“Wilhelm” soon vanished, undoubtedly to do other work as an alleged German sympathizer elsewhere. As for Mock:
“Private James Mock, B company, having suffered humiliation and scorn that he might better fulfil his oath and serve his country, is hereby restored to his former rank of sergeant in B company, and with full honor, he will be obeyed and respected accordingly.”
So ran the official order published to the regiment.
The liquid in the two vials was found to be swarming with measles germs that would have started a veritable epidemic at Camp Berry.
Captain Dick Prescott’s quick thinking and steady action had resulted in the capture of the German spies who were seeking to destroy the Ninety-ninth.
No quiet days, however, were in store for the regiment.
WITH THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS
“No other business, Sergeant?” asked Dick, one October morning, as he looked up from the desk in company office at his “top.”
“Among the nineteen National Army men drafted into this regiment, sir, are three conscientious objectors who ask to be transferred to some non-fighting branch of the service.”
“Send for them,” ordered Dick briefly, a frown settling on his brow.
Privates Ellis, Rindle and Pitson speedily reported in the office, saluting, then standing at attention.
“You men are all conscientious objectors?” Prescott asked coldly.
“Yes, sir,” said the three together.
“You all have conscientious objections to being hurt?” Prescott went on.
“I have conscientious scruples against killing a human being, sir,” replied Private Ellis.
“And you also have scruples against giving him a chance to kill you,” Dick went on mercilessly. “You believe in a police force for preserving order in a community, do you?”
“If you found a burglar in your home, and had an opportunity, you would send for a policeman?”
“Yes, sir,” Ellis admitted.
“Even though you knew the policeman might find it necessary to kill the burglar in attempting to arrest him?” Prescott quizzed.
“Then, while you presumably would not kill a burglar yourself you would not object to calling a policeman who might do it?”
Private Ellis began to suspect the trap into which he was falling.
“I could not bear to kill the burglar myself, sir,” he replied.
“And you would not want the burglar to kill you, so you would summon a policeman to do whatever killing might be necessary. In that case, are you a moral objector to killing, or are you merely a coward who relies on another to do the killing for you?”
Private Ellis appeared much confused.
“Answer me,” Dick commanded.
“The case doesn’t seem the same to me, sir, as serving as a fighting man in the war.”