Cookie policy: on we use analytics cookies to understand how visitors use the site. The anonymous information they provide suggests improvements and alerts us to technical errors. For more information, see our cookies page, which also explains how to block or remove cookies.  Search T. E. Lawrence Studies

Contents lists


T. E. Lawrence, The Mint




Chick came in first, just after eleven: but the strangeness of the empty hut made it feel like no time at all. The floor flickered and vanished, white and dark, like a waving flag, as my logs blazed up momently, or guttered away in smoke. He came in quickly, but the rubbers on his walking-out boots hushed his step, and he was careful not to wake me. For a moment he hesitated by his bed: flung down cap and stick, unhooked the choking collar of his tunic: then again he hesitated.

The fire rose, and caught his notice. He walked over, and seemed to extinguish it for a while, behind the black screen of his solidity. After, he began with lithe springing strides to pad up and down the wood-blocked floor, not noisily, but as though he loved the striding. He swung his arms, and once or twice muttered something, half-aloud, as he turned on his toes.

I rolled over in my bed, to warn him of my notice: he walked across, nuzzled down on my blankets, and bending his face (a strange scent) down to mine whispered, 'You awake, Ross?' I whispered back in my normal voice, reassuring him. He began to talk about the intoxication of the moon-lit frosty night, which filled his legs with dancing-love, like gin.

Suddenly he bent down again, muttering very gently, 'Do you know what happened to me, tonight? I met a girl... or she wasn't a girl, really... and we... clicked and went off together. Remember that dollar I borrowed off you, Monday? Well that just did it.' He threw his hard weight flat along the narrow bed, whispering eagerly, 'You know blanket-drill, and what that feels like? Well, it's chalk to cheese. Made me jump, this did, like two hundred volts. I wondered if we'd go up in flames, like poor old Mouldy and his kite. I've come back in one run, without a breather. It's all of five miles, isn't it? Breeches and puttees: Christ, some run. Just you feel here and here: I'm sweating like a bull. You could wring my togs out. Don't think I can bug down tonight. Where's Tug? I can't ever do it the first time again: but Christ, it was bloody wonnerful.'I say, what've I got to do now? Wash it, I s'pose. Got any dope?'

Copyright, privacy, contact | Cookies help