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NEWSREEL XXX 3 страница

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-278-

 

Buster was sixteen and captain of the highschool ball
team. Driving her up to the house in the new Stutz he
told her how things were. Bud had been tearing things
up at the University and was on the edge of getting fired
and had gotten balled up with a girl in Galveston who was
trying to blackmail him. Dad had been very much worried
because he'd gotten in too deep in the oil game and seeing
Daughter spread all over the front page for knocking down
a cop had about finished him; old Emma was getting too
old to run the house for them anymore and it was up to
Daughter to give up her crazy ideas and stay home and
keep house for them. "See this car? A dandy ain't it. . . .
I bought it myself. . . . Did a little tradin' in options up
near Amarillo on my own, jus' for the hell of it, and I
made five thousand bucks." "Why, you smart kid. I tell
you, Bud, it's good to be home. But about that policeman
you'd have done the same yourself or you're not my
brother. I'll tell you all about it sometime. Believe me it
does me good to see Texas faces after those mean weasel-
faced Easterners." Dr. Winslow was in the hall when they
came in. He shook hands warmly and told her how well
she was looking and not to worry because he'd pull her
Dad through if it was the last thing he did on earth. The
sickroom and Dad's restless flushed face made her feel
awful, and she didn't like finding a trained nurse running
the house.

 

After Dad began to get around a little they both went
down to Port Arthur for a couple of weeks for a change to
stay with an old friend of Dad's. Dad said he'd give her
a car if she'd stay on, and that he'd get her out of this silly
mess she'd gotten into up north.

 

She began to play a lot of tennis and golf again and
to go out a good deal socially. Joe Washburn had married
and was living in Oklahoma getting rich on oil. She felt
easier in Dallas when he wasn't there; seeing him upset
her so. The next fall Daughter went down to Austin to

 

-279-

 

finish her journalism course, mostly because she thought
her being there would keep Bud in the straight and nar-
row. Friday afternoons they drove back home together in
her Buick sedan for the weekend. Dad had bought a new
Tudor style house way out and all her spare time was
taken up picking out furniture and hanging curtains and
arranging the rooms. She had a great many beaux always
coming around to take her out and had to start keeping an
engagement book. Especially after the declaration of war
social life became very hectic. She was going every minute
and never got any sleep. Everybody was getting commis-
sions or leaving for officers training camps. Daughter went
in for Red Cross work and organized a canteen, but that
wasn't enough and she kept applying to be sent abroad.
Bud went down to San Antonio to learn to fly and Buster,
who'd been in the militia, lied about his age and joined up
as a private and was sent to Jefferson Barracks. At the can-
teen she lived in a whirl and had one or two proposals of
marriage a week, but she always told them that she hadn't
any intention of being a war bride.



 

Then one morning a War Department telegram came.
Dad was in Austin on business so she opened it. Bud had
crashed, killed. First thing Daughter thought was how
hard it would hit Dad. The phone rang; it was a long
distance call from San Antonio, sounded like Joe Wash-
burn's voice. "Is that you, Joe?" she said weakly. "Daugh-
ter, I want to speak to your father," came his grave drawl.
"I know . . . O Joe."



 

"It was his first solo flight. He was a great boy. Nobody
seems to know how it happened. Must have been defect in
structure. I'll call Austin. I know where to get hold of him.

 

. . . I've got the number . . . see you soon, Daughter."
Joe rang off. Daughter went into her room and burrowed
face down into the bed that hadn't been made up. For a
minute she tried to imagine that she hadn't gotten up yet,
that she dreamed the phone ringing and Joe's voice. Then

 

-280-

 

she thought of Bud so sharply it was as if he'd come into
the room, the way he laughed, the hard pressure of his
long thin hand over her hands when he'd suddenly
grabbed the wheel when they'd skidded going around a
corner into San Antonio the last time she'd driven him
down after a leave, the clean anxious lean look of his face
above the tight khaki collar of the uniform. Then she
heard Joe's voice again: Must have been some defect in
structure.

