The Revolt of Gunner Asch

The Revolt of Gunner Asch

The Revolt of Gunner Asch

The Revolt of Gunner Asch

Excerpt

Those already detailed -- fall out to the left!" shouted Sergeant Major Schulz, better known simply as "the Chief." His voice boomed out across the parade ground and went ricocheting around the barracks. It was a rich, powerful, self-satisfied sort of voice, rough with the smoke of many cigars and well lubricated with beer. Schulz liked the sound of it.

The men who had already had jobs allotted them trotted happily off to the left. Those who had not yet been detailed closed in mechanically to the right. Gunner Vierbein, who was one of those, found himself being squeezed out of his place in the ranks. He tried using his elbows to get back into line but soon had to give this up, and stood at attention just as he was.

"Wait for it!" shouted the Chief happily. "Not a movement anywhere! Still as statues!" And he looked across for a moment to the windows of his own private quarters in the barrack block. They were wide open. He could just make out his wife Lore standing behind the curtains and he felt sure that she was admiring him. The N.C.O.s in charge of the details had gathered round their Chief and tried hard not to grin. On the whole they succeeded, for they'd had a lot of practice at this sort of thing.

Gunner Vierbein stared straight ahead of him. He picked on a point where the wooden slats of a window in the building opposite intersected and glued his eyes to the spot. Lore Schulz's head appeared at the window, but the gunner forced . . .

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