AUTHOR OF "A MAN'S MAN," "A SAFETY MATCH," "THE RIGHT STUFF," "THE FIRST HUNDRED THOUSAND," ETC.
BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1921
COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY IAN HAY BEITH
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
H. M. B.
TO THE READER
One is informed that novels touching upon the war are no longer read. This, if true, reduces the novelist to the following alternatives:
(1) Writing a novel of some period of the world's history antecedent to the year nineteen-fourteen. This is undoubtedly a wide field—the Christian era alone covers twenty centuries—but it has been cultivated by several writers already.
(2) Writing a post-war novel in which it is assumed that the war never happened. This would make it rather difficult to know what to do with the graves of our dead.
(3) Writing a post-war novel about people who took no part in the war. This would restrict one's choice of hero, heroine, and characters generally to Certified Lunatics, Convicts in residence, and Conscientious Objectors.
I have therefore decided to take a chance. The tale which follows is based:
(a) Upon a frank admission that there has been a war.
(b) Upon a humble belief that the people chiefly worth writing about in these days are those who gave body, soul—everything—to win that war.