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WIIO VENT * *
MACHINE QUIU1ER,JERV1NGIH FRAHCf1 '
I ?1*7 OY "I
I CHAPTER XIII.
My First Official Bath.
Rlgl.* behind oar rest billet was a
'large creek about ten feet deep and
twenty feet across, und It waa a habit)
?if the cimpnny to nvall themselves of
an opportunity to tnUe a swim and ut
tlie mime time thoroughly wush thi-in
selves nnd jtholr underwear when on
their own. We were having a spell of
hot weather, and these bath* to uh
were a luxury. The Tommies would
splosh nroand In tlie water nnd then
, e<>i:ie out and sit In the sun and have
what IliCy t- rined n. "shirt hunt." At
first we tried to drown the "cooties,''
but th' v also seem.-il to enjoy the bath.
One Sunday morning the whole sec
tion \vr. 11n the creek and we were hav
ing i. e y time, win * the sergeant ma
jor apjv-ired on the scene. Ue came
to the ii'f of the creek nnd ordered:
"Tout out of It. Get your equipment
on. 'drill or.ler, und full In for bath
parade. Link lively, my hearties. You
luve en'v r"t rrt".-n minutes." a howl
of liitlirnutlon frian the creek greeted
th's f'filer ?-tf rut we came. Disci
pline n 'IIscI' Mk We lined up In
fri>rf of rar l.i.et with rifles and hay
cr.i t-' (whv y.::r ri *ed rllles anil bayo
r.? i to take a bath gets me), a full
qi;e*i of imimiinltlon, und our tin hats.
Kin h m n tied a piece of soap and a
to* . I. ier ,n glit-kllo march along
? iIm-' v "i i(- nn ocenilonal ("hell
whist lir- vveraiiiii. rte arrived at a
Jltr.e ?!?!?' i::iis.e culltilng ujion the
fci' k ol ereec. .V:iied over the door
f? ??? r
rf V.T- wn? > large sign which
rtini "L'ivMumii ni.:..v In u vooden
?)i"il in the rear we eoulrl hear a
wh" zy ui'l in.'tne lumping water.
V.e lined up In 1 .'iint of the batlM, ;
?oaki-it ? with perspiration, nnd piled1
?ur ritl-s into stacks. a im meant of j
the IS. A. M. C. wltji a yellow band
am >i.d his left arin on which was
"8- i(srnltary f*i lce) In black let-j
ters, look charge. ordering us to take '
off of:r eqnliHie I. unroll our puttees
ami tm nee bun:*. Then, starling from |
the right of I be line, he divided u* j
Intn M|iind? of I. f teen. i happened to
be li the f.r?t squad.
We catered u snmil room, where we ;
were given live tniniit -s to nndress.
tinn JHd ir.to ihe bathroom. In here.
A Cathroom at the Front
tiiero """o fifteen tnhs (barrels Mined 1
In trto) tin!r fail of water. Each tub f
contain.i| u of hiundry soap. The j
?pru"i|i 111 formed u? that we hud Just ]
tWfito uupiUe* tn which to take our
hntli*. Set |ilnc ourselves nil over, we I
took turn* in ruhMng each other's
? hnck* then l>y nienn* of n garden hose,
washed llie soup off. The water was
Icc cn ii l?m felt Hot1.
Tuny ?i?wi a hell inng nnd the wa
ter wn* turned off. ?ome of the slower
ones frrn covered with xonp, hut thl*
mni'o t"> rt!.Ti iviw? to Ihe sergeant,
who rh-.ted js into another room.
Where hi- lined up In front of a little
wlndo'v. resembling the hoi office In a
thent.r i .nl received clean underwear
and ?.??*-Ws. from here we went Into
the r.X'i" where v.ehml M*?t undressed.
Ten minutes were u i lov ed Id which to
jet lot" "ir "eliililwr,"
My fiiif of drawers entile up to m.v
chin nnd 'he shirt Imreiy reached my
dlnplirugni. imi they were clenii?no
?trvi-ers ?n them, no I v.'?s sntlsfled.
- a* "Ti'lnitlon of the tltne nllot.^
Vteil m? were lurneti oat and flulahed
V?Ttf (' ?e??l |yf on the f--~
When all ot tne compauy xma uataea
It was a case of march back to billets.
