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Punch, Volume 156, January 22, 1919. by Various

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VOL. 156.

January 22, 1919.


The huge waterspout observed off Guernsey last week "travelling
towards France" is believed to have been making for the Peace


The Captain of a Wilson liner on being torpedoed ate his pocket-book
to prevent his sailing instructions from falling into the hands of the
Germans. The report that the ex-Kaiser has whiled away the time at
Amerongen by chewing up three copies of the German White Book and one
of Prince LICHNOWSKY'S Memoirs is probably a variant of this story.


"Our chief hope of control of influenza," writes Sir ARTHUR NEWSHOLME
of the Local Government Board, "lies in further investigation."
Persons who insist upon having influenza between now and Easter will
do so at their own risk.


Writing to a provincial paper a correspondent asks when Mr. PHILIP
SNOWDEN was born. Other people are content to ask "Why?"


"We think it prudent to speak with moderation on all subjects," says
_The Morning Post_. There now!


We mentioned last week the startling rumour that a Civil Servant had
been seen running, and a satisfactory explanation has now been issued.
It appears that the gentleman in question was going off duty.


According to the _Malin_, the Bavarian PREMIER told a newspaper man
that the Bavarian revolution cost exactly eighteen shillings. This
seems to lend colour to the rumour that Dr. EISNER picked this
revolution up second-hand in Russia.


"Springfield and Napsbury Lunatic Asylums," says a news item, "are to
be known in future as mental hospitals." Government institutions which
have hitherto borne that title will in the future be known simply as


A German sailor, who is described as "twenty-seven, 6 ft. 91/2 in.,"
has escaped from Dorchester camp. A reward has been offered for
information leading to the recapture of any part of him.


The servant question is admittedly acute, but whether sufficiently
so to justify the attitude of a contemporary, which deals with the
subject under the sinister title, "Maxims for Mistresses," is open to


The case of the North Country workman who voluntarily abandoned his
unemployment grant in order to take a job is attributed to a morbid
craze for notoriety.


As a result of the engineers' strike and the failure of the heating
apparatus, we understand that Government officials in Whitehall have
spent several sleepless days.


We gather that the mine reported to have been washed up at Bognor
turns out to be an obsolete 1914 pork pie--but fortunately the pin
had been removed.


_The Daily Express_ tells us that a crowd of new monkeys have arrived
at the Zoo. We are pleased to note this, because several of the
monkeys there were certainly the worse for wear.


A contemporary anticipates a boom in very light motor cars at a
hundred and thirty pounds each. They are said to be just the thing
to carry in the tool-box in case of a breakdown.


A sensation has been caused in Scotland, says _The National News_, by
the passing of a number of counterfeit Treasury notes. As we go to
press we learn that most of the victims are going on as well as can be
expected, though recovery is naturally slow.


Mr. WILLIAM LE QUEUX is said to be very much annoyed at the wicked way
in which Russia has been appropriated by other writers.


Much regret is felt at the news that the recent outbreak of Jazz music
is not to be dealt with at the Peace Conference.


Is gallantry dying out? We ask because _Tit Bits_ has an article
entitled, "Women Burglars." We may be old-fashioned, but surely it
should be "Lady Burglars."


On the last day for investing in National War Bonds, a patriotic
subaltern was heard at Cox's asking if his overdraft could be
transferred to these securities.


"The market price of radium to-day," says a Continental journal,
"is L345,000 an ounce." In order to avert waste and deterioration,
purchasers are advised to store the stuff in barrels in a large dry


Mr. Punch does not wish to boast unduly of his unique qualities, but
up to the time of going to press he had made no offer for Drury Lane


In view of the recent newspaper articles on spiritualism, several
prominent persons are about to announce that they have decided not
to grant any interviews after death.


Liverpool Licensing Justices have urged the Liquor Control Board to
take steps to prevent the drinking of methylated spirits by women. It
is suggested that distillers should be compelled to give their whisky
a distinctive flavour.


"A box of cigarettes was all that burglars took from the Theatre
Royal, Aldershot," says a news item. There is something magnificently
arrogant about that "all."


"Saying 'Thank you' to a customer," says a news item, "a Wallasey
butcher fell unconscious." In our neighbourhood it used to be, until
quite lately, the customer who fell unconscious.

* * * * *



* * * * *


My dear James,--Ere long the military machine will be able to spare
one of its cogs--myself. Yes, James, soon you will once again see
me in my silk hat, cerise fancy vest and brown boots (among other
garments). I think I shall have brass buttons on all my coats for the
sheer joy of seeing them without let or hindrance grow green from
lack of polish. I shall once again train my hair in graceful curling
strands under (respectively) the south-east and south-west corners of
my ears. If I meet my Brigadier in the street I shall notice him or
not just according to my whim of the moment. But, James, I shall have
to work for my living. There's the rub.

I must say the Army tries to help one. Somebody or other has issued
a whole schedule of civil occupations to assist me in my choice of a
career. It offers an embarrassment of riches.

Take the "A's." I was momentarily attracted by _Air Balloon Maker_.
It sounds a joyous job. Think of the delight of sending forth these
delicate nothings inflated and perfect. My only fear is that I should
destroy the fruits of my own labour. One touch of my rough hands
is always inimical to an air-balloon. And if you know of any more
depressing sight than a collapsed air-balloon, all moist and incapable
of resurrection, for heaven's sake keep it to yourself.

_Allowance Man_ (_brewing_) sounds hopeful. My only question is: Does
an _Allowance Man_ (_brewing_) fix his own allowance (brewed)?

Am I slightly knock-kneed or am I not? Do write me frankly on the
subject. You have seen me divested of trousers. Because if I am then
I don't think I will try my luck as an _Artist's Model_.

_Athlete_.--Ha! I feel my biceps and find it not so soft. It's
a wearing life, though. Is there such a thing as an _Athlete_
(_indoor_)? You know my speed and agility at Ludo.

I flatter myself I have musical taste, but _Back and Belly Maker_
(_piano_) I consider vulgar--almost indecent, in fact. Such anatomical
intimacy with the piano would destroy for me the bewitchment of the
Moonlight Sonata.

There is something very alluring about _Bank Note Printer_. I see
the chance of continuing the Army trick of making a living without
working for it. Surely a _Bank Note Printer_ is allowed his little
perquisites. Why should he print millions of bank notes for other
people and none for himself? I can imagine an ill-used _Bank Note
Printer_ very easily becoming a Bolshevist.

_Barb Maker_ (_wire_) I do not like. I have too many unpleasant
memories of the Somme. It is a hideous trade and ought to be abolished

If I am wrong correct me, but isn't the prime function of a _Bargee_
to swear incessantly? Not my forte, James. What you thought you heard
that day in 1911, when I missed a six-inch putt, was only "Yam," which
is a Thibetan expression meaning "How dreadfully unfortunate!" I knew
a Major once--but that's for another article.

Beneath the heading "Bat" I find _Bat Maker_ (_brick_) and _Bat
Maker_ (_tennis_). Under which king, James? Anyway, I hate a man who
talks about a "tennis bat." He would probably call football shorts

I am favourably inclined towards _Bathing Machine Attendant_ (why
not _Bathing Mechanic_, for short?) What a grand affair to ride old
Dobbin into the seething waves and pretend he was a sea-serpent!
Confidentially, there are lots of people to whose bathing-machines
I would give an extra push when I had unlimbered their vehicles and
turned Dobbin's nose again towards the cliffs of Albion.

My pleasure in stirring things with a ladle nearly decided me to train
as a _Bean Boiler_; but I fear the monotony. Nothing but an endless
succession of beans, with never a carrot to make a splash of colour
nor an onion to scent the steamy air. And, James, I have a friend who
is known to all and sundry as "The Old Bean." Every bean I was called
upon to boil would remind me of him, whom I would not boil for worlds.

Here is something extraordinarily attractive--_Black Pudding Maker_.
You know black puddings. I am told that when you stew them (do not eat
them cold, I implore you!) they give off ambrosial perfumes, and that
after tasting one you would never again touch _peche Melba_. But as a
_Black Pudding Maker_ should I become nauseated?

Almost next door comes _Blood Collector_. Wait while I question the
Mess Cook ... James, I cannot become a Black Pudding maker. The Mess
Cook tells me that _Blood Collector_ and _Black Pudding Maker_ are
probably allied trades. How dreadful!

How about _Bobber?_ Does that mean that I should have to shear my
wife's silken tresses? Cousin Phyllis has appeared with a tomboy's
shock of hair, and she says it "has only been bobbed." By a "bobber"?
I would like to wring his neck. But if _Bobber_ has something to do
with those jolly little things that dance about on cotton machines
(aren't they called "bobbins"?) I will consider it.

