OCR Interpretation


The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, January 05, 1918, Image 7

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-7/


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THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK and RIO GRANDE RATTLER 5 A SOLDIER’S LETTER TO HIS SWEETHEART. Mon Croquette: T h a t’s not the kind w ith the over-dressed toothpick in the top, Mable. A croquette is a French society woman. If you study these letters, of mine and see how I use the French words you ought to be able to pick up enough French to understand me talk in ’ it when I come home. Well, Mable, New Years are behind us again. I made a lot of New Y ear’s revolu­ tions. T h a t’s why I haven’t answ ered your last five letters. I t ’s no use your saying th a t there w a sn’t nothing for me to change, cause you’re prejudiced. I can see faults where others can’t. U n d erneath a plezant exterior I am m ade of s terner stuff, as the poets say. I have given up frivolity w ith the exception of a few invitations which I had already ex­ cepted. I am m aking a study of war. And now I am goin’ to tell you a secret. I’m w o rkin’ on a plan to end the war. I got th in k in ’, as I will, an’ i t struck me th a t no one had touched this side of it a t all. They was all figuring how to go on w ith it. Don’t say nothin’ till I get it all worked out. You'll here from me yet and I guess you always knew you would, eh, Mable? I’ve also resolved not to put off to to-m o r­ row w h a t you can do to-day. (Old motto.) F o r instance, if I can get out of a fatigue to-day, w h a t’s the use of putting it off till to-morrow. T h a t’s ju s t horse sense. I’ve cut down on my sm o k in’ too. I was g e ttin ’ to be a cigarette feend. Got so I had to smoke w h enever I was th in k in ’. Nervous and high strung. T h a t’s me all over, Ma­ ble. I taken up cigars and a pipe instead. A fello w ith an active mind has got to have som e thing of course to steady him down. You rem em ber w h a t the fello who trained the high school show said about me when he saw me act. T e m p e rature. T h a t’s me. Of course you can’t borrow pipe tobacco and cigars as well as I could cigarettes but I’m try in ’ to get the other fellos to look at it the same as I do and in a little while I will be all O. K. again. I got th a t watch your father sent me for a New Year’s present. Tell him, thanks very much and not to feel bad th a t he forgot to send me any C h ristm a s present cause this wipes out the debt entirely. He said it was a m ilitary watch and the latest thing out. I guess they call it a m ilitary watch cause it works two hours and then stops four. And its the latest thing round here all right. If I answ ered calls by th a t watch I’d be failin’ in for retreat round taps. I got the black­ sm ith over at headquarters company w o rkin’ on it now. H e’s an awful good man. He was a plum ber in civilian life. T h a t’s why they made him a blacksm ith when he en­ listed. He says he’s goin’ to fix it so’s I’ll never be bothered w ith it again. I w e n t to an enlisted man dinner dance New Y ear’s night. I sat next to a Colonel’s wife. It was kind of em b aressing at first. I put her at her ease though, Mable, righ t away. I says this is a chick laid table. But th a t a French joke, Mable, and you wouldn’t understand it, not being a Colonel’s wife. W hen I’d stopped laughin’ at th a t I started right in and told her all about every m an in the company, beginning w ith the As. You know w h a t I am when I get started. I didn’t giv’er no chanst to feel uneasy. W hen she started to say som ething I kept rig h t on talk in’, ju s t to show her th a t she w a sn’t ex­ pected to m ake no effort, bein’ the Colonel’s wife, but I would do all the entertaining. I guess I made good all right, too, ’cause after dinner I heard her ask someone who I was and who had invited me. I couldn’t quite catch w h a t the other person said, then the Colonel’s wife said som ething like “He ought to be known better.” Make your m a rk wherever you go. T h a t’s me all over, Ma­ ble. It may mean prom otion or most any­ thing. It may mean th a t I’ll be sent to Fort Silly to study som ething. You can’t tell. T h e re’s a fellow in town w h a t sells stuff to soldiers. H e’s got a little black pad th a t you tie over your eyes so th a t you can sleep in the day time. T h a t was never invented by an arm y m an, Mable. I says to him th a t first thing we knew someone would be in­ venting a portable m a ttress th a t we could tie on our backs so as we could lie down on the drill field, eh, Mable? The second lieutenants are w e a ring gold bars now. Funny how things go in the army. F irst lieutenants silver, seconds, gold. Ac­ cording to th a t corporals ought to w ear plati­ num. But I say the old m ahogany bars is good enough for me. Get the point, Mable. I can’t think of anything more th a t you would understand. Don’t let no one get hold of these letters. You can’t be too careful w ith so many spize ’roun’. I suppose you are awful lonesome w ithout me. I don’t get much tim e to be lonesome, w h a t w ith drillin’ and goin’ out som ewhere. A fter things get shook down a little I hope to get more tim e to m iss you. How’s your fath e r ’s liver? au Riviere, BILL. , — E . S. “Let’s have setting up exercises.’’ “ A ll right. W h o se going to set ’em u p ? ” “You’ve got to hand those Fords a lot.” “I do. H a lf my m o n th’s pay every week.” We learn from the Spartanburg papers th a t one of the m ats used by the local traffic police to keep the limbs of the law out of the mud has been stolen. A lthough the paper does not state the details, we assume th a t it was stolen while he was standing on it. T h e G a s A t t a c k offers its services in running down the culprit. It is men of this type who are the greatest menace to the community. Any m an who would stoop to such a thing would short change a poor box, steal the lap robes out of a baby carriage or take S a tur­ day Evening Posts from in front of Du- Pre’s Book Store. The average woman’s waist is 30 inches. The average m a n ’s arm is 30 inches. Oh, nature how kind thou art! It’s bad enough to sit up all night w ith a sick friend, but don’t bring him home w ith you in the m o rning. A new departm e n t has ju s t been opened up in hell. It is for the taxi driver who lures you into the back of his car on the assum p ­ tion th a t he is going out to camp; who re­ fuses to move until it is im possible to get a piece of paper between any of the springs; who has to stop for gas and oil at the end of the first block; who has to stop at a lunch counter in the middle of the second block and fill up his rad iato r w ith a cracked tea cup in twenty-seven trips, stopping each trip for a cup of coffee and a doughnut; and fin­ ally, who gets alm o st out of town and then turns round and goes back to the square to see if he can’t find a couple of other suckers to sit on top of you. The gentleman in the movies who gets shot in the arm at 10:05 and knocks the vil­ lain for a goal with the same member at 10:20 would have had a great time in the army. Apparently some of those who go up to sick report every morning have discovered the trick.

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