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man," he said with a grin; "the top spit av Whitechapel. I'll interogue them when they're more like something they never will be,-an' that's a good honest soldier like me."

Ortheris yapped indignantly. He knew as well as Terence what the coming work meant, and he thought Terence's conduct mean. Then he strolled off to look at the new cattle, who were staring at the unfamiliar landscape with large eyes, and asking if the kites were eagles and the pariah-dogs jackals.


Well, you are a holy set of bean-faced beggars, you are," he said genially to a knot in the barrack square. Then running his eye over them," Fried fish an' whelks is about your sort. Blimy if they haven't sent some pink-eyed Jews too. You chap with the greasy 'ed, which o' the Solomons was your father, Moses ?"


"My naine's Anderson," said a voice sullenly.

"Oh, Samuelson ! All right, Samuelson! An' how many o' the likes o' you Sheenies are comin' to spoil B. Company?"

There is no scorn so complete as that of the old soldier for the new. It is right that this should be so. A recruit must learn first that he is not a man but a thing, which in time, and the mercy of heaven, may develop into a soldier of the Queen if it takes care and attends to good advice. Ortheris's tunic was open, his cap over-lopped one eye, and his hands were behind his back as he walked round, growing more contemptuous at each step. The recruits did not dare to answer, for they were new boys in a strange school, who had called themselves soldiers at the Depot in comfortable England.

"Not a single pair o' shoulders in the whole lot. I've seen some bad drafts in my time, -some bloomin' bad drafts; but this 'ere draft beats any draft I've ever known. Jock, come an' look at these squidgy, ham-shanked beggars."

Learoyd was walking across the square. He arrived slowly, circled round the knot as a whale circles round a shoal of small fry, said nothing, and went away whistling.

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A company officer had come up unperceived behind Ortheris at the end of this oration. "You may be right, Ortheris,' he said quietly, "but I shouldn't shout it." The recruits grinned as Ortheris saluted and collapsed.

Some days afterward I was privileged to look over the new batch, and they were everything that Ortheris had said, and more. B. Company had been devastated by forty or fifty of them; and B. Company's drill on parade was a sight to shudder at. Ortheris asked them lovingly whether they had not been sent out by mistake, and whether they had not better post themselves back to their friends. Learoyd thrashed them methodically one by one, without haste but without slovenliness; and the older soldiers took the remnants from Learoyd and went over them in their own fashion. Mulvaney stayed in hospital, and grinned from the balcony when Ortheris called him a shirker and other worse names.

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An' you, you fat H'irishman, shiftin' an' shirkin' up there among the arrerroot an' the sago.


"An' the port wine,-you've forgot the port wine, Orth'ris; it's none bad." Terence smacked his lips provokingly.

"And we're wore off our feet with these 'ere-kangaroos. Come out o' that, an' earn your pay. Come on down outer that, an' do somethin' 'stead o' grinnin' up there like a Jew monkey, you frowsy-'eaded Fenian."

"When I'm better av my various complaints I'll have a little private talkin' wid In the meanwhile,-duck!"


Terence flung an empty medicine bottle at Ortheris's head and dropped into a long chair, and Ortheris came to tell me his opinion of Mulvaney three times over, each time entirely varying all the words.

"There'll be a smash one o' these


days," he concluded. Well, it's none o' my fault, but it's 'ard on B. Company.

It was very hard on B. Company, for twenty seasoned men cannot push twice that number of fools into their places and keep their own places at the same time. The recruits should have been more evenly distributed through the regiment, but it seemed good to the Colonel to mass them in a company where there was a large proportion of old soldiers. He found his reward early one morning when the battalion was advancing by companies in echelon from the right. The order was given to form company squares, which are compact little bricks of men very unpleasant for a line of charging cavalry to deal with. B. Company was on the left flank, and had ample time to know what was going on. For that reason presumably it gathered itself into a thing like a decayed aloe-clump, the bayonets pointing any where in general and nowhere in particular, and in that clump, roundel, or mob, it stayed till the dust had gone down and the Colonel could see and speak. He did both, and the speaking part was admitted by the regiment to be the finest thing that the" old man" had ever risen to since one delightful day at a sham fight, when a cavalry division had occasion to walk over his line of skirmishers. He said, almost weeping, that he had given no order for rallying groups, and that he preferred to see a little dressing among the men occasionally. He then apologized for having mistaken B. Company for men. He said that they were but weak little children, and that since he could not offer them each a perambulator and a nursemaid (this may sound comic to read, but B. Company heard it by word of mouth and winced) perhaps the best thing for them to do would be to go back to squad drill. To that end he proposed sending them, out of their turn, to garrison duty in Fort Amara, five miles away,-1). Company were next for this detestable duty and nearly cheered the Colonel. he devoutly hoped that their own subalterns


would drill them to death, as they were no use in their present life.

