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was probably in the "don't much care what happens
to me" style which young people go in for when in
contact with elderly and anxious relatives. So Aunt
Evelyn had nothing to console her except her one
form of optimism, which was to try and believe that
the Germans were doing so badly that very soon there
would be none left.

And the only news she could think of was that dear
old Mrs. Hawthorn was dead, which didn't lead to
anything except the fact that she had been nearly
ninety. Yet if I'd heard about it when I was in my
little room at Slateford I should have indulged in
quite a pleasant reverie about old Mrs. Hawthorn
and the children's parties I used to go to at her house,
and how she used to sit there like a queen, her artificial
complexion so perfectly put on that nobody minded
in the least, though in a younger person it would have
been thought highly improper. But that was before
the Boer War, and now the "Great One" had killed
both Mrs. Hawthorn's great-nephews—those hand-
some boys of whom she had been so proud when she
gave parties for them.

Sitting here in my omniscience I am inclined to
blame Aunt Evelyn and myself for not realizing that
the only solution for "final leave" was to open a bottle
of champagne. But there was no champagne in the
house. From patriotic principles, Aunt Evelyn pre-
ferred Empire wines. (I don't wish to libel South
African hock, but the vine which produced Aunt
Evelyn's vintage must have been first cousin to an
aloe.) Meanwhile we did our best to be communica-
tive, and after keeping introspection at arm's length
from Friday till Tuesday I went off to Sussex and
stayed with the Moffats, who knew all about opening
bottles of bubbly; and there I had a couple of days