Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, August 1, 1917.

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.



VOL. 153.

August 1, 1917.


The Imperial aspirations of KING FERDINAND are discussed by a
Frankfort paper in an article entitled "What Bulgaria wants."
Significantly enough the ground covered is almost identical with the
subject-matter of an unpublished article of our own, entitled "What
Bulgaria won't get."


The cow which walked down sixteen stairs into a cellar at Willesden
is said to have been the victim of a false air-raid warning.


"In Scotland," says Mr. BARNES'S report on Industrial Unrest, "the
subject of liquor restrictions was never mentioned." Some thoughts
are too poignant for utterance.


According to the statement of a German paper "A Partial Crisis"
threatens Austria. One of these days we feel sure something really
serious will happen to that country.


The Medical Officer of the L.C.C. estimates that in 1916 the total
water which flowed under London Bridge was 875,000,000,000 gallons.
It is not known yet what is to be done about it.


The Army Council has forbidden the sale of raffia in the United
Kingdom. Personally we never eat the stuff.


Nature Notes: A white sparrow has been seen in Huntingdon; a
well-defined solar halo has been observed in Hertfordshire, and Mr.
WINSTON CHURCHILL was noticed the other day reading _The Morning


A boy of eighteen told the Stratford magistrate that he had given
up his job because he only got twenty-five shillings a week. He will
however continue to give the War his moral support.


The Austrian EMPEROR has told the representative of _The Cologne
Gazette_ that he "detests war." If not true this is certainly a
clever invention on KARL'S part.


We feel that the public need not have been so peevish because the
experimental siren air-raid warning was not heard by everybody in
London. They seem to overlook the fact that full particulars of the
warning appeared next morning in the papers.


A man who obtained two hundred-weight of sugar from a firm of
ship-brokers has been fined ten pounds at Glasgow. Some curiosity
exists as to the number of ships he had to purchase in order to secure
that amount of sugar.


A London magistrate has held that tea and dinner concerts in
restaurants are subject to the entertainment tax. This decision will
come as a great shock to many people who have always regarded the
music as an anaesthetic.


The no-tablecloths order has caused great perturbation among the
better-class hotel-keepers in Berlin. Does the Government, they ask
sarcastically, expect their class of patron to wipe their mouths on
their shirt-cuffs?


The chairman of the House of Commons' Tribunal complains that while
cats drink milk as usual they no longer catch mice. This however may
easily be remedied if the FOOD-CONTROLLER will meet them halfway on
the question of dilution.


The public has been warned by Scotland Yard against a man calling
himself Sid Smith. We wouldn't do it ourselves, of course, but we are
strongly opposed to the police interfering in what is after all purely
a matter of personal taste.


The bones of ST. GEORGE have been discovered near Beersheba in
Palestine by members of our Expeditionary Force. This should dispel
the popular delusion which has always ascribed the last resting-place
of England's patron saint to the present site of the Mint.


"War bread will keep for a week," stated Mr. CLYNES for the Ministry
of Food. Of course you can keep it longer if you are collecting


It is announced that all salaries in the German Diplomatic Service
have been reduced. We always said that frightfulness didn't really


German women have been asked to place their hair at the disposal of
the authorities. If they do not care to sacrifice their own hair
they can just send along the handful or two which they collect in
the course of waiting in the butter queue.


_Hamlet_ has been rendered by amateur actors at the Front, all scenery
being dispensed with. If you must dispense with one or the other, why
not leave out the acting?


"To assist in the breaking-up of grass-land," we are told, "the Board
of Agriculture proposes to allocate a number of horses to agricultural
counties." The idea of allocating some of our incurable golfers
to this purpose does not appear to have suggested itself to our
slow-witted authorities.


"I have resigned because there is no further need for my services,"
said Mr. KENNEDY-JONES. Several politicians are of the opinion that
this was not a valid reason.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _First ex-Knut_. "WOULDN'T CARE TO BE IN BLIGHTY NOW,

_Second ex-Knut_. "HONK!"]

* * * * *


YEAR."--_The Statesman_ (_India_).

* * * * *

The _Berlin Tageblatt_ says that HERR MIHAELIS in the critical
passages measured his words "as carefully as if they were meat
rations." A wise precaution, in view of the likelihood that he
would have to eat them.

* * * * *

From a Cinema advertisement:--

ITALY AND ENGLAND."--_Austrian Paper_.

We gather that the scene is laid in the thieves' quarter.

* * * * *


Once more you follow in Bellona's train,
(Her train de luxe) in search of cheap reclame;
Once more you flaunt your rearward oriflamme,
A valiant eagle nosing out the slain.

Not to the West, where RUPPRECHT stands at bay,
Hard pushed with hounds of England at his throat,
And WILLIE'S chance grows more and more remote
Of breaking hearts along The Ladies' Way;

But to the East you go, for easier game,
Where traitors to their faith desert the fight,
And better men than yours are swept in flight
By coward Anarchy that sells her shame.

For here, by favour of your new allies,
You'll see recovered all you lost of late,
When, tried in open combat, fair and straight,
Your Huns were flattened out like swatted flies.

Well, make the most of this so timely boom,
For Russia yet may cut the cancer out--
Her heart is big enough--and turn about
Clean-limbed and strong and terrible as doom.

But, though she fail us in the final test,
Not there, not there, my child, the end shall be,
But where, without your option, France and we
Have made our own arrangements further West.


* * * * *


He dropped in to tea, quite casually; forced an entry through the mud
wall of our barn, in fact. No, he wouldn't sit down--expected to be
leaving in a few minutes; but he didn't mind if he did have a sardine,
and helped himself to the tinful. Yes, a bit of bully, thanks,
wouldn't be amiss; and a nice piece of coal; cockchafers very good too
when, as now, in season; and, for savoury, a little nibble with a yard
of tarred string and an empty cardboard cigarette-box. Thank you very

"Why, the little brute's a perfect dustbin," said my mate; and
"Dustbin" the puppy was throughout his stay with us.

For six weeks did Dustbin--attached for rations and
discipline--accompany us on our sanitary rounds; set us a fine example
of indifference to shell fire, even to the extent of attempting
to catch spent shrapnel as it fell; and proved the wettest of wet
blankets to the "socials" of the local rats. Then, as happens with
sanitary inspectors in France, there arrived late one afternoon
a despatch requesting the pleasure of my society--in five hours'
time--at a village some twenty kilos distant as the shell flies. I
found I should have fifteen minutes in which to pack, four hours for
my journey, and forty-five minutes between the packing and the start
in which to find a home for Dustbin.

"Take the little dorg off you?" said a Sergeant acquaintance in the
D.A.C. "I couldn't, Corp'l. Why, I don't even know how I'm goin' to
take the foal yonder"--he glared reproachfully at a placid Clydesdale
mare and her tottering one-day-old; "and 'ow I'm goin' to take my posh

I left him hovering despondently over his equipment and a pile of
dirty linen.

We tried the M.G.C. We were on the best of terms and always had been;
they said so. They apologised in advance for the insanitary conditions
I might find; inquired after my health; offered me some coffee and
generally loved me; but they couldn't love my dog. The Cook even went
so far as openly to associate my guileless puppy with a shortage of
dried herrings in the sergeants' mess.

Passing through the E.A.M.C. transport lines I rescued Dustbin from
a hulking native mongrel wearing an identity disc. I judged the
Ambulance would not be wanting another dog; but there was still hope
with the Salvage Company.

The Salvagier whom I met upon the threshold of the "billet" (half a
limber load of bricks and an angle iron) was quite sure the Salvage
Company couldn't take a dog, as they had an infant wild boar and two
fox cubs numbering on their strength; but he thought that he could
plant my prodigy with a friend of his, a bombardier in the E.G.A.,
the only other unit within easy distance. We headed for the E.G.A.

