The Sniper

The Sniper

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  • The long June moonlight faded into night. Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon that shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light as of approaching dawn over the streets and dark waters of the Liffey.
  • On a rooftop near O'Connel bridge, a Republican sniper lay watching. Beside him lay his rifle and over his shoulders was slung a pair of field glasses. 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 who is used to looking at death,
  • Placing a cigarette between his lips, he struck a match, inhaled the smoke hurriedly and put out the light. Almost immediately, a bullet flattened itself against the parapet of the roof. The sniper took another whiff and out out the cigarette. Then he swore softly and crawled away to the left.
  • Suddenly from the opposite roof a shot rang out and the sniper dropped his rifle with a cruse. The rifle clattered to the roof. The sniper thought the noise would wake the dead. He stooped to pick the rifle up. He couldn't lift it. His forearm was dead. "I'm hit," he muttered.
  • I'm...hit
  • He must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He only had revolver to do it. Then he though of a plan. Crawling quickly to his feet, he peered up at the corner of the roof. His ruse had succeeded. Pressing his lips together, he took a deep breath through his nostrils and fired.     When the smoke cleared, he peered across and uttered in a cry of joy. His enemy had been hit.
  • Phew!
  • When the sniper reached the laneway on the street level, he felt a sudden curiosity as to the identity of the enemy sniper whom he had killed. He decided to risk going over to have a look. The sniper darted across the street. A machine gun tore up the ground around him with a hail of bullets, but he escaped. He threw himself downward beside the corpse. The machine gun stopped. Then the sniper turned over the head body and looked into his brother's face.
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