Unnamed Journal Volume 2, Issue 3 - Page 22

The Teutonic Beast Henry nodded. He remembered the poster. Before his commission came through he had worked a bit for the Committee on Public Education. Just low-level work, organizing Four-Minute Men, that sort of thing. He understood the necessity of it from a political standpoint. Not just in organizing the great disinterested mass of Americans for throwing their weight into a European War, but in the future. When the war, was over, much great organizing of the national energy remained to be done. Lessons learned now would teach future generations. Still, Henry was not blind to the crassness of it. Millions upon millions of Americans of German ancestry, having lived peaceably in their adopted country for decades, now were having their loyalty questioned and their culture insulted. The speeches that the Four-Minute Men told were uniformly dreadful, designed to do nothing more than whip up the angry passions of the people at an enemy few had come into contact with. And the poster came instantly back to him: The hulking gorilla with a wide, gaping mass of slavering fangs, a thick bloodied club (with the word Kultur carved crudely on it) in one hand, and a ravished woman in the other, complete with Pickelhaube and Kaiser-style handlebar mustache. The caption, in reddish orange, read "DESTROY THIS MAD BRUTE: ENLIST U.S. ARMY" It was unfortunate that war required such expediencies, but men of wisdom need not be taken in by them. Besides, Matthews had the slogan wrong. "It was 'Mad Brute', as I recall," he said. Just then a whistle came across no-man's land. "Was it, sir?" said Matthews, but his eyes were aimed at the sentry post where Pfc. Donnelly was peering, sweating, with his rifle. Before Henry knew what was happening half the platoon was suddenly bolt upright and at the fire trench, bayonets fixed. "Excuse me, sir," said Matthews, and stepped out of the dugout and grabbed his Springfield. Henry stood up and reached into his Sam Browne belt for his M1911. Just as he did so, a howl such as could erupt from the voice of no man boomed from the dark expanse of no-man's land before them. "There!" shouted Pfc. Donnelly, and squeezed off a round. Any men still asleep before this snapped up and to arms, and the rest of the platoon opened up without a word of command. The blast of cordite in the ears was not entirely knew to Henry, but to have so much of it go off in such rapid succession turned his hearing to a dull ringing drone. He stepped up to the fire trench behind Donnelly and looked out. Amid the flash of rifles he could see movement, strange loping movements that conformed to no infantry tactics he had been officially taught or unofficially warned of. But he could not see any Germans. A hand at his elbow tugged him down. It was Pfc. Harolds, one of the platoon's hand bombers. He gave Henry two RHYY[][ۈܙ[Y\[[[ۙY]^HHۋ[H[YH[HۙHوHܙ[Y\\YH]ۈH]\[]]\ݙ\H\K\\\YZ]\KۙHو[H܈XYHH\YH\[Hۋ][H[YH]YY[H\[ [ZYH[[HۙH[\™X\HZ[XوH[HHYX\YܙHXYH[YHو\X\[KHܙX]\\HY[H\X\Y[HZ\ݙ\H[ HY[Z[Y[]] [[][Y ^H[XY]]YH[ܙH[XY]]Z\^[ۙ]ˈ[H[Y[ۙ\[ۈ[\XYH[HZ[\Y[H[YH]\H[[[H]]\XK