Translated by John L.B. Williams.
ome policemen were walking in solitary state along the sidewalk, which was deserted. The station master, to whom I presented my card, told me, in the most extraordinarily calm voice in the world, as if he had been doing the same thing every morning:
"Track number 5. Your train leaves at 6.27."
And the train left at 6.27, like any good little train that is on time. It had left quietly; it was almost empty. It had followed the Seine, and I had seen Paris lighted up by the peaceable morning glow, Paris which was still asleep. And I had rubbed my eyes, asking myself if I wasn't dreaming, if I wasn't asleep. Were we really at war? My eyes were seeing nothing of it, but my memory kept recalling the fact. It recalled the unforgettable scenes of those last days--that scene especially, at four o'clock in the evening on the first of August, when the crowd along the boulevard had suddenly seen the mobilization orders posted in the window of a newspaper office. A shout burst forth, a shout I shall hear unti
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