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The opening meet would have been last week if there
hadn't been this war. . . . Dick was munching choco-
late and reading the Strand Magazine, with its cosy
reminder of London traffic on the cover, I hadn't
lost sight of him yet, thank goodness. The Adjutant
at Clitherland had sworn to do his best to get us
both sent to the first battalion. But it was probably
an accident that he had succeeded. It was a lucky
beginning, anyhow. What a railway-tasting mouth
I'd got! A cup of coffee would be nice, though French
coffee tasted rather nasty, I thought. . . . We got to
Bethune by half-past ten.

We got to Btthune by half-past ten: I am well aware
that the statement is, in itself, an arid though an
accurate one. And at this crisis in my career I should
surely be ready with something spectacular and ex-
citing. , Nevertheless, I must admit that I have no
such episode to exhibit. The events in my experience
must take their natural course. I distinctly remember
reporting at battalion headquarters in Bethune. In a
large dusky orderly room inówas it a wine-merchant's
warehouse?óthe Colonel shook hands with me. I
observed that he was wearing dark brown field-boots,
small in the leg, and insinuating by every supple
contour that they came from Craxwell. And since
the world is a proverbially small place, there was, I
hope, nothing incredible in the fact that the Colonel
was a distant relative of Colonel Hesmon, and had
heard all about how I won the Colonel's Cup. It will
be remembered that Colonel Hesmon's conversa-
tional repertoire was a limited one, so it wasn't to be
wondered at that my new Commanding Officer could