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When I divulged my idea of asking Kinjack to let me
go on the Raid, Joe remarked that he'd guessed as
much, and advised me to keep quiet about it as there
was still a chance that it might be washed out. Kin-
jack wasn't keen about it and had talked pretty
straight to the Brigade Major; he was never afraid of
giving the brass-hats a bit of his mind. So I promised
to say nothing till the last moment, and old Joe ended
by reminding me that we'd all be over the top in a
month or two. But I thought, as I walked away, how
silly it would be if I got laid out by a stray bullet, or
a rifle-grenade, or one of those clumsy "canisters"
that came over in the evening dusk with a little trail
of sparks behind them.

We went into the line again on Tuesday. For the
first three days Barton's Company was in reserve at
71. North, which was an assortment of dug-outs and
earth-covered shelters about a thousand yards behind
the front line. I never heard anyone ask the origin of
its name, which for most of us had meant shivering
boredom at regular intervals since January. Some
map-making expert had christened it coldly, and it
had unexpectedly failed to get itself called the Ele-
phant and Castle or Hampton Court. Anyhow it was
a safe and busy suburb of the front line, for the dug-
outs were hidden by sloping ground and nicely tucked
away under a steep bank. Shells dropped short or
went well over; and as the days of aeroplane aggres-
siveness had not yet arrived, we could move about by
daylight with moderate freedom. A little way down
the road the Quartermaster-sergeant ruled the ration
dump, and every evening Dottrell arrived with the