was to say about it. Davies agreed, and his fresh
young face seemed to be asserting not only our sup-
remacy over no-man's-land, but the supreme satis-
faction of being alive on a perfect summer's morning
after what might be called a strenuous military
escapade. Talcing off my tin hat I allowed my head
to feel glad to be relieved of the weight of the War,
and there, for several minutes, we sat leaning against
the bank and recovering our breath.
It seetfied hardly worth while to continue our
return journey on all fours, as we were well hidden
from the German trenches; the embankment of No.
14, Post was just visible above the corn stalks and
my conscience reminded me that Velmore's anxiety
ought to be put an end to at once. With my tin hat
in my hand I stood up and turned for a moment to
look back at the German line.
A second later I was down again, half stunned by
a terrific blow on the head. It seemed to me that
there was a very large hole in the right side of my
skull. I felt, and believed, that I was as good as dead.
Had this been so I should have been unconscious of
anything, but that idea didn't strike me.
Ideas were a thing of the past now. While the blood
poured from my head, I was intensely aware of every-
thing around me—the clear sky and the ripening corn
and the early glow of sunrise on the horrified face of
the little red-haired corporal who knelt beside me. I
saw it all as though for the last time, and my whole
body and being were possessed by a dreadful sense of
unhappiness. Body and spirit were one, and both
must perish. The world had been mine, and the full-
ness of life, and in a moment all had been changed
and I was to lose it,
I had been young and exuberant, and