The Ralston Independent (Ralston, Okla.), Vol. 10, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 8, 1915 Page: 2 of 8
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RALSTON. OK LA.. INDEPENDENT
The Last Shot
•f the Browne injured by a terUn«.
aeroplane Ten yeare - r, .*.n-
notnlnal vice but real “f * on war
forcee South La Tlr and the
He calla on Marta, who »• v‘*lt‘"* |each-
Oray capital. She tella him ot h . |nar.
Ina children the fol>‘*» “fh7m to prevent
tlal patriotism, and bei. h ". 1° ^ |h#
war while he U chief of ■*»»• " j,rl.
inarch with the Md of the Brown undef
vat# Stranaky. anarchist. le_ P'* .,m 0(t.
arreet. Colonel Lanatron He
Lanatron calla on Marta at_h*T Marta
talka with Teller, the §“rd®* ireller to
tella Lanatron that ahe tj,*11®**®,. «. true,
he a apy. Lanatron confeaaea It■
Lanatron ahowa Marta a teleph ^ oaaaag«
Feller haa concealed In a ““ v.elneflt the
tinder the tower for uee to be em d(1
irowna In war emergenclee. and
olaree hie love for Marta. W*at#
the Oray premier plan to uee a ‘^llke pa-
temat tonal affair to foment w fee-
trtetlam In army and P«opl«* Brownchief
fere declaring war Partow ®;°wJ|lacusa
ef athff. and Lanatron. ma^ vl . par-
the trouble, and the Brown d®f® n The
low reveala hie plana ‘° JL^r flne and at-
Oray army croeeee th® J)"rd®rh,n, Artll-
taoka. The Browne check
lory. Infantry, aeroplanes and aka the
aagat#. Btranaky. rising to maKo <h<
anarchlat apeech of hl«illf*;v a shrapnel
Oray artillery Are. N,c*®d flahte— all
apllnler he goee Beraerk and of
a man." Marta haa her Aral gl P r_
r In He modern^ cold^.aclen A^. bark
(Copyright. 1914. by Charlea Scnbnet'e Son*)
marked infantry lines of the Browns
assisting the automatics.
Marta was diverted from this proc-
ess of killing by piecemeal by a more
theatric spectacle. A brigade com-
mander of the Grays had ticked an
order over the wires and it had gone
from battery to battery. Not only
many field-guns, which are the ter-
riers of the artillery, but some guns
of siege caliber, the mastiffs, in a
sudden outburst started a havoc of
tumbling walls and cornices in the
upper part of the town.
Then an explosion greater than any
from the shells ahot a hemisphere of
light heavenward. reveaMng a shadowy
body flying overhead, and an instant
later the heavens were illuminated by
a vast circle of flame as the dirigible
that had dropped the dynamite re-
Feller did not even hear them. For
the moment he was actually deaf.
"Fire!" said Dellarme’a whistle.
Thur-r-r!” went the automatic In
soulless, mechanical repetition. Its
tape spinning through the cylinder,
while the rifles spoke with *he human
irregularity of steel-tipped Angers
pounding at random on a dru™head^
All along the line facing La Tlr
volume of fire spread until it was like
the concert of a mighty loom.
The Gray batteries having tried out
their range by the flashes of the au-
Btranaky, grinning, and tried a shut
for another head.
As if in answer to prayer, a gun-
ner had come out of the earth. But-
ficient to the need was the fact, it
was not for Dellarme to ask questions
of a prUe-medallist graduate of the
school for officers in a blue blouse and
crownless straw bat. His expert aur-
Yiy Agiursd him tbst before smotoer
rush the enemy had certain prepara-
tiona to make. He might give hla
fighting smile a recess and permit
himself a few minutes' relaxation.
