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combat and my fall, and little expected to find the pilot living, to say nothing of speaking. I hoped that they would go on talking, but I was being carried along a trench; they had to lift me shoulder-high at every turn, and needed all their energy. The Germans were shelling the lines. Several fell fairly close, and they brought me down a long flight of wooden steps into a dugout, to wait until the worst of it should be over. While waiting, they told me that I had fallen just within the firstline trenches, at a spot where a slight rise in ground hid me from sight of the enemy. Otherwise, they might have had a bad time rescuing me. My Spad was completely wrecked. It had fallen squarely into a trench, the wings breaking the force of the fall. Before reaching the ground, I turned, they said, and was making straight for Germany. Fifty metres higher, and I would have come down in No-Man's Land.
'For a long time we listened in silence to the subdued krr-ump, krr-ump, of the shells. Sometimes showers of earth pattered down the stairway, and we would hear the high-pitched, droning v-z-z-z of pieces of shell-casing as they whizzed over the opening. One of them would say, "Not far, that one"; or, "He's looking for some one, that fellow," in a voice without a hint of emotion. Then, long silences and other deep, earth-shaking rumbles.
"They asked me, several times, if I was suffering, and offered to go on to the poste de secours if I wanted them to. It was not heavy bombardment, but it would be safer to wait for a little while. I told them that I was ready to go on at any time, but not to hurry on my account: I was quite comfortable.
"The light glimmering down the stairway faded out and we were in complete darkness. My brain was amazingly clear. It registered every trifling impression. I wish it might always be
so intensely awake and active. Ther seemed to be four of us in the dugout the two brancardiers, and this second self of mine, as curious as an eaves dropper at a keyhole, listening intently to everything, and then turning to whis per to me. The brancardiers repeated the same comments after every explo sion. I thought, "They have been say ing this to each other for over three years. It has become automatic. They will never be able to stop." I was feverish perhaps. If it was fever, it burned away any illusions I may have had of modern warfare from the infantry man's viewpoint. I know that there is no glamour in it for them; that it has long since become a deadly monotony, an endless repetition of the same kinds of horror and suffering, a boredom more terrible than death itself, which is repeating itself in the same ways, day after day and month after month. It is n't often that an aviator has the chance I've had. It would be a good thing if they were to send us into the trenches for twenty-four hours, every few months. It would make us keener fighters, more eager to do our utmost to bring the war to an end for the sake of those poilus.
"The dressing-station was in a very deep dugout, lighted by candles. At table in the centre of the room the medical officer was working over a man with a terribly crushed leg. Several others were sitting or lying along the wall, waiting for their turn. They watched every movement he made, in an apprehensive animal way, and s did I. They put me on the table next. although it was not my turn. I pro tested, but the doctor paid no atten tion. "Aviateur Américain," again It's a pity that Frenchmen can't treat us Americans as though we belong here
'As soon as the doctor had finished with me, my stretcher was fastened to a two-wheeled carrier and we started
down a cobbled road to the ambulance station. I was light-headed and don't remember very much of that part of the journey. Had to take refuge in another dugout when the Huns dropped a shell on an ammunition-dump in a village through which we were to pass. There was a deafening banging and booming for a long time, and when we did go through the town it was on the run. The whole place was in flames and small-arms ammunition still exploding. I remember seeing a long column of soldiers going at the double in the opposite direction, and they were in full marching order.
. 'Well, this is the end of the tale; all of it, at any rate, in which you would be interested. It was one o'clock in the morning before I got between clean, cool sheets, and I was wounded about a quarter past eight. I have been tired ever since.
"There is another aviator here, a Frenchman, who broke his jaw and both legs in a fall while returning from a night bombardment. His bed is just across the aisle from mine; he has a formidable-looking apparatus fastened on his head and under his chin, to hold his jaw firm until the bones knit. He is forbidden to talk, but breaks the rule whenever the nurse leaves the ward. He speaks a little English and has told me a delightful story about the origin of aerial combat. A French pilot, a friend of his, he says, attached to a certain army group during August and September, 1914, often met a German aviator during his reconnaissance patrols. In those Arcadian days, fighting in the air was a development for the future, and these two pilots exchanged greetings, not cordially, perhaps, but courteously a wave of the hand, as much as to say, "We are enemies but we need not forget the civilities." Then
they both went about their work of spotting batteries, watching for movements of troops, etc.
