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Gislain and a fellow cavalryman identified as Private Margetta were among a group making its way along the edge of Barrett Lake. At one point, underbrush was so thick the soldiers were forced to wade into the lake.
Private Margetta’s horse stumbled. Weighted down by equipment, Margetta went down.
Gislain saw the impending tragedy. He discarded his equipment, ripped off his much-mourned shirt without thought for buttons or fabric, and dived in.
A minute later, he was back on the bank with Margetta, wet but safe. Out in the lake, Margetta’s horse still foundered.
A cavalryman isn’t much good without his horse, reasoned Gislain to himself with a speculative glance at Margetta. So he dived in again, risked thrashing hoofs in the dark water, and brought the horse to shore.
Now Gislain wants a new shirt."
The other was the article at the beginning of this entry. It, too, was in a scrapbook, kept during the war by Florence and Bruce Andrews of Stockbridge, Mass. It reads as follows:
Woman Swoons in Local Store at Sight of Sinatra Picture
At any rate, she passed dead away at sight of a cardboard picture of The Voice, according to Mrs. Edward Roan, manager of the department. Anxious employees, intent on rendering first aid, rushed to her prostrate form, but were rebuffed, and sharply, by two companions, who said smelling salts or any such nonsense just wasn't needed. They played one of "his" records to revive her and as soon as he came on, her condition took a sharp turn for the better.
Her eyes opened, and so did her voice. In a few seconds she and her associates in madness were splitting the air with screams that were a cross between frenzied delight and agonizing distress.
Employees were baffled, talked of evicting proceedings, but a tolerant general manager let them go. Punishment of their larynges continued through several more pieces to both the amusement and disgust of an ever increasing audience.
As they left, they placed heavily rouged lips on his lips, his eyes, his nose, his cheeks, and yes, his hair.
The date wasn't on the article in the scrapbook, but some years after meeting the Andrews I was able to find the original page at newspaperarchive.com. Due to the size of the page, the headlines are a little hard to read, so after "Russians Lunging for Odessa Hoping To Trap 100,000 Nazis," "Jap Invaders On Outskirts Of Imphal," "Too Few Men Caused Stalemate in Italy," "RAF Mosquitoes Hammering at Smashed Hamburg," "Tirpitz Victors Home in Triumph," and perhaps the most prophetic, as the paper is dated a month before D-Day, "General Denies Invaders Will Lose Heavily." (The general is none other than Omar Bradley). And the picture on Page 1 is of a B-24 returning from a mission in China.
On Saturday, November 9, at 1 p.m. I'll be talking about my new book, The Armored Fist, at the Stockbridge Library in Stockbridge, Mass. If you don't live too far away, I hope you can attend. For more information, visit the Stockbridge Library website.