quotes_jul31_2011.htm

(July 31st to Aug 6th)



Format: Triple

“Peg him out!’ sez me orf’cer bhoy, up loud, just as if ’twas battalion p’rade an’ he pickin’ his wurrds from the Sargint.

“The non-coms tuk Peg Barney—a howlin’ handful he was—an’ in three minut’s he was pegged out—chin down, tight-dhrawn—on his stummick, a tent-peg to each arm an’ leg, swearin’ fit to turn a naygur white.

  

This is from “The Big Drunk Draf'” in Soldiers Three.

Mulvaney is telling the tale of how he encouraged a young officer to impose iron discipline on an unruly draft of men on their way across India to their troop-ship home, with gratifying results.


“… while you’re with me you will carry your own weapons and armour.”

‘“But it’s hot,” said one of them, “and we haven’t a doctor. Suppose we get sunstroke, or a fever?”

‘“Then die,” I said, “and a good riddance to Rome! Up shield—up spears, and tighten your foot-wear!”

   

This is from “A Centurion of the Thirtieth” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.

Parnesius is describing how he dealt with an undisciplined soldier in his troop, on the march north to the Great Wall.


‘I wouldn’t blame you for fightin’,’ said he, ‘if you only knew how to use your hands; but you don’t. Take these things and I’ll show you.’ The men appreciated his efforts. Now, instead of blaspheming and swearing at a comrade, and threatening to shoot him, they could take him apart and soothe themselves to exhaustion.

   

This is from “The Brushwood Boy” in The Day’s Work.

Cottar, a young subaltern, is training his troop how to deal with their conflicts on sound Public-School lines.

Leave a comment