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and you'll get me two years3 hard labour for certain,
and with any luck they'll decide to shoot me as a sort
of deserter." He looked so aggrieved at this that I re-
lented and suggested that we'd better havesome lunch.
But David was always an absent-minded eater, and on
this occasion he prodded disapprovingly at his food
and then bolted it down as if it were medicine.

A couple of hours later we were wandering aim-
lessly along the shore at Formby, and still jabbering
for all we were worth. I refused to accept his well-
meaning assertion that no one at the Front would
understand my point of view and that they would
only say that I'd got cold feet. "And even if they do
say that", I argued, "the main point is that by back-
ing out of my statement I shall be betraying my real
convictions and the people who are supporting me.
Isn't that worse cowardice than being thought
cold-footed by officers who refuse to think about any-
thing except the gentlemanly traditions of the Regi-
ment? I'm not doing it for fun, am I? Can't you
understand that this is the most difficult thing I've
ever done in my life? I'm not going to be talked out of
it just when I'm forcing them to make a martyr of
me," "They won't make a martyr of you/' he replied.
"How do you know that?" I asked. He said that the
Colonel at Clitherland had told him to tell me that if
I continued to refuse to be "medically-boarded" they
would shut me up in a lunatic asylum for the rest of
the War. Nothing would induce them to court martial
me. It had all been arranged with some big bug at
the War Office in the last day or two. "Why didn't
you tell me before?" I asked. "I kept it as alast resort
because I was afraid it might upset you," he replied,
tracing a pattern on the sand with his stick. "I
wouldn't believe this from anyone but you. Will you