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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

At the end of the wadi there is a water spring; small
rills sing their way down among the stones and over
slabs of rock, Pippits and wheatears flit and chirp
among the bushes, perch on rocks, or are busy in the
olive branches. On my way home from a walk, a
gazelle got up and fled uphill among the boulders;
stood quite still about 500 yards away, watching me.
Then trotted quietly away. A free creature.

Evening. Warm dusk. The hills looming rdark and
solemn all around. Here and there a single dark tree
on the skyline. The moon comes up hazy and clouded
with silver-grey drifts. A warm wind blows across the
darkening heights. Below me, the camp is a shrouded
glitter of tiny lights scattered on the dusk. Sounds of
voices and rattling wheels which come far-off and
clear, small sounds of life in the vast silence of the
night and the hills. Then an eerie yelping, suddenly
breaking off again. Must have been jackals.

I look down on the dim olive-trees where the ter-
races wind and climb—wild labyrinthine gardens.
Huge headstones, slabs, and crags glimmer anciently
in the clouded moonlight, like the tombs of giants,
heaved and tilted sideways. Some are like enormous
well-heads; others are cleft and piled to form narrow
caves. Ghosts might inhabit them. But they are older
than men, older than wars. They are as man first
found them. Now they are ramparts of rock tufted
with flowers, tangled with clematis and honeysuckle
and briar. Thus I describe my sense of peace and
freedom. And as I finish writing, someone comes ex-
citedly into the tent with the latest news from France,

The bulletins are getting steadily worse. Names
which mean nothing to the others make me aware
that the Germans have recaptured all the ground
gained in the Somme battles,

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