In Troop train on the way back to the Front (as an Irishman might put it) all day and likely to be in all night.
In the Soldier’s club once more.
Had my name taken by several guards for travelling to Devon on the “Inverness” pass and refusing to pay the fare.
Slept in the “Sparrows” boarding establishment. We call them “sparrows” because they are like two little spinster bodies who twitter.
My bedroom was a pious affair, the walls being copiously hung with pictures either of actual angels or innocent-eyed human imitations. After breakfast we went for a fine ramble along the cliffs, the scenery being most picturesque and the views of the Channel and coast extensive.
One of the old ladies has christened me “the Lum” – an old word for chimney (a thing that smokes a great deal.) and it is now my accepted soubriquet; if that’s the word, tho’ I’ve an uneasy feeling that it means a fast lady.
The air has been full of rumours of peace. She is an elusive jade, this same Peace. No, my boy, it’s another winter in the mud I very much imagine.
We spent the evening in abstract discussion by the fireside, finishing with an argument on the reality or unreality of time – until the striking of midnight forced us both to agree that it must at least have some relative reality to mortals.
At the cottage, Ipplepen. Decided to catch 12-30 train to Torquay and travelled all night. Managed to get a compartment between a sailor boy and myself, so that we could stretch our limbs and snooze. Sailor proved to be a Nelson boy, and a school chum of my cousin’s, in the submarine service. He entertained me with his adventures. Having fallen asleep I was carried beyond my destination to a quaint little town of Totnes, but all came right in the end.
Aboard London train, having seen something of Grantham and my English relations. I feel that, at this time of year, it would be a mistake to spend more precious days racketing about in railway trains and exploring the Caledonian distances.
English people are incorrigible in their hatred of fresh air – now, in a small compartment, full, hermetically sealed, the heat unbearable. Most appear to sleep with their bedroom windows shut tight.
Got the Flying Scotsman last night intending to go through to Edinburgh. Car packed with sailors and soldiers; began to yearn for a good bed, hopped off at Grantham. Wandered round for an hour banging up publicans, only to find every place crowded with military: 1.30 am. and in desperation. Bribed a constable to lead me to my Uncle’s house: kicked up a devil of a row; down comes Uncle* in his dressing gown – greetings and explanations – a snack and into a feather bed. Got up this morning to find myself just in time for lunch.
[*Lincoln’s uncle was Rothwell Lee. Rothwell was the younger brother of Robert Lee, Lincoln’s father, who had emigrated to New Zealand in 1864]