creature, but we got very tired of his incessant repeti-
tion of a stale joke which consisted in saying in a loud
voice, / will arise and will go unto my father and will say
unto him; Father, stand-at-ease!
Then there was White, a sensible Territorial Cap-
tain who had been in charge of Heavy Trench Mor-
tars. Short and thick-set, with a deep, humorous
voice, he talked in a muddled way about the Waró
sardonic about English methods, but easily impressed
by notable "public names55 of politicians and generals.
He liked discussing Trench Mortar technicalities, and
from the way he spoke about his men I knew that he
had earned their gratitude.
There was another youngish man who had been a
clerk in the Colonial Office and had gone to Egypt as
a Yeomanry Sergeant before getting his Infantry com-
mission. He talked to me, in a cockney accent, about
his young wife, and was evidently kindly and reliable,
though incapable of understanding an original idea.
Two days after I'd seen the last of him, I couldn't
remember either his face or his name.
The last of my six companions was Patterson, aged
nineteen and fresh from Edinburgh University with a
commission in the Field Artillery. His home was in
Perth and he admitted that he loved porridge, when
asking the nurse to try and wangle him a second help-
ing of it. He talked broad Scots and made simple-
minded war jokes, and then surprised me by quoting
Milton and Keats. Self-reliant with a sort of pleasant
truculence, he was thorough and careful in everything
he did. With his crisp fair hair, grey eyes, and fresh
complexion, he was a pattern of charming youthful-
ness. If he lived, he would be a shrewd, kindly man.
Did he live, I wonder? . ..
After the first few days I used to slip through the