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ditches.) What I expected to find along that sap, I
can't say. Finding nothing, I stopped to Ksten. There
seemed to be a lull in the noise of the attack along the
line. A few machine-guns tapped, spiteful and spas-
modic. High up in the fresh blue sky an aeroplane
droned and glinted. I thought what a queer state of
things it all was, and then decided to take a peep at
the surrounding country. This was a mistake which
ought to have put an end to my terrestrial adventures,
for no sooner had I popped my silly head out of the
sap than I felt a stupendous blow in the back between
my shoulders. My first notion was that a bomb had
hit me from behind, but what had really happened
was that I had been sniped from in front. Anyhow
my foolhardy attitude toward the Second Battle of
the Scarpe had been instantaneously altered for the
worse. I leant against the side of the sap and shut my
eyes. . , . When I reopened them Sergeant Baldock
was beside me, discreet and sympathetic, and to my
surprise I discovered that I wasn't dead. He helped
me back to the trench, gently investigated my wound,
put a field-dressing on it, and left me sitting there
while he went to bring up some men.

After a short spell of being deflated and sorry for
myself, I began to feel rabidly heroical again, but in
a slightly different style, since I was now a wounded
hero, with my arm in a superfluous sling. All my
seventy-five men were now on the scene (minus a few
who had been knocked out by our own shells, which
were dropping short), I can remember myself talking
volubly to a laconic Stokes-gun officer, who had ap-
peared from nowhere with his weapon and a couple of
assistants. I felt that I must make one more onslaught
before I turned my back on the War and my only idea
was to collect all available ammunition and then re-