CHAPTER III

AT Epernay the station was wrecked; the corrugated tin of the roof hung in strips over the crumbled brick walls.

"They say the Boches came over last night. They killed a lot of permissionaires."

"That river's the Marne."

"Gosh, is it? Let me get to the winder."

The third-class car, joggling along on a flat wheel, was full of the smell of sweat and sour wine. Outside, yellow-green and blue-green, crossed by long processions of poplars, aflame with vermilion and carmine of poppies, the countryside slipped by. At a station where the train stopped on a siding, they could hear a faint hollow sound in the distance: guns.

Croix de Guerre had been given out that day at the automobile park at Chalons. There was an unusually big dinner at the wooden tables in the narrow portable barracks, and during the last course the General passed through and drank a glass of champagne to the health of all present. Every

-26-

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First Encounter
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • A Preface Twenty-Five Years Later 7
  • Chapter I 11
  • Chapter II 20
  • Chapter III 26
  • Chapter IV 38
  • Chapter V 61
  • Chapter VI 80
  • Chapter VII 107
  • Chapter VIII 135
  • Chapter IX 137
  • Chapter XI 157
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