The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania on June 17, 1918 · Page 7
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The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania · Page 7

Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Monday, June 17, 1918
Page 7
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Page 7 article text (OCR)

fHE DAILY COT5UIER, CONNELLSVTLLE, PA. PAGE SEVEN. OUTWITTING VLIEUTENANT QBRIEN- ·ii ^ The idea of a huge steplndder occurred to me, but I searched hour after hour in va3n for lumber or fallen tree^ out of which I could construct one. If I could only obtain something which ·would enable me to reach a point about nine feet la the air it nonld be * coroparntlvely simple matter to Jnmp from that point over the electric fence. Then I thought that perhaps I could construct a simple ladder and lean it against one of the posts npon which Ihe electric wires were strung, climb to the top and then leap o\er, getting over the birbed wire fences in the same way. This seemed to be tte most likely plan ar.d all night long I sat constructing a ladder for this purpose. I was fortunate enough to find a number of fallen pine trees from ten to twenty feet long, I selected two of them which seemed safllciertU strong and broke oft all the branches, vhich I used as rungi, tying them to the poles with grrss and strips from my han dkerchcf and shirt as best I could. It was not a very worlcmanlihe looting ladder -when I Snlly got through with It I leaned Jt against a tree to te=:t It and It wobbled considerably. It was rrore h;e a rope ladder than a wooden one but I ^trength- ened it here and then- rnd decided that It would probably serve the purpose. I *rppt the ladder la the woods all' day and could hardly -wait until darfc to make the supreme teat. If it proved inccp^m ray troubles were over; within a few hours I would be in a ncutnl country out of ill danger. If I failed--I dismissed the UJea rora- nmrnr There ^as TIO u«e \\orrytng abort failure; the thlnq to do was to succeed. The few hours that were to pa«w before night came on s^-cmed endleis, but I utilized them to re-enforce my ladder, tvlnp the run^s more securely ·with long grass which I picked in the ·woods. At last night came, and with my ladder in hand I made for the birrier In front of It there was a cleared ·pace of about one hundred yards, which had been prcparrd to make the work of the guards easier In tvatrh- tag it I waited In the neighl»oi hood until I heard the sentry pa«?s the spot uhcre I TT«9 In hiding ond thea I hiurien ·cross the clearing, ghovcd my ladder ·oder the barbed wiro and endeavored to follow It My clothing caught IB the wire, but I wrenched myself dear and crawled to the ekclrip barrier. My plan was to plrce the ladder ·Ctlnat one of the poftts, climb up to the top and thea Jump There would he a fall of nine or ten feet, and I night possibly sprain an anU* or kreak my leg, bat If thnt was all that ·food between me ajid freedom I Witsn't going to stop to consider it. I put my ear to the grtnind to IKen for the coming of the sentry There was not a sound Ihi;erly but carefully I placed the laduer against the post and started rp Only a fe-.v feet ·eparated me from Iibertj, and my heart beat fast I had climbed perhaps three rungs of my ladder when I became aware ·f an unlocked for dlEEculty. The ladtltr was s-lijjping. Ju^t as I took t'ic next r~ng, tb* ladder sl/rP^d, came la contact with the live \vlrc, and the current passed through fJ'e net si cL^ and into my body. There was a blue flash, my ho'J on the ladder rei.ii.ed and I fell heai tly to the ground uncoasclocs. Of course. I had net received tbe full foice of the current or I would net now be here. I must hive remained unconscious for a few rco- roe n ts but I ctimo to iust in time to he ir the Cerium guard cocnm^ and the thought came to m If I thdn t get that UtltUr corctalcd at once he vmild s*»e it even thoug',, fortunately for me r It -was an unusually dark night, I pulled the ladder out of his path and lay do^n fat on l i e ground not seven feet a^ay fr^rc his feet He passed so close that I could have pushed the ladder out and tripped him up. It occurred to rae that I could have climbed back under the barbed wire fence and waited for the sentry to return and then felled him with a blow on the head, as he had no Idea, of course, that there was anyone In the vicinity I wouldn't have hesitated to take life, because my only thought was to get Into Holland, but I thought that ns long as he didn't bother mo uerbaps the safest thing to do was not to bother him, but to continue my efforts during his periodic absence. His beat at this point was apparently fairly long and allowed me more time to work than I had hoped for ily mishap with the ladder