Page:The forerunners.djvu/104

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102 THE FORERUNNERS

" Comrade, how do you feel ? " And when the wounded man doubted his enemy's sincerity, the latter went on : " Oh, it's all right, comrade ! We'll be good comrades ! Yes, yes, good comrades." The tale is dedicated :

" To my brother, the anonymous Wiirtemberg soldier who, in Grurie Wood, on December 30, 1914, withheld his hand when about to slay me, generously saved my life ;

" To the (enemy) friend who, in Darmstadt hospital, cared for me like a father ;

" And to the comrades E., K., and B., who spoke to me as man to, man."

��This soldier without fear and without reproach, returning to France, discovered there the braggart army of the scribblers at the rear. Their venom and their stupidity infuriated him. But instead of taking refuge, like many of his comrades, in disdainful silence, he did what he had always done, and turned bravely to the attack upon " a superior force." In May, 1916, he became editor of a small magazine, entitled " Les Humbles," but which somewhat belies its name by the ruggedness of its accents and by its refusal to allow its voice to be stifled. He boldly declares :

" Emerged from the whirlwind of the war, but still struggling in its eddies, we do not propose to resign ourselves to the environing mediocrity, to content ourselves with the servile utterance of official platitudes. . . . We are weary of the daily and systematic stuffing of people's heads with official pabulum. . . . We have not abdicated any of our rights, not even our hopes." l

Each issue of the magazine was a fresh proof of his independence. At this juncture, reviews edited by young thinkers were springing up everywhere from among the ruins. That of Wullens took the leading place, owing to his force of character and his indomitable frankness. He found a great friend in Han Ryner, who amid the

1 Words of Farewell (issue of May, 1917).

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