Wooden Crosses CHAPTER I BROTHERS IN ARMS Although flowers were already scarce at this season of the year, none the less there had been found enough to bedeck all the rifles in the company, and, as rich in blossoms as a cemetery, the battalion, drums and fifes at its head, had poured helter-skelter across the town between two mute hedgerows of wide-eyed onlookers. With songs and tears and laughing and drunkards quarrellings and heart-rending good-byes they had gone on board their train. All night they had rolled along, had eaten their sardines and emptied their water-bottles by the wretched glimmer of a single candle; then, tired of their loud talk, they had gone to sleep, heaped up one against another, heads on shoulders, their legs intermingled with one another. Dawn had awakened them.
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