had convinced me that my escape in that way was not feasible. The shock that I had received had mme-ved me and I was afraid to risk It nguln, particularly as I realized that I had fared more fortunate! v than I could hope to aga'n If I met with a similar mishap There was no way of making that ladder hold antl I gave up the idea of using It I was now right in front of this electric barrier and as I studied it I saw another way of getting by If I couldn't get over it, ^hat was the matter with getting under it? Tbe bottom wire was oaly two Inches from the ground and, of course, I couldn't touch It, but my plan was to dig underneath It and then crawl through the hole In the ground I had only my hands to dig with, but I went at it with a will and fortunately the pround was not very bard. When I had dug about sli Inches, making a distance in all of eight Inches from the lowest electric wire. I came to an underground wire, I knew enough about electricity to realize that this wire conld not be charged. as It was In contact with the ground, but still there wus not room between the h\e wire and this underground wire for me to crawl through and I ether had to go back or dig deep enough under this ^ire to crawl under it or else pull It up This underground wire was about as big around as a lead pencil and there waa no chance of breaking It The jack-knife I had hnd at the start of my travels I had long since lost and even If I had bad somotiiing to hnmner with, the noise would have made the method Impncticable I ucnt on tligipnn When the total distance between the Ihe wire and the bottom of the halo I hnd dag was thirty inches I took hoIJ of the gnand wire and pulled on It with all my strength. It wouldn't badge. It was stretched taut across the narrow ditch I had dug--about fourteen inches w Ide-and all the tugging didn't serve to loosen it I was just about to give up In despair when a staple gave way In the nenrest post Th tt enabled me to pull the wire through the ground a little and I renewed my eforts. After a moment or two of pulling as I had n ever pulled in my I if e before, a staple on the next post gn?e way, and my work become easier I had more leeway now and pulled and pulled again until tn aJt eight staples had given way. Every time a staple gave wny, it sounded In n?y ears like the report of a gim, although I suppose It didn't really make very much no1*e. Never Uiele^s, each time I would pat my ear to tbe ground to listen for the gnnrd If I heard him I would stop working and lie perfectlr stfll *n die dark tra he had ptme br By pulling on plie wire, I was now able to drag it through the ground enough to place It back from the fence and go on digging. The deeper I went the harder "became the worfc, becatree by ttta time my finger nails were broken acd I wn» aervoas--afraid ererr moment that I would toach tn* charged wire. I kept at it ho-artver, with my mind constantly on ilie bole I WOE digging and tbe liberty mhldi wa* almost within my reach. Finally I figured that I had enough space to crawl throngn and stfll leave a cocple ot Indies between my bad and UK lire wire Before I ·went under that wfrc I noticed that the lace which the Belgian woman had given me as a souvenir made my pocket bulge, and lest it might be the Innocent means of electrocuting me by touching the Uve ^Lre I took it oat rolled It up and threw It over the barrier first hud made my leap from the train oc September 0th. Altogether, therefore, just seventy-two davs bad elapsed since I escaped from the Huns If I live to be as old us MctUusaleh I never expect to live through another seventy-two days BO crammed full of Incident and hazard find lucky escape. Heard the German Guard Coming. Then I lay down on my stomach find crawled or rather writhed undex the wire like a snake, with my feet first and there wasn t any question of my hugging mother earth as closely as possible because I realized that even to touch the wire above me with my bacl; meant instant death. Ansdoos as I was to get on the other side, I didn't hurry this operation I feared that there might be some little detail thnt I had overlooked and I er- erclsed the greatest possible caro In going under, taling nothing for granted. When I finally got through and straightened up, there 'Aere still several feet of Belginm between me and liberty, represented by the sir feet which separated the electric barrier from the lost barbed wire fence, but before I went another step I went dovn on my knees and thanked God for my long series of escapes and especially for this kii,t achievement which seened to m*» to be tibout all that was necessary to bring me freedom Then I crawled under the barbed wire ftnce and breathed the tree uirof Holland I had no clear idea Just where I was and I didn't care innch. I ^ as