Cadell joined the Royal Scots in 1915 and produced a series of drawings of army life before leaving for service in France. The drawings were published in 1916 in the book ‘Jack and Tommy’, which was sold to benefit the Red Cross. Their clean lines and flat colours anticipate the style of his painting in the 1920s. Here, Cadell depicts the moment of a couple walking away from each other. The artist deftly indicates the woman’s body with half a dozen inky marks. Red touches highlight her lips, which appear slightly downturned, adding a sombre tone to the already tangible tension. The man’s hat and socks are also decorated in red, denoting the uniform of the Royal Scots.