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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, November 8, 1890   By:

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 99.

November 8, 1890.

MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.

NO. V. MIGNON'S MESS ROOM.

( BY TOM RUM SUMMER, AUTHOR OF "MIGNON'S MA," "MIGNON'S HUB," "FOOTLE'S FATHER," "TOOTLE'S TOOTSIE," "UGLY TOM," "YOUR RICH RICHARD," "A BABY IN BARRACKS," "STUCK," "HOOP LORE," "WENT FOR THAT PLEECEMAN," &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C. )

["This," writes the eminent Author, "is a real, true story of the life of soldiers and children. Soldiers are grand, noble fellows. They are so manly , and all smoke a great deal of tobacco. My drawl is the only genuine one. I could do a lot more of the same sort, but I charge extra for pathos. I'm a man. T.R.S."]

CHAPTER I.

"Three blind mice See how they run." Old Song ,

The Officers of the Purple Dragoons were gathered together in their ante room. It was a way they had. They were all there. Grand fellows, too, most of them tall, broad shouldered, and silky haired, and as good as gold. That gets tiresome after a time, but everything can be set right with one downright rascally villain a villain, mind you, that poor, weak women, know nothing about. GAVOR was that kind of man. Of course that was why he was to break his neck, and get smashed up generally. But I am anticipating, and a man should never anticipate. EMILY, for instance, never did. EMILY Captain EMILY, of the Purple Dragoons was the biggest fool in the Service. Everybody told him so; and EMILY, who had a trustful, loving nature, always believed what he was told.

[Illustration]

"I nev ah twry," he used to say it was a difficult word to pronounce, but EMILY always stuck to it as only a soldier can. and got it out somehow "I nev ah twry to wremember things the wwrong way wround."

A roar of laughter greeted this sally. They all knew he meant "anticipate," but they all loved their EMILY far too well to set him right.

"'Pon my soul," he continued, "it's quite twrue. You fellows may wroawr wiv laughtewr if you like, but it's twrue, and you know it's twrne."

There was another explosion of what EMILY would have called "mewrwriment," at this, for it was well known to be one of the gallant dragoon's most humorous efforts. A somewhat protracted silence followed. FOOTLES, however, took it in both hands, and broke it with no greater emotion than he would have shown if he had been called upon to charge a whole squadron of Leicestershire Bullfinches, or to command a Lord Mayor's escort on the 9th of November. Dear old FOOTLES! He wasn't clever, no Purple Dragoon could be, but he wasn't the biggest fool in the Service, like EMILY, and all the rest of them. Still he loved another's.

In fact, whenever a Purple Dragoon fell in love, the object of his affections immediately pretended to love someone else. Hard lines, but soldiers were born to suffer. It is so easy, so true, so usual to say, "there's another day to morrow," but that never helped even a Purple Dragoon to worry through to day any the quicker. Poor, brave, noble, drawling, manly, pipe smoking fellows! On this particular occasion FOOTLES uttered only one word. It was short, and began with the fourth letter of the alphabet. But he may be pardoned, for some of the glowing embers from his magnificent briar wood pipe had dropped on to his regulation overalls. The result was painful to FOOTLES. All the others laughed as well as they could, with clays, meerschaums, briars, and asbestos pipes in their mouths. And through the thick cloud of scented smoke the mess waiter came into the room, bearing in his hand a large registered letter, and coughing violently.

CHAPTER II.

"The mouse ran up the clock." Nursery Rhyme .

The waiter advanced slowly to FOOTLES, and handed him the letter. FOOTLES took it meditatively, and turned it over in both hands. The post marks were illegible, and the envelope much crumpled. "Never mind," thought FOOTLES, to himself, "it will dry straight it will dry straight." He always thought this twice, because it was one of his favourite phrases... Continue reading book >>


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