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.
r's mind was running feverishly over the quickest and surest plan of action. If he could get one hand on the officer's wrist, and the other on his pistol, he could finish the officer and perhaps get off another round or two before he was done himself. But the pistol hand might evade his grasp, and there would be brief time to struggle for it with those bayonets within arm's length. A straight blow from the shoulder would stun, but it might not kill. Plan after plan flashed through his mind, and was in turn set aside in search of a better. But he had to speak.
"It's no just that I'm afraid," he said very slowly. "But it was just somethin' I thought I might tell ye."
The pistol muzzle dropped another inch or two, with Macalister's eye watching its every quiver. His words brought to the officer's mind something that in his rage he had quite overlooked.
"If there is anything you can tell me," he said, "any useful information you can give of where your regiment's headquarters are in the trench