A sibilant frustrated inarticulate whisper of hate was my only warning before the shadow struck. The chamber pot dashed to ground: contents splashed on my frock and shoes. Steps fled in haste, in the flash of light from opened door, a profile: Louisa. I was not surprised. Hazing was part and parcel of service life. If she, or any others thought to break me with childish pranks, they knew not my strength of character. The sun peeped over the distant elms, a bedraggled urchin caught in the unblinking eye. The nearby pump gushed cold water as I rinsed and squeezed.
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