TO MY READERS:
There are eighty thousand words in this book about Jimmy Perrin and his adventures in the World War. Before you begin the story, I want to upset all precedent and say two hundred words about myself.
I was there.
Many of Jimmy's adventures in the book were also mine. Under the auspices of the American Field Service, which supplied ambulance drivers for the French, I sailed for Europe on the Aurania in October, 1917, just as he did; and after being introduced to war with a submarine attack during the voyage, a Zeppelin raid in London, and a chaotic period in Paris, I went to Soissons and enlisted in the Reserve Mallet, described in Stars and Stripes, the official A. E. F. newspaper, as "that flying squadron of emergency transportation, that trundling troop of trucks, that charging company of camions found wherever a crisis develops."
So this story is based on first-hand knowledge. All of us, I suspect, are inclined to shy off from a yarn when we guess the writer is building wholly on what he has heard or read or imagined: Whatever the faults of this book, you may rest assured it is an honest picture and record. I was there.
So was the Jimmy Perrin of the story. Jimmy is the fellow I wish you might have been.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
BREAD OF ADVENTURE