“Yes, I think I see where you mean,” said I; “up by that sand-bag dump. There’s a mine-shaft there, and they were probably some of their R.E.’s piling up sand-bags, or emptying them out. I believe that 135 is what they usually do now, fill the sand-bags below in their galleries, bring them up, empty them, and use the same ones again.” Thomas and Everton gaped at this. It had not occurred to them to consider that the Boche had R.E.’s. They were of the unimaginative class of snipers, who “saw, did, and reported,” and on the whole I preferred them to those who saw, and immediately “concluded.” For their conclusions were usually wrong. To men like Thomas I was, I think, looked upon as one who had some slightly supernatural knowledge of the German lines; he did not realise that by careful compass-bearings I knew the exact ground visible from his post, and that my map of the German lines, showing every trench as revealed by aeroplane photographs, was accurate to a yard. He was like a retriever, who keeps to heel, noses out his bird with unerring skill, and brings it in with the softest of mouths; yet the cunning and strategy he leaves to his master, who is decidedly his inferior in nose and mouth. So 75 Thomas could see and shoot far better than I; but it was I who thought out the strategy of the shoot. “Well,” said I, as I doled out a rather more liberal rum ration than usual, “that’s d—— good work, anyway. Two you got, you say? Not sure about the second? Anyway you had two good shots, and remember what I told you, a sniper only shoots to kill. So two it’s going to be, anyhow.” (They both 136 grinned at this, which was the nearest they could get to a wink.) “I’m very pleased about it. Now it’s not much good staying up here in this thick snow, so you can go off till I send word to your dug-out for you to go on again.” I turned to go away, thinking that the other posts, rumless, and in all probability quarryless, must be in a state of exasperating coldness by now. But Thomas and Everton did not move. There was something wanted.