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Readers of my previous volumes will be aware that
I am no exception to the rule that most people enjoy
talking about themselves to a sympathetic listener.
Next morning I went to Rivers' room as one of his
patients. In an hour's talk I told him as much as I
could about my perplexities. Forgetting that he was
a doctor and that I was an "interesting case", I an-
swered his quiet impartial questions as clearly as I
could, with a comfortable feeling that he understood
me better than I understood myself.
For the first few days, we had one of these friendly
confabulations every evening. I had begun by ex-
plaining that my "attitude", as expressed in my
"statement53, was unchanged. "Just because they re-
fused to court martial me, it doesn't make any differ-
ence to my still being on strike, does it?" I remarked.
(This fact was symbolized by my tunic, which was
still minus the M.C. ribbon that I had thrown into
the River Mersey!)
Rivers replied that my safest plan would be to mark
time for a few weeks; meanwhile the hospital authori-
ties would allow me all the freedom I wanted and
would rely on me not to do anything imprudent. One
evening I asked whether he thought I was suffering
"Certainly not," he replied.
"What have I got, then?"
"Well, you appear to be suffering from an anti-war
complex." We both of us laughed at that. Rivers
never seemed elderly; though there were more than
twenty years between us, he talked as if I were his
mental equal, which was very far from being the case.
Meanwhile my main problem was how to fill up
my time. Everything possible was done to make the
hospital pleasant for its inmates, but the fact remained