That march was the most uncongenial
one Imagined, Just ensuing and blind
ing *11 the way. We were covered with
white dost and felt greasy from sweat.
The woolen underwear Issued was
Itching like the mischief.
After eating our dinner of stew,
which bad been kept for us?It was
now four o'clock?we went Into the
creek and had another bath.
If "Holy Joe" conld have heard our
remarks about the divisional baths
and army red tape he would have
fainted at our wickedness. But Tom
my Is only human after all.
I Just mentioned "Holy Joe" or the
chaplain in an Irreverent sort of way,
but no oOense was meant, as there
were some very brave men among
There are so many Instances ot he
roic deeds performed under fire In res
cuing the wounded that It would take
several books to chronicle them, but I
have to mention one instance per
formed by a chaplain, Captain Hall by
name, In the brigade on our left, be
cause It particularly appealed to me.
A chaplain Is not a fighting man; ha
Is m-ognlied as a noncombatant and
carries no arms. In a charge or trench
raid the soldier gets a feeling of con
fidence from contact with his rifle, re
volver, or bomb he Is carrying. He has
something to protect himself with,
bouicthlug with which he eviu infliat
harm on the enemy?In other words,
he Is able to get his own back.
But (lie chaplain Is empty-handed,
and Is at the mercy of the enemy If
he encounters them, so It Is doubly
brave for him to go over the top, under
Are., and bring in wounded. Also a
chaplain Is not required by the king's
regulations to go over In a charge, but
this one did. made three trips under
the hottest kind of fire, each time re
turning with a wounded man on hla
back. On the third trip he received
a bullet through his left arm, but never
reported the matter to the doctor until
late that night?Just spent his time ad
ministering to the wanta of the wound
ed lying on stretchers.
The chaplains of 'hip British army
are a fine, manly set of men, and aru
Greatly respected by Tommy.
Picks and Shovels.
I had not alept lone before the awMt
voice of the ^sergeant Infonnrt that
"No. 1 section had clicked for anothei
Mlnklng digging party." I s-niled to
myself with deep satisfaction. I had
been promoted from a mere digger to
a member bf the Suicide club, and was
exempt from all fatigues. Then came
au awful shock. The serpeant looked
over In my direction and said:
"Don't you bomb throw ers think you
are wearing top hats out here. 'Cord
In' to orders you've been taken up on
the strength of this section, and will
have to do your bft with the pick and
ahovel, same as the rest of us."
I put up a lowl on my way to get
my shovel, bt't the only thing that re
sulted was a loss of good humor on
my part. I
We fell In at eight o'clock, outside
of ouv billets, a sort of masquerade
party. I was disguised as a common
laborer, had a pick and shovel, and
ahont one hundred empty sandbags.
The rest, abont two hundred In all, j
were equipped likewise: picks, shovels,
sandbags, rifles and ammunition.
The party moved out In column of
fours, taking the road leading to the
trenches. Several times we had to
string out In the ditch to let long col
umns of limbers, artillery and suppllM
The marching, under these condi
tions, was necessarily slow. Upon ar
rival at the entrance to the communi
cation trench, I looked at my llluml
nnted wrist watch?It was eleven
Before entering this trench, word
was passed down ihe line, "no talking
or smoking, lead off In single file, cov
ering party first."
This covering party consisted of 90
men, armed with rifles, bayonets,
bombs, and two Lewis machine guns.
They were to protect us and guard
against a surprise attack while dig
ging In No Man's Land.
The communication trench was
about half a mile long, n KiRzagging
ditch, eight feet deep and three feet
Now and again, German shrapnel
would whistle overhoml and burat In
our vicinity. We would crouch against
the earthen wails while the shell frag
ments "slapped" the ground above vs.
Once Frit* turned loose with a ma
chine gun. the bullets from which
"crocked." through the air and kicked
up the dirt on the top, scattering sand
and pebbles, which, hitting our steel
helnieta, sounded like hailstones.
. Upon arrival In the lire trench so
officer of th?. Royal Kotlneer* rave B?
uur instructions ?uU u< ied us gn'''?
- , _
We were to dig an advanced ttencb
two hundred yards from the German*
(the trencbe* at thla point were alx
hundred yard* apart).
