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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Although Tyrrell had told me that my statement
needn't be more than 200 words long, it took me
several days to formulate. At first I felt that I had so
much to say that I didn't know where to begin. But
after several verbose failures it seemed as though the
essence of my manifesto could be stated in a single
sentence: "I say this War ought to stop." During the
struggle to put my unfusilierish opinions into some
sort of shape, my confidence often diminished. But
there was no relaxation of my inmost resolve, since I
was in the throes of a species of conversion which made
the prospect of persecution stimulating and almost
enjoyable. No; my loss of confidence was in the same
category as my diffidence when first confronted by a
Vickers Machine-Gun and its Instructor. While he
reeled off the names of its numerous component parts,
I used to despair of ever being able to remember them
or understand their workings. "And unless I know
all about the Vickers Gun I'll never get sent out to the
front," I used to think. Now, sitting late at night in
an expensive but dismal bedroom in Jermyn Street, I
internally exclaimed, "I'll never be able to write out
a decent statement and the whole blasted protest will
be a washout! Tyrrell thinks I'm quite brainy, but
when he reads this stuff he'll realize what a dud I am."

What could I do if Tyrrell decided to discourage
my candidature for a court martial? Chuck up the
whole idea and go out again and get myself killed as
quick as possible? "Yes," I thought, working myself
up into a tantrum, "I'd get killed just to show them
all I don't care a damn." (I didn't stop to specify the
identity of "them all"; such details could be dis-
pensed with when one had lost one's temper with the
Great War.) But common sense warned me that get-
ting sent back was a slow business, and getting killed

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