Then, Before They Knew Where
They Were, They Learnt That (1) No One Could Go In Or Out Between
Sunset And Sunrise Without Leave Of The Officer In Command; (2) That
From Being A Village They Had Become The 'buildings Situate Within
18'; (3) that they were to be deluged with soldiers; and (4)
that they were liable to evacuate their tenements on mobilization.
They had become a fort unwittingly as they slept, and all their
streets were blocked with ramparts.
A hard fate; but they should not
have built their village just on the brow of a round hill. They did
this in the old days, when men used stone instead of iron, because the
top of a hill was a good place to hold against enemies; and so now,
these 73,426 years after, they find the same advantage catching them
again to their hurt. And so things go the round.
Anyway Villey the Dry is a fort, and there my four brothers were
going. It was miles off, and they had to be in by sunrise, so I
offered them a pull of my wine, which, to my great joy, they refused,
and we parted courteously. Then I found the road beginning to fall,
and knew that I had crossed the hills. As the forest ended and the
sloping fields began, a dim moon came up late in the east in the bank
of fog that masked the river. So by a sloping road, now free from the
woods, and at the mouth of a fine untenanted valley under the moon, I
came down again to the Moselle, having saved a great elbow by this
excursion over the high land.
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