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I then break the news about the paratroops and the armed party, and he is very sympathetic, being that sort of character.

"Can you tell me of any mutts," I ask him, "who might care to join this party and spend a pleasant Thursday afternoon?" "Thursday is early closing in these parts," he informs me, "and it's more than likely that our local braves are not very interested in battle and sudden death unless such subjects are handed out to them at their favourite cinema. And that's where they're probably heading for at this moment. Now, if I were you, I should get the bloke at the picture house to write a slide and show it on the doings, telling all L.D.Vs. to report at B.H.Q. immediately. It would be a grand advertisement and that would bring in recruits."

I'm not very keen on this suggestion because, the way I look at it, if the citizens hereabouts get the idea that their Thursday half-holiday is likely to be messed about in this way it might lead to more resignations than recruits. Besides, I take a poor view of sitting all afternoon in my office on the off-chance of the L.D.V. being composed of nothing but film fans.

"You know old Morse, my storeman clerk?" says the Q.M., "Well, in case there's a rush of storeman clerking comes on suddenly, I have an arrangement that I allow him a certain sum each day which he undertakes to exchange for beer at a specified rendezvous. So, as it is not yet closing time, I think we might count him in."


Now this is excellent news, because old Morse will be a great acquisition to the party on account of his many years service in the Army. He wears two rows of medal ribbons on his wescut and a beautiful line in handlebar moustaches under his beezer.

He is known to us as Mr. Morse because, when he was in the South African War, some Boer guy gives him the heat in one of his legs and it is never quite the same since. In fact, it remains very stiff and causes him to walk in Morse code. When he is moving at ordinary cruising speed he does a dot with one leg and a dash with t'other. In a hurry he spells out a couple of dots with his good leg and a dash with the poor-quality one. So, if you should hear dot-dot-dash dot-dot-dash coming up the street, you can bet a bottle of rye to an old pair of pants that our friend is speeding up his revs. in order to arrive somewhere before they close. He is known to have given the V sign before Mr. Churchill thought of it, because, taking a very sharp corner in top, he taps out dot-dot-dot-dash. One V and hes round.

"Have you any suggestions regarding transport" I ask.

"Well," says the Q.M., "I've just thought of another bloke who would enjoy just such an outing as we have on hand. He runs a furnishing joint in High Street and, what's more, he has a car."

We seem to have a possible nucleus of a very good fighting force, and the situation appears to be well in hand.