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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

divest himself of all semblance of humanity. With
rifle and bayonet he illustrated the Major's ferocious
aphorisms, including facial expression. When told to
"put on the killing face33, he did so, combining it with
an ultra-vindictive attitude. "To instil fear into the
opponent3' was one of the Major's main maxims.
Man, it seemed, had been created to jab the life out
of Germans. To hear the Major talk, one might have
thought that he did it himself every day before break-
fast. His final words were: "Remember that every
Boche you fellows kill is a point scored to our side;
every Boche you kill brings victory one minute nearer
and shortens the war by one minute. Kill them! Kill
them! There's only one good Boche, and that's a
dead one!"

Afterwards I went up the hill to my favourite sanc-
tuary, a wood of hazels and beeches. The evening air
smelt of wet mould and wet leaves; the trees were
misty-green; the church bell was tolling in the town,
and smoke rose from the roofs. Peace was there in the
twilight of that prophetic foreign spring. But the
lecturer's voice still battered on my brain. "The bul-
let and the bayonet are brother and sister." "If you
don't kill him, he'll kill you." "Stick him between
the eyes, in the throat, in the chest." "Don't waste
good steel. Six inches are enough. What's the use of
a foot of steel sticking out at the back of a man's neck?
Three inches will do for him; when he coughs, go and
look for another."

II

WHATEVER MY private feelings may have been
after the Major's lecture, the next morning saw
me practising bayonet-fighting. It was all in the day's

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