The Return of the Soldier

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West 1702004309 9781702004305
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That day its beauty was an affront to me, because, like most Englishwomen of my time, I was wishing for the return of a soldier. Disregarding the national interest and everything else except the keen prehensile gesture of our hearts toward him, I wanted to snatch my Cousin Christopher from the wars and seal him in this green pleasantness his wife and I now looked upon. Of late I had had bad dreams about him. By nights I saw Chris running across the brown rottenness of No-Mans-Land, starting back here because he trod upon a hand, not even looking there because of the awfulness of an unburied head, and not till my dream was packed full of horror did I see him pitch forward on his knees as he reached safety, if it was that. For on the war-films I have seen men slip down as softly from the trench-parapet, and none but the grimmer philosophers could say that they had reached safety by their fall. And when I escaped into wakefulness it was only to lie stiff and think of stories I had heard in the boyish voice of the modern subaltern, which rings indomitable, yet has most of its gay notes flattened: "We were all of us in a barn one night, and a shell came along. My pal sang out, Help me, old man; Ive got no legs! and I had to answer, I cant, old man; Ive got no hands!" Well, such are the dreams of Englishwomen to-day. I could not complain, but I wished for the return of our soldier.

- Taken from "The Return of the Soldier" written by Rebecca West

Author: Rebecca West

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 99

Publisher: Independently published

Publication Date: 2019-10-23


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Rebecca West