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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

moderately efficient. Shirley, on the other hand, had
been educated at Winchester and the War had inter-
rupted his first year at Oxford. He was a delicate-
featured and fastidious young man, an only child,
and heir to a comfortable estate in Flintshire. Rees
rather got on our nerves with his table manners, and
Shirley deprecated the way he licked his thumb when
dealing the cards for their games of nap. But social
incompatibilities were now merged in communal dis-
comfort. Both of them were new to the line, so I felt
that I ought to look after them, if possible. I noticed
that Rees kept his courage up by talking incessantly
and making jokes about the battle; while Shirley,
true to the traditions of his class, simulated nonchal-
ance, discussing with Leake (also an Oxford man) the
comparative merits of Magdalen and Christ Church,
or Balliol and New College. But he couldn't get the
nonchalance into his eyes. . . . Both Shirley and Rees
were killed before the autumn.

From our obsolete trench we looked toward the
naked ground which rose to the ridge. Along that
ridge ran the Hindenburg Line (a mile and a half
away) from which new attacks were now being at-
tempted. There was another attack next morning.
Rees was detailed for an ammunition-carrying party,
and he returned noisier than ever. It had been his
first experience of shell-fire. Narrating his numerous
escapes from hostile explosives, he continually invoked
the name of the founder of his religion; now that it
was all over he enjoyed the retrospective excitement,
roaring with laughter while he told us how he and his
men had flung themselves on their faces in the mud,