The harvest had been gathered in, and we passed through vast fields of stubble, which were divided one from another by strips of curious coloured grass. Indeed, this bluish grass and the cactus-hedges were the only forms of boundary used in Palestine and Syria; I never saw a wall except one built by the troops for defensive purposes.

We galloped down the broad and almost level highway which passes between Rivas and San Jorge, bordered a great part of its length, on either side, by cactus-hedges, broken at various intervals by the grassy by-lanes that run out to the neighboring haciendas or parallel roads.

The neighborhood of Rivas was dotted with ranch-houses, distenanted by these means, rank grass growing in the court-yards, the cactus-hedges gapped, and the crops swept away by the foragers.

It was by now high noon and insufferably hot, and the soft alluvial dust churned up by motor bicycles and galloping hoofs rose in suffocating clouds. We were penned in by the high cactus-hedges and not a breath of air could reach us to dissipate the choking dust.

It proved a great source of annoyance throughout the day. Their number was not certainly known, at least among the ranks, but was rumored as high as two thousand men, Costa-Ricans, Guatemalans, and Chamorristas. General Henningsen moved up by a straggling street, with an adobe here and there, and the intervals filled up with fruit-trees, bushes, and cactus-hedges.

Presently there was a sound of singing and clapping hands behind the high cactus-hedges to our left, and from a little lane the bridal procession walked up to take the high-road to the village.

Fleur's wisdom in refusing to write to him was profound, for he reached each new place entirely without hope or fever, and could concentrate immediate attention on the donkeys and tumbling bells, the priests, patios, beggars, children, crowing cocks, sombreros, cactus-hedges, old high white villages, goats, olive-trees, greening plains, singing birds in tiny cages, watersellers, sunsets, melons, mules, great churches, pictures, and swimming grey-brown mountains of a fascinating land.

The cactus-hedges bordering the lanes afforded admirable protection from observation by enemy aircraft, some of which were hovering in the neighbourhood.

Fleur's wisdom in refusing to write to him was profound, for he reached each new place entirely without hope or fever, and could concentrate immediate attention on the donkeys and tumbling bells, the priests, patios, beggars, children, crowing cocks, sombreros, cactus-hedges, old high white villages, goats, olive-trees, greening plains, singing birds in tiny cages, watersellers, sunsets, melons, mules, great churches, pictures, and swimming grey-brown mountains of a fascinating land.