 

She went down and jumped into her car. At the filling-
station where she filled up with gas and oil the garageman
asked her how the boys liked it in the army. She couldn't
stop to tell him about it now. "Bully, they like it fine,"
she said, with a grin that hurt her like a slap in the face.
She wired Dad at his lawpartner's office that she was com-
ing and pulled out of town for Austin. The roads were in
bad shape, it made her feel better to feel the car plough
through the muddy ruts and the water spraying out in a
wave on either side when she went through a puddle at
fifty.

 

She averaged fortyfive all the way and got to Austin
before dark. Dad had already gone down to San Antonio
on the train. Dead tired, she started off. She had a blow-
out and it took her a long time to get it fixed; it was mid-
night before she drew up at the Menger. Automatically
she looked at herself in the little mirror before going in.
There were streaks of mud on her face and her eyes were
red.

 

In the lobby she found Dad and Joe Washburn sitting
side by side with burntout cigars in their mouths. Their
faces looked a little alike. Must have been the grey drawn
look that made them look alike. She kissed them both.
"Dad, you ought to go to bed," she said briskly. "You
look all in." "I suppose I might as well . . . There's
nothing left to do," he said.

 

"Wait for me, Joe, until I get Dad fixed up," she said

 

-281-

 

in a low voice as she passed him. She went up to the room
with Dad, got herself a room adjoining, ruffled his hair and
kissed him very gently and left him to go to bed.

 

When she got back down to the lobby Joe was sitting
in the same place with the same expression on his face. It
made her mad to see him like that.

 

Her sharp brisk voice surprised her. "Come outside a
minute, Joe, I want to walk around a little." The rain had
cleared the air. It was a transparent early summer night.
"Look here, Joe, who's responsible for the condition of
the planes? I've got to know." "Daughter, how funny you
talk . . . what you ought to do is get some sleep, you're
all overwrought." "Joe, you answer my question." "But
Daughter, don't you see nobody's responsible. The army's
a big institution. Mistakes are inevitable. There's a lot of
money being made by contractors of one kind or another.
Whatever you say aviation is in its infancy we all
knew the risks before we joined up."

 

"If Bud had been killed in France I wouldn't have felt
like this . . . but here . . . Joe, somebody's directly re-
sponsible for my brother's death. I want to go and talk to
him, that's all. I won't do anything silly. You all think I'm
a lunatic I know, but I'm thinking of all the other girls
who have brothers training to be aviators. The man who
inspected those planes is a traitor to his country and ought
to be shot down like a dog." "Look here, Daughter," Joe
said as he brought her back to the hotel, "we're fightin' a
war now. Individual lives don't matter, this isn't the time
for lettin' your personal feelin's get away with you or em-
barrassin' the authorities with criticism. When we've licked
the huns'll be plenty of time for gettin' the incompetents
and the crooks . . . that's how I feel about it."

 

"Well, good night, Joe . . . you be mighty careful
yourself. When do you expect to get your wings?" "Oh, in
a couple of weeks." "How's Gladys and Bunny?" "Oh,
they're all right," said Joe; a funny constraint came into

 

-282-

 

his voice and he blushed. "They're in Tulsa with Mrs.
Higgins."

 

She went to bed and lay there without moving, feeling
desperately quiet and cool; she was too tired to sleep.
When morning came she went around to the garage to get
her car. She felt in the pocket on the door to see if her
handbag was there that always had her little pearlhandled
revolver in it, and drove out to the aviation camp. At the
gate the sentry wouldn't let her by, so she sent a note to
Colonel Morrissey who was a friend of Dad's, saying that
she must see him at once. The corporal was very nice and
got her a chair in the little office at the gate and a few min-
utes later said he had Colonel Morrissey on the wire. She
started to talk to him but she couldn't think what to say.
The desk and the office and the corporal began swaying
giddily and she fainted.

 

She came to in a staffcar with Joe Washburn who was
taking her back to the hotel. He was patting her hand
saying, "That's all right, Daughter." She was clinging to
him and crying like a little tiny girl. They put her to bed
at the hotel and gave her bromides and the doctor wouldn't
let her get up until after the funeral was over.