I have not even finished the "B's." A glance ahead and other
enchanting vistas are revealed. For instance, _Desiccated Soup Maker,
Filbert Grower_ and (simply) _Retired_.

This Schedule is splendid in its way, but why can't they be honest?
They must know that lots of us in our great national army are in
ordinary life just rogues and vagabonds. The Schedule ignores such
honest tradesmen. How is a respectable tramp to know when his group
is called for demobilisation if he is not even given a group? What a
nation of prigs and pretenders we are!

Yours ever, WILLIAM.

* * * * *


My baker gives me chunks of bread--
He used to throw them at my head;
His manners, I rejoice to state,
Have very much improved of late.

My butcher was extremely gruff,
And sold me--oh, such horrid stuff;
But I observe, since Peace began,
Some traces of a better man.

I find my grocer hard to please
In little things like jam or cheese;
Now that the men are coming back
His scowl, I think, is not so black.

My coalman is a haughty prince
No tears could move or facts convince;
But tyrants topple everywhere
And he too wears a humbler air.

My milkman was a man of wrath
As he came down the garden path;
But, since the Hohenzollern fell,
I find him almost affable.

And what is this? My greengrocer
(A most determined character)
Approaches--'13 style--to say,
"What can I do for you to-day?"

* * * * *


Bill Disposing of Old Prussia."

_Manchester Guardian_.

Tit for tat; Prussia had already disposed of Old BILL.

* * * * *

"Mr. Cecil Harmswirth has vacated his iffict in the 'gardtn
suburb' at 0. Downing Strtet."--_Daily Mail_.

To the evident consternation of Carmelite Street.

* * * * *

"'I am an A.B.C. girl,' said a passenger to _The Daily Mirror_,
'and have been eleven hours on my feet. If a get a seat in the
Dulwich omnibus, I shall have another hour's standing before I
get to my house.'"--_Daily Mirror_.

It seems to be high time that the omnibus company adopted the railway
regulation, "Passengers are requested not to put their feet on the
seats, etc."

* * * * *



* * * * *

F. E.


In ante-bellum days, ah me, when I a stuffman used to be, and proudly
pouched a junior's fee, the _Law List_ styled me "Smith, F.E." Oh,
how my place seemed small for me; not that I scorned the stuffman's
fee, but stuffy courts did not agree with me. I dearly longed to be
respiring often, fresh and free, the breath that was the life of me,
so I became a live M.P. And, lest the spacious H. of C. should fail to
hold sufficiently the lot of air respired by me, said I, "A soldier
I will be--not one of Foot (that's Infantry), nor yet the reg'lar
Cavalry, for barrack-life will not suit me, yet ride I must the high
gee-gee;" so I decided straight to be an officer of Yeomanry. Drilling
the troopers on the lea, the vent I craved for gave to me. Moreover,
on my high gee-gee I learned what galloping could be.

Those back-bench days! Ah me, ah me, rude Members christened me "F.E."
And even _Punch_, in kindly glee, once on a time, did picture me a
prowling beast, beside the sea, all spotted o'er with signs, "F.E."
That patronymic thus will be preserved for immortality. Newspapers,
too, I chance to see sometimes apply that name to me.

Although I found smart repartee, shot forth from back seats, gave me
glee, still I aspired to climb the tree, so with restrained temerity
I donned a gown of silk, i.e. became a fully-fledged K.C. Then, after
able A.J.B. was shunted by his great party and A.B.L. assumed the see,
the latter's finger beckoned me to face direct the enemy. Anon the
KING created me a member of his own P.C.

And then "the active life" for me, as Galloper to "Gen'ral" C.,
the loyal Ulsterman, to free from acts of Irish devilry. I thanked
"whatever gods may be" for training with the Yeomanry!

Then came the war with Germany. Alas, again I sighed, "Ah me," and
viewed the aspect gloomily, for I was then in apogee from all that
mighty company that domineered the H. of C. A. ruled the roast, not
A.J.B. But happy thought, that company of muddlers held one hope for
me--my constant pal of Yeomanry, the smashing, dashing WINSTON C.;
result--the Censorship for me. But not for long. The fresh and free
and open air was calling me, so off I went across the sea to join the
fighting soldiery. But soon there came a call for me, and back I came
across the sea to be His Majesty's S.-G.

What next was I? Eureka! "_The_ Right Hon. _Sir_ F.E. SMITH, K.C."

Then came the storm. Sir EDWARD C. threw up his job and let in me,
before I scarce could laugh, "He, he!" to be His Majesty's A.-G. That
wasn't bad, I think, for me--a mild young man of forty-three!

Next came "the quiet life" for me. I held my tongue, but drew my fee
and eke my A.-G. salary. Not e'en the great calamity that overtook
A.'s Ministry and raised the wizard, D.L.G., to offices of high degree
disturbed my sweet serenity. Nor did I jib when Sir R.B. FINLAY took
on unblushingly the job that seemed cut out for me. Unwilling _he_ his
weird to dree! _I_ whispered, "Mum's the word for me!"

Now, after waiting patiently, as fits a man of my degree, the Woolsack
cries aloud for me, and soft and soothing it will be to my whole frame
and dignity. And unto those who wish from me to know what will the
ending be of my august biography, I answer in a minor key and classic
language, "Wait and see!"

* * * * *


My house, which I am trying to let, is a modest little affair in
the country. It has a small meadow to the south and the road to the
north. There are some evergreens about the lawn. The kitchen garden
is large but most indifferently tended; indeed it is partly through
dissatisfaction with a slovenly gardener that I decided to leave. The
nearest town is a mile distant; the nearest station two miles and a
half. We have no light laid on except in a large room in the garden,
where acetylene gas has been installed.

I am telling you these facts as concisely as I told them to the agent.
He took them down one by one and said, "Yes." Having no interest in
anything but the truth, I was as plain with him as I could be.

"Yes," he said, "no gas anywhere but in garden-room."

"Yes, small paddock, about two acres, to the south."

"Yes, one mile from nearest town."

I was charmed with his easy receptivity and went away content.

A few days later I received the description of the house which the
agent had prepared for his clients. Being still interested in nothing
but the truth I was electrified.

"This very desirable residence," it began. No great harm in that.

"In heart of most beautiful county in England," it continued. Nothing
very serious to quarrel with there; tastes must always differ; but it
puts the place in a new light.

"Surrounded by pleasure-grounds." Here I was pulled up very short. My
little lawn with its evergreens, my desolate cabbage-stalks, my tiny
paddock--these to be so dignified! And where do the agents get their
phrases? Is there a Thesaurus of the trade, profession, calling,
industry or mystery? "Garden" is a good enough word for any man who
lives in his house and is satisfied, but a man who wants a house can
be lured to look at it only if it has pleasure-grounds: is that the
position? Does an agent in his own home refer to the garden in
that way? If his wife is named Maud does he sing, "Come into the

"Surrounded," too. I was so careful to say that the paddock and so
forth were on one side and the road on the other.

I read on: "Situated in the old-world village of Blank." And I had
been scrupulous in stating that we were a mile distant--situated in
point of fact in a real village of our own, with church, post-office,
ancient landau and all the usual appurtenances. And "old world"! What
is "old world"? There must be some deadly fascination in the epithet,
for no agent can refrain from using it; but what does it mean? Do
American agents use it? It could have had no attraction for COLUMBUS.
Such however is the failure of our modernity that it is supposed to
be irresistible to-day. And "village!" The indignation of Blank on
finding itself called an "old world village" will be something fierce.

None the less, although I was amused and a little irritated, I must
confess to the dawnings of dubiety as to the perfect wisdom of leaving
such a little paradise. If it had all this allurement was I being
sensible to let others have it, and at a time when houses are so
scarce and everything is so costly? Had I not perhaps been wrong in my
estimate? Was not the sanguine agent the true judge?

I read on and realised that he was not. "One mile from Blank station."
Such a statement is one not of critical appraisement but of fact or
falsity. The accent in which he had said, "Yes, two and a-half miles
from the station," was distinct in my ear.

I read further. "Lighted by gas;" and again I recalled that
intelligent young fellow's bright "Yes, gas only in the garden-room."

What is one to do with these poets, these roseate optimists? And how
delightful to be one of them and refuse to see any but desirable
residences and gas where none is!

But it was the next trope that really shook me: "Well-stocked
kitchen-garden." Here I ceased to be amused and became genuinely
angry. The idea of calling that wilderness, that monument of neglect,
"well-stocked." I was furious.

