7th to 11th May (1918)

Have been amusing the establishment with drawings of my companions.  Jock is writing a letter on his to send his wife.  The plebeian considers I have given him too wild a glare in the eye.  In mortal combat with Demon Mud, in plastic form on the ground, and in concrete stalactites on the mules.  The weather is getting like the moist head of Auckland.  Not that I’ve got any quarrel with Auckland.

Broad marks across the fields show where tanks have passed, pressing the young crops down into the soft earth.

Good tobacco being temporarily unobtainable I’m making shift with a vile concoction of issue stuff and a sort of black-twist costing the huge sum of 2½d a stick.  Though so unlike our bush in matters of detail and lack of undergrowth, the tout ensemble of these old-world woods is reminiscent of our own.  Patchy grass in place of our undergrowth showing up the boles of the trees and giving a spacious air.  The sound, too, of a chorus of birds of the one hemisphere is very like that of the other.

I was deceived in Duron Lagniez.  I thought him a land salesman.  After “long argument about it and about it” I must admit that it is the iron gates, on which his legend appears, of which he is, or was, the “constructeur”.  I now picture him as a master smith with a square black beard and authoritative bearing, his very gait recrudescence of business.  We hear that the redoubtable Von Mackensen is after our gore, but are more put out to hear that the Colonel is going to spring a surprise visit on us soon.

Lincoln Lee sketch - Driver Jones - Our Bivvy of Bus 1918

[Image: Sketch by Lincoln Lee, titled “(Driver Jones) Our ‘Bivvy’ of Bus 1918”]

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