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intercept Allied messages, succeeded -and got an awful jolt. Messages in English, a considerable number of them, suddenly began to fill the air. They were in code, of course, but a code the Germans could decipher, and when they did they came to this astounding conclusion: A great many American troops-they identified the wireless stations of half a dozen divisions were moving up to the front, east of Verdun and northwest of St.Mihiel, behind the thin screen of French troops who held the front-line trenches there. They belonged to a new American Army, the Tenth, and were exchanging messages which, though carefully worded, could only mean that a general attack might be expected.

General Drum and Colonel Parker Hitt, the radio expert of the army, were creating an American Tenth Army for the first and only time in the history of the A.E.F., from a few radio stations—a feat unique in our military annals.

The intercepted and decoded messages were considered so important that they were sent immediately to Hindenburg and Ludendorff. They knew another American blow must fall soon, somewhere. Apparently here was the priceless intelligence that told where. Orders went out to hasten preparations for defense of the front on each side of Metz, from east of Verdun to the Vosges, and to redouble vigilance in seeking information about the coming American attack. Besides this, such reserves as could be spared from other parts of the front must be massed in German Alsace and Lorraine, and east of the Meuse.

That is why, when on the morning

of September 26 the nine attacking American divisions, two hundred and forty thousand men, jumped off west of the Meuse all the way to the Argonne Forest, they found immediately facing them only five weak German divisions, sixty thousand men. They were able to advance, at some places, seven miles before the Germans could bring to the real point of danger the reserve divisions that had been awaiting elsewhere the attack that never came. This took two or three days, and meantime these American divisions, most of them inexperienced in battle, had dealt the Germans one of the hardest blows of the decisive campaign of 1918.

24

When the battle which began that September 26 ended on November 11 in victorious armistice, the Intelligence Section set out to find how its practical joke had looked from the other side. It came in contact with an officer of the German Intelligence who, even now, must be called only Colonel X. During the war he had the very important job of receiving and acting on information, from whatever source, that came in about Allied plans and movements. He had been on the receiving end of all the decoy misinformation, and he had duly weighed the reports of the American activities in Alsace. Then he had written to Ludendorff:

"I recognize quite fully that all these preparations made for attack may perfectly well turn out to be a ruse de guerre intended to mislead us as to the real point of attack. However, there is nothing to indicate that it is not the real point of attack, and our danger there is so great that I

deem it imperative to have these divisions."

Upon this advice Ludendorff sent the thirty-six thousand men to Alsace. Then indications of the coming battle of Lorraine, the converging attack upon Metz, began to pour in upon Colonel X. The wireless messages, the tank tracks, the airplane flights, the artillery fire, all were carefully studied. The German troops were still so disposed as to protect the southern front against the new danger.

Ludendorff took that danger very seriously, for the southern sector, that of Alsace and Lorraine, was of the whole Western Front the section nearest the Fatherland. A breakthrough there meant invasion. In his mind's eye, Ludendorff saw Metz overwhelmed by a shimmering flood of bayonets that poured onward toward the Rhine. The Central PowThe Central Powers were crumbling; already Bulgaria had collapsed. Threatened with desertion by her allies, no wonder Germany looked to the strengthening of her own defenses.

Crashing blows were dealt those defenses in late September by all the Allied armies on the Western Front, coördinated in masterly fashion by Marshal Foch. On October 2, the leaders of all parties in the German Reichstag assembled to hear a report from Ludendorff of conditions at the front. Much depended on that report, for if the German Army could not hold out there, the jig

was up.

When they heard the report, they concluded that the jig certainly was up. The report was delivered by Major Baron von dem Bussche, of

General Ludendorff's staff, who had memorized and repeated almost verbatim what Ludendorff had told him to say.

"Things are bad now," was its burden. "They will get worse, not better."

He said, word for word:

"From the North Sea to Switzerland, preparations for attack are in progress. The most extensive are against Lorraine and Upper Alsace, and we are forced to distribute our reserves and to keep the whole front in a state of readiness for the attack. Considerable forces have to be stationed especially in Lorraine and Upper Alsace, for the defense of German territory."

The battles of Alsace and Lorraine had done their work. After emphasizing the danger that these "battles" represented to him, Ludendorff gave many other reasons why there was only one thing to do—seek an armistice. Germany's allies were falling away; her own armies were being rolled back slowly but inexorably. The German soldier was losing his nerve; to-day he still fought; to-morrow-who could tell? There was talk of revolution. The Reichstag leaders listened to the voice of doom. Soon after, an armistice was asked-the armistice that took effect at eleven o'clock on November 11, 1918.

So two battles that never were fought, and never were meant to be fought, helped to end the world's greatest war. It was a neat piece of work, of which General Pershing could say afterward, laughing delightedly:

"Rather think we foxed 'em."

G

SMILING TO THE END

FRANKLIN HOLT

INA WAS a scrawny pale-faced little Italian girl when I met her in Genoa in 1916. I am not sure just what her age was, but I think she must have been about eight, judging from her meager little frame.

Ragged,

undernourished, and rather dirty, she appeared before me one day where I sat on a bench in the park. In her thin little arms she held her baby brother, Vittorio. Together they regarded me with steady and unembarrassed curiosity. I observed

observed that Vittorio would have been more sightly if some one had kindly but firmly blown and wiped his nose for him. Neither he nor Gina seemed to be distressed by it, however.

After I had sustained their silent examination for what Gina evidently considered a genial and propitious length of time, she volunteered the information that her father had that morning been sent to the front. "He'll never come back again," she stated in conclusion.

"But why?" I demanded, startled by her matter-of-fact tone.

