The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1918 · Page 7
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June 15, 1918

The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania · Page 7

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Connellsville, Pennsylvania
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Saturday, June 15, 1918
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SATURDAY, JUKE IB, 1918. THE DAILY COURIER, CONNELLSVILU2, PA. V SEVEN. OLJTW ^j^ ^···Mk, W _ l | P*"^ W .._M \f's' t - ~£, I B "H B|^ I I « * j j I Ei · I H B ^LIEUTENANT PAT O'BRIEN- When night came I looked nronnd ?or a place to reac. I had decided to travel In the daytime as well as night, because I understood that it was only a few miles from the frontier, and I was naturally arcdons to get there at tile earliest possible moment, although I realized that there I v;ould encounter the most hazardous part of mr whole adventure. To get through the heavily guarded barbed wire und electrically charged barrier iras a problem that I hated to think of even, although the hours I spent endeavoring to devise some "way of outwitting t'ae Huns were many, It had occurred to me, .for Instance, that It would not he such a difficult matter to vault over, the electric fence, *whlch was only nine fr-et high. In college, I knew a ten-foot vault is considered a high-school buy's accomplishment, but ihere were tiro great difficulties In the way at this solution. IQ the first place It would be no cosy matter to sot a pole of the right length, -weight and strength to serve the purpose. More particularly, however, the pole-vault id.ja seemed to me to b* out of the Question because of the fact that on either side of the electric fence, sir feet fitun it, was a six- foot barbed wire br.vrier. To vault safely over a nine-foot electrically charged fence was one thing, but to combine with it a twelve-foot broad vault was a feat which even a college athlete In the pink of condition would bo apt to Sunk. Indeed, I don't believe It Is possible. Another plan that seemed half-way reasonable was to build a p:iir of stilts about twelve or fourteen foot hish and , TCiliic over the barriers one by one. As a youngster I had acquired considerable skill-in stilr-wnl!c!ng and I have no doubt that with tlie proper equipment it would have been quite feasible to have walked out of Belgium as easily as possible in that way, bat whether or not I war. going to have a chance to construct the necessary stilts remained to b: seen. There were a pood ninny bicycles In use hy the German soldiers In Belgian: ] and It had oi'teu occurred to me that If I could have stolen one, the tires would have made excellent gloves and insulated coverings for my feet In case it WRS necessary for mo to attempt to climb over the electric fence bodily. But ns I ha?l never been able to stc:il a bicycle tlds avenue of escape was closed to ?ne. I decided to -wait nntll I arrived at the barrier and then mate up my mind how to proceed. To find a decent plr.ce to sleep thnt night, I crawled Tracer a barbed "wire fence, thinking It led Into some field. As I- passed under, one of the barbs causbt In my coat and in trying to pnll myself from it I shoolz the fence for several yards. Instantly there came out of the night the ncrve-racting command: "Haiti" Again I feared I was done for. I crouched close down on the ground in the darkness, not knowing whether to take to my legs and trust to the Hnn's missing me In the darkness if he fired, or stay where I was. It was foggy as well as dark, nn-3 although I fcnew the sentry was only a few feet away from me I decided to stand, or rather He, pat I think my heart made almost as much noise as the rattling of the wire In the first place; and it was a tense few moments to me. I heard the German say a few vrords to himself, but didn't understand thrnr, | of course, and then he made a sound as if to call a dog, and I realized that his theory of the noise he had heard was that a dog had made its way through the fence, For perhaps fivtr minutes I didn't stir,"and then figuring that die German had probably continued on his beat I crept Quietly undt-r the wire ngr.in, this time being mighty careful to hug " the ground so clo.se thnt I wouldn't touch the wire, and made off in a different direction. Evidently the barbed wire fence had beea thrown around an ammunition depot