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on that June afternoon. I knew that the Captain
would have asked nothing better than to go over the
top with his old regiment, if only he'd been thirty
years younger, and I wished I could have told him
so, when we were standing at his gate. But English
reticence prohibited all that sort of thing, and I merely
remarked that Aunt Evelyn's lightning-conductor had
been blown off the chimney in the spring and she said
it wasn't worth while having it put up again. He
laughed and said she must be getting war-weary; she
had always been so particular about the lightning-
conductor. "We old 'uns can't expect to be feeling
very cock-a-hoop in these days," he added, wrinkling
up his shrewd and kindly little eyes and giving my
hand a farewell squeeze which meant more than he
could say aloud.

When Aunt Evelyn wondered whether I'd like any-
one to come to dinner on my last evening (she called
it Friday night) I replied that Pd rather we were
alone. There were very few to ask, and, as she said,
people were difficult to get hold of nowadays. So,
after a dinner which included two of my favourite
puddings, we made the best of a bad job by playing
cribbage (a game we had been addicted to when I was
at home for my school holidays) while the black
Persian cat washed his face with his paw and blinked
contentedly at the fire which had been lit though there
was no need for it, the night being warm and still. We
also had the grey parrot brought up from the kitchen.
Clinging sideways to the bars of his cage, Popsy
seemed less aware of the war than anyone I'd met.
But perhaps he sensed the pang I felt when saying
good-bye to him next morning; parrots understand