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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

my immediate problem, and as soon as I was on
board the crowded boat, I consulted an obliging
steward and my fishy insurance policy was providen-
tially accommodated in the cold-storage cupboard.
Consequently my mind was unperturbed when we
steamed out of Southampton Water. I watched the
woods on the Isle of Wight, hazily receding in the
heat. And when the Isle of Wight was out of sight-
well, there was nothing to be done about it.

At Havre I was instructed, by the all-knowing
authority responsible for my return, to get out of the
train at Corbie. Havre was a glitter of lights winking
on dark slabbing water. Soon the glumly-laden train
was groaning away from the wharves, and we nodded
and snored through the night. Daylight came, and we
crawled past green landscapes blurred with drizzling
rain. Of my compartment companions I remember
nothing except that one of them talked irrepressibly
about his father's farm in Suffolk. His father, he
said, owned a bull who had produced sixty black and
white calves. This information was received with
apathy. The Battalion was at Bussy, a three-mile
walk in late afternoon sunshine. I kept to the shady
side of the road, for the salmon in its hamper was still
my constant care. Bussy came in sight as a pleasant
little place on a tributary of the Ancre. A few of our
men were bathing, and I thought how young and
light-hearted they looked, splashing one another and
shouting as they rocked a crazy boat under some lofty
poplars that shivered in a sunset breeze. How differ-
ent to the trudging figures in full marching order;
and how difficult to embody them in the crouching
imprisonment of trench warfare!

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