On his way back to Second Company, Paul goes by rail and on foot in search of its new location. He hears that his company is being sent to places "wherever it is hottest." While this is not "cheerful" news, he searches for his friends and finds he must wait two days for the company to arrive. When his friends return they appear "grey, dirty, soured, and gloomy." Paul, holding back his emotions, shares the best cakes and jam with comrades and keeps the moldy ones for himself. He hears talk of assignment to the Russian front. Clothed temporarily in new tunics, for eight days the men drill in preparation for inspection by the Kaiser. When their leader appears, Paul is disappointed that he looks like an ordinary man. After the Kaiser distributes Iron Crosses, the group talks about war and why it happens. Remarque once again shows the plight of the little man caught up in forces over
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