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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Great War, Vol 2: Chapter 2-2

I apologize for the long delay -- various events in life intervened -- but this is also a nice long section, almost double the average length. One more section for Henri to come in order to complete Chapter 2.

Near de Perthes les Hurlus: Champagne , France. March 13th, 1915 “A man with that attitude has no business commanding any unit. What example does he set for the men under his command?”

There had been times when Henri had asked himself this same question, but not about matters such as the one needling the inspector commandant facing him. “I understand, sir,” he said, giving a slight bow. “I will speak to Sergeant Sellier about his decorum.”

The commandant’s carefully waxed mustache twitched and he passed his walking stick from one hand to the other. “I would not presume to tell you how to manage discipline in your command, Captain Fournier. But I advise you to do something. I advise it strongly. Pride and discipline are what distinguishes an army from an armed mob. Never forget that, Fournier. We cannot control a mob. We create one to our peril.”

Henri and the commandant exchanged salutes, and then the commandant turned to his car. The corporal wearing transport insignia who had been hanging discretely back while the officers spoke now hurried to open the door of the shiny blue Panhard Levassor, from the hood of which a little 4th Corps flag fluttered. He closed it on the commandant, and turned to give Henri a quick smile and shrug before going around to driver’s door and starting the engine with a full-throttled roar.

As the car churned away, throwing up mud from the rain-soaked road behind it, Henri considered the merits of the situation. If he failed to discuss the incident at all with Sellier, it would encourage more behavior of the same sort. If he took disciplinary action… Sergeant Sellier’s cleaning section was beginning to show real promise as specialized trench fighters. That brought some rough edges. He’d have a few words with the sergeant about the treatment of staff officers visiting from Corps Command, and with luck there would be a chance soon enough for the newly promoted NCO to expend his energies in other ways.

[Continue Reading]


Jeff said...

This is great, it flows well and even though this is the first chapter I've read the characters were distinct and interesting right off the bat.

I see you worked in your 'Last of the Mohicans' dilemma from a few weeks ago too.

Darwin said...

Thanks, I appreciate it.

And yes, even as I was writing the post I realized it would be a great character bit for the people I was trying to flesh out.