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While Green's functions provide a powerful analytical means of solving the wave equation, they do not give a very realistic description of the mechanism of propagation. Also the adaptation of Green's function techniques to numerical methods of solution is not easy. This paper introduces the assumption that propagation takes place in discrete steps, and it is shown that Huygens's principle then becomes physically much more realistic. The basis for a very simple numerical procedure for the solution of the wave equation is also provided.