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came from behind the screen again. His voice went
on, in the low, rapid, even tone of delirium. Some-
times I could catch what he said, troubled and un-
happy and complaining. Someone called Dicky was
on his mind, and he kept on crying out to Dicky.
"Don't go out, Dicky; they snipe like hell!" And
then, "Curse the Wood.. .. Dicky, you fool, don't go
out!35 . . . All the horror of the Somme attacks was in
that raving; all the darkness and the dreadful day-
light. ... I watched the Sister come back with a
white-coated doctor; the screen glowed comfortingly;
soon the disquieting voice became inaudible and I fell
asleep. Next morning the screens had vanished; the
bed was empty, and ready for someone else.
Not that day, but the next one, my supplication to
the Almighty was put to the test. The doctor came
along the ward on his cheerful morning inspection.
Arriving at my bed he asked how I was feeling. I
stared up at him, incapable of asserting that I felt ill
and unwilling to admit that I felt well. Fortunately
he didn't expect a reply. "Well, we'll have to be
moving you on," he said with a smile; and before my
heart had time to beat again he turned to the nurse
with, "Put him down for the afternoon train." The
nurse made a note of it, and my mind uttered a spon-
taneous Magnificat. Now, with any luck, I thought,
I'll get a couple of weeks at one of those hospitals on
the coast, at fitretat or Le Treport, probably. The
idea of reading a book by the seaside was blissful.
No one could blame me for that, and I should be
back with the Battalion by the end of August, if not