Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts--and Behind Them

Arthur Ruhl
Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of
the War on Many Fronts--and
Behind Them

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Title: Antwerp to Gallipoli A Year of the War on Many Fronts--and
Behind Them
Author: Arthur Ruhl
Release Date: February 9, 2004 [EBook #11008]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

A Year of the War on Many Fronts--and Behind Them

by Arthur Ruhl
with Illustrations from Photographs


I. "The Germans Are Coming!" II. Paris at Bay III. After the Marne IV.
The Fall of Antwerp I V. Paris Again-and Bordeaux: Journal of a Flight
from a London Fog VI. "The Great Days" VII. Two German Prison
Camps VIII. In the German Trenches at La Bassée IX. The Road to
Constantinople: Rumania and Bulgaria X. The Adventure of the Fifty
Hostages XI. With the Turks at the Dardanelles XII. Soghan-Dere and
the Flier of Ak-Bash XIII. A War Correspondents' Village XIV.
Cannon Fodder XV. East of Lemberg: Through Austria-Hungary to the
Galician Front XVI. In the Dust of the Russian Retreat

Chapter I
The Germans Are Coming!

The Germans had already entered Brussels, their scouts were reported
on the outskirts of Ghent; a little farther now, over behind the horizon
wind-mills, and we might at any moment come on them.
For more than a fortnight we had been hurrying eastward, hearing,

through cable despatches and wireless, the far-off thunder of that vast
gray tide rumbling down to France. The first news had come drifting in,
four thousand miles away, to the little Wisconsin lake where I was
fishing. A strange herd of us, all drawn in one way or another by the
war, had caught the first American ship, the old St. Paul, and, with
decks crowded with trunks and mail-bags from half a dozen ships,
steamed eastward on the all but empty ocean. There were reservists
hurrying to the colors, correspondents, men going to rescue wives and
sisters. Some were hit through their pocketbooks, some through their
imaginations-- like the young women hoping to be Red Cross nurses, or
to help in some way, they weren't sure how.
One had a steamer chair next mine--a pale, Broadway tomboy sort of
girl in a boyish sailor suit, who looked as if she needed sleep. Without
exactly being on the stage, she yet appeared to live on the fringe of it,
and combined the slangy freedoms of a chorus girl with a certain quick
wisdom and hard sense. It was she who discovered a steerage passenger,
on the Liverpool dock, who had lost his wife and was bringing his four
little children back to Ireland from Chicago, and, while the other cabin
passengers fumed over their luggage, took up a collection for him then
and there.
"Listen here!" she would say, grabbing my arm. "I want to tell you
something. I'm going to see this thing--d'you know what I mean?--for
what it'll do to me--you know--for its effect on my mind! I didn't say
anything about it to anybody--they'd only laugh at me--d'you know
what I mean? They don't think I've got any serious side to me. Now, I
don't mind things--I mean blood--you know--they don't affect me, and
I've read about nursing--I've prepared for this! Now, I don't know how
to go about it, but it seems to me that a woman who can--you know--go
right with 'em--jolly 'em along--might be just what they'd want--d'you
know what I mean?"
One Russian had said good-by to a friend at the dock, he to try to get
through this way, the other by the Pacific and Trans-Siberian. The
Englishman who shared my stateroom was an advertising man. "I've
got contracts worth fifty thousand pounds," he said, "and I don't
suppose they're worth the paper they're written on." There were several
Belgians and a quartet of young Frenchmen who played cards every
night and gravely drank bottle after bottle of champagne to the glory of

Even the Balkans were with us, in the shape of a tall, soldier-like
Bulgarian with a heavy mustache and the eyes of a kindly and highly
intelligent hawk. He was going back home--"to fight?" "Yes, to fight."
"With Servia?" asked some one politely, with the usual vague
American notion of the Balkan states. The Bulgarian's eyes shone
"You have a sense of humor!" he said.
This man had done newspaper work in Russia
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