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two men who have experienced shell- solitude, weeks of solitude and read fire and suffered the misery of exhaust- Pilgrim's Progress! ed, shattered nerves known to the It is so useless to go through the list world as shell-shock. In the Somme of- of people to whom I went looking for fensive with the battery, he had been help. To their credit be it said that filling a sand-bag, when a shell of large many of them wanted to do something; calibre struck within a few feet of him. but they never did it, because they He had been peppered with splinters, could not, since they did not have the but not badly hurt. He had been understanding to do it. So I left them, caught running back and forth behind one after another, and went my way the front, muttering to himself, and alone, always alone. had been for months in hospital until My head continued to ache and his mind began to clear. Being of a throb, I continued to be nauseated, I prominent family in France, he had still could not sleep. An insane desire been sent to the United States to get to kill myself, as four other friends had him away from the war, and was going done, took possession of me. I would through the same thing I was, fighting toy with my automatic, and think how it out alone. What long talks we had! best to do it. I would lock myself in We drove about in the country, lay on my room when attacks came that I had the grass in the woods, and talked and to fight, attacks that made me tense all talked, searching together for the spark over, that made me want to scream, in the empty dark that would be a hint break the furniture, pull my clothes to of the life to come.
pieces. I would lean against the wall, I went to an old friend, a teacher who tears running down my face, and scratch kept a school for the daughters of at the plaster, and sob and gag, and end rich parents. She was a graduate of by throwing myself on my bed, utterly Vassar, and I thought she could help exhausted by the effort to regain conme. And the disappointment that fol- trol. I would lock my windows before lowed! I thought that she was human, retiring for the night, lock my door and but she was n't. She had developed throw the key through the transom, to into the same sort that I have found prevent my doing some insane thing be elsewhere since then — the type of neu- fore morning. I would go to sleep late, rotic weaklings who hide away from and wake at about half-past three in reality and live in a comfortable fog the morning, and stare at the dark, of voluntary ignorance. While the war trying to think out the meaning of this was in progress, she had refused to read thing. about it, on the ground that it was I read New Thought, studied Chrisall too horrible. She had purchased tian Science, read the Bible, became a Liberty Bonds, in order to be able to regular attendant at church. I got a tell her clientèle how patriotic she was. copy of that great piece of logical She had closed her door on the war,' as thought, Burke's 'Conciliation with the she dramatically told me.
American Colonies, and read it care'Close your door on the war?' I fully, searching it for his great ideas on said; 'how can you close your door on how to cure an ill by removing the cause. the biggest event since the coming of What was the cause of this thing? That Christ?'
was what I searched for in my own case. She was shocked, horrified at my blas- The thing to do was to remove the cause phemy. She folded her hands, closed but what was the cause? her eyes, and said that I must seek My mother came and stayed with
me. Never in my life before had I power to keep going; but I knew that I known what a mother could be. I be- could win. Before that time I had been lieve that very few men really appreci- trying to find out if that were a possible ate their mothers. I know I never ap- thing. preciated mine until then. I have never seen such utter unselfishness, such ob- Nearly two years after I received the liviousness to her own desires, her own order that sent me into the shelled area interests, as in my mother's loving of the Front, I left the army and returnthought, her anxiety to help her son. ed to civil life. I got a job that took me
But it was too much — I could not again away from my country for several stand her anxiety. I could not have her months. I was not yet really well, but coming to my room in the middle of the this change helped a great deal, and night, and sitting with me hour after rapidly I returned to normal again. hour, listening to my raving. So I got a Periods of ache and pain became very nurse and traveled for months on end. short, and few and far between. I beI took a ship and sailed off on a cruise lieve the last one has come and gone. It through the Southern Seas. I stopped was several months ago that I was at an island in the south, took a house writing on a typewriter, smoking my
, near the sea, and spent a month or pipe. The pipe suddenly rattled in my more there. It was wonderful in that teeth, my fingers became tense, my quiet and peace. I lay in a hammock, muscles tightened. I grabbed my pipe looking out over the beautiful blue out of my mouth, stood up, forced my Caribbean, listening to the pounding of fingers out straight against my desk, the waves on the rocks, with the limpid took my hat, and walked and walked azure of the sky, and its fleecy, scatter- out into the country for a few miles, ed clouds overhead.
