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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

work; short points, long points, parries, jabs, plus the
always-to-be-remembered importance of "a quick
withdrawal". Capering over the obstacles of the
assault course and prodding sacks of straw was
healthy exercise; the admirable sergeant-instructor
was polite and unformidable, and as I didn't want
him to think me a dud officer, I did my best to be-
come proficient. Obviously it would have been both
futile and inexpedient to moralize about bayonet-
fighting at an Army School.

There is a sense of recovered happiness in the
glimpse I catch of myself coming out of my cottage
door with a rifle slung on my shoulder. There was
nothing wrong with life on those fine mornings when
the air smelt so fresh and my body was young and
vigorous, and I hurried down the white road, along
the empty street, and up the hill to our training
ground. I was like a boy going to early school, except
that no bell was ringing, and instead of Thucydides or
Virgil, I carried a gun. Forgetting, for the moment,
that I was at the Front to be shot at, I could almost
congratulate myself on having a holiday in France
without paying for it.

I also remember how I went one afternoon to have
a hot bath in the Jute Mill. The water was poured
into a dyeing vat. Remembering that I had a bath
may not be of much interest to anyone, but it was a
good bath, and it is my own story that I am trying to
tell, and as such it must be received; those who ex-
pect a universalization of the Great War must look for
it elsewhere. Here they will only find an attempt to
show its effect on a somewhat solitary-minded young
man.

At that time I was comfortably aware that the
British Expeditionary Force in France was a prosper-

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