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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, January 26, 1918, Image 9

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-01-26/ed-1/seq-9/


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THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK a n d RIO GRANDE RATTLER 7 THE IDEAS OF ETHELBURT JELLYBACK, PRIVATE VIII. On the Night of His Wild Ad­ venture in Paris After the War To t h e E ditor : I have an idea th a t my stay in P a ris will be a pleasant one. I shall be disap­ pointed if it isn’t. I said as much the other evening, sitting in my tent talking w ith Jim Mugrums. B u t he, alas, can’t appreciate these things, uncouth soldier th a t he is. He has never had the benefits of a society bringing-up. “Are you going to be a nut all your life?” he cried. I took no notice of this uncultured re­ mark. I w e n t ahead, enlarging on my idea of the p a rt I shall play in the great w a r— I, E thelburt Jellyback, Private, the scion of a great family. E thelburt ?s Dress Parade. I will reach France, th a t pretty land of rom ance, ju s t as the w ar ends. Of course, my regim e n t w ill be w ith me. We will a r ­ rive, fortunately, too late to enter the trenches under fire. We will w alk through them , as a m a tter of curiosity and to gather souvenirs of our service abroad. We will be in time, however, to engage in a trium p h a l pursuit of the Germans, flee­ ing tow a rds B erlin w ith confusion and the Kaiser. Then, tu r n in g about w ith victory on our banners, we w ill m arch back to P a ris on parade. I have an especial, neatly- pressed uniform in my trun k in readiness for it. I hope it doesn’t get spotted. From curb and window and house-top the French people cheer us; the women will throw us garlands, and in our path the chil­ dren will strew flowers. I prefer daffodils. T h e y 're so full of sunshine. E thelburt on Detached Service. My Captain will say to me: “Private Jellyback, the w ar is over. To-day our regi­ m e n t returns to the U n ited States. You have asked me for perm ission to rem a in be­ hind, to look around a bit. I know you for a cosmopolite, a m an of the world. Hence I readily g ran t you this perm ission, and assign you to detached service in P a ris.” “P rivate Jellyback thanks you, sir,” I will answ er. “It has been a m a tter of honor to do my b i t ” And th a t evening, w h ile all P a ris is gay w ith victory and the hands are playing in the Tuileries, I shall stroll down the bril­ liantly-lighted Avenue de 1’Opera-—or, m ay­ hap, the Champs Elysses—-in search of ad­ venture. Ah, adventure! How my h e a rt bounds at the sound of the word. (I have always harbored w ithin me a reckless, devil- may-care spirit. Debonair, the French would call me.) Along the Boulevard He Will Go. Tw irling my cane and the glistening ends of my m u stache, I shall m ake my way through the passing crowds to one of those delightful little sidew alk cafes. People will turn and stare at me, at once recognizing me as one of Uncle Sam ’s gallant w a rriors. Into a chair under the striped awning, w h ere the lights of the happy-lanterned boulevard dance on the m a rble table tops, I shall drop, and w ith a carefree gesture summon a -waiter. The w a iter, w alking his post on the alert, observing e v e r y . tip th a t takes place w ithin sight or reach, will hurry to my side. “A bottle of wine, sHl vous plait, garconT (iCertainnement, monsieur le Capitaine; toute de suite.” (Of course, I m ay not be a captain then, hut the w a iter w ill probably think I am.) Enter, the Woman! As the w a iter sets the wine before me, I w ill catch from nearby tables adm iring rem a rks directed a t me. Ju s t as I lift the sparkling w ine-glass to my lips, a charm ­ ing young woman w ill take a seat a t the table opposite. She will be lustrous-eyed, and as graceful as a flower. She w ill catch sight of me. E x u ltation will blaze in her eyes. (Continued on page 22)

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