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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

trundled past me; on it lay an elderly man, shabbily
dressed, and apparently dead. The sight of blood
caused me to feel quite queer. This sort of danger
seemed to demand a quality of courage dissimilar to
front-line fortitude. In a trench one was acclimatized
to the notion of being exterminated and there was a
sense of organized retaliation. But here one was help-
less; an invisible enemy sent destruction spinning
down from a fine weather sky; poor old men bought
a railway ticket and were trundled away again dead
on a barrow; wounded women lay about in the
station groaning. And one's train didn't start. . „ .
Nobody could say for certain when it would start, a
phlegmatic porter informed me; so I migrated to St.
Pancras and made the journey to Cambridge in a
train which halted good-naturedly at every station.
Gazing at sleepy green landscapes, I found difficulty
in connecting them (by the railway line) with the air-
raid which (I was afterwards told) had played hell
with Paternoster Avenue. "It wouldn't be such a bad
life", I thought, "if one were a station-master on a
branch line in Bedfordshire." There was something
attractive, too, in the idea of being a commercial
traveller, creeping about the country and doing
business in drowsy market towns and snug cathedral
cities.

If only I could wake up and find myself living
among the parsons and squires of Trollope's Barset-
shire, jogging easily from Christmas to Christmas,
and hunting three days a week with the Duke of
Omnium's Hounds. . . .

The elms were so leafy and the lanes invited me
to such rural remoteness that every time the train
slowed up I longed to get out and start on an inde-
finite walking tour—away into the delusive Sabbath

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