A sample from Chapter 12: St. George and the Angels of the Dark Cloud
All up and down our ragged line those still able to raise their voices shouted like men in a madhouse, “St. George! In the flesh! St. George! Come to do for England!”
“God save us!”
“Sweet saint, I’ll worship at your feet forever.” Some nearly wept. Heavenly reinforcements. And the soldiers about cried in relief, “Heaven’s knight, save us.” An instinctive moaning and involuntary sobbing, breath drawn deeply and quickly expelled.
Seemingly in reply to our cries the phantom warriors roared the ancient salutation, a summoning shout, though in speech of Chaucer’s day:
“Sente George! The longe bowe and the stronge bowe.”
The voices of all, as in chant or call, resounded above the shrieks and blasts of the artillery, machine guns, and rifles. “Comen we to saufe merrie Englonde!”
“Joynen as a bretherhede!”
“The bowe and the swerd, the launce and the pike!”
In words and speech closer to what we spoke, we heard the same pledge of aid. Their bloodcurdling yells died away. The officers of the King’s Own Something called out commands. The drummers beat the signals to the troops. The soldiers faced straight ahead. As if we weren’t there. As if they were real while we were not.
The celestial soldiers and cavalry covered the field, devouring the Germans before them. Blasts of horns and trumpets assailed the ear, fifes and drums tore the air, beat louder and louder until it seemed we were in the midst of interminable thunder.
In The Angel of Mons St. George and his horde of angels save the British not only at Mons, but again at the next battle. In reality, the fact that the British Expeditionary Force survived those two battles is considered vey much a military miracle. All the reason I needed to have St. George help again. This passage appears in “St. George and the AngeIs of the Dark Clouds” I had two scenes in mind, two ways I wanted St. George to save my Vickers machine gun crews. So I separated them, assigned them to two locations, being that there were only two Vickers guns for the entire company of one hundred soldiers. I had the Victors fighting here along a stone fence line. Elsewhere and later St. George saves the Ruffians when they and the company band—the musicians–are trapped in a quarry. This appears in the preceding chapter, “The Quarry, St. George, and the Angels of the Golden Mist of Salvation.”