That was a week ago. Yesterday I paid a flying visit to the country
to see how things were going and how many people had been to view the
place; and my fury increased when, after again and for the fiftieth
time pointing out to the gardener the lack of this and that vegetable,
he was more than normally smiling and silent and dense and impenitent.

"You say here," he said at last, pulling the description of the house
from his pocket and pointing to the words with a thumb as massive as
it is dingy and as dingy as it is massive--"you say here 'well-stocked
kitchen garden.'" _You!_

And now I understand better the phrases "agents for good" and "agents
for evil."

* * * * *


* * * * *

From an official circular:--

"If the man in question happens to be a seaman, he will be
included on A.F.Z.8 in the figures appearing in the square of
intersection between the horizontal column opposite Industrial
Group 2 and the vertical column for Dispersal Area Ib."

Yet there are people who still complain of a want of simplicity in the
demobilisation regulations.

* * * * *



Mr. Smith (of Smith, Smith and Smith, Solicitors) sat in his office
awaiting his confidential clerk. There was a rattle as of castanets
outside the door. It was produced by the teeth of the confidential
clerk, Mr. Adolphus Brown.

Mr. Smith was a martinet ...


Second-Lieutenant A. Brown was drilling his platoon. There was a
rattle as of castanets. It was produced by the teeth of the platoon.

Adolphus was a martinet ...


The raiding, party hurled itself into the trench, headed by an
officer of ferocious mien. There was a rattle as of castanets. It was
produced by the teeth of the 180th Regiment of Landsturmers, awaiting

Adolphus fell upon them ...


Captain A. Brown, M.C., on leave, sat by his fireside. There was a
rattle as of castanets. It was produced by the teeth of Adolphus,

Daddy had changed ...


Major A. Brown, D.S.O., M.C. (on permanent Home Service) was awaiting
the next case. There was a rattle as of castanets. It was produced
by the teeth of No. 45012 Private Smith (of Smith, Smith and Smith,
Solicitors), called up in his group and late for parade.

Adolphus was famous for severity ...


Mr. (late Major) Adolphus Brown stood outside the door of Mr. (late
No. 45012) Smith (of Smith, Smith and Smith, Solicitors). There was a
rattle as of castanets ...

On which side of the door?


* * * * *

"Mr. Ian Macpherson, the new Chief Secretary for Ireland, posed
specially yesterday for the _Sunday Pictorial_. He has a difficult
task to face."--_Sunday Pictorial_.

Let us hope they will keep the portrait from him as long a possible.

* * * * *

"Three new telephone lines have been laid between London
and Paris, and it is now possible to pick up a telephone in
Downing Street and speak directly to Mr. Lloyd George at any
time."--_Daily Chronicle_.

Immediately on the appearance of the above a long queue formed in
Downing Street. Further telephones are to be installed to meet the
rush. Some of the messages to the PREMIER, we understand, have been
couched in very direct language.

* * * * *


It must not be thought that I underestimate the value of education
as a general principle; indeed I earnestly beg of Mr. FISHER, should
these lines chance to meet his eye, not to be in any way discouraged
by them; but I have been driven to the conclusion that there is such a
thing as over-education, and that it has dangers. When you have read
this story I think you will agree with me. It is rather a sad story,
but it is very short.

The population of my poultry-yard was composed of five hens and
Umslumpogaas. The five hens were creatures of mediocrity, deserving no
special mention--all very well for laying eggs and similar domestic
duties, but from an intellectual point of view simply napoo, as the
polyglot stylists have it. Far otherwise was it with Umslumpogaas.
He was a pure bred, massive Black Orpington cockerel, a scion of the
finest strain in the land. Indeed the dealer from whom I purchased
him informed me that there was royal blood in his veins, and I have
no reason to doubt it. One had only to watch him running in pursuit
of a moth or other winged insect to be struck by the essentially
aristocratic swing of his wattles and the symmetrical curves of
his graceful lobes; and the proud pomposity of his tail feathers
irresistibly called to mind the old nobility and the Court of LOUIS
QUATORZE. Pimple, our tabby kitten, looked indescribably bourgeois
beside him.

But it was not the external appearance of Umslumpogaas, regal though
it was, that endeared him to me so much as his great intellectual
potentialities. That bird had a mind, and I was determined to develop
it to the uttermost. Under my assiduous tuition he progressed in a
manner that can only be described as astonishing. He quickly learned
to take a letter from the post-girl in his beak and deliver it without
error to that member of the family to whom it was addressed. I was in
the habit of reading to him extracts from the daily papers, and the
interest he took in the course of the recent war and his intelligent
appreciation of the finer points of Marshal FOCH'S strategy were most
pleasing to observe. He would greet the news of our victorious onsweep
with exultant crows, while at the announcement of any temporary
set-back he would mutter gloomily and go and scratch under the
shrubbery. On Armistice day he quite let himself go, cackling and
mafficking round the yard in a manner almost absurd. But who did not
unbend a little on that historic day?

Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, was the mastering of
a system of signals, a sort of simplified Morse code, which we
established through the medium of an old motor-horn. One blast meant
breakfast-time; two intimated that I was about to dig in the waste
patch under the walnut trees and he was to assemble his wives for
a diet of worms; three loud toots were the summons for the mid-day
meal; four were the curfew call signifying that it was time for him
to conduct his consorts to their coop for the night; and so on, with
special arrangements in case of air-raids. Not once was Umslumpogaas
at fault; no matter in what remote corner of the yard he and his hens
might be, at the sound of the three blasts he would come hastening up
with his hens for dinner. I was most gratified.

And then came the disaster. I was sawing wood one morning in the
saddle house, and Umslumpogaas and his wives were sitting round about
the door, dusting themselves. All was peaceful. Suddenly down the lane
which passes the gate of my yard appeared a large grey-bodied car.
Some school-children being in the road the driver emitted three loud
warning hoots of his horn. In an instant Umslumpogaas was on his feet
and, his wives at his heels, making a bee line for the gate. By the
time he reached it the car had passed and was turning the corner that
leads to the village, when the driver again sounded his horn thrice.
With an imperious call to his wives to follow, Umslumpogaas set off at
full speed in pursuit, and before I had fully grasped the situation
my entire poultry-yard had vanished from sight in the wake of that
confounded motor-car. And it is the unfortunate truth that neither
Umslumpogaas nor a single member of his harem has been seen or heard
of since. It is as bad as the affair of the _Pied Piper_ of Hamelin.

I said at the beginning that this was rather a sad little story.
Taking into consideration the present price of new-laid eggs it
amounts more or less to a tragedy, and I put it down to nothing but
the baleful effects of over-education.

* * * * *


* * * * *


_Meconopsis cambrica_ (Welsh Poppy). Owing to the wide popularity of
the energetic daughter of the PRIME MINISTER we understand that the
authorities at Kew have decided to re-name this plant _Meganopsis_.

_Digitalis_.--The spelling of the homely name of this well-known plant
is to be altered in the Kew List to _Foch's-glove_; the suggestion of
an interned German botanist that _Mailed Fist_ would be more suitable
not having met with the approval of the Council of the Royal
Horticultural Society.

* * * * *


Lisbon, Wednesday.--It would seem that the Cabinet just formed
by Senhor Tamagnini Barbosa will have in the next Parliament a
moderate Republican majority."--_Liverpool Daily Post_.

No other journal seems to have noticed the re-annexation of Portugal
by Spain.

* * * * *

"The task of fitting the square men created by the war into
square holes is certainly going to be one of tremendous
magnitude."--_Lancashire Daily Post_.

From some of the new Government appointments we gather that the PRIME
MINISTER gave up the task in despair.

* * * * *

"Wanted to purchase elephants, sound and without vice, and to
sell a variety of pigeons at reasonable prices."--_Pioneer

But we doubt if the advertiser will be able to get all the elephants,
however free from vice, into the old pigeon-house.

* * * * *

[Illustration: BRIGHTER CRICKET.]

* * * * *


He had sat at the same table in the same restaurant for years--more
years than he cared to count. He was not as young as be used to be.

Always when he could he sat on the comfortable sofa-like seat on the
wall side of the table. When that was fully occupied he sat on the
other side on an ordinary upright chair, in which he could not lounge
at ease.

He sat there now discontentedly, keeping a watchful eye for vacancies
in the opposite party.

Half-way through his meal a vacancy occurred. He pushed his plate
across the table and went round, sinking with a sigh into the
cushioned seat.

The departing customer had left the usual gratuity under the saucer
of his coffee-cup. In a minute or two the waitress would collect the
cup and saucer and the coins.

