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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

intense impact of their audience—that dim brown
moonlit mass of men. Row beyond row, I watched
those soldiers, listening so quietly, chins propped on
hands, to the songs which epitomized their "Blighty
hunger", their longing for the gaiety and sentiment
of life.

In the front rows were half-lit ruddy faces and
glittering eyes; those behind sloped into dusk and
indistinctness, with here and there the glowing spark
of a cigarette. And at the back, high above the rest,
a few figures were silhouetted against the receding
glimmer of the desert. And beyond that was the
starry sky. It was as though these civilians were play-
ing to an audience of the dead and the living—men
and ghosts who had crowded in like moths to a lamp.
One by one they had stolen back, till the crowd
seemed limitlessly extended. And there, in that half-
lit oasis of Time, they listen to "Dixieland" and "It's
a long, long trail", and "I hear you calling me". But
it was the voice of life that "joined in the chorus,
boys"; and very powerful and impressive it sounded.

May ist, (S.S. Malwa. P. & 0. 10,838 tons, after
leaving Alexandria for Marseilles. Three Battalions
on board; also Divisional General, four Brigadiers,
and numerous staff-officers. 3300 "souls" altogether
not counting the boat's crew. Raft accommodation
for about i ooo. Six other boats in the convoy, escorted
by destroyers.)

Scraps of conversation float up from the saloon
below the gallery where I am sitting. "I myself
believe. ... I think, myself. ... My own opinion
is____"

SB                                741