[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

He Infantry officer that probably he and his men would so

Ty about those loafin' swine at home, but not a bloomin' word
about us 'ere. It makes me fair sick.' 'P'raps there wasn't time to
get it in,' suggested one of the
most persistent optimists. 'P'raps they'll have it in to-morrow.'
'P'raps,' said the disgusted one contemptuously,
'an' p'raps not. Look at the date of that despatch. Isn't that for
the day we was in the thick of it? An' look
what it says. Don't that make you sick?' And in truth it did make
them 'sick.' For their night and day of fighting--their defeat of an
attack, their suffering under shell, bullet, and bomb, their
nine killed and their
thirty-six wounded--were all ignored and passed by. The despatch for
day said simply: 'On the Western Front there is nothing to report.
All remains quiet.' THE PROMISE OF SPRING '_Only when the fields and
roads are sufficiently dry will the favourable moment
have come for an advance._'--EXTRACT FROM OFFICIAL DESPATCH. It is
Sunday, and the regiment marching out towards the firing line and its
turn of duty in the trenches meets on the road every now and then a
peasant woman on her way to church. Some of the women are young and
pretty, some old and wrinkled and worn; they walk alone

or in couples or threes, but all alike are dressed in black, and all
alike tramp slowly, dully, without spring to
their step. Over them the sun shines in a blue sky, round them the
birds sing and the trees and fields spread green and fresh; the flush
of healthy spring is on the countryside, the promise of warm,
full-blooded summer pulses in the air.
But there is no hint of spring or summer in the sad-eyed faces or the
listless, slow