The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eargeness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, ambertinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eye-like gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.
E' l' appassionante inizio de The red badge of courage, di S. Crane, un racconto sulla guerra civile americana, e sugli orrori e sulla assenza di ogni gloria nelle battaglie, dove solo la morte è veramente presente.
Da alcuni considerato scritto da un veterano della Guerra Civile, il racconto in effetti è stato creato da uno scrittore non ancora nato ai tempi del più grande spargimento di sangue sul territorio degli Stati Uniti.
A man near him who up to this had been working feverishly at his rifle suddendly stopped and ran with howls.
A lad whose face had borne an expression of exalted courage, the majesty of he who dares give his life was, at an instant, smitten abject.
He ran like a rabbit...