France at War [MultiFormat]
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by Rudyard Kipling
Category: Classic Literature
Description: A chronicle of Kipling's experiences during WWI.
eBook Publisher: Fictionwise.com/Fictionwise Classic, 1915
MemoWare PDA Bookstore Release Date: January 2005
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [MultiFormat - What's this?]: eReader (PDB) [62 KB], ePub (EPUB) [118 KB], Rocket/REB1100 (RB) [45 KB], Portable Document Format (PDF) [394 KB], Portable Document Format - Large Print (PDF) [413 KB], Portable Document Format - Large Print (PDF) [413 KB], Palm Doc (PDB) [51 KB], Microsoft Reader (LIT) [133 KB], Franklin eBookMan (FUB) [119 KB], hiebook (KML) [107 KB], Sony Reader (LRF) [78 KB], iSilo (PDB) [42 KB], Mobipocket (PRC) [52 KB], Kindle Compatible (MOBI) [80 KB], OEBFF Format (IMP) [70 KB]
Reading time: 42-59 min.
Microsoft Reader (LIT) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud ENABLED
Portable Document Format (PDF) Format: Printing ENABLED, Read-Aloud DISABLED
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
ON THE FRONTIER OF CIVILIZATION
"It's a pretty park," said the French artillery officer. "We've done a lot for it since the owner left. I hope he'll appreciate it when he comes back."
The car traversed a winding drive through woods, between banks embellished with little chalets of a rustic nature. At first, the chalets stood their full height above ground, suggesting tea-gardens in England. Further on they sank into the earth till, at the top of the ascent, only their solid brown roofs showed. Torn branches drooping across the driveway, with here and there a scorched patch of undergrowth, explained the reason of their modesty.
The chateau that commanded these glories of forest and park sat boldly on a terrace. There was nothing wrong with it except, if one looked closely, a few scratches or dints on its white stone walls, or a neatly drilled hole under a flight of steps. One such hole ended in an unexploded shell. "Yes," said the officer. "They arrive here occasionally."
Something bellowed across the folds of the wooded hills; something grunted in reply. Something passed overhead, querulously but not without dignity. Two clear fresh barks joined the chorus, and a man moved lazily in the direction of the guns.
"Well. Suppose we come and look at things a little," said the commanding officer.
AN OBSERVATION POST
There was a specimen tree--a tree worthy of such a park--the sort of tree visitors are always taken to admire. A ladder ran up it to a platform. What little wind there was swayed the tall top, and the ladder creaked like a ship's gangway. A telephone bell tinkled 50 foot overhead. Two invisible guns spoke fervently for half a minute, and broke off like terriers choked on a leash. We climbed till the topmost platform swayed sicklily beneath us. Here one found a rustic shelter, always of the tea-garden pattern, a table, a map, and a little window wreathed with living branches that gave one the first view of the Devil and all his works. It was a stretch of open country, with a few sticks like old tooth-brushes which had once been trees round a farm. The rest was yellow grass, barren to all appearance as the veldt.
"The grass is yellow because they have used gas here," said an officer. "Their trenches are--. You can see for yourself."
The guns in the woods began again. They seemed to have no relation to the regularly spaced bursts of smoke along a little smear in the desert earth two thousand yards away--no connection at all with the strong voices overhead coming and going. It was as impersonal as the drive of the sea along a breakwater.
Thus it went: a pause--a gathering of sound like the race of an incoming wave; then the high-flung heads of breakers spouting white up the face of a groyne. Suddenly, a seventh wave broke and spread the shape of its foam like a plume overtopping all the others.