xt79319s2414 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt79319s2414/data/mets.xml Martin, George Madden, 1866- 1907  books b92-235-31281108 English McClure Co., : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Letitia  : nursery corps, U.S.A. / by George Madden Martin. text Letitia  : nursery corps, U.S.A. / by George Madden Martin. 1907 2002 true xt79319s2414 section xt79319s2414 

LETITIA: Nursery Corps, U. S. A.


  - The essential most necessary to make the admirable
army woman is that instinct which, on a night's halt,
can create the feeling of home out of Dougherty cushions
and blankets if it should come to that. In the nomadic
life of the army, stability and morals are represented in
the home."
   From the porch conversations of Mrs. Colonel Ganeau.

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U. S. A.





CopYright, 1907, by The McClurr Company

Published, November, 1097

Copyright, 1906, 1907, by The Phillips Publishing Co.




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COM AND NON-COM                               I

PARTY LINES .        .     .     .        37


"HIMSELF HE COULD NOT SAVE"   -        . 107



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LETITIA .rontispiece
CONCERNING INJUNS.                 .         I2


   LADY IN THE WORLD   .  .   .  .   .   .  20

   OF THE STRIKER EARNESTLY   .  .   .   .  26

   LEG'R    ..32

   PLAY WITH NON-COMS .  .   .  .   .      46


   BACKGROUND FOR HER.                      56

   I FIND MYSELF IN, MY MAN .    .  .   .  82

   TO TEMPT A MAN TO CANTEEN Now            90
                     [ vii ]


   AUNT EMMA .100



   BY BUCKET                             i58


[ viii ]



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S     INCE army conditions encourage a preju-
     dice against too much baggage, babies
     now and then stand a chance of being
looked upon as a superfluous part of a nomadic
  Letitia's mother therefore, had to defend her-
self when unencumbered ladies condoned or
  "I assure you she was an accident not calcu-
lated for in any of our plans," she retorted sharp-
ly once, compassioned too far. It might almost
have been a crossing of swords between the
  "A woman has as many haters of herself on a
post as there are ladies she excels in looks," she
also put it sweetly after one of these sword-
crossing contests. There had been eight ladies,
at bridge, present at the moment referred to,
herself included, and the seven were homely.

  But that occasion and that post were ancient
history now. Letitia was nearly eight and had
moved six times.
  "You get on the train and when you get off,
it's another colonel's way," was her version of it.
  "And another home " an adult fellow-travel-
er on the sleeper taking Letty and her officer
papa and her officer's lady mama to this last
remove, asked her.
  "House " queried Letty in her turn, the
vocabulary at eight evidently being limited to
the words which from experience are known.
  It was a new post and a new house at which
she and her father and mother were arriving
now. It was evening. The army 'bus was bringing
them up from the dock. Everywhere was loose
deep sand, white glaring sand, and as the 'bus
horses plowed through it they looked discour-
aged and their heads hung. Sand-flies made
vicious nips at Letitia's calves dangling from
the 'bus-seat.
  Along the oyster-shell walk, two soldiers were
conducting a prisoner whose head hung too;
then he stumbled, stopped, and despite his cap-
tors, showed fight.
                    [ 4]

         COM AND NON-COM
  "Nice hole this," said papa, "faugh!" And
papa, who was slim, trim, neat-footed, bit at
his small, fair mustache.
  "Cattle is the business of the ranch," said
mama; "as the brand is the same at every post,
what did you expect to find "
  "Is it a niland, or just shore " asked Letitia.
She had been at both.
  Now it was an inviolable rule never to be
lightly broken, not to talk to mama, still less to
papa, toward the end of a Journeying and the
arrival at the post at that journey's end. It has
taken all the money to break up again and get
Letty and mama there, you know.
  "Can't you keep her quiet" said papa
to mama so politely that Letty sat painfully
  "Begin now, I would, on top of the other de-
lights of arrival," said mama. She was stooping
a little to adjust her veil by the strip of mirror
between the 'bus-windows, for a bit of veil bisect-
ing chin and cheek and lobe of ear and caught
to a tilted hat-brim behind makes a lovely mama
even lovelier, a matter always to be thought of
by pretty ladies as they are arriving anywhere.

