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combined Compass-Barometer also failed to attract
me. The automatic pistol wasn't "warranted to stop
a man", but it could be slipped into the pocket. It
was only a plaything, but I was weary of my Colt re-
volver, with which I knew I couldn't hit anything,
although I had blazed it off a few times in the dark
when I was pretending to be important in no-man's-
land. The only object I could be sure of hitting was
myself, and I decided (in the Army and Navy Stores)
that I might conceivably find it necessary to put my-
self out of my misery, if the worst came to the worst
and I was lying out in a shell-hole with something
more serious than a Blighty wound. To blow one's
brains out with that clumsy Colt was unthinkable.
The automatic pistol, on the other hand, was quite a
charming little weapon. Not that I'd ever been fond
of firearms. I had never shot at a bird or an animal
in my life, though I'd often felt that my position as a
sportsman would be stronger if I were "a good man
with a gun".

The truth was that the only explosive weapon I
owned before the war was a toy pistol which made a
noise but discharged nothing. Sitting in the wrong-
way leave train I remembered how, when about nine
years old, I used to go up to the little sweet shop in the
village and buy "three penn'orth of percussion caps"
for my pistol; and how the buxom old woman used
to ask briskly, "Anything else to-day, Master
George?" Whereupon I would be compelled to de-
cide between clove and peppermint bulls' eyes, with
a bar of chocolate-cream to make it up to sixpence.
Twenty years was a long time ago; but already the
village green as I saw it last week was beginning to
seem almost as remote. . . . However, it was no use
dreaming about all that now; Kinjack's salmon was