'One morning the German failed to return the salute. The other thought little of this, and greeted him in the customary manner at their next meeting. To his surprise, the Boche shook his fist at him in the most blustering and caddish way. There was no mistaking the insult. They had passed less than fifty metres apart, and the Frenchman distinctly saw the closed fist. He was saddened by the incident, for he had hoped that some of the ancient courtesies of war would survive in the aerial branch of the service, at least. It angered him too; therefore, on his next reconnaissance, he ignored the German. Evidently the Boche air-squadrons were being Prussianized. The enemy pilot approached very closely and threw a missile at him. He could not be sure what it was, as the object went wide of the mark; but he was so incensed that he made a virage, and drawing a small flask from his pocket, hurled it at his boorish antagonist. The flask contained some excellent port, he said, but he was repaid for the loss in seeing it crash on the exhaust-pipe of the enemy machine.
"This marked the end of courtesy and the beginning of active hostilities in the air. They were soon shooting at each other with rifles, automatic pistols, and, at last, with machine-guns. Later developments we know about.
"The night bombarder has been telling me this yarn in serial form. When the nurse is present, he illustrates the last chapter by means of gestures. I am ready to believe everything except the incident about the port. That does n't sound plausible. A Frenchman would have thrown his watch before making such a sacrifice.'
(To be continued)
M. CLEMENCEAU AND HIS PROBLEMS
BY CHARLES DAWBARN
For the first time in his long life, M. Clemenceau has tasted the sweets as well as realized the dangers of an overwhelming popularity. It is an amazing experience for a man approaching four-score years, to have reached the pinnacle of fame and the height of usefulness to his country. That he has done so in the face of colossal difficulties, when the country was the prey of scandals of a particularly distressing sort, is no less testimony to his courage
than to his vitality. Both qualities are conspicuous, and both are typically French. There have been Frenchmen before of surpassing vigor at his age -indeed, French energy and mental mobility seem to conserve men as well as to wear them out; there have been men like Hugo and Henri Rochefort, Rodin, and even Alexandre Ribot, one of the war premiers of France; but M. Clemenceau excels them all in the vigor and force of his bearing, in his vehemence and mastery of men expressed in flashing eye, sonorous voice, emphatic gesture.
What is the secret of his youth? The sobriety of his habits, his Spartan way of life, is partly responsible; but the fresh and eager interest of his mind is more powerful still. He has the precious faculty of Sarah Bernhardt and Napoleon of sleeping at any instant. The fatigue of any journey is relieved by this recreative power, and even a short motor-ride affords a few moments of complete repose, a truce in his vast
activities. Even when the Allied ferences are being held at Versailles. sleeps a while after lunch. And fre his siesta he arises a new man.
Nothing must interfere with his re
not even the remorseless round of. newspaper. Even in conducting L'Homme Libre (of limited though fluential circulation), he has adhered his rule of early to bed and early to rise. His practice as a journalist w to complete his day's article before seven A.M. Then would come his wait along the quays, or else in the neighborhood of the Tour Eiffel, where he live and, after that, he received callers-i friendly and intimate ceremony, which lasted well into the morning. Natura ly, to accommodate himself to such unusual hours for literary composition his bedtime was advanced; and ever as head of the government he has gen erally retired by eight o'clock, after t frugal supper of a glass of milk.
I have been present at several of t early morning receptions. He talk with freedom and vivacity and an inexhaustible good humor. But he is very definite. Though a philosopher, he lets no subtleties appear in his manner of judging persons and events. They ar thus and so, or they are not. There is no shadow-land of half-negations, no apologetic apprehension of overstating the case. Every word expresses the firm conviction of the soul. That is why he is so much admired and believ ed in in this land of nuances, -d intellectual tints and delicate reasonings. When tête-a-tête with you, be
will talk sitting in the centre of his work-table, which resembles a painter's palette. He has a way of opening and shutting his eyes, which suggests the Oriental. He looks Mongolian. The shape of the face, with its high cheek-bones, the parchment-like skin, the heavy white moustache drooping over the mouth, heighten this effect.
And no doubt there is a side of the "Tiger's' character, which is almost Chinese in its deep abstraction. If one part of his nature is essentially Gallic in its fire and emphasis, its passion and violence, even its capriciousness, the other part is the high and dry philosopher loving learning for its own sake, and given to reflection; looking out upon life through horn-rimmed spectacles, and finding it queer and illbalanced and rather excessive. I can imagine him like the hero in his own play Le Voile du Bonheur, which described the experiences of a Mandarin who, on recovering from blindness, becomes suddenly aware of the infidelity of his wife and the ingratitude of his children, and desires to be blind again.
It is a sad, rather cynical estimate of humanity, the kind that one would expect of a man with no illusions. If M. Clemenceau has any left, they are reserved, I fancy, for the humble of the earth, the heroic poilu and his kindred, and the heroes of civil life, rather than for those of loud profession and of easy conscience toward God and man. If he refuses to be bound by formulæ, he yet believes in human progress and in the perfectibility of our poor nature. But that perfectibility will not be spontaneous: it must result from acts and measures adapted to that end. Thus he is a man of practical aims, though inspired by generous ideals.
