Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/84

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The War and the Future

not too bulky was taken by enemy soldiers, officers as well as men, as prize of war, and sent home to their homes. But all the rest, the things too bulky to pack, were deliberately smashed, defiled and broken, and the fruit trees were systematically killed."

I was in one such town in France last March the day after the enemy left it, and I went into one poor man's garden no bigger than this platform. Five or six little flowering plants had been pulled up by the roots. One little plumtree and two currant bushes had been cut through, and the wall parting this garden from its neighbour had been thrown down. All the wells in this district were poisoned by the enemy before he left. He referred to this in his Orders as being "according to modern theories of war."

Over all that area of the Army Zone, the business of the inhabitants is destruction; they rest not day nor night, not even fog nor snow will stop them. I have watched a raging battle in a snowstorm, and one of our neatest successes was made in a fog. And at night the darkness is lit with starshells, beautiful coloured rockets, flares, searchlights and magnesiums, so that the killing may go on.