or something of the kind, and It was not a Held at all that I had tried to get into. I figured that other sentries "were probably in the neighborhood and I proceeded very gingerly. After I had got about a mile away from this spot I came to an humble Belgian house and I knocked at the door and applied for food in my usual way, pointing to my mouth to indicate I was huogry and to my ears and mouth, to imply that I was deaf and dumb. The Belgian woman who lived in the house brought me a piece of bread aad two cold potatoes and as I sat there eating them she eyed me very keenly. I haven't the slightest doubt that she realized I was a fugitive. She lived so near the border that it was more for that reason, I appreciated, more fully the extent of the risk she ran, for no doubt the Germans were constantly watching the conduct of these Belgians .who lived near the line. Sfy theory that she realized that I was not a Belgian at all, but prob- aby some English fugitive, was confirmed a moment later, when, as I made ready to go, she touched me on the arm and Indicated that I was to wait n moment. She went to a bureau and brought ont two pieces of fancy Belgian lace- which she insisted irpon my taking away, although at that par-, ticular moment I had as much, use for Belgian Ince as an elephant for a safety razor, but I was touf-hed with, her thoughtful ness and pressed her hand to show my gratitude. She would not accept the money I offered her. I carried the luce through my sub 1 sequent experiences, feeling that it would be a fine souvenir for my mother, although as a matter of fact if I had known that it was going to delay my final escape tor even a single moment, 'ns it did, I ara quite sure she would rather I had not seen it. On one piece of lace wns the Flemish word "Charlte" and on the other the word "Esperage." At toe time I took these words to mean "Charity" and "Erperiauce" and all I hoped was that I would set cs much of the one as I was getting of-the other before I finally got through. I learned subsequently that what the words really .stood for 'were "Charier" and "Hope," and then I was sure that my kind Belgian friend bad indeed realised my plight and that her thoughtful souvenir was intended to encourage me in the trials she must have known were bet ore roe. I rlfdiTt let the old Belgian Jndy I:nmv, because I did not waul to alarm her unnecessarily, hut that night I slept in Iter backyurd, leaving early iu the morning before it became light. LntRr In the day 7 applied ut another house for food. It wns occupied !T a f n f h f r and mother and ten children. I hesitated to ask ihem foe food Again Was Done For. without offering to pay for It, as I realized what a task It must have been for them to support themselves without having to feed a hungry man. Accordingly I gave the man a mark nnd then Indicated that I wanted something to cat. They were Just abcrut to eat, themselves, apparently, and they let me partake of their meal, which consisted of a huge bowl of some Mnd of soup which I was unable to identify and which they served la ordinary wash basins. I don't icnow that they ever used the basins to wash In as well, but whether they did or not dlti not worry me 'very much. The soup was good and I enjoyed It , All t!ie tiroa I was there I could see the father and the eldest son, a boy about seventeen, were extremely nervous. I bad Indicated to them that I was deaf iiad (ramb; but if they believed me it didn't fieciu to make them any more comfortable. I lingered at the house for abont an hour after the meat and dnrlng that time a young man came to call on tho eldest daughter, a young woman of perhaps eighteen. The caller eyed me very suspiciously, although I must have resembled anything but a British ofllrer. They spoke Flemish iiad I did not understand a word they said, but I think they were discussing my probable identity. During their conversation, I had a chance to look around the room. There were three altogether, two fairly large and onei somewhat smaller, about fourteen f et I long and sb: deep. . In this smaller ' room there were two double-decked beds, which were apparently intended to house the whole family, although how the whole twelve of them cduld sleep in that one room will ever remain a mystery to me. From the kitchen you could walk directly into the cow-barn, where two cows were kept, and this, as i have pointed out before, Is