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Title: Funny Stories Told by the Soldiers

Author: Carleton B. Case

Release date: February 5, 2015 [eBook #48168]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brian Coe, Emmy and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by the
Library of Congress)







The Victors in Their Cheerful Moments






Now that the dread of awful war has passed with the coming of welcome peace, we can turn our minds with renewed cheerfulness to the merry side of the great world’s conflict and enjoy with our boys the funny things they saw and did and said while “over there.”

The comedy side of the war has been quickly seen and readily interpreted by the world’s great writers, as well as by the very officers and men, in all departments of the service, who themselves participated in both the serious and the frivolous affairs of warfare as developed day by day.

It is the humorous experiences of which these warriors and writers have told us in speech and print that we have sought to gather into one volume for the edification and delectation of a humor-loving public. Enough and too much has been told of the horrors of war. To hear the pleasanter side, the merry doings of our soldiers and their allies, the victorious hosts of freedom, is a welcome relief to war-weary hearts, freed now, and forever, from the dire dread of the awfulness of modern slaughter.

So this collection of funny stories has come into being; its mission to cheer us all with the merry tales told by and about our conquering soldiers.




“The neat and even elegant appearance of the American soldier isn’t maintained,” said War Secretary Baker in an address, “without hard work. Yes, the work is hard, but doesn’t the result more than justify it?

“On the train the other day a private sat with his tunic unbuttoned, for the temperature was high. A sergeant strode up to him and said:

“‘Button up that tunic! Did you never hear of by-law 217, subsection D? I’m Sergeant Jabez Winterbottom!’

“A gentleman in the seat behind tapped the sergeant sternly on the shoulder.

“‘How dare you issue orders with a pipe in your mouth?’ he asked. ‘Go home and read paragraph 174, section M, part IX. I am Major Eustace Carroll.’

“Here a gentleman with a drooping white mustache interposed from the other side of the aisle:

“‘If Major Carroll,’ he said coldly, ‘will consult by-law 31 of section K, he will learn that to reprimand[6] a sergeant in the presence of a private is an offense not lightly to be overlooked.’”


A woman, one of the 30,000 British working for the Y. M. C. A., was assigned to scrub the Eagle hut floor in London. She had done little manual labor in her life, but accepted the job without protest and went down on her knees with a pail of hot water, a cloth, and a cake of soap. Soon the water in the pail was black. A man in uniform passed. The woman looked up and asked if he would mind emptying the pail and refilling it with clean water.

There was a pause, then his reply:

“Dammit, madam, I’m an officer!”

This time there was no pause, but like a flash the scrubwoman retorted:

“Dammit, officer, I’m a duchess!”


When General O’Neill, of Allentown, first went to Spartanburg, S. C., his train was three hours late. The negro escort appointed to receive him at the station had been dismissed. The general walked. Presently he was accosted by a sentry.

“Who is you?”

“General O’Neill.”

“Well, you cut the buck and go up there to headquarters[7] to beat de debbil and see my captain and explain yosself. We’s been waitin’ three hours fer you.”


In the field hospital:

Doctor—Save me a sample of everything your patient takes.

Nurse—He took a kiss this morning.


A young Canadian officer, who had lived for years in China, was deputed to take to France for service behind the lines a company of Chinese coolies. On the ocean voyage over, which was a turbulent one, a row developed between the coolies and the Cantonese cooks, and the coolies decided to kill the cooks. Hearing of it the Canadian called in several of the coolies and told them if they killed the cooks they would have nothing to eat until they reached France.

“What’s the matter?” asked the Canadian of the coolie ringleader. “Isn’t the food good?” Yes, the food was good.

“Isn’t there enough food?”

Yes, there was plenty of food.

“Isn’t it well cooked?”

Yes, it was well cooked.

“Well, then, what the devil is the matter? Why do you want to kill the cooks?”


“Well,” replied the coolie, “we don’t know exactly why, but somehow or other the food won’t stay down.”


An elderly Colonel, about to retire, was holding “officer hours” for the last time and four old offenders were brought in for punishment.

The Colonel looked them over wearily, and then said:

“I’ve been listening to the yarns and excuses you men have concocted for the past three years and I’m tired of them all. If any of you can think of something new, I’ll let you off without punishment. If you can’t, I’ll give you the limit.”

“I took just one drink, and it made me ill, Colonel,” began the first.

“Old stuff,” said the Colonel.

The second offenders alarm-clock had failed to work, and the third offender had bad news from home. There was nothing new in this, and each was given the limit.

However, the Colonel’s eyes brightened at the approach of the fourth culprit, an Irishman.

“Be original, Duffy. Tell me something new,” urged the Colonel.

“Well, Colonel,” Duffy began, with his eyes a-twinkle, “when Oi heard the sad news that you was goin’ to l’ave us, it made me so down-hearted that Oi[9] wint to the nearest public house and drowned me sorrows.”

“You win!” exploded the Colonel. “Now get out!”


A long and patient but vain effort on the part of a khaki-clad driver to induce a mule, drawing what appeared to be a load of laundry, through the gateway of a local hospital, afforded considerable amusement to the doughboys who were watching the proceedings. The mule would do anything but pass through the gateway.

“Want any ’elp, chum?” shouted one of the boys to the driver, as he rested a moment.

“No,” replied the driver, “but I’d like to know how the devil Noah got two of these blighters into the Ark!”


American tourists who are shaky as to their French have often been embarrassed by the voluble replies which their carefully studied phrases bring forth from French lips. Just now the tables are frequently turned, and the Frenchman or woman is puzzled by the fluent American vernacular. An example:

Yankee Trooper—“Parly-voo English, mademoiselle?”

French Maid—“Yes, a vairl leetle.”


Yankee Trooper—“Good work! Say, could you put me wise where I could line up against some good eats in this burg?”


Captain (sharply)—“Button up that coat.”

Married Recruit (absently)—“Yes, my dear.”


The Crown Prince mourns the passing of “The Day,”
“The low-down herd winds back to Germany.
“The loot-squad homeward plods its swagless way,
“And leaves the world to Peace and Victory.
“Now fades the glimmering Weltmacht on the sight,
“And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
“Save where the Kaiser wheels his bonehead flight,
“And frowsy princelings streak for distant folds.
“Save that from Nauen’s undismantled tower
“The moping Hun does to the Yanks complain
“Of such as, having tasted of his power,
“Decline to load him up with grub again.
“Beneath those powdered walls, that abri’s shade,
“Where blasted dug-outs hide a mouldering heap,
“Each in his nameless hole forever laid,
[11]The Kultur-spreaders of the Rhineland sleep.
“For them no more the Louvain fires shall burn,
“Or strafing Zepp’lins ply their evening care;
“No Yank machine-guns shall their fire return,
“Or Anzac bayonets drive them from their lair.
“Oft did the poilu sweep them from the field,
“Their line full oft the stubborn English broke:
“How frantic did they to the doughboys yield!
“How bowed their ranks to Foch’s giant stroke!
“Now let Derision mock their fiendish toil,
“Their swinish joys, and destiny obscure;
“Let ransomed Europe, with a peaceful smile,
“Collect her war-debts from the vanquished boor.
James Pontifex, in The Chicago Tribune.


No doughboy in the charming Champs Elysees theater, Paris, laughed harder than President Wilson when the “Argonne players” put all officers on the gridiron. It was Broadway’s own 77th division that presented a snappy bill before the dignified peace commissioners with the exception of Col. House, who was ill. The play was entitled “Annex Revue, 1918.”

Here are some of the sallies at which Mr. Wilson laughed:

“If they don’t send me home soon I’ll be so full of service stripes that I’ll look like a zebra.”

“I don’t mind if they miss me over there, just so the Germans miss me over here.”


“Paris girls—take it from me—they take it from you. One girl took my identification tag. She thought it was a franc.”

“By the time you pay your insurance and allotment you owe yourself money.”

The division’s song, “They Didn’t Think We’d Do It, but We Did,” will soon be heard on Broadway.


A cow strayed one day between the German and the English trenches. Both sides coveted the cow for its milk and meat, but it was sure death to go out and get the cow. So the English threw a note wrapped around a stone into the German trenches: “You throw a mark in the air, we will shoot at it. If we hit it, it is our cow. If we miss, we will throw a shilling in the air. If you hit it, the cow is yours.” In a few moments a sign was lifted over the German trenches reading “O. K.,” and a mark shone in the air. But Tommy missed. Then a shilling flashed and Fritz missed. Five marks and five shillings flashed in the air and all were missed. Finally the sixth mark flashed and Tommy “scored.” Up came a sign from the German trenches: “Cow is yours, but we want our marks.” So Tommy went out, picked up the shillings and marks and carried the marks over to the German trenches. “Good shot,” came from a Teuton. “Here is some beer for you,” and out came six bottles of beer, which Tommy took over to the English lines—with the cow!



Two men riding in a street car were talking about the war. “Well, how much longer do you think this thing will last?” asked one of the men of his friend. “Pretty hard to tell,” was the answer. “But as for me it can go right on for years. I’m making big money out of it all right.” And he looked it!

A well-dressed middle-aged woman sat next to the man who had just spoken and, as he finished his speech, she took off her gloves, stood up and hit the man a stinging blow across his face. “That is for my boy in France,” she said; and before he could recover she hit him another one, and added: “And that is for my other boy who is about to sail.”

Then she sat down, while the red-faced man looked about at a carful of people whose approving glances of the woman’s act led him to feel that he had better leave the car.—Ladies’ Home Journal.


Everything was ready for kit inspection; the recruits stood lined up ready for the officer, and the officer had his bad temper all complete. He marched up and down the line, grimly eyeing each man’s bundle of needles and soft soap, and then he singled out Private MacTootle as the man who was to receive his attentions.

“Tooth-brush?” he roared.

“Yes, sir.”



“Yes, sir.”


“Yes, sir.”

“Hm! You’re all right, apparently,” growled the officer. Then he barked:


“Oh, very well, thank you,” said the recruit amiably. “How’s yours?”


A British officer who was inspecting the line in Flanders came across a raw-looking yeoman.

“What are you here for?” asked the officer.

“To report anything unusual, sir.”

“What would you call unusual? What would you do if you saw five battle cruisers steaming across the field?”

“Take the pledge, sir.”


A negro drill sergeant was addressing a squad of colored “rookies” under him. He said: “I wants you niggers to understan’ dat you is to car’y out all o’ders giben on de risin’ reflection ob de final word ob comman’. Now when we’s passin’ dat reviewin’ stan’, at de comman’ ‘Eyes Right!’ I wants to hear ever’ nigger’s eyeballs click.”



Dear Old Lady—“I suppose you’ll follow in your father’s footsteps when you grow up?”

“I can’t; he’s an airman.”


The very prosperous-looking gentleman stopped and permitted the very pretty girl to fasten a carnation in his buttonhole. Then he handed her a quarter.

“What is this for?” he asked.

“You have fed a Belgian baby,” was the reply.

“Nonsense,” said the other, adding a $5 bill to his contribution, “you can’t do it. Here, take this, and buy a regular meal for the baby.”


Binks—“Ah, what a loss I have suffered in the death of my mother-in-law!”

Jinks—“She meant a good deal to you?”

Binks—“Yes; she was a vegetarian, and gave us her meat-card.”


This story is from London: A young woman in khaki uniform and cap met a Scotch kilty. She saluted. He curtsied.


Frank Proudfoot Jarvis has been at the Front with the First Canadian Mounted Rifles for three years,[16] and his sense of humor and the joy of life still survive. In a letter dated, “Somewhere in Mud, 17th of Ireland,” he writes to his brother, Paul Jarvis, of New York:

“Dear Old Top:

“I had expected to be in gay (?) Paree on furlough at this time, swinging down the Boys de Belogne with girls de Belogne on each arm, but this is postponed till April. The papers say that von Hindy has ordered dinner for himself and the Crown Prince on April Fools’ day, and, if we meet, there will be a sound of deviltry by night and a Waterloo that will cause the princelet to wireless his dad:

“‘Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these, we’re ”soaked“ again.’

“However that may be, here I am sitting in a shed, with a sheepskin over my shoulders, looking like a lady—but not smelling like one. Fritz is acting rather nasty, sending us his R. S. V. P.’s by the air-line, and we reply P. D. Q., and the ‘wake’ is a howling success as the big bulls and the little terriers ‘barcarole.’ And speaking of wakes, I was awake myself the other night in my hut and the Gothas were whirring overhead and Fritz pulling the string every now and then. It was pitch-dark and a big Bertha had just shaken all creation, when I overheard two ‘blimeys’ fanning buckwheat while they hunted a shell-hole.

“‘Where are yer, Bill?’ asked one.


“I’m ’ere,’ says Bill.

“‘Where’s ’ere?’ says his pal.

“‘Ow the blinkin’ ’ell do I know where ’ere is?’ says Bill.

“Just then Fritz put one alongside of my hut and snuffed out all the candles, but thanks to the good old soft mud—and how we have cussed that mud!—I am writing to you, Old Top, tonight. I expect to be on the hike again in a day or so, I know not where and I do not care. All places look alike to this old kid. They can set me down in a field of mud and inside of forty-eight hours I have got a home fit for a prince, or a ground-hog—sometimes I am living several feet under ground and other times I am living in a tent, a hut, a stable, barn, shed, and, when in luck, in some deserted chateau.”

Jarvis, lying on his back looking up at a twinkling star through a hole in the roof seems to have started a train of verse in his brain, for he writes:

“I got to cogitating about a lot of things, and for the first time in my life I found rimes running through what I am pleased to call my mind. So, I lighted my dip and jotted down the enclosed doggerel. They say it is a bad sign when a man starts to write poetry, but I don’t for a moment think anyone would call this by that name or that I shall even be acclaimed a Backyard Kipling. Besides, as I flourish under the sobriquet ‘Bully Beef,’ owing to my major-general proportions, I am certainly no Longfellow. But here it is, such as it is:



I’ve slept in cradles,
I’ve slept in arms,
I was a baby then—
Unconscious of war’s alarms.
I’ve slept on the prairie
Shooting the duck and the goose,
I’ve slept in the bush
Hunting the elk and the moose.
I’ve slept on steamboats
With my bed on the deck,
And I’ve slept in church
With a kink in my neck.
I’ve slept in fields,
Under the stars,
And I’ve slept on trains
In old box cars.
I’ve slept in beds
Of purple and gold,
I’ve slept out in Flanders
In the mud and the cold.
I’ve slept in dugouts
With the rat and the louse,
And I’ve slept in France
[19]In a fairly good house.
I’ve slept in barns
On beds of straw,
I’ve slept in sheds
Wi nae bed at a’.
I’m sleeping now
On a stretcher of wire,
And I pray my last sleep
Will be near a fire.
I’m tired of the wet,
The mud, and the cold,
And I won’t be sorry
When I sleep in the Fold.
“‘Taps,’ Bon swear,
”As usual,


The sergeant halted the new sentry opposite the man he was to relieve.

“Give over your orders,” he said.

The old sentry reeled off the routine instructions with confidence, but one of the special orders baffled him.

“Come on, man!” said the sergeant impatiently.

“On no account,” stammered the sentry, “are you to let any questionable character pass the lines, except the colonel’s wife.”



Recently, during the operations of the British Egyptian expeditionary force in Palestine, a town to the south of Beersheba was captured, and in it was discovered a splendid example of mosaic pavement.

The excavation of it was placed in charge of a chaplain, and while the work was proceeding some human bones were discovered.

Elated at the find, the padre immediately wired to great headquarters, saying:

“Have found the bones of saint.”

Shortly after the reply came back:

“Unable to trace Saint in casualty list. Obtain particulars of regimental number and regiment from his identity disk.”


Before introducing Lieutenant de Tassan, aid to General Joffre, and Colonel Fabry, the “Blue Devil of France,” Chairman Spencer, of the St. Louis entertainment committee, at the M. A. A. breakfast told this anecdote:

“In Washington Lieutenant de Tassan was approached by a pretty American girl, who said:

“‘And did you kill a German soldier?’

“‘Yes,’ he replied.

“‘With what hand did you do it?’ she inquired.

“‘With this right hand,’ he said.

“And then the pretty American girl seized his right[21] hand and kissed it. Colonel Fabry stood near by. He strode over and said to Lieutenant de Tassan:

“‘Heavens, man, why didn’t you tell the young lady you bit him to death?’”


The commandant of one of the great French army supply depots was busy one morning. He was a man of forty; a colonel in the regular French army. He was talking to an American colonel when an erect, sturdy-looking man with white hair and mustache and who wore the single star of a subaltern on his sleeve came up, saluted, delivered a message and then asked:

“Are there any more orders, sir?”

When he was told that there were none he brought his heels together with a click, saluted again and went away.

The commandant turned to the American with a peculiar smile on his face and asked:

“Do you know who that man is?”

“No,” was the reply.

“That is my father,” was the answer.

The father was then exactly seventy-two years old. He was a retired business man when the war broke out. After two years of the heroic struggle he decided that he couldn’t keep out of it. He was too old to fight, but after long insistence he secured a commission. By one of the many curious coincidences[22] of war he was assigned to serve under his son.


The following is posted on the door of a deserted cabin in Coos County, Oregon:

“To whom it may concern:

“There’s potatoes in the wood-shed,
There’s flour in the bin,
There’s beans a-plenty in the cupboard,
To waste them is a sin.
Go to it neighbor if you’re hungry!
Fill up while you’ve a chance,
For I’m going after the Kaiser,
Somewhere over in France.
L. A. Johnson,
”Alias, Charley the Trapper.“


We should like to print this story in letters of gold, says the London Tit-Bits. It is of a colonel on the British front who wanted twenty men to face almost certain death.

He called the whole company together and made the situation clear to them. Then he asked for twenty volunteers to advance one pace. He loved his men, and it was almost more than he could bear. He closed his eyes to keep back his tears, and when he opened them the men stood in exactly the same formation. He was pained.


“Is there not one volunteer?” he asked.

A sergeant stepped forward at salute. “Every one has advanced one pace, sir,” he said.


The young subaltern, who was a son of a general and never omitted to rub in that fact, was taking a message from the general to the gunners.

“If you please,” he said to the major, “father says will you move your guns.” The major was in an irate mood. “Oh!” he rejoined, “and what the blazes does your mother say?”