It was just at this point that there occurred one of those little
incidents so dear to the comic draughtsman, but less popular with
"us." A moaning howl, a rushing hissing sound, a moment of tense
and awful silence, a devastating crash, and the E.G.A. officers'
bath-house, "erected at enormous trouble and expense" by a handful of
T.U. men and myself the day before, soared heavenwards with an acre
or two of the surrounding scenery. "Yes," said the Salvage gentleman
as he regained his perpendicular, "as I was sayin', 'is size is in
'is favour (you'd better git down ag'in, Corp'l)--'is size is in 'is
favour; 'e'll go in a dixie easy, or even in a--(there's another bit
orf the church)--even in a tin 'at, if you fold 'im up, but I'm 'fraid
the 'eads ain't much in favour of a dog. Leastways the ole man I
know was a member of the Cat Club--took a lot o' prizes at the Crys'l

"I think we'd better run this little bit, Corp'l," my guide said
suddenly. It was advisable. A sprint along some two hundred yards
of what had once been a road, with a stone wall (like a slab of
_gruyere_ now, alas) upon our right, and we should once more have the
comfortable feeling one always enjoys in a "hot" village when there
are houses upon either hand. A trolley load of rations held the middle
of the road; the ration party was, I believe, in the ditch upon the
left; and a strangled voice exclaimed after each burst, "Oh crummy! I
do 'ope they don't 'it the onions."

We gave our forty-seventh impersonation of a pair of starfish, and
then legged it for the apparent shelter of the houses. At least I
did; the salvage man, less squeamish, found a haven in an adjacent
cookhouse grease-trap and dust-shoot. I listened intently, but it was
only the falling of spent shrapnel, not the patter of Dustbin's baby
but quite enormous feet. A stove-pipe belching smoke and savoury fumes
protruded itself through the pavement on my right. Through the chinks
in the gaping slabs there came the ruddy flicker that bespoke a "home
from home" beneath my feet; and then, still listening for signs of
Dustbin, I heard--

"Didn't I tell you, Erb, to stop up that extra ventilation 'ole with
somethin'?--and now look wot's blown in. 'Ere, steady on, ole man;
that's got to last four men for three days."

"Well, I'm ----," chimed in another voice, "if the bloomin' tin ain't
empty. Why, I only just opened it--that's a 'ole Maconochie 'e's got
inside 'im, not countin' wot you've just.... Poor little beggar must
be starvin'. You're welcome to stop and share our grub, young feller,
but I've got to go on p'rade wiv that--that's a belt, that is...."

I turned towards the dimly lighted road that led to ---- [Censored].
Dustbin had found a home.

* * * * *

[Illustration: A FATEFUL SESSION.


* * * * *

[Illustration: _Inquiring Lady_ (_ninety-ninth question_). "AND WHAT



_Tar_ (_in a ring-off voice_). "MAKIN' READY FOR THE PEACE

* * * * *


The scene is a School of Instruction at the back of the Western Front
set in a valley of green meadows bordered by files of plumy poplars
and threaded through by a silver ribbon of water.

On the lazy afternoon breeze come the concerted yells of a bayonet
class, practising frightfulness further down the valley; also the
staccato chatter of Lewis guns punching holes in the near hill-side.

In the centre of one meadow is a turf _manege_. In the centre of the
_manege_ stands the villain of the piece, the Riding-Master.

He wears a crown on his sleeve, tight breeches, jack-boots, vicious
spurs and sable moustachios. His right hand toys with a long, long
whip, his left with his sable moustachios. He looks like DIAVOLO, the
lion-tamer, about to put his man-eating chums through hoops of fire.

His victims, a dozen Infantry officers, circle slowly round the
_manege_. They are mounted on disillusioned cavalry horses who came
out with WELLINGTON and know a thing or two. Now and again they wink
at the Riding-Master and he winks back at them.

The audience consists of an ancient Gaul in picturesque blue pants,
whose _metier_ is to totter round the meadows brushing flies off a
piebald cow; the School Padre, who keeps at long range so that he may
see the sport without hearing the language, and ten little _gamins_,
who have been splashing in the silver stream and are now sitting
drying on the bank like ten little toads.

They come every afternoon, for never have they seen such fun, never
since the great days before the War when the circus with the boxing
kangaroo and the educated porks came to town.

Suddenly the Riding-Master clears his throat. At the sound thereof the
horses cock their ears and their riders grab handfuls of leather and

_R.-M._ "Now, gentlemen, mind the word. Gently away tra-a-a-at."
The horses break into a slow jog-trot and the cavaliers into a cold
perspiration. The ten little _gamins_ cheer delightedly.

_R.-M._ "Sit down, sit up, 'ollow yer backs, keep the hands down
backs foremost, even pace. Number Two, Sir, 'ollow yer back; don't
sit 'unched up like you'd over-ate yourself. Number Seven, don't
throw yerself about in that drunken manner, you'll miss the saddle
altogether presently, coming down--can't expect the 'orse to catch
you _every time_.

"Number Three, don't flap yer helbows like an 'en; you ain't laid an
hegg, 'ave you?

"'Ollow yer backs, 'eads up, 'eels down; four feet from nose to croup.

"Number One, keep yer feet back, you'll be kickin' that mare's teeth
out, you will.

"Come down off 'is 'ead, Number Seven; this ain't a monkey 'ouse.

"Keep a light an' even feelin' of both reins, backs of the 'ands
foremost, four feet from nose to croup.

"Leggo that mare's tail, Number Seven; you're goin', not comin', and
any'ow that mare likes to keep 'er tail to 'erself. You've upset 'er
now, the tears is fair streamin' down 'er face--'ave a bit of feelin'
for a pore dumb beast.

"'Ollow yer backs, even pace, grip with the knees, shorten yer reins,
four feet from nose to croup. Number Eight, restrain yerself, me lad,
restrain yerself, you ain't shadow-sparrin', you know.

"You too, Number Nine; if you don't calm yer action a bit you'll burst

"Now, remember, a light feelin' of the right rein and pressure
of the left leg. Ride--wa-a-alk! Ri'--tur-r-rn! 'Alt--'pare to
s'mount--s'mount! Dismount, I said, Number Five; that means get down.
No, don't dismount on the flat of yer back, me lad, it don't look
nice. Try to remember you're an horfficer and be more dignified.

"Now listen to me while I enumerate the parts of a norse in language
so simple any bloomin' fool can understand. This'll be useful to you,
for if you ever 'ave a norse to deal with and he loses one of 'is
parts you'll know 'ow to indent for a new one.

"The 'orse 'as two ends, a fore-end--so called from its tendency to
go first, and an 'ind-end or rear rank. The 'orse is provided with
two legs at each end, which can be easily distinguished, the fore legs
being straight and the 'ind legs 'avin' kinks in 'em.

"As the 'orse does seventy-five per cent. of 'is dirty work with 'is
'ind-legs it is advisable to keep clear of 'em, rail 'em off or strap
boxing-gloves on 'em. The legs of the 'orse is very delicate and
liable to crock up, so do not try to trim off any unsightly knobs that
may appear on them with a hand-axe--a little of that 'as been known to
spoil a norse for good.

"Next we come to the 'ead. On the south side of the 'ead we discover
the mouth. The 'orse's mouth was constructed for mincing 'is victuals,
also for 'is rider to 'ang on by. As the 'orse does the other
forty-five per cent. of 'is dirty work with 'is mouth it is advisable
to stand clear of that as well. In fact, what with his mouth at one
end and 'is 'ind-legs at t'other, the middle of the 'orse is about
the only safe spot, and _that is why we place the saddle there_.
Everything in the Harmy is done with a reason, gentlemen.

"And now, Number Ten, tell me what coloured 'orse you are ridin'?

"A chestnut? No 'e ain't no chestnut and never was, no, nor a
raspberry roan neither; 'e's a bay. 'Ow often must I tell you that
a chestnut 'orse is the colour of lager beer, a brown 'orse the
colour of draught ale, and a black 'orse the colour of stout.

"And now, gentlemen, stan' to yer 'orses, 'pare to mount--mount!

"There you go, Number Seven, up one side and down the other. Try
to stop in the saddle for a minute if only for the view. You'll get
yourself 'urted one of these days dashing about all over the 'orse
like that; and 'sposing you was to break your neck, who'd get into
trouble? _Me_, not you. 'Ave a bit of consideration for other people,

"Now mind the word. Ride--ri'--tur-r-rn. Walk march. Tr-a-a-at.
Helbows slightly brushing the ribs--_your_ ribs, not the 'orse's,
Number Three.

