FRANCE: Ready for Battle

The great markets of La Villette, on the northeastern outskirts of Paris, reeked as usual with the gore of freshly slaughtered livestock. Nearly a thousand butchers, ruddy-faced and cheerful, lounged about waiting for the clang of the heavy iron bell to call them into the slaughterhouses, to bid for the fresh carcasses of 800 oxen and cows, 1,000 calves, and 1,500 sheep.

"Now What?" Then two shabby black cars drew up. On the windshields were stickers with the word "ravitaillement" (provisioning). A dozen men, in frayed but neat suits, bowlers or felt hats...

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