Anyway the war is over so far as they are concerned. But to wait for dysentery is not much of a life either.
I am often on guard over the Russians. In the darkness one sees their forms move like stick storks, like great birds. They come close up to the wire fence and lean their faces against it. Their fingers hook round the mesh.
A hospital alone shows what war is.
The later it gets the more disturbed the city becomes. I go with Albert through the streets. Men are standing in groups at every corner. Rumours are flying. It is said that the military have already fired on a procession of demonstrating workers.
They are more human and more brotherly towards one another, it seems to me, than we are. But perhaps that is merely because they feel themselves to be more unfortunate than us.
We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they might be ornamental enough in peace-time, would be out of place here.
Any non-commissioned officer is more of an enemy to a recruit, any schoolmaster to a pupil, then they are if they were free.
The crowd, still shouting, gives way before us. We plough our way through. Women hold their aprons over their faces and go stumbling away. A roar of fury goes up. A wounded man is being carried off.
On the steps is a machine-gun ready for action. The square is empty; only the streets that lead into it are jammed with people. It would be madness to go farther - the machine-gun is covering the square.