2017年06月


The division pushed on at once, and came up on the right of the Anzac Division at Faluje and Arak el Menshiye Station about eight o'clock. It was joined, some few hours later, by the Yeomanry Division, which had left Huj early in the morning, after having spent all the previous night trying to water horses. This division took over Arak el Menshiye, and extended a little farther east. Thus, on the afternoon of the 10th, the whole of the Corps, with the exception of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade, was in line from a point a little east of Arak el Menshiye to the sea, and ready for the further pursuit of the enemy .

in advance of railhead at Deir el Belah, and the problem of supply became pressing. No help could be obtained from the two enemy railways, as the Turks had blown up bridges and culverts, and destroyed portions of the line during their retreat. Our only means of supply was, therefore, by motor lorries and camels along the single, narrow, ill-metalled road from Gaza to Junction Station. Between Gaza and Beit Hanun the road was unmetalled and deep in sand, and lorries had great difficulty in getting over this part, even with the light load of one ton, which was the maximum allowed to be carried. The marching ration of our horses was only 9? lbs. of grain a day, without any hay or other bulk food, but even this small ration, when multiplied by 25,000 (approximately the number of horses in the Corps), worked out at over 100 tons of forage a day. In addition to this there were the rations for the men of the Corps, and the food and forage for the infantry dermes.

In order to enable the pursuit to continue, it was clear that the greater part of the infantry would[Pg 63] have to be left behind. Accordingly, on the 9th, the whole of the 20th Corps, with the exception of the 53rd Division, which was still watching the right group of the enemy forces, withdrew to railhead at Karm. Of the 21st Corps, only the 52nd and 75th Divisions continued the advance. The 54th, which had remained at Gaza, gave up all its transport to assist the other two divisions. All the available motor lorries and camels were organised in convoys along the Gaza-Junction Station road, from Deir el Belah to El Mejdel, whence the supplies were distributed to divisions by the horse-drawn wagons of the divisional trains reenex cps.

These trains had heavier work than any other part of the force. Even on the rare occasions when the cavalry got some rest at night, there was none for them, as they were distributing supplies from nightfall till dawn. Men and horses got into the habit of sleeping as they marched, and, as long as one or two men kept awake to lead the way, the wagons always reached their destination safely. The Divisional Ammunition Columns were in little better case, and the Sharki, or hot wind from the east, that commenced to blow on the 10th, added to the sufferings of the unfortunate horses.

Hope excused herself and went directly to her room. She was very nervous and very distraite. The story that Carey Grey was not only alive and in Paris, but had been ill, delirious and therefore unaccountable, disquieted and distressed her. She had loved him more than she knew until his crime and his flight, and, above all, his desertion without a word of explanation, revealed to her the fulness of her passion. Then she had battled with herself for a time; had grown philosophic and had reasoned, and eventually had gathered together the pages of her life that bore his name, had torn them out and, as she believed, destroyed them utterly.

And now they were here before her, suddenly76 restored as a magician makes whole again the articles that he tears into bits before his auditors’ eyes . As she entered her room her maid, who had been reading near a window, arose, took up something from her dressing-table and came toward her with it in her outstretched hand. “A telegram for m’amselle,” she said. She was a very pretty French maid, and she had a very delicious French accent. She preferred to speak in English, though Miss Van Tuyl invariably answered her in French. “It came not ten minutes ago, m’amselle SmarTone.” Hope walked listlessly to where an electric lamp glowed under a Dresden shade, tearing open the envelope as she went.

Unfolding the inclosure, she held it in the light’s glare; and then the little blue sheet dropped from her nerveless fingers, and she reeled. Had it not been for Marcelle she might have fallen; but the girl, burning with curiosity to learn the contents of the telegram—or cablegram, as it proved—had followed her mistress’s every movement, and now her arm was about her waist. 77 “Oh, m’amselle, m’amselle,” she cried in alarm; “my poor m’amselle! Is it that you hear the bad news?” But Miss Van Tuyl made no reply. Recovering herself, she crossed the room and sat down in the chair by the window that Marcelle had just vacated. .

Then she stooped and picked up the sheet of blue paper, placing it on the table under the lamp. As she did so her quick eye took in enough to satisfy her as to its import. It was from Miss Van Tuyl’s brother in New York, and it repeated a cable just received. The words made a very deep impression on Marcelle because of one of them, of which, though it was quite as much French as it was English, she did not know the meaning dermes.

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