Kerensky kissed Arthur Henderson, the British labor politician, as the American Labor Mission calls him, and all England gasped. Kerensky is coming to this country. He may want to kiss Secretary Wilson or even President Wilson. This has led an anonymous poet to suggest that the President put his greetings into a song, and to furnish him with the song, as follows:

“Salute me only with thy fist,
And don’t attempt to buss me;
The very thought of being kissed
Is quite enough to fuss me.
If you must kiss, try it on Gompers—
He hasn’t been kissed since he wore rompers.”



The more things the draft officials do to baseball here the better it flourishes in London, according to Richard Hatteras, of that thriving community, who was recently in New York. Mr. Hatteras says the game is getting a firm hold on every nationality in the British capital.

“Why, recently,” quoth he, “I saw a game in which East Indians were playing. One of these approached the plate at a crucial moment and cried aloud:

“‘Allah, give thou me strength to make a hit.’

“He struck out.

“The next man up was an Irishman. He spat on the plate, made faces at the pitcher, and yelled:

“‘You know me, Al!’ He made a home-run.”


An American boy had his first experience in the first line of trenches under fire, and an American woman met him.

“Well, boy,” asked the woman, “what was it like? Pretty awful experience, wasn’t it?”

“Awful?” grinned the Sammee. “Funniest thing you ever saw.”

“Funny?” echoed the woman, amazed. “Why, what in the world do you mean?”

“Those beans! Why——” and he went off into a gale of laughter. “Of course you don’t know. But[25] cook had made an enormous pot of beans for the boys and, say, they did smell some good. But they were too hot and so cook put them on the edge of the trench to cool off. Just then the Germans let go some shells and one hit that pot square. And it didn’t do anything to those beans. Honestly, ma’am, it simply rained beans for an hour!”


General Sir Henry Rawlinson, Sir Douglas Haig’s “right-hand man,” is rather fond of relating a story concerning a major who, sent to inspect an outlying fort, found the commander intoxicated. He immediately locked him up; but the bibulous one managed to escape, and, making his way to the nearest telegraph office, dispatched the following message to no less a personage than the colonial secretary: “Man here, named ——, questions my sobriety. Wire to avert bloodshed.”


They had brought him in very carefully, the husky but femininely gentle stretcher bearers, for he was nothing but a kid after all, with a complexion like a girl’s and with pathetically pleading eyes. He was crying in his hospital bed when the correspondent came across him and stopped to investigate.

“Are you in great pain?” the newspaper man sympathetically asked.


The lad looked into the other’s eyes and nodded with a choking sob.

“Where does it hurt?” the correspondent pursued.

“It ain’t that,” was the reply; “it’s because they yanked me out of the scrap when I still had ten rounds left.”


Negro Sergeant—“When I say ‘’Bout face!’ you place de toe of yo’ right foot six inches to de reah of de heel of yo’ left foot and jus’ ooze aroun’.”


First Officer (in spasm of jealousy)—“Who’s the knock-kneed chap with your sister, old man?”

Second Officer—“My other sister.”


Sergeant (surprising sentry)—“Why didn’t you challenge that man who just passed?”

Newest Recruit—“Why, that’s Kayo Hogan, sergeant, and he’s got all o’ ten pounds on me!”


The Fag—“Oh, I’d go to the war quick enough, but mother wouldn’t like me to; and I’ve never disappointed her since the day I was born.”

The Snag—“Well, if she was hoping for a daughter, I’m sure you’ve done your best to console her.”



Scotch Warrior from Palestine (whose baby is about to be christened, and who has a bottle of Jordan water for the purpose)—“Eh, by the way, meenister, I ha’e brocht this bottle——”

Minister—“No’ the noo, laddie! After the ceremony I’ll be verra pleased!”


The sense of humor of the American is a joy to the French, who miss this quality sadly in the English. A young French woman was conducting two young American officers around Versailles. When they got in the park the French girl said: “Do you know that the French have a pretty saying, ‘The smaller the ivy leaf, the dearer the love?’ So I want each one of you to find the tiniest leaf possible and send it to the one that’s waiting at home.” The men set out, and the first man came back with a perfectly enormous leaf, which he told the girl he had plucked for his mother-in-law! The second officer came back with a leaf even larger and, when asked what loved one was to have that tiny leaf, he said: “Why, this is for the Kaiser!”


On seeing the haughty aristocrat about to disturb a seriously wounded soldier, the Red Cross nurse in charge interposed.


“Excuse me, madam,” she said, “but——”

She was rudely interrupted by Lady Snobleigh, who cried:

“Woman, you forget yourself. I’m very particular to whom I speak.”

“Oh,” quietly answered the nurse, “that is where we differ. I’m not!”


“Where is the new recruit?”

“Well, sir, since he went, an hour or two ago, to sew on a button with guncotton, no one seems to have seen anything of him.”


The Girl—“And can you manage on your army pay, Phil?”

The “Sub”—“Hardly; but I do a bit of writing besides.”

The Girl—“What kind of writing?”

The “Sub”—“Oh, letters to the guv’nor!”


Paris, Nov., 1918.—In the logging camps and sawmills, in barracks and on the drill grounds, in camps and on the march, in “Y” and Red Cross huts, at all hours of the day and night, wherever in France the Yank crusaders were at work, I have heard these lines sung, hummed, and whistled:


“There’s a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams.
There’s a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true,
Till the day when I’ll be going down
That long, long trail with you.”

Wherever a piano found its way into the American lines someone was sure to be playing this chorus; and, dodging in and out of a convoy along the rutted and winding hillside roads in the zone of operations, in drizzle and mud and low flung clouds, one was certain to hear some camion load of lusty doughboys going to the “Long Trail.”

But it remained for H. A. Rodeheaver, Billy Sunday’s trombone expert, to put a new touch to it. He put the “longing” into the long trail with a dash of Sundayesqueness that smeared sawdust all over the long trail.

“Rodey,” as the soldiers call him, has been singing his way through the American camps in France and emulating his picturesque master, when opportunity afforded, by laying down a metaphorical “sawdust trail” and inviting the boys to hit it again in their hearts.

It was quite remarkable how many hands went up in every camp and barracks and hut when he asked them how many had attended a Sunday revival back[30] home. Then he started singing the songs they heard at these meetings, usually beginning with “Brighten the Corner Where You Are.”

He has just the quality of voice that got down deep over here, when the night was dark and damp and the dim light but half illuminated the place, and the boys naturally were letting their thoughts fly back home. They warmed up to him, for he’s a good scout, according to their way of thinking, and the first thing they knew he was asking them to call for any song they would like to hear. About the first voice that responded called for the “Long, Long Trail.”

“All right, men,” he said, with a sincere smile, and his magnetic face, beneath the wavy black hair, seemed to exude a hypnotic fascination. He nodded to his pianist and they started. The barracks, or hut, or camp resounded with the “Long Trail.”

“Fine, fine,” beamed Rodey from the rough board platform. “You know, men, that’s a mighty fine piece of music. Let’s sing it again; now, all together,” and the sound swells a little higher this time.

“Once more,” and Rodey waved his arm in lieu of a baton.

The sea of faces brightened perceptibly, even under the dim lights.

“Now, men,” said Rodey, “just sing that chorus over again and I’ll try the trombone.”

That trombone did the business. Rodey gets a[31] sort of combination alto and tenor harmony out of that old trombone that brings the home folks right into the meeting.

“Now, men, once more, very softly,” and he played the harmony plaintively and fetchingly.

He’s got ’em, and the moment has arrived for sprinkling the sawdust.

“Before we go on with our little program, men,” he said, “let us just bow our heads for a minute in prayer and ask God to help us make the good fight, help us to do the work we came over here to do like men.” The men bowed their heads and he added:

“Just before we ask God’s blessing on these brave men, if there is a boy out there who feels that he has not been living quite as he knows his mother would like to have him live, if there is a boy out there who feels in an especial way the need of God’s help at this hour, will he please raise his hand.”

The place was very still. A hand went up way in the back.

“Yes,” Rodey said. “God bless you, boy.”

Then another and another, and soon scores of hands were held up, while they had their heads bowed.

Then Rodey prayed one of those conversational prayers, and he made it a personal appeal for each one of the boys whose hands had gone up.

It was not Rodey’s plan to send the boys back to their barracks with only seriousness and longing in their heads. He’s one of the most adroit handlers of an audience in Europe. He’d got the main idea[32] planted and now he broke into smiles and there was an infectious laugh in his voice.

He was again talking to red-blooded men who were going out to fight. So he told a few corking stories, humorous but clean, and got down to them instead of talking over them. He was one of ’em. He wanted to send them away with a good taste in their mouths.

Dunbar’s “When Melinda Sings” he does to perfection. Once in awhile he pulls the “Hunk o’ Tin” parody on the Kipling poem.

Then they sing some more, both democratic music and old hymns, and finally they all stand up, after he has launched a two-minute patriotic talk that thrills, and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Rodey never has a set program. He sizes up each new audience with a glance and in two minutes knows about what line of entertainment he ought to give them. If it’s a crowd that likes good stories, they get it. If it is a meeting that likes a Bible talk, they get that, and the great Sunday himself hasn’t much on his pupil in that line. But he never lets a crowd get away with a solemn face. He leads them up the hill and down the hill, and finally sends them back to the blankets feeling refreshed, inspirited, and cheerful.

And when Rodey hit a camp of Negro troops—man, O man! what he did to them!

He thinks the war has been a holy war, a war of crusaders against the terrible Huns, and wants them[33] beaten to a standstill. He insists on the knockout punch, and believes the world will be a better world for everybody after Fritz and his gang have been completely chastized.—Charles N. Wheeler, in The Chicago Tribune.


General Leonard Wood tells the story of a captain to whom was assigned a new orderly, a fresh recruit. “Your work will be to clean my boots, buttons, belt, and so forth, shave me, see to my horse, which you must groom thoroughly, and clean the equipment. After that you go to your hut, help to serve the breakfast, and after breakfast lend a hand washing up. At eight o’clock you go on parade and drill till twelve o’clock——”

“Excuse me, sir,” broke in the recruit, “is there anyone else in the army besides me?”


There are many bright lines in the soldiers’ letters home, as Punch and other papers note.

“A clergyman recently gave a lecture on ‘Fools’ at the ‘hut’ back of our station,” writes a boy from the Somme. “The tickets of admission were inscribed, ‘Lecture on Fools. Admit one.’ There was a large audience.”

And from Calais comes this:

“You will note with interest and tell the shirkers[34] they’re missing something here. The ‘G’ came off the big sign east of the station here and we now read: ‘The only English love makers in the city.’”


The recruit from Ireland spent his leave in England. Asked on his return to the front what he thought of the place, he said:

“Faith, London is a great city; but it’s no place for a poor man unless he has plenty of money.”


A Belgian farmer saved his bacon in an unusual way. He heard that the Germans were coming, so he killed and dressed his one pig, cleaned it, put it into his bed with only a part of the underface exposed, and put a lighted candle at each side of the bed. When the Germans arrived an officer entered the house, went into the room, saw what he believed to be a member of the family laid out for burial, saluted and went out!


Arthur Train, the novelist, put down a German newspaper at the Century Club, in New York, with an impatient grunt.

“It says here,” he explained, “that it is Germany who will speak the last word in this war.”

Then the novelist laughed angrily and added:


“Yes, Germany will speak the last word in the war, and that last word will be ‘Kamerad!’”


They have some exceptional letters in the London “Family Separation” office, which looks after the families of soldiers at the front. These are all actual letters received:

“Dear Sir—You have changed my little boy into a little girl. Will it make any difference?

“Respectfully yours,
”—— ——.“

“My Bill has been put in charge of a spittoon. Will I get more pay?” [“Platoon” was meant.]

“I am glad to tell you that my husband has been reported dead.”

“If I don’t get my husband’s money soon I shall be compelled to go on the streets and lead an Imortal life.”

“Dear Sir—In accordance with instructions on paper, I have given birth to a daughter last week.

“Truly yours,
”—— ——.“


“Yes, sah,” said one negro, “a friend of mine who knows all about it says dis heah man Edison has done gone and invented a magnetized bullet dat can’t miss a German, kase ef dere’s one in a hundred yards de[36] bullet is drawn right smack against his steel helmet. Yes, sah, an’ he’s done invented another one with a return attachment. Whenever dat bullet don’t hit nothin’ it comes right straight back to de American lines.”

“Dat’s what I call inventin’,” exclaimed his colored listener. “But how about dem comin’-back bullets? What do dey do to keep ’em from hittin’ ouah men when dey come back?”

“Well, Mr. Edison made ’em so he’s got ’em trained. You don’t s’pose he’d let ’em kill any Americans, do you? No, sah. He’s got ’em fixet so’s dey jes’ ease back down aroun’ de gunner’s feet an’ sort o’ say: ‘Dey’s all dead in dat trench, boss. Send me to a live place where I’se got a chancet to do somethin’.’”


A soldier was brought up for stealing his trench bunkie’s liquor.

“I’m sorry, sor,” he said. “But I put the liquor for the two of us in the same bottle. Mine was at the bottom, an’ I was obliged to drink his to get mine.”


At a church adjacent to a big military camp a service was recently held for soldiers only.

“Let all you brave fellows who have troubles stand up,” shouted the preacher.


Instantly every man rose except one.

“Ah!” exclaimed the preacher, peering at this lone individual. “You are one in a thousand.”

“It ain’t that,” piped back the only man who had remained seated, as the rest of his comrades gazed suspiciously at him. “Somebody’s put some cobbler’s wax on the seat, and I’m stuck.”


An army chaplain was trudging along a hot, dusty road with a company of soldiers. As they stopped to rest and to get a drink of water at a farm house the farmer’s wife said to the chaplain:

“You go everywhere the soldiers go, I suppose?”

“No, ma’am,” answered the preacher, “not everywhere; only in this world.”


The subject of rifle shooting often crops up at one of the training camps.

“I’ll bet anyone here a box of cigars,” said Lieut. A., “that I can fire twenty-one shots at 200 yards and tell without waiting for the marker the result of each one correctly.”

“Done!” cried Maj. B. And the whole mess turned out early the next morning to witness the experiment.

The lieutenant fired.

“Miss!” he announced calmly.


Another shot.

“Miss!” he repeated.

A third shot.


“Here, hold on!” put in Maj. B. “What are you trying to do? You’re not firing for the target!”

“Of course not!” was the cool response. “I’m firing for those cigars!”


Two “kilties” from the same town met in a rest camp “somewhere in France” and started exchanging confidences.

“Whit like a sendoff did yer wuman gie ye, Sandy, when ye left for France?” asked Jock presently.

Sandy lit a fresh cigaret before he replied frankly:

“Says she, ‘Noo, there’s yer train, Sandy; in ye get, an’ see an’ do yer duty. By jingo, ma mannie, if I thocht ye wed shirk it oot yonder I wud see ye was wounded afore ye gang off.’ That’s the sendoff she gaed me, Jock.”


United States Senator Howard Sutherland, of West Virginia, tells a story about a mountain youth who visited a recruiting office in the Senator’s State for the purpose of enlisting in the regular army. The examining physician found the young man as sound as a dollar, but that he had flat feet.


“I’m sorry,” said the physician, “but I’ll have to turn you down. You’ve got flat feet.”

The mountaineer looked sorrowful. “No way for me to git in it, then?” he inquired.

“I guess not. With those flat feet of yours you wouldn’t be able to march even five miles.”

The youth from the mountains studied a moment. Finally he said: “I’ll tell you why I hate this so darned bad. You see, I walked nigh on to one hundred and fifty miles over the mountains to git here, and gosh, how I hate to walk back!”


Two men went to the Y. M. C. A. director in one of the camps and said that they were in the habit of kneeling down and saying their prayers at home. What ought they to do here?

“Try it out,” was the advice.

They did; the second night two others in the barracks joined them; the third night a few more; gradually the number increased until considerably more than half the men resumed the habit of childhood and knelt by their cots in prayer before turning in.

A company captain in one of the cantonments the first evening his men stood at attention for retreat said: “Men, this is a serious business we are engaged in; it is fitting that we should pray about it.” There and then this Plattsburg Reserve officer made a simple and earnest prayer for the divine blessing upon their lives and their work. The impression upon the[40] men was described as tremendous. Such incidents indicate the general spirit of the new armies.


They are telling the story in London taprooms of a German soldier who laughed uproariously all the time he was being flogged. When the officer, at the end, inquired the cause of the private’s mirth, the latter broke into a fresh fit of laughter and cried:

“Why, I’m the wrong man!”


A French soldier who came proudly up to an American in a certain headquarters town the other day asked:

“You spik French?”

“Nope,” answered the American, “not yet.”

The Frenchman smiled complacently.

“Aye spik Eengleesh,” he said. The American grinned and the Frenchman looked about for some means to show his prowess in the foreign tongue. At that moment a French girl, very neat and trim in her peaked hat, long coat, and high laced boots, came along. The Frenchman jerked his head toward her, looked knowingly at the American, and said triumphantly: “Chicken.”

The American roared.

“Shake,” he said, extending his hand. “You don’t speak English; you speak American.”



The grit of the British Tommy is amazing, as told by a Swiss correspondent who found himself with fourteen soldiers in a barn. A huge German shell suddenly “found” the barn in the very center and wrecked it. It was pitch dark; the Swiss was seriously wounded and decided to lay still until help should come. Suddenly a voice spoke out of the dark:

“Anyone left here?”

“Right here, old chap,” came an answer.

“Ah.” Then silence, and in a few moments came: “Say, old man, think you could give me a bit of a lift. Seems both of my pins are gone.”

“Sorry, old chap,” came the answer. “Wish I could, but they found both of my hands.”

“Oh,” came the answer. Then, after a pause: “That’s a bit inconvenient, isn’t it?”

“Somewhat,” was the reply.

After a few moments:

“Hell of a rumpus, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, quite.”

“Well,” came the final word, “someone will come along and find us.”

And “someone” did.


A padre passing up and down among the wounded at a field hospital asked a wounded Jock whether he would like to dictate a letter home. The Jock assented.[42] Thereupon the minister prepared to take down the letter, but found Jock tongue-tied and unable to begin.

“Come along, now!” said the padre kindly. “We must make a start. What shall I say?”

No reply.

“Shall I begin ‘My Dear Wife?’”

“Ay,” said Jock, “pit that doon. That’ll amuse her!”


