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for the battalion. As the days lengthened the expedi-
tion started later, for we couldn't go beyond Bray
until after dusk. It was a roundabout journey of seven
miles, and if we started at three we were never home
before ten. But home we came, to find Monsieur
Perrineau solacing himself with Ormand's gramo-
phone: "But when I told them how wonderful you
were" or "Just a little love, a little kiss" (Perrineau
was hoping to go on leave soon, and his wife was
waiting for him at Pau).

There were times when I felt that I ought to be
somewhere else; I always went up to see my company,
and when they were in the front line I was reluctant
to leave them. One night (during the second time
they were in) I arrived while our batteries were
busily retaliating after a heavy afternoon bombard-
ment by the Germans, I had some difficulty in get-
ting up to the front line as the communication trenches
were badly knocked about. But I found the five "C"
company officers none the worse for having been
"strafed" with trench-mortars, and my visit seemed
to cheer them. I came home across the open country
that night (which saved three miles), and it was a
relief to leave it all behind me—the water-logged
trenches, and men peering grimly at me from under
their round helmets: riding home there was friendly
gloom around me, while the rockets soared beyond
the ridge and the machine-guns rattled out their
mirthless laughter. I left the mare to find her way to
the gap in the reserve trench line: (she never hesitated
though she had only been up that way once by day-
light). I was seeing the War as a looker-on, it seemed.