Maggots in corpses. He'd seen. Whitely churning, in the mouths of dead soldiers, where their noses had been, their ears and blasted-away jaws. Most of the soldiers had been men as young as he himself had been. Italians fallen after the Austrian offensive of 1918. You do not forget such sights. You do not un-see such sights. He himself had been wounded, but he had not died. The distinction was profound. Between what lived and what died the distinction was profound. Yet it remained mysterious, elusive. You did not wish to speak of it. Especially you did not wish to pray about it, to beg God to spare you. For it disgusted him to think of God. It disgusted him to think of prayers to such a god. Fumbling his big, bare toe against the trigger of the shotgun he was damned if he would think, in his last quivering moment of his life, of God.