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keen fox-hunters and were still alive to appreciate the
effort made on their behalf). As for me, I was armed
with my uniform and the protective colouring of my
Military Cross, and no one could do enough for me.
I stayed as long as I liked with Moffat, the genial man
who now combined the offices of Master and Secre-
tary, and for a few weeks the pre-war past appeared
to have been conjured up for my special benefit. It was
difficult to believe that the misty autumn mornings,
which made me free of those well-known woods and
farms and downs, were simultaneously shedding an
irrelevant brightness on the Ypres Salient and on Joe
Dottrell riding wearily back with the ration-party
somewhere near Plug Street Wood. I don't think I
could see it quite like that at the time. What I am
writing now is the result of a bird's-eye view of the
past, and the cub-hunting subaltern I see there is part
of the "selfish world55 to which his attention had been
drawn. He is listening to Colonel Hesmon while the
hounds are being blown out of a big wood—hearing
how well young Winchell has done with his Brigade
(without wondering how many of them have been
"blown out" of their trenches) and being assured by
the loquacious old Colonel that the German Count
who used to live at Puxford Park was undoubtedly
a spy and only hunted with the Ringwell for that
reason; the Colonel now regretted that he didn't ride
over to Puxford Park and break all the windows be-
fore war was declared. He also declared that any man
under forty who wasn't wearing the King's uniform
was nothing but a damned shirker. I remarked to
Moffat afterwards that the Colonel seemed to be over-
doing it a bit about the War. Moffat told me that the
old boy was known to have practised revolver shoot-
ing in his garden, addressing insults to individual tree