"Shorten yer reins, 'eels down, 'eads up, 'ollow yer backs, four feet
from nose to croup.

"Get off that mare's neck, Number Seven, and try ridin' in the saddle
for a change; it'll be more comfortable for everybody.

"You oughter do cowboy stunts for the movin' pictures, Number Six, you
ought really. People would pay money to see you ride a norse upside
down like that. Got a strain of wild Cossack blood in you, eh?

"There you are, now you've been and fell off. Nice way to repay me for
all the patience an' learning I've given you!

"What are you lyin' there for? Day-dreaming? I s'pose you're goin' to
tell me you're 'urted now?' Be writing 'ome to Mother about it next:
'DEAR MA,--A mad mustang 'as trod on me stummick. Please send me a
gold stripe. Your loving child, ALGY.'

"Now mind the word. Ride--Can--ter!"

He cracks his whip; the horses throw up their heads and break into a
canter; the cavaliers turn pea-green about the chops, let go the reins
and clutch saddle-pommels.

The leading horse, a rakish chestnut, finding his head free at last
and being heartily fed-up with the whole business, suddenly bolts out
of the _manege_ and legs it across the meadow, _en route_ for stables
and tea. His eleven mates stream in his wake, emptying saddles as they

The ten little _gamins_ dance ecstatically upon the bank, waving their
shirts and shrilling "_A Berlin! A Berlin!_"

The ancient Gaul props himself up against the pie-bald cow and shakes
his ancient head. "_C'est la guerre_," he croaks.

The deserted Riding-Master damns his eyes and blesses his soul for
a few moments; then sighs resignedly, takes a cigarette from his
cap lining, lights it and waddles off towards the village and his
favourite _estaminet_.


* * * * *

[Illustration: _Motor Cyclist_. "DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT AN


* * * * *

"Some of these fish have already found their way to Leeds,
and, it must be added, have not met with a very cordial
reception. Although the fish may be bought at what might be
described as an attractive price, they do not appear likely
to move for some time."--_Yorkshire Paper_.

But if the hot weather continues--

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Convalescent Lieutenant_. "CHEERIO, MARTHA! I'VE GOT


* * * * *



_From Fred Golightly, comedian, to Sinclair Voyle, dramatic critic._

DEAR VOYLE,--I am not one ordinarily to take any notice of remarks
that are overheard and reported to me; but there are exceptions to
every rule and I am making one now. I was told this evening by a
mutual friend and fellow-member that at the Buskin Club, after lunch
to-day, in the presence of a number of men, you said that the trouble
with me was that I had no sense of humour.

Considering my standing as a comedian, hitherto earning high salaries
and occupying the place I do solely by virtue of my comic gifts (as
the Press and Public unanimously agree), this disparagement from a man
wielding as much power as you do is very damaging. Managers hearing of
it as your honest opinion might fight shy of me.

I therefore ask you to withdraw the criticism with as much publicity
as it had when you defamed me by making it.

Why you should have made it at all I can't imagine, for I have often
seen you laughing in your stall, and we have been friends for many

Believe me, yours sincerely but sorrowfully, FRED GOLIGHTLY.


_From Sinclair Voyle, dramatic critic, to Fred Golightly, comedian._

DEAR GOLIGHTLY,--You have been misinformed. I didn't say you had no
sense of humour; I said you had no sense of honour.

Yours faithfully, SINCLAIR VOYLE.


_From Fred Golightly, comedian, to Sinclair Voyle, dramatic critic._

DEAR OLD CHAP,--You can't think how glad I am to have your disclaimer.
I disliked having to write to you as I did, after so many years of
good fellowship, but you must admit that I had some provocation. It is
a pretty serious thing for a man in my position to be publicly singled
out by a man in yours as being without a sense of humour. However,
your explanation puts everything right, and all's well that ends well.
Yours as ever, FRED.

* * * * *

"PEACE CRANKS AND CROOKS."--_Evening Standard_.

The right hon. Member for Woolwich objects. He has nothing whatever to
do with Ramsayites.

* * * * *


Horses he loved, and laughter, and the sun,
A song, wide spaces and the open air;
The trust of all dumb living things he won,
And never knew the luck too good to share.

His were the simple heart and open hand,
And honest faults he never strove to hide;
Problems of life he could not understand,
But as a man would wish to die he died.

Now, though he will not ride with us again,
His merry spirit seems our comrade yet,
Freed from the power of weariness or pain,
Forbidding us to mourn--or to forget.

* * * * *


That there rumpus i' the village laast Saturday night? Aye, it were
summat o' a rumpus, begad! Lor! there aren't bin nothin' like it
not since the time when they wuz a-gwain' to burn th' ould parson's
effigy thirty-fower year ago (but it niver come off, because 'e up an'
offered to contribute to the expenses 'isself, an' that kind o' took
the wind out on't).

Ye see, Sir, there's just seven licensed 'ouses i' the village.
Disgraceful? Aye, so 'tis, begad!--on'y seven licensed 'ouses--an'
I do mind when 'twas pretty nigh one man one pub, as the sayin' is.
Howsomever, to-day there's seven, and some goes to one and some goes
to totherun.

Well, laast Friday night me an' Tom Figgures an' Bertie Mayo an' Peter
Ledbetter an' a lot more on us what goes to Reuben Izod's at The Bell,
we come in to 'ave our drink. And, mind you, pretty nigh all on us 'ad
a-bin mouldin'-up taters all day, so's to get _them_ finished afore
the hay; so us could do wi' a drop. Aye, aye!

Well, fust thing us knowed--no more'n a hour or two after--Mrs. Izod
was a-sayin' to old Peter Ledbetter, as 'er set down a fresh pint for
'n, "That's the laast drop o' beer i' the 'ouse," 'er says.

"_Whaat_!" says Peter, though there warn't no call for 'im to voice
the gen'ral sentiments, 'coz you see, Sir, 'e'd a-got the laast pint
an' us 'adn't.

"There's a nice drop o' cider, though," says Mrs. Izod. "Leastways,
when I says a nice drop, there's a matter o' fifteen gallons, I
dessay," 'er says.

"I 'ave drunk cider at a pinch," says Bertie Mayo, cautious-like, "and
my ould father, I d' mind, 'e'd used to drink it regular."

"Ah, that 'a did!--an' mine too, and 'is father afore 'un," says Tom
Figgures; "but I reckon 'tisn't what 'twas in them days."

"Well, you may do as you'm a-minded 'bout 'avin' it," says Mrs. Izod;
"but no more ain't beer what 'twas neether, come to that."

"You'm right there, Missus," says all the rest on us.

An' then Bertie Mayo, 'oo's allus a turr'ble far-seeing sort of chap,
'e says, "Reckon the trolley 'ull be along fust thing i' the marnin'
from the brewery, Missus?" An' when Mrs. Izod 'er says as 'er didn't
know, but 'twas to be 'oped as 'twud, a sort of a blight settled down
on the lot on us, which I reckon is a pretty fair way o' puttin' it,
for a blight allus goes 'and-in-'and wi' a drought.

Well, either us finished that evenin' up on cider or us finished the
cider up that evenin'--there warn't much in it one way or t'other.
An' next day--this bit as I'm a-tellin' you now us niver 'eard tell on
till arterwards, but I'm a-tellin' it _yeou_ just as it 'appened--next
_daay_ (that were Sat'rday, mind) there was a turr'ble to-do in the
arternoon, for there warn't nobbut limonade in the house when them
timber-haulin' chaps stopped to waater the engin'. Well, you may

An' then, when us come 'ome from work, us found the door o' The Bell
shut an' locked, an' "Sold Out" wrote on a piece o' cardboard i' the
parlour winder by Reuben Izod's second child! Begad, that was sommut
if yeou like! Us stud there a-gyaupin' an' a-gyaupin', till at last
Peter Ledbetter give a kick at the door and 'ollers out, "Whatten a
gammit do 'ee call this 'ere, Reuben Izod? 'Tis drink us waants, not
tickets for the Cook'ry Demonstration." (Turr'ble sarcastic 'e do be
sometimes, Peter Ledbetter).

