By: Liam O’flaherty
A story about the Irish Civil War.
The story takes place in Dublin around the beleaguered Four Courts in the middle of The City where gunfire of heavy guns, machine guns and rifles break the silence of the Night, spasmodically, like dogs barking on lone farms.
The long June twilight faded into night. Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim Light of the moon that shone through fleecy clouds, casting pale light as of approaching Dawn over the streets and the dark water of the Liffey.
Republicans and Free Staters were waging Civil War.
On a roof-top near O’connell bridge a sniper lay watching. Beside him lay his riffle and over His Shoulders were slung a pair of field glasses, hungry and tired to perform his sole task- to Kill. He is a Republican.
“His face was the face of a student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of The fanatic, they were deep and thoughtful”. The eyes of a man is used to look at death. The sniper has been on the rooftop since the morning, now he eats sandwich and drinks Some whiskey, he risk lighting a cigarette for a quick puff, the light from the cigarette Alerts an enemy soldier to his presence, A bullet flies toward the sniper’s rooftop he puts Out the cigarette and switches position.
There was nothing to be seen – just the dim outline of the opposite housetop agains the blue Sky. His enemy was under cover.
Just then an armored car came across the bridge and advance slowly up the street. It stopped On the opposite of the street, fifty yards ahead. The sniper could hear the dull panting of the Motor. His heart beat faster it was an enemy car. He wanted to fire, but he knew it was useless, His bullet would never pierce the steel that covered the gray monster. And old woman comes and stops near the armored car, she points out the positions of the sniper To the soldier in the armored car, she is an informer.
The turret opened, a man’s head and shoulders...
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