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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Inside Company H.Q. I watch another conven-
tional trench-warfare scene. Duclos snores on his
wire-netting berth, while I sit at a table with one
large yellow candle burning. On the table is a grease-
spotted sheet of The Sussex Express. Heaven knows
why it got here, but it enables me to read "Whist
Drive at Heathfield55 and "Weak Milk at Hellingly",
and indulge in a few "free associations" about Sussex.
At the othJr end of the tubular steel Nissen hut, day-
light comes unnaturally through the door—evening
sunshine. The H.Q,. runner, a boy of 19, leans against
the door-post, steel hat tilted over his eyes and long
eyelashes showing against the light. The signaller sits
at a table with his back to me, making a gnat-like
noise on his instrument. The servants are cooking,
with sandbags soaked in candle-grease, and this typi-
cal smell completes the picture! From outside one
hears dull bumpings of artillery and the leisurely
trickle of shells passing overhead. Now and then the
tap-tap of machine-gun fire. . . .

(After midnight.} Went out about 10 and dropped
in for an unpleasant half-hour. The Germans put
over a "box-barrage" including a lot of aerial tor-
pedoes. No gas, however. The Battalion on our left
were raided, and the uproar was hideous. When it
was all over I came back here and read Lamb's Letters,
which Td brought with me as an antidote to such per-
formances. I was much impressed by Duclos during
the "strafe". He knows just how to walk along a
trench when everything feels topsy-turvy and the
semi-darkness is full of booms and flashes. He never
hurries; quietly, with (one imagines) a wise, half-
humorous look masking solid determination and mas-
tery of the situation, he moves from sentry to sentry;