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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Ill

A: TEN O'CLOCK on Thursday night I was alone
with Durley in the sack-cloth smelling dug-out
at 71. North. Rain was falling steadily. Everything
felt fateful and final. A solitary candle stood on the
table in its own grease, and by its golden glimmer I
had just written a farewell letter to Aunt Evelyn. I
did not read it through, and I am glad I cannot do so
now, for it was in the "happy warrior" style and my
own fine feelings took precedence of hers. It was not
humanly possible for me to wonder what Aunt
Evelyn was doing while I wrote; to have done so
would have cramped my style. But it is possible that
she was calling her black Persian cat in from the
dripping summer garden; when it scampered in from
the darkness she would dry it carefully with a towel,
whistling under her breath, while she did so, some
indeterminate tune. Poor Aunt Evelyn was still com*
fortingly convinced that I was transport officer,
though I had given up that job nearly three months
ago. Having licked and fastened the flimsy envelope
I handed it to Durley, with a premonition that it
would be posted. Durley received it with appropriate
gravity.

In the meantime Mansfield was making a final
reconnaissance of the ground with Sergeant Miles
and Corporal O'Brien, while Barton (unaware of my
intentions) was administering a drop of whisky to the
raiding party in the large dug-out just along the road,
It was time to be moving; so I took off my tunic,
slipped my old raincoat on over my leather waistcoat,
dumped my tin hat on my head, and picked up my

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