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(At that time the Doctor was the only man in the
Battalion who'd got one.) Trench warfare was mostly
monotonous drudgery, and I preferred the exciting
idea of crossing the mine-craters and getting into the
German front line. In my simple-minded way I «had
identified myself \vith that strip of no-man's-land
opposite Bois Fran$ais; and the mine-craters had
always fascinated me, though I'd often feared that
they'd be the death of me.

Mansfield had gloomily remarked that he'd some-
thing-well go on the razzle if he got through Thurs-
day night with his procreative powers unimpaired.
Wondering why he had been selected for the job, I
wished I could take his place. I knew that he had
more common-sense ability than I had, but he was
podgily built and had never been an expert at crawl-
ing among shell-holes in the dark. He and Ormand
and Corporal O'Brien had done two patrols last week
but the bright moonlight had prevented them from
properly inspecting the German wire. Birdie's lang-
uage about moonlight and snipers was a masterpiece,
but he hadn't a ghost of an idea whether we could get
through the Boche wire. Nevertheless I felt that if I'd
been there the patrolling would have been profitable,
moon or no moon. I wouldn't mind going up there
and doing it now, I thought, for I was wideawake and
full of energy after my easy life at the Army School.
. . , Doing it now? The line was quiet to-night. Now
and again the tapping of a machine-gun. But the de-
mented night-life was going on all the time and the
unsleeping strangeness of it struck my mind silent for
a moment, as I visualized a wiring-party standing
stock still while a flare quivered and sank, silvering
the bleached sandbags of the redoubt.

Warm and secure, I listened to the gentle whisper