A friend of the doctor called for me the next day and told me to walk out of the village having given me a route and arranged to meet me in his car. He did not want to be seen in the village with me. He set off, and twenty minutes later after a parting snack with my friend the priest, I started on my way. The car was met as arranged, and I learned that we were bound for Soissons again. It was quite unreal to ride along that road, which brought back such memories, and to pass the barn that I had slept in, not so long ago, although it seemed ages. We were stopped once by a German soldier, but he only wanted help for a broken down truck. Quite a relief, although I had by now been provided with a false "Carte d'identite, this too, by the indefatigable doctor Fayet.
    A few kilometres outside Soissons I was bidden to leave the car and walk into the town, where I was to make for the Cathedral in front of which the car would be parked with my companion in it. Off we set, he in the car and I on foot. Soon I was once more in Soissons, and passed the barbershop, where I had been shaved. I found my way easily enough to the Cathedral and there was the car ... but it was empty. I decided my helper would return shortly so sat down on a convenient bench opposite the car, and under some trees, which bore tiny pink flowers and gave off a delightful scent. I fell to watching some lounging young men grouped about the door of a comer cafe. Like louts at home they exchanged remarks on all young females that walked by and set up a great whistling and cooing at any particularly attractive damsel that passed. Some time elapsed and still my friend did not appear. I began to get uneasy but presently a curtain, in a window a few houses off was pulled aside and there standing in the shadows of a first floor room was my friend, who inclined his head in a beckoning gesture. I rose and as though I had all the time in the world as indeed I had, sauntered over to the house and was lost to view inside.
    There I met a young robust man and his pert wife. I was asked to prove I was a RAF aviator and the production of my "dog tags" seemed to satisfy my questioners. I was shown my room, where I dumped my shoulder bag and coat. I was given a towel, had a welcome wash and settled down to an enormous glass, a tumbler in fact, of white wine. The healthy young man was to take me in a day or so to another farm. That evening at about dusk there was an air raid. The railway station was hit, and as it was not far from our house we had a good view of the bombing, done by low flying aircraft. I ate a hearty meal and after some conversation with the young couple, went to bed. I recall vividly the scent of those trees in the Cathedral square wafting into the room. Just before I went to sleep the sirens sounded again but we were not disturbed by any further attack. The morning dawned bright and clear and I found I was to leave almost immediately after breakfast. Again the sirens held us up, but on the "all clear" we descended to the street and mounted a motorcycle. The business in which the young man was employed was something to do with meat distribution, enabling him to come by some gasoline - how? ­ I did not ask. The start of the ride on the pillion of this machine was pleasant enough as the road was fairly good, but later our troubles began. The roads deteriorated until we were reduced to avoiding potholes every few yards, and simultaneously the headlamp worked loose, necessitating the holding of it with one hand, while the machine was guided by the other. I was extremely glad when we stopped shortly after traversing a beautiful valley and I was told that our farm lay in a village just around the next corner. would see the motor cycle standing by the door of the farm and was to dismount now and go into the village on foot.


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