  As the 'bus turned onto p'rade, Letitia could
have told you retreat had sounded even if the
gun had not that moment boomed. P'rade
squared on three sides by headquarters, barracks,
and guard-house and on the fourth open to the
sea, presented a spectacular appearance of men
and band and fluttering stars and stripes with
a fringe of civilian spectators on the outskirts,
while led to across the arm of the ocean by a
blood-red path, the sun was setting in a ball be-
hind the city spires across the bay.
  "Oh, say can you see-" the band here
demanded of Letitia in crashing strains, but the
'bus had turned off the edge of p'rade and was
trundling briskly along the back of a row of
houses. There were no fences, no trees, no grass,
only sand, with here and there a clothes-line or
a sagging chicken-coop.
  Part of an ever-moving caravan, is it to be ex-
pected that army officers or their ladies are going
to plant vines and fig-trees for a mere night's
lodging beneath, as it were  That were to pre-
suppose in human nature far too great altruism.
Let the colonels and the Government do their
own beautifying. Posts vary, the last had been

         COM AND NON-COM
impeccable. It depends largely you see, upon
the commanding officer.
  Not that Letitia thought to these conclusions,
she only knew that this one felt lonesome.
  Behind each house sat a dingy tin garbage-
  Mama spoke. "Run down at heels. With an
easy colonel again and no brace up, I see your
finish, Buckner," she said to papa sweetly.
  All of which had taken perhaps two minutes
of time, during which the 'bus turned a corner
and came round to the front of things.
  The new house, No. I7, stood one of a row,
all alike, facing the breakwater, the beach and
the sea.
  "-and the bome of the brave !" exultantly
declared the band to Letty, then ceased with
blatant crash, and as the vehicle backed to the
oyster-shell walk, the sun sank, the sea faded
gray, and the air grew chill.
  The soldier-driver descended, strode around,
opened the door, came to attention and s'luted,
whereat papa and mama got out, leaving him
to bring in the impedimenta. Of it he chose
Letty first, who took his hand to walk up the

twenty feet of oyster-shell path while he in his
other, carried satchels. There was one little shrub
in Letitia's new white sand yard overlooking the
wide gray sea, and it shivered.
  " It's a noleander," the soldier told her when
she asked, or so she understood.
  He loosed her hand at the veranda and she
followed papa who followed mama, into the
last remove.
  Later a detail of soldiers came from quarters
to uncrate.
  Now an empty house is full of strange sounds
which Letitia had learned are called echoes.
Boxes, crates and gunny-sacked rolls lay about
on the bare floors.
  The detail filed in and saluted.
  "Knock those beds out and up," said papa
curtly, acknowledging.
  "Hands off, Buckner," said mama sharply if
softly to papa. " I choose my own striker and with
no black eye from you for No. I7 beforehand."
  Which meant that mama, her veil and hat on
the mantel now, her tossed and rumpled hair
only the lovelier for it, her lovely self jauntily
perched on a high box, her natty foot swinging,

         COM AND NON-COM
-that mama was going to choose for herself
from one of these men, if one proved available,
that soldier who should tend the furnace, brush
and keep in order papa's clothes and shoes
  Of course if one is very very nice to a striker
there are other things he may do if he is so mind-
ed, though he is not supposed to nor yet, far
from it, required to. No soldier has to be a striker
unless he feels thus inclined to add to his earn-
ings; moreover, if he become one, what else he
is willing to do is a matter between the good
nature of himself and the lady of the officer em-
ploying him and to be kept between them. For
a colonel, or even a company's captain to come
for instance, on a uniformed United States soldier
counting the clothes out for wash
  Lovely mamas are pretty, which is one kind
of thing, and lovely mamas can smile pretty,
which is another. Mama, as a rule, Letty had
noticed smiled pretty at strikers, and at quarter-
masters who deal out the things appertaining to
new households, at captains and at colonels. She
did not bother with ladies or with papas. She was
tired then.

