mme ?a: ‘You will not have the opportunity, mon lieutenant, you being in the artillery and I in the infantry.’ And he laughed with good heart. ‘Anyhow,’ said he, ‘if you return to the village, when the war is over, without the military medal, and I am alive, I’ll make my mother do it, in the courtyard of the chateau, with her own scissors.’ I tell you this to prove to you that I know there is going to be war.” And the women, holding their blue bundles on their knees in the crowded compartment—for in democratic France demos is not allowed the luxu
ry of luggage-racks—looked at the future with anxious eyes. What would become of them? The government would take their men. Their men
would be killed or maimed. Even if the men returned safe and sound, in the meantime, how would they live?