Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

from now". And at Slateford there was always a sup-
pressed awareness which reminded me that I was
"shortening the War" for myself every week that I
remained there. No one but an expert humbug would
now deny that some such awareness existed in most
of us who were temporarily "out of it" but destined
sooner or later to find ourselves in a front-line trench

While I continued to clean my clubs, some inward
monitor became uncomfortably candid and remarked
"This heroic gesture of yours—emaking a separate
peace'—is extremely convenient for you, isn't it?
Doesn't it begin to look rather like dodging the
Kaiser's well-aimed projectiles?" Proper pride also
weighed in with a few well-chosen words. "Twelve
weeks ago you may have been a man with a message.
Anyhow you genuinely believed yourself to be one,
But unless you can prove to yourself that your pro-
test is still effective, you are here under false pretences,
merely skrimshanking snugly along on what you did
in the belief that you would be given a bad time for
doing it."

Against this I argued that, having pledged myself
to an uncompromising attitude, I ought to remain
consistent to the abstract idea that the War was
wrong. Intellectual sobriety was demanded of me.
But the trouble was that I wasn't an "intellectual"
at all; I was only trying to become one. I was also,
it seemed, trying to become a good golfer. Rivers had
never played golf in his life, though he approved of
it as a healthy recreation. It would mean nothing to
him if I told him that I'd been round North Berwick
in one under bogey (which I hadn't done). There
were many other subjects we could discuss, of course,
but after the first six weeks or so there had seemed