  Now much, you must know, in Letitia's life,
depended on this condescendingly pleasant smil-
ing by mama at the striker, who would under
the successful operation of the same, stay with
Letty when the cook would not, for instance
when there was a bridge at the colonel's - if in-
deed it was one of those fortunate times when
there was a cook.
  Once within memory, and remembrance at
something this side of eight does not go overly
far back - a cookless time this chanced to be -
mama and papa felt obliged to start before the
striker got there.
  "It's an infernal -" papa began, for papas
do not like to be detained for Letitias or strikers
  "He will be here by the time we are started,"
said mama reassuringly, and so they went.
  But he never came, having been pinched
which is to say put in the mill officially known
as the guard-house.
  Now you call what is generally responsible
for getting a striker in the guard-house or to be
exact, you did at that particular post, "peso," or
"blind tiger's bite," but when it happens to
                    [ 10]

         COM AND NON-COM
your papa (not the guard-house), mama calls it
  And so this time within memory, Letitia's
striker did not come and he did not come, and
strange noises, as you know, promptly begin in
houses as soon as there is no papa or mama or
cook or striker in them; also Things which are
not really things, of course, fly back into corners
when you sit up and look, and " nawful " words,
once told you by a little boy, such as " raw-head
an' bloody-bones!" recur to you inconveniently;
and while, in fact, you would rather not, you are
impelled to think of fearful happenings which
the Old Sergeant, swinging you up on the big
ancient unmounted gun, "Old smash-'em-all,"
has told you concerning Injuns who coming
c-r-e-e--ping up in those days on the sleeping
frontier post -
  And matters having reached this point, Letitia,
braving the things likely to clutch her if she went
because of worse things sure to do so if she stayed,
slipped fearfully out of bed and more fearfully
down the awful stairs and out of the house and
patted it barefooted and in nightie 'cross p'rade,
itself unexpectedly vast and boundless, un-
                    [ II ]

familiar and tenantless by night, to non-com
row and there turned the knob of Mrs. Sergeant
Crashaw's door.
  This person being non-com, Letty could not
by any means have played with her children by
day, but when everybody along Off'cers' Row
has gone to the colonel's party, a non-com mama
can wrap you in a blanket comf'y, good as any,
and rock you consolingly; and can be trusted to
rouse her sergeant-husband to carry you home
when the party is over and mamas along Off'cers'
Row have returned.
  These non-com mamas have leisure, too, if
you slip over there by day, to slap the iron on
the stand and tell you a story of the Philippines,
the awed little non-coms standing about listen-
ing also; time also to cut and dispense slices of
bread all around, spread with sugar, between the
peeling of the spuds for dinner. Potatoes you call
these last in off'cers' row but when you mingle
with strikers and non-coms, they are spuds.
  Non-com ladies, moreover, have time to make
their little girls enviable pina cloth dresses for
Sunday, in which they go out walking holding
to their sergeant-papa's hand, and with which
                    [ 12]


1      0

    i-f  =N1

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         COM AND NON-COM
they wear wonderful hats with wreaths of
feather-flowers thereon.
  A real mama such as one's own on the con-
trary, is the busiest lady in the world, so busy
that the joy of life in order to help her, is to
stand and silently hand her, as she is ready
for each, file, rosy polish, buffer, or shell pins,
combs, curling-irons.
  But Mrs. Sergeant Crashaw, you see, lived
back at the last post, while here life had to
begin all over again with p'raps no friendly Mrs.
Sergeant across in non-com row. Hence Letitia
was deeply concerned in the matter of striker,
for as is generally conceded there is not much to
be hoped for in cooks. Cooks won't clean shoes
as a striker will, or thaw the water-pipes, or
brush mama's muddy skirts, or lay out papa's
dress uniform, or clean his razors, or fly around
for the brandy and soda those times which
mama calls "the morning after," or stand to
attention and s'lute when papa slings forceful
words such as "damn." Cooks won't take
these things. They go. And then what you
get to eat, in Letitia's experience, depends very
much on the capability and good nature of your
                    1 13]

