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spectiveness. The episode provided a sort of bridge
between psychological disquietude and a calm ac-
ceptance of "the inevitable". In other words, I ceased
to worry.

When—at the end of that period of which I can
only remember that I wanted it to be over quickly
—I was actually waiting to go in and "be boarded",
I felt self-confident but a little nervous about the
result. My cranium, however, contained nothing defi-
nite except the first two lines of "Locksley Hall".
(Something similar had happened when I was being
"boarded" at Liverpool the previous July.) "Com-
rades > leave me here a little, while as yet 'tis early morn"
(it was after lunch, and I was reclining on a dingy
red plush sofa in the lofty but depressing saloon).
"Leave me here., and whenyoil want me blow upon the bugle-
horn". . . . What was the connection? Was it because
they'd talked about Tennyson up at the observatory,
or was "Locksley Hall" something to do with being
under lock and key, or was it merely because the
bugle-horn was about to blow me back to the army?
One thing was obvious, at any rate. I must not ask
the medical board to solve this enigma for me. When
the moment arrived for me to take a deep breath and
step discreetly in, I found Rivers looking as solemn
as a judge, sitting at a table where he'd been telling
the other two as much of my case as he deemed good
for them. In a manner which was, I hoped, a nice
blend of deference and self-assurance, I replied to a
few perfunctory questions about my health. There
was a fearsome moment when the commandant
picked up my "dossier"; but Rivers diverted his
attention with some remark or other and he put the
papers down again. The commandant looked rather
as if he wanted his tea. I was then duly passed for