coming; and now it's fixed up for next Thursday, and
Barton's hoping to get a D.S.O. out of it for his execu-
tive ability. I wish he'd arrange to go and fetch his
(something) D.S.O. for himself!" From this I de-
duced that poor Birdie was to be in charge of the
Raiding Party, and I soon knew all there was to be
known. Ormand, who had obviously heard more
than enough lately, took himself off, vocally announc-
ing that he was "Gilbert the filbert, the Nut with a K,
the pride of Piccadilly, the blase roue".
Barton was still up at Headquarters when I went
across the road to my billet. Flook had spread my
"flea-bag" on the tiled floor, and I had soon slipped
into it and blown out my candle. Durley, on the
other side of the room, was asleep in a few minutes,
for he'd been out late on a working party the night
before. I was now full of information about the Raid,
and I could think of nothing else. My month at Flixe-
court was already obliterated. While I was away I
had almost forgotten about the Raid; but it seemed
now that I'd always regarded it as my private pro-
perty, for when it had begun to be a probability in
April, Barton had said that I should be sure to take
charge of it. My feeling was much the same as it
would have been if I had owned a horse and then
been told that someone else was to ride it in a race.
Six years before I had been ambitious of winning
races because that had seemed a significant way of
demonstrating my equality with my contemporaries.
And now I wanted to make the World War serve a
similar purpose, for if only I could get a Military
Cross I should feel comparatively safe and confident.