striker. Therefore she now watched the choos-
ing of this functionary earnestly.
  To do so, she got the burlap off her own little
chair and pulling it to one side, for mamas and
papas have a way of being provoked if they fall
over their little girls, sat down.
  The detail of soldiers worked busily with
hatchet and hammer since the new-comers had
to have beds and bedding to sleep in that night.
The four of the five men were mere types of the
private anywhere, Letitia could have told you
that; types even in names, Murphy, Batts,
Kinsey, and McAdams being the ones they
answered to, for mama asked them. And then
swinging her pretty foot in its natty Oxford, she
smiled with a gracious condescension at Mur-
phy, Batts, Kinsey, and McAdams, who fell to
afresh with tempestuous zeal.
  After which mama, from her playful perch
on the box, ordering papa to delve farther in
that chest and he'd find the sheets were there,
narrowed her eyes consideringly at the fifth man.
So Letitia looked at him too.
  "And your name, Corporal " mama asked.
  Now some ladies would never have noticed his

         COM AND NON-COM
chevrons. Letitia had of course, since she knew
the very soul of a soldier, and she sighed con-
tentedly that mama had not failed her little
daughter's faith in her and settled again in her
small chair.
  Now the corporal was swollen about the lids
and the lower face and he was heavily red. Letty
knew the thing as a matter of course. It happens
when a soldier has been to town and is also
closely allied to pay-day, and it is following this
phenomenon of appearance that a man gets
pinched which is to say, put in the guard-
house. That is privates and corporals get
pinched, or get their belts pulled, papas, as
known by Letty's own, sleep it off.
  The corporal with the heavy, sulky lids and
swollen face was hitting the cratings as if he
might mean to demolish them instead. He was
straight and powerful on his legs and broad in
his back, his eyes were blue and his short, clipped
hair was black. He could have played bones
with any two of the other four men with one
hand, as the cannibal king did with the mission-
aries in Mrs. Sergeant Crashaw's Pacific island
stories, and he scowled red.
                    [ IS]

  But mama, regarding him consideringly,
asked, "And your name, Corporal "
  " Leg'rW," said the man at attention, if sullenly.
  Letitia had gathered from mama before this,
that when one is asking a service along the
way, of any one from a colonel on post to a cab-
man at the curb, it costs no more to be gra-
cious. Within the proper degree one may be
gracious even to an enlisted man. Mama, for
her own needs, chose to assume this one to
be worthy of her appeal to him, and as an en-
listed man is what he is made to feel himself to
be, the effect on this one was immediate. He
straightened. His "attention" seemed to be-
come a voluntary and straightforward affair.
The toughest rookie there might be on a post,
was always deferential to mama.
  " Thank you for setting together Letitia's lit-
tle bed up-stairs, first," said she politely, just as
though Corporal Leg'r6 had thought himself to
do it, instead of papa having shortly ordered
him. "And Corporal, if you will lift the tray
of that trunk which is unstrapped behind you
there, and hand Letitia the little gown on top,
she can go up-stairs-"
                    [ i6 ]


Non-com mamas have unlimited time

" ,    tw'
               11 ,O,

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         COM AND NON-COM
  Now strikers as often as anybody else, thus
far in life, had shared the responsibility of find-
ing Letitia her gowns. They looked startled
about it at first, these soldier-men, just as huge
Corporal Leg'rE did now who blushed with a suf-
fused violence through his swollen red as, obey-
ing orders, he lifted the object pointed out by his
officer's lady. But since it was accepted as a
matter of course by Letitia's mother and by her
officer papa, himself issuing sharp orders to the
other men, and by that little person herself, the
blush became a blush because of the blushing.
Which is how mama meant it to be with soldier
strikers, and so as the big corporal moved to the
next thing to be done, she again smiled gra-
  Now not only is it entirely optional with a
soldier whether he be a striker or not, but it is
the exception for a corporal to be one. Still pretty
mamas can secure concessions from colonels,
and naturally a corporal is the better man if one
can get him. Therefore Letty, arising from her
little chair, her gown in her arms, was at peace.
She knew the curing of that personage was ac-