nut of the power of the Germans and tliat was enough I bad walked perhaps a hundred yards, when I re- mcuibpred the lace I hud thrown over the barrier, and dangerous as I realized the undertaking to be, I determined to walk back and get it Thia necessitated my going back onto Belgian soil again, but it seemed a shnme to leave the luce there, and by exercising a little care I figured I could get it easily enough. When I came to the spot at which I had made my way under tbe barbed i wire, I put niy ear to the ground and listened for the sentry. I heard him coming and lay prone on the groand tin he had passed. The fact that co j might observe the hole in the ground | or the ladder occorred to me as I lay I there, and It seemed like an age before h*» finally marched out of earshot Then I went undur the baibcd ·ni-e again retrieved the lace imd oice again made my way to Dutc*i terrl-i tory. I It does not take long to describe tho events just referred to, but the incidents themselves consumed several hours ia alt To dig the hole mast have taken me more than two hours and I had to hfcop frequently to bide wuHe the sentry passed. Many tiroes, Indeed, I thonsbt I heard him coming and atppped my work and t?ien discovered that It was only my Imagination I certainly suffered enough that night to last me a lifetime. With a Gennnn gnnrd on one aide, death from eLeetrocotion on tho other, and ctarva- tlon staring me In Uio face/ my plight was anything but a comfortable one. It uas on tlui U)th of November, 1017, wiien I got dsrotyfJt tna wire I CHAPTER XVIII. ExprloncQB In Holland. , But I was not quite out of tibo woods. , | I now kn^w that I was in [Holland, bu^ just whiire I hud no idea I walked for about tlllrty minutes and 1 came to a path leading to the right, and I hnd proceeded along It but a few hundred yards when I saw In front of me a fence eiactly like the one I had crossed. "This is funny," I said to myself. 'T didn^t know the Dutch had a fence, too" I adMinced to the fence and examined it closely and Judge of my astonishment whea I saw beyond It a nine-foot fenco apparently holding live wires eractly like the one which had nearlj been the denth ol 1 me I I had very llttlo time to conjecture what it all meant for just then 3 heard a guard coining He was walk Ing so fast taut I was sure it was a Dutch sentry, as the Huns wallc much slower I TV-IS so bewildered, however, that I decided to take no chances, and as the roid was fairly good I wandered down It and a^*ay from that mysterious fence About huIC a mile down I could see tbe light of a sentry sta tion and I thought I would go there and tell ray story to the sentries realizing that aa I was unarmed It was perfectly safe for me to announce myself to the Dutch authorities I could bo Interned omv If I entered Holland under arms As I approached tho sentry box I noticed three men in gray uniforms, the regulation Dutch color. I was on the verge of shouting to them when the thought struck me that there was Just a chance I might be mistaken, as the German uniforms ^ere the same color, and I had Buffered too many prhalions and too many narrow escapes to lose all at this time by jumping ct conclusions. I had just turned oH the road to go back nto some bushes w-ben out of the darkness I heard that dread German command: "Halt, Haltr Ho didn't need to hollcp twice. I beard and heeded the first time Then I heard another man come running up, and thero wus considerable talking, but whether thej nero Germans or Hollanders I woe still uncertain He (\tdenUy thought someone was on tho other sido of the fence. Finally I heard one of them langb iind saw him walk back to the sentry station where tee guaid was billeted, and I crawled a little nearer to try to make out Just what It meant I had begun to think it was all a nightmare. Between, myself and tho light In the sont-y station, I then noticed the stooping figure of a man bending over as If to conceal himself aod on his head uas tho spiked helmet of a Ger man soldier! I knew then ^hat another narrow escape I had bad, for I am quite sure he ·would have shot me without ccrc- mon if I had foolishly made mjbett known I would hare been burled at once and no one would hare been any wiser, even though, technically speaking. I woe on neutral territory and immune from .aptnre or attack. This new shock only served to bewilder me more I was completely lost There eeemed to be frontier behind me and frontier in front of me Evidently, however, what hod hap pened was that I had lost my sense of direction and had wandered in the arc of a circle, returning to the same fence that I had been so long in getting through. This solution of the mystery came to me suddenly and I at once searched the landscape for something in the way of a landmark to guide me For