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might see them lying dead, with all their jollity
silenced, and their talk, which had made me im-
patient, ended for ever. I looked at gallant young
Fernby; and Durley, that kind and sensitive soul; and
my own despondency and discontent released me. I
couldn't save them, but at least I could share the
dangers and discomforts they endured. "Outside in
the gloom the guns are shaking the hills and making
lurid flashes along the valleys. Inevitably, the War
blunders on; but among the snoring sleepers I have
had my little moment of magnanimity. What I feel
is no more than the candle which makes tottering
shadows in the tent. Yet it is something, perhaps, that
one man can be awake there, though he can find no
meaning in the immense destruction which he blindly
accepts as part of some hidden purpose." . . . Thus
(rather portentously, perhaps) I recorded in my diary
the outcome of my ruminations.

For another five days my war experience continued
to mark time in that curious camp. I call the camp
curious, for it seemed so, even then. There was a make-
shift effect of men coming and going, loading and
unloading limbers and waggons, carrying fodder,
shouting at horses and mules, attending to fires, and
causing a smell of cooking. A whiff from a certain sort
of wood fire could make me see that camp clearly
now, since it was strewn and piled with empty shell-
boxes which were used for fuel, as well as for building
bivouacs. Along the road from Fricourt to Meaulte,
infantry columns continually came and went, pro-
cessions of prisoners were brought down, and small
parties of "walking wounded" straggled thankfully
toward the Casualty Clearing Station. The worn land-