 

She got a reputation for being a little crazy after that.
She stayed on in San Antonio. Everything was very gay
and tense. All day she worked in a canteen and evenings
she went out, supper and dancing, every night with a dif-
ferent aviation officer. Everybody had taken to drinking a
great deal. It was like when she used to go to highschool
dances, she felt herself moving in a brilliantly lighted daze
of suppers and lights and dancing and champagne and dif-
ferent colored faces and stiff identical bodies of men danc-
ing with her, only now she had a kidding line and let them
hug her and kiss her in taxicabs, in phonebooths, in people's
backyards.

 

One night she met Joe Washburn at a party Ida Olsen
was giving for some boys who were leaving for overseas.

 

-283-

 

It was the first time she'd ever seen Joe drink. He wasn't
drunk but she could see that he'd been drinking a great
deal. They went and sat side by side on the back steps of
the kitchen in the dark. It was a clear hot night full of
dryflies with a hard hot wind rustling the dry twigs of the
trees. Suddenly she took Joe's hand: "Oh, Joe, this is
awful."

 

Joe began to talk about how unhappy he was with his
wife, how he was making big money through his oil leases
and didn't give a damn about it, how sick he was of the
army. They'd made him an instructor and wouldn't let
him go overseas and he was almost crazy out there in
camp. "Oh, Joe, I want to go overseas too. I'm leading
such a silly life here." "You have been actin' kinder wild,
Daughter, since Bud died," came Joe's soft deep drawling
voice. "Oh, Joe, I wisht I was dead," she said and put her
head on his knee and began to cry. "Don't cry, Daughter,
don't cry," he began to say, then suddenly he was kissing
her. His kisses were hard and crazy and made her go all
limp against him.

 

"I don't love anybody but you, Joe," she suddenly said
quietly. But he already had control of himself; "Daughter,
forgive me," he said in a quiet lawyer's voice, "I don't
know what I was thinking of, I must be crazy . . . this
war is making us all crazy . . . Good night . . . Say
. . . er . . . erase this all from the record, will you?"

 

That night she couldn't sleep a wink. At six in the morn-
ing she got into her car, filled up with gas and oil and
started for Dallas. It was a bright fall morning with blue
mist in the hollows. Dry cornstalks rustled on the long
hills red and yellow with fall. It was late when she got
home. Dad was sitting up reading the war news in pyjamas
and bathrobe. "Well, it won't be long now, Daughter," he
said. "The Hindenburg line is crumpling up. I knew our
boys could do it once they got started." Dad's face was
more lined and his hair whiter than she'd remembered it.

 

-284-

 

She heated up a can of Campbell's soup as she hadn't taken
any time to eat. They had a cosy little supper together and
read a funny letter of Buster's from Camp Merritt where
his outfit was waiting to go overseas. When she went to
bed in her own room it was like being a little girl again,
she'd always loved times when she got a chance to have a
cosy chat with Dad all alone; she went to sleep the minute
her head hit the pillow.

 

She stayed on in Dallas taking care of Dad; it was only
sometimes when she thought of Joe Washburn that she
felt she couldn't stand it another minute. The fake armi-
stice came and then the real armistice, everybody was crazy
for a week like a New Orleans mardigras. Daughter de-
cided that she was going to be an old maid and keep house
for Dad. Buster came home looking very Anned and full
of army slang. She started attending lectures at Southern
Methodist, doing church work, getting books out of the
circulating library, baking angelcake; when young girl-
friends of Buster's came to the house she acted as a chap-
eron.

 

Thanksgiving Joe Washburn and his wife came to din-
ner with them. Old Emma was sick so Daughter cooked
the turkey herself. It was only when they'd all sat down
to table, with the yellow candles lighted in the silver can-
dlesticks and the salted nuts set out in the little silver trays
and the decoration of pink and purple mapleleaves, that
she remembered Bud. She suddenly began to feel faint and
ran into her room. She lay face down on the bed listening
to their grave voices. Joe came to the door to see what was
the matter. She jumped up laughing, and almost scared
Joe to death by kissing him square on the mouth. "I'm all
right, Joe," she said. "How's yourself?"

