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Between the Lines

Boyd Cable

Book Overview: 

This book, all of which has been written at the Front within sound of the German guns and for the most part within shell and rifle range, is an attempt to tell something of the manner of struggle that has gone on for months between the lines along the Western Front, and more especially of what lies behind and goes to the making of those curt and vague terms in the war communiqués. I think that our people at Home will be glad to know more, and ought to know more, of what these bald phrases may actually signify, when, in the other sense, we read 'between the lines.'

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The thumping of his heart nearly drowned the thud of the picks, he was shivering with excitement, and his mouth grew dry and leathery. He felt a desire to smoke, and had his case out and a cigarette in his lips when it occurred to him that, when the Germans broke through, the smell of the smoke would tell them instantly that they were in an occupied working. He counted on a certain amount of delay and doubt on their part when their picks first pierced his wall, and he counted on that pause again to give him time to escape. So he put the cigarette away, and immediately was overwhelmed with a craving for it. He fought it for five minutes that felt like five hours, and felt his desire grow tenfold with each minute. It nearly drove him to doing what all the risk, all the discomfort of his cramped position, all the danger, had not done—to creep out and fire the mine without waiting for that last instant when the picks would break through. It could make little diffe. . . Read More

Community Reviews

During WWI the folks at home were mostly fed a steady diet of propaganda and vague press statements that didn't really reveal the reality of life in the trenches. This book, written by a journalist 'at the Front and within the sound of the German guns' aimed to remedy that.

What did it...more