Here is a memory of war that is humorous, sympathetic and nostalgic. The author had been a prisoner of the Germans in Italy for four days. He and Private Larkin jumped train en route to prison camp and together set out, mostly on foot, southward to the British lines. The tatterdemalion wayfarers were befriended on the way and were usually treated as hoboes. Partisans in the mountain village of Pietrino helped them escape down the coast to the British Eighth Army. But Mackie, in the journey through Pietrino, had lost his heart to the daughter of the baron of the town. And in the order of the inevitable it is Mackie who returns to Pistrino as part of the British liberating force. Will Marianna marry him, he asks. We'll see, she replies. In the meantime, much is made of Mackie's return, he is the occasion for many toasts, much camaraderie, and general rejoicing. He returns, once again, to trino and Marianna but her answer is the same -- wait. But in the waiting circumstances change and their romance (which seems larger in the author's hindsight than was really the case) has become just "" an effect of the war"". This is a charming comical tale told with light-heartedness, wistfulness and a certain zest.