Chapter: The Army on the March 9.30
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If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst.

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Fetching water away from the safety of others has some hazard and so soldiers on this duty are unlikely to pause to drink unless there is a lack of water back in camp and all the water they take will be quickly drunk by others. When this is true, then there is likely a lack of water in the main camp.

This is a simple sign that is easily missed. By watching and thinking why people act as they do, you can surmise much.