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"If only they'd left this crazy shooting for another week," said Mary, "a whole lot of those things would have been ready for pulling up. The onions is pretty near big enough to eat now, and I've half a mind to pull some o' them before that cock-eyed Hun lands a shell in me garden and blows it to glory."

Later he ran out, pulled an onion, a carrot, and a lettuce, brought them back to the cellar, proudly passed them round, and anxiously demanded an opinion as to whether they were ready for pulling, and counsel as to whether he ought to strip his garden.

"Now look here!" said the sergeant at last; "you let your bloomin' garden alone; I'm not going to have you running out there plucking carrot and onion nosegays under fire. If a shell blows your garden half-way through to Australia, I can't help it, and neither can you. I'll be quite happy to split a dish of spuds with you if so be your garden offers them up; but I'm not going to have you casualtied rescuing your perishing radishes under fire. Nothing'll be said to me if your garden is strafed off the earth; but there's a whole lot going to be said if you are strafed along with it, and I have to report that you had disobeyed orders and not kept under cover, and that I had looked on while you broke ship and was blown to blazes with a boo-kay of onions in your hand. So just you anchor down there till the owner pipes to carry on."

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Mary had no choice but to obey, and when at last the shelling was over he rushed to the garden and examined it with anxious care. He was in a more cheerful mood when he rejoined the others. "It ain't so bad," he said. "Total casualties, half the carrots killed, the radish-bed severely wounded (half a chimney-pot did that), and some o' the onions slightly wounded by bits of gravel. But what do you reckon the owner's going to do now? Has he given any orders yet?"

No orders had been given, but the betting amongst the Blue Marines was about ninety-seven to one in favor of their moving. Sure enough, orders were given to pack up and prepare to move as soon as it was dark, and the captain went off with a working party to reconnoiter a new position and prepare places for the cars. Mary was sent off in "the shore boat" (otherwise the light runabout which carried them on duty or pleasure to and from the ten-mile-distant town) with orders to draw the day's rations, collect the day's mail, buy the day's papers, and return to the village, being back not later than five o'clock.

It was made known that the position to which the captain contemplated moving was one in a clump of trees within half a mile of the position they were leaving. Mary was hugely satisfied. "That ain't half bad," he said when he heard. "I can walk over and water the garden at night, and pop across any time between the Tauby's usual promenade hours and do a bit o' weeding, and just keep an eye on things generally. And inside a week we're going to have carrots for dinner every day, and spring onions. Hey, my lads! what about bread and cheese and spring onions, wot?"

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