Two winding lane*, Ave feet wide,
bad been rat throagb our barbed wire,
(or the paaaage of the diggers. From
tbe*e line* white tape had been laid
on the ground to the point where we
were to commence work. Thl? In or
der that we would not get lost In the
darkness. The proposed trenoh was
also laid out with tape.
The covering party went out first.
After a short wait, two scouts came
back with Information that the work
ing party was to follow and "carry on"
with their work.
In extended order, two yards apart,
we noiselessly crept across No Man's
Land. It was nervous work; everyt
minute we expected a machine gun to !
open fire on us. Stray bullets "cracked"
around us, or a ricochet sang over
Arriving at the taped diagram of
the trench, rifles slung around oar
?houTdeft, We lost no time in getting
to work. We dug as quietly as pos
sible but every now and then the noise
of a pick or shovel striking a stone
would send the cold shivers down ocr
backs. Under onr breaths we heartily
cursed the offending Tommy.
At Intervals a star shell would go up
from the German lines and we would
remain motionless until the glare of Its
white light died cut.
When the trench had reached ?
depth of two feet we felt safer, be
cause it vould afford ns cover In case
we were discovered and fired on.
The digging had been In progre*
?boat two hours, when snddenly hell
seemed to break looseMn the form of
machine-gun and rifle fire.
We dropped down on onr bellies In
the shallow trench, bullets knocking
up the ground and snapping In the air.
Then shrapnel batted In The music
was hot und Tommy danced.
The covering party was having a
rou^h time of it; they had no cover;
Just had to take their medicine.
Word was passed down the line to
beat it for our trenches. We needed no
?r^'ng; grabbing our tools and stoop
ing lo'w, we legged It across No Man's
Lund. The covering party got away
to a poor start but beat us In. They
must have bud wings because we low
ered the record.
ranting and out of breath, we tum
bled Into our front-line trench. I tore
my hands getting through our wire,
but. nt the time, dldnt notice It; my'
Journey was too urgent
When the roll was called we found
that we had gotten It In the nose for |
Our artillery pot a barrage on Frit*'
front-line and communication trenches
and their machine-gun and rifle fire <
Upon the cessation of this fire,
utretcher bearers went out to look for
killed and wounded. Next day we
learned that 21 of our men hod been
killed and 87 wounded. Five men were
imsslng; lost In the darkness, they
must have wandered over Into the Ger
man lines, where they were either
killed or captured.
Spenklng of stretcher bearers and
wounded. It la very hard for the aver
age civilian to comprehend the enor
minis cost of taking care of wounded
and the war In general. He or'she gets
so accustomed to seeing billions of dol
lars In print that the significance of
the ainuunt la passed over without
From an official statement published
In one of the London papers, It Is
stated that It costs between six and
seven thousand pounds ($30,000 to
000) to kill or wound a soldier. Till*
result was attained hy taking the cost
of the war to date and dividing It by
the killed and wounded.
It mny sound heartless and Inhumnn, f
bm It Is a fact, nevertheless, that from
a military standpoint It Is better for a
man to he killed thus wounded.
If a man Is killed he Is hurled, and
the responsibility of the government
censes, excepting for the fnct that his
people receive a pension. Rut If a man
Is wounded It takes three men from
the flr:-is line, the HMD HMl
t?v> " to curry !>..? to the rear to
the mi\uiM'eu ui?i-uui post. Here he 1*
attended T>y a doctor, perhaps nMist
ed by two R. A. U. C. men. Then he la
pot Into a motor ambulance, manned
by a crew of two or three. At tlic field
hospital, where he generally goes un
der an anesthetic, either to have his
wounds cleaned or to be operated on.
he require* the services of about threa
to five persons. From this point an
other ambulunce ride Impresaea more
men In his service, and then at the am
bulance train, another corpa of doe-1
tors, R. A. II. 0. men, Red Cross nurses
and the train's crew. From the train
be enters the base hospital or casualty
clearing station, where a good-sised
corps of doctor*, nurses, etc., are kept
busy. Another ambulance Journey Is
next In order?this time to the hospital |
sblp. He crosses the channel, arrives
in Rllfhty?more ambulances and per
hnps a ride for five hours on an Eng
lish Red Cross train with Its crew of
Red Cross workers and at last he
reaches the hospital. Generally he
stays from two to six months, or long
er. In this hospital. From here he Is
sent to a convalescent home for six
If by wounds he Is unfitted for fur
ther service, he_ Is discharged, given a
pension, or committed to a soldiers'
home for the rest of his life?nnd still
the expense piles op. "When you real
ize that all the ambulances, trains nnd <
ships, not to mention the mnn power,
osed In transporting a wounded mnn. |
could be used for supplies, ammunition
and re-enforcements for the troops at
the front, it will not appear strange
thnt from a strictly milltnry stand
point, a dead man Is sometimes better
than a live one (If wounded).
