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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 28, 1917


Without the slightest attempt at oratory, but with extreme modesty and in a boyish manner and conversational tone Robert Pelouze entertained the Elks lodge last night for over an hour with his descriptions of scenes he had witnessed at the war front in France, his impressions of the French soldiers and people and the German soldiers, and of the war in general, and told of a few of his own experiences and exhibited some war relics he brought home with him.

And all the while the 200 Elks present hung on his every word, drinking in many things they had not read in the newspapers. They could have listened for hours as this young man, just returned from four months at the front in the American ambulance service, who had seen big things, who had encountered big things and who had been under fire and had narrow escapes, and who hopes to be back at the front soon as a flyer in the American aviation corps, told of the horrors of war.

When at the close of the secret lodge session young Pelouze, in his uniform, escorted by Esquire Harry Tomlinson and carrying his bag of war souvenirs, entered the big lodge hall, the Elks arose to a man and vigorously applauded. Red in the face and laughing happily over this unexpected reception, Robert immediately after his introduction by Exalted Ruler Newbury began his talk.

Starting out haltingly and much embarrassed, he began by relating some humorous experiences that occurred while he was crossing the ocean to France, and his boat was attacked by a German submarine, and the gradually swung into his stride and with an earnest seriousness made a disconnected and therefore all the more interesting war talk, never hesitating, but jumping from one feature to another as the suggestion came to his mind. But each feature discussed was complete, though his auditors hungered for more of it.

Throughout his talk Robert dilated on his intense admiration for the French soldier and the French people in general, called attention to the fact that France, in a matter of soldiers, is about all in; lacks reserves, because all her able-bodied men have been and are in war service, and so many have been killed, seriously wounded or died of hardships and disease. "America must be ready with her army to relieve France and take up her burden by spring," said the speaker in a patriotic outburst of pleading for us all to do our bit.