Far away hounds don’t know how to flag.
A dream-fence would melt ere it crumbled,
And the dream-scent’s as strong as a drag.
Of course the whole field I have pounded
Lepping high five-barred gates by the score,
And I don’t seem the least bit astounded,
Though I never have done it before!
At last a glad chorus of yelling,
Proclaims my dream-fox has been viewed—
But somewhere some stove smoke is smelling
Which accounts for my feeling half stewed—
And somewhere the F.A.N.Y.s are talking
And somebody shouts through the din:
“What a horrible habit of snoring—
Hit her hard—wake her up—the train’s in.”
CONVOY PETS, COMMANDEERING, AND THE “FANTASTIKS”
We took turns to go out on “all-night duty”; a different thing from night guards, and meant taking any calls that came through after 9 p.m. and before 8 a.m. next morning.
They were usually from outlying camps for men who had been taken ill or else for stranded Army Sisters arriving at the Gare about 3 a.m. waiting to be taken to their billets.
It was comparatively cheery to be on this job when night guards were in progress, as there were four hefty F.A.N.Y.s sitting up in the cook-house, your car warm and easy to crank, and, joy of joys, a hot drink for you when you came back!
In the ordinary way as one scrambled into warm sweaters and top coats the dominant thought was, would the car start all right out there, with not a hand to give a final fillip once the “getting loose” process was accomplished?
Luckily my turns came round twice during night guards, and the last time I had to go for a pneumonia case to Beau Marais. It was a bright moonlight night, almost as light as day, with everything glittering in the frozen snow. Susan fairly hopped it! After having found the case, which took some doing, and deposited him in No. 30 hospital, I sped back to camp.
As I crossed the Place d’Armes and drove up the narrow Rue de la Mer, Susan seemed to take a sudden header and almost threw a somersault! I had gone into an invisible hole in the ice, two feet deep, extending half across the street. For some reason it had melted (due probably to an underground bakery in the vicinity). I reversed anxiously and then hopped out to feel Susan’s springs as one might a horse’s knees. Thank goodness they had not snapped, so backing all the way down the street again, relying on the moon for light, I proceeded cautiously by another route and got back without further mishap.
Our menagerie was gradually increasing. There were now three dogs and two cats in camp, not to mention a magpie and two canaries, more of which anon. There was Wuzzy, of course, and Archie (a naughty looking little Sealyham belonging to Heasy) and a mongrel known as G.K.W. (God knows what) that ran in front of a visiting Red Cross touring car one day and found itself in the position of the young lady of Norway, who sat herself down in the doorway! I did not witness the untimely end, but I believe it was all over in a minute.