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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about Adventures of a Despatch Rider.

We did not dote on the cavalry, for many reasons.  First, when cavalry is not in action it does nothing but clean its stables and exercise its horses.  Second, if ever we broke through the German lines the cavalry would probably go ahead of anybody else.  Third, we could not ride very well, and the thought of falling off in front of our men when they were charging daunted us.

The sappers required brains, and we had too great an admiration for the infantry to attempt commanding them.  Besides, they walked and lived in trenches.

Two of us struck upon a corps which combined the advantages of every branch of the service.  We drew up a list of each other’s qualifications to throw a sop to modesty, sent in our applications, and waited.  At the same time we adopted a slight tone of hauteur towards those who were not potential officers.

One night after tea “Ginger” brought in the orders.  I had become a gentleman, and, saying good-bye, I walked down into the village and reported myself to the officer commanding the Divisional Cyclists.  I was no longer a despatch rider but a very junior subaltern.

I had worked with the others for nearly seven months—­with Huggie, who liked to be frightened; with George the arch scrounger; with Spuggy, who could sing the rarest songs; with Sadders, who is as brave as any man alive; with N’Soon, the dashing, of the tender skin; with Fat Boy, who loves “sustaining” food and dislikes frost; with Grimers and Cecil, best of artificers; with Potters and Orr and Moulders and the Flapper.

I cannot pay them a more sufficient tribute than the tribute of the Commander-in-Chief:—­

“Carrying despatches and messages at all hours of the day and night, in every kind of weather, and often traversing bad roads blocked with transport, they have been conspicuously successful in maintaining an extraordinary degree of efficiency in the service of communications....  No amount of difficulty or danger has ever checked the energy and ardour which has distinguished their corps throughout the operations.”

FINIS.

PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS.

FOOTNOTES: 

[29] I cannot remember the name of the restaurant.  Go to the north-east corner of the Square and turn down a lane to your right.  It is the fourth or fifth house on your right.  In Bethune there is also, of course, the big hotel where generals lunch.  If you find the company of generals a little trying go to the flapper’s restaurant.

[30] Company Quartermaster-Sergeant, now a Sergeant-Major.

[Transcriber’s Notes: 

page 56:  Comma changed to period in “La Cateau.  A good many”

page 71:  “off” changed to “of”. “a great meal of lunch”

page 109:  “reopend” to “reopened”. “reopened with cheers.”

page 166:  changed “BASSEE” to “BASSEE”

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