27 August 1916

Violent fits of shivering alternating with still more violent attack of perspiration are at the moment keeping me amused.  My temperature varies between 91 and 108 – all the result of being inoculated last night.  The event itself was by no means devoid of excitement.  At the first attempt the needle bent badly, and the Doctor, having sworn volubly, decided that a second attempt would be necessary.  My own personal opinion is that the first attempt was quite sufficient, and that I received my full dose of germs in spite of the bent needle.  However we had a second dose which proved quite successful.   Just at this moment it came on to rain and we decided to give it two or three minutes before going out.  Then a most amazing thing happened – I fainted.  Goodness only knows what for – because there is no pain in being punctured and in any case I wasn’t worrying about it. The whole thins surpasses my comprehension.  However what’s done is done, and can’t be undone.  By tomorrow I expect I shall be flourishing like a green bay-tree, and going about with that unquenchable enthusiasm which always distinguished the Super-Intelligence Officer.    I see from the paper that the zeppelin have again been amusing themselves.  I hope they were not anywhere in your neighbourhood.  It is about time we fetched down one or two of them again. I daresay they will return a few short one of these nights.  Fortunately we don’t see much of them here.  In fact it is more than a year since I have set eyes on one in this country.   For the last few days the weather had been shewing signs of breaking up, and today it broke with a vengeance.  We have had half a dozen showers of the heaviest rain I have ever seen.  For about ten minutes in each case it simply came down as hard as it could.  My little shanty stood the storm all right, but not so the house against which it leans, and which provides a home for Bonnassieux and Huskisson.  Then the roof and walls all seemed to leak, at any rate there was a considerable quantity of water over the floor.  I do not understand why it doesn’t come in to my abode – as it is only a roughly built affair with a thatched roof.  Yesterday afternoon I escorted the Brigadier round some of the nooks and crannies rom which I watch “the interesting details of the Bosche’s private life”.  He seemed quite interested in it all, and was very bucked when we managed to see a party bringing in the harvest several miles behind the Bosch lines.  I had been up and about the trenches all the morning so by the time I got back to billets I was just about as tired as I wanted to be.  All the afternoon – in addition to the ordinary complement of glasses and telescopes, I also had to carry “Auntie” about with me for the Brigadier’s benefit.  Auntie is a large monocular periscope of many magnifications and a most serviceable weapon, but of no mean weight.  It has turned out quite a bright evening and with any luck we ought to have a fine day tomorrow.  I certainly hope so because I shall be fit enough to do a certain amount of work.  We were rather heavily shelled here a week ago and both Col. Jones’ horses were killed – he is rather upset about it.

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