10 MARCH 1939, Page 14

I learnt that "Laatste Niews " would be found on

page thirteen. I turned over the pages hurriedly. There it was. Field-Marshal Goring was about to leave for Italy. " Goring's rustkuur," the paragraph was headed. I read the thing with growing anxiety. "Dc vermargetingskuur," I read, " waartoe hij op advies van zijn dokters besloot." breathed a sigh of relief. "You observe," I said, "what comes of pessimism. The poor Field-Marshal is merely undertaking, on the most pertinent advice of his doctor, a slimming course." He smiled wanly, shaking his grey locks at me in pity that any man could be so gullible. "You believe that?" he asked with concern for my ingenuity. "Of course I believe it." He raised his two hands in their dog- skin gloves to heaven. We entered Holland and the lights suddenly recovered their previous glow. I picked up the Telegraaf and read a long and interesting article upon nutrition.

At Rotterdam my friend left me. I wished him good- night. "Jitterbug," I hissed at his retreating back. Yet supposing it were true?