play at being a hero in shining armour, as I'd done
last year; if I didn't, I might crumple up altogether.
(Self-inflicted wounds weren't uncommon on the
Western Front, and brave men had put bullets
through their own heads before now, especially when
winter made trench warfare unendurable.) Having
thus decided on death or glory, I knocked my pipe
out and got up from the tree stump with a sense of
having solved my problems. The deer were still graz-
ing peacefully in the park; but the sun was a glint of
scarlet beyond the strip of woodland and the air was
turning chilly. Along the edge of the world that in-
fernal banging was going on for all it was worth.
Three Army Corps were to attack on Easter Monday.
On a sunny Easter morning we moved another
seven miles, to Basseux, a village which had been
quite close to the trenches before the Germans with-
drew to the Hindenburg Line, The Sausage Machine
was now only eight miles away from us, and the pre-
liminary bombardment was, as someone in the ranks
remarked, "a fair bloody treat to listen to.3' We in-
sisted on being optimistic. The Tanks were going to
put the fear of God into the Boches, and the Cavalry
would get tlieir opportunity at last. We passed a
squadron of Lancers on the road. Oh yes, they were
massing for a break-through. Allenby knew what he
was up to all right. And our Divisional General had
told someone that it would be a walk-over for the
infantry this time.
That afternoon I strolled out to inspect our old
front-line trenches. As usual they gave me a queer
feeling; it would be almost accurate to say that they
fascinated me. Derelict ditches as they now were,