Looking around to ascertain what
There were lulls
crashes of the small arms and the
heavy, throaty speech of the guns;
lulls that seemed to say that both
sides had paused for a breathing
spell; lulls that allowed the battle in
the distance to be heard in its perva-
sive undertone, in one of them, when
even the undertone had ceased for a
few seconds, Marta caught faintly the
groans of a wounded man—one of the
tomatic the previous damage had been done to the house
making the most of tha^ occasion^ , nd(j h, became aware
"Uk-ung-n-ng!”^the broking | Mftrta% presence for the first rime.
the Brown Infantry was withdrawing | cover. The leaves cllpp«_ wlth | -Yes.” she said rather faintly,
from the town, destroying buildings
,h,t wo"d °°,er ,or ^1 th* ’l,,“
in the morning as they went. Two or
three hours after midnight fell a al-
ienee which was to last until dawn.
The combatanta rested on their arms,
Browns saying to Grays. "We shall
be ready for the morrow!" and Grays
replying: “So shall we!
. »ln, ,t her window, her ere. fol- who bed cep, alyae* ~
crew of a Gray dirigible burned by Mowing the movements of the | tomatic,^ ®ab®® .with-vou?" I it please be a good fellow.
lng—that anyone was alive. But ih« I J®1 d bad~ yo«'breakfasL "and all good
had a glimpse of Dellarme maintain- not £ Y their ratlona.
thought Marta. "He would have them eXorable proceaaea of the clash of 1 action, but they soon bro e
work in the light, while we Are out miniona of men. She saw hla left clalon of the opposing Are.
of obscurity!" hand twitching In hie pocket, hla Now sheila coming frequent y fell
Soon all the town was in darkne.a, rlght hand gripping it to hold it still, ghort or went wide The air clearer
for the Graya had cut the wire In the Cn that afternoon when, for the Ant Then a chance shell, striking a
deroue brutality forages
le tha Oalland house, Btranaky
She waa at the door of her motb®r’*
foom. which waa like an antique shop.
Old plates lay on top of old tables,
with vaaea on the floor under the
tables. Surrounded by her treasures.
Mn. Oalland awaited the attack; no
u a aoldler awaits it, but as that ven-
erable Roman senator of the Bt”ry
faced the barbarous Gauls—neither
disputing the power of their spears
aor yielding the self-respect of his own
mind and soul. She had lain down In
her wrapper for the night, and the
light from a single candle—she still
favored candles—revealed her features
calm and philosophical among the pil-
lows. Yet the magic of war. reaching
deep into hidden emotions, had her
also under Its spell. Her voice was at
once more tender and vital.
"Marta, 1 aee that you are all on
“Yes; Jangling wires, every one.
Jangling every second out of tune,
"Marta, ray father"—her father had
been a premier of the Browns al
ways said that you may enjoy the lux-
ury of fussing over little things, for
they don’t count much one way or an-
other; but about big things you must
never fuss or you will not be worthy
of big things. Marta, you cannot stop
a railroad train with your hands. This
is not the first war on earth and we
are not the first women who ever
thought that war was wrong. Kach
of us has his work to do and you will
have yours. It does no good to tire
yourself out and fly to pieces, even if
you do know so much and have been
around the world."
She smiled ua a woman of sixty
who has a secret heart-break that ahe
had never given her husband a sou.
may smile at a daughter who is both
son and daughter to her, and her
plump hand, all curves like her plump
face and her plump body, spread open
Malta, who, In the breeding of her
generation, felt sentiment as more or
lees of a lure from logic, dropped be-
side the bed In a sudden buret of sen-
timent and gathered the plump buna
in hers and kissed it.
"Mother, you are wonderful!” she
said "Mother, you are great!"
