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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

see him again, I wonder? And have I been too hard
on him? Well, I can only say that nothing I can do
to Doctor Macamble could be worse than his advice
to me—had I been imbecile enough to act on it.

On a pouring wet afternoon a day or two later I
was in the entrance hall of the hospital, indulging in
some horse-play with another young officer who hap-
pened to be feeling "dangerously Veil" at the mo-
ment. It was the hour when visitors came to see
patients, and my somewhat athletic sense of humour
had focused itself on a very smug-looking brown felt
hat, left to take care of itself while the owner con-
versed with elaborate cheerfulness to some "poor fel-
low" upstairs. I had just given this innocuous head-
gear a tremendous kick and was in the middle of a
guffaw when I turned and saw Rivers standing just
inside the door with a heavy bag in his hand. He was
just back from leave. The memory of this little epi-
sode brings me a living picture of him, slightly differ-
ent from his usual self. A spontaneous remembrance
of Rivers would reveal him alert and earnest in the
momentum of some discussion. (When walking he
moved very fast, talking hard, and often seeming for-
getful that he was being carried along by his own
legs.) Standing there in the failing light of that watery
afternoon, he had the half-shy look of a middle-aged
person intruding on the segregative amusements of
the young. For a moment he regarded me with an un-
reprimanding smile. Then he remarked, "Go steady
with that hat, Sherston," and went rapidly along the
corridor to his workroom.

The hat, as I picked it up and restored its contours

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