A boom in real estate on the western front has been started by an enterprising promoter of Amiens, who is evidently a forward looking man. In Paris newspapers the following advertisement appeared yesterday:
"For sale--A piece of land of ten hectares (twenty-five acres), furrowed by German and British trenches, right in the Somme battle centre, north of the Bois Foureaux and southeast of Martinpuich. Write Gardel, 10 Rue St. Lois, Amiens."
Paris is said to have been startled by the audacity; but why, if Parisians have faith in the star of Joffre? This select lot of land, scarred by trenches and craters, but still prolific in the hands of the intensive farmer, is French soil again. The buildings, it is true, have been shot to pieces and the trees, if there be any left, are blasted by shell and gas and may never leaf again, but one may till and sleep there in security unless the Germans "come back."
The price's the thing, no doubt. Is it a bargain? Possibly not, because the new owner could have the option of cultivating the ground and finding his market in Combes, or of staking out a battlefield and doing business with tourists when peace returns. What an opportunity for a man with the historic instinct! But will France permit showmen to desecrate the soil where her heroic sons have given up their lives for human liberty? The great battlefields of the war from the Somme to Verdun should be set apart and dedicated to educational and patriotic uses for all time. --New York Sun.