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Barbarians   By: (1865-1933)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Stent lost the fight, fell outward, wider, dropping back into mid air.]

BARBARIANS

By ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

AUTHOR OF

"The Dark Star," "The Girl Philippa," "Who Goes There," Etc.

With Frontispiece

By A. I. KELLER

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers New York

Published by arrangement with D. APPLETON & COMPANY

TO LYLE and MADELEINE MAHAN

I

"Daughter of Light, the bestial wrath Of Barbary besets thy path! The Hun is beating his painted drum; His war horns blare! The Hun is come!"

"Father, I feel his foetid breath: The thick air reeks with the stench of death; My will is Thine. Thy will be done On Turk and Bulgar, Czech and Hun!"

II

She understands. Where the dead headland flare Mocks sea and sand; Where death lights shed their glare On No Man's Land. France takes her stand. Magnificently fair, The Flaming Brand Within her slender hand; Christ's lilies in her hair.

III

"Daughter of Grief, thy House is sand! Thy towers are falling athwart the land. They've flayed the earth to its ribs of chalk And over its bones the spectres stalk!"

"Father, I see my high spires reel; My breast is scarred by the Hun's hoofed heel. What was, shall be! I read Thy sign: Thy ocean yawns for the smitten swine!"

IV

Then, from Verdun Pealed westward to the Somme From every gun God's summons: "Daughter! Come!" Then the red sun Stood still. Grew dumb The universal hum Of life, and numb The lips of Life, undone By Death.... And so France won!

V

"Daughter of God, the End is here! The swine rush on: the sea is near! My wild flowers bloom on the trenches' edge; My little birds sing by shore and sedge."

"Father, raise up my martyred land! Clothe her bones with Thy magic hand; Receive the Brand Thy angel lent, And stanch my blood with Thy sacrament."

CONTENTS

I. FED UP II. MAROONED III. CUCKOO! IV. RECONNAISSANCE V. PARNASSUS VI. IN FINISTÈRE VII. THE AIRMAN VIII. EN OBSERVATION IX. L'OMBRE X. THE GHOULS XI. THE SEED OF DEATH XII. FIFTY FIFTY XIII. MULETEERS XIV. LA PLOO BELLE XV. CARILLONETTE XVI. DJACK XVII. FRIENDSHIP XVIII. THE AVIATOR XIX. HONOUR XX. LA BRABANÇONNE XXI. THE GARDENER XXII. THE SUSPECT XXIII. MADAM DEATH XXIV. BUBBLES XXV. KAMERAD Advertisement Jacket Flap Text Advertisement

CHAPTER I

FED UP

So this is what happened to the dozen odd malcontents who could no longer stand the dirty business in Europe and the dirtier politicians at home.

There was treachery in the Senate, treason in the House. A plague of liars infested the Republic; the land was rotting with plots.

But if the authorities at Washington remained incredulous, stunned into impotency, while the din of murder filled the world, a few mere men, fed up on the mess, sickened while awaiting executive galvanization, and started east to purge their souls.

They came from the four quarters of the continent, drawn to the decks of the mule transport by a common sickness and a common necessity. Only two among them had ever before met. They represented all sorts, classes, degrees of education and of ignorance, drawn to a common rendezvous by coincidental nausea incident to the temporary stupidity and poltroonery of those supposed to represent them in the Congress of the Great Republic.

The rendezvous was a mule transport reeking with its cargo, still tied up to the sun scorched wharf where scores of loungers loafed and gazed up at the rail and exchanged badinage with the supercargo.

The supercargo consisted of this dozen odd fed up ones eight Americans, three Frenchmen and one Belgian.

There was a young soldier of fortune named Carfax, recently discharged from the Pennsylvania State Constabulary, who seemed to feel rather sure of a commission in the British service... Continue reading book >>




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