Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

dragged itself along, I began to feel quite optimistic
about the progress I was making. The Colonel's
stuttering arguments in support of "crushing Prussian
militarism" were those of a middle-aged civilian; and
as the overworked superintendent of a reinforcement
manufactory, he had never had time to ask himself
why North Welshmen were being shipped across to
France to be gassed, machine-gunned, and high ex-
plosived by Germans. It was absolutely impossible,
he asserted, for the War to end until it endedówell,
until it ended as it ought to end. Did I think it right
that so many men should have been sacrificed for no
purpose? "And surely it stands to reason, Sherston,
that you must be wrong when you set your own opin-
ion against the practically unanimous feeling of the
whole British Empire." There was no answer I could
make to that, so I remained silent, and waited for the
British Empire idea to blow over. In conclusion he
said, "Well, I've done all I can for you. I told Mersey
Defences that you missed your Board through a mis-
understanding of the instructions, but I'm afraid the
affair will soon go beyond my control, I beg you to
try and reconsider your refusal by to-morrow, and to
let us know at once if you do."

He looked at me almost irately, and departed
without another word. When his bulky figure had
vanished I felt that my isolation was perceptibly in-
creasing. All I needed to do was to wait until the affair
had got beyond his control. I wished I could have a
talk with Tyrrell. But even he wasn't infallible, for in
all our discussions about my plan of campaign he had
never foreseen that my senior officers would treat me
with this kindly tolerance which was so difficult to

During the next two days my mind groped and