“Any restitution Germany offers to the Allies will be offered, you may be sure, in the spirit of Griggs.”

The speaker was Edward Hungerford, the advertising expert.

“Griggs and Miggs,” he went on, “were kidnapped by bandits and shut up in a cave.

“‘They’ll take every cent we’ve got on us,’ moaned Miggs. ‘Every blessed cent.’

“‘They will, eh?’ said Griggs, thoughtfully.

“‘They sure will.’

“Griggs peeled a ten-spot from his roll.

“‘Here, Miggs,’ he said, ‘here is that ten dollars I’ve been owin’ you for so long.’”


“Charley, dear,” said young Mrs. Torkins, “I have thought up a witticism for you to tell at the club.”

“Do I have to tell it?”


“Of course not. But you’ll miss a great chance if you don’t. It’s this: Baseball players ought to be put into the navy instead of the army. Go on; ask me ‘Why?’”


“So that they can steal submarine bases.”


The word came that a company of soldiers in an Eastern camp would leave the next morning on a transport for France. One soldier came from Portland, Ore. Quickly he went to the public telephone pay station and put in a call for his mother. For an hour he paced back and forth before that booth, and then came the word “Portland is on the wire.” Slowly but impressively this boy in khaki dropped one hundred 25-cent pieces in the slot, and for a precious five minutes that boy heard his mother’s voice and she heard the good-by of her boy. Then, dripping wet from the nervous strain, he ran for his barracks to get ready for France and the trenches.


He was a strikingly handsome figure in his uniform as he started out upon his round of farewell calls.

“And you’ll think of me every single minute when you’re in those stupid old trenches?” questioned the sweet young thing upon whom he first called.


He nodded emphatically. “Every minute.”

“And you’ll kiss my picture every night?”

“Twice a night,” he vowed rashly, patting the pretty head on his shoulder.

“And write me long, long letters?” she insisted.

“Every spare minute I have,” he reassured her, and hurried away to the next name on his list.

There were ten in all who received his promises.

When it was over he sighed. “I hope,” he murmured wearily, “there won’t be much fighting to do ‘over there.’ I’m going to be so tremendously busy.”


The adjutant was lecturing to the subalterns of the battalion.

“In the field,” he said, “it is now incumbent upon an officer to make himself look as much like a man as possible.”

Everybody laughed.

“That is, I mean,” he explained, “as much like a soldier as possible.”


One of the brightest young business men of Pittsburgh enrolled as a volunteer and by his quick intelligence soon won an officer’s commission. He led his troops in the attack on Bouresches, and so hot was the fight that a major was sent from headquarters to learn the worst. He met the young officer coming[45] out of the town with part of his company. The major happened to be a pompous gentleman, well known for his egotism. Having no faith in anyone to “finish a job,” he asked the young officer:

“What’s the condition of Bouresches?”

“In our hands, sir. I left a detachment to guard the town,” replied the young officer.

“Any boches left?” was the next question.

The young officer hesitated and then said:

“Yes, sir.”

A lurid interlude followed. “Did not your orders from me say that no Germans were to be left there?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the young officer.

“Then why in hell have you disobeyed my orders, hey?” asked the irate major.

The young Pittsburgher looked the major in the eye and replied: “The burying patrol has not arrived yet, sir.”


The recruiting had been good and the orator of the occasion felt well satisfied with himself. It would be graceful, he thought, to speak a few concluding words to the crowd of men who had dedicated themselves to “king and country.”

“And what will you think when you see the flag of the empire standing out from its staff above the field of battle?” the speaker demanded, his face alight with patriotic fervor.


“Standin’ straight out, guv’nor?” a stolid recruit questioned earnestly.

“Why—er—yes!” the orator responded, in some confusion.

“I should think, then,” the future Tommy announced gravely, “that the wind was blowin’ ’ard.”


We’re glad to see that General Foch is studying this column for ideas to help speed up the winning of the war. A month or so ago we quoted a paragraph of Jack Blanton’s, advising General Foch that, while defensive fighting was all right for awhile, all the great battles of the world had been won by the armies which took the offensive. Yesterday’s papers quoted General Foch to the same effect. We’ve suspected all along that the unofficial boards of strategy in Paris, Mo., and other country towns knew lots more about the war-problems than anybody in Paris, France, and this proves it.—Kansas City Times.


When the lad came to in the shell hole he thought at first somebody had emptied a bucket of warm water on his face and breast. But it happened to be blood from a nasty wound running down his cheek and along his chin. He’d not known, naturally, when it had happened. A little wabbly, he was reaching[47] for his rifle when a field surgeon slid down the bank and confronted him.

“Can you walk?” he asked.

“Sure, why not?” was the reply.

“Why, man, you’re wounded!” the surgeon exclaimed.

The kid’s eyes flashed. “No, sir,” he said with a gory grin; “I was leaning against the German barrage when the Huns lifted it and I fell and cut my chin. That’s all. Please let me stay.”


This subject is discussed by W. H. Berry, an actor whose “High Jinks” has been going strong with London theater-goers.

“It is far more necessary for a comedian to get the laughs in time of war,” says Berry, “and I know that many of our comedians have worked their hardest on the nights when there was bad news in the papers.

“There are only a few subjects taboo, but they should be shunned absolutely. I object, for example, to a joke I heard not long ago about wounded soldiers who had to wear glass eyes. I consider such jokes offensive in the highest degree. As a wag of my acquaintance remarked the other day, ‘Some of these war jokes are too warful for words.’

“There are, however, certain subjects allied to the war on which I consider it perfectly legitimate to jest. There is the censorship. There are our pitchy streets at night time.


“For instance, I myself have perpetrated wheezelets’ on these topics in ‘High Jinks,’ of which the following are fair samples:

“‘Would you believe it, it’s so dark now in London that when I dined at the Carlton the other night I had to put luminous paint on my potatoes to stop myself putting them in the mouth of the gentleman next to me.

“‘It’s so dark that when I go to the opera I take a trained glow worm with me.

“‘He’s a wealthy man, indeed—he’s got a whole box of matches in his pocket.’”


His Honor—“Rufus, didn’t you hear that you had to work or fight?”

Rufus—“Yaas, boss, I sho’ dun hyer dat. So I goes an’ gits married right away.”


During a fierce engagement on the Somme battlefield a British officer saw a German officer impaled on the barbed wire between the lines, writhing in anguish. The fire was heavy, but still the wounded man hung there. At last the Englishman could stand it no longer. He said quietly: “I can’t bear to look at that poor chap.” He went out under the storm of shell fire, released the sufferer, took him on his shoulders and carried him to the German trench. The[49] firing ceased. Both sides watched the act with wonder. Then the commander in the German trench came forward, took from his own bosom the Iron Cross, and pinned it on the breast of the British officer.


“Yes,” said Simpkins, “I want to do my bit, of course, so I thought I’d raise some potatoes.”

“Well, I thought I would do that,” said Smith, “but when I looked up the way to do it I found that potatoes have to be planted in hills, and our yard is perfectly flat.”


Jean is a typical French soldier: alert, daring; a keen, educated youth. He is equally at home with the German and the French languages, which accounts for what follows:

One dark night, shortly after midnight, Jean—on a solitary patrol—was lying just outside the wire, about ten meters from the German trench, listening to locate the sentries. There was a faint starlight. Suddenly a whisper came from beyond the wire, a low voice speaking in broken French:

“Why do you lie so quiet, my friend? I saw you crawl up and have watched you ever since. I don’t want to shoot you. I am a Bavarian.”

“Good evening, then,” Jean whispered back in his perfect German.


“So,” said the sentry, “you speak our language. Wait a moment, till I warn the rest of my squad, and I will show you the way through the wire; there are no officers about at this hour.”

Probably not one man in a thousand would have taken such a chance, but Jean did, and ten minutes later was standing in the trench in a German cloak and fatigue cap (in case of passing officers), chatting amiably with a much interested group of Bavarian soldiers. They gave him beer, showed him their dugouts, and arranged a whistle signal for future visits, before bidding him a regretful good night. “We are Bavarians,” they said; “we like and admire the French, and fight only because we must.”


Two soldiers caused some amusement at a golf course the other way. The first man teed up and made a mighty swipe, but failed to shift the ball. The miss was repeated no fewer than three times.

His pal was unable to stand it any longer.

“For heaven’s sake, Bill,” he broke out, “hit the bloomin’ thing. You know we have only four days’ leave.”


She was a sweet young thing, and having come down to see her soldier brother, who was on duty at that time, she was being taken round by his chum. She was, of course, full of questions.


“Who is that person?” she asked, pointing to a color sergeant.

“Oh! he shook hands with the king; that is why he is wearing a crown on his arm, you see!” replied the truthful man.

“And who is that?” she asked, seeing a gymnastic instructor with a badge of crossed Indian clubs.

“That is the barber; do you not see the scissors on his arm?”

Seeing yet another man with cuffs decorated with stars, she asked, “And that one?”

“Oh, he is the battalion astronomer; he guides us on night maneuvers!”

“How interesting!” replied the maiden, when seeing her companion’s badge, that of an ancient stringed instrument, she asked, “And does that thing mean you are the regimental liar?”


“Anything I can do for you?” asked a surgeon as he passed the bed of a smiling but badly wounded soldier.

“Yes, doctor; perhaps you can tell me something I’d very much like to know,” answered “Sammie.”

“Fire ahead,” replied the doctor. “What is it?”

“Well, doctor, when one doctor doctors another doctor, does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor the other doctor like the doctor wants to be doctored, or does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor the[52] other doctor like the doctor doing the doctoring wants to doctor him?”


While some Scottish regiments were disembarking in France, several French officers were watching them. One observed: “They can’t be women, for they have mustaches; but they can’t be men, for they wear skirts.”

“I have it,” said another. “They’re that famous Middlesex regiment from London.”


Sing a song of baseball,
Good old Yankee game;
Rain or shine, war or peace,
Play it just the same.
Out behind the trenches,
Swat the little pill,
Helps to boost the spirit
For swatting Kaiser Bill.


Two colored troopers in France called upon the Chaplain.

“Look here, Mr. Chaplain, we wants you for to settle an argument,” said one of them. “Dis here man says lots of saints were colored folks. Would you please tell me how many of dem ’postles were niggers?”


“None of them was a darky,” said the Chaplain.

“Well, Sir, that settles it. Dis man wanted me to believe that St. Peter was a nigger, and I just told him: ‘No, Sah, St. Peter was no nigger, ’cause I heard you say about St. Peter and dat rooster crowin’ twice. If St. Peter was a nigger I jest know dat rooster would never have a chance to crow a second time; no, Sah.’”


A wife whose husband is on active service recently presented him with a bouncing baby boy. She wrote to ask him when he should get leave, and also when the war would be over. His reply was as follows:

“Dear Lucy:—I don’t know when I shall get leave or when the war will be over, but if the baby should be called up before I get leave, give him a parcel to bring out to me. Your loving husband, Bill.”


The Post School for Soldiers gathered for the afternoon session. The teacher was the Chaplain. The lesson, he said, was about the adverb. “What is an adverb?” There was an eloquent silence. At last a weary voice ventured: “That’s a word that ends in ly. I learned that back in Missouri.”

“Can you give me a definition?” said the Chaplain.


“No, Sir.”

“Can you give me an example of an adverb?”

“Yes, Sir,” came the response; “Kelly.”

Some months afterward, while in camp overseas, the Chaplain addressed a sentry and inquired who was Corporal of the guard. And the answer came: “Kelly, the adverb, Sir.”


Scene: A smoking compartment in a British railway carriage.

Old Gent (to Pat going home to Monaghan on furlough)—“Young man, allow me to inform you that out of every ten cases of men suffering from paralysis of the tongue, nine are due to smoking.”

Pat—“Allow me to inform you, sir, that out of every ten men suffering from broken noses, nine are due to the habit of not minding their own business.”


The Canadians are credited with the story of the stupid Yorkshire sentry:

The first night he stood guard he hailed an approaching officer in proper form:

“’Oo goes there?”

“Canadian rifles.”

There was a moment of silence. Then the Yorkshireman repeated:

“’Oo goes there?”


“The Canadian Rifles,” was the impatient answer. More silence. Then the Yorkshireman again challenged:

“’Oo goes there?”

“The Canadian rifles, you qualified blighter,” shouted the enraged officer.

There was a long period of quiet while the Canadian watched the Yorkshireman’s obviously ready rifle. Then there was a moan from the sentry:

“Blowed if I hain’t forgot what to say next!”


William Thaw, the young Pittsburgh millionaire who has done such wonderful flying in France, was being praised at a luncheon party.

“Mr. Thaw,” said a pretty girl, “is as brave as he is witty. I saw him make a splendid flight one day, and on his descent I said to him:

“‘Flying requires some special application, doesn’t it?’

“‘Oh, no,’ said he. ‘Any old kind of horse liniment will do.’”


A company of very new soldiers were out on a wide heath, practicing the art of taking cover. The officer in charge of them turned to one of the rawest of his men.

“Get down behind that hillock there,” he ordered, sternly, “and, mind, not a move or a sound!”


A few minutes later he looked around to see if they were all concealed, and, to his despair, observed something wriggling behind the small mound. Even as he watched the movements became more frantic.

“I say, you there,” he shouted, angrily, “do you know you are giving our position away to the enemy?”

“Yes, sir,” said the recruit, in a voice of cool desperation, “and do you know that this is an anthill?”


A certain drill sergeant, whose severity had made him unpopular with his troops, was putting a party of recruits through the funeral service. Opening the ranks so as to admit the passage of the supposed cortege between them, the instructor, by way of explanation, walked slowly down the lane formed by the two ranks, saying, as he did so:

“Now, I’m the corpse. Pay attention.”

Having reached the end of the path, he turned round, regarding them steadily with a scrutinizing eye for a moment or two, then exclaimed:

“Your ’ands is right, and your ’eads is right, but you haven’t got that look of regret you ought to ’ave.”


A squad of rookies, composed of various nationalities, mostly Italian, on being given the command[57] “mark time!” all executed the command with the exception of one small dark-skinned son of Naples.

The sergeant asked him why he did not execute the movement and he replied:

“Donna wan to.”

“Why not?” sharply demanded the sergeant.

“Cause-a we walk-a like deuce and don’t-a get-a no place!”


Before entering the Army this rookie was a peaceful lad, but rising at 5:15 in the morning went against his principles. On this particular morning, as he fell in line by the light of the moon, his bunkie heard him mutter:

“It’s clear to me now. Why didn’t I think of that long ago?”

Bunkie (puzzled)—“What’s clear to you now?”

Rookie—“The reason why all great battles begin at daybreak.”


Rookie—“Because, when men have to get up that time, they feel so much like fighting.”


Bess: “That’s Mrs. Grabbit—she’s a great war-worker.”

Bob: “Indeed!”

Bess: “Yes; she’s married four of her daughters to soldiers.”



Sandy M’Tavish was a highly-skilled workman in a new aeroplane factory. It happened one day that he was asked if he would care to accompany the works aviator on one of his trial flights in a machine. Sandy, after some hesitation, agreed to do so.

During the flight the aviator asked how he was enjoying the trip.

“To tell the truth,” answered the Scot, “I wad rather be on the groun’.”

“Tut, tut,” replied the flying man. “I’m just thinking of looping the loop.”

“For heaven’s sake don’t dae that!” yelled the now very serious M’Tavish. “I’ve some siller in my vest pocket, an’ I micht lose it.”


Brown was transferred to another unit his adjutant wrote to the adjutant of the new regiment saying: “We are sending you Brown. He is a nice boy, but he has a shocking bad habit of betting on every conceivable subject. Try and choke him off.”

Brown arrived. At mess on the first night he sat next the colonel and, turning the conversation on India, made the astounding assertion that every white man who went there developed a curious green patch between the shoulder-blades. This rubbish annoyed the colonel. He said that he certainly had no green[59] patch on his back. Brown, with all deference, offered to bet him ten pounds that he had! The bet was accepted by the indignant officer, and in the ante-room afterwards he pulled off his shirt. There was no patch. Brown apologized and paid up. Next day the adjutant wrote to Brown’s former regiment: “Brown turned up. * * * I think we have choked him off. Last night he bet the colonel, etc. * * * and lost.”

The reply came: “Thanks for yours. Before Brown left here he bet us ten pounds apiece all round the mess that he would make the colonel take off his shirt in the ante-room on the first night he arrived.”


A soldier was pleading with his O. C.

“You are always on leave,” exclaimed the officer. “What on earth do you want special leave for now?”

“My sister’s baby going to be vaccinated, sir.”

“And what has that got to do with you?”

“She’s my sister, sir,” explained Tommy, with a hurt look.

“What, the baby?”

“No, sir, the baby’s sister’s my brother—I mean I’m the mother’s baby—er—the father’s my sister. No, I mean—”

“You mean,” broke in the O. C., angrily. “What do they want you for? That is the point.”

“For a godmother, sir.”



Private McGuire, lying in hospital, was very fractious. He pointedly refused to take a second dose of medicine, which was inordinately nasty. Several smiling nurses bent over him and urged him to be good.

“Come,” pleaded one, “drink this and you’ll get well.”

“And rosy, too!” chimed in a second.

M’Guire visibly brightened, and actually sat up in bed.

After surveying the pretty group, he inquired, eagerly, “What wan o’ yez is Rosy?”


Mr. Meek was not very well, and the doctor had advised him to take a glass of beer occasionally “for his stomach’s sake.”

“It can’t be done, doctor; it can’t be done,” said Mr. Meek. “Although there is a barrel of beer in the cellar, my wife insists on my being teetotal for the duration of the war.”

“Tut, tut,” said the doctor, as he took his leave; “you must invent a way to overcome your wife’s scruples; an easy matter enough, surely?”

A few days later the medical man received a visit from Mrs. Meek, who was greatly concerned as to the state of her husband’s health. “I am afraid, doctor,” she said, “that the poor man has had a nervous breakdown.[61] He’s continually fancying that he can hear Zeppelins, and goes to hide in the cellar; besides which he often appears to be somewhat strange and aggressive in his manner.”


In a small village in Ireland the mother of a soldier met the village priest, who asked her if she had had bad news.

“Shure, I have,” she said. “Pat has been killed.”

“Oh, I am very sorry,” said the priest. “Did you receive word from the War Office?”

