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steel hat was heavy on rny head while I thought how
I'd been on leave last month. I remembered how I'd
leant my elbows on Aunt Evelyn's front gate (it was
my last evening); that twilight, with its thawing snow,
made a comfortable picture now. John Homeward
had come past with his van, plodding beside his
weary horse. He had managed to make his journey,
in spite of the state of the roads. . . . He had pulled
up for a few minutes, and we'd talked about Dixon,
who had been such an old friend of his. "Ay; Tom
was a good chap; I've never known a better. ..."
He had said good-bye and good-night and set his
horse going again. As he turned the corner the past
had seemed to go with him. . . ,

And here I was, with my knobkerrie in my hand,
staring across at the enemy I'd never seen. Some-
where out of sight beyond the splintered tree-tops of
Hidden Wood a bird had begun to sing. Without
knowing why, I remembered that it was Easter
Sunday. Standing in that dismal ditch, I could find
no consolation in the thought that Christ was risen.
I sploshed back to the dug-out to call the others up
for "stand-to".