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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

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"Not one, I believe; so why should I be the only
one? They'd only think me a fool, if they knew I'd
gone back on purpose to be with them.

"Yet it is the supreme thing that is asked of me,
and already I am shying at it. 'We'll be sending you
across to England in a few days,' murmurs the nurse
while she is dabbing my head. She says it quite
naturally, as if it were the only possible thing that
could happen. I close my eyes, and all I can see is
the door into the garden at home and Atfnt Evelyn
coming in with her basket of flowers. In a final effort
to quell those cravings for safety I try to see in the
dark the far-off vision of the line, with flares going
up and the whine and crash of shells scattered along
the level dusk. Men flitting across the gloom; low
voices challenging—cHalt; who arc you?5 Someone
gasping by, carrying a bag of rations--'Jesus, ain't
we there yet?'—then he blunders into a shell-hole and
crouches there while bullets hiss overhead. I see the
sentries in the forward posts, staring patiently into
the night—sombre shapes against a flickering sky. Oh
yes, I see it all, from A to Z! Then I listen to the
chatter of the other wounded officers in this room,
talking about people being blown to bits. And I re-
member a man at the C.C.S. with his jaw blown off
by a bomb—(Ła fine-looking chap, he was/ they said).
He lay there with one hand groping at the bandages
which covered his whole head and face, gurgling
every time he breathed. His tongue was tied forward
to prevent him swallowing it. The War had gagged
him—smashed him—and other people looked at him
and tried to forget what they'd seen. . . . All this I
remember, while the desirable things of life, like liv-
ing phantoms, steal quietly into my brain, look wist-
fully at me, and steal away again—beckoning, point-