Chapter V. Paris Again - And Bordeaux: Journal of a Flight from a London Fogs

We went out for a walk in the frosty air before turning in. There was scarce a soul in the streets, but at the other end of the town a handful of young fellows passed on the other side singing. They were boys of the 1915 class who had been called out and in a few days would be getting ready for war. In Paris you will see young fellows just like them, decorated with flags and feathers, driving round town in rattle-trap wagons like picnic parties returning on a summer night at home. Arm in arm and keeping step, these boys of Saintes were singing as they marched:

"Il est rouge et noir et blanc, Et fendu au derriere - d."

"He's red, white, and black, And split up the back!"

They saw themselves, doubtless, marching down the streets of Berlin as now they were marching down the streets of Saintes - and they kept flinging back through the frosty dark:

"Il est rouge - et noir - et blanc - Et fendu - au derriere - d..."