"I aren't got none," says Reuben from be'ind the door.

"Well, cider, then," says Bertie Mayo.

"Tall 'ee I aren't got narrun--beer, cider, nor limonade--nary a drop.
'Tiddn' no manner o' good for you chaps to stan' there. You'd best
toddle along up to The Green Dragon an' see if Mas'r Holtom've got

Well, bein' as no one iver yet 'eard tell o' one publican tellin'
ye to go furder a-fild and get sarved by another publican (savin'
as 'twas a drunken man as 'e wanted to be shut on), us was struck so
dazed-like as us went along the road wi' never a word. But us 'adn't
got 'alfway theer afore us met Johnnie Tarplett, Jim Peyton, and a
lot more on 'em all comin' along the road towards we.

"Where be gwain'?" says Johnnie Tarplett.

"Us be gwain' along to The Green Dragon to get a drop o' drink," says
Tom Figgures.

"The Green Dragon's shut 'owever," says Johnnie Tarplett. "Us was
a-gwain' along--"

"Aye, aye!" us sings out. "So's The Bell shut too!"

Well, then us all took and went along to The Reaper, an' _that_ were
shut, an' The Dovedale Arms (which is an oncomfortably superior sort
of a 'ouse, dealin' in sperrits) was down to ginger-wine, an' The
Crown and The Corner Cupboard an' The Ploughman's Rest was all crowded
out an' gettin' down to the bottom o' the casks.

An' then, when us took an' thowt as 'twould be 'ay-makin' next week,
an' dry weather all round, us stuud i' the road and spak our thowts

"Dom the KEYSER!" says Peter Ledbetter, to gie us a start like.

"Niver knowed sich a thing afore in all my born days," says Bertie
Mayo. "Niver knowed The Bell shut yet, not since 'twas first opened
six years afore th' ould QUEEN come to the throne."

"Reckon sich a thing niver 'appened afore i' the history o' Dovedale
parish," says Johnnie Tarplett.

"Niver since WILL'UM CONQUEROR," says Jim Peyton.

"Niver since NOAH 'isself," says Tom Figgures.

"'Tis a nepoch, look you," says Peter Ledbetter. An' though us didn'
know what 'a meant no more'n 'a did 'isself, us were inclined to agree
wi 'm. Oh, 'tis a Greek word meanin' a stoppage, is it? Well, if what
you say be _trew_, Peter Ledbetter was right 'owever, an' them Greeks
is at the bottom of all the trouble, as I said in The Bell five nights
ago--my son bein' at Salonika, as you do know, Sir.

An' arter a bit us all went along home, all on us tryin' to remember
what us knowed about home-brewin'. An' if you gentlefolks doan't
get your washin' done praperly this wik 'tis along o' the tubs bein'
otherwise engaaged.


* * * * *


"By partial dissembling we are able to offer this high-grade
Car at a price within the reach of those desiring the
best."--_New Zealand Herald_.

* * * * *

"At Ormskirk rejected army horses sold by auction realised
L30 to L60. The average was over L30."--_Sunday Chronicle_.

We always like to have our sums done for us.

* * * * *



If you have a LIVER, BEACHVILLE will make you feel ABSOLUTELY ROTTEN!

If you have not, BEACHVILLE will give you one within 24 HOURS!]


Children who do not fall off the cliffs invariably catch measles.

Many do _both_.]


than that at _any_ other watering-place in the United Kingdom.]


If this doesn't put you off, write to the Town Clerk for the Medical
Officer's report on the Town Water Supply.]

[In view of the official discouragement of railway-travelling
something should be done to eradicate from the minds of the public
any favourable impressions created by the posters of the past.]

* * * * *



* * * * *



"Guard! for I still concede to you the title,
Though well I know that it is not your due,
Being devoid of everything most vital
To the high charge which is imposed on you;
Listen awhile--and, Number Two, be dumb;
Forbear to scratch the irritable tress;
No longer masticate the furtive gum;
And, Private Pitt, stop nibbling at your thumb,
And for a change attend to my address.

"Day after day I urge the old, old thesis--
To reverence well the man of martial note,
Nor treat as mere sartorial caprices
The mystic marks he carries on his coat,
And how to know what everybody is,
The swords, the crowns, the purple-stained cards,
The Brigadiers concealed in Burberries,
And render all those pomps and dignities
Which are, of course, the _raison d'etre_ of guards.

"With what avail? for never a guard is mounted
That does not do some wild abhorrent thing,
Only in hushed low tones to be recounted,
Lest haply hints of it should reach the KING--
Dark ugly tales of sentinels who drank,
Or lost their prisoners while imbibing tea,
Or took great pains to make their minds a blank
Whene'er approached by gentlemen of rank,
And, when reproved, presented arms to me!

"There is no potentate in France or Flanders
You will not heap with insult if you can.
For lo! a car. It is the Corps Commander's;
The sentries take no notice of the man,
Or fix him with a not unkindly stare,
And slap their butts in an engaging way,
Or else, too late, in penitent despair
Cry, 'Guard, turn out!' and there is no guard there,
But they are in _The Blue Estaminet_.

"Weary I am of worrying and warning;
For all my toil I get it in the neck;
I am fed up with it; and from this morning
I shall not seek to keep your crimes in check;
Sin as you will--I shall but acquiesce;
Sleep on, O sentinels--I shall not curse;
And so, maybe, from sheer contrariness
Some day a guard may be a slight success;
At any rate you cannot well do worse."

* * * * *


engagement slackened but little, and near Hellwerden it
again rose to very great intensity."--_Admiralty, per
Wireless Press, July 26th_.

Readers who shared the doubt of _The Times_ as to the existence of
"Hellwerden" (which doesn't appear in the maps) will be interested
to learn from one of our correspondents, who knows it well, that it
exists all right, but is only visible in the very early morning. _The
Times_ of July 28th bears out this statement.

Our correspondent adds the information that "Hellwerden" is sometimes
spelt Morgendaemmerung.

* * * * *

[Illustration: RUSSIA'S DARK HOUR.]

* * * * *


_Monday, July 23rd_.--The country awoke this morning to find itself
threatened with a first-class political crisis and possibly a General
Election to follow. Members dwelling temporarily on the Western Front
had reluctantly torn themselves from their dug-outs on the receipt of
a three-line whip, and had repaired post-haste to Westminster.


The trouble was nominally about the agricultural labourer and his
minimum wage. Should it be twenty-five shillings, as set down in the
Corn Production Bill, or thirty shillings, as proposed by Mr. WARDLE,
the Leader of the Labour Party? The Amendment had the assent of the
hard-shell Free-Traders, who were glad to snatch at any chance of
defeating the proposed bounty to the farmer. They had been further
incensed by the appointment of Messrs. MONTAGU and CHURCHILL to the
Ministry, and hoped perhaps that some of the extreme Tories would help
them to give the PRIME MINISTER a good hard knock.

Mr. PROTHERO made it plain from the outset that the Government meant
to stand or fall by the proposal in the Bill; and most of the friends
of the agricultural labourer prudently preferred twenty-five shillings
in the hand to thirty shillings in the bush; with the result that the
amendment was defeated by 301 to 102.

Mr. HOGGE called attention to the anomalous position occupied by
Dr. ADDISON. The late Minister for Munitions and future Minister for
Reconstruction is for the moment only an ordinary Member. Ought he not
therefore to be re-elected before taking up his new appointment? Mr.
SPEAKER'S judicious reply, "I do not appoint Ministers," left one
wondering what sort of an appearance the Treasury Bench would present
if he did.

