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to the War as soon as possible was my only chance of

As I went along to see Rivers that evening I felt
rather as if I were about to make a grand gesture. I
may even have felt like doing it in the grand manner.
Anyhow I was full of bottled-up emotion and con-
scious of the significance of the occasion. Looking
back from to-day, however, I am interested, not in
what my own feelings were, but in what Rivers had
been thinking about the decision which he had left
me so entirely free to make. Had he been asked, he
would probably have replied, in his driest manner,
that he considered it to be his duty, as an army
medical officer, to "cure me of my pacifist errors55
(though one of our jokes had been about the humor-
ous situation which would arise if I were to convert
him to my point of view). Whatever he had been
thinking while away on leave, he was there, with his
gentle assurance of helpfulness, and all my grand
gesture exuberance faded out at once. It was impos-
sible not to be natural with Rivers. All I knew was
that he was my father-confessor, as I called him, and
that at last I really had got something to tell him
which wasn't merely a discursive amplification of my
"marking time for a few weeks" policy. As a "lead-
up" to a more definite disclosure I began by telling
him about the odd experience Fd had during the
night before he went on leave. I knew that he was
scientifically sceptical about psychic phenomena, so
I laid stress on the fact that it was probably a visual
delusion caused by thinking about the Western Front
in stormy weather. Though I described it diffidently,