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steam-roller"; how remote that phrase seems now!
. . . Often I prayed that the War would be over
before my arm got well. A few weeks later the doctor
said the bone had united and I had another operation
for the removal of the plate. In the middle of January
I was allowed to return home, with my arm still in a

Since my accident I had received a series ofletters
from Stephen, who was with an ammunition column
on the Western Front and apparently in no immediate
danger. He said there wasn't an honest jumpable
fence in Flanders; his forced optimism about next
year's opening meet failed to convince me that he
expected the "great contest", as he called it, to be
over by then. Denis had disappeared into a cavalry
regiment and was still in England. For him the
world had been completely disintegrated by the
War, but he seemed to be making the best of a bad

It was five and a half months since I had been home.
I had left Butley without telling anyone that I had
made up my mind to enlist. On that ominous July
3ist I said long and secret good-byes to everything
and everyone. Late in a sultry afternoon I said
good-bye to the drawing-room. The sun-blinds (with
their cords which tapped and creaked so queerly
when there was any wind to shake them) were drawn
down the tall windows; I was alone in the twilight
room, with the glowering red of sunset peering
through the chinks and casting the shadows of leaves
on a fiery patch of light which rested on the wall by
the photograph of "Love and Death". So I looked
my last and rode away to the War on my bicycle.
Somehow I knew that it was inevitable, and my one
idea was to be first in the field. In fact, I made quite