Bathing has now become a pleasure to all, except, perhaps, to Nijinsky, our Pole from Commercial Road, East. On being presented (for the first time, I gather) to a first-class bathroom with geyser complete, he evinced signs of great uneasiness. In fact he seemed to think that this was making a parade of a purely private matter. The Sergeant-Major, being called in, exhorted him to “get in and give the thing a trial,” at which Nijinsky flung up his hands in characteristic fashion and said, “Vell, it’s somethink fur nothink, anyhow,” and they left him to it. The rest of the story is concerned with his turning off the water in the geyser and leaving the gas on, of a loud explosion and the figure of Nijinsky, fat and frightened, fleeing through the main street dressed in an Army towel. Subsequently I heard him expressing forcibly a fixed determination never, never to be persuaded against his will again.
Oh, yes, it is a wonderful thing to be a Hun. Every day we go about telling one another what Huns we are and how we love our hunnishness. And yet, you know, as a matter of fact, I don’t believe all our efforts amount to anything really; they wouldn’t deceive a child—and in fact they don’t. For ever since we came here one can’t help noticing that the little tiny natives have acquired an extraordinarily good imitation of Tommy’s salute, and, though Subalterns and Sergeant-Majors may go about gnashing their teeth and wearing expressions of frightful ferocity, still the youngsters grin fearlessly as they raise their tiny fingers. They know it isn’t real. They know a Hun when they see him all right; what child doesn’t?
And I caught our Mr. Carfax picking one of them up from the gutter the other day and soothing its tears with the baby-talk of all nations. I told him he was fraternising abominably and was not being a true Hun.
“Well,” he said, “you can’t leave a child yelling in a puddle, can you?”
And, damn it, you can’t, so what’s the use of trying to be hunnish?
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[Illustration: Restaurant Commissionaire (to departing client, who is searching for a tip). “NOW THEN, SIR, HURRY UP; DON’T KEEP ME WAITING HERE ALL NIGHT.”]
* * * * *
From a Parliamentary report:—
“Colonel Seely mentioned
... Major-General Seely said ... General
Seely, replying ...”—Daily Chronicle.
* * * * *
“The canonical proceedings for the beatification of Pope Pius IX. and Christopher Columbus have been definitely abandoned. As the result of a very close investigation, it was decided that these two candidates lacked certain necessary qualifications; Pius IX. had signed death sentences and Christopher Columbus was held responsible for massacres.”—Sunday Paper.
This news, we understand, has caused a painful impression at Amerongen.