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my head knowingly, and took an acquiescent share
in the discussion of the strategic situation. Details of
organization were offered me and I made a few
smudgy notes. The Cams, didn't think that there was
much chance of my party being called on to support
them, and they were hoping that the underground
attack would be eliminated from operation orders.

I emerged from the desperation jollity of their little
den with only a blurred notion of what it was all
about. The objective was to clear the trench for 500
yards while other battalions went over the top on our
left to attack Fontaine-les-Croiselles. But I was, at the
best of times, only an opportunist officer; technical
talk in the Army always made me feel mutely ineffi-
cient. And now I was floundering home in the dark
to organize my command, put something plausible on
paper, and take it along to the Adjutant. If only I
could consult the Doctor, I thought; for he was
back from leave, though I hadn't seen him yet. It
seemed to me, in my confused and exhausted con-
dition, that I was at a crisis in my military career;
and, as usual, my main fear was that I should make
a fool of myself. The idea of making a fool of oneself
in that murderous mix-up now appears to me rather
a ludicrous one; for I see myself merely as a blunder-
ing flustered little beetle; and if someone happens to
put his foot on a beetle, it is unjust to accuse the
unlucky insect of having made a fool of itself. When
I got back to Leake and Rees and Shirley I felt so lost

The Tunnel was a few inches higher than a tall man
walking upright; it was fitted with bunks and recessed
rooms; in places it was crowded with men of various
units, but there were long intervals of unwholesome-
smelling solitude. Prying my way along with an elec-