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with all the hanky-panky in the daily papers." His
reply was reticent but friendly, and I went to his club
feeling that I was a mouthpiece for the troops in the
trenches. However, when the opportunity for altru-
istic eloquence arrived, I discovered, with relief, that
none was expected of me. The editor took most of my
horrifying information on trust, and I was quite con-
tent to listen to his own acrimonious comments on
contemporary affairs. Markington was a sallow spec-
tacled man with earnest uncompromising eyes and a
stretched sort of mouth which looked as if it had
ceased to find human follies funny. The panorama of
public affairs had always offered him copious occa-
sions for dissent; the Boer War had been bad enough,
but this one had provided almost too much provoca-
tion for his embitterment. In spite of all this he wasn't
an alarming man to have lunch with; relaxing into
ordinary humanity, he could enjoy broad humour,
and our conversation took an unexpected turn when
he encouraged me to tell him a few army anecdotes
which might be censored if I were to print them. I
felt quite fond of Markington when he threw himself
back in his chair in a paroxysm of amusement. Most
of his talk, however, dealt with more serious subjects,
and he made me feel that the world was in an even
worse condition than my simple mind had suspected.
When I questioned him about the probable duration
of the War he shrugged his shoulders. The most likely
conclusion that he could foresee was a gradual disin-
tegration and collapse of all the armies. After the
War, he said, conditions in all countries would be ap-
palling, and Europe would take fifty years to recover.
With regard to what I suggested in my letter, he ex-
plained that if he were to print veracious accounts of
infantry experience his paper would be suppressed as