When I reached C-Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning.
We were leaving that day. When we marched in, three months before, the place was under snow; now the first leaves of spring were unfolding.
I had reflected then that, whatever scenes of desolation lay ahead of us, I never feared one more brutal than this, and I reflected now that it had no single happy memory for me.
Here love had died between me and the army.
Here the tram lines ended, so that men returning fuddled from Glasgow could doze in their seats until roused by the conductress at their journey's end.
There was some way to go from the tram-stop to the camp gates; a quarter of a mile in which they could button their blouses and straighten their caps before passing the guard-room,
a quarter of a mile in which concrete gave place to grass at the road's edge. This was the extreme limit of the city, a fringe of drift-wood above high-water mark.
Here the close, homogeneous territory of housing estates and cinemas ended and the hinterland began.
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