Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

cogitations, for when my taxi stopped in that narrow
thoroughfare. Old Broad Street, the people on the
pavement were standing still, staring up at the hot
white sky. Loud hangings had begun in the near
neighbourhood, and it was obvious than an air-raid
was in full swing. This event could not be ignored;
but I needed money and wished to catch my train, so
I decided to disregard it. The crashings continued,
and while I was handing my cheque to the cashier a
crowd of women clerks came wildly down a winding
stairway with vociferations of not unnatural alarm.
Despite this commotion the cashier handed me live
one-pound notes with the stoical politeness of a rnan
who had made up his mind to go down with the ship.
Probably he felt as I did—more indignant than
afraid; there seemed no sense in the idea of being
blown to bits in one's own bank. I emerged from the
building with an air of soldierly unconcern; my taxi-
driver, like the cashier, was commendably calm,
although another stupendous crash sounded as though
very near Old Broad Street (as indeed it was). "I
suppose we may as well go on to the station/' I re-
marked, adding, "it seems a bit steep that one can't
even cash a cheque in comfort!55 The man grinned
and drove on. It was impossible to deny that the War
was being brought home to me. At Liverpool Street
there had occurred what, under normal conditions,
would be described as an appalling catastrophe.
Bombs had been dropped on the station and one of
them had hit the front carriage of the noon express to
Cambridge. Horrified travellers were hurrying away.
The hands of the clock indicated 11.50; but railway
time had been interrupted; for once in its career, the
imperative clock was a passive spectator. While I
stood wondering what to do, a luggage trolley was