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trenches. An orange, and taking my sodden boots off
whenever I got the chance (though it was against the
rules) were my two favourite recreations in the front
line. Flook called me (with an orange) at two in the
morning; I had to relieve Ormand, who had been on
duty since midnight. The orange woke me up. But
it was a wet night, and I'd been out with the wiring-
party from ten till twelve. Lugging coils of concertina
wire along a narrow trench swilUng with mud and
water wasn't much fun. Stumbling with it over shell-
holes and trip-wires was worse. However, we had got
quite a lot out. . . .

Once I'd shaken off my stupor it wasn't so bad to
be out in the night air. The rain had stopped and
Ormand had nothing to report. For the next two
hours I should loiter up and down with my knob-
kerrie in my hand; now and again I had a whack at a
rat running along the parados. From one "bay" to
another I went, stopping for a word in an undertone
with the sentries; patient in their waterproof sheets
they stood on the firestep, peering above the parapet
until bleak daylight began to show itself. The trench
was falling in badly in places after the rain. . . .

Then there was the bombing-post up a sap which
went thirty or forty yards out into no-man's-land.
Everything had been very quiet, the bombers
muttered. . . .

Back in the main trench, I stood on the firestep to
watch the sky whitening. Sad and stricken the
country emerged. I could see the ruined village
below the hill and the leafless trees that waited like
sentries up by Contalmaison. Down in the craters
the dead water took a dull gleam from the sky. I
stared at the tangles of wire and the leaning posts
and there seemed no sort of comfort left in life. My