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But even then it wasn't easy to think of dying. . . .
Still less so when Dick was with me, and we were
having an imitation hunt. I used to pretend to be
hunting a pack of hounds, with him as my whipper-
in. Assuming a Denis Milden manner (Denis was at
Rouen with the cavalry and likely to remain there,
in spite of the C.O.'s assumptions about open war-
fare), I would go solemnly through a wood, cheering
imaginary hounds. After an imaginary fox had been
found, away we'd scuttle, looking in vain for a fence
to jump, making imaginary casts after an imaginary
check, and losing our fox when the horses had done
enough galloping. An imaginary kill didn't appeal to
me, somehow. Once, when I was emerging rapidly
from a wood with loud shouts, I came round a corner
and nearly knocked the Brigadier off his horse. He
was out for a ride with his staff-captain; but no doubt
he approved of my sporting make-believe, and I
didn't dare to stop for apologies, since the Brigadier
was a very great man indeed. Dick enjoyed these
outings enormously and was much impressed by my
hunting noises. The black mare seemed to enjoy it

Thus, in those delusive surroundings, I reverted
fictitiously to the jaunts and jollities of peace time,
fabricating for my young friend a light-hearted frag-
ment of the sport which he had not lived long enough
to share. It was queer, though, when we met some
of the black-bearded Bengal Lancers who were
quartered in one of the neighbouring villages. What
were they doing among these wooded ridges with the
little roads winding away over the slopes, toward a
low yellow sunset and the nowhere of life reprieved
to live out its allotted span?

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