  The kitchen range, No. 17, Off'cers' Row,
stood cold and overflowing with ashes even onto
the floor. A brimming bucket, with bloated,
swollen biscuits, egg-shells, and lettuce leaves
afloat on its surface, sat under the sink. The
clock had stopped.
  Letitia, in the doorway, knew the signs. Since
mama could do so much with lieutenants and
captains and even more with colonels and strik-
ers, Letitia often wondered why she did not try
it with cooks.
  It was not so early, no matter if the clock
which had stopped, did say so, for the bugle had
awakened Letitia some time before, in its ener-
getic and lively way protesting that

         You can't get 'em up,
         rou can't get 'em up,
         rou can't get 'em up in the morning,

though some people do call the same reveille.
Since then mess-call had sounded a bit ago,
so that Corporal Leg'rW ought by now to be
  Though he had been with No. 17 that space
of time called a month, there is always the
                     [ I8 ]

         COM AND NON-COM
recurring danger of pay-day, which was yester-
day. Cooks are liable to go any time whereas if a
striker fails you, it's sure to be the morning after
that day. And this was Corporal Leg'rE's first
pay-day since
  The fear weighed heavily on Letitia.
  Then the outer door opened and huge Cor-
poral Leg'rW filled the space where he paused
as if he too, knew the signs.
  "Gone, ma'am " said he, for regardless of
age, all the ladies of an officer's household were
" ma'am" to this Corporal Leg'rW.
  Letty nodded. Then facing around and back-
ing, she presented her small self to the corporal
who, seeing the situation, shut the door and
went to buttoning up the lines of buttons and
holes thus presented. Slowly but accurately
proceeded Corporal Leg'rW, for fingers that
however huge and blunt, can teach Letty to
make hitches and clove-hitches, double-sheet
bends, bowlines and sheep-shanks with a bit
of twine, can button underbodies, and waist-
bands and gingham aprons, if you give 'em
  And Corporal Leg'r6 (which is how you called
                    [ I9]

                 LETITI A
it, though you spelled it Legari), like Letitia,
had read the kitchen signs too.
  " I suspicioned it when I saw her switchin' her
head from side to side last night. None of 'em
aren't no manner of account whatsoever, ma'am.
Are the quarters up-stairs comfortable "
  Letty thought they were.
  "Then I won't shake down the furnace, till
I set her goin' here." He meant the kitchen
range. "No. I7 will be rippin' wide if it comes
down and no breakfast doing." Which meant
  Letitia understood and looked up, for the
comfortable thing about a striker is, he under-
stands too.
  " It's the morning after, Corp'ral Leg'r6," she
  "No, ma'am " said that person, regretfully.
"Nothing needed then but his java,"--java
with a striker being a generic term for coffee-
"which he'll be wanting black and strong
and right away; where's the coffee-pot, I
wonder "
  It was in the dish-pan along with other un-
washed tins, and was full of grounds.
                    [20 ]


by    42gi M         s
j   a: a     \

  W V

4 real mama, on the contrary, is the busiest lady in the world

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  Letitia knelt upon a chair while Corporal
Leg'rW dumped the contents of the coffee-pot
in the sink.
  "What'd you have for breakfast " she quer-
ied, for papa and mama dining out the night
before, Letitia had not had a great deal herself,
the nature of cooks being as it is.
  "Slum and sinkers, ma'am," avowed Corporal
  Now slum and sinkers, otherwise known in
Officers' Row as hash and dumplings, are not to
be despised.
  "What'll I have " queried Letty.
  "No hardtack "
  "No." For Letitia had looked. The bread-
box was empty.
  "Eggs  "
  But a search, once the kettle was on and
the coffee-pot ready, revealed none, though
Corporal Leg'r& while investigating, made an-
other find.
  "Dope," declared he gravely even if trium-
phantly as he lifted it down from the shelf.
"Dope" - which meant pie -" and pone dope
at that!" -which meant apple.
                   [21 ]

