The Linnet's Wings The Sorrow - Page 53

Made in the Trenches (Continued) BARBED WIRE: Some one has written that this was invented by Mephisto. After what we have heard about him it is surprising that he should invent anything of such an affectionate and " clinging" nature. At the front it is used for giving an artistic finish to a trench. No trench is complete without it. It is planted at night in order that the artillery may plough it up in the morning. A good crop of barbed wire has been known to prevent opposing armies from arguing the " point." When a soldier gets tangled up in it he says things which are not taught at school. This may be the reason why the Padre never goes on a wiring party or leads an attack. BILLET: On active service a billet may be anything from a shed to a chateau. Usually the former. When troops are to be moved from one part of the front to another, a billeting party is sent in advance. These men receive explicit instructions to locate the most draughty and leaky barns in the country. At this they are experts. The generous-hearted farmers then inform their cattle and pigs that they must be very polite and wipe their feet before walking over a brave soldier's blankets. He also gives the hens and chickens warning not to lay eggs where a soldier may crush them. The farmer's wife then pours a jug of beer into a barrel of water, his daughters practise a " No compres" smile and everything is ready for the reception of the "Soldat Canadien." From The Listening Post. 53