THE BLUE BONNET Page Three
Tis' rightly said: Before marriage
it is a case of yearning for a woman
after marriage it is a case of earnin~
FLEET PROBLEM MINUS XXI The situation was desperate, no one
knowing where we were. The only
The two forces met off old Kana- clue lay in the dispatches sent up to I had paused outside a bookstore in
kakai Harbor at the break of dawn, the bridge, and even these were mark- Los Angeles, when suddenly: " Say,
25 December, 1893. Admiral Peter- ed " Garbled." Mate, can ya spare a dime for a cupa'
poo was pacing the poop cf his flag- Finally by dividing his hat size into coffee and a doughnut for an old ship-ship,
the Mostallgone, nervously his height in inches and multiplying mate? I usta be in the Navy and a
with one eye squinted while he gasped by half the number of toes on one better sailor nor me never spliced a
and coughed from the smoke of foot, the guardian of the moon and line. It's oney a dime I wants, Mate.
number two stack. stars figured we were somewhere in Even if it's your last one it won't
His battle line of two side wheelers, the Gobi desert. hurt ya none and it'll do me a helluva
a tug and the Allgone was drawn up After four hours of grueling fire lotta good. I ain't so good at judgin'
in column behind him. The advanced the tide turned in our favor, and the people, butcha don't look like one 0'
guard of outrigger canoes was pad- enemy withdrew under oars, fourteen them iceberg hearted guys as would
dling furiously to keep in position on of their fifteen ships flying " No Soap" pinch a dime ' til Miss Liberty yelled
the advanced flank while the rear at the fore. for help, when a guy like me needs it.
forces made up of Marines in bath At this time when the crew was Besieged by this subtle barrage of
tubs had given up and had been taken shouting its lungs out in victory, the psychological propaganda I looked to
in tow by the Allgone. Captain noticed a tug at the tail of see whom my accoster might be.
Off to leeward, the train, consisting h: s claw hammer coat ( which his wife He stood there in dirty, much worn
of three of the B& O's finest pullmans had made for him), turned to be con- jeans, topped by a threadbare, blue
and a caboose, was rolling lazily in fronted with " Now I can blow tubes" serge coat, sizes too small, A greasy
the wasping breeze. to which he responded with a s~ ift cloth cap covered his head, and his
All hands were at general quarters, kick to the seat of somebody's dung- beard was weeks old. He wasn't an
the Marine Guard lining the rail, arees and quietly requested to be left old man, about 39 or 40, I judged,
armed with pea shooters and beans alone. but his eyes looked older. They were
to repel boarders. Their noble leader Our old faithful ship was doomed a faded blue and had a beaten look.
was waving his sword and hoarsely and as we proudly steamed into Kana- He awaited my reaction to his sales
shouting orders to llll magazines, kakai Harbor, we were greeted by talk, as though he didn't know what
load and lock, the disc is up, " Belay admiring mobs shouting our praise turn events might take next, but he
that last word." from the banks. The starboard oars wouldn't be surprised in any case.
The main battery of sixteen Dahl- were boated and we slid gracefully I decided to resist a little, not be-
~ rens was irregularly poking its into the pier where we sank in six cause I beg. rudged him' t~ dime,
sevEttal snouts in: eg. u1a. I: lY-- uP- an. CL-_~:~ u~ c~ h::::: es~~ o~ f'-- o': w~ a~ t~ e~ r-,=- T.~ h~ e~ l~ ibe~ rt~. I.~ h~ o~ u.!.!. n~ d'!. s_~ b~ u!.!<.. tto see how_~ oul< L. iU.~ I:-.__
down. Behind the Gun Captains, the wcre already on deck when the Exec- to get it.
Chief Gunner was nervously sipping utive Officer announced " There will " So you want a dime, A young,
his small cup of coffee. be liberty, but alas there are no husky guy like you begging for a
Suddenly from out of the quiet boats." dime!"
tension came a lone rasping pleading And now our old friend, the Most- " I could ask for ten dollars if it
voice, " Please give me a bearing." allgone, rests gently on the sandy would help any," he said, as a be-
The enemy fleet was bearing down bottom, her last noble deed a pyrhhic draggled attempt at humor.
rapidly at five knots, with all sails victory. ... _. _-:- An Eye Witness. " It isn't the amount, it's the prin-set.
Their right flank force was hast- ciple. Thousands of men less able
ily spreading the gill nets to force our physically than you, are doing the
battle line to swerve. Undaunted, Ad- hardest kind of manual labor in order
miral Peterpoo signaled, " Pooh, Pooh to stay away from public charity.
for the nets, four bells and a jingle." Yet, you expect sympathy from a
a risky maneuver. sailor, simply because you've been in
The two forces were abreast when the service. How do you think a sailor
hell broke loose, range forty fathoms feel to have every dirty, unkempt
by the mark. The wooden shells ( used tramp he happens to see, insinuate
in problems) were screaming in all kindJ'ed- ship, because he's been in the
directions, some over, some short. The Navy?
few that landed on the ship were The bum con idered for a moment
rapidly gathered up and hurried down and then thoughtfully, " I'll tell ya:
to the fire room. A certain Marine gun captain was sailor, I thought it all out when my
The First Lieutenant was beside home by the stove dozing peacefully. time wuzup, and I decided to go out
himself, smearing plastic wood over The stove door came open and flames ' cause they ain't no chanc't to get
the gaping holes made by the wooden shot out. in the upper brackets".
shells which had pierced our hull. " Fire!", shouted the wife. D. E. Fussell
On the bridge the surgeon was The gun captain leaped to his feet,
working frantically to straighten out grr bbed the cat, shoved it in the
the Navigator's index finger so that stove, slammed the door, opened the
the latter could take an altitude of draft, and shouted up the stove pipe:
the truck light which wasn't burning. " Ready two!"