Not long after the first digging pnrtv.
our general decided, after a careful
tour of Inspection of the communlcn
tlon trenches, upon "an Ideal spot," as
he termed It, for a machine-gun em-1
placement; took his mnp, made a dot
on It, and as he was wont, wrote "dig
here," and the next night we dug.
There were twenty In tne party, my
self Included. Armed with picks,
shovels and empty sandbags we ar
rived at the "Ideal spot" and started'
digging. The moon was very bright,
but we did not care ns we were well
out of sight of the German lines.
We had gotten about three feet
down, when the fellow next to me, aft
er a mighty stroke with his pick, let go
of the handle, and pinched his nose
wi:h his thumb and forefinger, at the
name time letting out the explosion.
"Gott'strafe me pink, I'm bloody well
gassed, not 'alf I ain't." I quickly
turned In his direction with an Inquir
ing look, at theaame Instant reaching
for my gas hag. I soon found out what
was ailing him. One whlfT was enough
and I lost no time In also pinching my
nose. The stencn was awful. The rest
of the digging party dropped their
picks and shovels and beat It for the
weather side of that solitary pick. The
officer came over and Inquired why the
work had suddenly ceased, holding our
noses, we simply pointed in the direc
tion of the smell. He went over to the
pick, immediately clapped his hand
over his no*? made an "about turn"
and came bite]*. Just then our cap
tain came along and Investigated, hut
after abcjt a minute said we had bet
ter carry on with the digging, that h<
?lid not see why we should hav<
stopped as the odor was very fniul,
but if necessary he would allow us our
gas helmets while digging. He would
stay and see the thing through, but ha
had to report buck to brigade head
quarters immediately. We wished that
we were captains and also had u date
at brigade headquarters. With our gas
helmets on we again attacked that hole
and uncovered the decomposed body of
a German; the pick was sticking in his
chest. One of the men fainted. I was
that one. t'pon this our lieutenant
halted proceedings and sent word back
to headquarters and word came back
that after we filled In the hole we could
knock ofT for the night. This was wel- [
come tidings to ns, because?
Next day the general changed the
dot on his map and another emplace
ment was completed the following
The odor from the dug-up. decom
posed human body has nn effect which
la hard to descrllK*. It first [produces
a nauseating feeling, which, especially
after eating. causes vomiting This re- |
llevea- yon temporarily, but soon a
weakening sensation follows, which,
leave* you limp as a dlshrng. Youi
feplrlta are at their lowest ebb and you
feel a sort of hopelessness and a mnd !
desire to eacupe It all, to get to the
open fields and the iwrfume of the flow
ers In nighty. There Is a elinn
prickling sensation In the noatrlls.
which reminds one of brenthlng coal
gas through a radiator In the floor, an<!
you want to aneete, but cannot ThU
was the effect on me, surmounted by a
vugne horror of the awfulnesa of tl?
thing and un ever-recurring reflectlm
that, perhaps I, sooner or later, would
be In such a state and be brought to
light by the blow of a pick In the haada
of some Tommy on a digging part*
Several times I have experienced thla
odor, but never could get used to It;
the enervating sensation was always
present. It mnde me hate war and
wonder why Mich things were counte
nanced by civilization, and all the splea
and glory of the conflict would disap
pear, leaving the grlin reality. Hut
after leaving the apot and filling your
ljngs with deep breaths of pure, fresh
air. you forget and once again want to
be "up and at thera."
It waa alx In the morning when w?
arrived at our rest hllleta. and we were
allowed to aleep until noon; that la,
If we wanted to go without our break
fn?t. For rlTteen drra we remained
Entrance to a Dugout.
In rest billets, digging roads, drilling,
nnd other fatigues, nnd then buck Into
the frrnt-ilne trench.
