May Be They Kept Him At The Emergency Bureau For The
Express Purpose Of Infusing Confidence, By His Bright Manner, Into The
Minds Of Despondent Patriots Like Myself, And Of Keeping The Flag Flying
In A General Way - A Task For Which He, A German Jew, Was Pre-Eminently
Be that as it may, his consolatory tactics certainly succeeded in my
case, and I went home quite infected with his rosy cheeks and words.
Yet, on the occasion of my next visit a week or two later, there was
still nothing doing - not just then, though one never knows, does one?
"Tried the War Office?" he added airily.
The War Office was a nightmare in those early days. It resembled
Liverpool Street station on the evening of a rainless Bank Holiday. The
only clear memory I carried away - and even this may have been due to
some hallucination - was that of a voice shouting at me through the
rabble: "Can you fly?" Such was my confusion that I believe I answered
in the negative, thereby losing, probably, a lucrative billet as
Chaplain to the Forces or veterinary surgeon in the Church Lads'
Brigade. Things might have been different had my distinguished cousin
still been on the spot; I, too, might have been accommodated with a big
desk and small work after the manner of the genial Mr. R - - . He died in
harness, unfortunately, soon after the outbreak of war.
I said to my young friend:
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