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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

of the aspens outside the window, and the fear of
death and the horror of mutilation took hold of my
heart. Durley was muttering in his sleep, something
rapid and incoherent, and then telling someone to get
a move on; the war didn't allow people many pleas-
ant dreams. It was difficult to imagine old Julian
killing a German, even with an anonymous bullet. I
didn't want to kill any Germans myself, but one had
to kill people in self-defence. Revolver shooting wasn't
so bad, and as for bombs, you just chucked them and
hoped for the best. Anyhow I meant to ask Kinjack
to let me go on the Raid. Supposing he ordered me to
go on it? How should I feel about it then? No good
thinking any more about it now. With some such
ponderings as these I sighed and fell asleep.

II

NEXT MORNING I went to the other end of the
village to have a chat with my friend the
Quartermaster. Leaning against a bit of broken wall
outside his billet, we exchanged a few observations
about the larger aspects of the war and the possibili-
ties of peace. Joe was pessimistic as ever, airing his
customary criticisms of profiteers, politicians, and
those whose military duties compelled them to re-
main at the Base and in other back areas. He said
that the permanent staff at Fourth Army Head-
quarters now numbered anything up to four thou-
sand. With a ribald metaphor he speculated on what
they did with themselves all day. I said that some of
them were busy at the Army School. Joe supposed
there was no likelihood of their opening a rest-cure
for Quartermasters.

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