“Indeed, he was,” answered the mourner. “Andy was one true friend. He never asked me to lend him a cent, though I knew that he was practically starving to death.”
It was during the nerve-racking period of waiting for the signal to go over the top that a seasoned old sergeant noticed a young soldier fresh from home visibly affected by the nearness of the coming fight. His face was pale, his teeth chattering, and his knees tried to touch each other. It was sheer nervousness, but the sergeant thought it was sheer funk.
“Tompkins,” he whispered, “is it trembling you are for your dirty skin?”
“No, no, sergeant,” said he, making a brave attempt to still his limbs. “I’m trembling for the Germans; they don’t know I’m here.”
A Chinaman was asked if there were good doctors in China.
“Good doctors!” he exclaimed. “China have best doctors in world. Hang Chang one good doctor; he great; save life, to me.”
“You don’t say so! How was that?”
“Me velly bad,” he said. “Me callee Doctor Han Kon. Give some medicine. Get velly, velly ill. Me callee Doctor San Sing. Give more medicine. Me glow worse—go die. Blimebly callee Doctor Hang Chang. He got no time; no come. Save life.”
Dinah had been troubled with a toothache for some time before she got up enough courage to go to a dentist. The moment he touched her tooth she screamed.
“What are you making such a noise for?” he demanded. “Don’t you know I’m a ’painless dentist’?”
“Well, sah,” retorted Dinah, “mebbe yo’ is painless, but Ah isn’t.”
An Arkansas man who intended to take up a homestead claim in a neighboring state sought information in the matter from a friend.
“I don’t remember the exact wording of the law,” said the latter, “but I can give ye the meanin’ of it all right. It’s like this: The government of the United States is willin’ to bet one hundred and sixty acres of land against fourteen dollars that ye can’t live on it five years without starvin’ to death.”
He was a morbid youth and a nervous lover. Often had he wished to tell the maiden how he longed to make her all his own. Again and again had his nerve failed him. But to-night there was a “do-or-die” look in his eye.
They started for their usual walk, and rested awhile upon his favorite seat—a gravestone in the village churchyard. A happy inspiration seized him. “Maria,” he said in trembling accents—“Maria! When you die—how should you like to be buried here with my name on the stone over you?”