"He's sickly. Mother says he'll die of exposure up there in the mountains if the Austrians don't kill him first." She spoke with the calm resignation of one used to meeting misfortune frequently, who realized the futility of the struggle against life,

"But it may be good for him-the fresh air," I protested.

"It will kill him," Gina stated firmly, "and then mother and I will have to run the tailor-shop alone. Mother can cut almost as well as father. I sew the buttons, but now I don't have much time on account of taking Vittorio out in the park. When he dies, though, I'll be able to help more."

"Is the baby going to die?" I asked in awe.

"All mother's babies die. Vittorio is sickly like father. He's almost two now, and the last one died when he was two years and twenty-one days." She looked at Vittorio with affectionate regret, tossed him, and then set him with motherly solicitude down among the warm pebbles of the park path. Looking up at me again she announced with abrupt satisfaction, "Your pants are ripped."

"Are they?" I pretended surprise, though as a matter of fact I had known for some time that such was the case, and had learned to assume a posture while sitting which I had believed concealed my misfortune from the public eye. Nothing escaped the keen eyes of Gina, how

ever.

"Yes, they are," she said positively. "It's a bad one too—and will get worse if you don't get them

sewed. Mother will do it for you cheap because you are a friend of mine." There followed a silence while shrewd eyes looked me over. "There's a button gone off your sleeve, and your lapels are all spotted with grease." There was There was a note of feminine reproach in her voice that recalled similar observations made by my mother. "It doesn't pay to let your clothes run down," Gina continued. "You come with me, and mother will fix everything fine for you-while you wait," she added, reading reluctance in my face, and assuming probably that it was caused by unwillingness to lose time. She didn't know, of course, as I did that I had in my pocketbook only eighty Italian lire, or the equivalent of eight dollars at that time, and that with those eighty lire I must manage to finish the month-food, lodging, and laundry-and that more money would not be forthcoming from the school of languages where I taught English until the first of the next month.

"How much would it cost?" I asked tentatively.

"Two lire," was the prompt and businesslike reply. "Come on." She lifted Vittorio into her arms again and set off.

We found Gina's mother, the Signora Sarti, sitting in rather a dark room and working at a soldier's uniform.

"It's for my husband," she told me. "He looked so terrible in the uniform they gave him. It didn't fit at all; and him a tailor, you know. He was ashamed. He'll be so surprised when I send him this."

Gina set Vittorio down, took a piece of the gray-green uniform cloth

between expert fingers, and rubbed it.

"Wool, mother!" she exclaimed. "Where did you get money for it?" Signora Sarti looked deprecatingly

at me.

"We're poor, you know," she apologized, “and Gina is such a business woman!" This last was said admiringly. "We always send her to buy things. She gets them cheaper than we can."

"I don't let 'em cheat me," Gina asserted proudly. "I bargain." Her keen eyes now flashed to her mother. "You "You sold your earrings!" she accused. "You hadn't ought to. They were grandma's." Mother and daughter crossed themselves with a simple gesture of respect for the dead.

"Buon' anima!" Signora Sarti murmured religiously. "They're only pawned," she added. "I'll get them back before they're lost."

"No, you won't, and you know it," Gina corrected with that firmness which characterized all her statements. "They're gone for good."

"Father was so miserable about his ugly uniform," Signora Sarti defended, misty tears already in her eyes. "He couldn't bear an illfitting suit." She looked at me for appreciation, and I in turn looked at Gina. Somehow, with her sophisticated eight years, she dominated us both.

"Yes, that's so," Gina agreed heartily. "Don't cry about it, mother. Though I don't know how you will manage now to pay for Vittorio's funeral."

"I know," sighed Signora Sarti. "He's such a good baby too; never cries. Gina," she added, "take a

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"And how is your husband?" I asked one day about three weeks after the first encounter.

"He doesn't mind it. Says he is feeling better."

"Ah!" I cried in triumph to Gina. "Didn't I say it would do him good?"

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Gina, however, shrugged pessimistic shoulders. "It isn't over yet,' she predicted. "If he doesn't sicken, then the Austrians will kill him."

Signora Sarti, whose face had brightened for an instant, now looked tired and hopeless again.

"The child sees into the future," she whispered with awe. "She is always right. I don't know what I'd do without her. She can interpret dreams."

"I see visions," Gina added serenely. "I saw father lying wounded under some barbed wire last night." "Not dead!" gasped Signora Sarti.

"No. He wasn't dead then," answered the extraordinary child, and if I hadn't already had abundant proof to the contrary I should have believed her to be an unfeeling little ghoul, such was her sang froid, I might almost say her satisfaction, in speaking of death.

"But you mustn't believe in dreams and visions," I told them. "That is just plain superstition. They don't mean anything at all."

The mother looked surprised, almost as if I had pronounced a heresy, yet I could see hope struggling in her ignorant pathetic face. She believed I must be well informed because I was a professore in a school. Also she wanted to believe that Gina's vision was wrong. She loved her husband.

"You don't believe in dreams?" she questioned doubtfully.

"Certainly not!" I assured her. "Dreams are rubbish."

"He says dreams are rubbish, Gina. Perhaps it's all right with your father." The mother looked pitifully at her daughter for support, but that strange little pallid-faced child held her ground tenaciously.

"I saw father wounded, lying all bloody under a mess of curled-up barbed wire."

"She saw him," Signora Sarti whimpered.

"Bloody, with the barbed wire on top of him," added Gina, as if describing an actual fact. "I couldn't see his face."

"Ah!" I exclaimed, desiring desperately to dissipate the ugly impression their superstition had thrown them into. "You see? You couldn't see his face. n't see his face. I'm sure it wasn't your father."

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