dedalus Posted February 8, 2013 Share Posted February 8, 2013 The girls come out in the morning and wave their hands, they wave to their brothers and uncles and fathers marching bravely away to the war, their green banners unfurling in the breeze, the band centred on a great bass drum. Now the war is over. Nobody knows what to think. Have we really won? And what is this winning about, then, when there is no more brother George or Jim, nor Uncles Tommy, Francis (Frank) or Joe? Nor Jimmy or Pat from down the road. This Great Victory takes some thinking when barbed wire crosses your heart and you’re no longer living with mud and shit and oily rats, who run over you, the cheeky fff… Well, we no longer use those Army words. We return in a way to the world we came from. They thought, I think, we could slip back in as though we’d been away on holiday in France and tripping the light fantastic, never mind the poison gas, the machine guns and the shells, and I was told, sharply, to call a fat man “Sir!” if I had a thought to keep my shaky job. With the money I lifted, I went back to Ireland and contacted the IRB. I’d been a regular sergeant so I put them through their training, British-style, but we had no flow of guns. What we need, now, is to steal the fuckin guns from the Po-liss, from the RIC, the Royal Irish Constabulary. This was neatly done. It was so simple. In fact, they almost handed them over as they were country lads, same as ourselves, and thinking of their salaries and pensions and a cosy seat beside the fire. In addition, they had this strong aversion to getting shot. I remember Jimmy, ex-corporal in the Dubs, waving about his enormous German pistol and they’d jump like fuckin rabbits, God Bless ‘em, reconsidering in a flash all previous reluctance to provide some useful information. In this way we didn’t lose the war. But we didn’t win it either. Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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