The stick and twine flattened into the trench floor looks like it could have been used to fly a child's kite, but looking closer, it reminds me of something. Growing up, our neighbour had accused my dad of stalking deer on his property, so I constructed a Gunter's Chain -- a surveyor's tool I'd read about in Explorer Brigade magazine. It was a tad primitive (they use little telescopes now), but it measured our property line to a palms length accuracy. I discovered our neighbour was the trespasser, having encroached two entire leagues over our property line. Dad, Jonny and I were out bagging fallow the next morn. I was only eight, but I could tell they were proud of me that day. Neither had thought I'd had it in me. But, where my chain had machined, equal length, metal links... this device has shaved tree branches for grips, and links made from boot laces and odd-length metal ties. Its meter markers were scraps of torn uniform, with recognisable arm patch of a defiant fist... the Maquis. Has it really come to this? Were the Maquis surveying the countryside, scouting sites to construct their hidden fortress, their last bastion, with nothing but clay and bubble gum?

-- Journal Entry, 02 September, 1951 -- James Grayson

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