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four weeks, or even longer, during which the to the point nearest to the trenches to which ambulance corps has little to do and its a wheeled vehicle can go—sometimes a shatmembers tend to become restless.
tered farm-house, sometimes the cellar of a During these periods of repose life at the ruined château, sometimes merely a hole dug front is by no means without interest. The deep in the ground. These are dressing soldiers arrange various forms of entertain- stations, the places to which the stretcher. ment. It not infrequently happens that an bearers bring the wounded from the trenches impromptu theater with cleverly contrived for preliminary treatment before removal to scenery and footlights is set up in a barn, and the nearest hospital. In many cases the the dramatic and musical talent in the army dressing stations are intermittently under an arrange performances with songs and dances arch of flying shells going in both directions, andeinstrumental pieces, and often with dia- and they are sometimes subject to the fire of logues and plays containing satirical com- rifles and rapid-fire guns as well. Neverthements on the Germans and on the political less our men have been extremely fortunate. situation in France, with occasional allusions Only two have been killed-Richard Hall, of to America, as, for instance, to President Ann Arbor, Michigan, whose car was hit by Wilson's “belles-lettres” or to non-exploding a shell as he was driving up Hartmannsweilershells, which are spoken of as “ Wilsons.' kopf on Christmas Eve, 1915; and Edward In fact, one sees entertainments in the rear Kelley, of Philadelphia, who was killed on during these periods of repose that would be his first trip to a dressing station in the well worth attending in Paris itself.
vicinity of Dead Man's Hill, near Verdun, in Frenchmen are either artists or artisans, September, 1916. and when they have leisure they turn their Bear in mind, the work of most of our sectalents to good effect. They make the finger tions is carried on at night in total darkness, rings which have become so familiar, ink- not even a lighted cigarette being permitted stands, paper-cutters, cigarette boxes, and at some of the posts. As the cars draw near even musical instruments, from pieces of to the front the drivers cannot sound a shells and other materials which they find at horn lest they advise the enemy that autohand. And not infrequently they organize in mobiles are on the road. The enemy has barns or sheds not far from the trenches a the range of all the roads.
To be sure, salon d'automne or a salon d'été to exhibit they might not shell an ambulance, but their paintings, sketches, water-colors, and there is no way of knowing in the night objets d'art.
that it isn't an ammunition wagon that's Our volunteers are in most cases not ex- approaching For weeks at a time our pert mechanics but, as almost every American drivers operate their cars night after night boy knows-something about automobiles, and without any lights on the darkest nights except as the cars we use are of simple construction, such as come from illuminating rockets from it is possible to conduct a service with only the trenches, along roads heavily encumbered one man for each car. We have, however, with moving artillery, motor trucks, marching one paid mechanic—an American-in each troops, and all the traffic of war, often in the section, whose business it is to diagnose the midst of heavy shell fire, and picking their difficulties that arise in the handling of the way carefully to avoid here and there the cars and to show the men of the section how black spots in the road which indicate holes to correct these difficulties. The individual made by shells. Sometimes they run their driver not only looks after the loading and cars into these holes and have to wait until unloading of the wounded whom he trans- passing troops can lift them out and set them ports, but he oils, greases, and repairs his once more on their way. Often when the own car. The men become very much dawn comes they go to sleep on a bloody attached to their cars because of the labor stretcher in the back of a dirty ambulance or they spend on them, and bestow upon them in a chilly tent in sleet or rain. It somepet names—“Maude," Susan,” “ Lottie," times happens that they are compelled to Agnes,” “Elsie," and the like.
work for forty-eight hours at a stretch with It is very hard for any one living on this scarcely a moment's rest of any kind. They side of the world, where conditions are so live like the soldiers, on the common army prosperous and happy, to realize the nature food-dried vegetables, canned meats, more of the work which our American volunteers or less the same day after day; they see have willingly assumed. They drive their cars nothing for months at a time of the outer world, and have nothing enter into their and the providing of comforts for the soldiers thoughts week after week but the most and widows and orphans of France ; but, sordid side of the business of war.
after all, what we have done is infinitesimally No man can pass through such an expe- small compared with the needs and sacrifices rience unchanged.
of France, or compared with what France has been a strengthening, a refining, a democra- done for us. When Lord Cornwallis surtizing, a spiritualizing process. Notwith- rendered at Yorktown, and the Revolution, standing their suffering, they have taken out which had lasted for seven years, was brought much more than they put in. One Harvard to its end, there were as many French solgraduate-out of college twelve or fourteen diers in the army to which he surrendered as years, living an idle, care-free life, playing there were Americans, and, in addition, there bridge and doing the social functions—when was the great French fleet in the harbor asked his business in civil life, replied: which had driven the British feet away. “ I have never done much of anything, sir, France spent for us during the American up to the present. But I doubt when the Revolution no less than seven hundred million war is over whether I shall ever be happy dollars, and yet at the end of the war she doing that again."
asked for not one sou or one inch of territory Another man of similar associations, after as recompense.