  And the water being ready, soon Corporal
Leg'rW went up with coffee to his superior officer,
while Letitia kneeling on her chair at the kitchen
table, ate dope.
  And papa gone, presently mama's call came
down over the front stair banister, mamas as
Letty knew them, not coming down for their
breakfasts, you know.
  Corporal Leg'rW, hearing, came hurrying up
from the cellar and furnace, and he and Letitia
went up with her coffee and to break the news
about the cook. She was sitting on the top step
with her lovely chin in her lovely palms, and
looked amused and also inquiring as the two
appeared. Haply a mama's hair, being lovely
too, is lovely tumbled any way and her pretty
feet, thrust into high-heeled little red slippers,
patted marching time beneath the edge of her
kimono for Letty as the two came up, whereupon
Corporal Leg'rW, raising his eyes as he turned
the landing and finding himself in the presence
of his off'cer's lady, came to such a rigid, not to
say reverent attention, the cup skipped on the
tray, after which Corporal Leg'rW stood stiffly
while Letty told about the cook.
                    [22 ]

 Mama took the tray and set it on her knees.
 "Yesterday was pay-day, Leg'r6 " said she
 " Ma'am, yes."
 "And you went to town 
 " Ma'am, yes, ma'am."
 "And you are here to look after Letitia and
me this morning "
  Corporal Leg'r6 grew red, even apologetic,
but stood his ground.
  "Corporal Leg'r6," said mama graciously
and kindly, "why "
  The corporal, towering and rigid like a man
of bronze, cleared his throat. "No. 17'S got to be
looked after," said he husky with embarrass-
ment. "I'll get leave till guard-mount, ma'am,
and come back. Things are in a regular woman's
mess, meaning cooks, below quarters."
  "Thank you," said    mama. "And what
about finding another cook for us, Corporal "
  So you see there is nothing like a striker, if
you choose him right. Corporal Leg'rW turned
and departed to get leave. And mama having
finished her coffee, went back to her room, found
her new book on bridge and pulled the couch
                   [ 23]

around to the window on the sea. The one little
bush nodded gaily down there in the morning
sun. Letitia could see it.
  "Run along, Letty," said mama, "I can't
be bothered now. 'May you play out' With the
colonel's grandchildren, I suppose you mean 
Letitia, you know I do not allow you to play so
much with other children on a post. I'll not have
you learning things you shouldn't know; and
besides as I've told you, it would mean they'd
be coming here next, spying and carrying tales.
'Play with your little bush,' you mean  What a
curious child you are, Letty. Why, yes -no,
it's in the front yard, and you are too untidy,
it would mean somebody dress you. Go stay
with Leg'r6 while he's cleaning, or at any rate,
run along - I can't be bothered now."

  Another pay-day was come and gone. The
senior captain's wife was giving a bridge to-
  "Don't you ever tire -" began papa on the
afternoon of it. Papas, you see, have days of
brooding dejection.
  "Never," said mama.

         COM AND NON-COM.
  "Don't you ever think of Letitia   "
  Now and then, you see, papas thus do think of
their Letitias.
  "Always. I'm expecting you to get permission
for Leg'r6 as usual. Why this sudden concern
for Letty "
  "I'm tired of it, tired to the soul," said papa,
slim, trim papa, biting at his little fair mustache,
"of it all - of myself, first. I - it meant some-
thing different to me from this at the start. I
meant to    "
  " I can go without you at any time, you
know," said mama, accommodatingly. "The
doctor, always, or Toddy, will be more than
glad or--"
  But papa went with mama. Toddy was a
bachelor and a captain and he came to drink
afternoon tea and brought Letitia chocolates
and Chinese beads. Yet papa did not like Cap-
tain Todd, but then, as Letitia tried to fight
against admitting, papas seem to have a way of
objecting to pleasant things. So papa went
with her.
  Corporal Leg'r6 held mama's scarlet cloak
for her as they were starting.

