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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

room, expecting to be informed that I had some
incurable disease. The sound of the piano suggested
that the specialist had a happy home life of his own,
but it had no connection with my coming and going.
A sense of gentle security pervaded the room; but I
could no longer call my life my own. The pensive
music had caught me off my guard; I was only an
intruder from the Western Front. But the room con-
tained one object which unexpectedly reminded me
of the trenches—a silent canary in a cage. I had
seen canaries in cages being carried by the men of the
tunnelling company when they emerged from their
mine galleries*

II

I^ORRESPONDINGLY QUEER (though I didn't con-
V_>4sciously observe it at the time) was the experi-
ence of returning to France after sleeping seven nights
in a proper bed and wearing civilian clothes. The per-
sonal implications were obvious, since everybody at
home seemed to know that the long-planned offensive
was due to "kick off" at the end of June. Officers
going on leave had been cautioned to say nothing
about it, but even Aunt Evelyn was aware of the
impending onslaught. I was disinclined to talk about
the trenches; nevertheless I permitted myself to drop
a few heavy hints. No one had any notion what the
Big Push would be like, except that it would be much
bigger than anything which had happened before.
And somehow those previous battles hadn't divulged
themselves very distinctly to anyone except the actual
participators, who had so far proved inarticulate
reporters.

As regards my own adventures, I had decided to
say nothing to my aunt about the raid. Nevertheless

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