Nothing happened thnt night, hut til"
next afternoon I found out thnt a
bomber Is gent.ml utility muu in u sec
About f.ve o'clock In the afternoon
our lieutenant cnine down the trench
nnd stopping In front of a bunch of us
on the Arc step, with a broad grin 01. j
bis face, asked:
"Who is going to volunteer for listen 1
Ing post tonight? I need two men."
It is needless to say no one volun
teered, because It Is anything but u
cushy Job. I begnn to feel uncomfor*
able as I knew it was getting around
for my turn. Sure enough, wltli another j
grin, he snld:
"Empey, you nnd Wheoier are due,
so come down Into my dugout for in
structions at six o'clock."
Just as he left and was going aronml
a traverse, Fritz turned loose with o
machine gun nnd the ballet* ripjied the
sandbags right over his head. It save
me |HQ| pleasure to see him <1 Mk
against the parapet. He was getting r 1
taste of what we would get later out1
Then, of course. It began to ruin. 1
knew It wns the forerunner of a nils
erable night for us. Every time I had
to go out in front, it just natural!)
_rnlned. Old Jupiter 1'luvius must have
had It In for me.
At six we reported for Instruction
They were simple and easy. All W. '
had tir do wns to crawl out Into N'
Man's Land, lie on onr bellies with oni J
ears to the ground snd listen for th< i
tap, rnp of the German engineers oi
sappers who t::ight be tunneling unde:
No Man's Land to establish n mine
head beneath our trench.
Of course, in our orders wc were tolii
not to be enptnred by German pntrolj j
or riW.nolU'rlng parties. lots o<!
breath Is wasted cc the western fro.'
jtfvlr.g >11 ly cautions.
As soon as It was dark. Wheeler ftr.i j
I'craw led to our post which was aliou
halfway between the lines. It wn?
raining bucketfuls, the ground was i.
sea of sticky inud and clung to us like
We took turns In listening with our
ears to the groun<i. I would listen for
twenty minutes while Wheeler would
lie on the qui vlve for Gentian patrols.
We each wore a wrlstwatch. nnd be
lieve me. neither one of us did over
twenty minutes. The rain soaked us
to the skin and our ears were full of |
Every few mlnntes a hnllet would
crack Overhead or a machine gun would
traverse back and forth.
Then all fl Ing suddenly censed. I
whispered to Wheeler. "Ket-p your eye
skinned, mate; most likely Frit* has
a patrol out?that's why the Bodies
have stopped firing."
w p wprp paen nnnni wim n riiie mm
bayonet and three Mil!* horeba to In
Used for defense only,
I hnd my ear to tlip ground. All o<
a sudden I hen rrt fntnt, itntl- thtirK
In a low hot excited vnlrp f wht?irr^;'
"to W fi87! er. "I think tTiey are nilnfnjj
He put hi* ear to the ground and
In tin unsteady voice spoli. Into nr
"Tank, that's a pntrol nnd It's hend
Ins our way. For God's sake kie]
I wns ?K still aa a mouse nnd was
sen red stiff.
Hardly brentlilng nnd with pyea try
Ini; to plerre the Inky h'acknesa, *i
wnlted. I would hnvp given a thou
mind pounds to have been safely li>
Tlipn we plnlnly heard footsteps nnd
our henrta stood still.
A dark form suddenly loomed up li>
front of me; It looked ns hi* as the
Woohvorth building. 1 could henr
the hlood rushing through my veins
nnd It aounded aa lotld ns Nlngnra
Forms seemed to emerge from ?he
darkness. There were seven t ll.e:n
In all. I tried to wish them away. I j
never w ished harder In tny life. They
muttered a few words In Herman snd
melted Into the blackness. I didn't .
?top wishing either.
All of a sudden we heard a stnmbls,
a muddy splash, and n mattered "Don
ner und Blltien." One of the Hochea
hnd tumbled Into a^ahell hole. NelHier I
of us laughed. At that time?It didn't
strike us as funny. .
About twenty minutes after the Oer
msns hnd dlsnnneared something from
/tit^. iv?.i gi'u|il*vu umt by ifuol I
nearly fainted with frlclit. Tb?* a
wrleom* whl*|H-r In a cockney acvat.
"I *'y. myte. *r"re come to relieve
Wheeler Bn I I erav)o<l hnck to our
trench: we looked Ilk* wot hens and
felt worse. After a swig of rum we
were soon fast asleep on the Are step
In our wet rlnthe*.
