Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

wire fence and walk in the clean-smelling pine-woods.
The surf-like sighing of the lofty colonnades could
tranquillize my thoughts after the boredom of the tent
and the chatter of the card players crouching by the
stove. The pine-trees are patiently waiting for the
guns to stop, I thought, and I felt less resentment
against the War than I had done since I left England.
. . . One afternoon I followed an alley which led
downhill to a big shuttered house. Blackbirds were
scolding among the bushes as I trespassed in the un-
tidy garden, and someone was chopping timber in a
brown copse below the house. A dog barked from the
stable-yard; hens clucked, and a cow lowed. Such
homely sounds were comforting when one was in the
exile of army life. I thought of the lengthening spring
twilights and the lovely wakening of the year, forgetful
of the "Spring Offensive". But it was only for a short
while, and the bitter reality returned to me as I
squeezed myself through the hospital's barbed wire
fence. I was losing my belief in the War, and I longed
for mental acquiescence—to be like young Patterson,
who had come out to fight for his country undoubt-
ing, who could still kneel by his bed and say his simple
prayers, steadfastly believing that he. was in the Field
Artillery to make the world a better place. I had
believed like that, once upon a time, but now the only
prayer which seemed worth uttering was Omar

For all the Sin wherewith the face of Man

Is blackened—Man's forgiveness give—and take.



ACK AT the Infantry Base Depot after my ten
days of German measles, I stared at the notice