More on Company Aytch

I’d have to say that one of the things I enjoyed about this book is Watkins’s ‘humbleness’ in his writing. He knows there are some things that cannot be explained or described (and I don’t just mean by HIM, but more so by any writer, although he graciously speculates otherwise). One particular passage struck me.

Presentinent, or The Wing of the Angel of Death:

“Presentinent is always a mystery. The soldier may at one moment be in good spirits, laughing and talking. The wing of the angel of death touches him. He knows that his time has come. It is but a question of time with him then. He knows that his days are numbered. I cannot explain it.”

He goes on to relate the story of Bob Stout, who declines three days of rations because he “knows” that his time has come. Of course Stout is killed just as Watkins is telling him “you wern’t killed, as you expected.”

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