Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

of summer—away from air-raids and inexorable moral
responsibilities and the ever-increasing output of

But here was Cambridge, looking contented enough
in the afternoon sunshine, as though the Long Vaca-
tion were on. The Colleges appeared to have forgotten
their copious contributions to the Roll of Honour.
The streets were empty, for the Cadets were out on
their afternoon parades—probably learning how to
take compass-bearings, or pretending to shoot at an
enemy who was supposedly advancing from a wood
nine hundred yards away. I knew all about that type
of training. "Half-right; haystack; three fingers left
of haystack; copse; nine hundred; AT THE COPSE,
ten rounds rapid, FIRE!" There wasn't going to be
any musketry-exercise instructing for me, however. I
was only "going through the motions" of applying
for a job with the Cadet Battalion. The orderly room
was on the ground floor of a college. In happier
times it had been a library (the books were still there)
and the Colonel had been a History Don with a keen
interest in the Territorials. Playing the part of re-
spectful young applicant for instructorship in the
Arts of War, I found myself doing it so convincingly
that the existence of my "statement" became, for the
moment, an improbability. "Have you any specialist
knowledge?" inquired the Colonel. I told him that
I'd been Battalion Intelligence Officer for a time
(suppressing the fact that Td voluntarily relinquished
that status after three days of inability to supply the
necessary eye-wash reports). "Ah, that's excellent.
We find the majority of men very weak in map-
reading," he replied, adding, "our main object, of
course, is to instil first-rate morale. It isn't always
easy to impress on these new army men what we