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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, March 02, 1918, Image 9

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-03-02/ed-1/seq-9/


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GAS ATTACK 7 THE IDEAS OF ETHELBURT JELLYBACR, PRIVATE XIII. On Taking Jim Mugrums to Dinner and a French Lesson, Too On my classification card, for occupation 1 wrote “ leader of tire younger society set of New York. 77 For salary, crude question that it was, I set down this answer: “ I have an independent income.7 7 But, despite these evidences of a superior position in my ante-bellum days, no call has yet come for me to direct im p o rtant work in camp except the tending of the incinerator. Consequently, I have fallen back on my own devices. One of them, begun in a spirit of altruism, has been to try to improve the mind and manners of Jim Mugrums, th a t some­ what crude fellow who used to be my corporal until he got reduced because he carried me and my cot out into the street one b itter cold night. I forgave him. In view of my mission to uplift the uncouth and smudgy-faced fellow, I tried to put aside all personal inconven­ iences. II Mugrums, 7 7 I said the other evening, “ I am going to invite you to take dinner with me to-night.77 “ Go ahead. Invite me. See if I care.77 They Start for Dinner. So I invited him to walk over to the H o st­ ess House, at the edge of camp. I told him th a t he should make his appearance as neat as it was possible to influence such vague uncertainties. *(Hostess H o u se,7 7 I explained, as we walked along, “ is a building erected as a meeting place for soldiers and their mothers and sweethearts who come to camp to see them. It is a delightful place; you should enjoy this evening immensely. W ait a min­ ute, M ugrums! Hon 7t forget to wipe the mud off your shoes. Take off your hat, Mugrums. And now your coat. Hang it here. Now follow m e .77 I led the way into the eating room, with a counter from which you select the food, and many tables and chairs, painted in a delic­ ious blue. “ This is the cafeteria,7 7 I explained. “ Take one of these trays and follow me to the counter. The negro will hand you w h a t­ ever food you select. Mugrums, you forgot a napkin. Take one, th e r e ! 7 7 Looking a bit bewildered, Mugrums did as I said. They Order Eatables. “ I will have a bowl of soup and two cheese sandw iches,7 7 I told the negro behind the counter. f i Gimme two o 7 them barrels o 7 soup,7 7 said Mugrums, “ and about four o 7 them there sandwiches w h at E thelburt 7s got his meat- hooks in to .77 “ Steady, Mugrums. Your language is be­ coming slipshod again. There are other things to eat besides soup and sandwiches.7 7 “ Yes, but I a in 7t ta k i n 7 any chances. A n 7 say, Bones, put the rollers under a couple o 7 pieces of th a t pie a n 7 slip 7em to me quick. Them is pies, ain 7t they? Hon 7t go to sleep on post, either. Shake a leg, or I 711 bounce this trayful o 7 eats off 7n your dome.7 7 “ Yas, suh, boss! H o n 7t strike me, X7se a hurryin7. 7 7 “ M ugrums,77 I protested, “ where are your manners? This is not a building used to stable mules in. Follow me at once.77 He did as I bade, carrying on his tray enough edibles to feed a regiment in b a r­ racks. “ Let us sit at this table by the window, near the pretty cretonne curtains.77 “ You can 7t eat the curtains.77 “ And now, Mugrums, while we are dining, I will take the opportunity to give you an­ other French lesson.7 7 “ B o n 7t bother on my account.7 7 “ No trouble at all, Mugrums. French is spoken in three ways: w ith the tongue, w ith the eyes, and w ith the shoulders.77 “ I getcha. Right shoulder—French.! Mugrums and His Soup. “ No, no, Mugrums. H o n 7t interrupt me. And please don 7t make so much noise w ith your soup. You are attracting attention. French is spoken in three ways, as I have pointed out. But in this lesson we will only take up the first method: by the tongue. The others are for mademoiselles over seventeen. Remove the spoon from out your coffee cup. It should always recline in the saucer when not in active service.7 7 “ Aw, w h at is this, inspection m o rning?77 “ The word in French th a t stands for M 7 is * j e . 7 I t is pronounced like ‘ j u 7 in jug, only w ithout the ‘ g . 7 As in the phrase, the little brown ju g .7 7 ‘6 They don 7t use 7em any more, ‘ eept in K e n tucky.7 7 “ The word for you is *vous.7 I t is pro­ nounced f v o o .7 B o n 7t put your knife in your mouth, Mugrums. That isn 7t being done.77 “ B u t I just done it. Fooled you, E thel­ burt, th a t tim e .7 7 “ The word Mo love7 in French is s aim e r,7 but this is the infinitive form of the verb and is not half so im p o rtant as the present indicative, first person singular.7 7 “ I didn7t get none o 7 th a t on my tra y .77 More Food and French. “ In the first person singular of the pres­ ent indicative, you say * j Mime7 when you want to say (I love.7 77 “ How d 7ya say.: *1 w a n ta Mother piece o 7 pie?7 77 “ In case you should w ant to specify the particular thing or person you love, as some­ times happens, you place the word for that person or thing between the pronoun and the verb. Such a sentence would be construed as—-Mugrums! you7ve knocked over the w ater. How could you be so clum sy?77 “ That comes from e a tin 7 at the officers7 mess so much. I 711 be more careful, E thel­ burt. 7 7 (Continued on page 36) WHAT JONES HAD DONE. Presiding G e n ius: W h a t is the charge against P rivate Jones? Sergeant—If yer plaze, V s been drunk, an5 V s been breakin’ things, an5 ?e won’t obey no orders. In fact, V s been behavin5 gin’rally as though ’e wuz the bloomin’ col­ onel himself!-—Southern W oman’s Magazine. FORCE OF HABIT. Corp. Levi: H alt! Who goes there? Voice in the dark—Ordnance officer. Corp.: Advance and give the discount! — Medical Pickwick.

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