AROUND Ottawa they are telling a story about a brand-new soldier, a very raw recruit, who stopped abruptly during a route march and transfixed his sergeant with a baleful gaze. “Sergeant,” he said sternly, “if you can’t tell me what all this walking has to do with modern mechanized warfare I’m not going to The sergeant’s reply cannot
move another step/
be quoted here. Let’s just call it a military secret.
The trick of the year is described by the Calgary Herald in a graphic story of the fighting in Russia: “And in the dark of the night,” says the Herald, “a group of Cossack guerilla fighters are crawling on all fours through the deep snow over the frozen ice, holding their rifles above their heads.”
We always knew the Cossacks were wonderful soldiers—but we didn’t know they were acrobats.
In our nation’s war-crowded capital there are representatives of the fighting forces of all the United Nations, and sooner or later most of them wander through the Chateau Laurier. Some of Ottawa’s debs and dowagers, who gather in the Chateau’s Peacock Alley for afternoon tea, amuse themselves by trying to distinguish which uniform is which. A couple of the girls, stumped by the uniform of a tall, handsome man with iron grey hair, flagged a passing bellhop. “What navy does he belong to?” they whispered. “Who, him?” said the bellhop. “Why he’s Fire Chief O’Kelly.”
Advertisementin the Vancouver Daily Province—
“Housekeeper wanted immediately to look after twelve-months-old child, shipyard worker.”
We heard there was a labor shortage on the Pacific Coast, but didn’t know they were hiring them that young.
Private Frenchy Lalonde is unhappy, and looks at his feet with reproach and disillusionment—and no wonder. They have betrayed him, and badly, since the days when they earned him a living as a performer at fairs and carnivals. “I don’ understand,” sighs Frenchy. “In show business I’m walk on broken glass, I’m tramp on carpet tacks, I’m climb up a crosscut saw barefoot, an’ she’s never hurt me. Den I walk ten miles in de Army—an’ I get sore feet.” At last reports, published in the newspaper of the Army basic training centre at Vedder Crossing, B.C., where Frenchy is stationed, he was nursing three blisters on one heel and two on the other, and muttering that what had happened to him shouldn’t happen to a dog. C'est la guerre, and such is life . . .
And here’s a story about an international incident —and how the Mounties lived up to tradition and got their man. He was the owner of a store which straddles the boundary line where Quebec meets Vermont, and he had, it was alleged, moved foun-
tain pens from the American to the Canadian half of his shop, thus violating the Customs and Excise Act. The Mounties say they arrested him on the Canadian side of his establishment. Then they suddenly realized that the only door was on the American side. If they took him out the door, he would be on United States territory—and a free man under the law. After a bit of head scratching, the Mounties got an inspiration. They tied a rope around the storekeeper’s middle, and lowered him out a second story window at the back of the building—onto Canadian soil.
For that matter, who ever heard of a dog telephoning the police to come and catch a burglar. It’s happened in Vancouver. When an early morning prowler tried to break into a lingerie shop the owner’s watchdog heard him, knocked the telephone off the hook, and barked until the operator relayed an alarm to police headquarters.
Nice work, Fido . . .
American soldiers at Fort Nelson, B.C., 850 miles northwest of Edmonton, are beginning to get the notion that certain of the Indians at that outpost are the laziest lugs north of the equator. They regard trapping as sport, make big money at it, but are allergic to all other forms of labor. “They are what might be called the idle rich,” Morris Brown, U. S. Army, reports to his former colleagues of Metropolitan Life. “One big Indian buck came up to our tents and offered any two soldiers sixty cents an hour to cut wood for him.”
Brown doesn’t say what happened, but if the Yanks didn’t teach the wealthy buck the ancient game of poker, and send him back to his wigwam sans feathers, they aren’t the guys we thought they were.
And a scout in British Columbia reports that blackout regulations on the Pacific Coast are playing hob with egg production. Unable to make their henhouses lightproof, poultrymen, to comply with the regulations, have had to stop using the electric lights with which they formerly bamboozled the hens into believing the sun shone twenty-four hours a day. The result is that the hens now sleep at night, instead of staying awake to lay eggs. J. B. Munro, British Columbia’s energetic Deputy Minister of Agriculture, deplores the falling egg output, but sees no hope of improving matters this side of peace.
Advertisement in the influential Edmonton Journal—
“For sale—140 amateur pullets. In production five days. Owner sick. Apply--St.”
Who could expect them to be anything but amateurs, with only five days’ experience?
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