This chapter recounts Roger Martin du Gard's experience during the First World War. Throughout the Great War, Roger had far more time with his wife, Hélène, than most soldiers could dream of having with their wives or girlfriends. His responsibilities, logistical and resupply operations, kept him mostly in the rear of the fighting, from which leaves were more common. His demonstrated competence—two promotions and decoration—combined with his social graces to make him ideal for administrative missions to Paris. Family money on both sides made traveling to meet each other far easier. But when together, they were an established married couple: instead of passionate embraces, discussions about their future and their child. At the beginning of October of 1917, Roger became ill during the first wave of what became the 1918 influenza pandemic. The chapter then looks at the arguments between Roger and his wife over the future of their daughter.
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