The People of the Ruins
The special constable started suspiciously. But seeing that Jeremy was comparatively well-dressed, and seemed to be a member of what in those days was beginning to be known as the P.B.M.C.* he was reassured. Jeremy's air of clumsy geniality and self-confidence was, moreover, far removed from the sinister aspect of the traditional Bolshevist. "I don't know really," he said in a complaining voice, "it's so difficult to find out with no newspapers or anything. All I do know for certain is that we were called out last night, and some say one thing and some another."
*A phrase which gained currency in 1919 or earlier, and which was formed on the analogy of P.B.I., used, to describe themselves, by the infantry in the Great War.
"How long have you been on duty?" Jeremy asked.
"Only an hour," the special constable replied. "I slept at the station all night on the floor."
"Like old times in billets, what?" Jeremy remar