Vasile shrugged his shoulders. “As you will,” he said, slinging his gun upon his back and without further protest set out, wading with stiff movements through the deep uneven snow, little caring which way he went, for verily where could he find fuel?… it was night… the plain was bare… there were no huts anywhere, no trees, no enclosures, nothing… not even an old wooden well… what could he find?… Stumbling and resigned, Vasile tramped into the night’s immensity.
As he trudged along in the dark Vasile had many thoughts, confused thoughts, but thoughts nevertheless, and even visions, happy visions that had nothing to do with either winter or war.
He saw a fruitful valley through which ran a long, long dusty road leading to a village half hidden amongst fruit-trees. It was the hour of sunset and a herd of oxen was returning along the road guarded by a youth who sauntered behind them, a green switch in his hand. The youth was whistling a melancholy p