“No,” she said, “I received word from himself.”

The priest looked perplexed, and said, “But how is that?”

“Shure,” she said, “here is the letter, read it for yourself.”

The letter said: “Dear Mother—I am now in the Holy Land.”


The American Red Cross has inaugurated so many different kinds of bureaus since its arrival in France, that it is difficult to enumerate them or to know what their duties consist of, but its newest bureau, according to the last issue of the Bulletin, appears to be dabbling in matrimonial matters. The following paragraph is taken from the Red Cross Bulletin, showing that anything might be called for at the headquarters:


“Wanted—An American husband.”

“No kidding. It’s a fact. If you are an eligible young man of American nationality who wants a wife but cannot find anybody that wants to marry you, apply to the office of the Secretary General.

“The office of the Secretary General has not become a matrimonial agency, but received a letter from a French woman in which the writer extolled her excellent qualities and asked that she be found an American husband.”


A soldier in hospital, on recovering consciousness, said:

“Nurse, what is this on my head?”

“Vinegar cloths,” she replied. “You have had fever.” After a pause.

“And what is this on my chest?”

“A mustard-plaster. You have had pneumonia.”

“And what is this at my feet?”

“Salt-bags; you have had frost-bite.”

A soldier from the next bed looked up and said:

“Hang the pepper-box to his nose, nurse, then he will be a cruet.”


A certain soldier always looked on the dark side of things. One day a friend tried to cheer him.

“Why don’t you do as the song says, ‘Pack all[63] your troubles in your old kitbag, and smile, smile, smile’?”

“I tried that once,” he said, sadly, “but the Quartermaster didn’t have enough kitbags.”


A soldier was waiting for the Muddleton train, the only one of the day. After he had waited for an unreasonable time the porter hove in sight.

“How long will I have to wait,” the soldier asked, “for that bally train?”

“How long have you got?” asked the porter, with apparent irrelevance.

“Fourteen days.”

“Well,” said the porter, “you’d better walk.”


A young but distinguished major on furlough was visiting a house where the family consisted of several eligible daughters. The good lady of the house was quick to notice that one of her daughters seemed to be making a favorable impression on her visitor. So before he took his departure the artful mother whispered to him: “There’s a story going the rounds, major, that you are going to marry my daughter Hilda. What shall I say?”

“Just say, my dear madam, that your charming and beautiful daughter refused me,” was the tactful reply.



A young British private was on night guard at a lonely outpost in France, when suddenly he heard the tramp of an advancing regiment. “Halt!” he called. “Who goes there?”

“Irish Fusiliers.”

“Pass, Irish Fusiliers, all’s well.”

Silence reigned for some minutes and then he heard another regiment advancing. “Halt! Who goes there?”

“London Scottish.”

“Pass, London Scottish, all’s well.”

For some time there was silence, and then another regiment was heard. “Halt! Who goes there?”

“None of your d—— business!”

“Pass, Canadians, all’s well.”


“Don’t keep calling me ‘general.’ I’m only a colonel.”

“’Scuse me, boss. I ain’t disputin’ yo’ word, but any military gent’man dat gives dis old waiter a dollar tip is jes natcherly a ‘gen’ral.’”


The Khaki Gentleman: “Do you love me, darling?”

She: “Yes, Jack, dear.”

The Khaki Gentleman: “Jack! My name’s Harold!”


She (who has numerous admirers—one for each day of the week): “Oh, yes, of course! I keep thinking this is Saturday!”


A boy who had a habit of leaving food on his plate was told by his nurse that Mr. Hoover would get after him.

“Well, that makes five,” despondently said the boy.

“Five?” asked the nurse. “What do you mean?”

“Well,” was the answer, “I’ve always had to mind daddy and mother and Aunt Mary and God, and now here comes along Mr. Hoover.”


A young recruit, fresh from a New Hampshire farm, sat watching a group of men in camp, engaged in the usual pastime—“the great American game.” After watching the game silently for a time he inquired: “Is that poker you fellows are playing?” On being informed that it was, he volunteered:

“Well, I’ll be darned! I’ve been watching this game carefully for about fifteen minutes, and I don’t believe I thoroughly understand it yet.”


Mrs. Will Irwin, speaking of women’s wartime costumes, said at a Washington Square tea:

“The more immodest fashions would disappear if men would resolutely oppose them.


“I know a woman whose dressmaker sent home the other day a skirt that was, really, too short altogether. The woman put it on. It was becoming enough, dear knows, but it made her feel ashamed. She entered the library, and her husband looked up from his work with a dark frown.

“‘I wonder,’ she said, with an embarrassed laugh, ‘if these ultra-short skirts will ever go out?’

“‘They’ll never go out with me,’ he answered in decided tones.”


When the wealthy Mrs. Beldon came to visit her son at his post, the gallant Lieutenant was so pleased that he arranged a theater party in honor of his mother. Officers and their ladies were in all the boxes. When the Lieutenant glanced over the audience he saw that every one was looking at his box. Women held handkerchiefs to their faces and men shook with laughter. Then he noticed that his mother, who held in one gloved hand a fan, rested the other arm upon the rail of the box. Her free hand, she thought, reposed on the lower rail, but in reality it rested upon the bald pate of an old man who sat in the box below. The old gentleman apparently was in agony, but he was very patient. Suddenly the audience started to applaud and the officer’s mother, in total abstraction, affectionately patted that poor bald head, which suddenly arose in crimson rage and left the theater.



A tired column of troops clambered down a rocky ledge and went into camp beside a delightful little pool of water. The commanding officer immediately placed his sentry at the pool. Soon more soldiers scrambled down the ledge and a tired Lieutenant quickly prepared for a plunge into that pool. But he was met with a sharp command from across the pond:


“What are your orders?” said the Lieutenant.

“Sir,” came the answer, “my orders are to prevent all officers, soldiers, and natives from bathing in that pool. The water is reserved for the coffee for supper.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before I stripped?”

“Sir, I have no orders to prevent any man from stripping.”


It was bitterly cold. Captain Price was officer of the day. It was necessary for him to inspect the guard after midnight, and, fearful of the influenza, he sought prevention in hot toddy. Fate decreed that he should be reported drunk on duty. Now, the men in the troop thought much of their genial Captain. They petitioned McSweeny, orderly to the troop commander, to go to the court-martial and swear to anything, but to be sure to clear the[68] Captain. So it came to pass that McSweeny appeared as a witness. The Judge Advocate said he must swear to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then he thundered:

“Do you know the accused?”

“Yes, Sir,” came the answer, “he is my troop commander, Captain Price.”

“Did you see the accused on this date?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“What was the condition of the accused?”

“The Captain was sober, Sir.”

“The testimony reads that he was intoxicated.”

“No, Sir.”

“It is further stated that you helped the accused to his quarters.”

“No, Sir; I went over to the quarters with the Captain.”

“It is said that you helped the accused into his bunk.”

“No, Sir: I took off his boots.”

“Did the accused say anything that would lead you to suspect that he was intoxicated?”

“No, Sir; he only said one thing.”

“What was that?”

“When I was leaving, Sir, he said: ‘McSweeny, call me early. I am going to be Queen of the May.’”


Terry O’Neill was steward on an army transport. Before the mess call sounded Terry always visited[69] the different staterooms. Pushing the door ajar, he would say to the officers: “Gentlemen, do you wish me to throw your luncheon overboard, or will you do it yourselves?”


“And did you have a good crossing?” asked the friend of the adventurous lady who had just returned from France.

“Oh, a most terrible crossing, terrible. The most awful storm I’ve ever been in. Yet I wasn’t a bit afraid. The other passengers were in a panic running all over the boat, till at last the captain, who had heard that I was a singer, asked me to sing to them and quiet them, and I did. And all the time I was singing the heavy seas were running.”

“I don’t blame ’em!” growled her father. “I don’t blame those heavy seas a bit.”


A Frenchwoman was torn by a shell while rendering service to the soldiers, and General Petain, of the French Armies, accompanied by his staff and by General Pershing as a guest, went to the woman’s bedside and pinned on her breast the Croix de Guerre, the soldiers’ cross of war.

“My general,” said the woman to Petain, “I am glad to have been struck so that you may see and know that the daughters as well as the sons of France[70] are ready to suffer and, if need be, to die for France and for her liberty.”


A recruiting sergeant stationed in the south of Ireland met Pat and asked him to join the army. The latter refused, whereupon the sergeant asked his reason for refusing.

“Aren’t the King and the Kaiser cousins?” asked Pat.

“Yes,” said the recruiting sergeant.

“Well,” said Pat, “begorra, I once interfered in a family squabble, and I’m not going to do so again.”


Some time ago, when a British corps was reviewed by Sir Ian Hamilton, one officer was mounted on a horse that had previously distinguished itself in a bakery business. Somebody recognized the horse, and shouted, “Baker!” The horse promptly stopped dead, and nothing could urge it on.

The situation was getting painful when the officer was struck with a brilliant idea, and remarked, “Not today, thank you.” The procession then moved on.


“Mrs. Bing’s new baby is just in the fashion.”

“How do you mean?”

“It is such a red cross affair.”



The melancholy youth was lying in the hospital bed entertaining his visitors with tales of the battlefield.

“Yes,” he said, almost tearfully, “I have had a rough time. I was once so riddled with bullets the fellows behind me complained of the draft.”


The Presbyterians are having their day, it seems, if one looks over a list of the foremost men of today. Woodrow Wilson is a Presbyterian elder; Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, is likewise. Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States, is a Presbyterian; and so are General Pershing, in command of America’s legions abroad; General Peyton C. March, the new Chief of Staff; and General Hugh Scott. General Field Marshal Haig, of the British armies, is a member of the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian; and Field Marshal Joffre is a member of the Reformed Church, which in France is similarly nearest to the Presbyterian Church in the United States.


A Tommy on furlough entered a jeweler’s shop and, placing a much-battered gold watch on the counter, said, “I want this ’ere mended.”

After a careful survey the watchmaker said, “I’m[72] afraid, sir, the cost of repairing will be double what you gave for it.”

“I don’t mind that,” said the soldier. “Will you mend it?”

“Yes,” said the jeweler, “at the price.”

“Well,” remarked Tommy, smiling, “I gave a German a punch on the nose for it, and I’m quite ready to give you two if you’ll mend it.”


“Lady (young) will gladly MARRY and give up life to the care and happiness of WOUNDED HERO, blinded or incapacitated by the war.—Genuine, Box M 770, the London Times.


The captain of the SS. Piffle listened patiently to a passenger’s account of his shooting abilities, then he quietly remarked:

“I don’t think you could hit this bottle at twenty yards, placed on the taffrail, while the ship is heaving like this.”

“It would be only child’s play,” said the passenger.

“Well, I’ll bet you a guinea you don’t hit it three times out of six.”

“It’s a wager. Come along.”

The bottle was placed in position. Crack! The passenger hit it, and it disappeared in fragments into the sea.


“Trot out another one,” said the marksman.

“Not at all. The conditions were that you hit that one three times out of six. Five shots more.”


The called-up one volubly explained that there was no need in his case for a medical examination.

“I’m fit and I want to fight. I want to go over on the first boat. I want to go right into the front trenches, but I want to have a hospital close, so that if I get hit no time will be wasted in taking me where I can get mended right away, so that I can get back to fighting without losing a minute. Pass me in, doctor. Don’t waste any time on me. I want to fight, and keep fighting!”

The doctor, however, insisted, and, when he got through, reported a perfect physical specimen.

“You don’t find nothing wrong with me, doctor?”


“But, doctor, don’t you think I’m a bit crazy?”


She—“Yes, sir, I believe that woman’s place in this war is right beside the men on the battle line.”

He—“And suppose a commander sent a party of six men and six women out in the woods to see if the enemy were in sight, would you call that war? That would be a picnic!”



He—“And how are you getting on with your collecting for the soldiers?”

She—“Splendidly! I’ve had my name in the papers four times already.”


“I’ll put you in the commissary department if you’ll answer the following question: What would you do if you had one hundred soldiers and only ninety-nine eggs?”

“I’d shoot one of the soldiers!”


That the British “Tommy” is as ready with his tongue as with his gun was aptly shown the other day when a number of wounded soldiers were being admitted to a hospital.

One of the patients was being carried to a ward named L, but at the door the stretcher bearers were met by the Sister in charge, who said, “I’m sorry, but L’s full.”

“All right,” cheerily replied the irrepressible “Tommy,” “we’ll just go to ’eaven.”


Jem—“Why don’t you shoulder a gun?”

Ben—“Ah ain’t got nothin’ against nobody in dis here world, and if I have I forgive ’em!”


Jem—“But your country is at war and you’ve got to carry a gun.”

Ben—“Man, the only time Ah carry a gun is when I’m after one lone man and not after an army!”

Jem—“But why don’t you fight for your country?”

Ben—“Ah live in the city!”


Aunt Nancy was visiting an army camp and as she approached some rookies were sitting on their heels and then rising to a standing position in perfect unison.

“What are the boys doing now?” she asked.

“Why, those are the setting-up exercises,” explained an obliging sergeant.

“Humph,” remarked auntie. “Looks to me more like settin’ down exercises.”


There is a man in Bozeman, Mont., who will probably go through life bewailing the injustice of the draft board that certified him for service, despite the fact that he presented a letter written by his wife to prove that he had a dependent family. Here is the letter:

“Dear United States Army: My husband ast me to write a reckomend that he supports his famly. He can not read so dont tell him. Jus take him.[76] He ain’t no good to me. He aint done nothing but play a fiddle and drink lemmen essense since I married him, eight years ago, and I got to feed seven kids of his. Maybe you can get him to carry a gun. He’s good on squirrels and eatin’. Take him and welcum. I need the grub and his bed for the kids. Don’t tell him this but take him.”


“Now, Lieutenant Tompkins,” said the general, “you have the battalion in quarter column, facing south—how would you get it into line, in the quickest possible way, facing northeast?”

“Well, sir,” said the lieutenant, after a moment’s fruitless consideration, “do you know, that’s what I’ve often wondered.”


(As delivered in Chicago.)

I just asked a policeman the quickest way to the hospital. He told me to go down to Jefferson street and yell hurrah for the czar. John D. Rockefeller wants to go to the front, but I don’t think he’ll do much for the country. When the officer says advance he’ll raise the price of gasoline.

You know all that peace talk is over. The peace party crawled into a hole and pulled the hole in after them—they’re afraid of the draft.

Some men are born soldiers, others develop into fighters after they marry. I’ve been in four battles.


The very first night I was married my wife broke this news to me. “You know, dear, I can’t dress myself,” so I got her a French maid; and, “I can’t drive my own car,” so I got her a chauffeur. Then she said: “You know I walk in my sleep,” so I had to get her a night watchman.

Uncle Sam is preparing all right in a hundred different ways we know nothing about. A man who comes up to you on the street may be an officer. If you get a drink in Kansas City, well, that’s secret service.

It certainly was pretty windy around the Masonic temple today. You know two girls were passing; one had red, white and blue stockings on and the other green; they were going in the opposite direction. I didn’t know which to look at, but decided to see America first.

Sousa and I got together a couple of seasons ago. His band was going to play my songs. I met him the other day just as I was going into a saloon. He said: “Nat, my band of 300 men will accompany you.” I said: “That’s all right with me, Phil, but do you think there’ll be room?”


Captain Jones was a very round-shouldered and eccentric officer.

On a particularly dark night in Egypt, while practicing his company in outpost duty, he approached one of the sentries who failed to halt him.


In a great rage the officer demanded of the now trembling sentry the reason why he had omitted to challenge him.

“If you please, sir,” stuttered the confused soldier, “I thought you was a camel.”


Two privates met the other morning near the canteen, which, from the fact that a monkey was kept on the counter, was popularly known as the “Monkey House.”

“Halloa, Jack,” said the first. “You look a bit off this morning.”

“Yes, Bill,” replied Jack. “I haven’t the price of a wet.”

“Neither have I,” replied Bill; “but I think I know how to get a couple of pints. Come into the Monkey House.”

They entered the canteen and Bill called for two pints. While the barman’s back was turned Bill hit the monkey a clout on the head, which caused the animal to scream out.

“What was that for?” asked the barman, wrathfully.

“Not the first time he has done that,” shouted Bill, angrily.

“Done what?” asked the barman.

“Why, picked up my shilling and swallowed it,” replied Bill.


“Well,” said the indignant barman, “why didn’t you tell me before you hit the monkey? There’s your two pints and your sevenpence change. And don’t you interfere with my monkey again.”


The scene was a cinema palace, as they call ’em in England, where the Somme battle-pictures were being flickered.

As the Warwickshires were seen going over the top to the attack, an excited Birmingham man exclaimed, triumphantly: “What about your Highland regiments now?”

As luck would have it, there was a short, bandy-legged Scot in a kilt within hearing.

He flared up and replied: “What about oor Hielant regiments? Why, they are keepin’ back the Germans while your men are gettin’ their photographs took.”


Australian Soldier (to American)—“You Yanks think you’ve done a lot, but you forget we Australians have been at the game for four years.”

“Well, what have you done, anyway?”

“Done? We’ve been at Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, the plains of Bethlehem, and——”

“The plains of Bethlehem?”

“Yes; I slept a week there myself.”


“Well, I guess that was a busy week for the shepherds watching their flocks!”


“I know you have pet names for the big guns, but what do you call the shells?”

“Depends, ’ow close you are to where they burst, mum!”


She had intently watched the soldier for some time. Then she ventured: “The chin strap, I suppose, is to keep your hat on, my man?”

“No,” replied Yank, “it’s to rest the jaw after answering questions.”


A wire from Secretary of War Baker: “Discuss no war news in front of horses. They carry tails.”

Cable from King George to the President: “Send me over 5,000 sewing machines, we want to hem the Germans on the border.”

From King George: “Must have $5,000,000; if it can’t be had any other way get it from the waiters at the Waldorf.”

Stone wires: “If war breaks out I’ll stand behind the army.”

Cable from Russian general: “Over a million pairs of pajamas at once; Russian army ready to retire.”


Wire from Empress of Germany to Queen Mary (sent collect): “Am sitting on my veranda crocheting; would like to have you join me—Nit.”

From the Czar of Russia: “It’s pretty tough to be seated on the throne one minute and thrown on your seat the next.”