But the waitress was busy. The room was full and there was the usual
deficient service.

He finished eating, lighted a cigarette and called for a cup of
coffee. It was then, I think, the thought came to him.

The other man's cup, saucer and money were still there.

His hand fluttered uncertainly over the cloth among the crockery.
There seemed to be nobody looking. His fingers slid under the other
man's saucer and in a moment the money was under his own.

He rose, took his hat and bill and went.

We left soon after.

"How mean!" said my wife. "Did you see? He made the other man's tip
do. Even a woman wouldn't have done that."

It seemed severe, I thought, but that is what she said.

* * * * *

"The rats were chased out of camp and their skins tanned and
made into dainty purses and handbags."--_Manchester Guardian_.

The rats having in their hurry left their skins behind them.

* * * * *

"The front door of the Lord Mayor's coachman opens on to a
long, narrow staircase."--_Weekly Dispatch_.

Very interesting, no doubt; but the general public would have
preferred to learn something about his bow-window.

* * * * *


Boreas blows on his high wood whistle,
Over the coppice and down the lane
Where the goldfinch chirps from the haulm of the thistle
And mangolds gleam in the farmer's wain.
Last year's dead and the new year sleeping
Under its mantle of leaves and snow;
Earth holds beauty fast in her keeping
But Life invincible stirs below.

Runs the sap in each root and rhizome,
Primrose yellow and snowdrop cold,
Windyflowers when the chiffchaff flies home,
Lenten lilies with crowns of gold.
Soon the woods will be blithe with bracken,
April whisper of lambs at play;
Spring will triumph--and our old black hen
(Thank the Lord!) will begin to lay.


* * * * *


"On the declaration of the armistice with Bulgaria this Balkan-Jug
stopped running."--_Observer._

* * * * *


["The New Navy of small craft, created by the special needs of
the War ... has every reason to be proud of its share in bringing
the War to a victorious conclusion. The good wishes of the Board
of Admiralty and the Royal Navy will follow the armed yachts,
trawlers, drifters and motor-boats after they have hauled down
the colours they flew as His Majesty's Auxiliary Patrol Vessels."

_Admiralty Message to the Auxiliary Patrol Service_.]

The Old Navy wakened and got under way
And hurried to Scapa in battle array,
While the drifters and trawlers looked on from afar
At the cruisers and battleships off to the War;
Having sped their departure with ev'ry good wish,
The drifters and trawlers returned to their fish.

Do you know the sensation, so hard to explain,
Of living a former existence again,
With never a clue to the why or the when?
Well, the drifters and trawlers were feeling it then,
And the sea chuckled deep as it washed to and fro
On the hulls of the battleships up in the Flow.

The Old Navy waited, the Old Navy swore,
While battleships costing two millions and more
Reviewed the position from starboard to port:
"It's small craft again, but we're terribly short;
Let us pray for the Empire whose sun never sets;"
Then the fishing fleet pensively hauled in its nets.

And rolling with laughter, at varying speeds
The New Navy sped to the Old Navy's needs;
Unblushingly paintless, by units or lots,
Came drifters and trawlers and whalers and yachts;
And, heedless of Discipline Acts, I've been told,
The New Navy cheerfully winked at the Old.

Without any pride but the pride of its race,
The New Navy took its historical place
In warfare on quite unconventional lines
As hunting sea vermin or sweeping for mines,
Till the sea would agree when a battleship swore
That surely they'd helped an Old Navy before.

Through Summer and Autumn, through Winter and Spring
The Old Navy patiently guarded the ring.
The while the Auxiliaries out on the blue
Were making the most of the flag that they flew,
And a cruiser would call to her sister, astern,
"Precocious as ever, they've nothing to learn!"

The Old Navy stretched as they got under way
To take the Surrender that fell on a Day,
And the drifters and trawlers looked on from afar
At the cruisers and battleships winning the War,
And, cheering the conquest with ev'ry good wish,
Prepared to go back to their nets and their fish.

But scarce had the fishing fleet time to turn round
When there fell on their ears a remarkable sound,
And some who were present have given their word
That the roll of DRAKE'S drum through the squadrons was heard;
Resulted a sequel as strange as it's true,
The Old Navy solemnly winked at the New.

The moral is simple but worthy of note
Whenever the spirit of DRAKE is afloat,
There's only one Navy when foes come to grips,
And nobody knows it so well as the ships,
And so when the small craft are blessed by the Board,
Demurely they murmur: "_New_ Navy? Oh, Lord!"

* * * * *



We four are _such_ friends, Estelle, Rosalie, Beryl and I. If we
weren't could we sit round and say the things to each other that we
do? I ask you.

It's quite a small flat we have, just the one room, but it's _so_
convenient. There's a chemist's next door, so it's no walk to get
_everything_ we require.

We were sitting round our cosy fireplace, wishing it were summer or
that we had some coal, when one of those thoughts that make me so
loved occurred to me.

"Estelle darling," I asked, though I knew, because the box was on the
mantelpiece; "how _do_ you get that lovely flush? Your nose is such a
_delicious_ tint; it reminds me of a tomato."

"I owe my colour to my fur coat," replied Estelle frankly; "you've
no idea how warm it keeps me. I think a natural glow is so much more
becoming than an artificial one."

"By the way, Madge," put in Rosalie (I'm Madge), "as you've started
the game may I ask you a question? How do you get such a lovely shine
on _your_ nose?"

"Chamois leather," I replied sweetly. (You see we're such friends we
love telling each other our boudoir secrets.)

"I wish I knew how you keep those cunning little curls, Estelle,"
sighed Beryl longingly. "_My_ hair is so horribly straight."

"It's quite easy," explained Estelle; "you can do it with any ordinary
flat-iron, though of course an electric-iron is the best. If you heat
the iron over the gas or fire (if any) it gets sooty, and if you've
golden hair, as I have this year--well. Only," she went on warningly,
"always see that you lay your curl flat on the table before you iron

"I wish I could get my hands as white as yours, Beryl," I said.

"You can't expect to, darling; working at Whitehall as you do your
fingers are bound to get stained with nicotine. Warm water and soap is
all _I_ use. First I immerse my hands in tepid water, then I rub the
soap (you can get it at any chemist's or oil-shop) into the pores--you
'd be surprised how it lathers if you do it the right way--and then
I rinse the soap off again. I learnt that trick from watching our
washer-woman--she had such lovely hands."

"Why do you never use powder now, Estelle?" asked Rosalie. "Before the
War one could never come near you without leaving footprints."

"My reasons were partly patriotic, conserving the food supply, you
know, and partly owing to the mulatto-like tint the war-flour gave me.
One doesn't want to go about looking half-baked, does one?"

"No," we murmured, making a pretty concerted number of it.

"But wrinkles, darling Estelle," I pleaded--"do tell us what you do
for your wrinkles."

"Wrinkles," murmured Estelle, with a pretty puckering of her brow--"I
haven't any left; I've given them all to you."

[EDITORIAL NOTE.--This series will not be continued in our next

* * * * *


1916 car, nearly new, two-seater body, hood, screen, complete,
L13."--_Provincial Paper_.

At that price it probably would be "musical."

* * * * *

"The latest telegrams from Berlin state that the Spartacus
(Extremist) leaders are in extremis."--_Sunday Paper_,

But, confound it, that's their element.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Sergeant_. "ONLY ONE BUTTON DECENTLY CLEAN. AND I

* * * * *


Dear Mr. Punch,--I write to ask your advice. As you know, the Army
Council in its wisdom decreed that the Army, before being demobilised,
must be educated. I have been chosen as one of the Educators.

My efforts to lead the Army into the paths of light and learning were
crowned with success until in an evil moment I undertook to teach
Private Goodbody. This genial ornament of our regimental sanitary
squad is especially anxious to plumb the mysteries of arithmetic.
When he had, as I thought, finally mastered the principle that if you
borrow one from the shillings' column you must pay it back in the
pounds' column, I set him the following sum:--

"Supposing you owed the butcher sixteen shillings and three pence
halfpenny and took a pound note to pay him with, how much change ought
he to give you?"

Private Goodbody scratched his head for several minutes and at last
decided that he did not know.

"But come, Goodbody," I urged, "surely it's quite easy." And I
repeated the question.

"I don't know, Sir; I don't never have no truck with butchers," he
declared emphatically. "I leaves that 'ere to the missus."

"Ah!" I said, "and how does _she_ get the money to pay him?"

"_I_ gives it 'er," said Goodbody.

"What does she do with the change?" I asked next.

"Gives it back to me, I reck'n," he answered.

