2nd August (1918)

Slish!  Slosh!  Slush!  Rain, rain, rain!  Grazing the mountainous mules in it, watering them in it, grooming them in it.  One thing in their favour, they are quiet, though the excess of acreage about compensates.  The Poet is aptly named; he has a long mildly-foolish face, his blackish hair softening off into brown around his long pliable lips.  When I ride him (no more bare-back stunts – he has a razor spine which appears to be supported on struts a foot or so above his back bone) I gaze wonderingly along some six feet of neck to the huge cross-tree of his ears.  He works well, but grunts dolefully during his best efforts.  The Hunter is a more forbidding Blunderbore – has string-halt or something in his hind legs and keeps raising and stretching them in what appears to be a menacing manner.  If he takes it into his head to move in a certain direction nothing can stop him.  I come dangling after like a frog tethered to a gander.  Have you ever seen one?

Big events seem to be pending on all fronts.  Most of us do a lot of growling but things might be worse.  Some of the men are a standing lesson to the rest of us.  The chap, for instance, who cut my hair today, always cheerful and ready to do one a favour.  After he had cut my hair, a passing tommy who thought him a real barber, asked him to cut his, which he forthwith set about to do with a quiet smile.  One of the bombardiers is another “white man” through and through – an old hand unembittered; full of kindness of courtesy.  Men like these do a lot to buck one up.

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