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“...ankle-deep in Kraut mutuel tickets...”

It wasn't an outfit. It was just a couple hundred oddly assorted Tennesseans, Texans and Chicagoans who wanted to go back to their respective hills, ranches, and streets. When we reached the Rhine the Germans were using hazardous fire, over our head, toward an artillery emplacement to our rear. In his haste to get those eagles, The Man had brought us forty miles ahead of our clearing station: they were looking for us to their rear. We were supposed to be ten miles behind them, to evacuate their wounded. Instead we were raising ward tents, ankle-deep in Kraut mutuel tickets, on a bombed-out race track in the woods above Dusseldorf. We put up the whole circus at night, under fire, including a tent to be used as an officers' club - and that one was up before we could erect our own squad tents.

- Nelson Algren, "That’s the Way It's Always Been" (from The Neon Wilderness)

November 2, 2017 in Books | Permalink