“We shot them”

“We were in a garden at Mons. Young Buckley came in with his patrol from across the river. The first German I saw climbed up over the garden wall. We waited till he got one leg over and then potted him. He had so much equipment on and looked awfully surprised and fell down into the garden. then three more came over further down the wall. We shot them. They all came just like that” (Hemingway 29).

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 2003.

Notes: The descriptions and actions in the passages are very direct. The German was described as having “so much equipment” and that he “looked awfully surprised.” The German “climbed” and they “waited” then “potted” him. The passage is also devoid of any emotion. The sentence “We shot them” is jarring in a way that something so powerful can be described in three words.

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