in my blanket for a snooze; he had driven the enemy with slaughter that day. My Jehu began to recite his annoyances thus, ‘cuss the durned infantry, they mek me halt, dismount, and give the countersign, till I was weary and tarrify wid their foolishness.’
A roar followed from the couriers.
At this moment a trim staff officer of a General, who had lost an arm, put in his say so: ‘I say, hold that noise, the General
wants to rest; don't let me hear any more of it.’
Staff had hardly gone into darkness before Jehu began his old story.
It was folly to try to keep back the laugh.
A second outburst, and a second entry of staff; ‘——it, did I not order you to stop this noise.
Who is it?
I'll have him arrested.’
Just then, by some strange accident, a donkey put his demure snout in at our fire, and flapping his ears, began his unmistakable bray.
Jehu jumped to his feet, and shaking his fist at donkey, said, ‘One at a time, if you please
Staff left amid a burst of laughter, as Major
—— (the prince
of soldiers) rolled over and over with my blanket, trying to restrain a big laugh.
He could polish a steel bit or scabbard, or roll a blanket as neatly as any of the ‘Queen
's Horse Guard,’ of which he had been.
He messed alone—cause, a huge appetite, and personal want of regard for soap.
One morning I met him standing with one boot on, the other laying about fifty feet away, and his tout ensemble
of morning toilet in sorry plight.
‘What is the matter, Lieutenant
‘The matter is it?
The devils the matter, I'm thinking.’
He pointed tragically at the boot, then at his log shanty.
‘Wrong is it, down with the sheebang; blow her up wid gunpowder; she's full of shnakes; look in my boot.’
Sure enough a little grass snake had gone to bed in his boot, and the Lieutenant
put his foot in it. He felt the squirm and his Celtic nature disgusted fled from boot and house with horror.
The drill-master could face the foe but could not foot a grass snake.