Imágenes de páginas

cident unseen, and “ Dennis's Devil” became a favorite yarn in the Second Infantry from that time forth.

In New Mexico, at some time during the last two years, Capt. A. B. of the First Dragoons, commanding Company, had been stationed about forty miles from a small post commanded by Lieut. 0. B. of the Infantry. One day Capt. B. concluded to ride over and give his neighbor a call; so throwing himself athwart a noble horse, he started, and after a hard gallop-forty miles is a respectable ride you know-he arrived at 0. B:'s tent just as the drummer was performing that popular air, “Oh, the roast beef of Old England."

Reining in his horse and shaking hands with 0. B., who came forth to greet him,“ on hospitable thought intent,” he said, “Well, Lawrence, been to dinner ? ” “No, I haven't," was the reply, "just going, come in, come in;

« Devilish glad of it,” said Capt. B. dismounting, “ never was so hungry in all my life.” “Well, come in," said O. B., and they went in accordingly, and took seats at a small uncovered pine table, on which a servant shortly placed a large tin pan full of boiled rice, and a broken bottle half full of mustard. The Captain looked despairingly around-there was nothing else. “Abe," said 0. B., as he drew the tin pan towards him, “are you fond of boiled rice ?" "Well, no,” said Abe, somewhat hesitatingly, “I can't say that I am very-Lawrence."

Ah," replied Lawrence, coolly, “well just help yourself to the mustard ! " -“ He was from South Carolina," said B.,

[ocr errors]

when he told this story, "and they eat rice down thero some-what."

For the following, Lieut. W. of the Engineers is responsible. He told it to me in 1852, at the Café of Dominico, in Havana.

Old Col. Tom S. of the Infantry, a very large, burly, redfaced gentleman, with a snow-white head and a voice like a bass trombone, has an unfortunate habit of thinking out loud. While stationed temporarily in Washington, the old gentleman one Sunday morning, took it into his head to go to church, where he took a seat in a pew beneath the pulpit, and, prayer-book in hand, attentively followed the clergyman through the service. It happened to be the 17th day of the month; but in giving out the Psalms for the day, the Rev. Mr. P. made a mistake and announced—“The 16th day of the month, morning prayer, beginning at the 79th Psalm.” When to the astonishment of the congregation, Old Col. Tom in the pew below, in a deep bass voice thought aloud—The 17th day of the month, by Jupiter !The clergyman immediately corrected himself—“Ah! the 17th day of the month, morning prayer, beginning at the 86th Psalm.” When the propriety of the assembly was immediately disturbed by another thought from Old Tom, who in the same deep tone remarked, " Had him there!He had, certainly, and the congregation also.

Two years ago, when the gallant Col. Magruder, of convivial memory, commanded the U. S. forces at the Mission of San Diego, it entered into that officer's head to execute a serenade for the behoof of certain fair ladies then honoring New Town with their presence. Accordingly all the officers of the mess who could sing, play, or beat time, were pressed into the service, and one night about 12 o'clock, a jolly crowd loft the Mission for New Town, in a large wagon plentifully furnished with guitars, flutes, and other arangements of a musical nature. Among the rest, a jovial young surgeon, attached to the command, had installed himself on the back seat, with his instrument; which happened on this occasion to be a bottle of whiskey, and on which he played during the ride with such effect as to have raised his spirits on the arrival at New Town, considerably above the fifth ledger line. You may remember a Bowery song, rather popular in those days, the chorus of which ran

[ocr errors]

"Oh my name is Jake Keyser, I was born in Spring Garden,

To make me a preacher, my father did try;
But it's no use a blowing, for I am a hard one,

And I am bound to be a butcher, by Heavens, or die."

This unfortunate song had somehow or other occurred to the Doctor, he couldn't get rid of it, he couldn't help singing it; and accordingly when the whole party were duly ranged beneath the window and with flutes and voices upraised, were solemnly bleating forth

“Oft in the stilly night,

the entertainments were disagreeably varied; for far louder than the “stilly night,” rang the wild medical chant, only varied by an occasional hic,

"Oh my name is Jake Keyser,” &c.

This was not to be borne; so turning fiercely on the delinquent Esculapius, Col. Magruder commanded him to desist from the interruption, and to "thenceforth hold his


With admirable strategy the Doctor backed up against an adjacent fence, where he could deliver himself safely and to advantage, and with most intense dignity replied—“ Col. Magrudger, I'm rofficer of the arry, when I'm ath' Mission, I'm under your orrers; consider se'f so-_and—obey 'im; But, when I'm down here sir! serrerading—" Oh, I'm bound to be a butcher, by Heavens, or die! whoop!” and after performing an extempore dance, of a frantic description, during which he fell to the earth, the Doctor was borne by main force to the wagon, where he slept at intervals during the remainder of the serenade, occasionally waking as some flourish of extra shrillness or power occurred, to mutter incoherently, that his 66 name was Jake Keyser.”

My last sheet of paper is exhausted, so I presume is your patience. I have glanced hastily over my work to see if there is any thing that Miss Pecksniff may object to; I see nothing. A little blank swearing, to be sure, but I grieve to say that it is difficult to relate stories without, for since the days of Uncle Toby and the Flanders campaign there is no question but what the army have sworn terribly; but I really believe that “they don't mean any thing by it, it's just a way they've got,” which is a remark made by an affectionate father, when told that his seven children had all been seized with the measles in one night.-Adieu.

" When other lips and other hearts," &c.

Yours respectively.

« AnteriorContinuar »