Page:Air Service Boys over the Rhine.djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
47
THE RUE LAFAYETTE RUINS

half hoped, they might observe in time to run for shelter. But of course that would have been out of the question. However, quiet succeeded the din of the explosion, which had been close to the spot where the taxicab had stopped and the boys had alighted.

Following the crowd, Tom and Jack came to a side street, and one look down it showed the havoc wrought by the German engine of death. The shell, of what kind or calibre could not be even guessed, had fallen on top of an establishment where a number of women and girls were employed. And many of these had been killed or wounded. There were heart-rending scenes, which it is not good to dwell upon. But, even in the terror and horror, French efficiency was at the fore.

Ambulances were summoned, a guard was thrown about the building, and the work of aiding the injured and tenderly carrying out the dead was begun. A vast and excited throng increased in size about the building that had been hit and there was much excitement for a time.

Tom and Jack managed to get to a place where they could get a view of the havoc wrought to the structure itself, and the first thing that impressed them was mentioned by Jack, who said:

"They didn't use a very big shell, or there