_Tuesday, July 24th_.--Major HUNT and Mr. KING, though in some
respects not unlike one another--each combining a child-like belief
in what they are told outside the House with an invincible scepticism
in regard to the information they receive from Ministers inside--are
rarely found hunting in couples. But they made common cause to-day
over the alleged award of the Distinguished Service Order to persons
who had never been near the firing line, and they refused to accept
Mr. MACPHERSON'S assurance that it was only given for service in the
field. Mr. KING knew for a fact that a gentleman in France who had
only served in the Post-Office had received it--presumably for not
deserting his post; while Major HUNT could not understand how anyone
should have earned it for fighting at home. "How has this country been
attacked?" he asked indignantly. Air-raids evidently do not count with
this gallant yeoman.

Efficiency, not economy, is the PRIME MINISTER'S watchword. Sir EDWARD
CARSON as a Member of the War Cabinet will have no portfolio, but will
enjoy the not inadequate salary of five thousand a year for what the
Profession calls "a thinking part." The new Minister of Reconstruction
is to have two thousand a year; and we shall no doubt hear shortly
that he has begun his labours by reconstructing another hotel for the
accommodation of his staff.


With the spirit of expansion pervading the Head of the Government,
it is not surprising that the expenditure of the country continues to
rise. The panting estimators of the Treasury toil after it in vain.
Mr. McKENNA's passionate plea for a limit to our war-expenditure
would have carried more weight if he had shown any sign during his
own time at the Exchequer of being able to impose one. As it was, Mr.
G.D. FABER'S interjection, "Do you want to limit munitions?" quickly
reduced him to generalities. The House had to rest content with Mr.
BONAR LAW'S assurance that, though we could not go on for ever, we
could go on longer than our enemies.

_Wednesday, July 25th_.--In answer to Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING the
UNDER-SECRETARY FOR WAR stated that since the outbreak of hostilities
there had been forty-seven airship raids and thirty "heavier than air"
raids upon this country, "making seventy-eight air-raids in all."
It is believed that the discrepancy is explained by Mr. BILLING'S
unaccountable omission on one occasion to make a speech.

He made one to-night of prodigious length, which brought him into
personal collision with Major ARCHER-SHEE. Palace Yard was the
scene of the combat, which ended, as I understand, in ARCHER downing
PEMBERTON and BILLING sitting on SHEE. Then the police arrived and
swept up the hyphens.

Opinions differ as to Mr. KING'S latest performance. Some hold his
complaint, that the Government had introduced detectives into the
precincts of the House, to have been perfectly genuine, and point to
his phrase, "I speak from conviction," as a proof that he was trying
to revenge himself for personal inconvenience suffered at the hands
of the minions of the law. Others contend that he knew all the time
the real reason for their presence--the possibility that Sinn Fein
emissaries would greet Mr. GINNELL'S impending departure with a
display of fireworks from the Gallery.

_Thursday, July 26th_.--Mr. GINNELL put in a belated appearance this
afternoon in order to make a dramatic exit. But the performance lacked
spontaneity. Indeed honourable Members, even while they laughed, were,
I think, a little saddened by the sight of this elderly gentleman's
pathetic efforts to play the martyr.

Only twenty Members agreed with Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD in believing,
or affecting to believe, that the recent resolution of the German
Reichstag was the solemn pronouncement of a sovereign people, and that
it only requires the endorsement of the British Government to produce
an immediate and equitable peace. Not much was left of this pleasant
theory after Mr. ASQUITH had dealt it a few of his sledge-hammer
blows. "So far as we know," he said, "the influence of the Reichstag,
not only upon the composition but upon the policy of the German
Government, remains what it has always been, a practically negligible

Any faint hopes that the pacificists may have cherished of a
favourable division were destroyed by Mr. SNOWDEN in a speech whose
character may be judged by the comment passed on it by Mr. O'GRADY,
just back from Russia, that "LENIN had preached the same doctrine
in Petrograd."

* * * * *



"It is understood that the French Consul at Lourenco Marques,
M. Savoye, has, owing to ill-health, asked his Government to
allow him to return to Army duties."--_Cape Times_.

* * * * *

"Lady ---- set the fashion of arriving at the altar with empty
hands. She is the first bride to have had such an important
wedding without the etceteras of bouquet or prayerbook,
bridesmaids, pages, or wedding-cake."--_News of the World_.

Far too big a handful.

* * * * *

"150 YEARS AGO--JULY 20, 1767.

Reports of the borough treasurer of West Ham show a loss of
L41,000 on the municipal tramways and a loss of L35,000 on
the electricity undertaking."--_Northampton Daily Echo_.

So the eighteenth century was not so much behind the present time as
we had been led to believe.

* * * * *

"Piano wanted by a lady to teach little girl to
learn."--_Provincial Paper_.

One of those player-pianos with the new knuckle-rapping attachment,
we suppose.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_"mopping up" captured trench_). "IS THERE

_Voice from dug out_. "JA! JA! KAMERAD!"


* * * * *


Last year, owing to the pressure of other engagements, we did not
mark out the tennis-lawn at "Sunnyside." This year the matter has
been taken out of our hands by the military powers.

Nevin was the first to think of it.

"What about a game of tennis?" he suggested one bright morning in May.
"Keep us from going to seed."

It was his second day of leave after three months in the Ypres
salient, so the change may have been too sudden for him.

"That's a toppin' notion," echoed Bob; "let's raid 'old Beetle's'
museum and dig out the posts."

So Captain Richard Nevin, R.E., and Second-Lieutenant Robert Simpson,
R.G.A., took the affair into their own hands.

Having seen the same forces cooperating on previous occasions, I
determined to keep clear of them. Besides, I am only "old Beetle."

They found the posts in the tool-shed, and, borne upon the initial
enthusiasm of their venture, began to sink a sort of winze on each
side of the lawn. Up to this point they were perfectly amicable.

Then Nevin, who is a thoughtful person, said suddenly, "I suppose you
made quite sure that the line of these posts will cross the centre of
the court?" And then, before Bob could retort, added, "Of course you
ought to have made absolutely certain of that. As it is we had better
leave this and find the corner irons."

Corner irons that have remained undisturbed for some twenty-four
months have a way of concealing themselves. At the end of ten minutes
the seekers began to show signs of impatience. Such terms as "angles,"
"bases," "centres," interspersed with "futilass," "sodamsure,"
"knowseverything" were cast upon a hazardous breeze.

Eventually they found one of the angles. To the ordinary layman this
would have meant the beginning of the end. But Captain Richard Nevin
and Second-Lieutenant Robert Simpson are made of different stuff. They
scorn the easy path. They have stores of deep knowledge to draw upon
which place their calculations beyond the ken of ordinary mortals.
After they had made a searching examination of the exhumed angle, Bob
pulled out a pencil, prostrated himself behind it and then proceeded
to gaze ecstatically over the top.

I moved my chair slightly south, and pretended to regard the
apple-blossom, and when Nevin went into the house and brought out
something which dimly resembled a ship's sextant I had the extreme
presence of mind not to make any inquiries.

Margery drifted up with a pink duster.

"What ever are they doing?" she asked.

"Hush!" I whispered; "Bob has just got the range of a supply train on
the far side of the rockery, and if Nevin (Nevin is the Crown Prince
of Wurtemberg) doesn't get the longitude of Bob's battery in the next
minute or so it's all up with his day's rations."

Suddenly Bob rose and made some calculations on an old envelope.

"That means three rounds battery fire," I said, "and the Prince loses
his lunch."

Not satisfied with this success, Bob went indoors and looted the hall
of three walking-sticks and Margery's new sunshade.

"What's he going to do now?" said Margery, with one eye on the

He walked to the far end of the lawn and manoeuvred in a small circle.
"The water-jackets are boiling," I replied, "and they've run out of
cold water. He's divining with the sunshade. Look!"

Bob suddenly drove the sunshade into the ground. There was a sharp
crack and--well, he found another iron. Of course he tried to explain
to Margery that it was an absolute accident and he only wanted to get
a sighting post; but that was mere self-effacement, and I said so.

Things began to happen quickly after this, and if Private James
Thompson had not put in an unexpected appearance they might have
completed the job without any further difference of opinion.

In the merry days before war was thrust upon us, James Thompson was
an architect of distinction. Obviously an architect of distinction can
reduce the difficulty of laying out a tennis-court to an elementary
and puerile absurdity. For half-an-hour the demonstration was
carried on in the garden, and, after Private Thompson had twice been
threatened with arrest for using insubordinate language to a superior,
it was decided to finish the discussion in my study, assisted by the
softening influence of the Tantalus.