It was an exceedingly painful scene, and I made haste to be near B. Company barracks when parade was dismissed and the men were free to talk. There was no talking at first because each old soldier took a new draft and kicked him very severely. The non-commissioned officers had neither eyes nor ears for these accidents. They left the barracks to themselves, and Ortheris improved the occasion by a speech. I did not hear that speech, but fragments of it were quoted for weeks afterward. It covered the birth, parentage, and education of every man in the company by name: it gave a complete account of Fort Amara from a sanitary and social point of view; and it wound up with an abstract of the whole duty of a soldier, each recruit his use in life, and Ortheris's views on the use and fate of the recruits of B. Company.

"You can't drill, you can't walk, you can't shoot-you,-you awful rookies! Wot's the good of you? You eats and you sleeps, and you eats, and you goes to the doctor for medicine when your innards is out o' order for all the world as if you was bloomin' generals. An' now you've topped it all, you bats'-eyed beggars, with getting us druv out to that stinkin' Fort Ammerer. We'll fort you when we get out there; yes, an' we'll 'ammer you too. Don't you think you've come into the H'army to drink Heno, an' clot your comp'ny, an' lie on your cots an' scratch your fat heads. You can do that at'ome sellin' matches, which is all you're fit for, you keb-huntin', penny-toy, bootlace, baggage-tout, 'orse-'oldin' sandwichbacked se-weiss, you.* I've spoke you as fair as I know 'ow, and you give good 'eed, 'cause if Mulvaney stops skrimshanking-gets out o' 'orspital - when we're in the Fort, I lay your lives will be trouble to you.

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That was Ortheris's peroration, and it caused B. Company to be christened the Boot-black Brigade. With this disgrace on their slack shoulders they went to garrison duty at Fort Amara under three officers who were under instructions to twist their little tails. The army, unlike every other profession, cannot be taught through

Ortheris meant soors-which means pigs.

shilling books. First a man must suffer, then he must learn his work, and the selfrespect that that knowledge brings. The learning is hard, in a land where our army is not a red thing that walks down the street to be looked at, but a living, tramping reality liable to be needed at the shortest notice, when there is no time to say, 66 Hadn't you better?" and "Won't you please ?"

The company officers divided themselves into three. When Brander the captain was wearied, he gave over to Maydew, and when Maydew was hoarse he ordered the junior subaltern Ouless to bucket the men through squad and company drill, till Brander could go on again. Out of parade hours the old soldiers spoke to the recruits as old soldiers will, and between the four forces at work on them, the new draft began to stand on their feet and feel that they belonged to a good and honorable service. This was proved by their once or twice resenting Ortheris's technical lectures.

"Drop it now, lad," said Learoyd coming to the rescue. "Th' pups are biting back. They're none so rotten as we looked for."

Ho! Yes.. You think yourself soldiers now, 'cause you don't fall over each other on p'rade, don't you? You think 'cause the dirt don't cake off you week's end to week's end that you're clean men. You think 'cause you can fire your rifle without more nor shuttin' both eyes, you're something to fight, don't you? You'll know later on, "said Ortheris to the barrack-room generally. "Not but what you're a little better than you was," he added, with a gracious wave of his cutty.


It was in this transition stage that I across the new draft once more. Their officers, in the zeal of youth forgetting that the old soldiers who stiffened the sections must suffer equally with the raw material under hammering, had made all a little stale and unhandy with continuous drill in the square, instead of marching the men into the open and supplying them with skirmishing drill. The month of garrison-duty in the Fort was nearly at an end, and B. Company were quite fit for a self-respecting regiment to drill with. They had no style or spring,-that would come in time-but so far as they went they re passable. I met Maydew one day

and inquired after their health. He told me that young Ouless was putting a polish on a half-company of them in the great square by the east bastion of the Fort that afternoon. Because the day was Saturday I went off to taste the full beauty of leisure in watching another man hard at work.

