Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/97

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The War and the Future

You may jump across an open trench and land on a percussion bomb and kill yourself, or you may be riding along, and your horse may kick a percussion bomb and kill you. Or you may meet a souvenir hunter who will be equally deadly. And then some soldiers love to collect shells which have not exploded and then light fires under them for the pleasure of hearing them go Bang! They love to collect bombs and fling them at targets for their amusement. Last summer a General was walking on the old battlefield, when he heard a noise of cheering. There came a Bang, and bits of shrapnel came flying past. Then there came another cheer, and another Bang and some more shrapnel. So, guessing what was the matter, he jumped up onto the trench parapet and looked down. There he saw a burly soldier who had rigged up a target to represent a German and was bowling Mills bombs at it. At each bomb he shouted out: "Every time you hit you get a good cigar!" The General jumped onto this man and said: "Here, what are you doing? Don't you know that's against orders?" The man turned up the face of an innocent child and said: "No sir." "Well," said the General, "at least you know it's very dangerous,