Week 6 and I draw my first club card! This leads me to the book World War One Short Stories and the story “England” by Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett (Lord Dunsany) (whose name may be longer than the story itself!). Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. You can find the general guidelines and my list for this year from this post.
Since this is the first story I’ve read in this book, a little about the book: “These gripping tales from the trenches of France and Belgium offer firsthand testimony to the mayhem that devastated Europe from 1914 to 1918. Written mostly by veterans, they offer moving accounts of life and death amid the constant terror of bombs, poison gas, and machine guns. In addition to the more familiar perspectives of American and British soldiers, the tales encompass German, French, and Russian points of view.”
“England” is a whopping 2 pages and is the conversation between a private and his sergeant. The sergeant is reminiscing about home to the private: about the gardens and their flowers, the woods, the animals, all on a summer evening. The reader later learns that these two are in a no-hope situation.
The descriptions are so vivid that I felt like I was in the same place as these gardens on a summer night myself. One of my favorite passages:
“‘That’s the time to be out,’ said the Sergeant. ‘Ten o’clock on a summer’s night, and the night full of noises, not many of them, but what there is, strange, and coming from a great way off, through the quiet, with nothing to stop them. Dogs barking, owls hooting, an old cart; and then just once a sound that you couldn’t account for at all, not anyhow.'” (p. 95). I know exactly what he means!