fighting for myself again. Finally I I breathed in the balm of the fronded lighted my pipe again, and smoked. palms in the hush of the moonlit nights. There was no more rattle then, my
, until a wonderful thing came to me. fingers were again all right. Once more The shadows broke, the night of that I had won. That was the last time. hideous fight was gone, and the first Since then I have never had an indicafaint dawn of another day of my life tion that I had a nerve in my body anycame to me, in the knowledge that I where. That was the last dying gasp of was winning. Then the light came the thing that had held me in its grip truly bursting in upon my conscious- for so long. ness. I was winning! I was getting well My work brought me back to the again! I was sleeping better - I could United States. I began to read the eat — the pains in my head were lessen- papers Articles caught my eye — exing – my periods of depression were soldiers not cared for, ex-soldiers out of coming at lengthening intervals. I was work, in insane asylums, in jails, walkgetting well!
ing the streets. I looked into the matThe knowledge that I was coming ter and found that there were thousands back came to me suddenly, all at once, upon thousands of these men in straitand gave me a strength that I thoughtened circumstances, in poverty. There I could never have again. But once it were more thousands, who needed hoscame, the months that were to come pital attention, who were not getting it. were easy indeed, compared with the There was trouble in Washington over ones that had gone before. It was still a the means to care for these men. Govstruggle, it still required all my will- ernmental bureaus overlapped, passed the buck to each other-and still noth- help to start again; not emotional sentiing seemed to be accomplished. What . mentality, but help — practical, subwas the matter with my country? Was stantial help. it really ungrateful? Was it true that How many others there are just like the public had tired of this responsibil- him, who need just a little help. Are we ity? Statements were made to me that going to give it? I believe we shall, if we magazines would no longer accept but realize the truth; if we will but see, war-stories, and that publishers would and not close our door on the war.' no longer print anything pertaining to There has come a thought to me that the war, or the men who had fought in it. I wish the American people would ponI found that these statements could der over when they grow tired of the be easily disproved, but, nevertheless, it war, which they felt so very, very little. was disheartening, when I kept learn- When they damn the men who bother ing for myself how these men were them for jobs, who pester them for help, suffering.
they should search their own hearts I was walking down Broadway, and first. my walking-stick accidentally struck
Judge not! against a man. I apologized perfunctor
The workings of his heart and of his mind ily, but upon looking at him, I saw a Thou canst not see. poorly dressed man who looked familiar. What in our dull brain may seem a stain,
In God's pure light may only be a scar, Then he spoke. 'Colonel,' he said, 'can
Brought from some well-fought field, you do me a favor?'
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield. I was astonished did not know him. But he knew me - he had been Shall we help back those thousands in my regiment overseas. He wanted of humble men who trod the rocky money — two hundred dollars to start pathway of the Front in France? Shall a cigar-stand. We went to the bank and we give them the little boost that they he left me happy. Some day I shall need, to come back? And what of those hear from that man, who drove a lead other men who have suffered, whose pair on the march into silent, sullen minds are gone? Shall we be but ghosts Germany. He will win some day. All for those unburied dead — who did he needed was a little help, practical not die?
THE ROUND-FACED BEAUTY
A STORY OF THE CHINESE COURT
BY L. ADAMS BECK
In the city of Chang-an music filled their eyebrows formed into slender and the palaces, and the festivities of the perfect arches whence the soul of man Emperor were measured by its beat might well slip to perdition, and a Night, and the full moon swimming like breath of sweet odor followed each a gold-fish in the garden lakes, gave the wherever she moved. Every one might signal for the Feather Jacket and Rain- have been the Empress of some lesser bow Skirt dances. Morning, with the kingdom; but though rumors reached rising sun, summoned the court again to the Son of Heaven from time to time of the feast and wine-cup in the floating their charms, – especially when some gardens.
new blossom was added to the ImpeThe Emperor Chung Tsu favored this rial bouquet,
rial bouquet, - he had dismissed them
city before all others. The Yen Tower from his august thoughts, and they soaring heavenward, the Drum Towers, languished in a neglect so complete that the Pearl Pagoda, were the only fit sur- the Great Cold Palaces of the Moon roundings of his magnificence; and in were not more empty than their hearts. the Pavilion of Tranquil Learning were They remained under the supervision of held those discussions which enlighten- the Princess of Han, August Aunt of ed the world and spread the fame of the the Emperor, knowing that their Lord Jade Emperor far and wide. In all re- considered the company of sleeve-dogs spects he adorned the Dragon Throne and macaws more pleasant than their - in all but one; for Nature, bestow- own. Nor had he as yet chosen an Eming so much, withheld one gift, and the press, and it was evident that without Imperial heart, as precious as jade, was some miracle, such as the intervention also as hard, and he eschewed utterly of the Municipal God, no heir to the the company of the Hidden Palace throne could be hoped for. Flowers.
