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wished I wouldn't. He argued that there was no special
reason for doing it. I reminded him that we must
maintain our supremacy in no-man's-land. "Haven't
you already shown your damned supremacy by going
over and quelling the Fritzes with a look?55 he pro-
tested. But I produced a plausible project. I was
going to locate a machine-gun which had seemed to
be firing from outside their trench with the intention
of enfiladjpg us, and anyhow it was all arranged, and
I was going out with Corporal Davies at one o'clock,
from No. 14 post (which was where our company
front ended). Seeing that I was bent on going, Vel-
more became helpful, and the sergeant-major was
told to send an urgent warning to B Company, as
the objective I had in mind was on their front.

My real reason for seeking trouble like this was my
need to escape from the worry and responsibility of
being a Company Commander, plus annoyance with
the idea of being blown to bits while sitting there
watching Velmore inditing a nicely-worded situation
report. I was tired and overstrained, and my old fool-
hardiness was taking control of me.

To be outside the trench with the possibility of
bumping into an enemy patrol was at any rate an
antidote to my suppressed weariness of the entire
bloody business. I wanted to do something definite,
and perhaps get free of the whole thing. It was the
old story; I could only keep going by doing some-
thing spectacular.

So there was more bravado than bravery about it,
and I should admire that vanished self of mine more
if he had avoided taking needless risks. I blame him
for doing his utmost to prevent my being here to
write about him. But on the other hand I am grateful
to him for giving me something to write about.