Murray Leinster (June 16, 1896 - June 8, 1975) was one of the pseudonyms of William Fitzgerald Jenkins. He was a prolific American writer of science fiction and alternate history. He wrote over 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts and hundreds of radio scripts and television scripts. Some of his well known works include: A Logic Named Joe, The Med Ship Series, and The Forgotten Planet.
Tanksby Murray Leinster
The persistent, oily smell of fog-gas was everywhere, even in the little pill-box. Outside, all the world was blotted out by the thick gray mist that went rolling slowly across
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Two miles of American front had gone dead. And on two lone infantrymen, lost in the menace of the fog-gas and the tanks, depended the outcome of the war of 1932.
The persistent, oily smell of fog-gas was everywhere, even in the little pill-box. Outside, all the world was blotted out by the thick gray mist that went rolling slowly across country with the breeze. The noises that came through it were curiously muted--fog-gas mutes all noises somewhat--but somewhere to the right artillery was pounding something with H E shell, and there were those little spitting under-current explosions that told of tanks in action. To the right there was a distant rolling of machine-gun fire. In between was an utter, solemn silence.
Sergeant Coffee, disreputable to look at and disrespectful of mien, was sprawling over one of the gunners' seats and talking into a field telephone while mud dripped from him. Corporal Wallis, equally muddy and still more disreputable, was painstakingly manufacturing one complete cigarette from the pinched-out butts of four others. Both were rifle-infantry. Neither had any right or reason to be occupying a definitely machine-gun-section post. The fact that the machine-gun crew was all dead did not seem to make much difference to sector H.Q. at the other end of the telephone wire, judging from the questions that were being asked.
"I tell you," drawled Sergeant Coffee, "they' dead.... Yeah, all dead. Just as dead as when I told you the firs' time, maybe even deader.... Gas, o'course. I don't know what kind.... Yeh. They got their masks on."
He waited, looking speculatively at the cigarette Corporal Wallis had in manufacture. It began to look imposing. Corporal Wallis regarded it affectionately. Sergeant Coffee put his hand over the mouthpiece, and looked intently at his companion.
"Gimme a drag o' that, Pete," he suggested. "I'll slip y' some butts in a minute."
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