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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

could see the tiny traffic creeping to and fro on
Charing Cross Bridge and a barge going down the
river in the sunshine. My heart was beating violently.
I knew that I couldn't turn back now. Those few
moments seemed to last a long time; I was conscious
of the stream of life going on its way, happy and un-
troubled, while I had just blurted out something
which alienated me from its acceptance of a fine day
in the third June of the Great War. Returning to his
chair, he said, "I suppose you've realized what the
results of such an action would be, as regards your-
self?55 I replied that I didn't care two damns what
they did to me as long as I got the thing off my chest.
He laughed, looking at me with a gleam of his essen-
tial kindness. "As far as I am aware, you'd be the first
soldier to take such a step, which would, of course, be
welcomed by the extreme pacifists. Your service at
the front would differentiate you from the conscien-
tious objectors. But you must on no account make
this gesture—a very fine one if you are really in
earnest about it—unless you can carry it through
effectively. Such an action would require to be care-
fully thought out, and for the present I advise you to
be extremely cautious in what you say and do." His
words caused me an uncomfortable feeling that perhaps
I was only making a fool of myself; but this was soon
mitigated by a glowing sense of martyrdom. I saw
myself "attired with sudden brightness, like a man
inspired", and while Markington continued his coun-
sels of prudence my resolve strengthened toward its
ultimate obstinacy. After further reflection he said
that the best man for me to consult wais Thornton
Tyrrell. "You know him by name, I suppose?" I was
compelled to admit that I didn't. Markington handed
me Who's Who and began to write a letter while I

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