The fat forty-pound muzzle-loaders on the east bastion made a very comfortable resting-place. You could sprawl full length on the iron warmed by the afternoon sun to blood heat, and command an easy view of the parade ground which lay between the powder-magazine and the curtain of the bastion.


I saw a half-company called over and told off for drill, saw Ouless come from his quarters, lugging at his gloves, and heard the first 'shun! that locks the ranks and shows that work has begun. I went off on my own thoughts, the squeaking of the boots and the rattle of the rifles making a good accompaniment, and the line of red coats and black trousers a suitable background to them all. They concerned the formation of a territorial army for India,-an army of specially paid men enlisted for twelve years' service in her Majesty's Indian possessions, with the option of extending on medical certificates for another five and the certainty of a pension at the end. They would be such an army as the world had never seen,one hundred thousand trained men drawing annually five, no, fifteen thousand men from England, making India their home, and allowed to marry in reason. Yes, I thought, watching the line shift to and fro, break and re-form, we would buy back Cashmere from the drunken imbecile who was turning it into a hell, and there we would plant our much-married regiments, the men who had served ten years of their time, and there they should breed us white soldiers, and perhaps a second fighting-line of Eurasians. At all events Cashmere was the only place in India that the Englishman could colonize, and if we had foot-hold there we could. Oh, it was a beautiful dream! I left that territorial army swelled to a quarter of a million men far behind and swept on as far as an independent India, hiring warships from the mother country, guarding Aden on the one side and Singapore on the other, paying interest on her loans with beautiful

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break off till he had recovered it again, was making bad worse by ill-language.

The men shifted their ground and came close under the gun I was lying on. They were wheeling quarter-right and they did. it very badly, in the natural hope of hearing Ouless swear again. He could have taught them nothing new, but they enjoyed the exhibition. Instead of swearing Ouless lost his head completely, and struck out nervously at the wheeling flankman with a little Malacca riding-cane that he held in his hand for a pointer. The cane was topped with thin silver over lacquer, and the silver had worn through in one place, leaving a triangular flap sticking up. I had just time to see that Ouless had thrown away his commission by striking a soldier, when I heard the rip of cloth and a piece of gray shirt showed under the torn scarlet on the man's shoulder. It had been the merest nervous flick of an exasperated boy, but quite enough to forfeit his commission, since it had been dealt in anger to a volunteer and no pressed man, who could not under the rules of the service reply. The result of it, thanks to the natural depravity of things, was as though Ouless had cut the man's coat off his back. Knowing the new draft by reputation, I was fairly certain that every one of them would swear with many oaths that Ouless had actually thrashed the man. In that case Ouless would do well to pack his trunk. His career as a servant of the Queen in any capacity was ended. The wheel continued, and the men halted and dressed immediately opposite my restingplace.

regularity, but borrowing no men from beyond her own borders a colonized, manufacturing India with a permanent surplus and her own flag. I had just installed myself as Viceroy, and by virtue of my office had shipped four million sturdy, thrifty natives to the Malayan Archipelago, where labor is always wanted and the Chinese pour in too quickly, when I became aware that things were not going smoothly with the half-company. There was a great deal too much shuffling and shifting and as you were-ing." The non-commissioned officers were snapping at the men, and I fancied Ouless backed one of his orders with an oath. He was in no position to do this, because he was a junior who had not yet learned to pitch his word of command in the same key twice running. Sometimes he squeaked, and sometimes he grunted, and a clear full voice with a ring in it has more to do with drill than people think. He was nervous both on parade and in mess, because he was unproven and knew it. One of his majors had said in his hearing, "Ouless has a skin or two to slough yet, and he hasn't the sense to be aware of it." That remark had stayed in Ouless's mind and caused him to think about himself in little things, which is not the best training for a young man. He tried to be cordial at mess, and became over-cffusive. Then he tried to stand on his dignity, and appeared sulky and boorish. He was only hunting for the just medium and the proper note, and had found neither be cause he had never faced himself in a big thing. With his men he was as ill at Ouless's face was perfectly bloodease as he was with his mess, and his less. The flanking man was a dark red, voice betrayed him. I heard two orders and I could see his lips moving in wicked and then "Sergeant, what is that rear- words. He was Ortheris ! After seven rank man doing, damn him?” That was years' service and three medals, he had sufficiently bad. A company officer ought been struck by a boy younger than himnot to ask sergeants for information. He self! Further, he was my friend and a commands, and commands are not held good man, a proved man, and an Englishby syndicates. man. The shame of the thing made me as hot as it made Ouless cold, and if Ortheris had slipped in a cartridge and cleared the account at once I should have rejoiced. The fact that Ortheris, of all men, had been struck, proved that the boy could not have known whom he was hitting; but he should have remembered that he was no longer a boy. And then I was sorry for him, and then I was angry again, and Ortheris stared in front of him and grew redder and redder.

