, or other imaginary ailments as new kitchen. All the men of the transfer detail were questioned. reasons why the bath should be foregone. These cases were set but none even remembered having seen the bottle, much less tled by reference to the physical examination report cards, and knowing anything concerning its later whereabouts. There the if the remarks under the heading “ State of General Health " matter was apparently dropped. showed no valid excuse, men who were already stripped were After supper the organization was called together to hear a delegated as masseurs pro tem. These assignments were re short talk by the commanding officer. But instead of giving the ceived with great hilarity by the bathers, one man remarking: expected lecture on the care of the feet, the C. O. announced
PHOTOGRAPH FROM PAUL THOMPSON
THE THIRD LIBERTY LOAN-A SPIRITED POSTER BY A DISTINGUISHED ARTIST The Liberty Loan which is soon to be placed before the public for subscription will be announced in many ways. One of the striking posters which have been prepared to give it publicity is presented above. It is by the well-known artist Howard Chandler Christy. The appeal both of the figure and the
sentiment is a stirring one
SCENES IN THE WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY PARADE always ablaze on the birthday of the Father of his Country, was this year fanned to a finer enthusiasm than usual by the consciousness of the great war and Amer draft men), and its bearing was characteristic of the ten thousand men from the training ground of Camp Upton, Long Island, who took part in this parade
that he would take up for the evening the Army ration, and and faced the officer, the sergeant in charge of quarters coming show reasons for the various foods and their amounts. At the forward for orders. His excuse that the meeting was in prog. outset the talk was very general, portraying the need for a bal ress when he entered the room was cut short with an order to anced ration, and defining the customary method of obtaining take Johnson into the company office. There the alasmist was this result. Then gradually the talk worked around to certain shown the glaring inaccuracies of his statements, and was disarticles included in the ration, and their wholesomeness.
missed with a warning that he must stick to the truth in his “ But when it comes to seasonings,” the lieutenant said, “ that exhortations if he wished to continue preaching to the men. is a different matter. Take the flavoring extracts, for instance. Four nights later the officer again overheard a meeting in Both vanilla and lemon extracts contain a poison which, if acci the squad room. Anathema was preaching again. He had chosen dentally taken in large enough doses, would probably prove fatal. for his theme the possibilities offered the Negro in the present In ordinary use, and with the amount of flavoring used in pre war, showing how he might prove himself fit for greater trust
, paring one meal for this entire company, there is not enough of larger responsibilities, and complete sharing with the white man the poison to have any bad effects, even if it should all happen of the vote and its benefits if he but bore himself as a man to be concentrated in the portion served one man. But the effect during the fight. At the close of the talk the group sang “ Onof a large amount of this extract taken without foods to lessen ward, Christian Soldiers," and "Jerusalem the Golden !" with a its attack might easily prove disastrous."
vigor and a sincerity greater than had been shown in any of the All of the statements made were true, as the alcohol which group singing heard by the commanding officer in any of the forms eighty-odd per cent of the extracts is generally acknowl other cantonments. The Negro division will never lay itself edged to be deadly if taken in large enough quantities.
open to the charge of being voiceless if the men are given proper The C. O. then went on to give antidotes for the poison, treatment and are allowed to break into song whenever the work stating that an excellent palliative to be taken by the victim, if permits. secured soon enough after the dose had been administered, was New songs for group singing were taught by taking advanwhites of eggs with a little mustard and salt. After the conclu- tage of the imitative nature of the Negro. A small talking masion of the talk the mess sergeant was privately instructed to chine was secured, and the song to be learned was played over a send any applicants for eggs to the company office, where the time or two. If the music was catchy, it was only a little while lieutenant would await developments.
before the men would begin to join in on the words, and the In less than half an hour they arrived. The mess sergeant first thing they knew the song would be learned. After the knocked, and on being bidden to enter came in, followed by a men acquired confidence the machine would be stopped suddarky so badly frightened he was an ashy gray instead of his denly, leaving the group to carry the song. customary glossy black.
