C R U S A D E R
A contrast in types of Axis prisoners. The Italian seems highly delighted about it. The
German, who bears a strong resemblance to Spencer Tracy was at Pennsylvania University
and spent 12 years in the U .S .A . H e was completing his education at Munich when war
began. H e speaks English with an American accent; sags he wants to get back to America.
S h o r t S t o r y B y H .L .V . F l e t c h e r
“ANY COMPLAINTS ? ”
T he Colonel was looking distinctly uncom
fortable when Sergeant Wotherspoon was
shown in. He’d just been reflecting that it
was always the confounded amateurs, in
army life as everywhere else, who spoiled
things with their enthusiasms.
Sergeant Wotherspoon saluted smartly.
“E r— you wished to— er— make a com
plaint, Sergeant ?”
“Complaints,” corrected the Sergeant.
"E r— yes, quite. The Colonel was an
easy-going man who loved being left alone.
After all, what are adjutants for? “ V ery
"N ot good at altl,” said the Sergeant
acidly, adding much too loudly. “— sir."
The Colonel winced. "W on't you sit
CORPORAL W ATSON
"No, thank yoil, sir." The Sergeant re
mained stiffly at attention.
"Oh, do stand easy,” ordered the Colonel
irritably. “W ell, who is it this time?”
‘‘I regret to have to point out, sir, that
Corporal W atson is still drinking too
“The regimental police— ”
"D o not do their duty. Last night Cor
poral W atson was, not to put too fine a
point on it, intoxicated. H e went to his
hut singing a song." No words could trans
late the grim emphasis. "A song !” repeat
ed the Sergeant.
"N o harm in that— ”
“I venture to disagree, sir. This particu
lar song—well, the men must be made to
remember that there • are A .T .S. girls here.
Their windows were open and it was a
very clear night. Corporal W atson’s voice
was distinct— ”
"I thought you said he was drunk ?”
— was distinct," repeated the Serge*:?;
"And I understand that this morrin-; fr.rrf
of the girls were hea^ h’n -
“You don’t say s T' dnKkded Ae Colonel.
“Young devils— ” si;yht < * > « W
eye. “Disgraceful, of course. Disgraceful."
He made a note on a pad.
“Then there is the matter of Captain
“Captain Huntley's leave?” •
“Captain Huntley is applying for special
leave for family reasons.”
“But the adjutant-—”
“I think it would be better, sir," said
Sergeant Wotherspoon, “if too much were
not left to the adjutant. As a matter of fact,
Captain Huntley’s wife is in the north of
Scotland. He couldn't possibly go and re
turn in the time. So his family reasons don't
appear very convincing.”
“His father or mother— ” suggested the
"Captain Huntley has neither. But he has
seemed to take a good deal of interest in
Private Muriel Bloom of the A .T .S., and
her leave is due about now— ”
"Muriel Bloom?” mused the Colonel ab
sently. “The bJoqde?”
"Blonde?” thundered the Sergeant.
“E r— the M ajor said something about a
blonde called Muriel,” stammered the Co
“Private Bloom is blonde," said the Ser
geant coldly. “A t present.”
“Ah. Really. W ell, perhaps Captain Hunt
ley had better let his family look after it
“I should think so,” snapped the Ser
geant, “— sir.”
THE SERGEANT M AJO R
“Anything else ?’’ queried the Colonel.
“Sergeant-major Storm’s language."
“Oh, the Sergeant-major. Y es, of course.
But one has to make allowances for Ser
geant-majors, you know.”
• “It is a bad example, sir. Some of the
girls were observed listening to him the
other day. He was making some comments
to a recruit whose rifle was not clean— ”
“T ’t, t’t! Naturally that would shock the
“They were laughing about it. W hich
The Colonel murdered an incipient grin.
“Y es, quite. W ell, we must— er— do some
“It would be quite a good idea,” said the
Sergeant, “if somebody suggested to M ajor
Guroep that he have his moustache trimmed.
He looks like a walrus.”
“A walrus!" The Colonel laughed. "Oh,
certainly. I’ll mention it myself with the
greatest pleasure. Is there anything else ?’’
There were, it appeared, several more.
The Colonel listened for some time. Then
he looked at his watch. “E r— I’m afraid,
Sergeant— an appointment.”
The Sergeant jumped smartly to attention.
The Colonel sighed as he watched Ser
geant W otherspoon of the A .T .S. march
smartly from the room.
“I'd murder that woman," he muttered—
"if she weren’t my wife.”
(From "M en O nly")
L i t t l e K n o w n U n i t s o f t h e ^ V .D . b y B r i a n R o b b
Abandonm ent Section.