We owe to France our working in Alsace with the Chasseurs Alpins, existence as an independent nation, but, more remarked that he looked forward to the time than that, along with the rest of the world, we when back in New York-after the war- owe to France the inspiration which she has he would be called on the telephone by the given in every field of art and thought. familiar voice of one of those Chasseurs. On every French silver coin and on every Said he: “I can't imagine anything that will French postage stamp is the figure of a give me more pleasure than to re-encounter graceful, slender woman walking toward the that man in New York. His name is Fran- dawn, sowing with a swinging arm as she çois. He is the second cook in the Knicker- walks—a figure designed by Roty, the greatbocker Hotel, and the finest gentleman I est of French engravers, to symbolize the rôle ever knew !!
of France in the world. France has for As I have said, notwithstanding all hard- centuries been the sower of the world's ships and risks, our men have gained much civilization. She has not always reaped more than they have given in this war. It is where she sowed. She sowed, and England a privilege even in peace times to live in the reaped.
reaped. She sowed America, and England gentle country of France, surrounded by all the and the United States reaped; she sowed wonderful architectural heritages of her past the Suez Canal, and England reaped; she and in contact with her gifted, sensitive, and sowed the Panama Canal, and America and highly intelligent people. One learns con- the rest of the world have reaped. She stantly new lessons in courtesy and in con- sowed the automobile, aeroplane, and the sideration for others, and one inevitably gains submarine—the very instruments of war a better perspective about the things which which to-day have been so effectively used make life worth while. To live in France against her. The Wright brothers received to-day means all this and much more. To no recognition or encouragement in America see a nation facing mortal danger with the when they discovered the mastery of the air. courage, good humor, and tenacity the It was first of all in France that they received French people display, giving to their country the encouragement and help which enabled willingly all that they have or can hope for, them to go on with their experiments. In smiling in the midst of suffering and unmind- architecture and painting, in sculpture, in the ful even of death, means for every American drama, in mathematics—in virtually every volunteer an inspiration to patriotism such as field of thought—the world at large is indebted no other experience in life could ever offer. to France for inspiration and encouragement.
Our two hundred volunteer drivers in the Even in the present war France has gained American Ambulance Field Service have for herself new laurels. She has committed served with a spirit of intense devotion, and no moral blunders, has laid herself open to tens of thousands of other Americans on this no criticisms, has violated no treaties, has side of the water have in manifold ways trespassed upon none of the established condevoted all their energies for the past two ventions of warfare ; so far as such a thing years to the making of dressings and clothing is possible she has conducted the hideous
FOR LOVE OF FRANCE
processes of war with gallantry as well as with “ At the moment when an unexpected indomitable valor. The whole world, includ- order of departure deprives the 129th Divising even her enemies, to-day does reverence ion of American Sanitary Section No. 3 the to France and recognizes in her a combatant general of the division desires to express to without rear and also without reproach. all its members his deepest thanks.
For all that Americans have done to help “ Since the 25th April, 1916, the section France the French people are appreciative has followed the division to the various far beyond our merits. The various hospitals points on the front where it has been in maintained by Americans, and the large action—at Lay St. Christophe, in the danquantities of supplies for these hospitals and gerous sector of Thiaumont, at Verdun, and the volunteer surgeons, nurses, ambulance at Bois-le-Prêtre. drivers, and legionaries sent over from Amer- “ The American volunteers have everyica, inspire in the French people a deep and where shown an unforgetable example of appreciative response. The little ambulances devotion. seen here and there along the front seem to “ They carry away with them the gratitude make their soldiers feel that all America is of our wounded, the admiration of all those with them, and every American boy who who have seen them at work, and the regrets gives his life for the service of France, as two caused by their departure. of our American ambulance boys and at least They leave behind them an example three of the American aviators have done, is which it will be sufficient to recall when in to them the equivalent of a whole American another Verdun their successors will be army division serving with them.
called upon to show the courage and selfLast June a squadron of German aero- abnegation so necessary in the accomplishplanes flew over Bar-le-Duc, dropping bombs ment of their mission.” over the city, killing sixty-odd and wounding A week later the general in command of one hundred and fifty, mostly civilians. 7 division in the vicinity of Dead Man's Hill, From the moment that the first bomb was near Verdun, with which another of our secdropped from the sky and the people in gen- tions had been serving, wrote as follows : eral rushed to their cellars our little Ameri- “I wish to express to you my congratulacan cars began cruising about the city, pick- tions for the unwearied activity, the devotion, ing up the victims here and there, but run- and the fearless contempt of danger shown ning at the same time the risk of themselves by the drivers of American Sanitary Section being blown to pieces. They were the only No. 2 under your command since their ambulances in the city at that time, and arrival at the division, and particularly in the about a week later an official was sent from course of the days and nights from the 18th Bar-le-Duc to our headquarters in Paris to to the 20th September. express the appreciation of the people of “ The American drivers have shown themBar-le-Duc for the services rendered. “ There selves worthy sons of the great and generous is not a man, woman, or child in Bar-le- nation for the emancipation of which our Duc," he said, " who will not always feel ancestors shed their blood.” more friendly toward America for what your These characteristic examples, of American volunteers did for them in that which many more might be cited, of the hour of their great trial.”
