Suddenly, a railway line, a steep
descent and we are full in its midst again. On our left an encampment of
Nissen huts--so called from their inventor, a Canadian officer--those
new and ingenious devices for housing troops, or labour battalions, or
coloured workers, at an astonishing saving both of time and material. In
shape like the old-fashioned beehive, each hut can be put up by four or
six men in a few hours. Everything is, of course, standardised, and the
wood which lines their corrugated iron is put together in the simplest
and quickest ways, ways easily suggested, no doubt, to the Canadian
mind, familiar with "shacks" and lumber camps. We shall come across them
everywhere along the front. But on this first occasion my attention is
soon distracted from them, for as we turn a corner beyond the hut
settlement, which I am told is that of a machine-gun detachment, there
is an exclamation from D----.
_Tanks_! The officer in front points smiling to a field just ahead.
There is one of them--the monster!--taking its morning exercise;
practising up and down the high and almost perpendicular banks by which
another huge field is divided.