swear on the Bible that you're telling the truth?"
He swore on an imaginary Bible that nothing would
induce them to court martial me and that I should be
treated as insane. "All right, then, I'll give way."
As soon as the words were out of my mouth I sat down
on an old wooden breakwater.
So that was the end of my grand gesture. I ought
to have known that the blighters would do me down
somehow, I thought, scowling heavily at the sea. It
was appropriate that I should behave in a glumly
dignified manner, but already I was aware that an
enormous load had been lifted from my mind. In the
train David was discreetly silent. He got out at
Clitherland. "Then I'll tell Orderly Room they can
fix up a Board for you to-morrow," he remarked,
unable to conceal his elation. "You can tell them
anything you bloody well please!" I answered un-
gratefully. But as soon as I was alone I sat back and
closed my eyes with a sense of exquisite relief. I was
unaware that David had, probably, saved me from
being sent to prison by telling me a very successful lie.
No doubt I should have done the same for him if our
positions had been reversed.
It was obvious that the less I said to the Medical
Board the better. All the necessary explanations of
my mental condition were contributed by David,
who had been detailed to give evidence on my behalf.
He had a long interview with the doctors while I
waited in an ante-room. Listening to their muffled
mumblings, I felt several years younger than I'd done
two days before. I was now an irresponsible person
again, absolved from any obligation to intervene in