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When we rode down the slope to 71. North, that
familiar resort appeared much the same as usual, ex-
cept for the impressive accumulations of war material
which were dumped along the road. Durley remarked
that he supposed the old spot would never be the same
again after this week; and already it seemed to us as
if the old days when Mansfield and Ormand were
with our company had become an experience to be
looked back on with regret. The Bois Frangais
sector had been a sort of village, but we should
soon be leaving it behind us in our vindictive ex-
plorations of Rose Trench, Apple Alley, and Willow

On our way up to the Front Line we met a staff-
officer who was wearing well-cut riding boots and
evidently in a hurry to rejoin his horse. Larks were
rejoicing aloft, and the usual symbolic scarlet poppies
lolled over the sides of the communication trench;
but he squeezed past us without so much as a nod,
for the afternoon was too noisy to be idyllic, in spite
of the larks and poppies which were so popular with
war-correspondents. "I suppose those brass-hats do
know a hell of a lot about it all, don't they, Julian?9' I
queried. Durley replied that he hoped they'd learnt
something since last autumn when they'd allowed the
infantry to educate themselves at Loos, regardless of
expense. "They've got to learn their job as they go
along, like the rest of us," he added sagely. Five
sausage balloons were visible beyond the sky-line,
peacefully tethered to their mother earth. It was our
duty to desire their destruction, and to believe that
Corps Intelligence had the, matter well in hand*
What we did up in the Front Line I don't remember;
but while we were remounting our horses at 71. North
two privates were engaged in a good-humoured