Saturday, October 13, 2018

Good spirits, even in the trenches

Mike Hogg’s letter to Will, from the Western Front, October 1, 1918:

         Well, to go back--I have learned to sympathize with wildcats, coons, and all hunted animals. I’ll never run them again. You know I have to leave my hole to look things over once in a while and then your wild animal stunt--that is, if it is a pretty clear day. About the time you think all is well, old Fritz has spied you from a “sausage” and here they come, whiz, bang, zip, zam! You run like hell for about a hundred (that is, when you have your first few experiences), then stop, wipe your brow, laugh, cuss the Hun, and then move contentedly on--about that time, sure enough Hell breaks loose all around you. You leap for cover, which might be only a pile of brush, a roll of barbed wire, or anything; you hug the ground and flatten out flatter than anything in the world; Fritz splashes them for a time and then all is quiet again. How the Hell they missed you, you can’t tell, because you have merely been playing the ostrich. Now, take it from me, from this time out there is no slow movement. These old-time wildcat movements ensue and remain till back to your beautiful dugout (with its friendly fleas and everything else thrown in) you scramble--and when there, you are as happy as a fool.
         We had a good time down here last night. My runners have a fine quartet and how they did sing! We had the latest from Broadway down to our war songs. Some wanted to drop in a few sentimentals but they did not get far.          

A battlefront is no place for sentimentality. 


No comments:

Post a Comment