once my faithful friend, the Worth Star, had failed me The blty was pitch black and there wasn t a star in the heavens. In the distance, at about what appeared to be about three mUes away, but which turned out to be six, I could discurn tbo lights of a village, and 1 knew It must bo a Dutch village, as llghta are not allowed In Belgium in that Indiscriminate way. My course was now clear I would make a beellno for that village. Before I bad gone very far I found myself in a marsh or swamp and I turned back f a little, hoping to flnd a better path | Finding none, I retraced my steps and kept straight ahead, determined | to reach t!mt village at all costs and | to Bwervn neither to the right or left until I got ther«. One moment I would bo In water up to my knees and tho next I woull sink in mud c T ear up to my waist. 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You get the services of an organization trained for more than a third of a century in safeguarding investors in one class of securities. This organization attends to all details for you--offers you bonds that are unaffected in war times, of a size to fit your purse--$1,000, $500 and $100--and sees to it that you receive your payments promptly. Write today for the booklet "6% On Your Savings"--priceless in its help to those who are saving now to make their money work for them for years to come. Ask for Booklet Jfo. SS3. 150 BROADWAY, M2TV YOBR. Clili-acro Detroit MmneopoEi S.n Fnmcoco Ptijsdcbh.. KornuCitr D«Ttcn THIRTY^SIX YEARS WITHOUT LOSS TO ANY INVESTOR was all about, and came in and watched \vhlle I ate the meal those good Dutch people prepared for me. Ordinarily I suppose I -wou'd have been embarrassed wltn so many people staring at me while I ate as though I were some stronge animal that has Jnst been capered, but just then I was too famishfd to notice or care very ranch what other people did. reached It I knew my troubles would be over It toofc mo perhaps three hours to leach flrra ground. The path I struck led to within half a mile of the village. I shall never forget that pntb, it was almost ns welcome to my feet as the opposite bnk of tbe Mouse had Beeuied- The first hahltaliou I came to waa a little workshop with a bright light shining outside. It must liave been after midnight, but the people inside wero apparently Just qul ttlng work There were three men and two boys engaged In malting wooden shoes. It wasn't necessary for me to explain to them that I was a refugee, even If I had been able to speak their language. I was coked with mud up to my shoulders and I suppose my face must have recorded some of tbe experiences I had gone through that memorable night "I want the British consul]" I told fiem Apparently they didn't understand, but one o£ them volunteered to conduct me to the Tillage They seemed to be only too anxious to do all the could for me, evidently they realized I was a British soldier It woi very late when my companion finally escorted rae Into the village, but he aroused some people he knew from their beds and they dressed and came down to feed me The fumlly consisted of nn old lady and her husband and a son, who was a soldier In the Dutch array The cold shivers ran down my back while he sat beside me, because every now and again I cattgbt a glimpse of his gray uniform and it resembled very much that of the German soldiers Some of the neighbors, aroused by tho commotion, got up to see what It TO KE CONTINUED. SHOULDER TO SHOULDER The army of our . Country stands shoul- tj der to shoulder -nith the arnues of our Allies--thus forming a barrier of steel to the Prussian, fury. Let each, of us, even at home stand shoulder to shoulder in the defense of a just cause-and render full support to our Government. to mobilize the financial resources of the na ion b\ depositing every s u i p l u a dollai in bana. I i e r e js no bettei proof of patriotic cconon^ dnd ihrifl than a g r o w i n g ^ a \ u ^ s \ccouuu J ( ns strong uaoik pa\t liberal in- teiesj. on Saungs $1 U jou. Bank Stock for Sale A party owning soine stock of Connclls\ ille Banks, and needing all his a\salable capital for new projects is w i l l i n g to dispose of the said stocks on i saciifice basis AH comn un canons strictly confidential Address r. o. BOX 74, Times Square, ow York ( i h . 129 TV. Cnn\ ford ATO., Connellsyfllo TIio Bank that Docs Things for Ion* Checking tccounti Inritsd. CGOOOOOC SOOOOOGCOOC J. B. KURTZ, NOTARV PUBLiC ' AND REAL E8TAT2. New » South Mendovt Laon, J Ccnrwllniili Pn. i: OOOOOOOCX5OOOOGOOC5OOOC 3OCOO TYunt IMpJ Then UBS our classified column BU/tfc H i l l fol]OW. Ro- READ THE COUEIEE OPPOSITE POST OFFICE CONNELLSVILLE, PA. ot n cr, issi ADS. ·CAP"STCBB8 "THE MELANCHOLY DAYS HAVE COMB!" By EDTHNA

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