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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

bed was being lagged into position by an orderly, Mr.
Parkins made it plain that six had been company in
that tent and seven was an inconvenience. One of his
opponents told him to stop chewing the rag and deal
again. The cards had been blown off the table and
Parkins had lost what, he said, was the first decent
hand he'd held that morning. But the additional over-
crowding soon ceased to be a grievance, and I didn't
spoil their well established circle by offering to cut in
at bridge, for I was content to read a book and
observe my fellow-invalids.

The quietest of them was Strangford, a specimen of
adolescent simplicity, lanky and overgrown and cre-
dulous. He wore a kilt, but came of good North Irish
stock. Though barely nineteen, he had done several
months in the trenches. His father kept a pack of
harriers in County Down, and his face would light up
when I encouraged him to tell me about them. But
unless he was talking or had some little job to keep
him busy, his brain appeared to cease working alto-
gether. He would sit on the edge of his bed, slowly
rubbing his knee which had a bad sore on it; a mop of
untidy brown hair hung over his forehead, and his
huge clumsy hands and red wrists had outgrown his
tunic. After rubbing his knee, he takes a letter from
his breast pocket, bending his gawky, unformed face
over it; once he smiles secretly, but when he has read
it through he is solemnówondering, perhaps, when
he will see his home and the harriers again.

Parkins was an obvious contrast to this modest
youth. Pent up in the accidental intimacy of army
life, men were usually anxious to exhibit themselves
to the best advantage, particularly as regards their
civilian antecedents. "I'll bet he was jolly well-
dressed before the war," was a type of remark fre-

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