For some time now I have observed the first gesture of a soldier who has just received a letter. He tears it open hurriedly, and, without pulling it out of the envelope, rapidly fingers it to see whether it contains a postal order, …
I was out to-night with Deprez, when a woman, powdered and painted, with podgy-cheeks and a chest and stomach forming an undivided mass of shaking fat, accosted us:
“Do you know Corporal X ? Give him the best wishes from Alice. He’ll know. . . Alice is my name. . . . You won’t forget?. . . Poor old Joe ! . . .”
Then, as we prepared to go on our way:
“Won’t you come in?” she said, with the usual glance of invitation.
“No, thanks,” answered Deprez politely, “we haven’t got time.”
After we had gone a little farther, he added:
“That’s a message which I’m shot if I’ll deliver!”