“I make a hundred and fifty feet,” said Lieutenant Arthur McTeague, without taking his eyes from the binoculars.
“Decrease elevation two degrees,” called Lieutenant Augie Dechantagne.
“Ready!” called Corporal Worthy from the centermost 105mm howitzer.
“Fire!” There was a long pause and then a distant explosion.
“Oops. You’re long,” said McTeague. “I mean, longer.”
“Kafira damn it!” yelled Augie. “I said decrease elevation! Decrease!”
“Sorry sir! Ready sir!”
“On target,” said McTeague, after the wait.
“Lay down a pattern of fire!” The five guns began rapidly firing, only to be immediately reloaded and fired again.
McTeague lowered his binoculars and pulled his earplugs from his pocket. Stuffing them into his ears, he walked over to stand next to Augie.
“Why are we shelling this village again?”
“I didn’t ask,” Augie replied.
“Do you suppose they’re going to counter-attack?”
“It’s not my job to worry about it. It’s theirs.” Augie pointed to the line of Royal Marines, their red coats and white pith helmets clearly visible halfway between the guns and the lizzie village that was rapidly becoming a flaming hell.
“Well, I suppose they needed to be taught a lesson. Put the fear of God and his Majesty into them.”
“This will certainly teach them something,” said Augie.