“Remember, my son,” said his mother as she bade him good-by, “when you get to camp try to be punctual in the mornings, so as not to keep breakfast waiting.”


“Where are you going?” asked one rookie of another.

“Going to the blacksmith shop to get my tin hat reblocked.”


The following story which is going the rounds of the Continental papers, including even those of Austria, must make the Germans gnash their teeth.

A German and a Dane met recently in Schiller’s house in Weimar. As they stood gazing reverently on the scene the German, swelling with pride, remarked to his fellow-visitor:

“So this is where our national poet, Schiller, lived.”


“Pardon me,” said the other; “not national, but international.”

“How so?” asked the German, with surprise.

“Why, consider his works,” the Dane replied. “He wrote, ‘Mary Stuart’ for the English, ‘The Maid of Orleans’ for the French, ‘Egmont’ for the Dutch, ‘William Tell’ for the Swiss—”

“And what did he write for the Germans, pray?” broke in the other. Pat came the Dane’s answer:

“For the Germans he wrote, ‘The Robbers.’”


Tommy (to the “charger” he has borrowed during a week-end leave after it has been down three times in ten minutes)—Wot! On yer knees agen? Go on—get on with it—“Bless Pa and Ma an’ make me a good ’orse. Amen.”


The “Swanky” One—“I’m smoking a terrible lot of cigars lately.”

The Other (with conviction)—“You’re right, if that’s one of them!”


How to pronounce some of the names of the towns which the Americans get into puzzles the boys, so they have their own pronunciation. Thus, when they captured Seringes, it became Syringe, and Fismes became[83] Fiz. When Fismettes was taken, the battalion commander went back to report, made several assaults upon its pronunciation and finally said:

“Well, I can’t tell you what town it is, but I’ve taken the damned place, anyhow.”


Tommy (to Jock, on leave)—“What about the lingo? Suppose you want to say ‘egg’ over there, what do you say?”

Jock—“Ye juist say ‘Oof.’”

Tommy—“But suppose you want two?”

Jock—“Ye say, ‘Twa oofs,’ and the silly auld fule wife gies ye three, and ye juist gie her back one. Man, it’s an awfu’ easy language.”


Captain John Stevenson met a recent arrival from the “auld countree” and speedily got into a chat with him over conditions there. The new arrival told feelingly of the terrible toll of war on the fair land of Scotia, the sad tales of young men killed and maimed, the sufferings of the families left behind. His was a right sad tale in every way.

“Wy, man, we’re jist plum distrackit wi’ it,” he concluded.

“And I suppose the war has caused the price of provisions to go up in Scotland as well as everywhere else?” commented Captain Stevenson with sympathy.


“Aye, man, ye’re richt,” agreed the visitor. “Proveesions have gone up saxpence the bottle.”


The conditions in the trenches were dreary in the extreme after the drenching and long-continued rainfall, but the irrepressible spirits of the “Pals” were not yet entirely quenched when the order came to leave the trenches.

“Hurry up out of this, my gallant soldiers,” was the cheery call of the sergeant to his waist-deep and rain-sodden men.

“Soldiers!” came the derisive answer from one of them. “I’m not a soldier; I’m a blooming bulrush!”


“We played fool,” declared the Crown Prince “I see it now.”


“We had the whole world to pick a fight with.”


“And look at the crowd we picked out.”


Messages had come to the office of a great illustrated paper that Zeppelins were approaching London.

The editor at once summoned his staff of photographers.


“Now, boys, we’ve got to have a picture of this Zepp. We were badly beaten on the last. The moment it approaches I want every man to rush to the roof with his camera and stay there, whatever happens, until he gets a picture. Let me know directly you get it. You’ll find me under the heap of coal bags in the right-hand corner of the lower cellar!”


First Tommy (as he reads the local paper sent from home)—“O, Bill, what do you think of it? They’re issuing a list in Blighty of the people what are going to do without using any more sugar!”

Second Tommy (eagerly grasping the paper and straining his eyes to find the list of names)—“Where did you see, it Harry?”

First Tommy—“Why, there” (pointing to the death column).


The military maneuvered. All the afternoon the attackers had attacked and the defenders defended, with conspicuous lack of incident or bravery. Operations were beginning to drag horribly when the white flag went up.

The officer in command of the attackers stared in amazement.

“A flag of truce!” he exclaimed. “What do they want?”


The sergeant-major endeavored to cover up a smile.

“They say, sir,” he reported, “that, as it’s tea time, they’d like to exchange a couple o’ privates for a can of condensed milk—if you can afford it.”


An Irish recruit named Dunn was arranging to let his friends know where he was when on active service.

“If I go to France,” he said, “I shall sign my letter F. Dunn; to Egypt, E. Dunn.”

“When the war is over and you come home, what will you sign?”

“We’re Dunn!”

“Well done,” shouted his friends.


Private Doolan was six feet three inches in his socks. Beside him the sergeant on duty was a bantam.

“Head up there, Doolan!” he cried. Doolan raised his head.

“Up higher,” shouted the little sergeant.

“There, that’s better. Don’t let me see you with your head down again.”

“Am I to be always like this?” asked Doolan, staring away above the little man’s head.

“You are.”

“Then I’ll say good-bye to ye, sergeant, for I’ll never see ye again.”



During a camp parade of the buglers recently an Irish corporal was in charge. He was asked by the commanding officer if all the buglers were present: He replied: “No, sorr, wan man absent.”

“Well, then,” said the officer, “go and find him and ask him what he has to say for himself.”

A few minutes later Pat came running back. “Shure, sorr,” he cried, “and weren’t we a pair of duffers not to know it? It wor meself. Bedad, sorr, Oi forgot to call me own name entoirely.”


“You don’t seem to feel so enthusiastic as usual about speech-making.”

“Well,” answered Senator Sorghum, “times have changed and it isn’t so easy for a man in a silk hat and a frock-coat to stand out before a lot of men in khaki uniforms or overalls and assert that he is saving the country all by himself.”


An editor in the Far West dropped into church for the first time in many years. The minister was in the very heart of the sermon. The editor listened for a while, and then rushed to his office.

“What are you fellows doing? How about the news from the seat of war?”

“What news?”


“Why, all this about the Egyptian Army being drowned in the Red Sea. The minister up at the church knows all about it, and you have not a word of it in our latest. Bustle round, you fellows, and get out an extra-special edition.”


One industrious war-gardener is pictured as working busily and reflecting on the virtue of raising his own food-supply.

“If everybody grew his own vegetables and ate less meat,” he soliloquized, “we’d put old Bill on the bum in a hurry. This is tough work, but I’ll stick to it if it kills me. I’m with Hoover on this.”

At this point a fine assortment of earthworms was unearthed. The digger’s reflections immediately shifted to a shady stream and the final scene shows him happily fishing.

“Oh, well,” he reflects to soothe his conscience, “vegetables or fish; it’s all the same to Mr. Hoover.”


“Now,” said the Colonel, looking along the line of recruits, “I want a good smart bugler.”

At that out stepped a dilapidated fellow who had a thick stubble of black beard.

“What!” said the colonel, eying him up and down. “Are you a bugler?”

“Oh, bugler!” said he. “I thought you said burglar.”



“So,” sobbed Ilma Vladoffovitchskioffsky, “Ivan Nine-spotski died in battle. You say he uttered my name as he was dying?”

“Part of it,” replied the returned soldier—“part of it.”


Willie Hohenzollern (after Berlin fell)—“But, mein friendt, I want to write a letter to papa.”

Yankee Guard—“Nothin’ doin’, Heinie. We don’t have asbestos stationery around here.”


Officer—“So you captured a thousand Germans by just calling across No Man’s Land. What did you do—promise them a square deal if they surrendered?”

Yankee Private—“No; I promised them a square meal.”—Life.


The war was over and the new woman was fully developed. Gone were the petticoats and faldelals. Women aimed at being rational in character and dress.

In such an after-the-war household Mr. Bigboy was washing out baby’s bottle when his wife came down dressed for going out.

“Are you going out?” whined Mr. Bigboy.


“Yes,” said his wife, patting his cheek. “It’s the big meeting at the lodge.”

“Then—then,” said the man, and his lips trembled, “if you’re not in by 11 o’clock I’ll—I’ll go home to father.”


A story is told of a German spy who was captured within the English lines in France. An English Tommy was detailed by his commander to march the German four miles back of the lines and there shoot him. After marching through mud and water for four miles, all tired out and rain soaked, the pair finally reached the four-mile point. The German was exasperated by this time and blurted: “Vot’s the idea of marching me four miles through mud and rain to be shot?”

“My word,” the English Tommy said. “What are you kicking about? Think of me. I gotta walk back!”


One of the recruiting canvassers in an English provincial town was a well-known magistrate. In most cases he succeeded in obtaining the promises he wished, but at last he knocked at one cottage-door which was opened to him by a sturdy son of the soil.

“My man,” said the magistrate, in his most persuasive[91] tones, “are you willing to fight for your King and country?”

“No, I beant, sir,” was the prompt reply. “An’ I be surprized at you askin’ me for to do it. Two years ago come next month you yourself fined I twenty shillings for fighting wi’ Bill Smith, and you said it wor wicked to fight, an’ I promised you as I wouldn’t repeat the offense, an’ allus kept my word.”


Berlin, April—There is no question that terrible damage was caused in London by the latest Zeppelin raid. The commander of the Zeppelin L-10 has brought back with him to Germany a sketch which he made while he was flying over the British metropolis. It clearly shows the houses of Parliament in flames and Sir Edward Grey running along Piccadilly with his coat-tails afire. The sketch has been warmly commended by art and military critics.


An English girl gave General Pershing quite a jolt while he was in London. She had been placed at his disposal as the driver of his automobile. One day he said to his girl driver:

“Can you please come for me here at the War Office at 6 o’clock?”

“Yes, General,” answered the girl.


At six o’clock, military-like, the General was on the steps awaiting his car.

At three minutes past six it swung to the curb. The General, with his eyes a-twinkle, said to the girl, as he took out his watch: “You are three minutes late.”

“That should hardly count with you, General,” was the instant answer. “You are three years late.”


A Chertsey pig-breeder has been granted total exemption. The pen, it seems, is still mightier than the sword.—Punch.


Mrs. Parker—“Now, young man, why aren’t you at the Front?”

Young Man (milking cow)—“’Cos there ain’t any milk that end, missus!”


Examining Surgeon—“Have you any scars?”

Rookie Marine Applicant—“No, sir; but I have some cigarets in my coat over there.”


“Are they seasoned troops?”

“They ought to be. They were first mustered in by their officers, and then peppered by the enemy.”



“No, my ’usband ain’t killed, Mrs. Marks. No sooner did I put all the kids in mournin’, even to Biby in the pram, when I gets a telegram a sayin’ ’e’s alive and well. Yes, an’ all this expense for nothin’.”

“Wot a crool shame!”


Recruiting Officer—“How about joining the colors? Have you anyone dependent on you?”

Motorist—“Have I? There are two garage owners, six mechanics, four tire dealers, and every gasoline agent within a radius of 125 miles.”


Cockney Tommy (surveying fat German soldier who, being brought in a prisoner, still has his hands up): “Blow me if this ain’t the old blighter who used to play, ‘I fear no foe in shining armor’ dahn ahr street.”


It is, of course, well known that Sir Douglas Haig is a soldier first, last and all the time, regarding all other professions as of quite negligible importance, a trait in his character which lends point to the anecdote.

He was, it appears, inspecting a cavalry troop,[94] and was particularly struck with the neat way in which repairs had been made in some of the saddles.

“Very good work,” he remarked to the troop sergeant-major. “Who did it?”

“Two of my troopers, sir,” was the reply.

“You’re fortunate to have two such expert saddlers in your troop,” said Haig.

“As a matter of fact, sir,” was the reply, “they’re not saddlers, in civil life being lawyers.”

“Well,” ejaculated Sir Douglas, “how men who can do work like that could have wasted their lives over law I can’t imagine!”


A very tall, thin lieutenant reported in Flanders to a Canadian battalion commanded by a bald, elderly colonel. After a few days he approached his commander and asked permission to air a grievance.

“I wish you would use your influence, sir, to restrain my platoon from referring to me as ‘Legs,’” he said.

“Sure, my lad, sure,” replied the Colonel solemnly, “if you’ll use yours to stop my whole battalion calling me ‘Old Baldy.’”


“That ’ere Yank’s an educated toff from ’arvard,” said Tommy Atkins, leaning on his spade. “I’m jolly well weary of ’is learnin’, too, that I am. We’re[95] ordered to throw up trenches along the Marne, and as ’e picks up ’is spade, th’ bloomin’ college blighter says, says ’e: ‘Well, Tommy, come on; it looks like we’re infra dig!’ And wot I says is: Blarst a college education, anyhow, eh?”


On a road in Belgium a German officer met a boy leading a jackass, and addressed him in heavy jovial fashion as follows:

“That’s a fine jackass you have, my son. What do you call it?... Albert, I bet!”

“Oh, no, officer,” the boy replied quickly. “I think too highly of my King.”

The German scowled and returned: “I hope you don’t dare to call it William.”

“Oh, no, officer. I think too highly of my jackass.”


Here is a story our wounded boys have brought back from the front about Sir Douglas Haig.

Sir Douglas was in a great hurry to get to a certain place. He found his car, but the chauffeur was missing. So Sir Douglas got in the car and drove off by himself. Then the driver appeared and saw the car disappearing in the distance.

“Great Scot!” cried the driver, “there’s ’Aig a-driving my car!”

“Well, get even with him,” said a Tommy, standing by, “and go and fight one of ’is battles for him.”



I’ve beamed when you hollered, “Oh, Girlie!”
I’ve hopped when you bellowed, “Oh, say!”
I’ve fallen for “Dearie” and “Missus,”
And everything else till today.
But there’s one thing that’s got to be different,
From now till the Great War is done—
Unless you’re prepared for a riot,
You’ve got to quit calling me “Hun!”


Staff Colonel—“Your reports should be written in such manner that even the most ignorant may understand them.”

Sergeant—“Well, sir, what part is it that you don’t understand?”


The latest example of English as she is spoken comes from Egypt, where a native interpreter, who had overstayed his leave, wrote the following letter to his chief:

“My absence is impossible. Someone has removed my wife. My God, I am annoyed.”


Her son had enlisted, and she was a proud old woman as she harangued a knot of friends on the village street. “Jarge always done ’is duty by me,[97] ’e did, an’ now ’e’s doin’ ’is duty by King an’ country,” she said. “I feel right down sorry for them Germans, to think of ’im goin’ into battle with ’is rifle in ’is ’and and ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’ on ’is lips.”

“Poor Germans, indeed!” exclaimed one of the audience. “Pity’s wasted on ’em! P’r’aps you ’aven’t ’eard of their cruelties?”

“P’r’aps I ’aven’t,” agreed the old lady. “An’ p’raps you ’aven’t ’eard Jarge sing.”


Rural Constable—“Sketching the harbor is forbidden, sir.”

Artist—“Oh, that’s all right. I’m making a study of clouds.”

Rural Constable (impressively)—“Ah, but supposin’ your picture got into the hands of the enemy’s aircraft department, see the use they could make of it!”—Punch.


All this talk of hyphenated citizenship has evidently had its effect upon a San Francisco youngster, American-born, who recently rebelled fiercely when his Italian father whipped him for some misdemeanor.

“But, Tommaso, your father has a right to whip you when you are bad,” someone of the family said.


Tommaso’s eyes flashed. “I am a citizen of the United States,” he declared. “Do you think I am going to let any foreigner lick me?”


“I’m going to decorate you for bravery, Mr. Wadleigh. Put this French war-orphan medal on your coat.”

“But I haven’t performed any deed of heroism.”

“But you will when you give up twenty-five cents.”


“Can you tell me,” said the Court, addressing Enrico Ufuzzi, under examination at Union Hill, N.J., as to his qualifications for citizenship, “the difference between the powers and prerogatives of the King of England and those of the President of the United States?”

“Yezzir,” spoke up Ufuzzi promptly. “King, he got steady job.”


One of the good stories in circulation is told by Joe Tumulty, secretary to the President. He likes his job, but he dislikes one thing about it: that he can’t tell the boys—the friendly reporters—about all they wish to know. He illustrated his inability to give information once by quoting the case of Johnny.

Johnny was crying in the hall as his mother came[99] along, hatted and coated. She asked what had happened.

“You are going away; and so is papa!” Johnny sobbed.

“Why, child, I shall be away two or three days, but father is not going away!”

“Yes, he is!” cried Johnny. “He’s going to Rome.”

“Rome? What do you mean, dear?” asked the surprised mother.

“He said today to Mr. Brown that he would make Rome howl when you left!”

“Indeed! Well, dear, I sha’n’t leave you now.”


A torpedo with a corkscrew course has been observed. If it misses the port side it turns and strikes the starboard; sometimes on missing there it even turns again, striking the port side. The ship’s officer unaccountably omitted to add that after the explosion the fragments reunite and return to the submarine as a complete missile ready to be fired anew.—New York Sun.


John—“The French have gained four hundred meters from the enemy.”

Auntie—“How splendid! That should help to put a stop to those dreadful gas-attacks!”



First War Correspondent—“Did your dispatch get past the censor?”

Second War Correspondent—“Only the part that wasn’t true.”

“Well, isn’t that all your paper wants?”—Life.


“Footlyte actually seemed pleased at leaving a $300-per-week theatrical engagement to serve as a $30-per-month sergeant in France.”

“Why not? Three dramatic critics are privates in his company.”


“Before I left the United States,” said Col. George Harvey in London, “I agreed with a Columbia professor who said preponderant power in men and money was bound to win the war; but now I have a stronger argument—one which fell from the lips of a recruiting sergeant in the Strand yesterday.

“‘Don’t you want to be on the winning side?’ said the soldier to a group of civilians who he was suggesting should don khaki.

“‘How do you know ours will be the winning side?’ asked a prospective recruit.

“‘Well, my lad,’ said the sergeant, ‘you know the Germans have been trying for more than a year and a half to win and have failed, don’t you?’


“‘Yes,’ replied the questioner.

“‘Well, then, we’ve been trying to lose during the same period and we couldn’t.’”


As the regiment was leaving, and a crowd cheering, a recruit asked: “Who are all those people who are cheering?”

“They,” replied the veteran, “are the people who are not going.”—Life.


