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cook chopped something on the kitchen table. There
might also be the short-winded snorting of a traction-
engine labouring up the hill outside the house. . . .
Meeting a traction-engine had been quite an event in
my childhood, when I was out for rides on my first
pony. And the thought of the cook suggested the
gardener clumping in with a trug of vegetables, and
the gardener suggested birds in the strawberry nets,
and altogether there was no definite end to that sort
of day-dream of an England where there was no war
on and the village cricket ground was still being mown
by a man who didn't know that he wrould some day
join "the Buffs", migrate to Mesopotamia, and march
to Bagdad.

Amiens was eleven miles away and the horses none
too sound; but Dottrell had arranged for us to motor
the last seven of the miles—the former Quartermaster
of our battalion (who had been Quartermaster at
Fourth Army Headquarters ever since the Fourth
Army had existed)—having promised to lend us his
car. So there was nothing wrong with the world as the
five of us jogged along, and I allowed myself a momen-
tary illusion that we were riding clean away from the
War. Looking across a spacious and untroubled land-
scape chequered with ripening corn and blood-red
clover, I wondered how that calm and beneficent light
could be spreading as far as the battle zone. But a
Staff car overtook us, and as it whirled importantly
past in a cloud of dust I caught sight of a handcuffed
German prisoner—soon to provide material for an
optimistic paragraph in Corps Intelligence Summary,
and to add his story to the omniscience of the powers