After a time, her ear becoming ac-
customed to the firing as a city dwel
ler’s to the distant roar of city traf
fle, Mrs. Oalland slept. But Marta
could not follow her advice. If. tran-
siently at leant, she had found some-
thing of the peace of the confessional,
the vigor of youth was In her arteries;
and youth cannot help remaining
awake under some conditions. She
tiptoed across the hall into her own
room and seated herself by the win
6ow. Thu symbol of what the ear
had heard the eye saw—war. working
Id tones of the landscape by day with
smokeless powder; war, revealed by
its tongues of flame at night. Ugly
bursts of fire from th# higher hills
spread to tha heavens tike an aurora
borealis and broke their messengers
in sheets of flame over ths lower hills
—tbs battertas of ths Browns sprln
King death about tha heads of tha
gunnars of tha Orays emplacing their
batteries Staccato flaahaa from a
single point counted so many bullets
from an automatic, which directed by
the beams of the seatch-llgbls, found
thair target# In sections of advancing
Infantry Hill create, sat off with
jtasb«w running back and forth, de-
heard the g^ogns of the wounded man. Jn the aeroplane accident as the tal- lt eix thousand yards away'*
Tliere theMtomatlcs broke out in a iaman of his feelingB—his controlled chosen as his bull s-eye. °bBCUr®d
mad storm, voicing their feelings at feelings! Always his controlled feel- ler and the automatic: and Us «“““
setting a company in close order in a ingB! in the havoc of explosion. Feller “““
Street for the spice of a minute, bw she saw Westerllng. so conscious have been killed. The duati “Ule .
r,:.rs~rs m«.sar “r rU
rs ss, .nrrr.r r-rss i "ot ts*Tlu”’ w“
From the line of defense, that in | She hoped that her | "ipated, ofgrayflgures.^yonetl^flxed.
eluded the first terrace of the Galland
grounds as the angle of a redoubt, not
a ahot, not a sound; silence on the
part of officers and men as profoun
as Mrs. Galland'a slumber, while one
of the Browns’ search-lights, like some
great witch’s slow-turning eye in a
narrow radius, covered the lower ter
races and the road.
Marta gave intermittent glances at>
the garden; the glances of a guardian.
She happened to be looking in that
direction when figures sprang across
the road, crouching, running with the
short, quick steps of no body move-
ment accompanying that of the legs.
The search-light caught them in mer-
ciless silhouette and the automatic
and the rlfleB from behind the sand-
bags on the first terrace let go. Some
| of the figures dropped and lay In the
road and she knew that she had seen
men hit for the first time. Others, she
thought, got safely to the cover of the
gutter on the garden side. Of those
on the road, some were still and some
she saw were moving Blowly back on
their stomachs to safety. Now the
search light laid its beam steadily on
the road Again silence. From the
upper terrace came a great voice, like
that of the guns, from a human throat:
"Why didn't we level those ter-
races? They'll creep up from one to
the other!" It was Stransky
in answer was another voice—Del-
“Perhaps there wasn't time to do
everything. If they get as far an the
first ten nee—well, in case of a crisis,
we have hand grenades. But. God
knows, 1 hope we shall not have to
After an interval, more figures made
a rush across the road. They. too. in
StrHtisky'B words, paid a price for
seeing the garden. But the flashes
from the rifles and the automatic pro-
vided a target for a Gray battery. The
blue spark thut flies from an overhead
trolley or a third rail, multiplied a
hundredfold, broke In Martu's face.
It was dazzling, blinding as a bolt of
lightning a few feet distant, with the
thunder crash at the same second,
followed by the thrashing hum of bul
lets and fragments agalUBt the side
of the house.
"1 knew that this must come!”
something within her said. If she
had not been prepared for it by the
events of the last twelve hours she
would have Jumped to her feet with
an exclamation of natural shock and
horror. As it was. she felt a convul-
sive, nervous thrill without rising
from her seat. A pauae The next
shell burst In Una with the first, out
by the linden tree#; a third above tha
"We've got that range, all right!
thought the Oray battery commander,
who had Judged the distance by tha
staff map This was all he wanted to
know for the present. He would let
loose at ths proper rims to support
the Infantry attack, when there wera
enough driblets across the road to
make a charge. The driblets kept on
comlrg and, one by one. the number
of dead on the road was augmented.
sleeping; and she had seconds when pre8sing together as they came on
she was startled by her own calmness, fiercely toward the opening. The
Again, the faces of ths children in Browns let go the full blast of tbe r
her school were as clear as in life. | magazines. Had that chance shel
She breathbd her gratitude that the turned the scales? Would the Grays
procession in which they moved to jnto the breastwork?