 

Then she ran to the table and started cheering every-
body up, so that they all enjoyed their dinner. When they
were drinking their coffee in the other room she told them
that she'd signed up to go overseas for six months with the

 

-285-

 

Near East Relief, that had been recruiting at Southern
Methodist. Dad was furious and Buster said she ought to
stay home now the war was over, but Daughter said, others
had given their lives to save the world from the Germans
and that she certainly could give up six months to relief
work. When she said that they all thought of Bud and
were quiet.

 

It wasn't actually true that she'd signed up, but she did
the next morning and got around Miss Frazier, a returned
missionary from China who was arranging it, so that they
sent her up to New York that week, with orders to sail
immediately with the office in Rome as her first destina-
tion. She was so wildly excited all the time she was get-
ting her passport and having her uniform fitted, she hardly
noticed how glum Dad and Buster looked. She only had a
day in New York. When the boat backed out of the dock
with its siren screaming and started steaming down the
North River, she stood on the front deck with her hair
blowing in the wind, sniffing the funny steamboat harbor
overseas smell and feeling like a twoyearold.

 


NEWSREEL XXXII

 


GOLDEN VOICE OF CARUSO SWELLS IN
VICTORY SONG TO CROWDS ON STREETS

 

Oh Oh Oh, it's a lovely war
Oo wouldn't be a sodger, ay

 

from Pic Umbral to the north of the Stelvio it will follow
the crest of the Rhetian alps up to the sources of the Adige and
the Eisah passing thence by mounts Reschen and Brenner and
the heights of Oetz and Boaller; thence south crossing Mount
Toblach

 

-286-

 

As soon as reveille has gone
We feel just as 'eavy as lead
But we never git up till the sergeant
Brings us a cup of tea in bed

 


HYPNOTIZED BY COMMON LAW WIFE

 

army casualties soar to 64,305 with 318 today; 11,760
have paid the supreme sacrifice in action and 6,193 are severely
wounded

 

Oh Oh Oh. it's a lovely war
Oo wouldn't be a sodger ay
Oh, it's a shayme to tayke the pay

 

in the villages in peasant houses the Americans are
treated as guests living in the best rooms and courteously
offered the best shining samovars or teaurns by the housewives

 

Le chef de gare il est cocu

 

in the largely populated districts a spectacular touch was
given the festivities by groups of aliens appearing in costume
and a carnival spirit prevailed

 


BRITISH SUPPRESS SOVIETS

 

Le chef de gare il est cocu
Qui est cocu? Le chef de gare
Sa femme elle l'a voulut

 

there can be no reason to believe these officers of an estab-
lished news organization serving newspapers all over the coun-
try failed to realize their responsibilities at a moment of supreme
significance to the people of this country. Even to anticipate
the event in a matter of such moment would be a grave im-
position for which those responsible must be called to account

 

Any complaynts this morning?
Do we complayn? Not we
Wats the matter with lumps of onion
Floatin' around in the tea?

 


PEACE DOVE IN JEWELS GIVEN
MRS. WILSON

 

-287-

 

and the watershed of the Cols di Polberdo, Podlaniscam
and Idria. From this point the line turns southeast towards
the Schneeberg, excludes the whole basin of the Saave and its
tributaries. From Schneeberg it goes down to the coast in
such a way as to include Castna, Mattuglia and Volusca

 


THE CAMERA EYE (38)

 

sealed signed and delivered all over Tours you
can smell lindens in bloom it's hot my uniform sticks the
OD chafes me under the chin

 

only four days ago AWOL crawling under the
freight cars at the station of St. Pierre-des-Corps waiting
in the buvette for the MP on guard to look away from
the door so's I could slink out with a cigarette (and my
heart) in my mouth then in a tiny box of a hotel room
changing the date on that old movement order
but today