The next nmrnlnR I wns stiff ?? ?
P"ker nnd 4 very ?,.|nt ached like a
Ntd tooth, hut I was ttlll allrt, so It
did not nutter.
(.CONTINUED NEXT WEEK)
BASIS OF WAR
Says Dr. McElroy, Educational
Director of National Se
By DR. ROBERT M. McELROY.
Educational Director of the National
Why does America fight Germany?
Our Ideals are threatened with de
struction, r.nd we must light to main-*
turn mem. we
are Qgbting for
i h e fundamental
I dealt. lh> aspira
tions, which to- /
ilny are seething
In the vast poly
g I o t community
which we call the
United States of
America. That la
what we are tight
Jug for. we Amer
icans, whether of
Knglish blood, of
French or Italian
or Russian or
mini nave we in coinniun to cause
us to rise ut (he cull of a common Im
pulse and prepare to <lle for u common
cause? It would be easy to formulate
ttio ctinractejutlt Creams nf Uie !tu*
Alan, the Italian, the Belglun. the
Scotch, the Irish or the Portuguese. It
would be possible to catch the gleam of
Idealism which has given to the French
the glorious title of the "Hern XattoD."
But none of theae would suffice. We
must take a croaa section of all of
them, and a dozen more, to formulate
the Ideals which course In common
through them all after they hiire been
united into what we call America. For
It la common Ideals which have trans
formed the men and women of all theae
races and kindreds and tonguea Into
our nation, which stands today facing
the grim fact of war, a war to which
no tnnn dare call them In the name of
rnce, or language, or previous allegi
The President has placed our Inter
vention in this war upon a plane ot
Idealism to which every citizen, of
whatever race, may rally without los
ing hold upon the best traditions of
the land from which his forefathers
have come. It la not the call of a nar
row nationalism, but the call of world
Our entrance Into this war is no con
cession to the accursed gospel of force
and fraud. We wish frothing for oar
selves. but have resolved (to quote the
oft quoted words of our Prealdeot)
that "the world milst he made safe for
democracy?and I's peace?planned
upon the trusted ImisIs of political lllv
eny." We scorn the idea that "might
Is right." hut we are willing to take
our part In policing the world against
the mailmen who act upon that floe
"How High Your Ideals?" $
History will not u.sk us or any other
lint Ion. "How I>Ik wns yoilrjmuy?" but
'How high were your IdeatsT*1 Not
"How vast your navy?" but "What waa
yo.tr devotion' to Out;. ?" Kot "How
quirk I y couM you inobillBeT* bat
"What thought hnve yon contributed
toward the?lietlerotem ??# mnnkiBd?" ?
To those qttmtrtonn Germany cnn air
"swer; -f re fr ffftmtwr"Ri YW vfrtHtlW:
I<1? a of representation." for. as Montes
quieu tells us. the representative Idea
waa "born In the forests of Germany."
She will hnve to confess, however, that
she mat It out. s raked infant, in or
<fc*r to make room Tor the throne of
the jjreat. black Idol, military power,
ami today America and her allies are
marchlnyr In resist les# columns, carry
ing that foundling bark to Its home.
WHAT THE VICTORY OR DEFEAT
OF GERMANY MEAN8 TO ~ '
^Contributed by Pit!NCR ami PltlN
CKSS PIKURK TPoi'BKTZKOY lo
the National Security League * cam
l>aijcn of Patriotism Through K?luca
Wl at the German k'overnment means
by a "place In the sun" Is the extermi
nation of (lie |?eoplea whose aoll It
covets so that Oermans may replace
those fImiv have been exterminated.
The *> xtetrtatlc dee*rtt< lion of clell
iana in Belgium. northern France. Po
land. Serbia, and the acrvnl enalave
ment of the anrvlvom proves it?the
frequently boasted llem>aw j? <llcf of
blomf an?l iron" hnil the *1 mti of
Hate." which has become * iiatU>t*Mi
fc'ymn. proclalma It.
From the rmllmenfa! ron/||tlon of
ancb t. barbarism. a spiritual develop
ment was possible; *roin the i^om
plUhed Inhumanity J' a
HH.r. ? .?I'tttUim* ??r '? ??
^?? - J9
Or. n. M. McSlroy