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"That lascar, too," he continued, "that you came down to

2023-12-06 05:05:41 source:School of insects and fishauthor: theory click:632Second-rate

There was silence for the next few minutes, while we smoked and thought. I fancy we were all wishing we had never started this inquiry.

That four distinctly different types of educated womanhood should, with promptness and unanimity quite unfeminine, have selected the soldier as their ideal, was certainly discouraging to the civilian heart. Had they been nursemaids or servant girls, I should have expected it. The worship of Mars by the Venus of the white cap is one of the few vital religions left to this devoutless age. A year or two ago I lodged near a barracks, and the sight to be seen round its huge iron gates on Sunday afternoons I shall never forget. The girls began to assemble about twelve o'clock. By two, at which hour the army, with its hair nicely oiled and a cane in its hand, was ready for a stroll, there would be some four or five hundred of them waiting in a line. Formerly they had collected in a wild mob, and as the soldiers were let out to them two at a time, had fought for them, as lions for early Christians. This, however, had led to scenes of such disorder and brutality, that the police had been obliged to interfere; and the girls were now marshalled in QUEUE, two abreast, and compelled, by a force of constables specially told off for the purpose, to keep their places and wait their proper turn.

At three o'clock the sentry on duty would come down to the wicket and close it. "They're all gone, my dears," he would shout out to the girls still left; "it's no good your stopping, we've no more for you to-day."

"Oh, not one!" some poor child would murmur pleadingly, while the tears welled up into her big round eyes, "not even a little one. I've been waiting SUCH a long time."

"Can't help that," the honest fellow would reply, gruffly, but not unkindly, turning aside to hide his emotion; "you've had 'em all between you. We don't make 'em, you know: you can't have 'em if we haven't got 'em, can you? Come earlier next time."

Then he would hurry away to escape further importunity; and the police, who appeared to have been waiting for this moment with gloating anticipation, would jeeringly hustle away the weeping remnant. "Now then, pass along, you girls, pass along," they would say, in that irritatingly unsympathetic voice of theirs. "You've had your chance. Can't have the roadway blocked up all the afternoon with this 'ere demonstration of the unloved. Pass along."

In connection with this same barracks, our char-woman told Amenda, who told Ethelbertha, who told me a story, which I now told the boys.

Into a certain house, in a certain street in the neighbourhood, there moved one day a certain family. Their servant had left them-- most of their servants did at the end of a week--and the day after the moving-in an advertisement for a domestic was drawn up and sent to the Chronicle. It ran thus:

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