"Well," I continued, "if you don't know how much change there ought
to be when you give her a pound and she spends sixteen shillings and
three pence halfpenny, how do you know she gives you back the right

Private Goodbody eyed me with something suspiciously like contempt.

"If my missus started playin' any o' them monkey tricks on me, givin'
the wrong change an' sich, I'd put it acrost 'er," he said.

And there the matter rests for the present. I feel that I should not
lead Private Goodbody any further into the intricacies of his subject
until he has solved my problem. This he resolutely professes himself
unable to do, and begs to be allowed to leave it and plunge into the
giddy vortex of the multiplication table.

Yours faithfully, MENTOR.

* * * * *

"A cable message of 100 words from London to Johannesburg to-day,
at 2s. 6d. a word, costs L1 10s."--_Evening Paper_.

We suppose the Post Office makes a reduction for taking a quantity.

* * * * *


The day I saw the Wind I stood
All by myself inside our wood,
Where Nurse had told me I must wait
While she went back through the white gate
To fetch her work ... I don't know why,
But suddenly I felt quite shy
With all the trees when Nurse was gone,
For quietness came on and on
And covered me right round as though
I was just nobody, you know,
And not a little girl at all...
But _then_--quite sudden--HER torn shawl
Came through the trees; I saw it gleam,
And SHE was near. Just like a dream
She looked at me. Her lovely hair
Was waving, waving everywhere,
And from her shawl--all tattery--
There blew the sweetest scents to me.
I didn't ask her who she was;
I didn't _need_ to ask, because
I _knew!_ ... That's all ... She didn't wait;
She _went_--when Nurse called through the gate.

* * * * *

"HOT WATER BATTLES--Best quality rubber, from 4/3 each." --_Parish

A new kind of tank warfare, we suppose.

* * * * *

[Illustration: OUR DANCING MEN.



* * * * *


The War decays; the Offices disperse,
And after many a bloomer flies the don;
All kinds of Bodies perish with a curse,
And only my Committee lingers on,
Still rambles gaily in the same old rings,
Still sighs, "At any rate, we are at one";
Yet even here, so catching, are these things,
Something, I think, is going to be done.

For me, I would not anything were done,
But would for ever sit on this soft seat
Each sweet recurrent Saturday, and run
An idle pencil o'er the foolscap sheet,
The free unrationed blotting-pad, and scrawl
Delightful effigies of those who speak,
But not myself say anything at all,
Only be mute and beautiful and meek ...

Are there not Ministers and ex-M.P.'s,
A Knight, a Baronet, a Brigadier?
Is it not wonderful to be with these,
To watch, and after in the wifely ear
Whisper, "This morning I exchanged some words
With old Sir Somebody, who thought of Tanks;
I saw the Chairman of the Board of Birds;
I said, 'How are you?' and he answered, 'Thanks'"?

So let us sit for ever--and expand;
Let us be paid, not properly, but well.
Let more men come, all opulent and bland,
So that we qualify for some hotel,
So that, as all the Constitution grows
From little seeds long buried in the past,
We too may be a part of it! Who knows?
We may become a Ministry at last.

And if indeed our end must be more tame,
Let large well-mounted photographs be made
Of this high gathering, and let each name
Beneath each face be generously displayed,
That I may say, when penury has crept
Too near for decency, to some old snob,
"_That_ was the kind of company I kept
When England needed me"--and get a job.


* * * * *

"Good Servants of all kings required at once.--Apply Mrs. ----'s
Registry."--_Provincial Paper_.

There should be a good supply, as several monarchs have lately given
up housekeeping.

* * * * *

"REQUIRED, ROMPOTER, to float L50,000 company for manufacturing
bricks for reconstruction. Curiosity mongers please
refrain."--_Daily Paper_.

But for the warning we should have been sorely tempted to inquire what
a "Rompoter" may be.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "DORA" DISCOMFITED.

"DORA." "WHAT, NO CENSORSHIP?" [_Swoons._]

{The Foreign Office has announced that Press Correspondents' messages
about the Peace Congress will not be censored.}]

* * * * *


* * * * *


I am a plain dog that barks his mind and believes in calling a bone
a bone, not one of your sentimental sort that allows the tail--that
uncontrollable seat of the emotions--to govern the head. I voted
Coalition, of course. As a veteran--three chevrons and the Croix de
Guerre--I could hardly refuse to support the man who above all others
helped us war dogs to beat the Bosch. But to say that I am satisfied
with the way things are going on--that's a mouse of a very different
colour, as the phrase goes. A terrier person who claims to own the
PRIME MINISTER and has been very busy demanding what he calls our
invaluable suffrages buttonholed me the other day outside the tripe
shop and commenced to tell me all the wonderful things that we dogs
would get if we only elected a strong Coalition Government--better
biscuits, larger kennels, equal rabbits for all and I don't know what
else. But when I asked him plainly, "Are you in favour of keeping out
the dachshunds?" the fellow hedged and said the question was not so
important as some people seemed to think, and that financial interests
had to be considered.

And that's how the War Dogs' Party came to be formed, for when
they heard how the land lay some of the influential dogs in our
neighbourhood called a meeting in Jorrocks' Mews and elected me
chairman. We decided that membership should not be confined to dogs
who had actually seen service at the Front, but that any dog who had
faced the trials of the War in the spirit of true patriotism should be
eligible. A slight difficulty was encountered in the case of the Irish
terrier who owns the butcher's shop and notoriously has never been
on bone rations, some of the young hotheads claiming that he was not
eligible. But Snap is a very popular dog, and when he is not brooding
over his national grievances is a merry fellow and always ready to
share a bone with a pal. So I ruled that on account of the historic
wrongs of Ireland we would overlook Snap's defiance of the Public
Bones Order and allow him to be one of us.

One of the first things you learn in the trenches is the use of tact
in coping with delicate situations. Well, we drew up a very strong
platform and were on the point of carrying it unanimously when our
secretary, a clever fellow but temperamental, like all poodles,
spotted the big yellow cat from No. 14 slinking down the street on
some poisonous errand or other, and the meeting adjourned in what I
can only describe as a disorderly manner. Of course we are treating
the Declaration of Peace Aims, as we called it, as carried, though the
secretary insists on adding a fifteenth point, which he says is of
vital importance, relating to the Declawing of Yellow Cats.

The first plank in our platform is BRITAIN FOR BRITISH DOGS, which
sounds very well, don't you think? Sassafras, the Aberdeen terrier
from No. 3, a solid fellow but unimaginative, wanted it to be ONCE A
U-DOG ALWAYS A U-DOG, but I ruled that that couldn't be right because
once there had been a U-dog next door to us, but now there wasn't. Of
course they all wanted to hear about it, but we war dogs are supposed
to be as modest as we are brave, so I simply said that he was _spurlos
versenkt_. But it isn't only German dogs we draw the line at. Take the
Pekinese. I've always said if we didn't combat the Yellow Peril we'd
regret it, and now the pests are everywhere. My master's woman has one
which she calls Pitti Sing. Did you ever hear of such a name for a
dog? But then it isn't a dog in the real sense of the word. Only last
Friday the little beast flew at me--all over an absurd chicken bone
which was really meant for me but had been put on to its plate by
mistake--and deliberately filled my mouth full of nasty fluffy fur.

Of course the woman had to come in at that moment and, instead of
chastising the little monster, she grabbed it up and hugged it,
saying, "Diddums nasty great dog bite um poor ickle Pitti Singums?"
and a lot more silly rot equally at variance with the facts. I wagged
my tail at her to show it wasn't my fault, but she just wouldn't see
reason and told master that I must have a good whipping. Of course
master and I both know that one isn't whipped for a little thing like
that, so we retired into the study, and while master pretended to
whip me I pretended to howl. I was just beginning to howl in a very
lifelike way when the woman rushed in and called master a cruel brute,
and said she didn't mean him to hurt me really.

Women are funny creatures and I'm glad I don't own one. Snap, the
butcher's dog, even went so far as to suggest that we should adopt
anti-feminism as a plank in our platform, but the Irish Wolfhound who
comes from Cavendish Square said that his mistress was driving an
ambulance in France and that, in her absence, anyone who had anything
to say against women would have to see him first. Of course it's very
difficult to argue with that kind of dog, and, though Snap seemed
inclined to press the point, I ruled the proposal out of order. The
value of resource is one of the things you learn in the Army.

I think Snap was rather relieved really, because after the meeting he
asked me to go and help him dig up a nearly new mutton bone that he
had buried under a laurel bush in the Square.

