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crutches, with legs amputated, and at least one man
had lost that necessary faculty for trench warfare, his
eyesight. They appeared to be accepting the absurd
situation stoically; they were allowed to smoke. The
Staff Officer who was drawing diagrams on a black-
board was obviously desirous of imparting informa-
tion about the lesson which had been learnt from the
Battle of Ncuve Chapelle or some equally obsolete
engagement. But I noticed several faces in the audi-
ence which showed signs of tortured nerves, and it was
unlikely that their efficiency was improved by the
lecturer, who concluded by reminding us of the para-
mount importance of obtaining offensive ascendancy
in no-man's-land.

In the afternoon I had an interview with the doctor
who was empowered to decide how soon I went to the
country. One of the men with whom I shared a room
had warned me that this uniformed doctor was a
queer customer. "The blighter seems to take a posi-
tive pleasure in tormenting people," he remarked,
adding, * 'He'll probably tell you that you'll have to
stay here till you're passed fit for duty." But I had
contrived to obtain a letter from the Countess of
Somewhere, recommending me for one of the country
houses in her Organization; so I felt fairly secure.
(At that period of the War people with large houses
received convalescent officers as guests.)

The doctor, a youngish man dressed as a temporary
Captain, began by behaving quite pleasantly. After
he'd examined me and the document which outlined
my insignificant medical history, he asked what I pro-
posed to do now. I said that I was hoping to get sent
to some place in the country for a few weeks. He re-
plied that I was totally mistaken if I thought any such
thing. An expression, which I can only call cruel.