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this?" I enquired. He smiled in a knowing way.
Already he was beginning to look less as though he
were visiting an invalid; but I'd been so much locked
up with my own thoughts lately that for the next few
minutes I talked nineteen to the dozen, telling him
what a hellish time I'd had, how terribly kind the
depot officers had been to me, and so on. "When I
started this anti-war stunt I never dreamt it would be
such a long job, getting myself run in for a court
martial/5 I concluded, laughing with somewhat hol-
low gaiety.

In the meantime David sat moody and silent, his
face twitching nervously and his fingers twiddling one
of his tunic buttons. "Look here, George," he said,
abruptly, scrutinizing the button as though he'd never
seen such a thing before, "I've come to tell you that
you've got to drop this anti-war business." This was
a new idea, for I wasn't yet beyond my sense of relief
at seeing him. "But I can't drop it," I exclaimed.
"Don't you realize that I'm a man with a message?
I thought you'd come to see me through the court
martial as 'prisoner's friend'." We then settled down
to an earnest discussion about the "political errors and
insincerities for which the fighting men were being
sacrificed". He did most of the talking, while I dis-
agreed defensively. But even if our conversation could
be reported in full, I am afraid that the verdict of pos-
terity would be against us. We agreed that the world
had gone mad; but neither of us could see beyond his
own experience, and we weren't life-learned enough
to share the patient selfless stoicism through which
men of maturer age were acquiring anonymous glory.
Neither of us had the haziest idea of what the poli-
ticians were really up to (though it is possible that the
politicians were only feeling their way and trusting in