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And Some Fell By The Wayside

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The echoes lose themselves among the dripping pines. The chaplain closes his book, takes off his spectacles, and departs.

Old Carmichael permits himself one brief look into his son's grave, resumes his crape-bound tall hat, and turns heavily away. He finds Captain Blaikie's hand waiting for him. He grips it, and says--

"Weel, the laddie has had a grand sojer's funeral. His mother will be pleased to hear that."

He passes on, and shakes hands with the platoon sergeant and one or two of Peter's cronies. He declines an invitation to the Sergeants' Mess.

"I hae a trial-trup the morn," he explains. "I must be steppin'. God keep ye all, brave lads!"

The old gentleman sets off down the station road. The company falls in, and we march back to barracks, leaving Wee Pe'er--the first name on our Roll of Honour--alone in his glory beneath, the Hampshire pines.

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The First Hundred Thousand
Ian Hay

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