Well, to return to our platform, what we say about these foreign dogs
is "Keep them all out." Of course there are some Allied dogs, like
Poodles and Plumpuddings and Boston terriers, that have earned the
right to be considered one of ourselves, but when it comes to having
Mexican Hairless and Schipperkes and heaven knows what else coming
into the country and taking the biscuits out of our mouths--well, we
say it isn't good enough. Not that we're insular, mind you, but to
hear some of these mangy foreigners talking about the Brotherhood of
Dogs! But I must tell you how Bolshevism raised its ugly head in
our midst. It was while we were discussing the second plank in our
platform, which is "DOGS, NOT DOORMATS."

But there, Master is calling me to take him for a walk, so it must
wait till next week. ALGOL.

(_To be continued._)

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Official (to applicant for post as policewoman)_. "AND


* * * * *

"German civil officials in Nancy must salute American officers.
Failure to obey the order means arrest."--_Globe_.

We hear that the same regulation applies to all German civil officials
in Lyons, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

* * * * *





_PRICE_ 6/113/4.

A new writer who by virtue of her godlike genius takes her seat with
HOMER, DANTE, SHAKSPEAKE and MARIE CORELLI, and a novel such as the
world has not known since _The Miseries of Mephistopheles_ startled
the comatose mid-Victorians from their slumbers--both stand revealed
in these soul-shaking pages. To say that this is the novel of the year
is to malign its greatness It is the novel of the century, of all
centuries, of all time.


"It is not saying too much, when I solemnly assert that I really
believe that Miss Wank's first book is the best she has ever
written."--"_A MAN OF KENT_," in _The Scottish Treacly_.

* * * * *



_PRICE_ 11/31/2.

These remarkable lyrics are translations into vernacular verse of the
prose versions of specimens of the literature of the great apes of
Africa, collected by Professor GARNER. It is not too much to say that
those touching _cris de coeur_ redolent of the jungle, the lagoon and
the hinterland, will appeal with irresistible force to all lovers of
sincere and passionate emotion. The Chimpanzee's "swing song" on page
42 is a marvel of oscillating melody.

* * * * *




_PRICE_ 9/41/4.

This is a work of over 120,000 words of extraordinary beauty and
distinction. It has gone into 150 editions in Patagonia, where the
editions are very large, and ought to be in great demand in this
country. Tiberius Mull, writing in the Literary Supplement of _The
Scottish Oil World_, uses these remarkable words: "I do honestly
believe that Dr. Angus Wottley's book is the most weighty volume he
has ever given to the world."

* * * * *



_PRICE_ 8/31/2.

This is the first attempt to present the limitations of the modern
monogamous system in its true polyphonic perspective, several
huge editions having been exhausted before publication. Professor
McTalisker writes in the Theological Supplement of _John Bull_: "For
a person in a state of partial exhaustion I can imagine no more
efficacious stimulant than is to be found in those beautiful pages.
Not being acquainted with any of the earlier works of the author, I
can honestly declare that in my opinion it is the best thing that
I have read from her pen, and, further, that it has made a deeper
impression upon me than any other work which I have not read but which
deals with the same subject."

* * * * *

[Illustration: DOPE.


* * * * *


Lucasta, prideful times they were
When first it came to pass
That on each shoulder I might bear
A little star of brass.
And when by reason of my zeal
I was awarded twain,
'Twas not mere vanity to feel
Almost as proud again.
My warrior soul was filled with song
In triumph's clearest key,
When, feeling thrice as broad and strong,
My shoulders shone with three.
Yet these I'll gladly from their place
Remove, and in their stead
Support one star of gentler grace--
Lucasta's golden head.

* * * * *

"GENTLEMAN required, knowledge of short-hand essential although
not absolutely necessary."--_Local Paper_.

A very nice distinction.

* * * * *

"In my opinion the Asiatic cholera, 1850-1851, took more lives
and caused more anxiety than the flu. In Spanish Town, with a
population of 5,000, 7,800 died."--_Daily Gleaner_ (_Kingston,

We agree that the 'flu mortality can hardly have been greater than

* * * * *

"Flageolets soaked or parboiled previously and placed in alternate
layers in a fireproof dish with sliced tomato or potato sprinkled
with onion also make a valuable dish." _--Evening Paper_.

We have fortunately not yet been reduced to eating our wood-wind
instruments; but we think we should need a double-bass to wash them

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Impressed Rustic Sightseer_. "AY, AMOS, IT MUST TAKE

* * * * *


I met a man in the Club at Lille the other day who told me that he
knew all about women. He had studied the subject, he said, and could
read 'em like an open book. He admitted that it took a bit of doing,
but that once you had the secret they would trot up and eat out of
your hand.

Having thus spoken he swallowed three whiskies in rapid succession and
rushed away to jump a lorry-ride to Germany, and I have not seen him
since, much to my regret, for I need his advice, I do.

* * * * *

We splashed into the hamlet of Sailly-le-Petit at about eight o'clock
of a pouring dark night, to find the inhabitants abed and all doors
closed upon us.

However, by dint of entreaties whispered through key-holes and
persuasions cooed under window-shutters, I charmed most of them open
again and got my troop under cover, with the exception of one section.
Its Corporal, his cape spouting like a miniature watershed, swam up.
"There's a likely-lookin' farm over yonder, Sir," said he, "but the
old gal won't let us in. She's chattin' considerable." I found a group
of numb men and shivering horses standing knee-deep in a midden, the
men exchanging repartee with a furious female voice that shrilled at
them from a dark window. "Is that the officer?" the voice demanded.
I admitted as much. "Then remove your band of brigands. Go home to
England, where you belong, and leave respectable people in peace. The
War is finished."

I replied with some fervour (my boots were full of water and my cap
dribbling pints of iced-water down the back of my neck) that I was
not playing the wandering Jew round one-horse Picard villages in late
December for the amusement I got out of it and that I could be relied
on to return to England at the earliest opportunity, but for the
present moment would she let us in out of the downpour, please? The
voice soared to a scream. No, she would not, not she. If we chose to
come soldiering we must take the consequences, she had no sympathy
for us. She called several leading saints to witness that her barn
was full to bursting anyhow and there was no room. That was that.
She slammed the window-shutter and retired, presumably to bed. The
Corporal, who had been scouting round about, returned to report room
for all hands in the barn, which was quite empty. Without further ado
I pushed all hands into the barn and left them for the night.

Next morning, while walking in the village street, I beheld a
remarkable trio approaching. It consisted of a venerable cleric--his
skirts held high enough out of the mud to reveal the fact that he
favoured flannel underclothing and British army socks--and a massive
rustic dressed principally in hair, straw-ends and corduroys. The
third member was a thick short bulldog of a woman, who, from the
masterly way in which she kept corduroys from slipping into the
village smithy and saved the cleric from drifting to a sailor's grave
in the duck-pond, seemed to be the controlling spirit of the party.
By a deft movement to a flank she thwarted her reluctant companions
in an attempt to escape up a by-way, and with a nudge here and a
tug there brought them to a standstill in front of me and opened
the introductions.

"M. le Cure," indicating the cleric, who dropped his skirts and raised
his beaver.

"M. le Maire," indicating corduroys, who clutched a handful of straw
out of his beard and groaned loudly.

"_Moi, je suis Madame, Veuve Palliard-Dubose_," indicating herself.

I bowed, quailing inwardly, for I recognized the voice. She gave
corduroys a jab in the short ribs with her elbow. "_Eh bien_, now

Corduroys rolled his eyes like a driven bullock, sneezed a shower of
straw and groaned again.

"_Imbecile!_" spat Madame disgustedly and prodded the Cure. But the
Cure was engaged in religious exercises, beads flying through his
fingers, lips moving, eyes tight closed. Madame shrugged her shoulders
eloquently as if to say, "Men--what worms! I ask you," and turned on
me herself. She led off by making some unflattering guesses as to my
past career, commented forcibly on my present mode of life, ventured
a few cheerful prophecies as to my hereafter and polished off a brisk
ten minutes heart-to-heart talk by snapping her fingers under my nose
and threatening me with the guillotine if I did not instantly remove
my man-eating horses from her barn.

"Observe," she concluded triumphantly, "I have the Church and State on
my side."

"Have you?" I queried. "Have you? Look again."