the rear was hours ago out of the | Marta’s faculties and emotions
the Jaunty fashion of officers, bowed,
his face beaming his happiness at
decision. . a
“Come!” Mrs. Galland slipped her
hand into Marta’a. "Two women can t
fight both armies. Cornel 1 Pr®gcr
hot coffee. It is waiting; and. <»o you
know. I find a meal In ths kitchen
Being human and not a heroine ted
on lotos blossoms, and being «ha“Bt'
ed and also hungry, when she was
seated at table, with Minna adroitly
urging her. Marta ate with the relish
of little Peterkln in the shell era
munching biscuits from his haversack,
but the movement of tbe minute-hand
wn the clock-face became uncanny and
merciless to her eye in its deliberate
regularity. Dellarme had been told
to hold on until noon, sbe knew. ^\a
he still smiling? Was Feller still
happy in playing a stream of lead
ia ----------- from the automatic? Was ^ve
theater of danger. In the simplicity j w#re froren in ber stare of suspense charge of the Grays, w ^ tbe guns
of big things, her duty was to teach at the breach> Then her heart leaped, come to^ close qua t i
them, a futuia generation, no leaa a cry jn , gU8t 0f*short breaths broke went ai ’ * . settled down con-
than Feller’s duty was the pursuing from her ,lp8 M the Browns let go Mrs. Galla“d ba utalre a favor-
shadow of his conscience. She should ragping .explosive, demoniacal cheer, sclen oue y bu» -he failed
see war, alive, naked, bloody, and she hbeen checked! | Ite pastime of hers, but sne lau—
would tell her children what she had
seen as a warning.
Silence, except an occasional rifle
shot—silence and the darknese before
dawn which would, she knew, concen-
trate the lightnings around the house.
She glanced Into her mother s room
and marveled as at a miracle to find
her sleeping. Then she stole down-
stairs and opened the outer door of
the dining-room. A step or two
brought her to the edge of the ve-
randa. There she paused and leaned
against one of the stone pillarB. Del-
larme himself was In a half-recllulng
position, his back to a tree. He
seemed to be nodding. Except for a
few on watch over the sand bags, his
men were stretched on the earth, mov-
ing restlessly at Intervals, either In
an effort to sleep or waking suddenly
after a spell of harassed unconscious-
a closing of
The first"attack had been checked! 11‘Vta'aTshe complained to Marta.
triumph. falBnhtene*8’becaU8e of her stupid way this morn-
still on his head, rise from the debris lntemreted as the responee
and shake himself like a dog coming ^ other rush by the Grays; and this
-bor. fron, . «lm. WWI.<1» “Zi demon -»'no, that
neers hastened t° repRlr th® 7 >P» « after the hare> a. m
he assisted Strnnsky who had also .. but of the harw with hla
been knocked down by the concus- tb wall when lt was over
slon, to lift the overturned automatic back cbeer What did this
off the gunner. The doctor, putting^ w,thout warnlng to her mother
hand on the gunner s heart, shook his the kitchen. Mrs.
head, and two hospital-corps men re- Bh® bo“ to follow, but
moved the body to make room for the *he Pway.
engineers. „„ . enough!” she said firmly.
For once Dellerme'. cheery .mile onJ Gallllld popped beck Into
deserted him. There was no one left an° “ •
to man the automatic, so vital in the ^ front rooms Marta found
defense, and even If Bora«b»dJ ®ou‘d havoc beyond her Imagination. A por-
l'“ ,hn wa8 nrobably out o | ^ ^ Qf tbe cenlng ha(j been blown out
Hand to Hand.
With the first sign of dawn there
was a movement of shadowy forms
taking position In answer to low-
spoken commands. The search-light
be found the gun was probably
commission. As he started toward It
his smile, already summoned back,
was shot with surprise at sight of the
gun in place and a stranger In blue
blouse, white hair showing through a
crownless straw hat, trying out the
mechaniein with knowing fingers. Del-
larme stared. Feller, unconscious of
everything but the gun, righted the
cartridge band, swung the barrel back
yielded its vigil to the widespread ^. a„d the“„ fired a .hot
beam out of the east, and the detail u BeeIU to know raptd.
of the setting where arera<- Dellarme exclaimed In blank
watch the play of one of man s pas- .
