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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 27, 1918, Image 9

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-27/ed-1/seq-9/

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GAS ATTACK 7 THE IDEAS OF ETHELBURT JELLYBACK, PRIVATE, XXI. Our entrance into the palatial home of Mrs. Dol- larsw o rth was full of m is­ haps, chiefly owing to the fact th a t M ugrums had in­ sisted upon accompanying Dickie D arling and me as one of our comrades in arm s, in­ stead of a low fellow whom I had intended to use only as my orderly. Mrs. D o llarsw o rth recovered sufficiently from her fainting spell, caused by M ugrum s5 insistent shaking of her hand, to sit up a t the table at dinner. D inner was a function at the D o llarsw o rth home. I w a rned Mug­ rum s of its form ality. W hen we entered the lofty dining room, M ugrums broke away from us and grabbed a chair ahead of all the ladies. He sat down in it trium p h a n tly. “F irst come, first served!55 he cried. “M u g rum s!55 I protested. “W ill you help Mrs. Leggington into her chair.55 M ugrums looked quizzically at Mrs. Leg­ gington. “W h a t?” he laughed. “T h a t husky girl? She’s big enough to help herself. If she don’t learn now she never w ill.55 Mugrums Talks Much. M u grums kept up a constant flow of re­ m a rks about the dinner. “Gee! Look at the tablecloth. And real napkins, too. Say, one o’ them ’ud m ake a good towel back in the tent, w o u ldn’t it? Guess I’ll ju s t slip it in my pocket.” He liked the straw b e rries and whipped cream so well th a t he w anted to know if there were any seconds. A fter dinner we strolled out to the ve­ randa. It began to rain. T h is made an im p ression on M ugrums. “W h e e l” he chuckled. “This is an en­ listed m a n ’s rain .” “W h at do you m ean by that, M u grum s?” “I mean there’ll be no drill to-day.” I looked at M ugrums critically. I felt sure lie hadn’t bathed as recently as he ought to have. “There is one good thing about this rain, Mugrums. It may wash the stars and stripes off your neck.” The rem a inder of the evening.passed w ith­ out event, although I was hard put to it keeping -a w atchful eye on Mugrums. We retired to our bedroom suite, which con­ sisted of an ample bathroom and an. enor­ mous bedroom, w ith windows looking out over the lawn and three mohagony beds. The hangings and furnishings were in the best of taste. Mugrums is Impressed. “Gee!” said Mugrums, spraw ling on one of the beds. “There ain ’t n o ’ resistance. You sink rig h t in.” Rc leaped' o u t onto the floor again and began executing a jig step. “And T u rkish rugs, too. Tra, la, lada—” “Mugrums, stop!” I ordered. “The house­ On Further Misadventures at the Home of Mrs. Dollarsworth hold is trying to sleep. You’re m aking a dreadful racket.” M ugrums desisted. Later, however, as Dickie and I were m a k ing ready for slum ­ ber, great noises came from the bathroom. I m ade an investigation and discovered M ugrums w ashing his leggings and sh ir t in the bath tub, scrubbing at his clothes w ith all his strength and a great quantity of soapsuds. “M ugrums, you m u st stop th a t and come to bed. You’re shaking the whole room.55 “Now, E!thelburt, be nice. You know this bathtub’s a fine place to do a good w ashing in. Look a t it, big enameled tub and all the hot w a ter anybody’d want. It’s the chance of a life time. Besides, my sh ir t ain ’t been washed since the tim e I fell in the w a tering trough in front of the stables.5’ I could do nothing w ith him. So I w ent to bed and left him at his labors. The N ext Morning. The next m o rning, which was Sunday, I was awakened by a knocking at the door. It was Mr. D o llarsw o rth, the host. He was perturbed. “The Sm iths, my neighbors to the north, have just telephoned me th a t there is some strange sort of flag hanging out of one of the second story windows. I can’t find out w h at window it is unless it is one of yours. Have you by any chance brought a flag w ith you which you have hung out, Mr. Jelly- back?” “No, sir,” I replied, equally a t a loss. “There it is,” said Mr. D ollarsw orth, pointing to an open window. “I see it flut­ tering in the wind.” We w ent to the window. H anging upon the ledge were M u g rum s’ leggings and shirt, flapping against the aristocratic sides of the m ansion on a Sabbath morn. I was chagrined. “You say it belongs to Mr. M u grum s?” asked Mr. Dollarsworth. “Is it a new kind of service flag?” “No, sir, but it has seen a lot of serv­ ice.” As soon as Mr. D o llarsw o rth w ithdrew, I removed M u grums’ clothing from the w in­ dow and rebuked the owner, who was sleep­ ing soundly. “Aw, leave me alone,” m u ttered Mugrums. “I was dream ing I ju s t bought this house. Now you’ve gone and lost it for me.” “Mugrums, you m u st get up and dress and leave here at once. You are constantly hum iliating Dickie and me. Moreover, it is tim e for you to sta r t back to camp if you w ant to ' get \ th e re before your pass ' runs out.” Bound North. At length I got rid of Mugrums and breathed easier. Then Dickie D arling and I de­ parted, on an evening train, for New York. As I climbed into my berth I was seized w ith a great fear th a t I wouldn’t be able to sleep well, through the vicissitudes of the railroad. Somehow I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until m o rning. “P o r ter!” I called out, gayly, “did you shine my shoes for me? Good. I had a fine sleep. T h a t’s the sm o o thest roadbed I ever slept on.” “Yas, suh,” snickered the negro. “It oughta be smooth, suh. T h e re’s done been a wreck up ahead and we ain ’t moved for nine hours.” ETH E L B U R T JELLYBACK, Private. —-C. D. COMPRENEZ VOUS? CAMPOBEELO. Most of us are interested in origins, w h e ther or not our lineage can be traced back to the Mayflower, and being thusly interested, we, here a t the range, would like to have the help of your editorial staff and your readers in tracing the origin of the nam e of the village which is Camp W a d sw o rth’s point of em b a rkation—* to the battlefields of Glassy Rock and Hog­ back M ountain. Would-be highbrows have assured us th a t Campobello was derived from the L a tin “campum bellum ,” m e aning “w a r cam p .” Now, a Spanish dancing girl, a friend of ours, m entions casually in a recent letter th a t this word, Campobello, in her lan­ guage m eans “beautiful country,” and it is. An Italian lad who is doing his bit to m ake the world safe from autocracy by being an Am erican artillerym a n , took great pride and joy in inform ing us th a t our South Carolina depot and cross-roads was nam e d for his home-town in fair Sicily. To be sure all noble sons of E r in ’s Isle, of the Ammunition Train, camped there, as­ sert th a t Campobello is the popular version of the nam e of their fighting Irish m a jor and should be spelled w ith three capitals— “Camp G’Bell.” A doughboy m ight give it a nether th r u s t as the “cam p ’b elow” and a field-piece rider m ight slide it out as “Campie Beilie.” But a native gives the only authentic in terp reta­ tion, based as it is entirely on local color and fam ily tradition. He affirms in no un­ certain term s or tones th a t in the days of the coon-skin-capped frontiersm a n , the site of our mooted village was an old buffalo salt-lick and from the thunderings of the taw n y herds, the nearby hunting camp was called the “Camp O’bellow.” ■ Now who’s right? Or have we yet to dis­ cover the origin and m eaning of this nam e— another speck put on the map by the 27th Division? M. E. O.

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