As for the colonel, I didn’t wish him any hard luck. But he was dead too. At first I didn’t see him. The blast had carried him up the embankment and laid him down on his side, right in the arms of the dismounted cavalryman, the courier, who was finished too. They were embracing each other for the moment and for all eternity, but the cavalryman’s head was gone, all he had was an opening at the top of the neck, with blood in it bubbling and glugging like jam in a kettle. The colonel’s belly was wide open and he was making a nasty face about it. It must have hurt when it happened. Tough shit for him! If he’d beat it when the shooting started, it wouldn’t have happened.
All that tangled meat was bleeding profusely.
Shells were still bursting to the right and left of the scene.
I’d had enough. I was glad to have such a good pretext for making myself scarce. I even hummed a tune and reeled like when you’ve been rowing a long way and your legs are wobbly. “Just one shell!” I said to myself. “Amazing how quick just one shell can clean things up. Could you believe it?” I kept saying to myself. “Could you believe it!”
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