But a London girl, who has been through a dozen air-raids without losing any nerve, is not likely to disturb herself over a possible but improbable bushranger, and indeed Mollie was blissfully ignorant on the subject in spite of Grannie's tales; so she went to bed quite peacefully in the little camp-bed, and lay for a time watching the brilliant stars shine through the wide-open window.
But one must make allowances. There had been several air-raids about that time, and no doubt the poor woman was shaken. But nothing is perfect in this world, Mr. Wooster, and I have had my cross to bear. For seven years I have lived in constant apprehension lest some evilly-disposed person might lure her from my employment.
And as to confiscation of war profits, he was entirely in favor of it, for he had none, and "serve the beggars right!" The price of pictures, moreover, had, if anything, gone up, and he had done better with his collection since the War began than ever before. Air-raids, also, had acted beneficially on a spirit congenitally cautious, and hardened a character already dogged.
And be sure to take the right one. They had two cellars, but only one was bomb-proof. Shops in the expensive shopping districts had signs up, advertising their bomb-proof cellars and inviting their patrons to make use of them; but the trouble with the shops was that most air-raids took place after they had shut up for the day.
It was part of that delirium of wartime psychology, which induces all belligerents to believe that no one but an enemy ever commits atrocities, and no one but an ally is capable of virtue. The possibility of air-raids had long been foreseen, and as early as the first October of the war the lights of London had been dimmed.
I expect he will be asking YOU." Jolyon smiled. "This promises to take the place of air-raids," he said. "After all, one misses them." Irene looked up at him. "We've known it would come some day." He answered her with sudden energy: "I could never stand seeing Jon blame you. He shan't do that, even in thought. He has imagination; and he'll understand if it's put to him properly.
Martin were for several weeks forced by the nightly shelling and air-raids to take their blankets out into the fields at night and sleep under the stars. One of these girls was called "Sunshine" because of her smile. On the eve of Decoration Day a military Colonel visited her in the hut. He seemed rather depressed, perhaps by the ceremonies of the day, and said that he had come to be cheered up.
After sundown there were no lights, because lights invited air-raids and might well expose the position of troops to the enemy observers. Only in towns where there were Salvation Army or Y.M.C.A. huts could men find any artificial warmth, during the day or night, and only in these places were there any lights after nightfall. Such huts afforded absolutely the only available recreation facilities.
But those women had vision. They saw that England would need them some day. They had faith in their ability to serve. So on and on they went, training themselves to higher efficiency in body and mind. And to-day well, theirs is always the first ambulance on the spot to care for the injured in the air-raids. The scoffers have remained to pray.
However it was very nice to leave cards of calling on Lady Towcester even though she was out of town on account of air-raids and on others, inscribed: "Lady Rossiter, Colonel Sir Michael Rossiter, Sir Michael and Lady Rossiter;" and to see printed foolscap envelopes for Michael arrive from the War Office and lie on the hall table, addressed: Colonel Sir Michael Rossiter K.C.B. etc., etc., etc., etc.
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