  "It's bath-night, Letty," said she remind-
ingly, which proves that she did think of Letitia,
you see.
  Now the first thing learned by a Letitia and a
Corporal Leg'r6 at the very beginning of life's
setting-up, when they were but mere rookies
both, is to obey.
  So face about, up-stairs they went, and Letty
squared around, and slowly but accurately Cor-
poral Leg'rW slipped buttons out of holes. Then
he found towels.
  The passage to the bath-room was long and
dim, so that Letitia, holding loosened garments
with one hand, sought Corporal Leg're's hand
with the other.
  Then he big and grave, filled the tub, which
takes a bit of time.
  Letitia knew company affairs like an old ser-
  "And you haven't said why company's cookie
is in guard-house " she reminded him.
  "'Twas a question of that which they do call
grammar, ma'am," said Corporal Leg'rW, as
equal to equal in discussing company affairs and
easing on the hot-water supply, " and which they







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         COM AND NON-COM
do say too, no disrespect meant, ma'am, the
off'cer in question ain't strong on. Says he to
cookie, who'd had schoolin' 'fore his failin' led
him to enlistin'-says he to cookie anent a
small row in the kitchen
  "'Was you the man that did it ' says he to
cookie, up for trial.
  " ' I were,' says cookie, solemn like. And there
you are, and guard-house it was. And baker's
bread and reveille is all we are like to get, reveille
being dry hash as you know, ma'am, and it being
the extent of 'Sisty's repertoire, as far as we're
finding out," and Corporal Leg'r6 felt the tem-
perature of the water with a judicious finger.
  Then he went.
  "Right outside the door," called Letitia.
  " Here, ma'am," answered Corporal Leg'r6.
  But a bath-room is a lonesome place, and water
makes echoes.
  "Corporal Leg'r6 "
  " Ma'am, here."
  "Whistle, so I'll know."
  At attention, outside the door, Corporal
Leg'r6 whistled - first call, reveille, assembly,

  Now porcelain tubs are big and slippery, and
Letitias are but baby affairs, and so when, fol-
lowing a splashing sound which might be a fall,
she cried out, it could be depended upon that
she was hurt.
  And so she was, and with her gleaming baby
self lifted onto a towel on Corporal Leg'rW's big
knees a moment after, gravely they examined
the blue welt lifting on the little thigh.
  And then, after she had raised her chin for
Corporal Leg'rW to button the band of the gown
slipped over her head, she remembered to cry
some more. It is a rare luxury with a Letitia,
you see.
  Next Corporal Leg'r6 led her back by the
hand down the long, dim passage.
  "Prayers," said he, not that he had instituted
them but that, having learned what the manual
of a Letitia is, a Corporal Leg'rW puts her through
it unflinchingly.
  " Prayers," said he.
  "You too," said Letitia. It was the condi-
  "Ma'am, yes," said he seriously as with one
who knows his duty, and he and Letitia went
                    [ 28 ]


         COM AND NON-COM
down together. It was some preceding instruct-
or's form of prayer Letitia favored, Corporal
Leg'rE being no innovator.

            Four corners to my bed,

said Letitia and the corporal together,

           Four angels at my bead.
           One to watch and one to pray,
           And two to bear my soul away.
           Matthew, Mark, Luke and 7obn,
           The bed be blest that I lie on.

  When Letitia next spoke, it was from her
pillow. "You won't go " she asked.
  Corporal Leg'rW had fetched in his superior
officer's shoes and a shoe-brush.
  " Ma'am, no," said he, getting to work.
  On the return of papa and mama, something
waked Letty. Perhaps it was mama's voice
speaking s