Format: Single

.The tension snapped. Simmons fell back on the arm-rack deliberately … and took out his rifle and packet of ammunition. ‘Don’t go playing the goat, Sim!’ said Losson. ‘Put it down,’ but there was a quaver in his voice. Another man stooped, slipped his boot and hurled it at Simmon’s head. The prompt answer was a shot which, fired at random, found its billet in Losson’s throat. Losson fell forward without a word, and the others scattered.


This is from “In the Matter of a Private” in Soldiers Three.

There is no escape from the terrible heat of India’s summer season; and men get on each other’s nerves. One soldier, Losson, has got into the habit of needling another, Simmons, and has even trained a parrot to insult him, by saying ‘Simmons. you soo-or (swine)‘. One hot night Simmons’ nerve snaps…