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my hut with David Cromlech, who was well enough
to be able to play an energetic game of football, in
spite of having had a bit of shell through his right
lung. Bill Eaves, the Cambridge scholar, had also re-
turned and was quietly making the most of his few
remaining months. (He was killed in February while
leading a little local attack.) And there was young
Ormand, too, pulling wry faces about his next
Medical Board, which would be sure to pass him for
General Service. I could talk to these three about
"old times with the First Battalion", and those times
had already acquired a delusive unobnoxiousness,
compared with what was in store for us; for the "Big
Push3' of last summer and autumn had now found a
successor in "the Spring Offensive" (which was, of
course, going to "get the Boches on the run").

Mess, at eight o'clock, was a function which could
be used for filling up an hour and a half. While Or-
mand was making his periodic remark—that his only
reason for wanting to go out again was that it would
enable him to pay off his overdraft at Cox's Bank—
my eyes would wander up to the top table where the
Colonel sat among those good-natured easy-going
Majors who might well have adopted as their motto
the ditty sung by the troops: "We're here because
we're here because we're here because we're here."
At nine-thirty the Colonel went to the ante-room for
his game of Bridge. But the second-in-command,
Major Macartney, would sit on long afterwards, listen-
ing to one or two of his cronies and slowly imbibing
port with a hand that trembled nervously. Probably
his mind was often back in Ireland, snipe shooting
and salmon fishing. There was nothing grim about
the Major, though his features had a certain severity,
slightly reminiscent of the late Lord Kitchener. He