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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

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There are two ways of telling a good story well—
the quick way and the slow way. Personally'I prefer
a good story to be told slowly. What I am' about to
tell is not a good story. It is merely an episode which
cannot be left out. A certain abruptness is therefore

On the appointed afternoon I smartened myself up
and waited to be called before the medical board. I
was also going to tea with the astronomer, who had
promised to let me have a look at the moon through
his telescope. But I was feeling moody and irritable,
and I had to wait my turn, which was a long time in
coming. Gradually I became petulant and impatient.
After an hour and a half I looked at my watch for the
last time, said to myself that the medical board could
go to blazes, and then (I record it with regret) xvent
off to have tea with the astronomer. It was one of
those self-destructive impulses which cause people, in
sheer cussedness, to do things which are to their own
disadvantage. I suddenly felt "fed up with being
mucked about by the War"—as I should have ex-
pressed it—and forgot all about Rivers and every-
thing that I owed him.

Seeking some explanation of my behaviour I have
wondered whether I was feeling ill without being
aware of it. But I don't remember developing an
influenza-cold afterwards; and if I did it would have
been a poorish excuse.

In these days of incalculable dictators, by the way
(and in my humble opinion the proper place for a
dictator is a parenthesis), one cannot help wondering
whether an acute Continental crisis could not quite
conceivably be caused by an oncoming chill. May I
therefore be allowed to suggest that before hurling
explosive ultimatums, all dictators should be per-