The Prussian Officer

He drew his fingers over his eyes, trying to find out where he was. Then he turned away. He saw the horse standing in the path. He went up to it and mounted. It hurt him to sit in the saddle. The pain of keeping his seat occupied him as they cantered through the wood. 
He would not have minded anything, but he could not get away from the sense of being divided from the others. The path led out of the trees. On the edge of the wood he pulled up and stood watching. There in the spacious sunshine of the valley soldiers were moving in a little swarm. The village and the white-towered church were small in the sunshine.

Turning from the sun-glazing valley, he rode deep into the wood. Tree-trunks, like people standing grey and still, took notice as he went. A deer, itself a moving bit of sunshine and shadow, went running through the flecked shade. There were bright green tents in the foliage. Then it was all pine wood, dark and cool. And he was sick with pain, he had an intolerable great pulse in his head. He felt lost, quite dazed with all this. 

Trying to get down from the horse shifted uneasily. He jerked its bridle and sent it cantering jerkily away. It was his last connection with the rest of things. But he only wanted to lie down and not be disturbed. Stumbling through the trees, he came on a quiet place where beeches and fine trees grew on a slope.

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