Officer (to boy of thirteen who, in his effort to get taken on as a bugler, has given his age as sixteen)—“Do you know where boys go who tell lies?”

Applicant—“To the front, sir.”


Two fair munition workers were discussing their personal affairs.

“Got a chap yet, Liz?” inquired one.

“Yes; and he’s a regular toff. He’s manager at ——.”

“You don’t say so! Why, they tell me he’s real refined.”

“Rather! Why, he took me to a restaurant last week, and when we had coffee he poured it into a saucer to cool it, but he didn’t blow it like common people would—he fanned it with his hat!”



A farmer the other day took a plowshare to the blacksmith’s to be sharpened, and while the blacksmith worked the farmer chuckled and bragged about a sale of hogs he had just made.

“Them hogs was only eight months old,” he said, “and none too fat, nuther; but I seen that the buyer was at his wits’ end, and by skillful jugglin’ I boosted up the price on him just 300 per cent. Yes, by gum, I got three times more for them hogs than I uster get before the war.”

The plowshare being done, the farmer handed the smith 50 cents.

“Hold on,” said the smith; “I charge $1.50 for that job now.”

“You scandalous rascal!” yelled the farmer. “What do you mean by treblin’ your price on me? What have you done it for?”

“I’ve done it,” said the blacksmith, “so’s I’ll be able to eat some of that high-priced pork of yours this winter.”


“Those Germans are certainly efficient,” said father at the breakfast table.

“How so? How?” asked mother.

“Why,” said father, “I see they have put the whole question of the food supply into the hands of the Minister of the Interior.”



When Gen. Leonard Wood was a small boy he was called up in the grammar class.

The teacher said: “Leonard, give me a sentence and we’ll see if we can change it to the imperative mood.”

“The horse draws the cart,” said Leonard.

“Very good. Now change it to an imperative.”

“Get up!” said young Wood.


“Going to France?” asked a traveling man at the station of a negro soldier.

“No, sah! I’se not going to France,” replied the dusky soldier. “I’se goin’ to Berlin, but I may stop in France for a showt time on de way.”


He was a new and not very intelligent soldier, and took Army Regulations very seriously. He was strolling down the Strand smoking a pipe, when he was passed by a Brigadier-General. When he failed to salute, the mighty one pulled him up.

“Why the deuce didn’t you salute me?” he roared.

“Well, sir,” replied the delinquent, secure in the consciousness of an adequate excuse, “my sergeant has always taught me never to salute with a pipe in my mouth!”



A party of wounded marines were being taken to a base-hospital on a much over-crowded motor-truck. The nurse accompanying them became anxious about their wounds.

“I hope I am not hurting any of you,” she said.

“You’re hurting me a lot,” replied one of the soldiers.

“But I am nowhere near you,” exclaimed the nurse indignantly.

“That’s what’s hurting me,” was the calm reply.


An English private had captured a German captain. Tommy marched his prisoner into headquarters with the air of a major-general on parade and stood waiting for his turn to deliver over his captive.

The German captain smirked disdainfully, glanced about the tent, and hissed at Tommy, “You stupid English, you dink dat you vill vin dis var. Vell, I tell you dot you von’t, for ve haf the German Gott on our side.”

“That’s all right, old boy,” replied Tommy promptly, “we’ve got the Yanks on ours.”


Captain: “You say this man called you a hippopotamus four weeks ago. Why report it now?”

Sergeant: “Because I only seen a hipperpotamus for the first time yesterday, sir!”



“This is no time to talk peace,” declared Representative Thomas Heflin, of Alabama. “Rather it is the time to keep on preparing. Germany dragged us into this war against our will, and now that we are in it we have to go through with it. We can win this war in a year beyond doubt, but we have got to keep going. The United States is in pretty good shape now, and there is no reason why we should talk peace.

“There was an old fellow down in north Alabama and out in the mountains; he kept his jug in the hole of a log. He would go down at sundown to take a swig of mountain dew—mountain dew that had never been humiliated by a revenue officer nor insulted by a green stamp. He drank that liquid concoction that came fresh from the heart of the corn, and he glowed. One evening while he was letting the good liquor trickle down his throat he felt something touch his foot. He looked down and saw a big rattlesnake coiled ready to strike.

“The old fellow took another swig of the corn, and in defiance he swept that snake with his eyes.

“‘Strike, dern you, strike; you will never find me better prepared.’

“That’s the way I feel about the present situation.”


“If you refuse to marry me I’ll enlist.”

“What a pity you did not ask me four years ago.”



Waiter—“Yes, sir; omelets has gone up on account of the war.”

Diner—“Great Scott! Are they throwing eggs at each other now?”


German General—“Have our brave troops been informed that we shall be in Paris in four days?”

Subordinate—“Yes, General.”

“They understand that the Great War was forced upon us?”

“Perfectly, General.”

“They have been told that the Americans always kill our machine gunners if they surrender?”

“That is well understood, General.”

“They have been instructed that the few Americans opposed to us are cowardly and inexperienced?”

“Hand-bills announcing that fact are passed around each evening.”

“Then let the offensive begin.”


A German sergeant on the staff of a prison hospital in Germany, where a number of captured English officers were being treated, became quite friendly with the prisoners under his care. One day he told them that he had been ordered to active service on the Somme front. He felt convinced that he would[107] be captured by the English, and asked the English officers if they would not give him some sort of testimonial which he could show if he were taken prisoner, so he would not be ill-treated.

The English officers were much amused at this idea, and concocted a note of introduction, written in English. The German sergeant knew no English and could not understand his testimonial, but he tucked it in his pocket, well satisfied.

In due time he was sent to the Somme front, and was captured by the “women from hell,” as the Germans call the Scotch kilties. He at once presented his note of introduction, and his captors laughed heartily when they read:

“This is L——. He is not a bad sort of chap. Don’t shoot him; torture him slowly to death.”


When certain soldiers from the antipodes were in New York a little while ago, a woman was heard to say to another:

“There goes one of them Australians.”

“How do you know?”

“You can tell by the Kangaroo feathers in his hat.”


“This can’t be hell—there are no Germans here.”

“Yes, it is; but the regular people put up such a kick, we built an annex for them.”—Life.



A private of a well-known regiment, who was always wanting leave on some excuse or other, applied at the orderly room and asked his commanding officer if he might have a few days’ leave, as his wife was ill and had sent him a letter asking him to come at once.

But his commanding officer, getting tired of his always wanting leave, said: “This is strange, Private Cheek, as only this morning I received a letter from your wife, saying she did not want you to see her any more, so hoped I would not grant you leave.”

Private Cheek—“Then I suppose I can’t have leave, sir?”

Commanding Officer—“No, you cannot.”

Private Cheek (turns as he gets to the door)—“Sir, may I compliment you?”

Commanding Officer—“Yes, certainly; on what?”

Private Cheek—“In having two such lovely liars in the regiment, because I’m not married at all.”


Queen Mary sent a beautiful bouquet that had been presented to her to a soldiers’ hospital. To show their appreciation, the inmates commissioned one of their number to stand at the hospital gate the following morning, holding the gift, when the queen passed. He did so—with rather unexpected results. Queen Mary, seated in her car, saw the soldier standing[109] there, bouquet in hand, and assuming that he wished to present it to her, she reached out and took it. After she had thanked him, her car passed on.

The soldier stood quite dumfounded—then recovering his speech, he said: “Well, she’s pinched ’em.”


War Correspondent in France—“My editor seems very disappointed; what news can I send to cheer him up?”

Soldier—“Write and tell him you’ve been killed in action.”


Ensign Paul Perez, formerly well known to the screen, is back from another trip to Europe with a brand new seasick story. An amateur navigator making his first trip across is the victim and the first day out he was in the throes of the mal-est mal de mer extant when the ship surgeon visited him in his stateroom.

“What’s the matter?” was the latter’s callous query.

“O-o-oh,” was the only response as the young navy man rolled over in agony.

“Come, get up,” derided the surgeon, grinning unfeelingly. “The ship’s been submarined and will sink in ten minutes.”

“Ten minutes?” the sick man protested feebly. “Can’t you make it any sooner?”



A doughboy is an American soldier, and American soldiers, infantrymen, artillerymen, medical department, signal corps sharps, officers and men alike, all are called doughboys. Our cartoonist is one, so is General Pershing.

The term “doughboys” dates back to the Civil War when army wit was aroused by large globular brass buttons on infantry uniforms. Somebody (he must have been a sailor) dubbed the buttons “doughboys” because they reminded him of the boiled dumplings of raised dough served in ships’ messes and known to all sailors as doughboys. Originally it referred only to an enlisted infantryman, but the A. E. F. applies it to all branches and all grades of the service.—The Stars and Stripes.


A strict Baptist mother visited her son in one of the cantonments on a recent Sunday. She was deeply solicitous that her boy should receive proper religious instruction.

“Is there a Baptist preacher in camp?” asked the mother. The son did not know, but he would inquire. Yes, one was to hold a service that afternoon and give an address in a Y. M. C. A. hut. The two went and heard an inspiring address on how Christ is always the comrade of all men who fight for righteousness, even when they are not conscious of his presence.


The mother was delighted and after the service told the preacher how happy she was that her son could hear such good Baptist doctrine.

“But, madam,” said the speaker, “I am not a Baptist; I am an Episcopalian.”

Thus are all denominational lines being battered down in the camps.


“It is remarkable that so many women should be working.”

“Women have always worked,” replied Miss Cayenne. “The principal difference just now is that they are working away from home and getting paid for it.”


Harold, the only son of a wealthy widowed mother, was drafted, and duly arrived at the camp where he was to receive instruction in the manly art of warfare. Imagine his surprise and chagrin when he was detailed to what is known as K. P. duty (“Kitchen police” duty). In this he became quite proficient, however, as one of his letters shows:

“Dear Mother:—I put in this entire Christmas day washing dishes, sweeping floors, making beds and peeling potatoes. When I get home from this camp I’ll make some girl a mighty fine wife!”



One mess in the British front line was the envied of all the neighborhood units because it enjoyed fresh vegetables every day. The cook was often asked about it. “We get them from a garden near by,” he always said. At last the supply ceased. The mess soon asked why. “We’ve had all there were,” said the cook, “except a few that were right on the edge of the Boche trench.” Then it turned out that he had gone out every night into “No Man’s Land” and gathered green vegetables from a garden which ran right down to the German front line.


Sandy and Pat were discussing the war economies of their respective landladies.

“Indade,” said Pat, “the other day Oi saw that wumman O’Grady countin’ the paes to put in the broth.”

“Och,” replied Sandy, “where I am the landlady melts the margarine an’ paints it on yer bread wi’ a brush!”


He was a wounded soldier who was traveling in a train. At a point on the line where it ran parallel with the road he saw a brand-new territorial battalion marching up to the front. He stuck his bandaged head out of the door and yelled, “Are you dahn-hearted?”[113] The Terriers, from the colonel to the smallest drummer, shouted, “No-o-oh!” The wounded man replied: “Well, you d—d soon will be when you get in those trenches.”


Private A—“Some funny things hev happened in this war. I heard of a bloke the other day who lost his right hand and didn’t know it till he tried to take a package of fags out of his pocket!”

Private B—“That’s not so bad; but I heard of a bloke who got his head shot off and didn’t know it till he tried to scratch it!”


Dasher—“I don’t believe the war-films we saw last night were taken at the front.”

Mrs. Dasher—“Of course they were; didn’t you notice the bullet-holes at the end of each reel?”—Puck.


A sergeant and a private were out sniping. The private was troubled with a cold, and was continually sneezing, which rather annoyed and put the sergeant’s shots off their mark.

“Confound you, Coldhead,” yelled the enraged sergeant at last, “you made me miss again.”

“Well, I didn’t do nothing, sergeant,” exclaimed the private, amazed.


“Yes, you did. It was your blinkin’ sneeze.”

“I didn’t sneeze,” again protested the private.

“Of course you didn’t,” roared the sergeant. “It’s the first bloomin’ time you’ve missed, and—I allowed for it, you chump!”


A “Jack Johnson” had exploded with a deafening roar, and Murphy, wiping his eyes clear of mud with his respirator, looked round to see Clancy, his chum, lying very still.

“Spake to me, Terence!” he whispered. “Are ye alive or dead?”

“Dead!” faintly murmured Clancy.

“What a liar the man is!” soliloquized Murphy, much relieved.

Then Clancy sat up.

“Ye know I must be dead, Murphy,” he said, “or it isn’t the likes of you would be calling me a liar!”


J. F. Hartz, of Detroit, the dean of the American Surgical Trade Association, said at the fiftieth annual convention in New York:

“The war has kited the price of carbolic acid up to $1.65 a pound—it sold before the war at 9 cents a pound. The hospitals that use carbolic now have to be as economical and sparing as old Josh Lee.

“Old Josh Lee was a miser, and he breakfasted every morning on oatmeal. To save fuel, he cooked[115] his week’s supply of oatmeal on Sundays. This supply, by the time Saturday came round, was pretty stiff and tough and hard to down.

“One Saturday morning old Josh found his oatmeal particularly unappetizing. It had a crust on it like iron. He took a mouthful of the cold, stiff mixture—then he half rose, thinking he’d have to cook himself some eggs.

“But he hated to give in. He hated to waste that oatmeal. So he took out the whisky-bottle, poured a generous glass, and setting it before his plate, he said:

“‘Now, Josh, if you eat that oatmeal you’ll get this whisky; and if you don’t, you won’t.’

“The oatmeal was hard to consume, but Josh, with his eye on the whisky, managed it. Then, when the last spoonful was gone, he grinned broadly, poured the whisky back into the bottle again, and said:

“‘Josh, my son, I fooled you that time, you old idiot!’”


Everybody who has been in Epsom has seen the big gates on which are perched two stone dogs. An American officer saw them recently for the first time.

He approached a native with a joke on his lips, expecting to see it fall flat, as he had been taught would be the case. “When do they feed these dogs?” he asked.

“When they bark,” said the Epsomite, and now[116] this particular American is more of an admirer of Englishmen than ever.


At one stage of the war Uncle Sam’s steamers crossing the Atlantic had enormous stars and stripes painted on both sides of their hulls, bow and stern, and between these flags the space was occupied by the ship’s name. At night brilliant lights illuminated the whole gaudy color scheme. A steamer so decorated was signaled by a British cruiser, “What ship is that?” The reply came: “United States mail steamer So-and-So.” Said the cruiser: “Thanks. Thought you were a Christmas tree out of season.”—London Opinion.


A young French officer, speaking of bravery on the field of battle, tells this story on himself: “I was in front of my section at night, when suddenly, about ten feet away, I saw a line of enemy riflemen. I told my men to lie down. Then I looked closely, and very clearly made out moving helmets. With my men behind me we all suddenly arose and charged. I went ahead and, revolver in hand, I threw myself forward, shouting in German with all my strength: ‘Surrender! You are prisoners!’ only to find that we had charged several rows of beet stalks with their heads nodding in the wind.”



“Well, Pat, my good man, what did you do?” inquired a patronizing stranger of the Irishman back in London on leave, with his arm in a sling.

The stranger’s air annoyed Pat, who blandly said:

“Faith, an’ I walked up to one of them an’ cut off his feet.”

“Cut off his feet! Why not his head?”

“Sure, an’ that was already cut off.”


An officer recently on leave brought home and gave to a lady a bottle of eau de cologne found in a German colonel’s dugout.

She was at a dinner party shortly afterwards, exhibited it, and she and other ladies dabbed their faces with the perfume.

The room became very warm, and soon they were horrified by the appearance of black stains on their features.

The stuff was a hair dye, which only developed its color when heated. The worst of it was the stains did not disappear for some days.


First Tommy—“Here’s a nice letter for a fellow to receive! The scoundrel who wrote it calls me a blithering idiot.”

Second Tommy—“What’s his name?”


First Tommy—“That’s just what I’d like to find out; but there’s no signature.”

Second Tommy—“Don’t you recognize the writing? It must be somebody who knows you.”


A gallant British officer, granted leave, went to London to get married, and upon his arrival was very much astonished to receive a summons from the King to an “audience” at five o’clock in the afternoon. He was married at four o’clock, and so, after the ceremony, he drove to Buckingham Palace, and said to his bride: “Now, if you will wait in the carriage I won’t be more than half an hour. These audiences are always very perfunctory and brief.”

When he was received by the King he found, however, that he was quite alone, was received most informally, and that His Majesty was very keen to know of the officer’s exploits and movements at the front. Then, before the officer was aware how time had flown, His Majesty said: “We have dinner in half an hour and of course you will stay. The ladies will want to hear your story.”

The officer had not the courage to tell the King that his bride of an hour had already been waiting in the carriage for three hours, and so, finding no chance to send word out to her, he remained for dinner. The dinner was very leisurely served, there was much talk about the front, and it was after ten o’clock when the party broke up. The officer was[119] on edge to leave, when the King said: “You will be shown to your room, and tomorrow morning I shall have something to give you.”

The officer thanked him, and, as he was going to his room, he called one of the equerries of the household to him and confided to him his dilemma. Within five minutes there was a knock at the officer’s door, and when he opened it the King stood there fairly convulsed with laughter. “My dear chap,” said the King, “why didn’t you tell me? Of course it was hard on you and your lady, but really this is the best joke I’ve heard for a long time.”

The bride was found, brought in, and under the King’s and Queen’s graciousness any feelings toward her new husband and his hosts which she may have had in her carriage wait of six hours melted away; and the happy bridal couple spent their marriage night at Buckingham Palace.


All Paris is laughing over the sangfroid of a young married midinette on the occasion of an air raid on Paris.

The heroine resides on the top story of a large apartment house, and when the warning was given was sound asleep.

The concierge, finding that she did not descend to the underground shelter, raced upstairs and banged at the door.

After repeated hammerings he woke the lady up,[120] and called to her to immediately descend to the basement as a raid was on and she was in great danger on the top floor.

The reply he got was:

“Go away and let me sleep. My husband is in the trenches. Do you think he gets into a dugout every time a shell falls? Why should I, therefore, be frightened of an air raid?”


He wanted to buy a Christmas present for his girl back home, so that she could show it to all the other girls, and destroy their peace of mind because it had come from France. He knew just what he wanted, too, but every time he thought of going into the shop and trying to ask in French for the thing he wanted he got red behind the ears. He had gone over the top in the past, unafraid, but he couldn’t do this.

