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[Page 145]

issued another of his ridiculous proclamations which sound all right when coming from a Napoleon but which are absurd to a degree when trumpeted from the mouth of mediocrity. I watched the troops embarking all the afternoon and at seven o'clock Nevinson and Radcliffe and self after a farewell bathe assembled at the quay to embark on the Minneapolis. For an hour we could not get a boat but at last a freindly N.T.O. sent us off in a tug. It was quite dark when we reached the Minneapolis which toweered out of the water. She is a huge Atlantic Transport liner and had on board seven houndred horses and five batteries of artillery belonging to the 10th and 11th Divisions. I managed to climb up a wooden ladder up her steep sides but we could not find a means of getting our baggage off.

The ship was in total darkness not a light being shown either above or below decks. In the middle of these proceeedings we were mistaken for a lighter and they proceede to lower a gun on the top of Nevinson Radcliffe our baggage and the precious cinemetograph. However this disaster was stopped in time and we eventually got the baggage on board and after a long search in the darkness found the purser who assigned us cabins. Although nominally a cargo boat the Minneapolis is built to carry a certain number of first class passengers and seemed exceedingly comfortable after months in the heat and dust on shore. I found the Chief Steward who produced whiskys and sodas and a beautifully iced bottle of champagne which he said 'had been on the ice since February and was the first one he had sold during the whole of that period. Thus with this refreshment and some sandwiches eaten by the light of a single candle we managed to make ourselves very comfortable

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