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Bullets & Billets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Bullets & Billets.
until January, 1915, that I had sufficiently resigned myself to my fate in the war, to let my mind turn to my only and most treasured hobby.  In this cottage at St. Yvon the craving came back to me.  I didn’t fight against it, and began by making a few pencil scribbles with a joke attached, and pinned them up in our cracked shell of a room.  Jokes at the expense of our miserable surroundings they were, and these were the first “Fragments.”  Several men in the local platoon collared these spasms, and soon after I came across them, muddy and battered, in various dug-outs near by.  After these few sketches, which were done on rough bits of paper which I found lying about, I started to operate on the walls.  With some bits of charcoal, I made a mess on all the four walls of our back room.  There was a large circular gash, made by a spent bullet I fancy, on one of the walls, and by making it appear as though this mark was the centre point of a large explosion, I gave an apparent velocity to the figure of a German, which I drew above.

These daubs of mine provoked mirth to those who lived with me, and others who occasionally paid us visits.  I persisted, and the next “masterpiece” was the figure of a soldier (afterwards Private Blobs, of “Fragments”) sitting up a tree staring straight in front of him into the future, whilst a party of corpulent Boches are stalking towards him through the long grass and barbed wire.  He knows there’s something not quite nice going on, but doesn’t like to look down.  This was called “The Listening Post,” and the sensation described was so familiar to most that this again was apparently a success.  So what with scribbling, reading and sleeping, not to mention time occupied in consuming plum and apple jam, bully, and other delicacies which a grateful country has ordained as the proper food for soldiers, we managed to pull through our days.  Two doses of the trenches were done like this, and then came the third time up, when a sudden burst of enthusiasm and an increasing nervousness as to the safety of ourselves and our house, caused us to launch out into really trying to fortify the place.  The cause of this decision to do something, to our abode was, I think, attributable to the fact that for about a fortnight the Germans had taken to treating us to a couple of dozen explosions each morning—­the sort of thing one doesn’t like just before breakfast; but if you’ve got to have it, the thing obviously to do is to try and defend yourself; so the next time, up we started.

CHAPTER XII

A BRAIN WAVE—­MAKING A “FUNK HOLE”
—­PLUGSTREET WOOD—­SNIPING

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