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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

of certain establishments in France. His information
was all second-hand; but to hear him talk—round-
eyed but quite the man of experience—one might
have imagined that Amiens, Abbeville, Bethune, and
Armentieres were mainly illuminated by "Blue
Lamps" and "Red Lamps", and that for a good
young man to go through Havre or Rouen was a sort
of Puritan's Progress from this world to the next.

II

GOING INTO Liverpool was, for most of us, the
only antidote to the daily tedium of the Depot.
Liverpool usually meant the Olympic Hotel. This
palatial contrast to the Camp was the chief cause of
the overdrafts of Ormand and other young officers.
Never having crossed the Atlantic, I did not realize
that the Hotel was an American importation, but I
know now that the whole thing might have been
brought over from New York in the mind of a first-
class passenger. Once inside the Olympic, one trod on
black and white squares of synthetic rubber, and the
warm interior smelt of this pseudo-luxurious flooring;
Everything was white and gilt and smooth; it was, so
to speak, an air-tight Paradise made of imitation
marble. Its loftiness made resonance languid; one of
its attractions was a swimming-bath, and the whole
place seemed to have the acoustics of a swimming-
bath; noise was muffled and diluted to an aqueous
undertone, and even the languishing intermezzos of
the string band throbbed and dilated as though a de-
gree removed from ordinary audibility. Or so it
seemed to the Glitherland subaltern who lounged in
an ultra-padded chair eating rich cakes with his tea,

472