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by Boyd Cable
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Now look here!" said the sergeant at last; "you let your bloomin' garden alone; I'm not going to have you running out there plucking carrot and onion nosegays under fire. If a shell blows your garden half-way through to Australia, I can't help it, and neither can you. I'll be quite happy to split a dish of spuds with you if so be your garden offers them up; but I'm not going to have you casualtied rescuing your perishing radishes under fire. Nothing'll be said to me if your garden is strafed off the earth; but there's a whole lot going to be said if you are strafed along with it, and I have to report that you had disobeyed orders and not kept under cover, and that I had looked on while you broke ship and was blown to blazes with a boo-kay of onions in your hand. So just you anchor down there till the owner pipes to carry on.
I make no apology for having followed in this book the same plan as in my other one, "Between the Lines," of taking extracts from the official despatches as "texts" and endeavoring to show something of what these brief messages cover, because so many of my own friends, and so many more unknown friends amongst the reviewers, expressed themselves so pleased with the plan that I feel its repetition is justified. There were some who complained that my last book was in parts too grim and too terrible, and no doubt the same complaint may lie against this one. To that I can only reply that I have found it impossible to write with any truth of the Front without the writing being grim, and in writing my other book I felt it would be no bad thing if Home realized the grimness a little better. But now there are so many at Home whose nearest and dearest are in the trenches, and who require no telling of the horrors of the war, that I have tried here to show there is a lighter side to war, to let them know that we have our relaxations, and even find occasion for jests, in the course of our business.
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