In the patches of woodland along the road we came upon more soldiers, cutting down pine saplings, chopping them into even lengths and loading them on hand-carts, with the green boughs piled on top.
In almost every one lay a soldierthe doctor's "worst cases"few of them wounded, the greater number stricken with fever, bronchitis, frost-bite, pleurisy, or some other form of trench-sickness too severe to permit of their being carried farther from the front.
The stir about the fountain, in the square before the Haute Mère-Dieu, was more melodramatic than ever.The first we came to was Laimont, a large village wiped out as if a cyclone had beheaded it; then comes Revigny, a town of over two thousand inhabitants, less completely levelled because its houses were more solidly built, but a spectacle of more tragic.The long straggling village lay on the river, and the trampling of cavalry and the hauling of guns had turned the land about it into a mud-flat.Iets dergelijks heeft Apple nog nooit eerder gedaan.War is the greatest of paradoxes: the most senseless and disheartening of human retrogressions, and yet the stimulant of qualities of soul which, in every race, can seemingly find no other means of renewal.We soon saw to what use they were put, for at every cross-road or railway bridge a warm sentry-box of mud and straw and plaited pine-branches was plastered against a bank or tucked like a swallow's nest into a sheltered corner.The scene in the restaurant is inexhaustibly interesting.
It was a pitiful contrast to the little church at Blercourt, with the altar lights twinkling above the clean beds; and one wondered if even so near the front, it had.
The main interest of the scene, however, is that it shows almost as many types as uniforms, and that almost all the types are so good.
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One looks instinctively, in the eyes of the passers by, for a reflection of that other vision, and feels diminished by contact with people going so indifferently about their business.
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