One of Ours
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Willa Cather was a prominent American writer best known for her novels on frontier life in the Great Plains. Cather also received the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for the novel One of Ours. In addition to One of Ours, Cather wrote other popular books such as O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. One of Ours is the story of Claude Wheeler, a Nebraska native around the turn of the 20th century. Wheeler is the son of a successful farmer yet struggles to find his purpose in life.
once in three months then. Some of the Tommies told me that when they got their first bath after Vimy, their skins peeled off like a snake's. What are you doing with my trousers, Bruger?" "Hunting for your knife. I dropped mine yesterday, when that shell exploded in the cut-off. I darned near dropped my old nut!" "Shucks, that wasn't anything. Don't keep blowing about it--shows you're a greenhorn." Claude stripped off his shirt and slid into the pool beside Gerhardt. "Gee, I hit something
visitor. Claude set to work on the frame, while the other went under the stone arches and brought back a roll of canvas,--part of an old tent, by the look of it. "Un héritage des Boches," he explained unrolling it upon the grass. "I found it among their filth in the cellar, and had the idea to make a pavilion for the ladies, as our trees are destroyed." He stood up suddenly. "Perhaps you have come to see the ladies?" "Plus tard." Very well, the boy said, they would get the pavilion done for a
gathered on her upper lip, and she breathed faster from her effort to see and understand everything. He told her about his mother and his father and Mahailey; what life was like there in summer and winter and autumn--what it had been like in that fateful summer when the Hun was moving always toward Paris, and on those three days when the French were standing at the Marne; how his mother and father waited for him to bring the news at night, and how the very cornfields seemed to hold their breath.
but she merely looked at him over her nose-glasses and said, "And is that so, Herr Julius!" One could see that she was a match for them. The conversation went racing from one thing to another. The brothers began to argue hotly about a new girl who was visiting in town; whether she was pretty, how pretty she was, whether she was naive. To Claude this was like talk in a play. He had never heard a living person discussed and analysed thus before. He had never heard a family talk so much, or with
fact!" The old man pressed a cigar upon him and began to question him. Like the hero of the Odyssey upon his homeward journey, Claude had often to tell what his country was, and who were the parents that begot him. He was constantly interrupted in his perusal of a French phrase-book (made up of sentences chosen for their usefulness to soldiers,--such as; "Non, jamais je ne regarde les femmes") by the questions of curious strangers. Presently he gathered up his luggage, shook hands with his