An example of the unifying effect of song occurred early in “Suh lieutenant, this man wants to borrow three eggs.” And the life of the organization. The company was engaged in the mess sergeant saluted and stepped back.
clearing the ground around the barracks, and it was necessary "Didn't you get your supper ?" asked the lieutenant.
to move some heavy timbers. Ten or twelve men would cluster “ Y-yassuh, Ah done et. But Ah feels Ah des got to have around a stick and try to move it, the acting sergeant in charge dem eggs now, cap'n boss, Ah sure has !"
strutting along ahead and counting“ One, two, three, four-r-r!" The earnestness of the plea was evidenced by the drops of for the step. Some would start on the right foot instead of the sweat which stood out on the darky's face, though the temper. left, and then would throw the entire squad off when they ature was well below the freezing-point outside.
attempted to change cadence. Finally Potassium Acetate, in one Further questioning developed the fact that the man had been of the intervals while the sergeant was calling down one of the one of the detail for transferring kitchen supplies, and that he clumsy ones, began to chant: admitted taking" des one swallow" of the extract, and that he
“ Left, Ah left, Ah had a good home an' left, felt sure he would die if the antidote were further denied him.
Ah left my wife an' a big fat baby. With the sergeant's help a dose of eggs, mustard, and salt
Hayfoot, strawfoot, a belly full o' bean soup, was prepared, and the man's request granted. For about fifteen
Left, Ah left, Ah had a good home an' leftminutes he was a sick man—too sick to care what happened to
Kill dat nigger ef he don' keep step!" him—but he soon recovered and was sent to bed. Since then he and in less than the time it took the sergeant to count fours the has been trusted in the pantry on several occasions, and there men were all in step and carrying the timber with half their have been no further mysterious disappearances of lemon extract previous effort. in the organization.
The various organizations of the division took turns guarding The man was one of three brothers, Isador, Isaiah, and Isaac the camp site. In preparing the men for their first tour of guard Brennstein, each as black as the translation of the surname duty much time was spent in explaining the meaning of the (coal) and as Hebraic of countenance as the given names sug- sentry's general orders and in attempting to teach the men to gested--the Yiddisher Silhouettes, as they were known to the repeat them verbatim. The teaching bore fruit when the actual Officers of the division. Isaiah was asked if he and the others test came. The men had been warned that their authority lay were kin.
only within the definitions of the orders, and that only one of * Yes, sir lieutenant, we's kin ; we three's twin brothers.” the officers of the guard had power to change the instructions.
Happening to work a little later than usual in the office one The first night the men stood guard it was windy--which, in evening, the lieutenant was surprised to hear loud talking in that locality, meant that the camp was in the midst of a dust the squad room adjoining, followed by the unmistakable sound storm-cold, and pitch dark. Between taps and reveille the of sobbing
sentry was ordered to challenge all persons on or near his post, Investigation proved that one of the Negroes, Anathema and to allow no one to pass without satisfactory identification. Maranatha Johnson, was living up to a part of his name. He The sentry on the main road entering camp was especially had given his occupation as “countryside Gospel stirrer” when careful to watch for entering automobiles, and after one slipped enrolled, and he was stirring by exhorting the men of the com- into the grounds without being stopped he decided to spend the pany to repent and pray for the forgiveness of their sins imme- remainder of his relief patrolling the road. Within a few minutes diately--for they were destined for the front battle-line in a he was repaid by seeing the faint glimmer of headlights through short time, when they would surely be shot down.
the dust clouds which enveloped him. At the command of the He was graphically pieturing the slaughter, dwelling espe- guard the machine stopped, and the chauffeur pulled aside his cially on the slow deaths from wounds, and was in the midst of curtain to sbout: " It's the commanding officer's car. Stand a vivid description—wholly imaginary-of the effects of the aside and let us in!" newest development in German trench gas, when one of the ** Mah orders say nobody's gwine by, an' dey ain't!" mourners happened to glance around and see the officer behind After a brief attempt at arguing the sentry into passing the the group. Military training, embryonic as it was, triumphed car, the officer got out and started forward that he might over emotional fervor, and the man sprang to his feet, straight identify himself as belonging to the camp. ened up, and shouted, “ Attention." in the soldierly manner Stop! Stop right where you is !" commanded the sentry, prescribed in the drill regulations. The entire command rose bringing his gun to the ready. "De sergeant say 'twell six