the usual construction o£ the poorer Belgian houses. I could not pmke out why the caller seemed to be' so antagonistic to me, and yet I am sure he \v?is arguing with the family aguiust me. Perhaps the fact that I wasn't wearing wooden shoes--I doubt whether I could hnve obtained a pair big enough for me-had convinced him that I wns not ·really a Belgian, because there was nothing about me otherwise which could have given him that idea. At thnt time, and I snppose it is true today, about 94 per cent of the people in Belgium were wearing wooden shoes. Among the peasants I don't believe I ever saw any other kind of foorwonr and they are more common there than they are in Holland. The Dutch wear them more on account of a lack of leather. I was told tliat during the cotnlr.g year practically all the peasants and . poorer people in Germany, too, will adopt 'wooden shoes for farm work, as that is one direction in which wood can bo substituted for leather without much loss. When the young man left, I left shortly afterwards, as I was not at all comfortable about what his intentions were regarding rni_*. For ail I knew he might iinve gone to notify the German authorities tlrat there was a strange man in the vicinity--more perli«ps to protect his friends from suspicion of having aided me than to injure me. A't any rate, I was not going to take any chances and I got oat of that neighborhood as rapidly as I could. That night found me right on the fromier of Holland. carefj;! survey the following night. The view I lad obtnlucJ. however, was sufficient to cmivinco im? that the. pole-vault idea was out of the ques- \ Uon even if I had a pole and was a ; profldeht polo-vn niter. The thrao 1 fences covered a span of at Ipr.st twelve i f. feet and to clear tllo Insr barbed wire 1 )j fence it would be necessary to vnuit!;.'4 not only nt !«ist (en feet Well, bot n t ; '!.least fourteen feet wh'.f,.w!th tbe cer-! !·;· fain knowledge that to touch the doc- j js trlcally charged fence meant Irawrjt i | death. There would be no Becu^dis chance if yoja came a cropper.the ilr^t time. The stilt bie because den was also Smpractica- of the lack of suitable timber and toois with which to construct the stilts. It seemed to mo that the best thing to do was travel up and down the line 0 bit in the hope that some spot might be discovered where conditions were more favorable, although I don't know f just what I expected along those· lines. It was mighty disheartening to realize that only a few feet away lay certain liberty and that the only things preventing me from reaching it were three confounded fences. I thought of my machine and wished tlmt some i kind fairy would set It in front of me for just one minute. I spent the night in a clump of bushes and kept in hiding most of the next day, only going abroad for an hour or two In the middle of the day to intercept some Belgian peasant nnd beg for foud. The Belisions in this section ivere naturally very much afraid of the Germans and I -fared badly. In nearly every house German soldiers were quartered and it was out of tho question for me to apply for food in tliat direction. The proximity of ihe border made everyone eye each other with more or less sus- j piclon and I soon come to the conclusion that the safest thing I conld do was to liTe on raw vegetables which I conld steal from the Holds at night as 1 had previously done. That night I made another survey of the barrier in that "vicinity, but it looked just as hopeless as it had the night before and I concluded that I only wasted my time there. I spent the night wancleriflg north, guided by the North Star which had served me so faithfully in ail my traveling. Every mile or two I would make my way carefully to the barrier to see if conditions were any better, bot it seemed to be the same all along. I felt like a wild animal in a cage, with about as ranch chance of getting out. The section of the coantry in which I was now wandering was very heavily wooded and there wns really no very great difficulty in keeping myself concealed, which I did nil day long, striving nil the time to think of some way in which I could circumvent that cursed barrier. TO BE CONTINUED. ^^ THIS IS. MY THlP TO THIS t ' T T L E TOWN A FEW VISITS AND ILL HAVE ALL UP IN THE AIR. OUR. CATALOGUES ARE DOING THE WORK. J. B. KURTZ, NOTAKV PUELiC AND REAL ESTATR No. South M««dov« Lwm Conn«l!avUl» Ps. CHAPTER