Beside us lies a fair-headed recruit in utter terror. He has buried his face in his hands, his helmet has fallen off. I fish hold of it and try to put it back on his head. He looks up, pushes the helmet off and like a child creeps under my arm, his head close to my breast. The little shoulders heave. Shoulders just like Kemmerich's. I let him be.
The lost womenI need to know their namesthose women I would have walked with, jauntily the way men go in groupsswinging their arms, and the onesthose sweating women whom I would have joinedAfter a hard game to chew the fatwhat would we have called each other laughingjoking into our beer? Where are my gangs, my teams, my mislaid sisters?all the women who could have known me, where in the world are their names?
This good fellowship - camaraderie - usually occurring through the similarity of pursuits is unfortunately seldom super-added to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labors but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstances permit its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death - that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, besides which the passion usually called by the name is as evanescent as steam.