The army had decreased more over the last year. What had started with close to 20,000 men was now much closer to 10,000, German and Frenchmen combined. Alexandre was among the group of men who had rampaged a village and taken peasants as slaves. They had forced the captured older women to cook the small amount of food left, huddling around a fire as the nights got colder. Occasionally a threesome would leave to try and find an animal to hunt or some type of plant to eat but almost always came back empty handed. On a rare day, when they would return with something, it would be divided between the men and eaten. Those were the few nights Alexandre went to sleep with a non empty stomach.
It had taken so long to travel so far and the journey was much closer to being over. The German men had joined the Frenchmen and had doubled their numbers. Plenty died along the road, now that they had been traveling for so long and were so weary.
They had few hours of rest and such long days. Alexandre would love to place his throbbing feet into a bucket of hot water and sleep, wrapped in blankets with his sisters close by. His long and rugged brown hair moved in the welcomed dry breeze.