All Quiet on the Western Front

By Erich Maria Remarque; A. W. Wheen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

KILLING each separate louse is a tedious business when a man has hundreds. The little beasts are hard and the everlasting cracking with one's fingernails very soon becomes wearisome. So Tjaden has rigged up the lid of a boot-polish tin with a piece of wire over the lighted stump of a candle. The lice are simply thrown into this little pan. Crack! and they're done for.

We sit around with our shirts on our knees, our bodies naked to the warm air and our hands at work. Haie has a particularly fine brand of louse: they have a red cross on their heads. He suggests that he brought them back with him from the hospital at Thourhout, where they attended personally on a surgeon-general. He says he means to use the fat that slowly accumulates in the tin-lid for polishing his boots, and roars with laughter for half an hour at his own joke.

But he hasn't much success to-day; we are too preoccupied with another affair.

-75-

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All Quiet on the Western Front
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 18
  • Chapter III 34
  • Chapter IV 50
  • Chapter V 75
  • Chapter VI 98
  • Chapter VII 138
  • Chapter VIII 189
  • Chapter IX 201
  • Chapter X 233
  • Chapter XI 268
  • Chapter XII 289
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