XVH. Getting Through the Lines. Waiting until it was quite dark, I made ray way carefully through a fieJO and eventually cauio to Uie-niucU dreuUcU barrier. It wns aJi that I had heard about it. Every foot of the border lino between Belgium arid Holland is protected la precisely the same manner. It is there ! to serve three purposes: first, to prevent the Belgians from escaping into Holland; second to keep enemies, like myself, from making their way to freedom ; and third, to prevent desertions nn the part of Germans themselves. One look was enough to convince any one thnt it probably accomplished all three objects about as well as any contrivance conld, and one look was all I got of it that night, for Awhile I lay on my stomach gazing at the forbidding structure I heard the measured stride of a German sentry advancing towards me ana I crawled nwor as fast ns I possibly could, determined to spend the night somewhere in the fields and make another nnd more HK!: EVEBYOS'E The opportunity of depositing funds with the Title. Trust Company of Western Pennsylvania is open to everyone, and prudent is lie who avails himself of its' advantages. Small amounts, deposited often with us soon accumulate at interest. Your account is invited. This is the Only Bank in this community, paying 4.% on Savings Accounts, (WESTSIDE) THE TREMENDOUS EAEXESTNESS of our people shows that our Country is in this war to win--determined to be victorious over aggression, tyranny and enslavement of liberty. Every individual has an important duty to perform in this great cause--let everyone do his utmost. We are at your service in banking matters and invite your Checking Account. UNION RATIONAL BANK, Coaneilsville, a. THE CATALOGUE DAMAGES MORE THAN THE ZEPPELIN Like the German Zeppelins in their bomb-hurling raids over the lands of their ene: mies, the mail order house flies its tovra-wrec'dug, catalogue-scattering balloons over prosperous communities. Hundreds have fallen prey to the explosions of what they looked upon as bargains; their business centers have been wrecked through the persistent.-attacks from these distant concerns and it has only been through their decisions to fortify themselves against such attacks that the citizens have come to protect their own and the interests of their fellow citizens., MORAL--Dodge the balloon that drops the bombs that will some day -wreck your . home and town. A Great Combined Movement by Great People Will Secure a Phenomenal Boost for Yourself and THESE MERCHANTS. COMPANY Furniture, BURS, Stoves 15i-15S W. Crawford .We. W. N. LECHE Dry Goods 12.'! W. Cravrford Ave. THE HOKNEE COMPANY Men's Wear 10a W. Crawford Ave. COLONIAL NATIONAL BASK Corner Pittsburg Street and Crawford Arenae. MCDONALD MUSIC AND ELECTKIC co. i Hoval Hotel Block' K. Pittsburg St. H.KOBACKEE SONS The Big- Store" X. Pittslrarg St. C. W. DOWNS Footwear tor Everybody 127 N. Pittsfrarg St. CONNBLLSVILLE MARKET AND NOBTH END SIAKfflET leading Grocery Stores 136 and 313 K. Kttsbnrg St. ANBERSON-LODCXS HABD1VAEE CO. Hardware 116 W. Crawford lye. CHARLES T. GILES Jeweler 141 West CntTrford Are. BB01VNELL SHOE COMPANY Shoes West Crawford Ave. CONNELLSVILLE DKTJG COMPANY Drugs 130 West Crawford ATO. PETER E. WEI3IEE Pianos and Phonographs 12r-128i-:ast Crawford Ave. A. TV. BISHOP Jewelry 107 West Crawford Ave. ijtoimfM/muiKsaiBte CO. Shoes for the IVholo Family 113 W. Crawford Aye. AISTMAN . WOUK China and Wall Paper 147-151 AV. Crawford Are. XHE CENTEAL STOBE Dry Goods 211 TV. Crawford Aye. ELPESN'S Cndics' Suits and Coats 130 S. Httsbnrg St. FITE AND TEN CENT WALL PAPER CO. Wall Paper 103 IV. Apple St WELLS-3HLLS 3IOTOE CAR CO. Agents for WiUys-Knight, Overland Cars, Accessories WEETHEOIEE BEOS. Men's Store 124 N. Pittsbnrg St CONNELLSA'ttLE LAUNDRY "Snow While Work" 128 Batdirin Are. COLUMBIA HOTEL Join Dnggan West Side FUISBEE HARDWARE CO. Hardware · W. Crawford Are. WBIGHT-METZLER CO. Deportment Store W. Crawford Aye. BAPPOBT-FEATHERMAN COf Ton Can Do Belter Here. DO YOU NEED JOB PRINTING? We do all kinds of Job Printing at our office from the visiting card to the finest commercial work. Try our printing. THE COURIER COMPANY, 127^ W. Main St., ConneHsville, Pa. ·CAP" STDBBS MA'S "WIGWAGGINSP' IS VERY EFFECTIVE By EDWUfd I JOiT THOOtHT J50Y5 COUOi .STOP 50UJIER1N6- LOW EWOUOHTtJ E«T TMOT UTTLE. SftKEQ VilTH

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