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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

worse, but another two or three years ought to see the
job finished." I found him surly and contradictory at
first, but he softened when he got to know me, though
he wasn't an easy man to discuss anything with, for
he simply stated his opinions in a loud voice and only
listened to one's replies in a detached one-eared way
(which was literally true, since he was stone deaf on
one side of his head, and had only got himself passed
for active service after a tussle with the War Office) .
His rough and ready philosophy was refreshing, and
he was a wholesome example of human inconsistency.
He was a good-hearted man, I felt; but his attitude
toward Conscientious Objectors was frankly brutal.
He described, with evident relish, his methods of deal-
ing with two of them who had turned up at the Rifle
Brigade Depot. One had been a tough nut to crack,
for he was a well-educated man, and the authorities
were afraid of him. But the Major had got him run in
for two years' hard labour. He'd have knocked him
about a bit if he'd been allowed to, he said. The other
one was some humble inarticulate wretch who refused
to march. So the Major had him tied to the back of a
waggon and dragged along a road until he was badly
cut about. "After a few hundred yards he cried
enough, and afterwards turned out to be quite a
decent soldier. Made good, and was killed in the
trenches." He smiled grimly. Discipline had to be
enforced by brutality, said the Major; and, as I have
already remarked, he wasn't amenable to argument.
I hadn't formed any opinion about Conscientious
Objectors, but I couldn't help thinking that they
must be braver men than some Pd seen wearing uni-
forms in safe places and taking salutes from genuine
soldiers.

49?