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DURING MY last week I was allowed out of the
hospital in the afternoons, and I used to go up
the Cherwell in a canoe. I found this recreation rather
heavy work, for the water was a jungle of weeds and
on the higher reaches progress had become almost im-
possible. Certainly the Great War had made a differ-
ence to the charming River Cherwell. But I had been
feeling much more cheerful lately, for my friend
Cromlech had risen again from the dead. I had seen
his name in the newspaper list of killed, but soon
afterwards someone telegraphed to tell me that he was
in a London hospital and going on well. For fully a
fortnight I had accustomed myself to the idea that his
dead body was somewhere among the Somme shell-
holes, and it was a queer experience, to be disen-
tangling myself from the mental obituary notices
which I had evolved out of my luminous memories of
our companionship in the First Battalion. "Silly old
devil," I thought affectionately; "he always manages
to do things differently from other people."

By the end of August I was back at Butley with a
month's sick leave and the possibility of an extension.
So for the first week or two I forgot the future and en-
joyed being made a fuss of by Aunt Evelyn. My out-
look on the War was limited to the Battalion I had
served with. After being kept out of the Line for nearly
five weeks, they were expecting to be moved up at any
moment. This news came in a letter from Durley.
Suppressing such disquietude as it caused me, I put
the letter in my pocket and went out to potter round
the garden. It was a fine early September morning—