The Sunny Side eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 252 pages of information about The Sunny Side.

I sat up with a sigh.

“Celia, you do dodge about so.  I have barely brought together and classified my array of facts about things in this world, when you’ve dashed up to another one.  What is the connexion between Mars and limpets?  If there are any limpets in Mars they are freshwater ones.  In the canals.”

“Oh, I just wondered,” she said.  “I mean”—­she wrinkled her forehead in the effort to find words for her thoughts—­“I’m wondering what everything means, and why we’re all here, and what limpets are for, and, supposing there are people in Mars, if we’re the real people whom the world was made for, or if they are.”  She stopped and added, “One evening after dinner, when we get home, you must tell me all about everything

Celia has a beautiful idea that I can explain everything to her.  I suppose I must have explained a stymie or a no-ball very cleverly once.

“Well,” I said, “I can tell you what limpets are for now.  They’re like sheep and cows and horses and pheasants and—­and any other animal.  They’re just for us.  At least so the wise people say.”

“But we don’t eat limpets.”

“No, but they can amuse us.  This one”—­and with a sudden leap I was behind him as he dozed, and I had dashed him forward another eighteenth of a millimetre—­“this one has amused me.”

“Perhaps,” said Celia thoughtfully, and I don’t think it was quite a nice thing for a young woman to say, “perhaps we’re only meant to amuse the people in Mars.”

“Then,” I said lazily, “let’s hope that they are amused.”

* * * * *

Ten days later the Great War began.  Celia said no more on the subject, but she used to look at me curiously sometimes, and I fear that the problem of life left her more puzzled than ever.  At the risk of betraying myself to her as “quite an ordinary person after all” I confess that there are times when it leaves me puzzled too.

IV.  WAR-TIME

O.B.E.

I know a Captain of Industry,
Who made big bombs for the R.F.C.,
And collared a lot of L s. d.—­
And he—­thank God!—­has the O.B.E.

I know a Lady of Pedigree,
Who asked some soldiers out to tea,
And said “Dear me!” and “Yes, I see”—­
And she—­thank God!—­has the O.B.E.

I know a fellow of twenty-three,
Who got a job with a fat M.P.—­
(Not caring much for the Infantry.)
And he—­thank God!—­has the O.B.E.

I had a friend; a friend, and he
Just held the line for you and me,
And kept the Germans from the sea,
And died—­without the O.B.E. 
                      Thank God! 
He died without the O.B.E.

ARMAGEDDON

The conversation had turned, as it always does in the smoking-rooms of golf clubs, to the state of poor old England, and Porkins had summed the matter up.  He had marched round in ninety-seven that morning, followed by a small child with an umbrella and an arsenal of weapons, and he felt in form with himself.

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The Sunny Side from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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