The Rough Road

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He smiled cheerily. Doggie condoled with him on the loss ofhis arm.
"Ah sure, " he replied, "and it might keep me out of a fight when I gointo Ballinasloe. " "Who would you want to fight?" asked Doggie.
"The dirty Sinn Feiners that do be always shouting 'Freedom forIreland and to hell with freedom for the rest of the world. ' If Ihaven't lost my arm in a glorious cause, what have I lost it for? Canyou tell me that?" Doggie agreed that he had fought for the greater freedom of humanityand gave hi
...m a cigarette, and they went on talking. The Irishman hadbeen in the retreat from Mons, the first battle of Ypres, and he hadlost his arm in no battle at all; just a stray shell over the road asthey were marching back to billets. They discussed the war, the ethicsof it. Doggie still wanted to know why the realities of blood and mudand destruction were not the true things. Gradually he found that theIrishman meant that the true things were the spiritual, undyingthings; that the grim realities would pass away; that from these deadrealities would arise the noble ideals of the future, which would besymbolized in song and marble; that all he had endured and sacrificedwas but a part of the Great Sacrifice we were making for the Freedomof the World.

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The Rough Road
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