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out. The situation appals them. So they try to for-
get, and this passes for courage. Their hectic gaiety
is the stuff that stimulates war-correspondents to

Thus I sit and try to reason it out—evolving my
notions from scraps of talk and flushed faces that are
becoming gross with years of war.

Then my mental equilibrium is restored by a man
I used to hunt with in Kent, who comes ^long and
talks about the old days and what fun we used to
have. But there is a look in his eyes which reminds
me of something. It comes back to me quite clearly;
he looked like that when he was waiting to go down
to the post for his first point-to-point. And he told me
afterwards that he'd been so nervous that he really
didn't think he could face doing it again. And, being
a shrewd sort of character, he never did.

May 4. Am still studying the psychology of the
average officer on board. (Have just been wondering
what Rivers would say about it.) One can only pick
up surface hints and clues from talk and general
behaviour, but I am inclined to suppose that they
possess a protective apparatus in lazy-mindedness.
"Thank goodness! Civilization again!" they murmur
leaning back in a padded P. & O. chair. Cards and
drinks and light fiction carry them through. Physi-
cally healthy, they know that they are "for it", and
hope for a Blighty wound with a cushy job to follow.
It is every man for himself, In a battle most of them
would be splendid, one hopes. But army life away
from the actual front is demoralizing. Remembrance
of Rivers warns me against intolerance; but isn't this
boat-load a sample of the human folly which can
accept war as an inevitable and useful element in the
routine of life? Old man Tolstoy says "the most diffi-