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face to the sun, I could feel an intensity of thankfulness
such as I'd never known before the War; listening to
the little brook that bubbled out of a copse and across
a rushy field, I could discard my personal relationship
with the military machine and its ant-like armies. On
my way home I would pass old Mr. Jukes leaning
on his garden gate, or an ancient labourer mending
gaps in a hedge. I would stop to gaze at the loveliness
of apple-blossom when the sun came out after a
shower. And the protective hospitality of Nutwood
Manor was almost bewildering when compared with
an average twenty-four hours in a front-line trench.

All this was well enough; but there was a limit to
my season of sauntering; the future was a main road
where I must fall into step and do something to earn
my "pay and allowances3'. Lady Asterisk liked to
have serious helpful little talks with her officers, and
one evening she encouraged me to discuss my imme-
diate horizon. I spoke somewhat emotionally, with
self-indulgence in making a fine effect rather than an
impartial resolve to face facts. I suggested that I'd
been trying to make up my mind about talcing a job
in England, admitting my longing for life and setting
against it the idea of sacrifice and disregard of death.
I said that most of my friends were assuring me that
there was no necessity for me to go out for the third
time. While I talked I saw myself as a noble suffering
character whose death in action would be deeply de-
plored. I saw myself as an afflicted traveller who had
entered Lady Asterisk's gates to sit by the fire and
rest his weary limbs. I did not complain about the
War; it would have been bad form to be bitter about
it at Nutwood Manor; my own "personal problem"
was what I was concerned with. . . .

We were alone in the library. She listened to me,