She turned to the right for the Mayor, but a strong trail of straw
running up the by-way told that that massive but inarticulate
dignitary had slunk home to his threshing. She turned to the left for
the Cure, but the whisk of a skirt and a flannel shank disappearing
into the church-porch showed that the discreet clerk had side-stepped
for sanctuary. I thought it kinder to leave Madame the widow
Palliard-Dubose to herself at this juncture, but something told me I
had not heard the last of her. Nor had I. A week later an imposing
document was forwarded from the orderly-room for my "information
and necessary action, please." It emanated from the French Military
Mission and claimed from me the modest sum of two thousand
three hundred and fourteen francs on behalf of one Madame Veuve
Palliard-Dubose, of the village of Sailly-le-Petit, Pas de Calais,
the claimant alleging that my troopers had stolen unthreshed wheat to
that value wherewith to feed their horses. A prompt settlement would

I fled panic-stricken down to stables and wagged the document in
the faces of the thieves. They were virtuously indignant; hadn't
pinched no wheat-straw at all--not in Sailly-le-Petit. Might have
been a bit absent-minded-like at Auchy-en-Artois, and again at
Pressy-aux-Bois mistakes may have been made, but here never--no,
Sir, s'welp-them-Gawd. I wrote to the French Mission denying the
impeachment. They replied with a fresh shower of claims. I answered
with a storm of denials. The sky snowed correspondence. Just when the
French were putting it all over me and my orderly-room was hinting
that I had best pay up and save the Entente Cordiale, the French ran
out of paper and sent one of their missionaries in a car to settle
the matter verbally. I gave him a good lunch, an excellent cigar and
spread all the facts of the case before him as one human to another.
He spent an hour nosing about the village, and the result of his
investigations was that Madame Veuve Palliard-Dubose, so far from
having her wheat stolen, had had no wheat to steal, and furthermore
never in the course of her agricultural activities had she harvested
crops to the value of Francs 2314. Virtue triumphant. Evil vanquished.
Madame the widow Palliard-Dubose retired grimly into her cabin,
slamming the door on the world.

Yesterday was New Year's Day. Imagine my surprise when, on visiting
the horses at mid-day, Madame Veuve Palliard-Dubose leaned over
the half-door of her dwelling and waved her hand to me. "_Ah, ha,
Monsieur le Lieutenant_", she crowed, "many felicitations on this
most auspicious day! _Bon jour, belle annee_!"

I was so staggered I treated her to my _perfecto superfino_, my very
best salute (usually reserved for Generals and Field Cashiers). "The
same to you, Madame, and many of 'em. _Vive la France!_"

Madame bowed and smiled with all her features. "_Vive l'Angleterre_!"
What a lot of weather we were having, weren't we? and what a glorious
victory it had been, hadn't it?--mainly due to the dear soldiers, she
felt sure. She hoped I found myself enjoying robust health.

I replied that I was in the pink myself and trusted she was the same.

Never pinker in her life, she said; everything was perfectly lovely.
She beckoned me nearer. She had a small favour to ask. At this season
of peace and goodwill would the so amiable Lieutenant deign to enter
her modest abode and take a little glass of _vin blanc_ with her?

The "amiable Lieutenant" would be enchanted.

She swung the door open and bowed me in. The glasses were already
filled and waiting on the table--a big one for me, a little one for

We clicked rims and lifted our elbows to the glorious victory, to the
weather (which was rotten) and our mutual pinkness.

"_A votre sante, mon Lieutenant_!" crooned Madame the widow

"_A votre, Madame_," replied her Lieutenant, quaffing the whole
issue in one motion. Paraffin, ladies and gentlemen, pure undiluted
paraffin--paugh! wow! ouch!

* * * * *

If the fellow I met in the Lille Club who reads women's souls and gets
'em to feed out of his hand should also happen to read this, will he
please write and tell me what my next move is? PATLANDER.

* * * * *


* * * * *


12 March and April pullets laying rabbits."--_Advt. in Local

Personally we should place these admirable birds in a class by

* * * * *



Is this the fag-end of State control, or the State control of

* * * * *

"Girl, about 18, for grocery; permanency; experience not
necessary; must love locally."--_Daily Paper_.

But we doubt if this attempt to constrain the tender passion within
geographical limits will prove a "permanency."

* * * * *

There was a young man from Dundee
Who didn't succeed with the Sea;
So they gave him command
Of the Air and the Land
Just to make it quite fair for all three.

* * * * *


And now the fell decree by post went out
That all the world might understand and know
How that our Volunteers henceforth must live
A quite unkhaki'd and civilian life,
Stripped of their rifles, bared of bayonets too.
Ah, many a time had we passed by to drill
And scorned the loafer who hung round to see,
The while, with accurate swift-moving feet
And hands that flashed in unison, we heard
The Sergeant-Major's voice in anger raised
Because we did not mark it as he wished;
Or uttering words of praise for them that knew
To act when rear rank got itself in front.
And ah, we knew to mount a gallant guard,
To fix our sentries, and to prime them well
With varied information that might serve
To help them in their duties and to make
Them glib and eloquent when called upon
In all the changes of this martial life.
And we could march in line and march in fours,
And bear ourselves ferociously and well
When the inspecting officer appeared.
And, one great day--it was our apogee--
When volunteers for France were called upon,
A forest of accepting hands went up;
But nothing further ever came of it.
At any rate it showed a right good will
And stamped our Volunteers as gallant stuff
To serve their country should the need arise.
And now their rifles have been ta'en away,
Their side-arms are removed, and they themselves
Are mocked in obloquy and sunk in scorn.

* * * * *


Nancy is eleven and thinks I know everything. I never could resist or
contradict her.

"Now tell me about animals in Africa," she said. "Tell me lots."

This was better than usual, for I possess a heavily-mortgaged and
drought-stricken farm in some obscure corner of that continent and
have spent much time disputing with beasts who refused to acknowledge
my proprietary claims.

So I told Nancy tales of lions that roared till the stars tumbled
out of the sky with fright, and, when she crept very close to me, of
the blue monkeys with funny old faces who swung through the trees
and across the river-bed to steal my growing corn. I told her of the
old ones who led them in the advance and followed in the retreat,
chattering orders, and of the little babies who clung to their
mothers. I told her that monkeys elected not to talk lest they should
be made to work, but that there were a few men living who understood
their broken speech and could hold communion with them.

She led me on with little starts and questions and--well, I may all
unwillingly have misled her as to my general intelligence.

"We'll go to the Zoo to-morrow," Nancy commanded, "and you can talk to
the monkeys and find out what they think. Let's."

* * * * *

Nancy shook her curls and turned her back on the patient-looking bear.

"He's stupid," she said. "Why can't you find the monkeys? You know you

I suggested luncheon, but was overruled, and, on turning a corner,
read my fate in large letters on the opposite building.

"Come on," said Nancy, taking me by the hand.

Her first selection was very old and melancholy. He accepted a piece
of locust-bean with leisurely condescension and watched us with quiet
interest as he chewed. He rather frightened me; the wisdom of all the
ages was behind his wrinkled eyes.

"When you were in your prison did the Germans feed you through the
bars?" Nancy asked with great clearness.

Several people in the vicinity became aware of our existence and,
feeling the limelight upon me, I again mentioned the lateness of the

"Talk to him," she said. "Ask him what it's like in there."

I treated the blinking monkey to a collection of clicks and chuckles
which would have startled even a professor of the Bantu languages. He
finished his bean and emitted a low bird-like call.

"What's that?" asked Nancy.

"You see," I said, "he's brown and comes from a different part of the
country. It's like Englishmen and Frenchmen. Now, if he was blue--"

"Ask that keeper," said Nancy.

"He's very busy," I whispered. "We oughtn't to interrupt him."

Nancy at once ran over to the man.

"Have you got any blue ones?" she asked. "'Cos _he_ can talk to them.
We'd like to see one."

The man looked at me without interest. I was an amateur and a rival;
but Nancy's smile can work wonders.

"Yes, Missy," he said, "a beauty round here."

We reached the cage all too soon.

"Now talk," Nancy ordered.

Again I went through my ridiculous performance. The monkey looked at
the keeper.

The hand which lay in mine told me that Nancy's confidence was waning.
I knew then how much I valued it.

"Not very well, is he?" I asked of the keeper. "A little out of
sorts--this weather, you know."

My reputation was in his hands, but I dared make no sign. Nancy's eyes
were on my face.

The man looked at me and then at the eager little face below him.
"Heavy cold, Sir," he said stolidly. "Always makes 'em a bit hard o'
hearing. Poor old Topsy! Want to be left alone, do you?"

"What a pity," said Nancy. "Mother _will_ be sorry to hear that the
only one you could speak to was so ill and deaf."

"What were you giving him?" she asked as we walked away.

"Only a little New Year present for his children," I said.

"How do you know he's got any children?" Nancy demanded. "He didn't
say so, did he?"

"No, but I'm quite certain he has," I answered.

