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270 > Page 270 of Chit-chat : Nirvana ; The searchlight / Matt J. Holt.

The Searchlight but never within reach of her arms When can we ever marry7 On my pay it would take a thousand years to save a decent fee for the priest. Mother of God, be good to her! "Let's take a look at those poor devils up there in that hell of ice. No wonder our great poet pictures a section of hell as such a place. They can have no fire and must sleep with the dogs to keep warm. It looks grand in the light; but it is the graudeur of eternal winter, and eternal winter is death. It is a lonely beauti- ful region ten thousand feet above the sea. God and those boys alone will ever know the heart-bursting strain of placing their big guns, which were raised a few feet, day by day. What a land to live and fight and die in. The chasms, the sliding snow and the Austrians each de- mand and receive toll. Are the dug-outs and trenches and tunnels, in solid ice and rock, lonely places for those boys from Naples and Palermo When they look at the dolomite peaks which, too pointed to give the snow bed- ding, stick out from under the white spread of the moun- tain tops like big black horns, do they long for the azure sea and lemon groves No wonder they call the peaks the 'Horns of The Old One'; or that when my light falls upon them I think of ebon fangs protruding from white guns, and call the place 'The Mouth of Hell.' If those boys but show their heads above the crest the awful silence is broken by the roar of guns. What a life! Always under potential fire and for three years within range of the deadly machine gun and hand- grenade. "There seems little use for this searchlight tonight. The Austrians, if it be possible, are even more weary of the war, more discouraged and worse off than we. There's nothing doing; no airplare hovers above like a 270