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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

bourhood. He was Irish and a voluble talker, but he
seemed to have lost much of his former vivacity. I
noticed that he was careful to keep the conversation
safely on this side of the Channel, probably out of
consideration for my feelings, although I wouldn't
have minded telling him a thing or two about the
Somme. Mr. Farrell was a retired Civil Servant and
an authority on Military Records. He had written the
lives of several famous Generals and an official History
of the Indian Mutiny. But he showed no curiosity
about the military operations of the moment. He was
over seventy, and his face was unlit and fatigued as
he talked about food restrictions in England. "Sugar
is getting scarce," he remarked, <ebut that doesn't
affect me; my doctor knocked me off sugar several
years ago." I looked at his noticeably brown teeth,
and then averted my eyes as if he could read my
thoughts, for I was remembering how Aunt Evelyn
used to scold me for calling him "sugar-teeth"; his
untidy teeth did look like lumps of sugar soaked in
tea. ...

Dear old Mr. Farrell, with his red tie and the
cameo ring round it, and his silver hair and ragged
tobacco-stained moustache! As his large form lum-
bered away across the lawn, I thought that his clothes
had got too big for him, though he'd always worn
them rather baggy. Could it be possible that scrupu-
lous people at home were getting thin while the
soldiers got fat on their good rations at the Front?
I began to suspect that England wasn't quite what it
used to be. But my mind soon wandered indolently
into the past which the veteran military historian had
brought with him into the college garden. I remem-
bered summer evenings when I was a little boy over-
hearing, from in bed upstairs, the mumble of voices

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