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[Page 433]

attending to the mules & leading them up & down.

Now the Turks could see men going off but of course it has been a usual thing on both sides to send men away for a rest. They probably thought that others were coming to replace them.
Again, we may have only been decoying them to come out & attack us while seeming to have a reduced force. Anyhow it is a puzzle to me.

So as to make any cessation of fire seem commonplace, we had been ordered about a month previously to abstain from firing for 24 hours & try & give the enemy the idea then that we were evacuating. Of course not knowing the sequel of the scheme which was our real evacuation, we all thought that it was a very weak attempt to draw the enemy from his trenches.

In some quarters the impression was that the enemy were only holding their line with a small force.
Now the success of our move would be increased if in addition to getting off men guns & munitions we could destroy what was inadvisable to move.

Fire was not to be resorted to in any great extent as the enemy must see the blaze & combining that with other incidents would tend to confirm

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