with all this training!" I exclaimed in a loud voice,
scrooping back my chair on the brick floo and stand-
ing up.^'I want to go up to the Line and really do
something/' added I—quite the dare-devil.
"Same here", agreed handsome boy Howitt in his
soft voice. Howitt always agrees with me. He is gentle
and unassuming and not easily roused, but he gets
things done. "Stifly" is thick-set and over-confi-
dent and inclined to contradict his elders, but good-
I went out into the cool, grey, breezy evening.
Miles away the guns muttered and rumbled as usual.
"Come on, then; come on, you poor fool!" they
seemed to be saying. I shivered, and came quickly
up to the Chateau—to this quiet room where I spend
my evenings ruminating and trying to tell myself the
truth—this room where I become my real self, and
feel omnipotent while reading Tolstoy and Walt
Whitman (who had very little in common, I suppose,
except their patriarchal beards). "I want to go up
to the Line and really do something!" I had boasted
thus in a moment of vin rouge elation, catching my
mood from those lads who look to me as their leader.
How should they know the shallowness of my words?
They see me in the daylight of my activities, when I
must acquiesce in the evil that is war. But in the
darkness where I am alone my soul rebels against
what we are doing. "Stifly", grey-eyed and sensible
and shrewd; Howitt, dark-eyed and lover-like and
thoughtful; how long have you to live—you in the
plenitude of youth, in your pride of being alive, your
ignorance of life's narrowing and disillusioning road?
It may be that I shall live to remember you as I
remember all those others who were my companions
for a while and whose names are no longer printed in