(Aug 31st to Sept 6th)
‘I can’t stand it ! There’s nothing on earth creaks like they do. And—and when it thaws we—we’ve got to slap them back with a spa-ade! ‘Remember those Frenchmen’s little boots under the duckboards?’
This is from “A Madonna of the Trenches” in Debits and Credits.
At the Masonic Lodge, Faith and Works E.C. 5837, Strangwick, a new young Brother, is reliving fearful images of the Great War trenches. As it turns out, he also has disturbing memories of his uncle, Sergeant Godsoe, who had killed himself in a dugout so to join his love, whio had just died of cancer.
‘He was not clever nor handsome, but he had the eyes of a joyous faithful dog, and the laugh of Pan himself. And he came back at the last—blasted, withered, dumb—a ghost that gnawed itself.’
This is from “The Miracle of Saint Jubanus in Limits and Renewals.
The Curé of Saint Jubans in southern France is describing how one of his altar boys had come back from the war a broken man. Later, after a hilarious episode in church involving two young boys and an umbrella, he is restored by the healing power of laughter.
…when he grew better he began to hear Voices—little whispers at first, growing louder and louder and ending in regular uproars, ordering him to do certain things. He used to lie there shaking with horror, because he funked going mad. He wanted to be happy again, in his garden—like the rest of us.
This is from “Fairy Kist” in Limits and Renewals.
Wollin had had a bad war, ‘one shrapnel peppering, and one gassing, with gangrene’. After his discharge he struggles to keep sane by obeying his Voices , planting roots out in the countryside. Through an unfortunate coincidence he seems for a time, wrongly, to have been responsible for a murder; but Dr Keede and his friend, who are trying to find our what had happened, discover the source of his visions, and he is cured.