Nathanael West: Not their fault, they thought they had bombed a hospital
From Good Hunting (1938)
This is exciting – my first experience under fire!
We’re going splendidly!
We always get this far!
It gives you a queer sensation not to hear the firing…
Cup your hand over your ear…
(GERALD does so)
That humming noise…like a swarm of bees.
Yes…I hear it!
That’s the war.
Sounds like a German…a Taub bomber…
Oh, will he drop something on us?
No – certainly not – we have an unwritten agreement with the enemy – we don’t bomb each other’s staffs.
(Suddenly there is a tremendous explosion – a part of the ceiling falls with a crash)
AD LIB FROM THE OFFICERS
The dirty Boches!
Bombing staff headquarters!
(FITZSIMMONS rushes to door and shouts outside as others mill around)
The dirty dogs!
What’s the war coming to!
Are they mad – bombing the staff!
(FITZSIMMONS appears at the door again)
It’s not their fault!
We forgot to take the red cross off the roof! They thought the place was still a hospital.