At last, when his leave was up, he went into the canteen and asked the Y. M. C. A. woman there to make the purchase for him. He gave her the address and hoped it wouldn’t be too much trouble to send the package.

“Of course it wouldn’t,” said the Y. M. C. A. woman, who buys dozens of such gifts each week. “I’ll enjoy it. I’ll see that the package goes all right, and, if you like, I’ll write her a little note, too, telling her how well you’re looking.”

“That will be nice,” said the private. He counted out the money, a generous amount. Still he lingered,[121] and it was evident that he had something else on his mind.

“Anything else I can do for you?” asked the woman.

“It’s like this,” began the private, hesitatingly. He stopped, swallowed, and started all over again. “Please be careful what you say in that note, won’t you, ma’am? You see—my girl—she’s funny about some things—she might think—well, you know how women are!” finished the private wisely.

“I’ll tell you what,” said the American woman. “I’ll tell her I enjoyed meeting you because I have a son in the army myself. Will that do?”

“That will be fine,” said the private heartily. “I wouldn’t have mentioned it, only you know how women are.” He smiled at her understandingly, saluted, turned and went out.


First Officer—“What was the joke about Lieutenant Footle?”

Second Officer—“Why, the Major’s wife said she’d be glad of his company at her house on Wednesday, and the silly ass took all his men along.”


The proudest Yankee in the whole advancing army that entered Saint Mihiel was the driver of a motor truck who, when he came within five miles of the town, discovered a little girl, four years old, with[122] a doll in her arms, sitting by the road, crying. The American immediately stopped the truck, gathered the little one in with her doll, put her on the seat of honor at his left, and thus drove into the town, to the joy of the Yankee soldiers when they discovered her. No one has claimed the little one and she is still the mascot of the company, as happy as a lark and, of course, literally spoiled to death by the worshiping soldiers, who give her so many sweets that the poor little one is sick about once a week. Then the boys take her to the base hospital and, after a day, she is back again as well as ever.


It’s a shame to do it, but public safety impels us to expose the sergeant who is palming off his Mexican border service ribbon as an American croix de guerre, thereby raising his own holdings of “amourique Amerique” stock in the eyes of petite Madélon.

Even so, sleeping on the rocks has its advantages, for in the rosy days of the future when friend wife turns the lock on our late nocturnal home-coming, we can curl up on the front porch with sleepful abandon.

And when we are in the parlor with our best girl telling her of the great rôle we played in the world-safe-for-democracy drama, we’ll not mind it a bit if the passing guard orders, “Camouflage those lights!”

So many Yanks are over here now that there is scarcely room to house them, thereby creating the[123] necessity of extending the eastern frontier of this domain of Foch, Pershing, et al.

To our exchange desk has recently come a copy of the Kriegszeitung, the official organ of the Seventh German Army. The most we can say for the sheet is that it is Boche and bosh.

What gets us guessing is how this daylight-saving plan works out in the land of Eskimos, but we suppose all they have to do is to get up six months earlier each morning.

Elsie Janis danced so gracefully that, after she had alighted from a perfectly stunning flip-flop, a doughboy in the third row was heard to remark: “Just like a wheelbarrow I saw in the air after a high explosive hit near it.”

Our staff correspondent who made the trip to Paris is recovering from a rather severe headache.

Cursed be the mule whose braying is like unto the whistling of a shell.—The Ohio Rainbow Reveille, Official Organ, 166th Infantry, Somewhere in France.


A sergeant standing at a window in the barracks saw a private pass in full-dress uniform, with a bucket in his hand in the act of fetching water from the pump.

Sergeant—“Where are you going?”

Private—“To fetch some water, sir.”

Sergeant—“Not in those trousers, surely?”

Private—“No, sir; in the bucket.”



A manufacturer in Switzerland who had been in the habit of purchasing many of his supplies in Germany before the war recently met a German commercial traveler with whom he had been accustomed to trade. The man smilingly offered his wares, but he was met with a peremptory refusal.

“Is it because I am a German that you refuse to give me an order?”

“Certainly,” said the Swiss.

“Have you had reason to complain of the way I have executed your orders in the past? You have not, have you? Very well, then, if you are friendly to France that is no reason why you should go against your own interests. You know very well that the goods you get of me will cost you at least twice as much if you buy them of French makers.”

“I know that, but I will make a sacrifice.”

The Boche traveler was not discouraged. “You are making a mistake,” he remarked. “If you do business with us I will give you what no one in France can give you.”

“Very likely.”

“You have no doubt relatives who are French soldiers.”


“Listen to me,” said the Boche, interrupting him. “There is, perhaps, one who has the misfortune to be a prisoner in our country. Give me your usual order,[125] tell me the name of the prisoner, one, no more, and I swear to you that I will secure his release as permanently disabled.”

The salesman was asked to repeat his offer. He did so, and the merchant said: “Very well; I will try you to see whether you keep your word.”

“Try me and see,” answered the German.

The manufacturer gave the order so ardently desired, and furnished the traveler with the name and address of one of his nephews who was a prisoner in Prussia. A week later the nephew arrived in Switzerland, with a number of prisoners who were totally disabled, astounded at his liberty, because he was perfectly well!—Ladies’ Home Journal.


Officer—“Now, Private Jenkins, I am going to give you a very responsible job. Under our advanced trench is a large mine. I want you to stay there, and when the mine goes up I want you to blow this whistle. Now, do you clearly understand?”

Private Jenkins—“Well, there’s one thing I’m not certain of, sir. When do I blow the whistle—going up or coming down?”


A soldier got mixed recently. He tells about it in a letter home: “They put me in barracks; they took away my clothes and put me in khaki; they took away[126] my name and made me ‘No. 575;’ they took me to church, where I’d never been before, and they made me listen to a sermon for forty minutes. Then the parson said: ‘No. 575, art thou weary, art thou languid?’ and I got seven days in the guardhouse because I answered that I certainly was.”


Miranda’s dropt her fancy-work and sailed across the Straits
As a temporary “lady of the lamp;”
And Jane’s abandoned portraiture to wash the cups and plates
Of the Tommies in a temporary camp;
And Ethel—nervy Ethel!—is a motor-driving Waac,
And fairly saved her special Brigadier
The day that Fritz got busy and our line came surging back
In a temporary movement to the rear.
A temporary Major they’ve contrived to make of Bob
(He was always pretty hefty at his drill),
While the rank of air-mechanic—and he hustles at his job—
Is the temporary perquisite of Bill;
Old Joseph drives a tractor most surprising true and straight
(He’s sixty, but a temporary sport),
While Augustus sails the ocean as a temporary mate
[127]When he isn’t in a temporary port.
There’s a temporary shortage of the things we eat and wear,
And the temporary pleadings of the Tank,
Plus the temporary taxes that we’re called upon to bear,
Lead to temporary trouble at the bank;
The only things that haven’t changed since Wilhelm butted in
To show how Armageddon should be run
Are the views of Thomas Atkins as to who is going to win,
And his personal opinion of the Hun.


An inquisitive old lady asked a royal defense corps veteran what the letters “R. D. C.” meant.

“Reformed Drunkards’ Corps, ma’am,” he replied solemnly.

“Dear me,” she murmured, “what miracles those recruiting sergeants do perform!”


A retired army officer tells of an army examiner who had before him a very dull candidate. The man proving, apparently, unable to make response to the most simple questions, the examiner finally grew impatient and, quite sarcastically, put this question:

“Let it be supposed that you are a captain in command of infantry. In your rear is an impassable[128] abyss. On both sides of you there rise perpendicular rocks of tremendous height. In front of you lies the enemy, outnumbering you ten to one. What, sir, in such an emergency, would you do?”

“I think, sir,” said the aspirant for military distinction, “I would resign.”


A sergeant was trying to drill a lot of raw recruits, and after working hard for three hours he thought they seemed to be getting into some sort of shape, so decided to test them.

“Right turn!” he cried. Then, before they had ceased to move, came another order, “Left turn!”

One hoodlum left the ranks and started off toward the barracks-room.

“Here, you!” yelled the angry sergeant. “Where are you going?”

“I’ve had enough,” replied the recruit in a disgusted tone. “You don’t know your own mind for two minutes runnin’!”


A colored soldier on the fighting front got a two days’ leave shortly after the signing of the armistice, and immediately prepared to make a date in the French capital. When leaving the front, however, he got held up by a French sentry, who was unable to understand Sam’s explanations. Sam accordingly[129] talked louder and louder, shaking his fist at the Frenchman, who threatened to shoot if Sam proceeded. Finally Sam said: “Looka here, boss, I got a mother in heaven, a father in the other place, and a sweetheart in Paris, and I’m agoin’ to see one of ’em tonight.”


The son of the well-to-do family had recently joined up as a private, and was spending his Christmas leave at home.

Returning from a walk, his mother espied a figure in the kitchen with the housemaid.

“Clarence,” she called to her son, “Mary’s got someone in the kitchen. She knows perfectly well that I don’t allow followers. I wish you’d go and tell the man to leave the house at once.”

Clarence duly departed to the kitchen, but returned in about half a minute.

“Sorry, mother, but I can’t turn him out.”

“Can’t turn him out? Why on earth not?”

“He’s my sergeant!”


It was during the nerve racking period of waiting for the signal to attack 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 chattered, and his knees tried to[130] touch each other. It was sheer nervousness, but the sergeant thought it was sheer funk.

“Tompkins,” he said, “is it trembling you are for your 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.”


“Conscription has, maybe, saved the country,” growled the soldier, “but what I object to is the company it drives a man into. I’m a plumber by trade, an honest workman, yet I’m compelled to suffer the society of such professionals as a lawyer, a minister, and an auctioneer.”

“Not a bad selection, Jock,” remarked his friend.

“O, maybe no in a way; but when the minister and the lawyer start an argument on Egyptian law in the middle o’ the nicht across half a dozen beds, wi’ the blessed auctioneer as umpire, what chance has even a plumber of stopping the gas leak?”


A professor at Princeton who has taken much interest in the woman suffrage movement was persuaded to carry a banner in a wartime parade held in Washington.

His wife observed him marching with a dejected air and carrying his banner so that it hung limply[131] on its standard, and later she reproved him for not making a better appearance.

“Why didn’t you march like somebody, and let the people see your banner?” she asked.

“Dearie,” sighed the professor, “did you see what was on that banner? It read, ‘Any man can vote. Why can’t I?’”


It’s all a matter of comparison, according to H. T. Webster, the cartoonist, who told the following as proof at a race meeting of the Salmagundi Club:

“Shrapnel shrieked all about. Bombs dropped from the sky, and every so often a big German shell burst overhead. Suddenly one Yank burst into a fit of laughter.

“‘S’matter, Buddy?’ his mate asks, fearing that he had suddenly gone insane.

“‘I was thinkin’, Bill,’ replied the other between chuckles, ‘of the runt that held me up one night in Memphis with a 22-caliber revolver.’”


Gen. Von Spew sat in his room and studied the map. Then he rang the bell at his elbow. In came Dunderkopf, his aide-de-camp.

“Dunderkopf, glance over this map. Do you see this hill?”

“I do, Excellency.”


“That hill must be captured. Attend to the matter and let me know when it is done.”

Twenty minutes passed and there was a knock at the door. Dunderkopf strode in, clicked his heels together and saluted.

“I have the honor to announce, Excellency, that the hill has been captured.”

“Already captured! Fine, my son, fine! Who occupies it?”

“The Americans, Excellency.”


I wrote to my brother in France, who had been in action, asking if he had acquired “cooties.” His reply came back, “Yes, indeed, I had cooties. One is not a regular soldier until he does have them, but I got rid of mine in this fashion: I sprinkled my clothes all over with salt, then laid them down on a river bank. The cooties became very thirsty and got off the clothes to get a drink, then I pulled them away quickly. Nine-tenths of the cooties died from mortification and the other tenth from lonesomeness.”


Edith Wharton, at her flat in Paris, told a war story.

“The American wounded were being brought in from the Marne battlefield,” she said, “and a fussy American woman in a khaki uniform and Sam Browne belt bent over a stretcher and said:


“‘Is this case an officer or only a man?’

“The brawny corporal who stood beside the stretcher gave a grim laugh and said:

“‘Well, lady, he ain’t no officer, but he’s been hit twice in the innards, both legs is busted, he’s got bullets in both arms and we dropped him three times without his lettin’ out a squawk, so I guess we can call him a man.’”


On an American transport two days out from New York:

First Sambo, who is really enjoying the sea, to his dark companion, who has gone below: “Nigger! Come on up! We’re passing a ship!”

Voice from below: “I don’t want to see no ship. You jes’ call me when we’re passing a tree!”


Two negroes were discussing the possibilities of being drafted.

“’Tain’t gwine do ’em any good to pick on me,” said Sam. “Ah certainly ain’t gwine do any fightin’. Ah ain’t lost nothin’ oveh in France. Ah ain’t got any quarrel with a-n-ybody, and dey kain’t make me fight.”

The other pondered over this statement for a moment. “Yo right,” he said at length; “Uncle Sam[134] kain’t make you fight. But he can take you where de fightin’ is, and after that you kin use you’ own judgment.”


During the fighting on the Aisne front one American company pushed out far ahead and lost touch with the neighboring companies on either side. Their zeal in chasing the Germans was leading them into danger of being enfiladed by machine gun fire from the flanks. A major stormed up to the captain.

“Why the hell don’t you hold your men back?” he yelled.

“How the hell can I told ’em back when the whole German army can’t?”


“Goodness!” gasped the sergeant of the guard, sticking his head out of the window, “what is the man playing at?”

Private Murphy, who was on sentry go, was running as hard as he could from end to end of his beat.

“Hi, Mike!” yelled the noncom, “what’s the trouble?”

“Sure, an’ there’s no trouble at all, at all,” replied Murphy, panting as he paused in his scurry.

“Then what are you running for?”

“Well, ain’t I on duty here for two hours? I’m only trying to get me two hours done quick!”



“Were you happy when you started for France?”

“Happy? We were in transports.”


“So you’ve joined the Army, Mose?”

“Yes, sah.”

“What branch of the service are you in?”

“Well, sah. Ah’s in de infantry, but when we get t’ France Ah’se done asked de captain to put me on dat night-raid wo’k. Gittin’ into de odder fellow’s backyard durin’ de night hours is a job dat ah considers mahs’l particularly experienced at.”


American Soldier: “So you are in the aviation corps. I thought you enlisted in the cavalry?”

Gentleman of Color: “Ah dun change.”

American Soldier: “What was the reason?”

Gentleman of Color: “Wal, suh, for one thing, an aeroplane, after it throws yo’ out, very seldom walks over an’ bites yo’.”


He was probably the smallest “middy” in the navy, and one evening he was invited to attend a party in the saloon. He was such a little chap that the ladies had no idea that he was a midshipman at all, but took him for somebody’s “dear little boy”[136] in a Royal Navy all-wool serge. At last one of them, on whose lap he had been sitting, and who had just kissed him, asked:

“And how old are you, little dear?”

“Twenty-two,” he said, in a voice like a foghorn. Then the lady swooned.


A seasoned sergeant major recently was horrified to see a pair of shamelessly baggy trousers appear at the top of the window in the orderly room at a London depot. He shouted out what he thought, as they descended the ladder, and the face of a woman window cleaner only completed his discomfiture.


An Australian soldier had overstayed his leave. He knew his Commanding Officer was fed up with hard-luck excuses, so wired:

“Not sick, nobody dead, got plenty of money, having a good time. Please wire two days’ extension.”

He got three.


Lieut. John Philip Sousa, while organizing military bands for the navy, was talking to a correspondent about the submarine danger.

“A friend of mine, a cornet virtuoso,” he said,[137] “was submarined in the Mediterranean. The English paper that reported the affair worded it thus:

“‘The famous cornetist, Mr. Hornblower, though submarined by the Germans in the Mediterranean, was able to appear at Marseilles the following evening in four pieces.’”


“And what were you in civilian life?” asked the captain.

“I was a traveling salesman, sir,” replied the recruit.

“That’s all right, then. You’ll get plenty of orders around here.”


“Have you been to France?”

“Yes. Came back last week.”

“Now, I wonder if you saw anything of that young nephew of mine out there—Smith is his name?”


“Our Joe’s joined the army,” announced Mary Brown, proudly, “an’ ’e’s gettin’ on fine wiv ’is drill. In fac’, when ’is regiment passed ’ere the other day hevery one wot was in it was out of step ’cep’ ’im.”

“O, that’s nuffin,” retorted Tommy Johnson.


“When our ’Arry went to the front the captain ’e shouted: ‘Is Private ’Arry Johnson in the ranks?’ ‘Yes,’ sez somebody. ’Then let the war begin,’ sez he.”


First Soldier (looking at portraits of himself)—Which do you think is the best, Mike?

Second Soldier—Well, personally I think the one of you in the gas mask is the best.


“I’ve just had some good news,” said Bearnstean, upon meeting his friend Mr. Abrahams. “My son Solly has got a commission in the Army.”

“Go on,” replied Abrahams, rubbing his hands; “how much?”


Tommy: “Look ’ere, Jack, now you’re for Blighty, why don’t you make up to Kitty? Go in and win, mate! Upon my life she’s a regular pearl!”

Jack: “That may be, but I can’t stand the mother of pearl.”


Corp—Can you think of anything more unmilitary than putting your hands in your pockets?

Sarg—Sure! Putting your hands in somebody else’s pockets.



Jack Tar: “How do you manage to get on so well with the French girls when you can’t speak their lingo?”

Soldier: “I’m surprised you’re so slow. Can’t you kiss a girl without a dictionary?”


A soldier at the front got short of money, so he sent home the following letter:

“Dear Mary—We lost a trench this morning, and we must replace it at any cost, so will you please send me $25 at once.”

Sad to say he had a wily wife, who sent the following reply:

“Dear Jim—Sorry, I have not $25 toward replacing the lost trench, but I enclose two candles to help you look for it.”


The colonel had ridden his horse to town in the afternoon, and it was dark when he returned to camp. Some distance outside the guard line he was challenged by a voice from the darkness:

“Halt! Who goes there?”

“Colonel,” he answered.

“Dismount, colonel. Advance and be recognized.”

