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military training-camp within a radius often miles.
So I think I am accurate when I say that Aunt
Evelyn was jogging along much as usual (now that
her mind was temporarily at rest about my own active
service career). She was, of course, a bit intolerant
about the Germans, having swallowed all the stories
about atrocities in Belgium. It was her duty, as a
patriotic Englishwoman, to agree with a certain pre-
late when he preached the axiom that "every man
who killed a German was performing a Christian
act39. Nevertheless, if Aunt Evelyn had found a
wounded Prussian when she was on her way to the
post office, she would undoubtedly have behaved
with her natural humanity (combined with enthusi-
asm for administering first aid). In the meantime we
avoided controversial topics (such as that all Germans
were fiends in human form) and while I was writing
my letter to Colonel Hesmon she entered the school-
room with her arms foil of lavender which she strewed
along the floor under the window. The sun would dry
it nicely there, she said, adding that I must find her a
very dull old party nowadays, since she had no con-
versation and seemed to spend all her time trying to
catch a new housemaid. I assured her that it was a
great relief after being incessantly ordered about in
the Army, to be with someone who had no conversa-

But after dinner that evening I did find myself a bit
dull, so I walked across the fields for a chat with
Protheroe, a middle-aged bachelor who lived in a
modest old house with his quiet sister. Before I
started my aunt implored me to be careful about
extinguishing the oil lamp in the drawing-room when
I got back. Oil lamps were far from safe—downright
dangerous, in fact!