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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

albeit tinged with embarrassment. I must try not to
think about it, I thought; and anyhow it was a com-
fort not to be arriving there with a bee in my bonnet;
which was, I supposed, what they'd all been saying
about my behaviour. But my arrival turned out to be
an anti-climax. A surprise awaited me. Only a few
days before, the Depot had been transplanted to Ire-
land on account of the troubles there. Ciitherland
Camp was to be taken over by an Irish battalion* In
the meantime it was occupied by the Assistant-Adju-
tant and a few dozen "details", plus a couple of
hundred recruits and men returned from hospital.
So everything was quite easy. What did my concerns
matter when the whole Depot had been revolution-
ized? The Assistant-Adjutant, who had been perma-
nently disabled early in the War, was a much-loved
institution. Warmly welcomed by him, I passed a
pleasant evening discussing everything except people
with pacifist opinions, and on the whole I felt quite
pleased to be back inside the sheepfold.

But when I was alone—that was where the diffi-
culty began. What was it—that semi-suicidal instinct
which haunted me whenever I thought about going
back to the line? Did I really feel an insidious craving
to be killed, or am I only imagining it now? Was it
"spiritual pride", or was it just war-weariness and
repressed exasperation?

What I mean is this—that being alone with oneself
is not the same thing as succeeding in being a good-
natured and unpretentious person while talking to
one's friends. With the Assistant-Adjutant I was "the
same old Sherston as ever"—adapting himself to
other people's notions and doing his best to be cheer-
ful. But in spite of my reliance on Rivers and my
resolve to remain, through his influence, sensible and

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