Relays of fresh drivers took over all the lorries and tractors which would still go.
I walked about three miles and then picked up a lorry.
* Not many miles away, as the sun was setting, an Austrian shell burst in a British Battery, and three hours later through the dark under faint stars an ambulance lorry brought to us the bodies of four British gunners, whose dust will mingle with Italian dust, under Italian skies, for ever.
At half past ten the Italians ditched a lorry full of ammunition just at the top of the road from the Battery position to Pec village, in full view of the enemy on Hill 464.
At last we hailed a British lorry, which took us to Villa Passi, and then on to Carbonera, where odds and ends of Batteries had been turning up for several days past.
He got a tractor to haul six unladen lorries, and with all the vehicles using their own power the tractor managed to pull them through to Beersheba, leaving behind some wheel tracks with a hard foundation.
"Soon as morning comes I jump a passing commissariat lorry.
Hallo, what's that?" A distant rumble came from the north, and out of the darkness loomed a British motor-lorry, lurching and swaying along the rough cobbles of the pavé.
Sand was no trouble to them, and when mud marooned lorries during the advance in November the rattling, rumbling old tractor made fair weather of it.
This is to prevent motor-lorries and such-like vehicles from entering French territory without our permission.
But often the repair gang cannot reach a stranded lorry, and the drivers, helpless before a big mechanical repair, have to camp out alongside their car, till help arrives and tows them in.
The enemy meanwhile had begun to shell the lorry, methodically as their idiotic habit was, with one shell every five minutes.
I experienced innumerable tense moments when my horseas frequently happenedtook me for a bit of a circular tour in an adjacent field, so as to avoid some colossal motor lorry with one headlight of about a million candle-power, which would suddenly roar its way down our single narrow road.
On land the buildings lined a cobbled street, from dawn to dark a thoroughfare for thundering lorries and, twice daily, in murk of early morning and gloom of early night, scoured by a nondescript rabble employed in the vast dockyards whose man-made forests of masts and cordage, funnels and cranes, on either hand lifted angular black silhouettes against the misty silver of the sky.
It has been brought on rickety lorries down the rutty tracks of the mountains, down, down into the lowland of Batum, where even October suns are hot.