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their lights were only blurs and patches, and the
prophets and martyrs robed in blue and crimson
and green were merged in outer darkness.

The Hotel de la Poste hadn't altogether modernized
its interior, but it contained much solid comfort and
supplied the richest meals in Rouen. Consequently it
was frequented by every British officer employed in
the district, and had become a sort of club for those
indispensable residents—so much so that strong sug-
gestions had been advanced by senior officers to the
effect that the Poste should be put out of bounds for all
Infantry subalterns on their way to the Line. The
place, they felt, was becoming too crowded, and the
deportment of a "temporary gentleman" enjoying
his last decent dinner was apt to be more suitable
to a dug-out than a military club.

Leaning back in a wicker chair, I enjoyed the after-
effects of a hot bath and wondered what I'd have for
dinner. The lift came sliding down from nowhere to
stop with a dull bump. A bulky grey-haired Colonel,
with green tabs and a Coronation Medal, stepped
heavily out, leaning on a stick and glaring around
him from under a green and gold cap and aggressive
eyebrows. His disapproval focused itself on a group
of infantry subalterns whose ungainly legs were cum-
bered with high trench boots; trench-coats and haver-
sacks were slung untidily across their chairs; to-night,
or to-morrow, or "some old time or other", they'd be
crawling up to the War in an over-ventilated re-
inforcement train, gazing enviously at the Red Cross
trains which passed them—going the other way—
and disparaging the French landscape, "so different