• In a sanatorium in the Alps, the outbreak of war is announced and the invalids there make dire predictions of what is to come.
• 15 months into the war, the men of Cpl. Bertrand's reserve squad toil through another day of boredom.
• The men of the squad have disdain for the "Territorials," mostly old men, reinforcing the second line, but they admire the fierce Moroccan Division, which just arrived.
• With an offensive imminent, the squad is mustered to the front lines.
• Later, the narrator meets with his long-time friend, Cpl. Marchal. They discuss the war and the deaths of mutual friends.
• Volpatte and Fouillade become lost when pulled from the front and forgotten about. The narrator and Farfadet are sent to find them.
• Volpatte is found with a head wound that will put him in a hospital. He is happy about this and the others...
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