an impressive inward emotional experience out of it.
It did not occur to me that everyone else would be
rushing off to enlist next week. My gesture was, so
to speak, an individual one, and I gloried in it.
And now, although Aunt Evelyn, fussed over me as
if I were a real wounded soldier, I was distinctly
conscious of an anti-climax. I had looked forward to
seeing Dixon again, in spite of the sad state of affairs
in the stable. But before I had been in the house
five minutes Aunt Evelyn had given me some news
which took me by suprise. Dixon had gone away to
join the Army Veterinary Corps. This had happened
two days ago. He was forty-three, but he hadn't a
grey hair, and he had stated his age as thirty-five.
The news had a bracing effect on me. It wasn't the
first time that Tom Dixon had given me a quiet hint
as to what was expected of me.
The worst of the winter was over and my arm was
mending. Aunt Evelyn talked almost gaily about my
going back to the Yeomanry in the spring. She had
twigged that it was a comparatively safe location, and
I knew from her tone of voice that she was afraid I
might do something worse. If she had been more
subtle and sagacious she would have urged me to
exchange into the Infantry. As it was she only
succeeded in stiffening my resolve to make no mistake
about it this time. I had made one false start, and
as Pd got to go to the Front, the sooner I went the
better. The instinct of self-preservation, however,
made it none too easy, when I was sitting by the fire
of an evening, or out for a walk on a mild February
afternoon; already there were primroses in the woods,
and where should I be in twelve mouths' time, I
wondered. Pushing them up, perhaps! . . .
But I had struggled through the secret desperations