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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, January 05, 1918, Image 10

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-01-05/ed-1/seq-10/

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8 THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK a n d RIO GRANDE RATTLER THE FURLOUGH THAT WENT FLOOEY Everybody Out in New York, Even the Lights on Broadway, Says Private Whoozis, Just Back, W ell, Banty, I’m back again, like th a t guy of K ipling’s said—you know the guy in the billycock hat. New York? Oh, I don’t know. It seem s different, somehow. I was fit to m u rder a couple of colonels in order to get th a t furlough. I got it. I’m. back to stay this time. B ring on your German arm y. Shoot the works. I don’t know how you guys w ith folks up in the big tow n feel about it, but som e­ how or other New York has lost som ething for me—you know, doesn’t seem to be the sam e burg th a t it w as the day we m a rched down F ifth avenue on our way to the. troop trains. I sort of figured on dropping in at the club room s th a t the Lexington Avenue bunch fixed up a couple of years ago and telling the fellows all about the arm y . Sort of felt th a t I was going to knock ’em dead. Get m e? And I doped it out going up in the train to call up a few of the girls and drop in on a few old friends—a couple of the bunch around the old neighborhood. And, of course, I had it fixed to breeze into the office and give the razz to the boys and shake hands w ith the boss. I was the cat’s m itts, as I doped it out, and my neck was going to be crooked for a m o n th from having people fall upon it in wild welcomes. You know how a guy in O. D.’s used to get the glad e y e . last June and July. W ell, I ’ll tell you, I ’m satisfied. I w a n t to go back to New York again—after the w ar is over. I’ve had mine. As soon as I hit the Pennsylvania Station I rang up Gladys. Sort of felt as though I’d like to have the kid look me over. Nothing doing. Moved down to Bay Ridge section. The boy on the other end of the w ire didn’t know exactly w h ere. I tried Jean e tte and got her on the wire. All w rong; all wrong! Glad to hear my voice and all th a t sort of thing, but she was sorry but she hadn’t a night open for a month-—knitting, w o rking at bazaars and all that. M ight drop in some afternoon for a few m inutes. H e r m o ther’d be glad to see me, too. Same w ith two or three other Janes I used to fuss around with. Glad I called up and was well and all th a t sort of thing but no enthusiasm . I blew over to the office. You see my folks have sort of dwindled away to a couple of aunts who live out in Grand Rapids or som ewhere. I hall-roomed it in New York, but I had a bunch of friends and I figured th a t it was ju s t like home to see them again and th a t things w ere the sam e as w h en I left. They had a new head office boy at the shop. D idn’t know me. Said Jim m y had enlisted in the Regulars. The old m an was in, but busy. He came to the door of his office and slapped me on the shoulder and then blew back to his d e s k .. Grouch Pen­ nell, the head clerk, was still there, but th a t about let the shop out. Baldy had en­ listed in the navy. The draft got H a rvey Black and Sm itty and L a rry H a g e r and five or six others. Bill H e n ry was in the flying corps and Nelly Black had taken up nursing so she could go w ith the Red Cross people. I beat it. A lot of older men held down the jobs. They looked at me. T h a t’s about all. W ell, Banty, I ran up to H a rry H ill’s bean­ ery for m y dinner. Fred, the guy who used to w a it on me was gone. H a rry said he’d been drafted and was out in Yaphank. Strangers—th a t’s all I m e t everyw h ere. Tried Mike F o g a rty’s gin mill. T h o u g h t I’d have a bottle of pop and give Bert, the big bartender down near the cashier end of the bar, the glad hand. Banty, I was as welcome as a Congressional Investigation. Mike had sold out. B e rt had joined the M arines. The new owner welcomes soldiers just like the Italians do the A u strians. Out, Banty, out for mine. Me for the club rooms. Closed! W ith the exception of H eavy McBride, who has fiat feet, Shrimp W allace, who can’t m ake the w eight; Charlie Hogan, who has four kids and a wife, and Squint Bacon, who got a rough deal on his eyes, the whole bunch w ere in ju s t like me—out in Yaphank, down a t W rightstow n or F o rt Meade or in the navy or the M arines or som ething. W ell, Banty, there you have the works. It made me sort of low in the mind. Got to me hard. Everyw h ere it was the same. It was coming on evening, too. I beat it for the old boarding house over on St. Nicholas avenue. Yep, Mrs. Brown was still running the place. The first thing th a t I saw as I approached the joint w as a service flag with two stars. She told me about them —her two sons, Jake and H o m e r —in like me. Banty, she m ade me have supper w ith h e r and then we sat down in the old parlor and talked. G reat old dame, the m issus. N ever saw her like that before. She cried a little (C o n t i n u e d on p a g e 22)

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