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- _ ... w "SWADDIES." I -I

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w "SWADDIES." I ANOTHER FINE SPECIMEN. HOW HE "RAISED THE WIND." (By Cycliste. ") The next occasion upon which I met a real bona fide swaddy was also at a rest citinp-but one of a totally different kind to that at Le Havre. This camp was situated at M——, Dot so many kilometres from the line-at any rate, you could trace the windings of the iine by the faint ribbon of green light glowing on the horizon of a n:ght, Another sigti of proximity to the front was tha,t a British "super-heavy" was mounted on the outskirts of the town. The rest camp of M—-— was certainly more cpmfortable looking than the mud- iiat we were so glad to vacate at the base, and resembicd in appearance a Kaffir kraal, except that the huts were very solidly built, although not over warm. It was one day in February, colder than usual, when I sucked patiently at a pipcluJ" of tea leaves (funds were low, and one has to do some- thing when in that heartrending, state of impecunlosity-generally described as "dead broke") thaifc I again confronted a real, genuine specimen of the genus swaddy. I was still pulling desperately at my pipe (the gift cf a paternal Corporation), when the figure presented itself before me, and with a mock serious expression gave me an elabor- ate salute. I hastily returned the salute with a? equally graceful "D and sat myself down to await the newcomer's busi- ness. The Swaddy is Broke. "Did it ever strike you 'ow nice it would be to 'ave a general's, billet when you're 'ard up, kid?'' he slild at length. I ignored the last expression and replied that no doubt it must be pleasant never to have to experience tfrfe hardship of being minus the filthy lucre in any shape. The sWaddy sat himself down alongside of me and stroked hisehin reflectively. He gazed at me inquiringly and said: "What you come down with. sonny?" "Bronchitis." I replied laconically. It's a curious thing, but when you are without the necessary you do not feel very much inclined to conversation. The swaddy, however, disregarded my uninterested air and determined on another course of cross- examination. "Like France, yc ngster ?" I stared at him despairingly and out of sheer perversity replied that I did. This gave the veteran the opportunity'he was waiting for, and he unhesitatingly termed me in a three-minute harangue, practically devoid of repetition" fourteen different kinds of liar. I quailed beneath his forceful rhetoric and suggested that I had only replied in the affirmative to hear wluit he would say. Thus mollified, the swaddy extracted a cigarette of half-smoked brand, known v, niiser, and requested the loan of a match. Having smoked the weed from an inch and a half to an inch, he replaced it in hill field dressing pocket and essayed at conversation once more. An Idea. I "Are you absolutely.ard up, chum?" he inquired. I nodded resignedly and gave up all hope of a peaceful evening beside the nic-,sroom fire. The awaddy's lace assumed a rapt expression and he meditated a space j before inviting me to make a suggestion for raising t)i c wind..1 repudiated any idea ot "tapping" anybody in the camp for the loan of a franc or .'10 because I knew, full well that everybody Kar»:probably as fnan- dally embarrassed as we were. Then the iva,s -,t.r -k by a brilliant idea. I know," he said, we'll ask the padre to stick Us a couple of francs! The audacity of the announcement com- pletely floored .me and it was some time be- fore I could bring myself to favour the old one with a contemptuous stare. The idea of "touching" a padre! I he very thought rendered me breathless, and seeing his sug- gestion ignominiously dismissed my friend once again composed himself to think of some other means whereby he could purchase Wood bines and. take a hand, at pontoon without trouble to himself. 1 knocked, the ashes from my pipe and stared moodily across t,h( camp square wishing I was back with my own lot again—anywhere from the i confounded monotony of the camp. It was a "Rest Camp." indeed, hut there was one fault I had to find with it—you had too much rest there, so much, indeed, that it made you long for a working party or a cookhouse fatigue. Think of it—nothing to do and fagless and without any prospect 01 getting any until returned for duty! My musings were disturbed by the swaddy going through his pockets madly, "i'va got it! he yelled. Got what?" I asked innocently. "The D.T.'s or hydrophobia?" The swaddy stopped his Highland ttmg to glance at me pityingly, and unfolded his wheeze for obtaining the "dibs," as he ex- pressed it, with great relish. The Climax. Why should I hesitate to bring this talc to a conclusion? Suffice it that when I WAS returned to duty some days later. I rejoined my unit bereft oi several articles of small kit, to wit, one razor, one tooth- brush, one shaving ditto, and a, tube of good shaving soap I had received in a parcel some time before. The swaddy, by a method known only to his genus, had deposed of this promiscuous collection to some guileless person just come over the Channel for the sum of three francs fifty centimes, of which sum he retained one franc seventy-five cen- j times, presumably as "auctioneer's fee." Did I mention that the swaddy succeeded in winning my hard-obtained cash from me at "brag" afterwards? He called it "brag," but to my misfortune I found that the game consisted of his always capping my king with an ace i Thereby hangs a tale. for as the days went by I grew older and wiser, and incidentally suspicious of all "swaddies."

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I "GIRL liE LEFT BEHIND1 …

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