Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

had vanished; their remoteness became more ap-
parent every day, though I rejoiced when I received
Velmore's letter announcing that Howitt had been
across no-man's-land with ten men and had brought
back five Germans and a machine-gun—these being
the first prisoners captured by the 74th Division in

Outwardly I was being suavely compensated for
whatever exactions the war machine had Inflicted on
me. I had nothing to do except lie there aficl wonder
whether it was possible to be more comfortable, even
though I'd got a half-healed hole in my head. But
inwardly I was restless and overwrought. My war had
stopped, but its after-effects were still with me. I
couldn't sleep, so after a few clays I was moved into
a room where there was only one other bed., which
was unoccupied. But in there my brain became busier
than ever; the white-walled room seemed to imprison
me, and nay thoughts couldn't escape from them-
selves into that completed peace which wan the only
thing I wanted. I saw myself as one who had achieved
nothing except an idiotic anti-climax, and my mind
worked itself into a tantrum of self-disparagement.
Why hadn't I stayed in France where 1 could at least
escape from the War by being in it? Out there I had
never despised my existence as 1 did now.

Life had seemed a glorious and desirable thing in
those moments when I was believing that the bullet
had finished me off, when it had seemed as if the liv-
ing soul in me also was about to be extinguished. And
now that angry feeling of wanting to be killed cuine
over me—as though I were looking at my living self
and. longing to bash Its silly face in. My little inferno
was then interrupted by a nurse who brought me my
tea. What the hell was wrong with me? 1 wondered,