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sun was God, but that a great being dwelling in a silver heaven ruled the land and sea from afar, told of certain women in his own land who in early maidenhood bound veils over their faces and went into a certain grove which men were never permitted to enter; if one of the women dwelling there was violated, great ill fortune always came upon the country, so that all people pledged themselves together to guard the forest, which had become sacred to them. The man who had been a pirate brought forth another tale of girls on a certain island who of their own volition took vows of chastity that they might be fit sacrifices when their people, oppressed by war or famine or fevers, sought to propitiate their gods by the blood of their maidens. And still other men had other tales to tell, one of a wife who wept incessantly at his caresses until he turned to other women, when in her jealous despair she leaped into the sea; one of the courtesan who stripped the jewels and fine clothes from her body, and, wrapping herself in filthy rags, went into the desert to be alone.
"They are all little sisters of the sun," said the youngest prisoner after a pause. "There is something in all of them, even the most abandoned, that is beyond us, with our explicit demands and our insistent need. Yet she whom
I loved was the great sister of the sun, the daughter of the hills, the beloved of the winds. Her body was a field for the seed of love, her soul a sky to sow with the stars of one's dreams; but she wishes me to die, and so I am glad to die."
"I would die for no woman," said the pirate. "My game is ending in death; but it was a great game, full of danger and joy, and I would go back and play it again in the same way even if it were to bring me to the same end to-night."
There was a silvery film in the air. They saw it, and knew that the dawn was not far away. They found the wine-jug and passed it from one to the other. Twice all around they drank, all but the youngest prisoner. He lay back in the sand and stared at the stars, at the date-palm moving a little among them in the first light wind that blew in with the dawn.
The ache of life was passing. Again he lay face to face with the sister of the sun and touched the phantom roseleaves of her lips. Sudden tears rushed over his eyes. But they were not for himself; he was thinking only of her as four guards, moving like the sound of metal clinking, came toward him, their mail flashing back the dawn's first flame.
"Poor soul," he whispered, "poor lonely soul! My beautiful, my wonder!"
""It is the women who have won the war as much as men'
tory is now to
The guns no A leaf of hisbe turned
a leaf charged with record of the great suffering of the entire world. Upon its pages are found engraved the passions, the emotions, of mankind. Here stand revealed the loves, the hopes, the hates, the fears that war, and war alone, engenders. Here, too, stand records of ideals, the goals toward which men struggle, the list of peoples who, suffering all that civilization might not perish, threw themselves into the Titan task. Upon that list of nations many a name will glow undying, but glittering in splendor among the brightest of them all will stand forever the name of France-France who, as her allies waited, girding their strength, stood a bulwark against the foe; France who against the gray and mighty tides of onward-sweeping armies hurled her cherished sons; France who at the Battle of the Marne preserved all that man holds dear. Holy forever upon the lips of men will be held the name of France. The memory of the deeds of her fair sons will endure through the ages.
And what of France's women? Will not the memory of her daughters live undying with her sons? Was it not they who, sending their beloved to the battle-line, turned without a word, with bursting hearts, to do the work of men? They gave their husbands, brothers, children, lovers, but that was not,
enough. Yet more their country needed. That wall of men that on the frontier stood unflinchingly against the foe had to be maintained. The armies were but flesh and blood; they cried aloud for weapons, food, and clothing. The labor in the fields, the guarding of the flocks, the work in factories, in mills, in mines, on railroads, ships, and wharves, could not for an instant cease. Else would the armies perish, the nation's sacrifices be for naught, and over France, nay, over all the world, would sweep the devastating hordes. The women heard their country's cry. Laying down their buckets and brooms, they bared their arms and poured into the fields and mills. Their weapons might not be the guns, but in their hands they grasped the ax, the hoe, the scythe, the net, the handles of machinery. These would overcome the enemy as much as any
O women of France, was not yours the greatest anguish of all? Your sons upon the war-racked front had their moments of enthrallment. Though the guns raged, and mutilated bodies fell, yet the mad frenzy of the conflict carried them on. But yours, O wives and mothers, was the waiting and suspense. Your thoughts, distracted not by scream of shells, dwelt ever on the horror that had descended on the world. Your days dragged by-days upon days without a word from loved ones at the front. What can be happening now? you questioned endlessly, your minds upon the battle. Joyless and drear, those hours
pastures, fields, you guarded flocks, or when throughout the nights you sat alone beside the candle, tirelessly knitting, spinning.
IN those days before the war-days of happiness, tranquillity, when all the world was bright, and France dreamed not of that black cloud of horror and destruction soon to envelop her fair fields and people-Brittany glowed with life. The cobbled streets resounded with the clatter of sabots, children romped noisily,-no dwindling of the population here,-women, in their headdresses, filled the market-places, men, with velvet ribbons to their hats, dotted thick the fields. Along the coast the towns hummed with fishermen. Daily the boats sailed out into the channel; daily they returned laden with their catch. Long before the first pale light of dawn the men would gather at the wharves, and there would rise a tumult of gruff voices, shouts, creaks of windlasses and pulley-blocks. Among forests of dim masts, sails would be hoisted, strange-shaped, ghostly black; yellow gleams from lanterns came, splash of oars, ripplings of water; then, with voices receding, the fishing-boats moved off into the night. In afternoons the boats returned. One by one they crept up softly to the quays. The wharves, which through the daylight hours of the mornings had lain silent and deserted, now again grew rife with sound. Tongues wagged. Boats gave up their catch. Sunlight glistened on wet scales and fins. Now, with tug on ropes and rhythmic cadences from shanty-men, the ends of dark-brown nets were lifted to the mastheads. Other nets, in need of mending, were spread upon the quays, and sturdy fisher-folk, drawing the meshes tight with their bare toes, with curiously formed needles and thick twine fell to upon repairs.
Then came the war. Brittany's sturdy race of men was called to face the enemy. Her bronzed sons were torn from the sea, and boats and sails and nets and catch of fish-the sardine catch, upon which the land leans chiefly for its food and income-were left in the hands of women. Of men only the
A Bigoudenne, near Pont-l'Abbé, Brittany
old and the boys remained. To her women Brittany turned for maintenance of life.
Brittany perhaps more than any other province of France distant from the battle-front has felt the throes of war. In common with all France she had her anguish of departing troops; with all France she suffered as her wounded, mutilated sons returned: but also through her channel ports, through Brest, there poured the armies of America, those armies of her mighty sister nation that surging on the railroads across the country's face kept Brittany in turmoil. Yet amidst the thronging of troops, upheaval, agonies of grief, steadfastly the Breton women toiled with nets, with oars, that loved ones had lain down. Theirs was the task to see that the catch was not diminished-the catch which now more than ever in the history of their land was needed by men.
As it was throughout these years of conflict, so it is to-day. For though battles no more rage, and Teuton hordes no longer ravage the fields of eastern France, still for undetermined months to come must armies guard the Rhine, patrol the neutral zones, devote all energy to the Herculean task of reconstructing wastes of devastation. Not yet may the sons of France return to hearth and home.