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Brideshead Revisited 253 ‘Don’t know? What orders did you give?’

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导读: BridesheadRevisited253‘Don’tknow?Whatordersdidyougive?’‘Well,ItoldSergeantBlocktobringthembackifhethoughtitwasworthwhile;Imeaniftherewastimebeforedinner.’Itwasnearlytwelv...
Brideshead Revisited 253 ‘Don’t know? What orders did you give?’

 Brideshead Revisited 253

 Don’t know? What orders did you give?’

Well, I told Sergeant Block to bring them back if he thought it was worthwhile; I mean if there was time before dinner.’

It was nearly twelve. ‘You’ve been hotted again, Hooper. That straw was to be drawn any time before six tonight.’

Oh Lor; sorry, Ryder. Sergeant Block - ‘

It’s my own fault for going away...Fall in the same party immediately after dinner, bring them back here and keep them here till the job’s done.’ ‘Rightyoh. I say, did you say you knew this place before?’ ‘Yes, very well. It belongs to friends of mine,’ and as I said the words they sounded as odd in my I ears as Sebastian’s had done, when, instead of saying, ‘It is my home,’ he said, ‘It is where my family live.’

It doesn’t seem to make any sense - one family in a place this size. What’s the use of it?’

Well, I suppose Brigade are finding it useful.’

But that’s not what it was built for, is it?’

No,’ I said, ‘not what it was built for. Perhaps that’s one of the pleasures of building, like having a son, wondering how he’ll grow up. I don’t know; I never built anything, and I forfeited the right to watch my son grow up. I’m homeless, childless, middle-aged, loveless, Hooper.’ He looked to see if I was being funny, decided that I was, and laughed. ‘Now go back to camp, keep out of the C.O.’s way, if he’s back from his recce, and don’t let on to anyone that we’ve made a nonsense of the morning.’ ‘Okey, Ryder.’

 

There was one part of the house I had not yet visited, and I went there now. The chapel showed no ill-effects of its long neglect; the art-nouveau paint was as fresh and bright as ever; the art-nouveau lamp burned once more before the altar. I said a prayer, an ancient, newly-learned form of words, and left, turning towards the camp; and as I walked back, and the cook-house bugle sounded ahead of me, I thought: