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ration-limbers. There, too, was the dressing station
where Dick Tiltwood had died a couple of months
ago; it seemed longer than that, I thought, as I
passed it with my platoon and received a cheery
greeting from our Medical Officer, who could always
make one feel that Harley Street was still within

The road which passed 71. North had once led to
Fricourt; now it skulked along to the British Front
Line, wandered evilly across no-man's-land, and then
gave itself up to the Germans. In spite of this, the
road had for me a queer daylight magic, especially in
summer. Though grass-patched and derelict, some-
thing of its humanity remained. I imagined every-
day rural life going along it in pre-war weather, until
this businesslike open-air inferno made it an impossi-
bility for a French farmer to jog into Fricourt in his
hooded cart.

There was a single line railway on the other side of
the road, but the only idea which it suggested to Bar-
ton was that if the war lasted a few more years we
should be coming to the trenches every day by train
like city men going to the office. He was due for leave
next week and his mind was already half in England.
The Raid wasn't mentioned now, and there was little
to be done about it except wait for Thursday night.
Mansfield had become loquacious about his past life,
as though he were making a general audit of his
existence. I remember him talking about the hard
times he'd had in Canada, and how he used to get a
meal for twelve cents. In the meantime I made a few
notes in my diary.

"Tuesday evening, 8.30. At Becordel crossroads. On a
working party. A small bushy tree against a pale yel-
low sky; slate roofs gleaming in the half-light. A noise