ing all possible medal-ribbons on pyjama jacket. Able
to furnish a bright account of her brother (if still at
the front) and suppressing all unpalatable facts about
the War. "Jolly decent of you to blow in and see me."
Hunting Friend (a few years above Military Service Age):
Deprecatory about sufferings endured at the front.
Tersely desirous of hearing all about last season's
sport- "By Jingo, that must have been a nailing good
gallop!" Jokes about the Germans, as if throwing
bombs at them was a tolerable substitute for fox-
hunting, A good deal of guffawing (mitigated by
remembrance that I'd got a .bullet hole through my
lung). Optimistic anticipations of next season's Open-
ing Meet and an early termination of hostilities on all
Nevertheless my supposed reactions to any one of
these hypothetical visitors could only be temporary.
When alone with my fellow patients I was mainly
disposed toward a self-pitying estrangement from
everyone except the troops in the Front Line. (Casual-
ties didn't count as tragic unless dead or badly
When Aunt Evelyn came up to London to see me I
felt properly touched by her reticent emotion; em-
bitterment against civilians couldn't be applied to
her. But after she had gone I resented her gentle
assumption that I had done enough and could now
accept a safe job. I wasn't going to be messed about
like that, I told myself. Yet I knew that the War was
unescapable. Sooner or later I should be sent back
to the Front Line, which was the only place where I
could be any use. A cushy wound wasn't enough to
keep me out of it.
I couldn't be free from the War; even this hospital
ward was full of it, and every day the oppression