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There were several of us on board (each Battalion
in our Brigade was sending two officers) and we must
have stopped at the next village to pick up a few
more. But memory tries to misinform me that Flook
and I were alone on that omnibus, with a fresh breeze
in our faces and our minds "making a separate peace"
with the late April landscape. With sober satisfaction
I watched a train moving out of a station with rum-
ble and clank of wheels while we waited at the cross-
ing gates. Children in a village street surprised me: I
saw a little one fall, to be gathered, dusted, cuffed
and cherished by its mother. Up in the line one some-
how lost touch with such humanities.

The War was abundantly visible in supply-con-
voys, artillery horse-lines, in the dirty white tents of a
Red Gross camp, or in troops going placidly to their
billets. But everyone seemed to be off duty; spring
had arrived and the fruit trees were in blossom;
breezes ruffled the reedy pools and creeks along the
Somme, and here and there a peaceful fisherman for-
got that he was a soldier on active service. I had been
in close contact with trench warfare, and here was a
demonstration of its contrast with cosy civilian com-
fort. One has to find things out as one goes along, I
thought; and I was whole-heartedly grateful for the
green grass and a miller's wagon with four horses,
and the spire of Amiens Cathedral rising above the
congregated roofs of an undamaged city.

The Fourth Army School was at Flixecourt, a clean
little town exactly halfway between Amiens and
Abbeville. Between Flixecourt and the War (which
for my locally experienced mind meant the Fricourt