360 ARMISTICE DAY
"What was it?"
"I don't know, sir."
"What do you think it was?"
"Pierre's whistle, sir."
"But Pierre " I could not end the sentence.
"I know, sir. In the heart/'
"Then it's not his whistle?"
"No, sir." (Tone perfectly respectful, but quite incredulous.)
I lay down with a brusque movement intended to bring back Jenkins to his senses. In less than three minutes the sound came again this time with something like an appeal, an urgency, in its long concluding glide. It brought half the men to a sitting posture. I was not angry with them,, but I spoke angrily for all that.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing, sir." They lay down again obediently.
Something forced me to turn to Jenkins again.
"Was that Pierre's whistle, Jenkins?"
"I think so, sir."
"You think dead men whistle?"
"I don't know much about dead men, sir. But I know Pierre's whistle."
"Is he dead or alive, do you think?'
"I don't know." He stopped, then resumed respectfully: "Does it matter., sir?"