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"the Morning Post would be anathematizing him as
a white-livered defeatist! You ought to read his
speeches on International Arbitration—not a very
popular subject in these days!"

I was comfortably impressed by my surroundings,
for the club was the Mecca of the Liberal Party. From
a corner of the smoking-room I observed various
eminent-looking individuals who were sipping coffee
and puffing cigars, and I felt that I was practically in
the purlieus of public life. Markington pointed out a
few Liberal politicians whose names I knew, and one
conspicuous group included a couple of novelists
whose reputations were so colossal that I could
scarcely believe that I was treading the same carpet as
they were. I gazed at them with gratitude; apart
from their eminence, they had provided me with a
great deal of enjoyment, and I would have liked to tell
them so. For Markington, however, such celebrities
were an everyday occurrence, and he was more inter-
ested in my own sensations while on active service.
A single specimen of my eloquence will be enough.
"As a matter of fact I'm almost sure that the War
doesn't seem nearly such a bloody rotten show when
one's out there as it does when one's back in England.
You see as soon as one gets across the Channel one
sort of feels as if it's no good worrying any more—you
know what I mean—like being part of the Machine
again, with nothing to be done except take one's
chance. After that one can't bother about anything
except the Battalion one's with. Of course, there's a
hell of a lot of physical discomfort to be put up with,
and the unpleasant sights seem to get worse every
year; but apart from being shelled and so on, I must
say I've often felt extraordinarily happy even in the
trenches. Out there it's just one thing after another,