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smoke my pipe and watch him doing the office-work
for me. Whenever an automatic annoyance arrived
from Orderly Room I merely passed it on and he
squared it up with facetious efficiency.

In the fourth year of the war the amount of general
information which descended on us from higher quar-
ters had become prodigious. But I no longer received
it seriously now. Corps H.Q. could send along any-
thing it chose, and Orderly Room forward it on for my
"necessary attention", but until Velmore decided
that it was worth looking at, I allowed it to be super-
seded by the next consignment of "hot air" from
those who were such experts at putting things on paper.

Toward the end of June we moved north. I can
remember that Velmore, on a fat cob, ambled away
in advance of us to act as brigade billeting officer,
Our destination was St. Hilaire, a village near Lillers,
and I know that we were there on July ist. This
information is obtained from an army notebook which
has accidentally survived destruction. My final entry
in the company messing accounts reads as follows:
"St. Hilaire, July ist. Rent of Mess. 24 francs. Sardines,
etc. 41 francs." Not much to go on, is it? ... Sardines,
etc. . . . Those sardines never suspected that they
would one day appear in print.

The influenza epidemic having blown over, we
were now feeling fairly well tuned up for our first
tour of trenches in France. As far as my own career
was concerned it certainly seemed to be about time
to be up and doing, for it was now fully seven months
since my dim and distant medical board, and my
offensiveness toward the enemy had so far been re-
stricted to telling other people how to behave offen-
sively when a future effort was required of them. On
July 7th we were still awaiting the order to move up

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