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200 steps straight ahead; then I began to walk the
presumptive 600 steps to the left. But it isn't easy to
count your steps in the dark among shell-holes, and
after a problematic 400 I lost confidence in my auto-
matic pistol, which I was grasping in my right-hand
breeches pocket. Here I am, I thought, alone out in
this god-forsaken bit of ground, with quite a good
chance of bumping into a Boche strong-post. Appar-
ently there was only one reassuring action which I
could perform; so I expressed my opinion of the War
by relieving myself (for it must be remembered that
there are other reliefs beside Battalion reliefs).  I in-
sured my sense of direction by placing my pistol on
the ground with its muzzle pointing the way I was
going.  Feeling less lonely and afraid, I finished my
patrol without having met so much as a dead body,
and regained the trench exactly opposite our left-hand
post, after being huskily challenged by an irresolute
sentry, who, as I realized at the time3 was the greatest
danger I had encountered.   It was now just begin-
ning to be more daylight than darkness, and when
I stumbled down a shaft to the underground trench
I left the sentries shivering under a red and rainy-
looking sky.

There were fifty steps down the shaft; the earthy
smell of that triumph of Teutonic military engineer-
ing was strongly suggestive of appearing in the Roll of
Honour and being buried until the Day of Judgment.
Dry-mouthed and chilled to the bone, I lay in a wire-
netting bunk and listened to the dismal snorings of
my companions. Along the Tunnel the air blew
deathly cold and seasoned with mephitic odours. In
vain I envied the snorers; but I was getting accus-
tomed to lack of sleep, and three hours later I was
gulping some peculiar tea with morose enjoyment.