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Golden Lads   By:

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[Illustration: Photo. Excelsior.

THE PLAY BOYS OF THE WESTERN FRONT.

The famous French Fusiliers Marins. These sailors from Brittany are called "Les demoiselles au pompon rouge," because of their youth and the gay red tassel on their cap.]

GOLDEN LADS

BY

ARTHUR GLEASON

AND

HELEN HAYES GLEASON

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT

"Golden Lads and Girls all must, As chimney sweepers, come to dust."

[Illustration]

TORONTO McCLELLAND, GOODCHILD & STEWART, LIMITED 1916

Copyright, 1916, by THE CENTURY CO.

Copyright, 1915, by the CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY.

Copyright, 1916, by the BUTTERICK PUBLISHING COMPANY.

Copyright, 1915 and 1916, by the TRIBUNE ASSOCIATION.

Published, April, 1916

( Printed in the U. S. A. )

TO THE SAILORS OF BRITTANY THE BOY SOLDIERS OF THE FRENCH FUSILIERS MARINS WHOSE WOUNDED IT WAS OUR PRIVILEGE TO CARRY IN FROM THE FIELD OF HONOR AT MELLE, DIXMUDE, AND NIEUPORT

Profits from the sale of this book will go to "The American Committee for Training in Suitable Trades the Maimed Soldiers of France."

CONCERNING THIS BOOK

It would be futile to publish one more war book, unless the writer had been an eye witness of unusual things. I am an American who saw atrocities which are recorded in the Bryce Report. This book grows out of months of day by day living in the war zone. I have been a member of the Hector Munro Ambulance Corps, which was permitted to work at the front because the Prime Minister of Belgium placed his son in military command of us. That young man, being brave and adventurous, led us along the first line of trenches, and into villages under shell fire, so that we saw the armies in action.

We started at Ghent in September, 1914, came to Furnes, worked in Dixmude, Pervyse, Nieuport and Ypres, during moments of pressure on those strategic points. In the summer of 1915, we were attached to the French Fusiliers Marins. My wife's experience covers a period of twelve months in Belgium. My own time at the front was five months.

Observers at long distance that are neutral sometimes fail to see fundamentals in the present conflict, and talk of "negotiations" between right and wrong. It is easy for people who have not suffered to be tolerant toward wrongdoing. This war is a long war because of German methods of frightfulness. These practices have bred an enduring will to conquer in Frenchman and Briton and Belgian which will not pause till victory is thorough. Because the German military power has sinned against women and children, it will be fought with till it is overthrown. I wish to make clear this determination of the Allies. They hate the army of Aerschot and Lorraine as a mother hates the defiler of her child.

There are two wars on the Western Front. One is the war of aggression. It was led up to by years of treachery. It was consummated in frightfulness. It is warfare by machine. Of that war, as carried on by the "Conquerors," the first half of this book tells. On points that have been in dispute since the outbreak, I am able to say "I saw." When the Army of Invasion fell on the little people, I witnessed the signs of its passage as it wrote them by flame and bayonet on peasant homes and peasant bodies.

In the second half of the book, I have tried to tell of a people's uprising the fight of the living spirit against the war machine. A righteous defensive war, such as Belgium and France are waging, does not brutalize the nation. It reveals a beauty of sacrifice which makes common men into "golden lads."

Was this struggle forced on an unwilling Germany, or was she the aggressor?

I believe we have the answer of history in such evidences as I have seen of her patient ancient spy system that honeycombed Belgium.

Is she waging a "holy war," ringed around by jealous foes?

I believe we have the final answer in such atrocities as I witnessed. A hideous officially ordered method is proof of unrighteousness in the cause itself... Continue reading book >>




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