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her silver hair and handsome face bent slightly for-
ward above a piece of fine embroidery. Outwardly
emotionless, she symbolized the patrician privileges
for whose preservation I had chucked bombs at
Germans and carelessly offered myself as a target for
a sniper. When I had blurted out my opinion that life
was preferable to the Roll of Honour she put aside
her reticence like a rich cloak. "But death is nothing,5*
she said. "Life, after all, is only the beginning. And
those who are killed in the War—they help us from
up there. They are helping us to win.'5 I couldn't
answer that; this "other world", of which she was so
certain, was something I had forgotten about since I
was wounded. Expecting no answer, she went on
with a sort of inflexible sympathy (almost uas if my
number was already up", as I would have expressed
it), "It isn't as though you were heir to a great name.
No; I can't see any definite reason for your keeping
out of danger. But, of course, you can only decide a
thing like that for yourself."

I went up to the Clematis Room feeling caddishly
estranged and cynical; wondering whether the Ger-
mans "up there" were doing anything definite to im-
pede the offensive operations of the Allied Powers.
But Lady Asterisk wasn't hard-hearted. She only
wanted me "to do the right thing". ... I began to
wish that I could talk candidly to someone. There
was too much well-behaved acquiescence at Nutwood
Manor; and whatever the other officers there thought
about the War, they kept it to themselves; they had
done their bit for the time being and were conven-
tional and correct, as if the eye of their Colonel was
upon them.