The paras moved closer to the edge of the rice field, their track littered with bodies wearing the black garments of farmers of the Delta.
Captain Lefèvre of the Foreign Legion observed the scene, his weathered face and ice-blue eyes reflecting no feeling, as he signalled to his company to get nearer to the water reservoir: the soldiers moved on cautiously and silently, as leopards in the jungle.
A dog barked, two of his sergeants approached him, respectfully pointing towards a small wooden shed on the right of the road: “We and the dog think there may be a sniper hiding in a hole below that shed”, they explained, “Grenades or flame-thrower, Captain?”.
“Wait”, Lefèvre said calmly, signalling to the company not to open fire until his order, as he walked slowly towards the shed, armed with his legendary stick: the men held their breath, the sergeants a few steps just behind the officer.
“Come out hands above your head”, ordered the captain in the Delta idiom, and as the terrified young woman emerged from the shed, holding a small baby on her back, he felt the weight of his warrior’s fate.