Yet the Emperor one day rememYet the Inner Chambers were filled bered his imprisoned beauties, and it with ladies chosen from all parts of the crossed the Imperial thoughts that even Celestial Empire - ladies of the most these inferior creatures might afford exquisite and torturing beauty, moons such interest as may be found in the of loveliness, moving coquettishly on gambols of trained fleas or other inlittle feet, with all the grace of willow sects of no natural attainments. branches in a light breeze. They were Accordingly, he commanded that the sprinkled with perfumes, adorned with subject last discussed in his presence jewels, robed in silks woven with gold should be transferred to the Inner and embroidered with designs of flowers Chambers, and it was his Order that the and birds. Their faces were painted and ladies should also discuss it, and their
opinions be engraved on ivory, bound jewel jade, permitted them to slip from together with red silk and tassels, and the string and so distended the rose of thus presented at the Dragon feet. The her mouth in surprise that the small subject chosen was the following: - pearl-shells were visible within. The Describe the qualities of the
Lady Tortoise, caressing a scarlet and
azure macaw, in her agitation so twitchIdeal Man
ed the feathers that the bird, shrieking, Now when this command was laid bit her finger. The Lady Golden Bells before the August Aunt, the guardian blushed deeply at the thought of what of the Inner Chambers, she was much was required of them; and the little perturbed in mind, for such a thing was Lady Summer Dress, youngest of all unheard of in all the annals of the Em- the assembled beauties, was so alarmed pire. Recovering herself, she ventured at the prospect that she began to sob to say that the discussion of such a aloud, until she met the eye of the Auquestion might raise very disquieting gust Aunt and abruptly ceased. thoughts in the minds of the ladies, who 'It is not, however, to be supposed,' could not be supposed to have any opin- said the August Aunt, opening her ions at all on such a subject. Nor was snuff-bottle of painted crystal, 'that it desirable that they should have. To the minds of our deplorable and unevery woman her husband and no other attractive sex are wholly incapable of is and must be the Ideal Man. So it was forming opinions. But speech is a always in the past; so it must ever be. grave matter for women, naturally slowThere are certain things which it is witted and feeble-minded as they are. dangerous to question or discuss, and This unenlightened person recalls the how can ladies who have never spoken Odes as saying: with
any other man than a parent or a 'A flaw in a piece of white jade brother judge such matters?
May be ground away, 'How, indeed,' asked this lady of ex- But when a woman has spoken foolishly alted merit, 'can the bat form an idea
Nothing can be done – of the sunlight, or the carp of the mo- a consideration which should make tion of wings? If his Celestial Majesty every lady here and throughout the had commanded a discussion on the world think anxiously before speech.' Superior Woman and the virtues which So anxiously did the assembled beaushould adorn her, some sentiments not ties think, that all remained mute as wholly unworthy might have been of- fish in a pool, and the August Aunt fered. But this is a calamity. They continued: come unexpectedly, springing up like “Let Tsă-ssŭ be summoned. It is my mushrooms, and this one is probably intention to suggest to the Dragon due to the lack of virtue of the inelegant Emperor that the virtues of women and unintellectual person who is now be the subject of our discourse, and I speaking.'
will myself open and conclude the disThis she uttered in the presence of cussion.' ' the principal beauties of the Inner Tsŭ-ssŭ was not long in kotowing beChambers. They sat or reclined about fore the August Aunt, who dispatched her in attitudes of perfect loveliness. her message with the proper ceremonial Two, embroidering silver pheasants, due to its Imperial destination; and paused with their needles suspended meanwhile, in much agitation, the above the stretched silk, to hear the beauties could but twitter and whisper August Aunt. One, threading beads of in each other's ears, and await the