You get a very good notion of these ideals by reading M. Clemenceau's philosophic novels, which he wrote a quarter of a century ago when he was
waiting for a new opening in politics. He had been thrust into opposition by cruel misfortune. Insult had been heaped upon him, calumny upon calumny. He was said to have been paid by England for his advice to France to refrain from participating in the first Egyptian campaign. In bitterness of spirit he sat him down to write satiric novels at fifty years of age. Probably they reflect in some degree the distorted features of his own experience. He shows the meanness of conscious virtue, the exploitation of misfortune which often accompanies success, the cynicism and moral perversion which underlie many worldly estimates.
You suspect that M. Clemenceau, who has so heavy a hand and so fierce a voice for the weaknesses of internationalism, is himself a social reformer. And you will come upon passages in his suggestive books, which show how warm is his heart for the poor, how strong his horror of oppression, how persistent his love of liberty and his sympathy with those who fight for it.
But he has no love for license; anarchy is abomination. 'You and I are on different sides of the barricade,' he once told a deputation of revolutionaries who waited on him to urge the rights of a May Day demonstration. 'On different sides of the barricade' expresses admirably the distinction between him and those who would find warrant for their lawlessness in his past attitude toward authority. But never in his salad days, as Communistic Mayor of Montmartre forty-seven years ago, did he fail in the high purpose of his protest. Because he was a banner-man in a popular procession, he did not become a hooligan.
And how strenuous has been his career since then! a perpetual war against the wearisome inefficiency of French politics. Nous sommes en pleine incohérence,' he exclaimed one day in the
Chamber; and nothing could more caustically express the futility of much Parliamentary effort in France as elsewhere. The intrinsic justice of his criticisms has made him master of France in time of war. The critic is now the executant. He who has preached the fortiter in re must now exhibit it in
He has begun with master-strokes: he has imprisoned persons implicated in the 'défaitiste' campaign. Bolo, Malvy, Caillaux, represent different phases of that movement. M. Clemenceau has brought them to book; but it may be that he has not quite shown that rigid spirit of the Convention which the occasion demanded. He has been too ceremonious, perhaps, in his treatment of the two ex-ministers. M. Malvy, the former Minister of the Interior, is sent before the High Court, the supreme tribunal in the land; but an obscure subordinate, who acted, presumably, only under orders, is dealt with by court-martial. But the fact that the Premier has impeached boldly the most influential persons in France is so considerable, that it overshadows the rest. That he is less Jacobin in his zeal than M. Léon Daudet, the Royalist journalist, may be set down, I think, to a sense of responsibility. Despite the piquancy of this accusation of boulevard critics, that he is but a timid successor of the great Revolutionary judges, there is probably more force than truth in it. Certainly M. Clemenceau has put forms into his procedure; he has given his accusés time to make their defense, as well as, perhaps, to destroy their papers. But if there is no weakness in the trial, public fairness will indorse the preliminaries.
M. Clemenceau's command of the Socialists, who profess to regard him as a citadel of bourgeois prejudice, with an uncanny knowledge of their own strategy, has proved his greatest asset.
At one moment their hostility looke fatal to his ministerial longevity. Ther was not a single Socialist in his Cab net. How was it possible to exist without them? But those fears passed when one realized that events were stronger than parties, and that the Premier's national appeal had no need of partisan support to make it acceptable. The fact is that the Socialists, who threatened to wreck him, stood in danger of a similar disaster from the
Russian hurricane. It was as much as they could do to save their own lives.
The red ruin of Russia came swiftly home to France. It meant that the peasant's savings invested in Russia were lost perhaps permanently. The Bolshevik talk of repudiation infuria:ed Jacques Bonhomme. Not to pay one's debts, even on the most ad vanced' pretext, gains no ear in France, where each possesses something and is apt to hold firmly to it. And for fear of seeming to sanction confiscation. French Socialism has lost a little way. and has to steer most carefully ami the shoals of treacherous definitions. And so, the least said on this head the better for advanced reformers. Not only as the custodian of a common honesty, but in his singleness of per pose to win the war, M. Clemences could not be lightly attacked, much less defeated on a vote. None cosid quarrel with his programme, when he expressed it as definitely as this:
"They tell me we should have peace as soon as possible. Peace! I want it: it would be criminal to have any other idea. But it is not in bellowing peace that one silences Prussian militarisa My formula applies to everything Domestic politics: I make war; foreign politics: I make war. ... Russia betrays us: I continue to make war Unhappy Roumania is obliged to surrender: I still make war. And I shall continue until the last quarter of an