Not for a hundred pounds would I have ventured into the study.
I picked up _The Gardening Gazette_ and engrossed myself in an
interesting piece of scandal about the slug family.

Suddenly Margery appeared at the double.

"Do you know," I exclaimed excitedly, "it was the wireworm after all."

"Come on," Margery panted irrelevantly, "buck up and we can finish it
before they come out again."

In her hand she held a tape-measure and an official diagram of a

Five minutes later the experts emerged from the house.

"Hullo!" exclaimed Nevin aggressively, "what have you been up to?"

"Oh," I replied, flicking over a page on weed-killers, "Margery and I
thought we had better find the remainder of the tennis-court while you
were having a rest. Margery's gone for a ball of string, and if Bob
fetches the marker you can mark the court out now."

Nevin's retort was addressed solely to Private James Thompson, who
had in an unfortunate moment given way to laughter of an unmilitary

* * * * *


{Cartoon, four panels, each with two gentlemen gazing skyward, bombs
exploding nearby. One is using binoculars.}

First panel: "From its shape--

Second panel: --I should say--

Third panel: --that must be--

Fourth panel: --Enemy Aircraft!"]

* * * * *


["Contributors are particularly requested not to send
verses. They are not wanted in any circumstances and cannot
be printed, acknowledged or returned."--_British Weekly,
July 19th_.]

I once believed the "Man of Kent"
To be the Muses' firm supporter
And only less benevolent
To bards than Mr. C.K. SHORTER.

But this untimely cruel blow
Has quite irrevocably shattered
The hopes which till a week ago
My fondest aspirations flattered.

Wounds that are dealt us by our friends
Are faithful, but the name endearing
Of friend is hardly his who lends
And then denies the bard a hearing.

How then, O brother songsters, can
You take it lying down, and meekly
Submit to this tyrannic ban
Laid on you by _The British Weekly_?

No, no, you'll rather emulate
The Minstrel Boy, and we shall find you
Storming its barred and bolted gate
With reams of lyrics slung behind you.

* * * * *

"The time is ripe for the authorities to stop all street
traffic and to order all unauthorised persons to take cover
under penalty at the approach of the air raiders."--_Daily

Personally, as a means of shelter we prefer the coal-cellar to any

* * * * *

"Will Mr. Russell deny that 660 million gallons of milk
were produced in Ireland last year, of which half went
to the creameries and more to the margarine factories
and to England?"--_Letter in Irish Paper_.

The Irish gallon would appear to be as elastic as the Irish mile.

* * * * *


The purpose of a Divisional Sign is to deceive the enemy. Let us
suppose that you belong to the 580th Division, B.E.F. You do not put
"580" on your waggons and your limbers and on the tin-hats of your
Staff. Certainly not. The enemy would know about you if you did that.
You have a secret sign, such as tramps chalk on your wall at home,
to let other tramps know that you are a stingy devil with a dog.
There are many theories as to how these signs are chosen. One is
that a committee of officers sits _in camera_ for forty-eight hours
without food or drink till it has decided on an arrow or a cat, or
a dandelion, rampant.

Let us take it that a cat is chosen--a quiet thing in cats--crimson on
a green-and-white chess-board background. Forthwith (as adjutants say)
a crimson cat on a green-and-white chess-board background is painted
and embroidered on everything that can be painted and embroidered
on--limbers and waggons and hand-carts and arm-bands and the
tin-hats of the Staff. And the Division goes forth as it were masked,
disguised, just like one of Mr. LE QUEUX'S diplomatist heroes at a
fancy-dress ball, wearing a domino. You perceive the mystery of it?
None of your naked numbers for us B.E.F. men. The Division marches
through a village, and the dear old Man Who Knows, cropping up again
in the army, says, "Ha! A red cat on a green-and-white chess-board
back-ground? That's the Seventeenth Division."

You see it now? The enemy agent overhears. The false news is sent
crackling through the ether to Berlin (wireless, my dear, in the
cellar, of course). The German General Staff looks up the village on
a map, and sticks into it a flag marked 17. Not 580, mark you. And
the General Staff frowns, and Majesty pushes the ends of its moustache
into its eyes at the knowledge that the Seventeenth Division is in

And all the time it is in ----! And the agent pockets his cheque. So
wars are won and lost.

Just conceive the romance of it. It is heraldry gone mad.

Myself, however, I incline to another theory as to the origin of these

A Higher Command enters his office. Higher Commands always enter. The
office is hung, like a studio in one of Mr. GEORGE MORROW'S pictures,
with diagrams of circles and triangles and crosses and straight lines.
The Higher Command, being a man of like passions with ourselves,
has just finished tinned Oxford marmalade and a cigarette. He heads
for the "IN" basket on his desk and takes from it the "Arrivals and
Departures" paper. "Ha!" says he to the lady secretary, "I see six
new divisions landed yesterday." He pauses. Outside there is no sound
to be heard save the loud and continuous crash of the sentry's hand
against his rifle as he salutes the passing A.D.C.'s. "What about
signs?" says the Higher Command. The lady secretary says nothing. She
floods the carburettor of the typewriter preparatory to thumping out
"Ref. attached correspondence" on it.

The Higher Command stares at the diagrams on the wall. He is feeling
strangely light-hearted this morning. He has won five francs at bridge
the night before from the D.A.D.M.O. A.D.G.S. And mere circles and
squares have somehow lost their savour for him. He plunges. "What
about a lion?" he says.

The lady secretary opens the throttle and plays a few bars on the
"cap." key.

"A red lion?" says the Higher Command seductively.

"It has already been done," says the lady secretary coldly.

"Who by--I mean by whom?" inquires the H.C. indignantly.

"By the Deputy Assistant Director of Higher Commands, when you were
on leave last week," she tells him.

He mutters a military oath against the D.A.D.H.C. Then his face

"Tigers?" he suggests hopefully.

"We might do a green tiger," she says reluctantly.

"With yellow stripes!" shouts the H.C.

"On a mauve background," says she, warming to it.

And so one division is disposed of. But it is not always so, of

After a Hun counter-attack, for instance, the H.C. may gaze morosely
on his geometrical figures and throw off a little thing in triangles
and St. Andrew's crosses. Or when the moon is at the full you may
have a violet allotted to you as your symbol. One never knows. My
own divisional sign, for instance, is an iddy-umpty plain on a field
plainer. We vary the heraldry by ringing changes on the colours. On
our brigade arm-band it becomes an iddy-umpty gules on a field azure.
If I could be quite sure of the heraldic slang for puce I would tell
you what it is on our Army Corps arm-band. On a waggon it used to be
an iddy-umpty blank on a field muddy. But administrative genius has
changed all that. A routine order, the other day, ordered a pink
border to be painted round it, and this first simple essay of the
departed Morse goes now through the villages of France in a bed of

We wish sometimes that our conditions were changed as easily as our

* * * * *


* * * * *


"The Lord Provost will preside over the meeting at which Mr.
Churchill will speak in Dundee this afternoon.

Many thousands of people are leaving Dundee for their annual
holiday."--_Manchester Daily Dispatch_.

* * * * *

"Mr. Alderman Domoney, in remanding at the Guildhall to-day
two boys charged with theft, said he always liked to deal
leniently with boys so young and to give the ma fresh start
in life."--_Evening Paper_.

Not a word about the pa, you observe; yet we daresay he was equally

* * * * *

From the Orders of a Battalion in France:--

"The undermentioned N.C.O.'s and men will parade at 10.30
a.m., bringing with them their gas-helmets and the unexpired
portion of their rations."

It is surmised that this refers to the cheese-issue.

* * * * *


* * * * *


It was in the high midsummer and the sun was shining strong,
And the lane was rather flinty and the lane was rather long,
When, up and down the gentle hills beside the stripling Test,
I chanced to come to Bullington and stayed a while to rest.

