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hiked the gathland state park
branch of the appalachian trail.
read all quiet on the western front..
once i fall fast asleep. then wakening suddenly with a start i do not know where i am. i see the stars, i see the rockets, and for a moment have the impression that i have fallen asleep at a garden fete. i don't konw whether it is morning or evening. i lie in the pale cradle of the twilight, and listen for the soft words which will come, soft and near - am i crying? i put my hand to my eyes, it is so fantastic, am i a child? smooth skin; - it lasts only a second, then i recognize the silhouette of katczinsky. the old veteran, he sits quietly and smokes his pipe - a covered pipe of course. when he sees i am awake, he says: "that gave you a fright. it was only a nose-cap, it landed in the bushes over there."
i sit up, i feel myself strangely alone. it's good kat is there. he gazes thoughtfully at the front and says:
"mighty fine fire-works if they weren't so dangerous"
the cries continued. it is not men, they could not cry so terribly.
"wounded horses," says kat.
it's unendurable. it is the moaning of the world, it is the martyred creation, wild with anguish, filled with terror, and groaning.
we are pale. detering stands up. "god! for god's sake! shoot them."...those are the wounded horses. but not all of them. some gallop away in the distance, fall down, and then run on farther. the belly of one is ripped open, the guts trail out. he becomes tangled in them and falls, then he stands up again
"how many inhabitants has melbourne?" asks muller.
"how do you expect to succeed in life if you don't know that?" i ask albert hotly.
which he caps with: "what is meant by cohesion?"
we remember mighty little of all that rubbish. anyway, it has never been the slightest use to us. at school nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood - nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn't get jammed, as it does in the ribs
a hospital alone shows what war is