Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/79

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The War and the Future

In the West, there is a strip of land about four hundred and fifty miles long, by from ten to twenty broad. It is called the Army Zone. With the exception of a few poor people who sell little things, such as fruit and tobacco, to the soldiers, all the inhabitants of that zone are gone. The place is inhabited by the armies. The business there is destruction, and rest, after destruction, so that the destroyers may destroy again.

All that strip of France and Flanders was once happily at peace. All of it was rich and prosperous, with corn and wine and industry. Even the mountains were covered with timber. Today, after the manhood of four nations has fought over it for three and a half years it is a sight which no man can describe.

If one could look down upon that strip from above, it would look like a broad ribbon laid across France. The normal colour of a countryside is green, and green country would appear on both sides of the strip. At the edges however the green would lose its brightness, it would look dull and rather mottled; further from the edges it would look still duller, and in the centre of the strip no trace of green would