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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 20, 1918, Image 9

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-20/ed-1/seq-9/


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GAS ATTACK 7 THE IDEAS OF ETHELBURT JELLYBACK, PRIVATE, xx. It Is the common practice among us soldiery to kill off a relative so th a t we can go back to Broadway on a furlough. In order to get a five-day furlough it is necessary to put an end to at least one grandm o ther or the equivalent in two and a half cousins. To get ten days leave you have to bring about the death of one grand­ fath e r plus.„ a mother-in-law or a father. And to get a fifteen-day furlough you m u st wipe out your whole family. ' Being unfitted by nature to adopt this cam p a ign of frightfulness, I for one, re­ solved to rebel against these conventions. “C aptain,” I said, “I w a n t to go to New York on a furlough. I confess I have no telegram from my m o ther telling me she is dead. Nor is my father at death’s door. As a m a tter of fact my entire fam ily is in a depressing condition. They are all alive and frightfully healthy.” It Is a Dilemma, “H ’m ! ” com m ented the Captain. “Yours is an unusual situation. Have you a w ife?” “Oh, mercy, no, s i r ! ” “Then you don’t expect the arrival of twins, do you?” “I hadn’t thought of it, sir.” The captain pondered. “How aw k w a rd!” he said. I grew desper­ ate. “But there is a little child, about nine­ teen. Maybe you have seen her, sir. She once smiled a t me. She’s the second from the left in the opening chorus of Zieg- feld’s •” “You may start on your furlough to­ night,” said the Captain. A fever of activity seized me, and the G o vernm ent has not yet discovered an in­ oculation to prevent it. I looked for my laundry and couldn’t find it. W h ile I was in the m idst of my hurried preparations who should suddenly come running down the company street but Dickie Darling, my chum. He told me th a t he, too, was sta r t­ ing on a furlough and th a t he w anted me to stop off w ith him for a week-end party on the way North. W e w ere to be the guests of a prom inent fam ily who have a big country home. Eagerly I acquiesced in the project. “And I will take Mugrums along as our orderly,” I said. “He can get a 48-hour pass over Sunday and then return to camp after we are through w ith him .” M ugrums agreed. So* we set out, Dickie and I and M ugrums. We were fortunate in picking out a train th a t was only six hours late in reaching its destination. If we had been unlucky we would have been sixteen hours late. They Arrive, A big autom obile was w a iting for us at On How He At Last Sets Forth Upon a Furlough 1 th e station w ith a liveried chauffeur. As we were driven tow a rds the big house on the private estate I cautioned M ugrums about his conduct. “Remem b er, M ugrums, th a t you are my orderly, and Dickie’s, too, and th a t you are to m ake yourself busy w ith our luggage while we are being welcomed by the host and hostess and the other m em b ers of the household. You will probably sleep in the servants’ quarters and— —” “As you were, E th e lb u r t! ” piped up Mug­ rums. “T h a t stuff don’t go w ith me any longer. I quit as orderly right now, and you gotta tre a t me like one o’ the party or I’ll queer the whole thing. I’ll tell ’em you’re only a buck private and you ain’t en­ titled to an orderly and th a t I ain’t your orderly and, moreover, I’ll send a telegram to the C aptain and spill the b e a n s ! ” M ugrums was in earnest. I was in hor­ rors. I conferred w ith Dickie. “The only thing we can do,” he coun­ selled, “is to introduce M ugrums as a third m em b er of our party, crude fellow th a t he is, and hope for the best.” The Fatal Introduction. So th a t was the way we w e n t ahead. “Mrs. D o llarsw o rth,” said Dickie to the hostess, “I have brought w ith me a friend, Mr. Jellyback, and—and another—er—sol­ dier, Mr. M ugrums. Allow me to introduce them .” “How do you do, Mrs. D o llarsw o rth,” I said, greeting her pleasantly. To my as­ tonishm e n t Mugrums pushed forward. “Demme give your m it a flop,” he said, seizing Mrs. D o llarsw o rth by the hand. “Anybody w h a t can sport a house as flossy as this is, I gotta hand it to, w h e ther you got the money honestly or not.” Mrs. D o llarsw o rth drew back, puzzled. Mugrums hung to her hand and kept jerk ­ ing it up and down as if sim u lating the action of a pump-handle. “I’m for you,” he w ent on, “and this veranda just about takes my eye. The view is fine from here, ain’t it? But then, you can’t feed yourself on the view alone, can you? Though mess sergeants would try to do it if they could. W h a t’ve you got to eat in the house? You know us soldiers, w e’re fighting for three great principles: breakfast, dinner and supper.” Mrs. D o llarsw o rth collapsed. She lay on the floor in a swoon, having been overcome by the extraordinary torture of M u g rum s’ repeated handshakes. The servants w ere dumbfounded. Dickie and I were too amazed to move at first. It was M ugrums who was the first to act. “Somebody oughtta pick ’er up and carry her to her bunk. She’s had a fit.” Dickie and I w ith the help of the servants, car­ ried Mrs. D o llarsw o rth to a couch and adm inistered sm elling salts to her. Mr. D o llarsw o rth appeared and was greatly shaken at the condition of his wife. He w anted to know the cause of her seizure. I was loathe to tell him the truth. “I’ll bet I can tell you w h a t m ade her pass out,” spoke up Mugrums. “I’ll bet she ain ’t gotta thing in the house to e a t ! ” ETHELBURT JELLYBACK, Private. —C. D. PASSOVER SEDAR. On W e d n e sday evening, M arch 27, 1918, Sedar service was held a t the Soldiers’ Club in Spartanburg. Two hundred and seven­ ty-five soldiers w e re present to participate in the service to celebrate the freedom from Egypt of the people of Israel. This was per­ haps the first tim e in the life of the men th a t they w ere not w ith their own fam ily in their own home. The regular Sedar service was conducted by L ieutenant M argulies, assisted by Mr. Paul Goldman of the Jew ish W e lfare Board. All the essential courses of the Passover, in­ cluding the cerem o n ial dishes, w ere served to the m en by the ladies of Spartanburg. M ajor McCord, Chaplain of the 107th In­ fantry addressed the boys showing the like­ ness betw een the freedom from Egypt and the present struggle for world liberty. Mr. E. W. Leslie, Head Secretary of the Y. M. C. A., was present and spoke of the w arm co-operation existing betw een the Y. M. C. A. and the Jew ish W e lfare Board at Camp W adsw o rth. Soldiers of all faiths w ere present. It has alw ays been the am b ition of the Jew ish W e lfare Board to show the greatest possible feeling of friendship tow a rd all soldiers and to live up to the true spirit of Democracy. JEW ISH W E L FARE BOARD NOTES. Sabbath services will be held on Friday evening in the L ittle W h ite Church near the Liberty T e n t Theatre, at 7 P. M, Rabbi George Solomon, resident rabbi of Camp W adsw o rth, will speak. If you are in town on Friday evening, come to the service at Temple B’Nai Israel, corner Union and South Deane streets, at 8:39 P. M. All soldiers are welcome. The Temple is open every evening of the week. Drop around and spend a pleasant few hours or even m inutes. A d d ress all com m u nications to Paul Gold­ man, Jew ish W e lfare Board, care Y. M. C. A., Camp W adsw o rth. W e shall always be very glad to hear from you. Look for the fellow w ith the blue shield in the circle on his left sleeve, stop him, and you will m ake a new friend.

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