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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

forward to "the outbreak of peace", and in one letter
went so far as to say that he was "just about as bucked
as I should be if I was booked for a week with the
Pytchley and it froze the whole time". Dick got to
know Stephen quite well, although he had never seen
him, except in a little photograph I had with me. So
we defied the boredom of life in the Gamp, and while
the summer went past us our only fear was that we
might be separated when our turn came to go abroad.
He gave me a sense of security, for his smooth head
was no more perplexed with problems than a robin
redbreast's; he wound up his watch, brushed his hair,
and said his prayers morning and evening.

September arrived, and we were both expecting to
get a week's leave. (It was known as "last leave".)
One morning Dick came into the hut with a tele-
gram which he handed me. It happened that I was
orderly officer that day. Being orderly officer meant
a day of dull perfunctory duties, such as turning out
the guard, inspecting the prisoners in the guard-
room, the cookhouses, the canteen, and everything
else in the Camp. When I opened my telegram the
orderly sergeant was waiting outside for me; we were
due for a tour of the men's huts while they were
having their mid-day meal. The telegram was signed
Colwood; it informed me that Stephen had been
killed in action. But the orderly sergeant was waiting,
and away we went walking briskly, over the grit
and gravel. At each hut he opened the door and
shouted "Shun!" The clatter and chatter ceased and
all I had to ask was "Any complaints?" There were
no complaints, and off we went to the next hut. It
was queer to be doing it, with that dazed feeling
and the telegram in my pocket. ... I showed Dick
the telegram when I returned. I had seen Stephen

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