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When I asked his opinion about the Raid he looked
serious, for he liked Mansfield and knew his value as
an officer. "From all I hear, Kangar," he said, "it's a
baddish place for a show of that kind, but you know
the ground better than I do. My own opinion is that
the Boches would have come across themselves before
now if they'd thought it worth trying. But Brigade
have got the idea of a raid hot and strong, and they've
nothing to lose by it one way or the other, except a
few of our men." I asked if these raids weren't a more
or less new notion, and he told me that our Battalion
had done several small ones up in Flanders during the
first winter; Winchell, our late Colonel, had led one
when he was still a company commander. The idea
had been revived early this year, when some Canad-
ian toughs had pulled off a fine effort, and since then
such entertainments had become popular with the
Staff. Our Second Battalion had done one, about a
month ago, up at Cuinchy; their Quartermaster had
sent Joe the details; five officers and sixty men went
across, but casualties were numerous and no prison-
ers were brought back. He sighed and lit a cigarette.
"It's always the good lads who volunteer for these
shows. One of the Transport men wanted to send his
name in for this one; but I told him to think of his
poor unfortunate wife, and we're pushing him off on
a transport-course to learn cold-shoeing."

Prodding the ground with my stick, I stared at the
Transport lines below usa few dirty white bell-tents
and the limbers and wagons and picketed horses. I
could see the horses' tails switching and the men
stooping to groom their legs. Bees hummed in the
neglected little garden; red and grey roofs clustered
round the square church tower; everything looked
Sunday-like and contented with the fine weather.