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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

paper which you sent him. He has asked me to urge
you most earnestly to—er—dismiss the whole matter
from your mind." Nothing could have been more
earnest than the way he looked at me when he stopped
speaking. I replied that I was deeply grateful but I
couldn't change my mind. In the ensuing silence I
felt that I was committing a breach, not so much of
discipline as of decorum.

The disappointed Major made a renewed effort.
"But Sherston, isn't it possible for you to reconsider
your—er—ultimatum?" This was the first time Pd
heard it called an ultimatum, and the locution epito-
mized the Major's inability to find words to fit the
situation. I embarked on a floundering explanation
of my mental attitude with regard to the War; but I
couldn't make it sound convincing, and at the back
of my mind was a misgiving that I must seem to
him rather crazy. To be telling the acting-Colonel of
my regimental Training Depot that I had come to the
conclusion that England ought to make peace with
Germany—was this altogether in focus with right-
mindedness? No; it was useless to expect him to take
me seriously as an ultimatumist. So I gazed fixedly at
the floor and said, "Hadn't you better have me put
under arrest at once?"—thereby causing poor Major
Macartney additional discomfort. My remark recoiled
on me, almost as if I'd uttered something unmention-
able. "I'd rather die than do such a thing!" he ex-
claimed. He was a reticent man, and that was his
way of expressing his feeling about those whom he
had watched, month after month, going out to the
trenches, as he would have gone himself had he been a
younger man.

At this point it was obviously his duty to remon-
strate with me severely and to assert his authority.

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