Whatever classical notions Andrew once had of Egypt had disintegrated into the sort of horrible mud made from sand and blood that sooner or later coated every part of his uniform.
Farewell forever, the pure white marble columns, touched by moonlight. They belonged to a past that had perhaps never existed.
Andrew had begun, however unconsciously, to link that realization to the book Laurie had given him. He spent more time contemplating it as an object than reading its text.
He started at the dried splotches of sea spray and blood, absently comparing it to the stains on his own clothes. They brought a curious sort of comfort.
Andrew could feel close to Laurie by this now shared experience of suffering, these horrible messes that stained and disfigured all the neat,
black and white classical ideals brought out of school and unconsciously carried around.
Andrew consciously carried the book everywhere, like a talisman,
or (as he thought when he was feeling foolish and irritated with himself) like a child will carry around a special toy or bit of blanket for comfort.
An especial thing that seems precious because of the love imbued in the giving, and not for any other reason.
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