It was drowned in peace and quiet, as the river reeds were drowned
In the water clear as crystal, flowing by with scarce a sound;
And the air was like a posy with the sweet haymaking smells,
And the Roses and Sweet-Williams and Canterbury Bells.

Far away as some strange planet seemed the old world's dust and din,
And the trout in sun-warmed shallows hardly seemed to stir a fin,
And there's never a clock to tell you how the hurrying world goes on
In the little ivied steeple down in drowsy Bullington.

Small and sleepy there it nestled, seeming far from hastening Time,
As a teeny-tiny village in some quaint old nursery rhyme,
And a teeny-tiny river by a teeny-tiny weir
Sang a teeny-tiny ditty that I stayed a while to hear:--

"Oh the stream runs to the river and the river to the sea;
But the reedy banks of Bullington are good enough for me;
Oh the road runs to the highway and the highway o'er the down,
But it's just as good in Bullington as mighty London town."

Then high above an aeroplane in humming flight went by,
With the droning of its engines filling all the cloudless sky;
And like the booming of a knell across that perfect day
There came the guns' dull thunder from the ranges far away.

And, while I lay and listened, oh the river's sleepy tune
Seemed to change its rippling music, like the cuckoo's stave in June,
And the cannon's distant thunder and the engines' warlike drone
Seemed to mingle with its burthen in a solemn undertone:--

"Oh the stream runs to the river, and the river to the sea,
And there's war on land and water, and there's work for you and me;
And on many a field of glory there are gallant lives laid down
As well for sleepy Bullington as mighty London Town."

So I roused me from my daydream, for I knew the song spoke true,
That it isn't time for dreaming while there's duty still to do;
And I turned into the highroad where it meets the flinty lane,
And the world of wars and sorrows was about me once again.


* * * * *


"Stop, Francesca," I cried. "Don't talk; don't budge; don't blink.
Give me time. I've all but--"

"What _are_ you up to?" she said.

"There," I said, "you've done it. I had it on the tip of my tongue,
and now it has gone back for ever into the limbo of forgotten things,
and all because you couldn't keep silent for the least little fraction
of a second."

"My poor dear," she said, "I _am_ sorry. But why didn't you tell me
you were trying to remember something?"

"That," I said, "would have been just as fatal to it. These things are
only remembered in an atmosphere of perfect silence. The mental effort
must have room to develop."

"Don't tell me," she said tragically, "that I have checked the
development of a mental effort. That would be too awful."

"Well," I said, "that's exactly what you _have_ done, that and nothing
less. I feel just as if I'd tried to go upstairs where there wasn't a

"Or downstairs."

"Yes," I said, "it's equally painful and dislocating."

"But you're not the only one," she said, "who's forgotten things. I've
done quite a lot in that line myself. I've forgotten the measles and
sugar and Lord RHONDDA and the Irish trouble and your Aunt Matilda,
and where I left my _pince-nez_ and what's become of the letters I
received this morning, and whom I promised to meet where and when to
talk over what. You needn't think you're the only forgetter in the
world. I can meet you on that and any other ground."

"But," I said, "the thing you made me forget--"

"I didn't."

"You did."

"No, for you hadn't remembered it."

"Well, anyhow I shall put it on to you, and I want you to realise that
it's not like one of your trivialities--"

"This man," said Francesca, "refers to his Aunt Matilda and Lord
RHONDDA as trivialities."

"It is not," I continued inexorably, "like one of your trivialities.
It's a most important thing, and it begins with a 'B.'"

"Are you sure of that?"

"Yes, I'm sure it begins with a 'B'--or perhaps a 'W.' Yes, I'm sure
it's a 'W' now."

"I'm going," said Francesca with enthusiasm, "to coax that word or
thing, or whatever it is, back to the tip of your tongue and beyond
it. So let's have all you know about it. Firstly, then, it begins with
a 'W.'"

"Yes, it begins with a 'W,' and I feel it's got something to do with

"That doesn't help much. So far as I can see, everything now is more
or less nearly connected with Lord RHONDDA."

"But my forgotten thing isn't bread or meat. It's something remoter."

"Is it Mr. KENNEDY-JONES?" said Francesca. "He's just resigned, you

"No, it's not Mr. KENNEDY-JONES. How could it be? Mr. KENNEDY-JONES
doesn't begin with a 'W.'"

"If I were you, I shouldn't insist too much on that 'W.' I should keep
it in the background, for it's about ten to one you'll find in the
end that it doesn't begin with a 'W.' At any rate we've made two short
advances; we know it isn't Mr. KENNEDY-JONES, because he doesn't begin
with a 'W,' and we are not very sure that it begins with a 'W.'"

"Keep quiet," I said, flushing with anticipation. "I'm getting it ...
your last remark has put me on the track.... Silence.... Ah ... it's
_DEVONSHIRE CREAM!_ There--I've got it at last. I feel an overwhelming
desire for Devonshire cream."

"The sort that begins with a 'W.'"

"Well, it's got a 'V' in it, anyhow."

"And it isn't Devonshire cream at all. It's really Cornish cream--at
least Mary Penruddock says it is."

"Cornish or Devonshire, that's what I must have, if Lord RHONDDA'S
rules allow it."

"All right, I'll get you a pot or two if I can. But are you sure you
won't forget it again?"

"If I do," I said, "I can always remember it by the W.'"


* * * * *


["The only way to make domestic service popular is for
a duchess to become a tweeny-maid."--_Evening Paper_.]

It may be that a modern _Mene, Mene_
Will force the Duchess to become a tweeny;
But, ere this democratic transformation
Secures the "old nobility's" salvation,
Some other changes are not less but more
Needful to aid our progress in the War.

For instance, with what rapture were we blest
If Some-one gave his nimble tongue a rest
And, turning Trappist, stanched the fearsome gush
Of egotistic and thrasonic slush;
Or if Lord X. eschewed his daily speeches
And took to canning Californian peaches;
Or if egregious LYNCH could but abstain
From "ruining along the illimitable inane"
At Question-time, and try to render PLATO'S
_Republic_ into Erse, or grow potatoes;
Or if our novelists wrote cheerful books,
Instead of joining those superfluous cooks
Who spoil our daily journalistic broth
By lashing it into a fiery froth.

Counsels of sheer perfection, you will say,
In times when ev'ry mad dog has his day,
Yet none the less inviting as the theme
Of a millennial visionary's dream.

And as for Duchesses turned tweeny-maids
Or following other unobtrusive trades
There's nothing very wonderful or new
Or difficult to credit in the view;
For DICKENS--whom I never fail to bless
For solace in these days of storm and stress--
Found his best slavey in _The Marchioness_.

* * * * *


"They are 'Sammies' now, and the name probably will stick
along with 'Tommy,' 'poilu' and 'Fritz.' ... The christening
was one of those spontaneous affairs, coming nobody knows
how."--_Kansas City Star_.

Mr. Punch, ever reluctant to take credit to himself, feels
nevertheless bound to say that the suggestion of the name "Sammies"
for our American Allies appeared in his columns as long ago as June
13th. On page 384 of that issue (after quoting _The Daily News_ as
having said, "We shall want a name for the American 'Tommies' when
they come; but do not call them 'Yankees'; they none of them like it")
he wrote: "As a term of distinction and endearment, Mr. Punch suggests
'Sammies'--after their uncle."

* * * * *

"London.-- ---- House. Bed, breakfast 4s., per week 24s. 6d.
No other meals at present."