He was certain that there was some mistake, for no guard was supposed to be posted there. But a[140] sentry’s orders are not to be disobeyed, so he grumblingly dismounted and led his horse forward, inwardly vowing vengeance against the sergeant of the guard who had caused him all this trouble.

As he approached the sentry he burst out wrathfully:

“Who in thunder posted you here?”

“No one, sir. I’m just practicing.”


Doris: “Was your C. O. pleased, Algy, when you told him my idea for beating the Germans on the Western Front?”

Algy: “Pleased! I should jolly well think he was. Why, he laughed for hours!”


Two rookies were indulging in the soldier’s privilege—growling about his station and how the soldier gets stung for everything.

“I ordered a chicken dinner at a cafe downtown and they charged me a dollar and six bits,” Bone was saying.

A newsie overheard him. “Say, mister,” he said, “I know where you can get a chicken dinner for two bits. A good big one, too.”

The soldiers looked skeptical, but the newsie insisted that he was telling the truth. Finally the soldier who had been stung asked him where this place[141] was located. The newsie mentioned an address on one of the side streets of San Antonio.

A few days later the two soldiers went to the city and determined to visit the cheap restaurant. They found the address. It was a feed store.


Moses and Aaron were partners in business when Aaron was called up and had to go to camp. About a month after Aaron had departed he received a telegram from Moses. The telegram read:

“Business burned out. Got $10,000 insurance. What shall I do?”

Aaron immediately wired back:

“Start another business.”

One month later Aaron received another telegram from Moses:

“Business burned out again. Got $13,000 insurance. What shall I do?”

Aaron immediately wired back:

“Keep the home fires burning.”


The German artillery were doing their best to erase a small town from the map. Every few minutes there would be a deafening crash and the remains of a house would soar skyward enveloped in a cloud of smoke.

In a field on the outskirts of the town some Canadian[142] soldiers, relieved from the trenches for a few days, were indulging in their favorite game of baseball. The pitcher had just pitched the ball and the batsman had hit an easy catch to one of the fielders when a huge shell landed in the adjoining field. The fielder’s attention was fixed on the shell, which burst with a deafening crash, and he missed the catch.

“For the love of Mike,” roared the pitcher, who was a typical Irish-Canadian, “if you are going to play baseball, play baseball, and quit watching the shells.”


Mrs. Flatbush—So your husband is “somewhere in France”?

Mrs. Bensonhurst—So I believe.

Mrs. Flatbush—But don’t you know where?

Mrs. Bensonhurst—No.

Mrs. Flatbush—Don’t you feel somewhat concerned?

Mrs. Bensonhurst—Why, no. When he was here I knew he was somewhere in America, but half of the time I didn’t know where.


A tired and dusty doughboy drew up in front of a shell-battered house in Château-Thierry and asked a French woman if he could get a drink of water.


“Oui, mon garcon,” said the woman. “You come right along with me.”

After the soldier had obtained his drink and was about to depart, he remarked that her house had suffered more or less from the guns.

“Yes,” was the reply. “I used it as a dressing station for the Americans who were wounded here, and the Boche seemed to know about it. But it’s all right. We will build it up again and everything will be the same.”

She explained in detail just how she would rearrange the architecture, how the windows would be built larger.

“We will have to carry a lot of rock,” she smiled. “You see, those are all shot to pieces. But it’s not far to the river.”

Then she turned and resumed her task of clearing away the debris that had once been the east wall of her house.


Pat was serving in the Army, and his two companions happened to be an Englishman and a Scotsman. These two gave their Irish friend a lively time with their jokes and teasing.

One day Pat was called away, and left his coat hanging on a nail. The Englishman and Scotsman, seeing some white paint near, seized the opportunity of painting a donkey’s head on the back of Pat’s coat.


The latter soon returned, and looking first at his coat, and then fixing his eye on his chums, said slowly: “Begorra! and which of you two has wiped your face on my coat?”


“Come, corporal,” said the colonel, “say definitely what you mean. Was the prisoner drunk, or wasn’t he?”

“’E wasn’t himself, sir; he was under the influence of drink. When I saw him he’d been washing his face in a puddle an’ he was trying to wipe it on a wire doormat, cursin’ the holes in the ‘towel.’”


The sergeant-major had trouble in finding an accountant for his captain, but at last brought in a private for trial.

“Are you a clerk?” demanded the captain.

“No, sir,” replied the man.

“Do you know anything about figures?” asked the captain.

“I can do a bit,” replied the man, modestly.

“Is this the best man you can find?” asked the officer.

“Yes, sir.”

“Well,” growled the captain, “I suppose I’ll have to put up with him!” Turning to the private, he snapped, “What were you in civilian life?”


“Professor of mathematics at the State College, sir,” was the unexpected reply.


He was in khaki, but it’s better not to say what branch of the service he is in, and it certainly would be cruel to hint at his company. There are probably gold bars in it, and the guardhouse is not the place for a returned soldier. Here’s the story he tells. He says it’s true:

“Sometimes overseas,” he said, “it seems as if every other man you met was a second lieutenant.

“One day last spring Gen. Pershing and his staff found themselves out in the open with a chance for a bit of rest, the first in days, but nary a place to take it in.

“Well, ‘Black Jack’ thought what was good enough for his men wasn’t so worse for him. He just quietly rolled himself up in his cape and lay down under a hedge where the mud wasn’t more than a foot deep, and the staff took the next hedge and did likewise.

“Pretty soon along comes a regiment and stops for a minute. Some of the men drop out for a snooze, and one of them comes along to the hedge which was ‘Black Jack’s’ private ‘boodoir’ and lies down beside him. Pretty soon he begins to talk to the chief friendly like, and Pershing talks to him and it was mighty dark.

“Pretty soon the regiment’s ordered to fall in[146] and the Johnny leaves ‘Black Jack’ casual like and starts to rejoin. But on his way he meets an orderly and he asks him, ‘Who’s that decent guy under the hedge?’

“‘My gracious,’ or words to that effect, as they say at the court-martials, remarks the orderly, ‘Don’t you know that’s General Pershing?’

“Well, that soldier does some tall thinking for a minute and then he goes back to the hedge and stands at salute and begs Pershing’s pardon most pretty. The General looks up at him and our friend swears he was grinning a little and he says slow and thoughtful like:

“‘Never mind. That was an interesting talk and I understand. It’s all right with me, but,’ and the eyes of him looked as sober as if he was talking tactics with Foch, ‘Don’t try it with any of those new second lieutenants.’

“And,” concluded the man in khaki, “the guy went away just a-shuddering with thinking what would have happened if it had been a second lieutenant instead of just a General.”


Willis—How do you like army life? Quite a number of new turns for a fellow to get used to, I suppose.

Gillis—You bet. At night you turn in, and just as you are about to turn over somebody turns up and says, “Turn out.”



The Colonel beckoned to his orderly.

“Smith, I wish you’d ride into the town and get the correct time.”

“Why, sir,” Smith hesitated, “I haven’t got a watch.”

“A watch, a watch,” the Colonel roared. “What in the name of sense do you want a watch for? Write it down on a piece of paper, man.”


All sorts of stories come from across the water relative to misunderstandings between Yanks and the ladies over there, and not the least amusing is one told at the Washington Press Club by one of the correspondents.

Seems the doughboy had taken an English girl to a baseball game, and, after it was over, was eager to make sure that she had understood and appreciated the great American game.

“Now, if there’s anything you didn’t understand tell me and I’ll explain,” he pleaded in her fair ear.

“Well,” she answered, “really, don’t you know, I didn’t understand a bit of it, and some of it sounded awfully silly.”

“What was so awfully silly?” demanded the doughboy. “Tell me and I’ll explain.”

“Well,” replied the girl, dubiously, “why do they call the seats the stands?”


And, at last reports, the soldier was still trying to tell her.


Camp Devens, Mass.—These colored noncommissioned officers are efficient or nothing.

A newly-made corporal, recently from Dixie, was superintending the breaking up of some old cases down in the 13th Battalion today. A dark recruit was wielding an ax with vigor and with fair success. The corporal apparently couldn’t find any specific thing the matter with his work, but he stopped him just the same. “Boy,” said the dignified corporal, “boy, does you know how to do dis yere work?”

“Co’se ah does,” replied the recruit rather indignantly.

The corporal eyed him dangerously. “Sojer,” he said, darkly, “did ah evah show you how dis should be done? Have yo’ evah received any constructions fum me?”

“No,” admitted the rookie reluctantly, “yo’ nevah tol’ me nuthin’.”

“Den, man, yo’ don’ know nuthin’,” exploded the corporal, and the private meekly dropped his ax.


Old Lady (to severely wounded soldier): “Poor man, have you lost your leg?”

Tommy: “Yes, mum.”


Old Lady: “Oh, poor fellow! Do have an apple!”

Tommy (to his chum, when the old lady had departed): “Bill, I think I’ll have my other leg off before she comes next week. I might get a banana!”


“That’s how we do things in the Army,” said Tommy, pointing to a news heading which bore the word, “Five Hundred Germans Drowned in Champagne.” “Got nothing to beat that in the Navy, I’ll bet.”

“Oh, haven’t we?” retorted his sailor friend. “My lad, that’s nothing to get excited about—nothing at all. In that last little affair along the Belgian coast we sank three German submarines in port!”


When Charles Schwab was inspecting the Seattle shipbuilding yards he was accompanied by his friend, Dr. Eaton. Both are eloquent speakers, the crowd always calling for more. It was horse and horse between the two as to which could tell the most impossible story on the other.

One day while addressing a few thousand shipbuilders, Dr. Eaton scored a base hit with this:

“Boys, I’ll tell you something in strict confidence. A few days ago when in Tacoma, Charlie and I went aboard a new ship that was nearly ready to go in service. As we walked along the clean, new deck,[150] Charlie noticed some large lids and wondered what was inside. So the sailors came and lifted the hatch, and when he looked down into the hold he said, ‘Why, the damn thing is hollow!’”

Then Charlie came to bat and told how on leaving Portland “Doc” rushed to him in great excitement with the announcement that he had lost his baggage.

“‘It’s too bad,’ I said. ‘How did it happen?’

“‘Why, the cork came out,’ moaned the Doctor.”


One day in a French village two soldiers were being served coffee by an old French woman when one of them remarked, “Gee, Bill, this don’t taste like coffee.”

“Ain’t,” answered his companion; “it’s chicory.”

The first soldier looked at him in admiration and said: “Here we only struck this place yesterday and you’re learning the language already.”


The Officer (to recruit reported for insubordination, who has refused to enter the swimming pool)—And what have you got to say for yourself?

Recruit—Please, sir, I’ve only been in the navy three days. The first day the doctor drawed two o’ me teeth; the second day I was vaccinated, and now a petty orficer, he says, “Come along! We’re goin’ ter drown yer!”



Bill is a soldier in France. Several months ago his sweetheart, Dolly, sent him a box of fruit, nuts, etc. Two weeks later she sent a letter and incidentally asked him if he got the goodies. She evidently didn’t write distinctly or Bill didn’t read carefully. To her surprise she received a letter from him saying: “Yes, every soldier gets the cooties.” So much alike, yet so different.


After coming in from a 20-mile “hike” the officer in command of a negro company said, before dismissing them: “I want all the men who are too tired to take another hike to take two paces forward.”

All stepped forward except one big, husky six-footer. Noticing him, the officer said: “Well, Johnson, ready for twenty miles more?”

“No, sah,” replied Johnson. “Ah’m too tired to even take dem two steps.”


Sambo, a dusky warrior in the American army, had only recently landed, and was comparing London with New York. He paused before a shop window full of watches. His gaze became fixed on a very shiny watch on a velvet cushion, on which was pinned a card bearing the words, “This watch will go for eight days without winding.”


Sambo pondered, and then walked straight into the shop: “Say, boss, will you tell how long dat darn watch will go if you do wind it up?”


“Look at that fellow doing the ‘falling leaf,’ the ‘tail spin,’ and other fancy tricks away up there in the air.”

“I see him.”

“I never thought I’d live to see a man as much at home in the air as a bird.”

“Umph! No bird is in the same class with an expert aviator when it comes to flying. Did you ever see a bird that could fly upside down?”


Camp Devens, Mass.—Seven hundred and fifty medical replacement troops have just left this camp for service overseas. Just before their departure a sergeant from the Depot Brigade came to Lieut.-Col. C. C. McCornack, Division Surgeon, and asked for a transfer to the detachment then about to leave.

“Colonel,” he pleaded, “I’ve been in this doggone army more than a year. In that time I’ve scarcely set foot outside this camp. If I don’t get across now, I never will. I’ll be a hell of a soldier, won’t I?”

Col. McCornack leaned back in his chair and laughed.

“Sergeant,” he said, “you’ve got a fine chance of[153] getting any sympathy out of me on that score. I’ve been in the Army twenty years and haven’t got across. What are you kicking about?”


The Liberty Bond squad had some interesting experiences. “I am not subscribing for this $50 Liberty Bond to please you,” explained a woman, as doleful as she is wealthy. “I am doing it to please my own self.”

“Make it $100,” said the young solicitor, “and give yourself one roaring, rousing good time.”


The chaplain of a certain camp was challenged by a sentry with, “Halt! Who goes there?”

The minister answered, “Chaplain.”

“Advance, Charlie,” ordered the sentry, “and be recognized.” For which he was banished to the guardroom.


The flappers were taken out to tea by two staff officers resplendent in scarlet and khaki. Being “on the staff” caused the two young men to be very popular with themselves, and to treat the flappers rather patronizingly. The younger of the two girls was lost in admiration. Looking up her escort adoringly, she cooed:


“O, what lovely boots! And spurs, too! Why do you wear spurs?”

“O,” chipped in the other girl, who objected to being regarded as an infant, “the spurs are to keep the feet from slipping off their office stools!”


A grizzled chap in a captain’s uniform came into a barber shop. He saluted smartly and seated himself in the chair.

“Hair cut,” he said in gruff tones.

“How would you like it cut, sir?” the barber asked.

The captain, who was baldish, answered, gruffer than ever:

“Line up the hairs and number off to the right. Odd numbers each want a half inch off. Dress smartly with bay rum and brilliantine. Then dismiss.”


An American officer recently expressed his surprise that English people had so quickly appreciated the fascinations of baseball, and particularly how very enthusiastic women were on the game.

“Why, at the Navy and Army match the other week,” he said, “I counted quite twenty ‘fans’ among the women sitting around me.”

“Yes,” said a charming old lady, “and I wished I had taken mine, for the heat was terribly trying.”



An American soldier was being shown over an old English church where hundreds of people were buried.

“A great many people sleep between these walls,” said the guide, indicating the inscription-covered floor.

“So?” said the doughboy. “Same way over in our country. Why don’t you get a more interesting preacher?”


It was a hot day, and two sailors had just been released from a long spell of duty on a mine sweeper. They made a bee-line for the first public-house they saw, and one of them ordered two quarts of ale. The men emptied their mugs in one draught whilst the barmaid looked on in undisguised admiration.

The man who had paid stood for a second or two wetting his lips meditatively, and then turned to his comrade with a grin.

“’Tain’t so bad, Bill, is it?” he remarked. “Shall we ’ave some?”


A New York editor said on his return from an official visit to the front:

“The soldier can still have a good time on his furlough, but the war prices make a good time costly.


“A handsome young American officer was sending a wire one day in a London postoffice where I was mailing a package. The girl telegraph clerk, running over the officer’s message said:

“‘I can’t make out whether this reads ”No funds“ or ”No fun.“’

“‘Oh, well, what’s the difference?’ said the officer, gloomily lighting a cigarette.”


One of our transports sailing from an Atlantic port, heading for France with a load of negro troops, had engine trouble two days out. It was decided that the ship put back to port, and it returned, but to a different pier of that same port.

The dusky warriors were immediately unloaded and made ready to embark on another ship. While standing in line, one of the braves stepped out and walking up to an officer asked:

“Ah beg yo’ pardin, sah, but can you tell me whar the city of Paris lies fum hyere?”


This story was brought back from the trenches by a Knights of Columbus secretary:

A colored soldier, hearing the report of a 14-inch naval gun exclaimed:

“There! Mistah Kaiser! You all count your men now and see how many is missing.”




By Carleton B. Case

160 Pages    Artistic Paper Covers    Price 40 cents.

(Now first printed in book form.) The jolly tales the soldiers tell are here collected in one neat volume, that all who love good stories and all who are interested in the lively doings of our boys in khaki may read and be entertained. Not only the Yankee lads, but also our Canadian, British and French brothers in arms have stories to tell you in this book; and while they are all “stories” they also are all true to fact, which increases your interest in them many fold. This is the first book of its kind ever issued, and should be in every American home. (Just out.)


For Recitation and Reading

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Just issued. The only book of its kind; containing the best of the new verse written during the present war that is suitable for declamation and public reading, in school, college, church, patriotic and Red Cross meetings, and all similar occasions; together with the very choicest of the old favorites. Humor, pathos, lively action, narrative, the grand and the sublime, all have representation in its pages; the whole constituting a bookful of the newest and choicest works of the best American, Canadian and British poets, writers and orators, such as was never before gathered in one volume.

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Gathered from European Sources

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(Just off the press.) The funny things which the combatants say and do in the present great conflict in Europe and Asia, the recruits’ blunders, the stay-at-homes’ excuses, the bulls of the Irish fighters, the jokes on the officers and on the lads in the trenches,—these and many other amusing anecdotes of the war are to be found in this book in great detail. It is the only collection of its kind, and is gathered direct from the press of the European nations engaged in the war, especially for this work. Contains nothing to offend any nationality, but everything to amuse and entertain the reader.

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(Spring of 1917.) The very newest, largest and choicest collection of merry quips about our friend the Ford car, all good-natured and laughable, with nothing to offend even Mr. Henry Ford himself. The author went to Detroit and obtained some of the new jokes in this book right at the Ford factory. You can’t help laughing, whether you own a Ford car or not, at the funny things in “Ford Smiles.” When you get this book of humor we ask you to read the short Preface to it; it explains, in the author’s opinion, why every good Ford joke is a compliment to that great invention—the Ford Motor Car. Probably you hadn’t thought of it that way.

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Transcriber’s Notes:

Page 42, “kidnaped” changed to “kidnapped” (were kidnapped by)

Page 134, “told” changed to “hold” (hold ’em back)