Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

War could alter the inadequacy of kippers and gramo-
phones or sustain my sense of unity with those to
whom I sent them.

On the day before I departed from Nutwood
Manor I received another letter from Dottrell. It con-
tained bad news about the Second Battalion. Viewed
broadmindedly, the attack had been quite a common-
place fragment of the War. It had been a hopeless
failure, and with a single exception all officers in
action had become casualties. None of the bodies had
been brought in. The First and Second Battalions had
been quite near one another, and Dottrell had seen
Ormand a day or two before the show. "He looked
pretty depressed, though outwardly as jolly as ever."
Dunning had been the first to leave our trench; had
shouted "Cheerio" and been killed at once. Dottrell
thanked me for the box of kippers. . . ,

Lady Asterisk happened to be in the room when I
opened the letter. With a sense of self-pitying indigna-
tion I blurted out my unpleasant information. Her
tired eyes showed that the shock had brought the War
close to her, but while I was adding a few details her
face became self-defensively serene. "But they are
safe and happy now," she said. I did not doubt her
sincerity, and perhaps they were happy now. All the
same, I was incapable of accepting the deaths of
Ormand and Dunning and the others in that spirit. I
wasn't a theosophist. Nevertheless I left Nutwood
with gratitude for the kindness I had received there. I
had now four weeks in which to formulate my plans
for the future.