It was too dusty to see the drill accurately, but I could hear the excited little voice pitching from octave to octave, and the uneasy ripple of badgered or badtempered files running down the ranks. Ouless had come on parade as sick of his duty as were the men of theirs. The hot sun had told on everybody's temper, but most of all on the youngest man's. He had evidently lost his self-control, and not possessing the nerve or the knowledge to


The drill balted for a moment. one knew why, for not three men could have seen the insult, the wheel being endon to Ouless at the time. Then, led I conceived by the hand of Fate, Brander, the captain, crossed the drill-ground, and his eye was caught by not more than a square foot of gray shirt over a shoulderblade that should have been covered by well-fitting tunic.

"Heavens and earth" he said, crossing in three strides. "Do you let your men come on parade in rags, sir? What's that scare-crow doing here? Fall out that flank, man. What do you mean by You, Ortheris of all men. the deuce do you mean?"

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Beg y' pardon, sir," said Ortheris. "I scratched it against the guard-gate running up to parade.'

"Scratched it! Ripped it up, you mean. It's half off your back.

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He turned to go. Ouless stepped after him, very white, and said something in a low voice.

"Hey, what? What! Ortheris," the voice dropped. I saw Ortheris salute, say something, and stand at attention.

"Dismiss," said Brander curtly. The men were dismissed. "I can't make this out.

You say?" he nodded at Ouless, who said something again. Ortheris stood still, the torn flap of his tunic falling nearly to his waist-belt. He had, as Brander said, a good pair of shoulders, and prided himself on the fit of his tunic.

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He looked up, saw me lying on the gun, and came to me biting the back of his gloved forefinger, so completely thrown off his balance that he had not sense enough to keep his trouble to himself.

"I say, you saw that, I suppose ?" He jerked his head back to the square, where the dust left by the departing men was settling down in white circles.

"I did," I answered, for I was not feeling polite.


"What the devil ought I to do?" bit his finger again. "I told Brander what I had done. I hit him."

I'm perfectly aware of that," I said, "and I don't suppose Ortheris has forgotten it already.

"Ye-es; but I'm dashed if I know what I ought to do. what I ought to do. Exchange into another company, I suppose. I can't ask the man to exchange, I suppose. Hey?"

The suggestion showed the glimmerings of proper sense, but he should not have come to me or any one else for help. It was his own affair, and I told him so. He seemed unconvinced, and began to talk of the possibilities of being cashiered. At this point the spirit moved me, on behalf of the unavenged Ortheris, to paint him a beautiful picture of his insignificance in the scheme of creation. He had a papa and a mamma seven thousand miles away, and perhaps some friends. They would feel his disgrace, but no one else would care a penny. He would be only Lieutenant Ouless of the Old Regiment dismissed the Queen's service for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. The Commander in-Chief, who would confirm the orders of the court-martial, would not know who he was; his mess would not speak of him; he would return to Bombay, if he had money enough to go home, more alone than when he had come out. Finally, I rounded the sketch with precision-he was only one tiny dab of red in the vast gray field of the Indian Empire. He must work this crisis out alone, and no one could help him and no one cared,-(this was untrue, because I cared immensely; he had spoken the truth to Brander on the spot)-whether he pulled through it or did not pull through it. At last his face set and his figure stiffened.

Thanks, that's quite enough. I don't want to hear any more,' ” he said in a dry, grating voice, and went to his own quarters.

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