-tons, which he dares not permit the lDwmptwben' m.
^^^I^ay^tsTerl0 wheYhVin salute as
rifles that lay along the parapet of a gardener touching his hat It was
..and hacs la front of the row of brown hard to tsay.
shoulders. Back of them in the yard "But how—where?” gasped Del-
was a section of infantry in reserve. |»rme.
also with bayonets fixed, ready to fill This time the mi vement of the fln-
the place of any who fell out of line. aer wa8 undoubtedly In salute. In per
a doctor and stretchers to care for I feet. Bwlft. military salute, with head i
the wounded, and a detachment of en- thrown back and shoulders stiff. Fel-1
glneers to mend any breaches made ler the gardener was dead and burled
In the breastwork by shell fire. without ceremony.
The gunner of the automatic sight- | -j^ansiron a class, school for oltl-
ed hla barrel, slightly adjusted Its cer> a,r 8tood one In ballistics, prlae
elevation, and swung It back *nd medklllat control of gun-ttre. Yes, sir,
forth to make sure that It worked 1 knQW iomethlng about rapid flrers”
smoothly, while his assiatsat aaw that FeUer replied, and fired a few more
the fresh belts of cartridges which BhoU little high, a little low—
were to feed It were within easy reach. I rj_b^t my lady, right!”
In straw hat and blue blouse, shuf- gtranaky waa back in hla place next
fling with his old man’s walk. Feller tQ tb# aut0matlc and firing whenever
came along the path from tbe gate. bead appeared. He rolled hla eyes
He waa In retreat from tha enticing a characteristic squint of scrutiny
picture of the regiment of field guns toward th# new recruit.
In front of the castle that waa ready I ..|jeati spraying rose-bushes for
for action. Aa the Infantry had nevar oJd roany he asked.
____ li umiM hn nnfA from I UUR ’
by a shell entering at an up-stalrs win-
dow; the hardwood floors were lit-
tered with plaster and window-glass
and ripped Into splinters In places.
(TO HE CONTINUED.)
"Whar’s Rea-Face?” asked Four Fin-
ger Hogan In the hotel bar of Tin Can.
“I haven’t seen Red Face around for
A general sigh went up. Then Shot-
gun Simpson shook his head and said:
"Poor Red Face! He got loaded the
other night, rode Into Cemetery Gulch,
struck his head In the window of the
Resurrection Arms hotel and yelled:
interested him. he would be safe from
leniptatiou In the yard.
"This Is no place for youl” said on#
of the engineers.
"No. and don’t waata any Uma, ei-
ther. old man!" said another. "Bach
to your bulbal"
"Yea, a lead solution la beat for
gray bugs!" Feller remarked pun-
gently, and their glances meeting,
they saw In each other’s eyes the Joy
pfi» of anarchists I’’ *xclauned
Hie Appeal to Papa.
Little Webster had entered Into an
agreement with hla father whereby
he was to receive a penny every time
he came when called, providing ha
covered the distance before hla fa-
ther counted to five. One day he waa
out on the lawn when called and did
not start until he heard ’’three.’’
Running as hard as he could, ha
shouted, "Say three all the time. Bay
three all tbe time, papa ”
Mushroom's Great Feres.
The extraordinary driving force Im-
prisoned In succulent young mush-
rooms may be gathered from the fact
that through a shop floor laid down In
Dunedin. New Zealand, aevaral mush-
rooms, from two to three Inches In
diameter, have forced themaelvee op
Into the light of day The asphalt
looked vary much aa If a pick had
been at work, so damaged waa It hi
Here’s what’s next.
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The Ralston Independent (Ralston, Okla.), Vol. 10, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 8, 1915, newspaper, January 8, 1915; Ralston, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc853512/m1/2/: accessed September 21, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.