 

my discharge sealed signed and delivered sends off
sparks in my pocket like a romancandle

 

I walk past the headquarters of the SOS Hay sojer
your tunic's unbuttoned (f -- k you buddy) and down
the lindenshaded street to the bathhouse that has a court
with flowers in the middle of it the hot water gushes
green out of brass swanheads into the whitemetal tub
I strip myself naked soap myself all over with the sour
pink soap slide into the warm deepgreen tub through

 

-288-

 

the white curtain in the window a finger of afternoon sun-
light lengthens on the ceiling towel's dry and warm
smells of steam in the suitcase I've got a suit of civvies
I borrowed from a fellow I know the buck private in
the rear rank of Uncle Sam's Medical Corps (serial
number . . . never could remember the number anyway
I dropped it in the Loire) goes down the drain with a
gurgle and hiss and

 

having amply tipped and gotten the eye from the
fat woman who swept up the towels

 

I step out into the lindensmell of a July afternoon
and stroll up to the café where at the little tables outside
only officers may set their whipcord behinds and order
a drink of cognac unservable to those in uniform while
waiting for the train to Paris and sit down firmly in long
pants in the iron chair

 

an anonymous civilian

 


NEWSREEL XXXIII

 


CAN'T RECALL KILLING SISTER; CLAIMS

 

I've got the blues
I've got the blues
I've got the alcohoholic blues

 


SOAP CRISIS THREATENED

 

with the gay sunlight and the resumption of racing Paris
has resumed its normal life. The thousands and thousands of

 

-289-

 

flags of all nations hang on dozens of lines stretching from
mast to mast making a fairylike effect that is positively aston-
ishing

 


THREAT LETTERS REVEALED

 

I love my country indeed I do
But this war is making me blue
I like fightin' fightin's my name
But fightin is the least about this fightin game

 

the police found an anteroom full of mysteriouslooking
packages which when opened were found full of pamphlets in
Yiddish Russian and English and of membership cards for
the Industrial Workers of the World

 


HIGH WIND INCREASES DANGER OF MEN

 

WHILE PEACE IS TALKED OF WORLDWIDE WAR RAGES

 

the agents said the arrests were ordered from the State
Department. The detention was so sudden neither of the
men had time to obtain his baggage from the vessel. Then
came a plaintive message from two business men at Lure;
the consignment had arrived, the sacks had been opened and
their contents was ordinary building plaster. The huge car
remained suspended in some trees upside down while the pas-
sengers were thrown into the torrent twenty feet below

 

Lordy, lordy, war is hell
Since he amputated my booze

 


OUTRAGE PERPETRATED IN SEOUL

 

I've got the alcohohoholic blues

 

The Department of Justice Has the Goods on the Pack-
ers According to Attorney General Palmer

 

L'Ecole du Malheur Nous Rend Optimistes
Unity of Free Peoples Will Prevent any Inequitable
Outcome of Peace of Paris

 

it is only too clear that the league of nations lies in pieces
on the floor of the Hotel Crillon and the modest alliance that
might with advantage occupy its place is but a vague sketch

 

-290-

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH BOLSHEVISTS? SHOOT
THEM! POLES' WAY! Hamburg Crowds Flock to
See Ford

 


HINTS AT BIG POOL TO DEVELOP ASIA

 

When Mr. Hoover said to cut our eatin down
I did it and I didn't ever raise a frown
Then when he said to cut out coal,
But now he's cut right into my soul

 

Allons-nous Assister h la Painique des Sots?

 

stones were clattering on the roof and crashing through
the windows and wild men were shrieking through the key-
hole while enormous issues depended on them that required
calm and deliberation at any rate the President did not speak
to the leaders of the democratic movements

 


LIEBKNECHT KILLED ON WAY TO PRISON

 


EVELINE HUTCHINS

 

Eveline had moved to a little place on the rue de Bussy
where there was a street market every day. Eleanor to show
that there was no hard feeling had given her a couple of
her Italian painted panels to decorate the dark parlor
with. In early November rumors of an armistice began to
fly around and then suddenly one afternoon Major Wood
ran into the office that Eleanor and Eveline shared and
dragged them both away from their desks and kissed them
both and shouted, "At last it's come." Before she knew
it Eveline found herself kissing Major Moorehouse right
on the mouth. The Red Cross office turned into a college
dormitory the night of a football victory: it was the Armi-
stice.