feeling of the French army toward the Every one of the sections of the American American Ambulance Field Service. I will Ambulance Field Service has received the quote only one more tribute from a letter Croix de Guerre, and fifty-four individual just received from an officer upon the staff members of the Service have been decorated of General Joffre : with that medal, while two have received the “ The work of the American Ambulance Médaille de Militaire, the highest reward for Field Service is the most beautiful flower of valor which the French army can confer. the magnificent wreath offered by the great
When, at the end of September, 1916, one America to her valiant little Latin sister. of our ambulance sections was suddenly de- “ Those who, like you and your friends, are tached from an army division in Lorraine in consecrating themselves entirely to our cause, order to join the French Army of the Orient up to and including even the sacrifice, dein the Balkans, the general in command of serve more than our gratitude. It is imthe division with which this section had possible for the future to separate them from served expressed himself as follows:
SEE AMERICA FIRST
BY ALBERT BUSHNELL HART
F the geologists have correctly judged, the universe “saw America first " when
the Laurentian hills first arched their backs above the chaos of the New World. More than four hundred years ago Christopher Columbus made a great success with his first personally conducted party to America. Ever since his time discoverers and explorers, traders of fur and diggers of gold and searchers of bottom land, zoologists and archæologists, hunters and fishers, have been seeing parts of America first ; till there are only a few thousand untrodden peaks and unvisited lakes in the whole area of the two American continents.
In this current phrase, as in many other ways, we of the United States arrogate to ourselves the sole right to be called “ America." Native Indians, frosty Eskimos, de scendants of Spanish and Portuguese who arrived decades before the Pilgrim Fathersall these are set aside in order that we may be “ The Americans.” After all, there is some reason in our appropriating the name : we have more than half the population of the two Americas, and by far the larger share of scenic wonders. To apply a commercial term to natural beauties which are beyond any valuation in currency, “we have the goods." In view of our majestic ports, grand rivers, prodigious-takes, - and scenie mountains and abysses, nothing but the native modesty of the American keeps us from openly boasting of the natural beauties of our land.
What a giant pleasure it has been for those who first reached, first viewed, and first recorded these splendors of nature ! Who would not be a Verrazano, making a long tack around a finger-shaped sand-spit, and so into a magnificent bay, where two rivers converged, and between them rose a rocky promontory which the Dutch later called Manhattan? Think of being Champlain on Lake Huron, or Radisson on Lake Superior, or one of the rowers in La Salle's galley when it reached the salt water at the mouth of the Mississippi ! It were a distinction to be the only white man who had ever seen Niagara Falls, instead of the ten millionth man. Every normal and proper-minded boy would like with Lewis and Clarke and the
Bird Woman, to scramble across the divide and plunge down an unknown gorge to the Columbia and the ocean. It makes one's mouth water to think of Verendrye first viewing the far-off Rockics, or Pike discerning the far-distant cloud across the plains, which gradually solidified into a majestic mountain, later to be called Pike's Peak.
Part of the discoverer's joy may be realized by following the trail of Lewis and Clarke in a Pullman car, or completing the desperate achievement of ascending Pike's Peak in a twelve-seated autcmobile. Every American may still have the thrill of seeing great things for the first time--for him. Uncounted multitudes have climbed their first mountain, and looked for the first time on the Pacific Ocean. The writer once heard Major Powell lecture on his all but impossible boat journey down through the gorge of the Colorado; but everybody who stands on the ledge at Bright Angel may discover for himself the awful grandeur of that chasm, as though it had never before been seen by mortal eye. We Americans are just waking up to the soul-shocks which await the traveler in the far West, for it is only a few years since the Pacific roads opened up the country. The recesses of the Rocky Mountains are at last being revealed to the plain and humble tourist. Though we all have a How opinion of tourists” in general, we except our own touring and appreciate the easy access to nature.
The automobile has solved many problems of transport for the admirer of nature. The automobilist wants to go somewhere ; that means a road. He wants to see something ; that means the opening up of a lake, a peak, or a gorge. He wants something to eat ; that means a comfortable inn. Till recently a man who wanted to make himself familiar with the Rocky Mountains had to organize an expedition with guides, pack-horses, and camping outfit; hence most of him stayed at home. Now the United States Government and the States are co-operating in setting apart the most picturesque places and areas as permanent parks, and in building highways which intersect and connect these magnificent National playgrounds.
Some people are very set on privacy in their interviews with Lady Nature. A