* * * * *

Letter received by an officer in Egypt:--

"Sir I have the honour and the opportunity to write you a letter
and I am coming to ask you and to pray you perhapse perchance it
is possible to found for me employment for translator. I am verry
sorry and mutch vex grieve bother pester haras teass consequently
accordingly consequtivey I made you acknowledg may petion request
and to bid you peradvanture well you occpied me for 6 months with
a contract. I beg you verry mutch to anwer respond reply if that
letter I supose deeme concieve cogitate mediat when you will
received my letter you will respond me at once imadiatty from
your cervill and faitfull."

It is inferred that the would-be "translator" kept a dictionary at his
elbow and took no chances.

* * * * *


_Scot_. "AY--D'YE MIND MY FACE?"

_Visitor_. "OH--NOT AT ALL."]

* * * * *



I wonder if I am alone in a feeling of impatience and bewilderment
over what I may call half-fairy stories. Magic I understand and love;
but this now diluted form of it leaves me cold. Take for example the
book that has occasioned this complaint, _The Curious Friends_ (ALLEN
AND UNWIN), an unconventional and perhaps just a little silly tale
about a secret association of children and grownups, pledged to mutual
help and a variety of altruistic aims--a scheme, with all its faults,
at least human and understandable. But Miss C.J. DELAGREVE has chosen
to complicate it by (apparently) a dash of the supernatural, in the
person of a character called _Saint Ken_, about whom we are told
that he lived in a tunnel on the Underground and employed himself in
helping distressed passengers. Well, what I in my brutal way want to
know is whether this is a joke, or what. Because if I have to credit
it, over goes the rest of the plot into frank make-believe. And
fantasy of this kind consorts but ill with a scheme that embraces
such realities as heart-failure and typhus. Not in any case that Miss
DELAGEEVE'S plot could be called exactly convincing. "Preposterous"
would be the apter word for this society of the Blue-Bean Wearers, in
which vague elderly persons wandered about with sadly self-conscious
children and talked like the dialogue in clever books. This at least
was the impression conveyed to me. I may add that I was continually
aware of a certainty that Miss DELAGREVE will do very much better when
she selects a simpler and less affected subject.

* * * * *

executed a pious task. He has written the life of his grandfather, and
has done it with great enthusiasm. The work is in two volumes, one
thick and the other thin, and sometimes I cannot help feeling that
one volume, the thin one, would have been enough. DOUGLAS JERROLD'S
reputation depends upon his work in _Punch_ and his writing of plays,
of which nearly seventy stand to his credit. To _Punch_ he contributed
from the second number and soon became a power by means of "Mrs.
Caudle's Curtain Lectures," "The Story of a Feather" and countless
other articles which suited the taste of the public of that day. Of
his work for _Punch_ there is only the barest mention in this book,
for that story has already been told at some length by the same
author. In the present book Mr. WALTER JERROLD devotes a large amount
of space to a review of DOUGLAS JERROLD'S theatrical pieces. Where
now is a five-act comedy, entitled _Bubbles of the Day_, which at the
time of its production was described as "one of the wittiest and best
constructed comedies in the English language"? I am afraid that this
comedy, and even _Black-eyed Susan_, JERROLD'S greatest triumph, have
passed away into the limbo of forgotten plays and can never return
to us. Another drama had in it as one of the characters "a certain
cowardly English traveller named Luckless Tramp," a name, I should
have thought, quite sufficient in itself to swamp every possible
chance of success; yet our forefathers seem to have had no difficulty
in accommodating themselves to it.

* * * * *

In an author's note to _Moon of Israel_ (MURRAY) Sir H. RIDER HAGGARD
tells us that his book "suggests that the real Pharaoh of the Exodus
was not Meneptah or Merenptah, son of Rameses the Great, but the
mysterious usurper, Amenmeses ..." I am not a student of Egyptology,
and in this little matter of AMENMESES am perfectly content to trust
myself to Sir RIDER, and, provided that he tells a good tale, to
follow him wherever he chooses to lead the way. And this story, put
into the mouth of _Ana_, the scribe, is packed with mystery and magic
and miracles and murder. For fear, however, that this may sound a
little too exhausting for your taste, let me add that the main theme
is the love of the _Crown Prince of Egypt_ for the Israelite, _Lady
Merapi, Moon of Israel_. Sir RIDER'S hand has lost none of its
cunning, and, though his dialogue occasionally provokes a smile when
one feels that seriousness is demanded, he is here as successful as
ever in creating or, at any rate, in reproducing atmosphere. I hope,
when you read this tale of the Pharaohs, that you will not find that
your memory of the Book of Exodus is as faded as I found mine to be.

* * * * *

Mr. CHRISTOPHER CULLEY, whom you may remember for a bustling, rather
cinematic story called _Naomi of the Mountains_, has now followed this
with another, considerably better. _Lily of the Alley_ (CASSELL) is,
in spite of a title of which I cannot too strongly disapprove, as
successful a piece of work of its own kind as anyone need wish for,
showing the author to have made a notable advance in his art. Again
the setting is Wild West, on the Mexican border, the theme of the tale
being the outrages inflicted upon American citizens by VILLA, and what
seemed then the bewildering delay of Washington over the vindication
of the flag. The "Alley" of its unfortunate name is the slum in Kansas
City where _Dave_, stranded on his way westward, met the girl to whom
the laws of fiction were inevitably to join him. I fancy that one of
Mr. CULLEY'S difficulties may have lain in the fact that, when the
tale, following _Dave_, had finally shaken itself from the dust of
cities, the need for feminine society was conspicuously less urgent.
Even after a rescued and refreshed _Lily_ is brought up-country,
she is kept, so to speak, as long as possible at the base, and
only arrives on the actual scene of _Dave's_ activities in time to
be bustled hurriedly out of the way of the final (and wonderfully
thrilling) chapters. The explanation is, I think, that the cowboy,
whom he knows so well, is for Mr. CULLEY hero and heroine too. _Dave_,
round whom the story revolves, is a pleasant study of a type of
American youth which we are coming gratefully to estimate at its true
worth; but in the development of the theme _Dave_ soon becomes
almost insignificant beside the greater figure of the cowboy, _Monte
Latarette_. For him alone I should regard the book as one not to be
missed by anyone who values a handling of character at once delicate
and masterful.

* * * * *

_Keeling Letters and Recollections_ (ALLEN AND UNWIN) is a book that
will perhaps rouse varied emotions in those who read it. Regret
there will be for so much youth and intellectual vigour sacrificed;
admiration for courage and for a patriotism that circumstances made by
no means the simple matter of conviction that it has been for most;
and vehement opposition to many of the views (on the War especially)
held by the subject of the memoir. By sympathy and environment KEELING
was, to begin with, a wholehearted admirer of Germany. Strangely, in
one of his social views, he carried this admiration even to the extent
of advocating a Teutonic control that should include Holland. To such
a mind the outbreak of war with Germany may well have seemed the last
horror. But he admitted no choice. Within a few days he was a private
soldier; he was killed, as sergeant-major, while bombing a trench on
August 18, 1916. The spirit in which he entered the War is shown in
an extract from a letter: "What we have got to do in the interest of
Europe is to fight Germany without passion, with respect." How grimly
those last two words sound now! Through everything KEELING held with a
generous obstinacy to his original prejudices. Germany remained most
tragically his second fatherland. Somewhere he writes, "I expect I
shall be a stronger Pacifist after the war than any of the people who
are Pacifists now. But I don't feel one will have earned the right to
be one _unless one has gone in with the rest_." The italics are mine.
Before a vindication so unanswerable criticism has no further word to

* * * * *

Extract from collected works, of Viscount HALDANE OF CLOAN, O.M.,
K.T., Op. 3001, Minister of Reconstruction. Report of the Machinery
of Government Committee (Cd. 9230), par. 12:--

"We have come to the conclusion, after surveying what came
before us, that in the sphere of civil government the duty of
investigation and thought, as preliminary to action, might
with great advantage be more definitely recognised."

"That's the stuff to give 'em."

* * * * *

"Every boy in the street knows that all component factors in
Jugo-Slav countries have proclaimed the union of Jugo-Slavia
under the sceptre of the Karagorgjevic dynasty, and that the
jurisdiction of the new Jugo-Slav Government extends over
Belgrade and Nish, as well as over Zagreb, Sarajevo, Spljet,
or Ljubljana."--_Letter to "Manchester Guardian."_

Then why all this talk about the necessity of higher education!

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Cophetua's Queen (on her first visit to a new royal
residence)._ "OH, COPH! AIN'T IT A DINK!"


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