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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

with the rank of captain, since the real Q..M. had
faded away into a "cushy job" at Army Head-
quarters. (He had, in fact, found that haven before
the battalion went into action at the first battle of
Ypres, whence it had emerged with eighty-five men
and one officeróJoe Dottrell.) Whatever might hap-
pen Joe was always there, and he never failed to get
the rations up; no bombardment could have prevented
him doing that. And what those "dixies" of hot tea
signified no one knows who wasn't there to wait for
them. He was a small, spare manóa typical "old
soldier". He had won his D.C.M. in South Africa,
and had a row of ribbons to match his face, which was
weather-beaten and whiskyfied to purple tints which
became blue when the wind was cold.

Joe Dottrell now entered, his cap hiding his bald
brow, and his British-warm coat concealing his
medal ribbons, and old man Barton beaming beside
him.

"I've brought Dottrell in to jolly you all up," he
said, with his nervous giggle. "Have a drink, Joe,"
he continued, holding up a squat bottle of "Old
Vatted Highland",

"Well, my lucky lads!" exclaimed Joe, in his
Lancashire voice.

Accepting the proffered glass he wished us all "the
best", and his presence gave us just that sense of
security which we were in need of. But something
went wrong in the kitchen, and the dinner was a
disgrace. Barton "strafed" the servants until they
were falling over one another, but Dottrell said the
toasted cheese wasn't too bad, and "There's worse
things in the world than half-warmed Maconochie",
he remarked. (Maconochie, it will be remembered,
was a tinned compound of meat and vegetables; but

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