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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

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.