 

Everybody seemed suddenly to have bottles of cognac

 

-291-

 

and to be singing, There's a long long trail awinding or
La Madel-lon pour nous n'est pas sévère.

 

She and Eleanor and J.W. and Major Wood were in
a taxicab going to the Café de la Paix.

 

For some reason they kept getting out of taxicabs and
other people kept getting in. They had to get to the Café
de la Paix but whenever they got into a taxicab it was
stopped by the crowd and the driver disappeared. But
when they got there they found every table filled and files
of people singing and dancing streaming in and out all
the doors. They were Greeks, Polish legionaires, Russians,
Serbs, Albanians in white kilts, a Highlander with bag-
pipes and a lot of girls in Alsatian costume. It was annoy-
ing not being able to find a table. Eleanor said maybe
they ought to go somewhere else. J.W. was preoccupied
and wanted to get to a telephone.

 

Only Major Wood seemed to be enjoying himself. He
was a greyhaired man with a little grizzled mustache and
kept saying, "Ah, the lid's off today." He and Eveline
went upstairs to see if they could find room there and ran
into two Anzacs seated on a billiard table surrounded by a
dozen bottles of champagne. Soon they were all drinking
champagne with the Anzacs. They couldn't get anything
to eat although Eleanor said she was starving and when
J.W. tried to get into the phone booth he' found an Italian
officer and a girl tightly wedged together in it. The Anzacs
were pretty drunk, and one of them was saying that the
Armistice was probably just another bloody piece of lying
propaganda; so Eleanor suggested they try to go back to
her place to have something to eat. J.W. said yes, they
could stop at the Bourse so that he could send some cables.
He must get in touch with his broker. The Anzacs didn't
like it when they left and were rather rude.

 

They stood around for a long time in front of the opera
in the middle of swirling crowds. The streetlights were on;
the grey outlines of the opera were edged along the cor-

 

-292-

 

nices with shimmering gas flames. They were jostled and
pushed about. There were no busses, no automobiles; occa-
sionally they passed a taxicab stranded in the crowd like
a rock in a stream. At last on a side street they found them-
selves alongside a Red Cross staffcar that had nobody in it.
The driver, who wasn't too sober, said he was trying to
get the car back to the garage and said he'd take them
down to the quai de la Tournelle first.

 

Eveline was just climbing in when somehow she felt
it was just too tiresome and she couldn't. The next minute
she was marching arm in arm with a little French sailor
in a group of people mostly in Polish uniform who were
following a Greek flag and singing la Brabançonne.

 

A minute later she realized she'd lost the car and her
friends and was scared. She couldn't recognize the streets
even, in this new Paris full of arclights and flags and bands
and drunken people. She found herself dancing with the
little sailor in the asphalt square in front of a church with
two towers, then with a French colonial officer in a red
cloak, then with a Polish legionaire who spoke a little
English and had lived in Newark, New Jersey, and then
suddenly some young French soldiers were dancing in a
ring around her holding hands. The game was you had
to kiss one of them to break the ring. When she caught
on she kissed one of them and everybody clapped and
cheered and cried Vive l'Amerique. Another bunch came
and kept on and on dancing around her until she began to
feel scared. Her head was beginning to whirl around when
she caught sight of an American uniform on the outskirts
of the crowd. She broke through the ring bowling over a
little fat Frenchman and fell on the doughboy's neck and
kissed him, and everybody laughed and cheered and cried
encore. He looked embarrassed; the man with him was
Paul Johnson, Don Stevens' friend. "You see I had to
kiss somebody," Eveline said blushing. The doughboy
laughed and looked pleased.


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