THE SHRIEK OF the troop train woke Eddie as they pulled abruptly to a stop.
‘Where are we?’ he said, wiping his mouth and feeling for his rifle, as though it were another limb. His yammering heart calmed as he found it, the grain of the Enfield smooth under his fingers. They had their rifles to hand at all times now, went to sleep with them, as they might have with their teddies as small boys, though the rifles made poorer bedfellows.
‘We’re near Wipers,’ the tow-haired lad opposite him said. He had a trace of crumb about his lips. Earlier, Eddie had seen him filling his gob with biscuits from a tin with kittens on the lid, sent over by his mother or sweetheart. Fellows had once shared such gifts from home, Eddie reflected.
He rubbed his bloodshot eyes, irises as blue as their... Read more
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