At first this seemed an unlucky circumstance, for the Indians came down into the dugout for shelter, and now Buddy was afraid to breathe in the quiet intervals between the gusts.
When the day's work was done he sat outside the dugout talking sometimes to himself, sometimes to Cyclona, telling of how when the harvest was over and gathered he would go back home.
In Pall Mall he came upon Tony Grandell, whom he had last seen playing bridge in the company dugout on the Flesquieres Kidge. Then he had been in "battle order," camouflaged as a private soldier, as officers were ordered to go over the top in the latter phases of the war.
These lads come in from the trenches and have some hair-raising stories to tell. Sunday, 19: Quiet till the afternoon when a gas barrage started. I was driven out of my dugout. I had a narrow escape, while reaching the hospital corps dugout. Lieut. All night, from 6 o'clock to 3 A.M., 3000 shells are sent into the town. I slept in the Headquarters Signal Corps dugout with my gas mask on all night.
So he added, his voice very low and very gentle, "I'll even shake hands if you will, Jimmie." Jimmie closed his eyes but not quick enough to hide the mistiness which had rushed into them. His breathing was irregular and heavy, its sound being the only sound in the dugout. He did not put out his hand. Finally, his voice steadier than it had been before, he spoke again.
He had been struck on the chest with a spent fragment of a "coal box" which had bowled him over, but he was still full of fight. When I started back across the Kerrserlaere Zonnebeke road for our trenches a short distance east, a devilish machine gun again got after me and followed me to the shelter of the dugout in which a number of the wounded had been placed.
He pushed a rotten, old leaky dugout from the sandbar and climbed in, with a piece of paddle, and got out so far that the current caught him." "What sandbar? Which channel?" "This side. The Ohio side." The mother suddenly grew faint. Speech forsook her tongue. The trees vanished and the air was a blur, through which she saw a moving shape that looked the shadow of a human figure.
Fearing now that many bombs might be dropped their defenseless heads, and with the whir of many motors in their ears, all the time growing louder, nearer, the small squad of night sentries, scudded as one man for the small dugout. This had been made immediately after the Bluff was wrecked by the bombardment.
As the dugout scraped and stuck on the bottom the Indian doffed his overalls and displayed the full gorgeousness of the Seminole dress shirt. Payne wondered how in the souls of these swamp dwellers there had developed a taste for a hue as delicate as the pink of the flamingo.
Having reached the decision to board the steamer, she now looked to it for aid, but to her surprise the decks appeared to be empty and she saw no sign of life aboard the ship. The dugout was drawing closer and closer to the bow of the vessel, and yet no hail came over the side from any lookout aboard.