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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

deep. The Germans had evidently been digging when
we attacked, and had left their packs and other equip-
ment ranged along the reverse edge of the trench. I
stared about me; the smoke-drifted twilight was alive
with intense movement, and there was a wild strange-
ness in the scene which somehow excited me. Our
men seemed a bit out of hand and I couldn't see any
of the responsible N.C.O.s; some of the troops were
firing excitedly at the Wood; others were rummaging
in the German packs. Fernby said that we were being
sniped from the trees on both sides. Mametz Wood
was a menacing wall of gloom, and now an outburst
of rapid thudding explosions began from that direc-
tion. There was a sap from the Quadrangle to the
Wood, and along this the Germans were bombing. In
all this confusion I formed the obvious notion that we
ought to be deepening the trench. Daylight would
be on us at once, and we were along a slope exposed
to enfilade fire from the Wood. I told Fernby to make
the men dig for all they were worth, and went to the
right with Kendle. The Germans had left a lot of
shovels, but we were making no use of them. Two
tough-looking privates were disputing the ownership
of a pair of field-glasses, so I pulled out my pistol and
urged them, with ferocious objurations, to chuck all
that fooling and dig. I seemed to be getting pretty
handy with my pistol, I thought, for the conditions in
Quadrangle Trench were giving me a sort of angry
impetus. In some places it was only a foot deep, and
already men were lying wounded and killed by snip-
ing. There were high-booted German bodies, too,
and in the blear beginning of daylight they seemed as
much the victims of a catastrophe as the men who had
attacked them. As I stepped over one of the Germans
an impulse made me lift him up from the miserable

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