This should encourage the FOOD-CONTROLLER.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Transport Officer_. "CONFOUND IT, MAN! WHAT ARE YOU

* * * * *



HANSI, the Alsatian caricaturist and patriot, who escaped a few months
before the War, after being condemned by the German courts to fifteen
months' imprisonment for playing off an innocent little joke on four
German officers, and did his share of fighting with the French in the
early part of the War, is the darling of the Boulevards. They adore
his supreme skill in thrusting the irritating lancet of his humour
into bulging excrescences on the flank of that monstrous pachyderm
of Europe, the German. _Professor Knatschke_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON),
aptly translated by Professor R.L. CREWE, is a joyous rag. It purports
to be the correspondence of a Hun Professor, full of an egregious
self-sufficiency and humourlessness and greatly solicitous for the
unhappy Alsatian who is ignorant and misguided enough to prefer the
Welsch (i.e. foreign) "culture-swindle" to the glorious paternal
Kultur of the German occupation. And HANSI illustrates his witty text
with as witty and competent a pencil. HANSI has, in effect, the full
status of an Ally all by himself. He adds out of the abundance of his
heart a diary and novel by _Knatschke's_ daughter, _Elsa_, full of
the artless sentimentality of the German virgin. It is even better fun
than the Professor's part of the business. Naturally the full flavour
of both jokes must be missed by the outsider. HANSI is the more
effective in that he chuckles quietly, never guffaws and never rails.
Fun of the best.

* * * * *

There is not much left for me to say in praise of Mr. JACK LONDON'S
dog-stories; and anyhow, if his name on the cover of _Jerry of the
Islands_ (MILLS AND BOON) is not enough, no persuasion of mine
will induce you to read it. Those of us to whom dogs are merely
animals--just that--will find this history of an Irish terrier dull
enough; but others who have in their time given their "heart to a dog
to tear" will recognise and joyously welcome Mr. LONDON'S sympathetic
understanding of his hero. _Jerry's_ adventurous life as here told
was spent in the Solomon Islands, which is not, I gather, the most
civilized part of the globe. He had been brought up to dislike
niggers, and when he disliked anyone he did not hesitate to show his
feelings and his teeth. So it is possible that for some tastes he
left his marks a little too frequently; but in the end he thoroughly
justified his inclination to indulge in what looked like unprovoked
attacks upon bare legs. For unless he had kept his teeth in by
constant practice he might never have contrived to save his beloved
master and mistress from a very cowardly and crafty attack. Good dog,

* * * * *

I admit that the fact of its publishers having branded _The Road to
Understanding_ (CONSTABLE) as "A Pure Love Story" did not increase the
hopes with which I opened it. Let me however hasten also to admit that
half of it certainly bettered expectation. That was the first half,
in which _Burke Denby_, the heir to (dollar) millions, romantically
defied his father and married his aunt's nursery governess, and
immediately started to live the reverse of happy-ever after. All this,
the contrast between ideals in a mansion and love in a jerry-built
villa, and the thousand ways in which _Mrs. Denby_ got upon her
husband's nerves and generally blighted his existence, are told with
an excellently human and sympathetic understanding, upon which I make
my cordial congratulations to Miss ELEANOR H. PORTER. But because
the book, however human, belongs, after all, to the category of "Best
Sellers" it appears to have been found needful to furbish up this
excellent matter with an incredible ending. That _Mrs. Denby_ should
retire with her infant to Europe, in order to educate herself to her
husband's level, I did not mind. This thing has been done before now
even in real life. But that, on returning after the lapse of years,
she should introduce the now grown-up daughter, unrecognised, as
secretary to her father! "Somehow ... you remind me strangely.... Tell
me of your parents." "My daddy ... I never knew him." Or words to that
effect. It is all there, spoiling a tale that deserved better.

* * * * *

The voracious novel-reader is apt to hold detective stories in the
same regard that the Scotchman is supposed to entertain towards
whisky--some are better than others, but there are no really bad ones.
_The Pointing Man_ (HUTCHINSON) is better than most, in the first
place because it takes us "east of Suez"--a pleasant change from
the four-mile radius to which the popular sleuths of fiction mostly
confine their activities; and, secondly, because it combines a maximum
of sinister mystery with a minimum of actual bloodshed; and, lastly,
because our credulity is not strained unduly either by the superhuman
ingenuity of the hunter or an excess of diabolical cunning on the part
of the quarry. Otherwise the story possesses the usual features. There
is the clever young detective, in whose company we expectantly scour
the bazaars and alleys of Mangadone in search of a missing boy. There
are Chinamen and Burmese, opium dens and curio shops, temples and
go-downs. Miss MARJORIE DOUIE has more than a superficial knowledge
of her stage setting, and gets plenty of movement and colour into
it. And if she has elaborated the characters and inter-play of her
Anglo-Burmese colony to an extent that is not justified either by
their connection with the plot or the necessity of mystifying the
reader we must forgive her because she does it very well--so well
indeed that we may hope to see _The Pointing Man_, excellent as it is
in its way, succeeded by a contribution to Anglo-Oriental literature
that will do ampler justice to Miss DOUIE'S unquestionable gifts.

* * * * *

Our writers appear willing converts to my own favourite theory that
the public is, like a child, best pleased to hear the tales that it
already knows by heart. The latest exponent of this is the lady who
prefers to be called only "The Author of _An Odd Farmhouse_." Her new
little book, _Your Unprofitable Servant_ (WESTALL), is a record of
domestic happenings and impressions during the early phases of the
War. The thing is skilfully done, and in the result carries you with
interest from page to page; though (as I hint) the history of those
August days, when Barbarism came forth to battle and Civilisation
regretfully unpacked its holiday suit-cases, can hardly appeal now
with the freshness of revelation. Still, the writer brings undeniable
gifts to her more than twice-told tale. She has, for example,
perception and a turn of phrase very pleasant, as when she speaks
of the shops in darkened London conducting the last hour of business
under lowered awnings, "as if it were a liaison." There are many such
rewarding passages, some perhaps a little facile, but, taken together,
quite enough to make this unpretentious little volume a very agreeable
companion for the few moments of leisure which are all that most of us
can get in these strenuous days.

* * * * *

I enjoyed at a pleasant sitting the whole of Mr. FRANK SWINNERTON'S
_Nocturne_ (SECKER). I don't quite know (and I don't see how
the author can quite know) whether his portraits of pretty
self-willed _Jenny_ and plain love-hungry _Emmy_, the daughters
of the superannuated iron-moulder, are true to life, but they are
extraordinarily plausible. Not a word or a mood or a move in the
inter-play of five characters in four hours of a single night, the
two girls and "_Pa_," and _Alf_ and _Keith_, the sailor and almost
gentleman who was _Jenny's_ lover, seemed to me out of place. The
little scene in the cabin of the yacht between _Jenny_ and _Keith_
is a quite brilliant study in selective realism. Take the trouble to
look back on the finished chapters and see how much Mr. SWINNERTON has
told you in how few strokes, and you will realise the fine and precise
artistry of this attractive volume. I can see the lights, the silver
and the red glow of the wine; and I follow the flashes and pouts
and tearful pride of _Jenny_, and _Keith's_ patient, embarrassed,
masterful wooing as if I had been shamefully eavesdropping.

* * * * *

_Fool Divine_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) stands to some extent in
a position unique among novels in that its heroine is also its
villainess, or at least the wrecker of its hero. _Nevile del Varna_,
the lady in question, is indeed the only female character in the
tale, and has therefore naturally to work double tides. What happened
was that young _Christopher_, a superman and hero, dedicate, as a
volunteer, to the unending warfare of science against the evil goddess
of the Tropics, yellow fever, met this more human divinity when on
his journey to the scene of action, and, like a more celebrated
predecessor, "turned aside to her." Then, naturally enough, when
_Nevile_ has gotten him for her husband and when love of her has
caused him to abandon his project of self-sacrifice, she repays
him with scorn. And as the unhappy _Christopher_ already scorns
himself the rest of the book (till the final chapters) is a record
of deterioration more clever than exactly cheerful. The moral of it
all being, I suppose, that if you are wedded to an ideal you should
beware of taking to yourself a mortal wife, for that means bigamy.
Incidentally the book contains some wonderfully impressive pictures of
tropical life and of the general beastliness of existence on a rubber
plantation. At the end, as I have indicated, regeneration comes for
_Christopher_--though I will not reveal just how this happens. There
is also a subsidiary interest in the revolutionary affairs of Cuba,
which the much-employed _Nevile_ appears to manage, as a local Joan of
Arc, in her spare moments; and altogether the book can be recommended
as one that will at least take you well away from the discomforts of
here and now.

* * * * *


I SEZ, 'ME?' 'E SEZ 'YUS!' I SEZ 'HO!'"]


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