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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

having been driven back after advancing a short dis-
tance. While the Colonel questioned him in a quiet
and controlled voice I rose stiffly to my feet, I don't
remember saying anything or receiving any orders;
but I felt that the Cameronian officers were sensitive
to the delicacy of my situation. There was no question
of another slice of home-made cake. Their unuttered
comment was, "Well, old chap, I suppose you're for
it now."

Leaving them to get what satisfaction they could
from the sergeant's story, I grinned stupidly at
Dunning, popped my helmet on my head, and made
for the stairway* It must have been a relief to be doing
something definite at last, for without pausing to think
I started off with the section of twenty-five who were
at the top of the stairs. Sergeant Baldock got them on
the move at once, although they were chilled and
drowsy after sitting there for over three hours. None
of them would have been any the worse for a mouth-
ful of rum at that particular moment. In contrast to
the wearisome candlelight of the lower regions, the
outdoor world was bright and breezy; animated also
by enough noise to remind me that some sort of battle
was going on. As we bustled along, the flustered little
contingent at my heels revived fromits numbness. I had
no idea what I was going to do; our destination was
in the brain of the stooping Cameronian guide who
trotted ahead of me. On the way we picked up a dere-
lict Lewis gun, which I thought might come in handy
though there was no ammunition with it. At the risk
of being accused of "taking the wrong half of the con-
versation" (a favourite phrase of Aunt Evelyn's) I
must say that I felt quite confident. (Looking back on
that emergency from my arm-chair, I find some diffi-
culty in believing that I was there at all.) For about

54*