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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

The cloudless weather of that August and Septem-
ber need not be dwelt on; it is a hard fact in history;
the spellbound serenity of its hot blue skies will be in
the minds of men as long as they remember the catas-
trophic events which were under way in that autumn
when I was raising the dust on the roads with the Yeo-
manry. But there was no tragic element in my own
experience, though I may have seen sadness in the
sunshine as the days advanced toward October and
the news from France went from one extreme to the
other with the retreat and advance of our expedi-
tionary force.

I can remember the first time that I was "warned
for guard", and how I polished up my boots and
buttons for that event. And when, in the middle of
the night, I had been roused up to take my turn as
sentry, I did not doubt that it was essential that
someone in a khaki uniform should stand somewhere
on the outskirts of the byres and barns of Batt's Farm.
My King and Country expected it of me. There was,
I remember, a low mist lying on the fields, and I was
posted by a gate under a walnut tree. In the autumn-
smelling silence the village church clanged one o'clock.
Shortly afterwards I heard someone moving in my
direction across the field which I was facing. The
significance of those approaching feet was intensified
by my sentrified nerves. Holding my rifle defensively
(and a loaded rifle, too), I remarked in an unemphatic
voice: "Halt, who goes there?" There was no reply.
Out of the mist and the weeds through which it was
wading emerged the Kentish cow which I had
challenged.

By the third week in September the nights were
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