And yet he too smiled as that shell burst, and, turning a moment later, smiled once more as he pointed towards the enemy. "Wait!" he told Jules and the Sergeant. "They give us shells here in plenty, those Boches, they keep a torrent of them tumbling about our ears both day and night; but wait, I say! For remember what we saw from the forest, Jules!
The money was ready and was paid to him immediately. The Boches had now made up with the Lorilleuxs who now came and did their guzzling in the concierge's lodge. They assured each other that they never would have fallen out if it hadn't been for Clump-clump. She was enough to set mountains to fighting. Ah! the Boches knew her well now, they could understand how much the Lorilleuxs must suffer.
"My God!" said Doggie again. "It was terrible," she said. "But they were in their right." "And then?" "We lay hidden until it was dark how they did not find us I don't know and then we escaped across country. I thought of coming here to my Aunt Morin, which is not far from La Folette, but I reflected that soon the Boches would be here also. And we went on.
At this two of the Boches proceeded to search the captives, neither of whom had anything of value or importance about them, and handed the booty to the officer. "Vat is diss, huh?" he said, looking at a small object in his hand. Tom's answer nearly knocked Roscoe off his feet. "It's a compass," said he.
Their hair was on end; their eyes were like saucers. "Who's killed, fellows," they yelled, "who's killed?" Of course no one was hurt. Our own battery was just dropping a few over the Boches, but it was our first experience under fire. Behind the building a battery of our six-inch howitzers was concealed.
Two or three of the Boches seemed to be particularly interested in me, and after they had walked round me once or twice with sullen curiosity stamped on their faces, one came up and said "Offizier?" I nodded my head, which means "Yes" in most languages, and, besides, I can't talk German.
From that time Gervaise took no more presents to the Boches nothing. Now the Boches seemed to think that Gervaise was stealing something which was rightfully theirs. Gervaise saw that she had made a mistake. If she hadn't catered to them so much in the beginning, they wouldn't have gotten into the habit of expecting it and might have remained on good terms with her.
The boches pounded us from Douaumont and from the village of Vaux. They sent wave after wave up the slope to drive us out. But we stuck to it. That ravine of La Caillette was a boiling caldron of men. It bubbled over with smoke and fire. Once, when their second wave had broken just in front of us, we went out to hurry the fragments down the hill.
Even as Dorn crossed bayonets with this inspired Frenchman he heard a soldier comrade say that Delorme had let daylight through fourteen boches in that memorable victory of the Marne. "You are very big and strong and quick, monsieur," said the officer Huon, simply. "In bayonet-work you will be a killer of boches."
They could almost see the gaunt, black cross itself from which the brutish Boches had kicked the carved and weather-beaten figure of Christ in order to nail to the massive cross the living hands and feet of that half-senseless girl whom they supposed had betrayed them. The man lying there on the edge of the chasm was Kay McKay; the girl stretched on her stomach beside him was Evelyn Erith.