Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Great War: Vol, Chapter 5-2

Tuesday, July 28th. The air was already sticky with humid warmth as Walter hurried to the Cycleworks on Tuesday morning. Sunday, as they had been returning from their hiking trip, it had begun to rain, soaking them as they trudged back to the rural rail station. The rain had continued Monday, and Walter had wished angrily that the sun would return. Now it had, but the combination of wet and warmth was far more oppressive than the rain had been.

The newsboys were out in force in the streets, calling the day’s headline, “Serbia Offers Partial Capitulation!” With the mounting international crisis, and rumors of war now increasing daily, the news sheets were doing a brisk business: morning, afternoon and evening editions all had their readerships.

“Have you heard the latest?” were the first words Walter heard as he entered the workers room at the Cycleworks and hung his coat and cap on one of the forest of pegs.

“I saw the headline this morning was that Serbia agreed to Austria’s ultimatum.”

“Does that mean it’s all over? Danger past?”

“Not yet. They didn’t accept every demand. We have to see if the partial agreement is enough.”

“Austria ought to be satisfied with this. How much more do they expect?”

A week before there had been no talk of Austria and Serbia and world affairs. Now it was a source of commonality between friends and strangers alike. What’s the news? Have you heard? The crisis provided the first topic on all occasions, and like any other topic which draws all those in a large city together -- whether a sports championship or a natural disaster -- this shared experience provided a sort of closeness which was itself an attraction. Fear drove the interest, fear that war would break out. And yet, the excitement of the crisis was such that people did not quite want it to end.

The workers room hummed with news and speculation until at seven the starting bell sent everyone scurrying for their assigned places. Then the day became like any other, ruled by the rhythm of the assembly process.

Walter was at his station, welding the stays of a frame into place, when Kurt approached him.

“Meyer wants you. In his office.”

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