The place was overcrowded with bad cases and I
had to wait until after midnight for a bed. I remem-
ber sitting in a chair listening to the rain pelting on
the roof of the tent and the wailing of a wintry wind,
I was too exhausted to sleep; my head had lost con-
trol of its thoughts, which continued to re-echo my
good-bye garrulities; the injection had made me feel
chilly and queer, and my wound began to be painful.
But I was able to feel sorry for "the poor old Bat-
talion" (which was being relieved that night) and to
be thankful for my own lucky escape.
What I'd been through was nothing compared with
the sort of thing that many soldiers endured over and
over again; nevertheless I condoled with myself on
having had no end of a bad time.
Next afternoon a train (with 500 men and 35
officers on board) conveyed me to a Base Hospital.
My memories of that train are strange and rather ter-
rible, for it carried a cargo of men in whose minds the
horrors they had escaped from were still vitalized and
violent. Many of us still had the caked mud of the
war zone on our boots and clothes, and every band-
aged man was accompanied by his battle experience.
Although many of them talked lightly and even
facetiously about it, there was an aggregation of
enormities in the atmosphere of that train. I over-
heard some slightly wounded officers who were ex-
citedly remembering their adventures up at Wan-
court, where they'd been bombed out of a trench in
the dark. Their jargoning voices mingled with the
rumble and throb of the train as it journeyed—so
safely and sedately—through the environing gloom.
The Front Line was behind us; but it could lay its
hand on our hearts, though its bludgeoning reality
diminished with every mile. It was as if we were pur-