Translated by L. G. Meyer.
he major enters abruptly, orders four men of the line he has brought with him to seize the dancers, and announces to us that he is going to draw up a report and send it to whom it may concern.
Calm is restored at last; the next day we get the nurses to buy us some eatables. The days run on without further incident. We are beginning to perish of ennui in this hospital, when, one day, at five o'clock, the doctor bursts into the room and orders us to put on our campaign clothes and to buckle on our knapsacks.
We learn ten minutes later that the Prussians are marching on Chalons.
A gloomy amazement reigns in the quarters. Until now we have had no doubts as to the outcome of passing events. We knew about the too celebrated victory of Sarrebrück, we do not expect the reverses which overwhelm us. The major examines every man; not one is cured, all had been too long gorged with licorice water and deprived of care. Nevertheless, he returns to their corps the least sick, he orders others to li
A strange war story that has no war. A young Frenchman, fresh out of college, is drafted by Napoleon III to fight the Prussians. He has all sorts of adventures trying to get to the war, but spends most of his time in hospitals.
The story certainly illustrates the confusion of wartime. I don't believe it is meant seriously, but doesn't have any huge laughs in it. The translation flows well, and the story held my interest.